The Heap. Presents: The 30 Most Influential Sci Fi Movies (16-20)

We know it’s been a while, but we are BACK with the next 5 movies on our list. While we are on the subject of sci-fi, this past weekend, Vin Diesel’s newest explosionfest, Babylon A.D. came out, having mediocre reviews. Yahoo users gave it a C+, while those on IMDB gave it a 5.7. It received an astounding 5% on Rotten Tomatoes! I was interested in seeing it this weekend, but I’m kind of glad Michael expressed his disinterest. the premise seems promising, but apparently, 20th Century Fox had their way… which resulted in a distasteful bomb. Read the wikipedia article here: Babylon A. D. information

Anywho, here are numbers 16 through 20! You’ve waited long enough, and here they are! Again, thanks to Chaz and his contributions to the list.

20. Transformers (2007)


Autonomous robots which come to earth to save mankind from other BAD robots? Count us in! Another of Michael Bay’s masterful usages of marvelous special effects, Transformers delivers an good ole fashioned American cinematic thrill ride. Explosions, “roller skating” robots, and timely comedy are what makes the movie work, and what made it such an international success as a risky silver screen execution of what really was a cartoon show for children. It’s not far fetched to suggest Japanese influence by Manga and Anime movie Mobile Suit Gundam, but it brings a different idea to the table, since the robots are not controlled by man. Rather, they serve as their own entities as they too face prospects of intergalactic war (Autobots vs. Decepticons). Again, an interesting rendition of man’s relationship with machine. Oh, and the late Bernie Mac makes a memorable cameo as a used car salesman! IMDB: 7.5 Rotten Tomatoes: 57%

19. Star Trek Franchise (Trekking since 1960’s!)

star trek

You can definitely make the case for Star Trek to be much higher on the list, and perhaps it deserves it. We don’t have to explain the massive effect it has had on popular culture. Just look for the closest Star Trek convention near you, or better yet, Tune it to Spike TV or late night on the CW to catch reruns of Next Generation. Success has never been a question, as there have been numerous (I’m thinking like 5 or 6) TV series, and not to mention 10 films (with number 11 just around the corner, with J.J Abrams directing). In short, it is a sci-fi juggernaut. It created a detailed universe with an appropriate taxonomy of extraterrestrial organisms. Travel faster than the speed of light exists in this universe… and everything is spawned by? You guessed it, the apocalyptic aftereffects of nuclear war. We just never really got into it here at the heap. But we can recommend it, and obviously hold it in highest regards with its place in sci-fi.

18. Ghostbusters I, II + Franchise (1984, 1989, 90’s)


Who you gunna call? The 1984 original was one of the year’s most popular movies, and to a degree remains as a “cult classic.” The ghost story is perhaps one of humankind’s most cherished conventions, probably having its origins in the oral storytelling traditions of our ancestors. Ghostbusters literally capitalizes on the ghost myth becoming reality, as it becomes their job to capture the roaming spirits. The ideas are just so creative! The created science that the movie proposes is interesting, such as the use of the “proton packs,” or essentially harnessing atomic, symbolically positive energy, to capture the creatures. What makes the movie great is the psychological and even psychic themes of the movies. Clearly, a movie like this could only happen in New York! Commercially, Ghostbusters continues to be an ever blossoming success. I grew up on the cartoon show The Real Ghostbusters, and there are rumors of GBIII, and even an awesome GB video game! (I kid you not: check it out here, it actually looks pretty sick: Ghostbusters: The Video Game). But just remember, DON’T cross the streams! IMDB: 7.7 6.0 Rotten Tomatoes: 93% 53%

17. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

3rd Kind

Close Encounters is just one of those movies which revolutionized the genre, society, and pretty much the expectations of film making as we know it. One of Steven Spielberg’s utter masterpieces, the movie concerns itself with presenting aliens in a different light. The social conception of aliens prior to this work was often of silvery flying saucers flown by beings which meant harm. The film plays with these ideas, introducing a spaceship adorned by lights, and relatively peaceful aliens. Yet, the primary focus of the film is the burgeoning obsession of the main character, Roy Neary, with UFOs and aliens. The audience experiences the psychology of obsession through the various ramifications of the ineffable image in Neary’s mind. Could it be playing again with the same notions of faith seen in Signs? I think so. We are not alone physically in the universe, nor spiritually/ psychologically within ourselves. If these themes don’t ultimately get you interested, the movie is groundbreaking because it thrust the underground mashed potato sculpting population into the mainstream! IMDB: 7.8 Rotten Tomatoes: 95%

