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Sci-Fi Movie Recs - Underrated, Cult Faves, or Jes’ Plain Good

Many fine films have been made about space and other made-up sciency bullshit.

Share your bleep bloop gems.

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by Anonymousreply 94November 29, 2021 8:29 PM

On the hi fi

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by Anonymousreply 1November 10, 2021 9:56 AM

I've never been a big fan of sci-fi, but I LOVE "Stargate".

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by Anonymousreply 2November 10, 2021 10:05 AM

My guilty pleasure is Pitch Black.

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by Anonymousreply 3November 10, 2021 10:18 AM

Time travel tales pretty much have a flaw no matter how hard they work to resolve it. One of the best with a streamlined theory and easier then most to follow is “Donnie Darko.” It’s a small work of genius carried by a sensitive and heartbreaking performance by Jake Gyllenhaal with a well rounded cast including a turn as an evil pedophile played by Patrick Swayzee of all people. It’s set in the ‘80s and has pitch perfect music. Be sure to get the directors cut.

I rewatched “The Time Traveler’s Wife” this year for the first time since it came out in the theater and it was much better then I remembered, or there was enough distance from the book that it hung better on its own.

Usually dismissed by film snobs, “Night of the Comet” may lean into comedy, but it’s actually very well done, with wonderful performances and a great story about the struggles of two sisters who are among the few survivors after something mysterious event wiped out most of the population of earth.

Series wise, the second runner up for best series this year after Mare of Easttown for me was Hulu’s “Y: The Last Man” based on a graphic novel series about all the people of earth with a “Y” chromosome dying off except one. Diane Lane plays a senator who by default becomes President, and the one man is also her son. It wasn’t renewed, but they are shopping it around at other networks. But it’s smart well done and a stellar cast, especially the woman who plays the mysterious agent and worth watching if only for one season.

Coming next month on HBOMAX is a limited series based on Station Eleven, a beloved novel that drew many admires from outside the genre. It should hit hard as it’s about an epidemic that kills off a majority of the population and centers on a small troupe of traveling actors.

by Anonymousreply 4November 10, 2021 10:28 AM

Ex Machina 2014

Really great low budget psychological thriller. Great effects, interesting concept, Elon-esk CEO crazy inventor played by hot daddy type.

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by Anonymousreply 5November 10, 2021 10:42 AM

The Sticky Fingers of Time is on my list to watch.

From the web:

“ This is an easy one for me, since: a) I really like the film, and b) I know that very few people have seen it. My choice is Hilary Brougher’s “The Sticky Fingers of Time,” which premiered at the 1997 Toronto International Film Festival and then began a slow roll-out in select markets over the next few years. I was lucky to catch it in New York, where I was in film school at the time. It felt vital and special because it seemed so accessible and possible, production value-wise, compared to what we, as grad-film students, were trying to do. Shot on Super 16 – in b&w and color – and benefitting from a really tight, smart script (also by Brougher), the movie remains, to this day, a model of near-perfect low-budget sci-fi.

Starring Terumi Matthews, Nicole Zaray, Belinda Becker and the incomparable James Urbaniak, “The Sticky Fingers of Time” toggles between the present-day of the late 1990s and the past of the 1950s, following the misadventures of writer Tucker Harding, whose genes are affected by the 1952 hydrogen-bomb tests in Nevada, sending her spiraling through time, racing to prevent her own death. There is not one, but two Sapphic romances within, making it, I believe, one of a very small number of gay-themed sci-fi films, as well. Terrific fun, it deserves a wider following than it has.”

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by Anonymousreply 6November 10, 2021 10:54 AM

Oh, and "Event Horizon" scared the shit out of me when I was a kid. I could watch any number of horror films all day, but I think because this one hit on the existential aspect, it made an impact. It was a box office flop but it's definitely underrated.

