We want originality from Hollywood, but that originality also has to be quality. Sharknado is technically an original idea -- a bit on the side of too original, as in way out there -- but it's not a good movie. We all watched it, but only for shots (as in drinking games) and giggles. But that's not really what we want. We want well-written, well-directed, well-acted, etc. films with fresh stories not based on any comics, novels, TV shows, old films or any other preexisting property. We want those too, apparently, but not just those.
We definitely want original sci-fi, creative worlds built by smart, imaginative screenwriters. New stuff to rival the likes of Star Wars, Alien, Metropolis, The Terminator, Back to the Future, E.T., Close Encounters of the Third Kind and plenty other classics. Of course, let's not forget that many of our favorites are at least adapted from short stories. Film fans may complain about the lack of originality in cinema lately, but we probably have had more original sci-fi scripts in the last 20 years than in the decades before Lucas and Spielberg showed up.
Not that you'd notice too much in the days of so many comic book movies and sequels. And judging by this year's disappointing crop of Oblivion, After Earth and now Elysium, it doesn't seem like we're necessarily getting good material. Maybe this year is a fluke, though, or maybe it's just that we need to look beyond the studio stuff. This year we've got Europa Report, for instance. And in the past 10 years the indie world and foreign cinema has given us Primer, Beyond the Black Rainbow, Timecrimes, Triangle, Monsters, Melancholia, The Host, Robot and Frank, Code 46 and 2046. I'll even throw in the excellent sci-fi-ish documentary Into Eternity and the clever-yet-sorta-hokey doc The Age of Stupid.
Hollywood hasn't been too shabby, really, either. The studios are responsible for producing and/or releasing Inception, Looper, Avatar, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Sunshine, Moon, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Wall-E, The Cabin in the Woods, Cloverfield, The Fountain, Chronicle, Idiocracy, Sound of My Voice, Splice, Slither and Attack the Block. All of these were decent to brilliant. And altogether that's 30 titles from the last decade that I would recommend and watch again.
I'd name Eternal Sunshine as the best and most original. How about you?
What is the best original sci-fi movie of the past decade?
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