Saturday, November 11, 2006

Top 5 Alien Movies

"Gort! Klaatu barada nikto!"
Here are the finest five of them all.

5) War Of The Worlds (1953)
Let's start with the negatives. This movie hasn't aged well, the characters are forgetful, the aliens are ludicrous and the ending is disappointing. But when this movie came out half a century ago, it had balls. Pioneering effects, scenes of mass chaos, apocalyptic elements, plus the aliens are presented as monsters, not with human form like The Day The Earth Stood Still. We become the helpless animals and the Martians become the savages, up until nature finds its way to survive. Fresh after the second World War, it doesn't hesitate to use a nuclear bomb as an irony to its own government. Needless to say it set the ground for every alien-related movie to come, WOTW deserves 5th place.

4) Aliens (1986)
The first Alien created the myth, the foundation. The second one is more of an action thriller rather than a horror sci-fi, but Aliens is better in so many levels. As I have mentioned in the past, James Cameron made this one of the best action movies there are. Our heroes now have to face an army of aliens, not to mention the Bitch. Mixing monsters, starships, androids, gun fights along with emotion and a cunning script, Aliens is everything Starship Troopers would like to be, and everything Star Wars could be, if it pulled the right strings. Created seven years after the first one, it had a lot to live up to, but it succeeded all the way.

3) The Abyss (1989)
James Cameron is on his field: water and aliens. Set mostly underwater, this movie has the beauty of The Big Blue, the tension and suspense of Das Boot and the intelligence of, well... Close Encounters. Claustrophobic and mysterious, it gives a little too much emphasis on the extraterrestrial life and less on human emotion. It raises questions and has an anti-war message and of course how destruction-is-in-man's-nature, elements that could be a little less obvious. Nonetheless, the Abyss is a complete movie which has a little bit for everyone, from action junkies to star trek geeks.

2) E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
The movie that initiated a whole generation of children to the magic of the Big Screen. A moving, coming-of-age story, an adorable alien and a message that talks right to your heart. An allegory so pure and true, ET brings out real emotion. Friendship can conquer all, love knows no borders and all the rest, I can't think of any reason you wouldn't adore this movie. Spielberg's passion is responsible for ET's huge success, and it's safe to say that in any other director's hands it would have been ruined. From Edward Scissorhands to Donnie Darko, this movie affected every new director to come and changed the definition of mainstream blockbuster.

1) Close Encounters Of The Third Kind (1977)
Even the title implies that it's a movie about communication. Somehow Spielberg manages to give every personal project of his a symbolical meaning. I can't quite explain it, but this movie connects with you in a deeper way than ET. It's about every man's quest for answers, a more adult work of Spielberg but at the same time as easily watchable from children. Unlike Contact, Close Encounters is everything but far-fetched, it really could happen to an everyday man, and that's maybe what makes it the most humane movie about extraterrestrial life.

Contenders
Contact, Forbidden Planet, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1978) and The Day The Earth Stood Still, they all came close. AI, Star Wars, 2001: A Space Odyssee, Dark City and Rocky Horror Picture Show don't actually focus on alien life. Slither, The Sphere, The Arrival, The McPherson Tape, Signs, Plan 9 from Outer Space, My Stepmother Is An Alien, What Planet Are You From and Earth Girls Are Easy are more like failed attempts, jokes or both. Predator, Men In Black, Mars Attacks, Independence Day, Starship Troopers, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1956), War Of The Worlds (2005), Stargate, The 5th Element and The Thing would fill in the top 20.

7 comments:

verbal said...

What, no Blob? Argh...

mentwras said...

Unfortunately I couldn't lay my hands on a copy, nor could I find Day Of The Triffids and Krull...

mentwras said...

And by the way, Howard The Duck rules...

Anonymous said...

Where the hell is ALIEN you idiot?

Themetalwok said...

Damn this sucks - You forgot ALIEN (not aliens) and THE THING.

Themetalwok said...

Thx for adding THE THING

Anonymous said...

Love all the top 5's except this. How did Close Encounters get #1? Maybe if this category was "Boringest Sci-Fi Movies"