Escape Artists

The Arcade => Polling Place => Topic started by: Ocicat on January 11, 2012, 11:41:05 PM



Title: Best SF/Fantasy film of 2011 - group A
Post by: Ocicat on January 11, 2012, 11:41:05 PM
It's the revenge of the film poll!  2011 may not have been the best year for genre movies, but there were some - so we may as well vote on 'em! 

Despite the title, my intention is to have this be a poll about the best movie that happens to have SF or fantasy content - not the best representation of the genres in film.  If that makes any sense.  And if it doesn't - just vote for what you like.  I'm also not really covering horror films here, or at least not ones that also aren't using SF or fantasy tropes.

There will be four groups, posted a few days apart, voting is open for a week on each.  Vote for two, two move on from each group.


Title: Re: Best SF/Fantasy film of 2011 - group A
Post by: eytanz on January 12, 2012, 02:31:40 AM
Hmm... I only saw one of those movies in today's poll (Harry Potter). Which was fine, but nowhere near good enough for me to vote for it over competition I haven't seen (though I suspect at least 2-3 of those movies are terrible). Oh well.


Title: Re: Best SF/Fantasy film of 2011 - group A
Post by: kibitzer on January 12, 2012, 03:00:41 AM
Oci-poll-cat!! FANTASTIC to see you back with a poll! Looking forward to this :)


Title: Re: Best SF/Fantasy film of 2011 - group A
Post by: Talia on January 12, 2012, 08:36:29 AM
Never even heard of 'In Time.' :)

I've only seen the two I voted for, but they're so far and away superior to the rest of the lot there's no question in my mind.


Title: Re: Best SF/Fantasy film of 2011 - group A
Post by: Devoted135 on January 12, 2012, 09:29:26 AM
Yay! I wasn't around for any of the previous sets of polls so I'm excited to participate in this one! Thanks for setting it up, Ocicat :D


Title: Re: Best SF/Fantasy film of 2011 - group A
Post by: Listener on January 12, 2012, 09:33:42 AM
Never even heard of 'In Time.' :)

I've only seen the two I voted for, but they're so far and away superior to the rest of the lot there's no question in my mind.


I wrote a review of "In Time" for EP. You can use that to judge if you want to see it, if you like. http://escapepod.org/2011/11/21/film-review-in-time/


Title: Re: Best SF/Fantasy film of 2011 - group A
Post by: Talia on January 12, 2012, 10:01:01 AM
Never even heard of 'In Time.' :)

I've only seen the two I voted for, but they're so far and away superior to the rest of the lot there's no question in my mind.


I wrote a review of "In Time" for EP. You can use that to judge if you want to see it, if you like. http://escapepod.org/2011/11/21/film-review-in-time/

Thanks for the link!

Hmm, love Cillian Murphy, but I have a huge aversion to anything Justin Timberlake. Also "everyone stops aging at 25!" seems like a lame plot device to ensure everyone is eye candy for the audience.

Maybe I'll watch it if it comes on TV someday.



Title: Re: Best SF/Fantasy film of 2011 - group A
Post by: Scattercat on January 12, 2012, 05:11:42 PM
Harry Potter, people?  Really?  The book wasn't the strongest even within its own series, and the movie made it such a confusing muddle...


Title: Re: Best SF/Fantasy film of 2011 - group A
Post by: Talia on January 12, 2012, 05:20:18 PM
I didn't find the movie confusing at all, but then I hadn't read the book since it was first released. I wouldn't want to either, that tends to ruin things for me.

I think it would be fair to compare this vote to Return of the King winning all those Oscars, its more like a vote of affection for the entire series.


Title: Re: Best SF/Fantasy film of 2011 - group A
Post by: Fenrix on January 12, 2012, 06:05:00 PM
I didn't find the movie confusing at all, but then I hadn't read the book since it was first released. I wouldn't want to either, that tends to ruin things for me.

I think it would be fair to compare this vote to Return of the King winning all those Oscars, its more like a vote of affection for the entire series.

There was also some great memorable acting from Maggie Smith (McGonagall) and cathartic expression from Julie Walters (Mrs. Weasley) that also acted as a great capstone for the series.


Title: Re: Best SF/Fantasy film of 2011 - group A
Post by: DKT on January 12, 2012, 06:27:04 PM
It's hard for me not to think of the final two Potter films as one film split in the middle. But when I think of them as one film, they're far and away my favorite of the series.

(Book-wise, that's still Azkaban for me.)


