We Sci-Guys like all sorts of stuff. Sci-Fi Movies, TV shows, comics, books, games… Stuff that we say is “in our wheelhouse”. Here is the Sci-Guys Top 5 for the year 2009
Number Five: Star Trek.
2009′s Star Trek did something for the franchise that no other Star Trek property had ever done.
It brought Trek back from the dead.
Sure, Star Trek the Motion Picture brought the franchise to the big screen, and The Wrath of Khan one upped that by actually being good. Yes, Star Trek the Next Generation brought our favorite future universe back to TV. But at each of those points in Trek lore there were still a LOT of fans wanting more.
Fast forward to 2005 Enterprise has its run cut short due to low ratings. Star Trek: Nemesis had been box office poison. Sure there were still die-hards, but in general trek fandom had taken a nosedive. “The Franchise” was on life support.
Star Trek might not be the best movie of the year, or the best movie of the series, but for any fan of the federation, this movie deserves tons of credit. The future looks exciting again, not just the “in movie” future we see on screen, but the future for franchise as well. For that we all owe a big thanks to J.J. Abrams for re-inventing Star Trek when very few people wanted or even cared that it was happening.
Number Four: Battle Star Galactica’s Final Season.
When last we saw the ragtag, fugitive fleet they were greatly disappointed to learn that “Earth” had been nuked and was a wasteland. The final run of BSG saw the slow breakdown of the Galactica– both the physical body of the ship, and the loyalties of the crew as Zarek and Gaeta lead a mutiny. The season ended with one of the greatest space battles to grace the small screen, and a finale that people are still debating whether it was good or not.
The final season reminded us just how good BSG could be… and what a big void in the Sci-Fi lineup is left without it.
Number Three: District 9
After seeing Neill Blomkamp’s short film “Alive in Joberg,” director and producer Peter Jackson gave him $30 million to make whatever he wanted. The result was District 9.
Besides the fact that District 9 has a solid story, great action and is brave enough to exploit the slums of Johannesburg for the main setting, the fact that it was made for $30 million and has special effects that makes it look like it cost $100 million is the most impressive feat.
This is a trend that I hope continues: Accomplished directors take aspiring moviemakers who have an idea for a movie and fund their efforts.
Number Two: Lost Season Five
A short season– just 17 episodes– but it made up for it with a whirlwind ride through time and space for Jack, Kate, Sawyer and the gang.
Season Five introduced us the 1970s Dharma Initiative, a 12-year-old Benjamin Linus, the mysterious Jacob, and ended the season with a nuclear explosion. What more could you ask for?
Number One: Moon
The Sci-Guys favorite sci-fi event of 2009 was Duncan Jones’ debut feature film, Moon. Sadly this is also one of the most overlooked films of the year, as Moon was eclipsed by much louder and more expensive sci-fi fare. Hopefully, that error will be corrected with Moon’s DVD release on January 12.
We’ve seen film budgets over the moon, so to hear Jones made this film with a budget of only around $5 million makes it that much more of an amazing story of the little movie that could.
Duncan wrote Moon as a bit of an homage to the era of sci-fi movies of the decades past. Movies like 2001: A Space Odyssey, Outland, and Alien influence the feel and style of the film (along with the stark and unforgettable soundtrack), but where Moon truly succeeds is it is a movie before it is a sci-fi movie.
Moon was written by Duncan specifically with Sam Rockwell in mind for the lead role, and it is impossible to imagine the movie without him. (And there is no need to, as without Rockwell the movie wouldn’t have been made.) There are only ten actors credited in the movie, but it is really a showcase of Rockwell’s incredible range as actor playing a character dealing with some difficult issues from his lonely three year post on the moon.
After a season of transforming robots, mutants and nine-foot scantily-clad Na’vi, the Sci-Guys suspect that when we look back at the movies of 2009 we’ll have nothing but Moon on our minds.
(Each individual Sci-Guy’s list is in the comment section)