Posted by: Jeff | October 12, 2009

Sci Fi Since 2000

In honor of the upcoming film Avatar, written and directed by James Cameron, Joe and I discuss some of our favorite science fiction films of the last decade.

Sci Fi Since 2000

References for this podcast:

Music used in this podcast:



  1. Joe,
    We OWN Serenity!!Good Gawd watch it for pete’s sake. It is innovative has good character development and is humorous at times. Also it is your sister’s favorite series and movie. She has taste. War of the Worlds was stupid period. I have never even heard of Moon but I will put it on my list.
    Good job very interesting you and Jeff certaintly do your homework.

  2. I was very excited to hear in this episode about the technology employed in Avatar. As awesome as all the recent advancements in CGI have been for emulating humans (i.e., the Pixar-style stuff), they seem like pure experiments with an end goal of trying to perfectly mimic human behavior and expressions from scratch. Ultimately, movies are about people, so I think Avatar’s use of technology to enhance, rather than replace, human expression is the right path.

    Totally agree with your assessment of War of the Worlds…there may have been one or two interesting scenes, but by and large, it was a piece of garbage. It’s a made-for-tv movie that got the full treatment because it sucked Spielberg and Cruise in. At the end of the movie, I thought to myself that if they had edited it down to about 20 minutes, it might have made a good first act to a good movie.

    A bigger philosophical question that this episode suggested to me: what is a “science fiction” movie? Is it really just a “future” movie? Is it a movie that has robots, lasers, and aliens in it? “Science fiction” is such a nebulous, bent-out-of-shape term, which Jeff brought to light when he mentioned a movie being a real “science” science fiction movie.


  3. Thanks for the comments, Peter. When the episode was recorded, we actually did a whole bit about how the sci-fi genre seems to have been largely subsumed by the comic book genre in recent years. (Certainly in terms of stuff like aliens, creatures, robots, advanced technology, strange powers, and the like.) Unfortunately, it wound up dying in the course of the editing process.

    So we’re agreed. The term “sci-fi” is getting stretched pretty thin. Personally, I prefer reserving the term for the stand-alone stuff – Avatar, Sunshine, Serenity, Minority Report, Moon, The 5th Element, etc – which emerge out of their own ideas. And which deal, not necessarily with “hard” science, but with actual questions like “What would happen if we could make clones?” “What would it be like to see the future, travel through space/time, or encounter an alien race?” That kinda thing.

  4. Always appreciate your feedback peter, and you’ll notice your blog has been added to our family blogroll. Go Bears!

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