Title: Re: Best SF/Fantasy film of 2011 - group A
Post by: Scattercat on January 12, 2012, 07:06:01 PM
"Prisoner of Azkaban" and "Order of the Phoenix" are my two favorites, with "Prisoner" having the lead.  I mostly like "Phoenix" because A) Sh!t blows up good and B) Harry is not only wrong, but gets PROVED wrong, AND has serious consequences for his self-absorption.  That doesn't happen a lot in the series overall.


Title: Re: Best SF/Fantasy film of 2011 - group A
Post by: eytanz on January 12, 2012, 07:21:43 PM
The book of Deathly Hollows was not the strongest of the Potter books, mostly because Rowling made some serious pacing missteps, but it was still a very solid book, and the last few chapters bring the whole series to a very strong and satisfying conclusion.

The two-part movie solved some (but not all) of the pacing issues (mostly by cutting out a lot of stuff), but it totally mangles the ending. Maybe I would have felt differently if I saw the movies before I read the novel, but I felt that the final confrontation(s) in the movie were thematically incoherent and underwhelming.


Title: Re: Best SF/Fantasy film of 2011 - group A
Post by: kibitzer on January 12, 2012, 09:44:49 PM
I didn't find the movie confusing at all, but then I hadn't read the book since it was first released. I wouldn't want to either, that tends to ruin things for me.

I think it would be fair to compare this vote to Return of the King winning all those Oscars, its more like a vote of affection for the entire series.

Excellent! Please explain the Elder Wand to me.


Title: Re: Best SF/Fantasy film of 2011 - group A
Post by: Talia on January 12, 2012, 09:48:16 PM
I didn't find the movie confusing at all, but then I hadn't read the book since it was first released. I wouldn't want to either, that tends to ruin things for me.

I think it would be fair to compare this vote to Return of the King winning all those Oscars, its more like a vote of affection for the entire series.

Excellent! Please explain the Elder Wand to me.

It's a wand! And it's old.

:P I have no idea what that is. I saw the movie in November, I don't recall details, but I don't recall being confused either. But again, as I said, I wasn't really trying to compare it to the books.


Title: Re: Best SF/Fantasy film of 2011 - group A
Post by: Scattercat on January 13, 2012, 12:32:32 AM
I am slightly reassured by the lack of votes for Transformers.  At least people here aren't completely insane.


Title: Re: Best SF/Fantasy film of 2011 - group A
Post by: eytanz on January 13, 2012, 04:47:50 AM
I didn't find the movie confusing at all, but then I hadn't read the book since it was first released. I wouldn't want to either, that tends to ruin things for me.

I think it would be fair to compare this vote to Return of the King winning all those Oscars, its more like a vote of affection for the entire series.

Excellent! Please explain the Elder Wand to me.

What's the problem with the Elder wand?

It's a wand. It's made from Elder (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elderberry), which is somewhat unfortunate since it makes it sounds really old which it maybe is but that's not relevant to its name.

Legend says its one of three items that the Peverell brothers won from death, though it seems that that is a fantasy and that it's really just a powerful magical item that the Peverell's made.

At any given time, the wand is aligned to a particular wizard. It is an extremely powerful wand in the hands of that wizard, though it doesn't work in full capacity for other wizards. It is so powerful that its master becomes undefeatable in duels as long as he uses it. If this master is defeated in other ways (say, by being murdered in his sleep (as in most historical cases), or by refusing to use the wand to its full potential and deliberately losing (in the case of Dumbledore), or by using a different wand instead (Draco)), then the wand will shift its allegiance to the new wizard.

In the hands of other wizards, it is simply a very good wand but not invincible. And if someone just tries to use it against its rightful master, it will backfire, as Voldemort discovered.

The only real puzzle about the Elder wand is how Dumbledore acquired it, since it was stated he won it off Grindlewald in a duel, but that happened off-screen (and off-page) so there could well be an explanation that makes perfect sense that's simply unknown.

Does that help?


Title: Re: Best SF/Fantasy film of 2011 - group A
Post by: Talia on January 13, 2012, 08:05:31 AM
I am slightly reassured by the lack of votes for Transformers.  At least people here aren't completely insane.

I completely agree with you there. It still boggles my mind how well those movies do. The tragedy is that certainly means Bey will get to make more abominations. :P


Title: Re: Best SF/Fantasy film of 2011 - group A
Post by: Listener on January 13, 2012, 12:32:22 PM
The book of Deathly Hollows was not the strongest of the Potter books, mostly because Rowling made some serious pacing missteps, but it was still a very solid book, and the last few chapters bring the whole series to a very strong and satisfying conclusion.

I disagree. I didn't want to read Harry Potter Goes Camping For 400 Pages, and I was extremely disappointed at the things that happened after King's Cross. I think I might have to write an article about this... :)

My favorite of the books is Phoenix; my least-favorite is Prince, which is also my least-favorite of the films.