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by Anonymousreply 7November 10, 2021 11:31 AM

Sphere sucked big donkey balls.

by Anonymousreply 8November 10, 2021 11:54 AM

Interstellar was really good, but that weird box robot why?

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by Anonymousreply 9November 10, 2021 12:01 PM

Sunshine had some very cool visuals. The plot was eh.

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by Anonymousreply 10November 10, 2021 12:04 PM

The Thirteenth Floor with stinkface Gretchen Mol is one of the very worst movies I’ve ever seen.

Stay away.

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by Anonymousreply 11November 10, 2021 12:12 PM

Criterion has a beautiful new rendition of THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN (57) with lots of extras.

Nevermarried dreamboat blonde Grant Williams shrinks and shrinks . . .

by Anonymousreply 12November 10, 2021 12:36 PM

Seconds, with Rock Hudson was good and a bit artsy.

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by Anonymousreply 13November 10, 2021 3:46 PM

[quote]Usually dismissed by film snobs, “Night of the Comet” may lean into comedy, but it’s actually very well done, with wonderful performances and a great story about the struggles of two sisters who are among the few survivors after something mysterious event wiped out most of the population of earth.

It's a Peter Yates movie. He also directed [italic]Bullitt[/italic] and [italic]Breaking Away[/italic] and some other good movies. Haven't seen it in years, but I remember being amused.

WRT recent films, I enjoyed [italic]Arrival[/italic] and [italic]Interstellar[/italic]. I'm not a scientist, so I don't know whether the science in them is "good," but there weren't any groaners like, e.g., [italic]the Book of Eli[/italic]. Talented casts, interesting stories, good effects. I enjoyed [italic]Contact[/italic], but I don't think that's as popular.

by Anonymousreply 14November 10, 2021 7:54 PM

Yates directed "Year of the Comet"; Thom Eberhardt directed "Night of the Comet".

by Anonymousreply 15November 10, 2021 9:13 PM

I enjoyed "Solaris".

"The Cell" had some remarkable visuals.

by Anonymousreply 16November 10, 2021 11:25 PM

The Quiet Earth, 1985 movie from New Zealand, about the last survivors of a global cataclysm, is fantastic and really under the radar

by Anonymousreply 17November 10, 2021 11:30 PM

Of all the films I've seen about time travel, I liked the lo-fi The Sound Of My Voice and 12 Monkeys. I'd like to recommend Primer but it is a very dry, academic sort of movie. I liked it but people I've recommended it to hated it.

Coherence is also a fun little film that's not about time travel but a strange event. Strange Invaders is also a small, quaint sci-fi movie with Christina Crawford...er, Diana Scarwid.

by Anonymousreply 18November 10, 2021 11:44 PM

If I could, I would laser-blast every stooge who uses the execrable term "underrated."


by Anonymousreply 19November 11, 2021 12:04 AM

The Navigator is a surreal film about life during plague time in an English mining village and a kid has a prophecy that if they drill down to the other side of the earth and make an offering to the cathedral the people of their community will be spared. They do it and end up in present day Christ Church, New Zealand, which adds lots of humor to their deadly serious quest. There’s a great twist at the end.

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by Anonymousreply 20November 11, 2021 12:17 AM

I keep seeing this thread and thinking it’s another of those “Pecs That Jut Out” threads. The titles are very similar.

by Anonymousreply 21November 11, 2021 12:46 AM

I agree about Interstellar and 12 Monkeys. If I could stay in the “time travel” oeuvre, I would also add Time Bandits because I have enjoyed it for many years and it has supplied me with many one-liners. (“I’m Evil, no one made me! I made myself!”)

On a different note, I’d also recommend Maniac on Netflix. It’s not a movie, but a limited series that I enjoyed very much.

by Anonymousreply 22November 11, 2021 1:15 AM

[quote] ""The Cell" had some remarkable visuals."

