I disagree with John on a few of these. I liked Omega Man at first, but it is unwatchable, now. I can’t stand John Carey. Metropolis “does not grab” as JJA would say. I have to watch Bladerunner. I have never seen it out of disgust that they changed the end, which defeated Dick’s plan. Do Androids Dream??? is my favorite Dick book.
Here’s the list John Sent me.
In no particular order:
Metropolis — The visionary futuristic cityscape will forever haunt the
Bladerunner (director’s cut) — One of Metropolis’ lesser progeny, yet
still a satisfying work of art.
Planet of the Apes (original version) — I don’t care what anyone says, this
is an excellent movie. Just think about the sophisticated caste system
delineated by the apes, chimps, and gorillas.
Delicatessan — Generally surrealism is best contained in more concise forms
such as poetry and painting. But here is a full-length surreal film and
darkly comic sci fi masterpiece — and French to boot.
1984 — Masterful rendition of the novel in all its glorious bleakness, and
Richard Burton is wonderful in his last role.
Cabinet of Dr. Caligari — Perhaps the finest example of German
Forbidden Planet — Of course.
The Day the Earth Stood Still — Of course.
2001: A Space Odyssey — There are a few great artists — the composer
Bruckner is one and the filmmaker Tarkovsky another — who force you, like
Kubrick, to adjust to their sense of time, and when you make the effort to
adjust, the effect can be sublime.
The Invisible Man — starring Claude Rains, one of the great character
The Man Who Fell to Earth — The way the earthlings decay systematically and
introject their mindless values into the gentle alien is a subtle lesson in
horror for which Schopenhauer would be proud.
The Hunger — Nothing wrong with a little gothic sci fi. A very arty, but
enjoyable flick with that great Lalo music — not to mention the opening cut
of “Bela Lagosi’s Dead” by Bauhaus, the artiest of punk bands.
The Omega Man — Not a great movie, but a personal favorite. It’s amusing
how Charlton Heston becomes a futuristic Des Essentes — that is, a closeted
aesthete, his intractable macho persona notwithstanding.
Solaris — Tarkovsky’s answer to Kubrick’s 2001.
The Fly — Outrageous horror and black humor from David Cronenberg.
Dark City — Futuristic Gnosticism, arguably better than The Matrix, which
addresses similar themes. Not a perfect film by any means, but then again,
neither was The Matrix.
The Truman Show — Jim Carrey’s greatest moment and one of the best films of
the past twenty years regardless of genre. Scripted by the same dude who
did Dark City, and thematically quite similar.
The Shadow — Starring Alec Baldwin and the best of the bunch of films
adapted from comic strips, with the exception of:
The First Superman film starring Christopher Reeve (and possibly the second,
Farenheit 9/11 — A terrible nightmare where well-financed zombies from hell
take over the United States with the secret intention of killing much of the
world and enslaving the rest.