Title: Re: Best SF/Fantasy film of 2011 - group A
Post by: Fenrix on January 13, 2012, 01:16:26 PM
Sounds like we need some polls for best and worst Harry Potter films and/or books.


Title: Re: Best SF/Fantasy film of 2011 - group A
Post by: Fenrix on January 13, 2012, 02:20:41 PM
I am slightly reassured by the lack of votes for Transformers.  At least people here aren't completely insane.

I completely agree with you there. It still boggles my mind how well those movies do. The tragedy is that certainly means Bey will get to make more abominations. :P

Let's keep him with robots and away from history.


Title: Re: Best SF/Fantasy film of 2011 - group A
Post by: DKT on January 13, 2012, 03:21:53 PM
"Prisoner of Azkaban" and "Order of the Phoenix" are my two favorites, with "Prisoner" having the lead.  I mostly like "Phoenix" because A) Sh!t blows up good and B) Harry is not only wrong, but gets PROVED wrong, AND has serious consequences for his self-absorption.  That doesn't happen a lot in the series overall.

Phoenix (the book) is a very close second for me. Aside from everything you said (which I agree with) there's an incredible sense of doom and dread building throughout that whole book that really hit for me.


My favorite of the books is Phoenix; my least-favorite is Prince, which is also my least-favorite of the films.

Halfblood Prince is my least favorite of the books as well, though I enjoyed the movie. I think the film series really matured into a different weight class with Yates behind the camera.

My least favorite is probably the first one. My wife and I tried to watch it a few months ago, and it's a really poorly directed film - not only in performances, but in shots. Everything is so boring (and Cuaron and Yates really upped the game directing-wise). I'll give Columbus credit for some excellent casting, though.


Title: Re: Best SF/Fantasy film of 2011 - group A
Post by: Scattercat on January 13, 2012, 04:05:11 PM
I couldn't completely hate Half-Blood Prince because Snape is awesome, and therefore anything Snape-themed acquires some awesome by osmosis.

My least favorite is probably Goblet of Fire, just because it was egregiously long, and the bad guys' plot went over the line from convoluted to a Gambit Roulette (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/GambitRoulette), and the movie was the crappiest of the movies because the director just took every third scene from the book, removed the narration from around the dialogue, and expected it to somehow remain coherent.

Now guys, I know Super 8 was a little schmaltzy, but c'mon.  X-Men: First Class?  The movie that thinks one use of the word "groovy" is sufficient localization for the time-period of the Sixties in the US?  The movie that has a fledgling Magneto able to simultaneously stop hundreds of bullets and missiles in midair and think it is a good idea to turn them all (including the tiny mass of each bullet) laboriously around and accelerate them back to deadly speed instead of simply cracking open the METAL hulls of the warships facing them?  The movie that features Kevin Bacon looking at a fully-exposed set of fuel rods and demanding his minion "turn the reactor to maximum" in order for him to absorb MORE energy?


Title: Re: Best SF/Fantasy film of 2011 - group A
Post by: DKT on January 13, 2012, 04:16:31 PM
I voted for Super 8 and Potter.

I really liked Super 8. Actually, I'd be happy to see it again, and my movie watching time is incredibly limited as is. But it was a movie that had heart, and heart is important to me.

Still need to see First Class and In Time one of these days...


Title: Re: Best SF/Fantasy film of 2011 - group A
Post by: kibitzer on January 14, 2012, 08:38:37 PM
My least favorite is probably the first one. My wife and I tried to watch it a few months ago, and it's a really poorly directed film - not only in performances, but in shots. Everything is so boring (and Cuaron and Yates really upped the game directing-wise). I'll give Columbus credit for some excellent casting, though.

It's very anodyne isn't it? Calculated to be family friendly. Still, I guess the intended audience was 12yr-olds -- sorta -- and if nothing else if brought Hogwarts and Quidditch to life. Was pretty impressive on the big screen.


Title: Re: Best SF/Fantasy film of 2011 - group A
Post by: Fenrix on January 14, 2012, 10:24:55 PM
My least favorite is probably the first one. My wife and I tried to watch it a few months ago, and it's a really poorly directed film - not only in performances, but in shots. Everything is so boring (and Cuaron and Yates really upped the game directing-wise). I'll give Columbus credit for some excellent casting, though.

It's very anodyne isn't it? Calculated to be family friendly. Still, I guess the intended audience was 12yr-olds -- sorta -- and if nothing else if brought Hogwarts and Quidditch to life. Was pretty impressive on the big screen.

My recollection is that not much got cut from the film that was in the book. I found the first to be more about establishment of a world than of a strong narrative.