Tarsem Singh's films usually do, thanks to his various production desginers, and the work of Academy Award-winner & DL fave costume designer Eiko Ishioka.

by Anonymousreply 23November 11, 2021 1:32 AM

Yikes! Thanks, r15.

by Anonymousreply 24November 11, 2021 1:46 AM

LOOKER (ahead of its' time) starring Albert Finney and Susan Dey and RUNAWAY (fun trash) with Tom Selleck are '80s films both directed by Michael Crichton. Enjoy.

by Anonymousreply 25November 11, 2021 5:44 AM




The Endless


by Anonymousreply 26November 11, 2021 5:52 AM

I’ve read Stalker is fantastic - anyone seen it?

Apparently some of the actors were exposed to hazardous materials during filming and the lead actor died young.

I think he also starred in the excellent Andrei Rublev, in which he was hot to death!

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by Anonymousreply 27November 11, 2021 6:49 AM

Renaissance, an animated movie starring Daniel Craig. It takes place in near-future Paris and deals with an immortality drug. Chrysalis is a cool live-action French sci-fi movie.

by Anonymousreply 28November 11, 2021 8:08 AM

Limitless with Bradley Cooper

Inception with Leo

by Anonymousreply 29November 11, 2021 10:14 AM

For series, The Expanse on Amazon Prime

by Anonymousreply 30November 11, 2021 10:15 AM

Raised by Wolves on HBO - Androids raising the last human children after Earth destroyed. Weird vibe but very riveting. Season 2 returns early next year.

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by Anonymousreply 31November 11, 2021 10:30 AM

COMA with a cameo of young unknown actor named Tom Selleck.

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by Anonymousreply 32November 12, 2021 7:29 AM

Brainstorm -1983

Blue-ray for your brain. Now everyone can experience what you went through.

Although, to be fair, it's more of a gold-ray extra wide video tape. CDs were not really out yet.

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by Anonymousreply 33November 12, 2021 7:36 AM

Edge of Tomorrow was my favorite movie of 2014, but not a lot of people have seen it because it stars Tom Cruise. I also liked another of his sci-fi films, Minority Report.

Snowpiercer was great, directed by Bong Joon Ho (Parasite), with a fantastically funny performance from Tilda Swinton, but nobody saw it. Still, it was good enough to be turned into a mediocre series on TNT.

And my favorite sci-fi movie is an animated gem from Pixar, WALL-E.

by Anonymousreply 34November 12, 2021 8:47 AM

Another vote for Coma, what a great flick!!

by Anonymousreply 35November 12, 2021 9:36 AM

Didn’t they remake Coma as a limited series in the early 2000s? How was that?

by Anonymousreply 36November 12, 2021 1:34 PM

Dark City (1998)

by Anonymousreply 37November 12, 2021 2:35 PM

Enemy Mine

by Anonymousreply 38November 12, 2021 2:36 PM

Every time I mention this to someone they say, "Oh I didn't see that one".

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by Anonymousreply 39November 12, 2021 3:01 PM

Stalker is ridiculously overrated.

by Anonymousreply 40November 12, 2021 3:08 PM

R39’s movie is Under the Skin.

It’s fucking fantastic.

by Anonymousreply 41November 12, 2021 3:09 PM

No one saw this, but I found it hypnotic.

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by Anonymousreply 42November 12, 2021 3:16 PM


The Man Who Fell to Earth

by Anonymousreply 43November 12, 2021 3:26 PM

Solarbabies, Jason Patric at his hottest.

by Anonymousreply 44November 12, 2021 4:30 PM

UPGRADE (2018), written & directed by Leigh Whannell.

Terrific blend of cyberpunk sci-fi and action, with dollops of horror and a sprinkling of black comedy. Logan Marshall-Green stars as Grey Trace, the victim of an apparently random mugging that has left him a quadriplegic and his wife dead. When a tech inventor offers Grey an experimental "upgrade" in the form of STEM, an implanted computer chip that allows him to move again, Grey sets out to discover who was responsible for his wife's death and to even the score. But he hasn't counted on STEM...

