It was looking pretty ugly, until Q4 came around and smacked us across the face with a flurry of sci-fi strikes (and a fantasy karate chop here and there). Without putting Too much thought into it (in an effort to refrain from driving myself mad) I will play the Halo 5 OST and rattle 'em off—7 of my favorite science fiction films of 2017.
Honorable Mention: Ghost In The Shell
I'm not happy about how this film went down, but for the most part, I get it. 3 Japanese Producers (if I'm not mistaken, but forgive me if I am) put a stoic flair on this film that simply didn't jive with American audiences. Perhaps this makes the film more authentic in some way, more like the manga, etc., but Ghost In The Shell definitely could have been more.
Personally, I think the film is underrated and doesn't get the credit it deserves, which is why it's being mentioned here in this pseudo-number 8 slot. It's still awesome in my book, even with all of its short comings, because I am a certified cyberpunk fiend. Do Not serve this man cyberpunk.
7. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Glad I saw it. Sad that I didn't see it in theatres because I paid too much attention to what others were saying and doing. (Must have been pretty epic in 3D.) All I can say about Valerian is that its issues are few, but major. A dealbreaker, if you will. Major Valerian's anti-swag was the nail in the coffin for me. (Sorry Dane Dehaan fans, if there even is such a thing? Is there an antonym for Je Ne Sais Quois?)
It's a shame really, because so many other things were done right, and this is another film that had so much more potential. That said, if you're a sci-fi junkie like I am, you probably still got a kick out of it. (I certainly did, despite my major gripe with the film's casting faux pas.) [Frenchest, post, ever.] Too visually stunning and otherwise epic not to be included.
6. Alien: Covenant
Solid. (I was alright with Prometheus too, although a lot of others weren't.) I'm far from a horror lover, but one surefire way to get me to like something, is to infuse it with sci-fi! (Is it just me, or is Noomi Rapace taking over the sci-fi scene?) The only thing I like more than science fiction in general, is android robots. (Although, that Prometheus Engineer comes pretty damn close.)
I most definitely look forward to Alien: Awakening, which is actually set inbetween Prometheus and Alien: Covenant. Again, not a huge horror fan, but me likey this trilogy thus far.
5. War for the Planet of the Apes
I must simply be a sucker for sad, baby monkeys, 'cause everytime I see one of these damn Apes movies, I get all choked up! Woody Harrelson makes a good badman, and without being anything too special, I felt this film was executed really well.
In particular, there were a few climactic scenes, mainly in battle, that I felt were just great cinematography. I think I even mentioned in my review for the film, that I always slightly underestimate the Apes movies, and I'm always a bit pleasantly surprised when I actually see them. War for the Planet of the Apes is a great conclusion to the Apes reboot series.
Technically released 12/16, but shoot, this film is a lurker, and I didn't see it till this year, so I'm throwin it in there! Quite possibly the most underrated sci-fi film to hit the screen in quite some time. There are probably even a few people reading this right now thinking, "What's a Spectral?" But this Netflix original sci-fi film left a lasting mark on me. It's got guns, it's got ghosts, and it's all backed by scientific legitamacy. (Give or take some science.)
I've never heard anyone say anything bad about this movie. It's like another Tron: Legacy; a film that deserves even more credit than it gets, in addition to a sequel. If you haven't seen Spectral, spend part of your "Netflix and Chill" checkin' it out!
Yeah, I said it. One of my fav films of 2017. Bear in mind I'm a sci-fi nut, and not necessarily a fantasy nut, so I'm sure diehard fantasy fandom probably doesn't see this film the way I do, but I enjoyed it immensely.
I love Los Angeles, I love speculative fiction, and I love great films that strike a harmonious balance between action and emotion.
I hear a sequel has already been green-lit, despite the mixed reviews/response it's received, but as far as I'm concerned, keep the Bright films comin'!
2. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
I said it a few days ago in my SWTLJ review and I'll say it again, this is one of my favorite Star Wars films.
A fantastic example of what can happen when you take something epic, and push for progression. You can only slice off so many limbs, and you can only build so many death stars, but I am overjoyed with the direction in which this film was taken.
Come to think of it, I can't think of a single thing I'd change about this film if I could. Nothing is perfect, duh, but man, what a solid take on a Star Wars story. I'm halfway tempted to go see it again. The Star Wars saga is a pillar of science fiction, and I'm relieved to see Disney is treating the franchise as such.
Image: Warner Bros
1. Blade Runner 2049
It's hard enough to make a truly solid film. It's twice as hard to make a truly solid sequel. Especially with a considerable gap in time between them.
No sense in beating this stallion, the majority of fandom agrees, this movie was a winner and then some. Really sucks that the revenue doesn't measure up, but the explanation for that goes deeper down the rabbit hole than I care to go.
Instead, I'm going to sit here, ponder my next cup of coffee, enjoy Master Chief's crescendos, and feel really satisfied about the fact that somebody (or persons) took one of my favorite films of all time, and created a worthy sequel to it, in Blade Runner 2049.
I'll take that Gambit film, Tron: Legacy sequel, and Matrix prequel now please!