Part of the 2018 Hugo Awards Series
Category: Dramatic Long Form
I’m all over science fiction and fantasy films. The detailed visions of directors and cinematographers as they create versions of the future will always inspire me. To be able to create something that allows people to immerse themselves in another world for a couple of hours is a true feat.
My pick: Blade Runner 2049
See my reviews below the robot!
Blade Runner 2049
While the first movie wasn’t my favorite thing, I was always enthralled by the grungy LA setting, the future-meets-garbage feel of everything. The sequel was flawless, with beautiful cinematography that honestly left me speechless at times. The setting, both old and new Los Angeles, were dirty and held so much life, in the streets and the buildings and the air. The tech was seamlessly integrated into every day routines, from self-service touchscreen food dispensers to an AI lover he can bring with him in his pocket. It told a remarkable story and was the most all-encompassing depiction of science fiction within the group.
My mind was blown. I thought I knew what to expect with the film, but from the reveal moment to the end, it was an endless series of ‘no way,’ ‘what is happening,’ and ‘holy hell did that really just happen.’ It’s a deep conversation about race and our society’s deep-seated prejudices. I’m surprised to see it on this list as it doesn’t seem to fit in the science fiction or fantasy category, but it’s a brilliant film nonetheless.
The Shape of Water
This quirky, visually stunning drama is a beautiful piece of fantasy with a hint of science fiction, turning a creature feature into a love story between an unusual couple who bond over their similarities. The space race is the motivating factor behind the imprisonment of the creature, and the female character is instantly drawn to him because he doesn’t know (or care) that muteness makes her different. It’s definitely a strange film, on the level of an absurd fairy tale, but it’s beautiful and deserving of the many awards it received earlier this year.
I will forever love this movie. It’s about time we had a badass female superhero who puts the men to shame through her raw power and kickass fighting skills. Her cameo was the best part of Batman vs Superman and this full length feature was perfect in every way, giving us her back story, showing her grow into a hero, and watching her save the world for the first time. Setting is during WWI was inspired, and the scene of her crossing no man’s land in pursuit of justice for the innocent gave me goosebumps (and may have caused a couple of tear). The only reason I didn’t rank this first was because of the lack of actual science fiction in the story.
Very rarely does a third film overshadow the previous installments, but this entry really takes the cake. It’s hilarious (who knew Chris Hemsworth was so funny), all of the supporting characters shine, the primary villain is a badass that takes fight scene to a new level, and the very concept of a planet made from the trash of the universe is solid gold. Throw in the brilliant sci-fi technology, spaceships and the races/creatures, and you have a brilliant sci-fi film.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
It’s Star Wars. I know there’s a lot to say about it, and so many people either love it or hate it, but I’m not a big enough fan to really add to the conversation. I saw it, I enjoyed it, but I don’t feel like it was the outstanding entry this year.
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