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by Anonymousreply 45November 12, 2021 4:56 PM

Gattaca, with Ethan Cawke

by Anonymousreply 46November 12, 2021 5:14 PM

Beyond the Black Rainbow had some cool visuals. The pacing was glacial, but I like that sometimes.

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by Anonymousreply 47November 13, 2021 3:52 AM

^Would be a good flick to play in the background at a party

by Anonymousreply 48November 13, 2021 3:53 AM

Moon with Sam Rockwell

The short film Wanderers (2014 - more speculative future than scifi, available on Youtube)

Promare (scifi anime)

Fast Color

Colossal (even if you don't usual like Anne Hathaway, give it a shot because it's really good)

Je T’Aime, Je T’Aime

Titan A.E. (cartoon but with a great soundtrack)

Safety Not Guaranteed


Pandorum (I'm always surprised that no one has seen this Dennis Quaid film)


Paul (rauchy alien comedy)

The Arrival (with Charlie Sheen...yes, I know, but it's pretty good)

Lucy (you can watch this with Under the Skin for a night of Scarlett Johansson films you've never heard of!)

by Anonymousreply 49November 13, 2021 4:25 AM
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by Anonymousreply 50November 13, 2021 4:36 AM
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by Anonymousreply 51November 13, 2021 4:37 AM
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by Anonymousreply 52November 13, 2021 4:42 AM

Love the Andromeda Strain

by Anonymousreply 53November 13, 2021 5:17 AM

If you get Apple TV, they have two very good SciFi series called Dr. Brain and Foundation.

Dr. Brain is about a scientist who wants to find his son and uses brain transference to solve the mystery Foundation is based on the books by Isaac Asimov.

by Anonymousreply 54November 13, 2021 6:25 AM

This is a sort of steampunk sci-fi horror film, I really enjoyed it.

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by Anonymousreply 55November 13, 2021 6:43 AM

This 1929 German film by Fritz Lang about the first trip to the moon. I thought I knew Lang's work fairly well but had never heard of this film when I ran across a pristine print on a local PBS station a few weeks ago. It is a very mixed but fascinating bag. Some of the acting is your typical silent film overacting but much of it is actually quite restrained for the period. Scientifically it's quite important, for example, being the first representation of a launch countdown. The launch scenes are visually visually mesmerizing.

Lang, of course, had directed Metropolis a year or two before.

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by Anonymousreply 56November 13, 2021 7:06 AM

^ It has a 7.3 rating at IMDB which I think is remarkable for a silent 1929 sci fi film.

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by Anonymousreply 57November 13, 2021 7:14 AM

^ According to WP, it was banned in Germany from the mid 30s through the war because it was thought to give away too much off the actual work being done on rockets there. It depicts multiple stage rockets, for example.

by Anonymousreply 58November 13, 2021 7:19 AM

Nude on the Moon by the incomparable Doris Wishman from Queens!

by Anonymousreply 59November 13, 2021 7:23 AM

The one where Doris gets her oats?

by Anonymousreply 60November 13, 2021 4:00 PM

Well this was more for Camp fans. Men from earth land on a planet and the woman are in charge, men are for pleasure and the queen of the planet is Zsa Zsa Gabor!

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by Anonymousreply 61November 27, 2021 10:27 AM

The Omega Man - Very 70's Pandemic with the last man on earth Charlton Heston tap some black ass of the last woman on earth.

by Anonymousreply 62November 27, 2021 10:33 AM

I second Gattaca.

It was a great film, gets into the future where some people will have designer DNA to help them get ahead in life. The main character is NOT one of those and it fallows his battle to make something of himself and fallow his dream.

by Anonymousreply 63November 27, 2021 10:40 AM

Speaking of Charlton Heston:

The Planet of the Apes. The last scene is so iconic.

