Thursday, February 16, 2012

My Top 25 Sci-Fi Movies of All Time - #14

My Top 25 Sci-Fi Movies of All Time

By Ken Parker

You ever see a list of top movies or TV shows and barely recognize any of the list? Or perhaps you see movies and shows so obscure or so odd that you wonder how would someone pick those? I know some reviewers go out of their way to make picks that are controversial. Also some people love to show that they are more of an expert and stay away from the classical choices. For the most part they just have their own opinion and may choose less obvious picks.

With that said, the following movie is probably the number one movie on this list with the least amount of familiarity. It will probably be by most controversial pick. Very few people have seen it and less have it on their top list. In my opinion it is an outstanding movie in many ways.

#14 – Sunshine (2007)

IMDB Story Summary
50 years into the future, the Sun begins to die, and Earth is dying as a result. A team of astronauts are sent to revive the Sun - but the mission fails. Seven years later, a new team are sent to finish the mission as they are Earth's last hope. Written by  

Danny Boyle (28 Days Later) directed this film which features a realistic space mission to save the Earth. The cast nears perfection including Cillian Murphy (Inception), Rose Byrne (X-Men First Class) and Chris Evans (Captain America). The effects are outstanding and the music ranks as one of my favorite soundtracks of all time (Composed by John Murphy).
On the surface, the movie deals with a mission gone astray due to human error and then turns into a bit of a slasher film (believe it or not). But digging deeper one can see a movie focusing on the power of the sun. Whether it is the science of the sun's enormity and importance to the human race or the individual reaction in the face of a greater power, be that the sun or even God. The Sun's power can infect people in different ways, turning some to an almost peaceful contentment and others to the edge of madness. Could the changes in the crews stem from the confines of the ship or the importance placed on their shoulders?

I have to point out while looking down my list that visuals are not the only thing with a common theme. Music is very important and many of my list have soundtracks that are superb and John Murphy's music in this is near the top for me. On a personal note, this music helped me cope through a very tough but miraculous period of my life while my baby girl was in the NICU. Listening to this music and its uplifting qualities, as seen in the film, helped quite a bit.

When I first saw this movie it was under less than ideal situations. The movie had yet to get a release date in America and a poor bootleg came along that I could not refuse. All I really got out of it was the story as the imagery was hard to see but already I loved the film and when finally seeing the film in its final showing before vanishing all too quickly from the theaters, I was amazed even more.

Sunshine, I would argue, has similarities to 2001: A Space Odyssey with a mission gone wrong and a overwhelming presence ultimately shaping the outcome of the people involved. It may not be seen in the same company as 2001 but I think Sunshine is much more than the 'slasher movie' label it sometimes receives because of the final reels of the film.

It may sound like this film deserves to be higher on the list and maybe it does but it is going up against some movies that have stood the test of time so for now, here it is.

First time I saw the film - As I mentioned, bootleg and in the final showing in the theater
How many times have I seen it - 5-6 times
Do I have it on DVD/Bluray - Actually, no.  I just traded the DVD in and have yet to get my Blu-Ray upgrade.

Just a heads up - this trailer annoyingly has some big spoilers in it.

My favorite scene - spoiler!!

I had to include a link to this scene - watch it in HD - great stuff


  1. A little obscure, perhaps, but an excellent choice.

  2. While I'm glad that the music helped you get through a tough time in your life (yes, it's a gorgeous score), I'll debate the inclusion of this film on anyone's top sci-fi list. The script is abysmally, blindingly stupid; the characters are bickering idiots who get themselves into dire and/or fatal circumstances for no good reason whatsoever. Visually, it's very pretty; and, yes, the soundtrack (except for that awful I Am Kloot song at the end-- why directors shouldn't be allowed to make musical choices, as a rule, unless their last names are Scott or Kubrick) is wonderful. The rest is an utter embarrassment.

  3. Thanks for the comments. I knew going into this one that there was going to be some criticism of the film. It is not one of those untouchable classics that many of the films on my list are.
    I also see your point about the fact that their mission was put at risk due to a stupid mistake but I think this points to a rare quality in films that I admire greatly, human error and fallibility. The decision to change the mission is hotly contested. One person makes a stupid error, something that could easily have been done by anyone under massive amounts of pressure. It may be a bit convenient that the mistake was made without any fail safes in place. As for the bickering, I love this as it seems almost natural and real. A better example of this crew mechanic is in Alien when everyone is talking over one another when trying to make the decision to investigate the signal. Anyhow - that is how I see it. Thanks again for reading and taking part. I enjoy the feedback.