Paragraph Reviews (Issue 1): Science Fiction

Aidan Herklotz

Hello and welcome to paragraph reviews, where I review three good, bad, or classic films in one paragraph each. Today we’re in the category of science fiction–although you probably know what you’re reading. Let’s get on with it already.

**DISCLAIMER: There’ll be spoilers for Blade Runner, Star Wars: A New Hope, and Alien**

Blade Runner is a slow movie but a really good one. Unlike modern action movies (and many classic action movies from the 80’s), Blade Runner takes its time to set up an interesting world with cool set pieces. There are so many iconic places in this movie: the massive Tyrell Corp, the pyramid, and the creepy empty hotel with rooms filled to the brim with dolls and other creepy stuff. Don’t even get me started on the characters–Deckard is a grizzled detective-type who reluctantly hunts down robots; Rachel and Sebastian both have a sense of innocence that ends up completely different ways for the both of them; Roy Batty (plus all the other androids) are perfect examples of sympathetic villains. Harrison Ford expresses so much through his face, while not saying much throughout the film even though in an original cut he had a detective-style monologue in the silent scenes (which was just terrible, I’m so glad they removed this).  Additionally, the late Rutger Hauer (RIP) is one of the best actors I’ve ever seen, and his performance in the movie never fails to make me cry.

Ranking: This movie is a big ⅘.

Star Wars: A New Hope is an absolute classic that has massively influenced the sci-fi genre decades after its release. It is probably in the top 5 most iconic movies ever made, with parsecs of archetypes ripped off by hundreds of movies. The movie has everything: planet-destroying lasers, moon-sized space station, hopeful farm boys, reluctant rogues, fierce princesses, space dog-fights, mysterious villains–and non-mysterious villains (I wanna punch Grand Moff Tarkin in the face)– as well as genuinely likable characters. A New Hope has setup a great franchise and makes for an enjoyable film experience.

Ranking: This movie is a 5/5.

 Stars War: A New Hope is a mix of science fiction and action while Blade Runner is a more of science fiction/drama–but Alien is absolutely science fiction/horror. I would go as far as saying that it is more of a horror movie that just happens to have space, aliens and starships–but I digress. As with the other items on the list, this film has iconic elements too, most notably its titular Alien, the Xenomorph. It is quite possibly the best designed and most feared alien in science fiction history. The filmmakers mostly focused on the Xenomorph’s design over everything else. It also packs in an element of mystery into the alien itself, which the sequel fails to do (although it didn’t really need to, and Aliens is still a great and completely different movie in its own right). Additionally, the acting is especially good for a horror movie, especially when John Hurt gets chest-bursted by an alien-baby as his look of pure terror truly captures the moment.  Once again, this is a true classic that has set up the sci-fi/horror genre to what it is today– being mostly just low-quality, poorly written Netflix films.

Ranking: I still rate this film a 5/5.

All the films I discussed are regarded as true science fiction classics, each with their own unique characteristics that makes the stand out. The same can be said about each of their extremely famous sequels, which are also different (and arguably better) films than their predecessors. Part 2, to be released shortly, addresses the sequels–be on a look out for it!