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by Anonymousreply 64November 27, 2021 10:44 AM

No one has mention the three season German series Dark on Netflix about the mysteries and time traveling set around a rural nuclear plant. One of the most perfect TV series ever!

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by Anonymousreply 65November 27, 2021 10:50 AM

Mr. Robot

It's a Netflix series. The title is misleading, (Spoiler Alert, Mr. Robot is the name of a computer repair shop in the 80's) It's about a young programmer with daddy issues who hacks into personal accounts and exposes people for their personal crimes. But mixed into that is a heavy dose of drug use, schizophrenia and some Sifi elements to the plot. Unusual side stories involving some gay charters. It's dark and addictive.

by Anonymousreply 66November 27, 2021 11:20 AM

R38 yes Enemy Mine is a fantastic film, very low key and restrained once you get past the first few minutes

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by Anonymousreply 67November 27, 2021 11:50 AM

Silent Running with Bruce Dern

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by Anonymousreply 68November 27, 2021 12:15 PM

"Midnight Special" was a great surprise. It's part sci-fi, part road trip. The government and a group of religious extremists pursue a man and his son, who is actually an alien. Stars Michael Shannon, Joel Edgerton, Adam Driver, Kirsten Dunst and Sam Shepherd.

by Anonymousreply 69November 27, 2021 12:38 PM

Best movie mentioned so far is Dark City. Definitely underrated.

Also, the Japanese anime Metropolis

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by Anonymousreply 70November 27, 2021 1:36 PM

I love some of the classics: Mysterious Island, Journey to the Center of the Earth (forget blond muscle man Sven, we got sexy shirtless Pat Boone), both versions of War of the World, Logan's Run, Soylent Green, Time Machine, all versions of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Robinson Crusoe on Mars, First Men on the Moon (even though a women traveled with them!!). I have also watched The Last Starfighter several times, as I am a huge fan of Mary Catherine Stewart. Mary also was in the above mentioned Night of the Comet.

by Anonymousreply 71November 27, 2021 2:21 PM

The Day the Earth Stood Still (the 1951 original, not the 2008 remake)

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by Anonymousreply 72November 27, 2021 2:29 PM

Yes, this is a technically a zombie movie but it has a serious sci-fi bent to it and it isn't gory. The only Canadian sci-fi I've ever seen, and it's a classic.

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by Anonymousreply 73November 27, 2021 2:38 PM

I love the cult sci-fi, camp, fantasy film Repo Man. Stars Emilio Estevez as an angry, hot, disaffected youth who is the only one with any sense. He has no idea what he's in for.

It has a great sci fi story, plus it gives you a feel of the claustrophobic societal strictures of the early 80's. These are what the main character butts up against, moving the protagonist away from his hypocritical family and traditional life (which are shown to be complete bs, anyway) and toward the radical because anything is better than the familiar.

Nods to the LA 80's punk scene, the moral majority/televangelists, even generic food people ate from nondescript cans during that time. Ironic, smartass as names for everything.

Harry Dean Stanton is superbly slimy, but with a heart. I also love the nods to cult films like Ray Milland's "Man with the X-Ray Eyes." Especially in the visage of Fox Harris as J. Frank Parnell, the creepy zealot who drives to Malibu to meet up with a UFO with something unusual in his trunk. Superb.

Production is a bit lo-fi, but that adds to the charm. Total early 80's time capsule. One stupid joke about John Wayne being a transvestite.

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by Anonymousreply 74November 27, 2021 3:28 PM

R74, I forgot about Repo Man. Great movie and very weird, and Emilio Estevez was so cute too!

by Anonymousreply 75November 27, 2021 3:32 PM

The Thing has aged really well, honestly a well crafted film.