16. The Terminator, Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1984, 1991)


So again, we’ll introduce an apocalyptic future and dwindling humanity. Overused and boring right? The the world of Cameron’s The Terminator, you could be DEAD wrong, especially if your name is Sarah Connor. The end of humanity’s dominance is again of their own doing. Yes, man-made machines are the culprits again… except that these machines are just well… made too well. The Terminator certainly popularized the idea of the potential of technological mutiny/ anarchy at the hands of mechanical artificial intelligence- the fact that we’ve created machines so advanced that they have evolved and surpassed our own intellect AND physical ability. The thing is, humanity has been promised a savior. Thus, in order to preserve mechanical “order,” the machines send a cyborg to kill Sarah Connor, the woman who will give birth to the leader of the future human resistance, John Connor (notice the initials). Add in the obvious religious undertones, a nice glossy “exterior” – aka stunning visuals / special effects, and a whole lot of firepower, suspense, and violence, and you get a memorable franchise: Though Arnold WON’T be back in 2009, look for the final chapter of the saga to come to the silver screen in 2009! (TI is 188 in IMDB’s top 250, and T2 is 68) IMDB: 8.1 8.4 Rotten Tomatoes: 100% 100%


Que Le Pasa a Este Tipo?


It has finally happened. We all remember a few seasons ago when one of Chad Johnson’s wonderful publicity stunts involved him putting the last name “Ocho Cinco” on top of “Johnson” before a regular season game. “Ocho Cinco” or literally “Eight-Five” as the English translation is a Spanish reference to his jersey number a self-given moniker. Since the NFL is NOT the defunct XFL, one’s real last name must be on the back. Well, according to the newest reports… that will NOT be a problem this year. Check it out:

CINCINNATI (AP)—Maybe receiver Chad Johnson can go by the name that his head coach hates.

The Cincinnati Bengals receiver has legally changed his name to Chad Javon Ocho Cinco in Broward County, Fla., a switch that became official this week, according to several media reports. Johnson, who lives in Miami, didn’t return a message left on his cell phone Friday night.

“It’s something I don’t think anyone has ever done before,” he told the team’s Web site. “Have I ever had a reason for why I do what I do? I’m having fun.”

Two years ago, Johnson gave himself the moniker—a reference in Spanish to his No. 85—and put it on the back of his uniform before a game. Quarterback Carson Palmer ripped it off before the kickoff. After the season, coach Marvin Lewis—who dislikes Johnson’s attention-getting stunts—referred to the receiver as “Ocho Psycho.”

Bengals spokesman Jack Brennan said the Bengals had no comment on the matter.

Johnson has been a concern for the Bengals this season. He unsuccessfully lobbied for a trade in the offseason, threatening to sit out if he didn’t get his way. When the Bengals refused, he relented and showed up for minicamp, but complained that his right ankle was bothering him.

He had bone spurs removed from the ankle and was limited at the start of training camp. In the second preseason game, he landed awkwardly and temporarily dislocated his left shoulder. Johnson is wearing a harness and expects to play in the season opener against Baltimore.

So line up and get ready to buy a Chad Ocho Cinco jersey at your nearest sports retailer. I was reading some message boards and people were joking around hoping that Ocho Cinco would get traded to a team where he could not use the number 85! How hilarious would that be? Going through the legal troubles to change your name and you can’t even wear 85? My favorite line from the article is when he says that “It’s something I don’t think anyone has done before.” Well no kidding. You are unique, Mr. Ocho Cinco, a very unique and needed figure in the NFL. Kudos.

*Update: Sorry for no posts the last almost 2 days! I just needed to take a breather and enjoy this weekend! SCi Fi list 20-16 up today FOR SURE. Rays page to be updated appropriately, and music reviews upcoming this week! Thanks for reading heapsters!