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by Anonymousreply 76November 27, 2021 8:12 PM

The Vast of Night on APrime

A sweet little film made for a few dollars that manages to resurrect 1950s small-town America in its best moments. Strange lights in a night sky; two teenagers tracking down the story: a DJ and a telephone switchboard operator; a marvelous twist at the end; and an old lady recalling the last time the town had "visitors."

by Anonymousreply 77November 27, 2021 8:33 PM

R61, back in the '60s, '70s and '80s, Zsa Zsa in The Queen of Outer Space was considered the height of gay camp and if you couldn't quote the dialog, you had to turn in your gay card. A midnight movie favorite. And I'm talking about when people went at midnight to to theaters to see camp films on a big screen with an audience.

Trivia: the men's costumes, hand weapons and parts of the interior of the earth spaceship were originally used in MGM's sci-fi classic Forbidden Planet.

by Anonymousreply 78November 27, 2021 8:39 PM

I guess one could consider Pleasantville a SciFi movie, it’s a fav.

by Anonymousreply 79November 27, 2021 9:24 PM

R68, if you liked Silent Running you should check out Biosphere 2 in Arizona. It was a real life attempt to create hermetically enclosed ecosystem for space travel. It failed big time. Turns out it's not so simple. But the buildings are still there with live forest now owned by the university as a tourist attraction. Went there a couple years ago on a road trip, kind of cool to see. The whole time there I thought of that movie.

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by Anonymousreply 80November 28, 2021 12:14 AM

R80 It's one of my obsessions. This book is incredible.

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by Anonymousreply 81November 28, 2021 1:50 PM

I'm crazy about "The Chronicles of Riddick."


by Anonymousreply 82November 28, 2021 2:34 PM

Just watch "Forbidden Planet" on mushrooms.

by Anonymousreply 83November 28, 2021 2:37 PM

"COLOSSUS, The Forbin Project"........... a movie about a supercomputer taking over.........really well done...........the book is good too...........

by Anonymousreply 84November 28, 2021 5:51 PM

Another vote for Forbidden Planet.

by Anonymousreply 85November 28, 2021 6:01 PM

R84 thinks she's reading a movie review from an old ticker tape machine.

Ellipsiphilia is a sad ailment.

by Anonymousreply 86November 28, 2021 7:57 PM

In addition to "Forbidden Planet," when I'm in the mood for an American classic I watch the original "The Thing from Another World," the original "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" or the original "The Time Machine."

"Forbidden Planet" itself is not really original, as it is a funk-ass version of "The Tempest." As everyone knows.

And the original "Godzilla," without the Raymond Burr butcher job for American audiences, in Japanese is an amazing movie, very different from the usual Yankified version.

by Anonymousreply 87November 28, 2021 8:12 PM

𝐓𝐢𝐦𝐞𝐜𝐫𝐢𝐦𝐞𝐬 (2007) (Spanish, 𝐿𝑜𝑠 𝐶𝑟𝑜𝑛𝑜𝑐𝑟𝑖́𝑚𝑒𝑛𝑒𝑠).

Really good. I prefer watching it in Spanish with English subtitles.

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by Anonymousreply 88November 28, 2021 8:21 PM

Here’s a movie to NOT watch while high - Fantastic Planet. Disturbingly trippy

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by Anonymousreply 89November 28, 2021 8:37 PM

[quote]the original "The Time Machine."

R87, one could hardly do better.

Most days, it's my favorite sci-fi film.

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by Anonymousreply 90November 28, 2021 8:44 PM

A 60s classic with plenty of eye candy for everyone

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by Anonymousreply 91November 29, 2021 3:42 AM

+1 for Forbidden Planet. I still have dreams of a house like that some day, compete with hidden computer room.

by Anonymousreply 92November 29, 2021 6:57 AM

I'm surprised they haven't made a remake of Forbidden Planet. That was a cool movie.

by Anonymousreply 93November 29, 2021 11:13 AM

r86 .............and that ailment is going to be seen here for a long.........long........long time............

by Anonymousreply 94November 29, 2021 8:29 PM
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