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Neil deGrasse Tyson's Ten Favorite Sci-Fi Films, "Gravity" Didn't Make the List

Posted: June 8th, 2014 by WorstPreviews.com Staff
Neil deGrasse TysonSubmit Comment
Astrophysicist and host of "Cosmos" Neil deGrasse Tyson has been very vocal about how inaccurate "Gravity" is. So during a recent interview with LA Times, he decided to present his list of top ten (plus one) favorite sci-fi films. Check out his list and reviews below.

The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951): The story was so strong and compelling that the film did not require heavy special effects or monsters or violence to be simultaneously hopeful and terrifying.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968): Perhaps the first film to be all about the discovery of alien intelligence yet not show what it looks like, knowing that our imagination could surely do a better job than Hollywood. In any case, it was a visual orgy of space travel and space exploration that we remain far from achieving, even 13 years after the 33 years-in-the-future it portrayed.

Planet of the Apes (1968): Saw this again recently and it held up over all these years in many important details. Had not appreciated when I first saw it. The hierarchy of apes that ran the planet, chimps were the academics, baboons were the soldiers, orangutans were the diplomats. An action-adventure movie that was an insightful mirror to our lives and our civilization.

The Terminator (1984): Deftly woven action, violence, sentient machines, a heroine and time travel. All stitched together in a tight and scarily plausible storyline. And, when you think about it, a perfect acting vehicle for Arnold Schwarzenegger, as a mostly mute terminator, whom many would rather look at than listen to.

The Quiet Earth (1985): Low budget, low distribution. One of many films that imagine for you what life might be like if you were the last person alive on Earth. In this case, the premise, the story, the casual science literacy of the main character, keeps the viewer in suspense the entire time, wondering what the hell happened and why.

Contact (1997): The second film that I know of that is all about contact with alien intelligence and yet does not offer you a glimpse of what they look like. Perhaps it’s no surprise that Carl Sagan advised Arthur C. Clarke to not show aliens in “2001: A Space Odyssey,” and “Contact” itself is Carl Sagan’s Story. A brilliant exploration of how our culturally and religiously pluralistic society might react to the knowledge that we have been contacted by a species more intelligent than we are.

Deep Impact (1998): There have been many asteroid/comet disaster films. But this one took the time to get most of the physics right, and made sure you cared about all the characters in the film so that their prospect of dying matters to the viewer. And Morgan Freeman’s portrayal of the president of the United States may be the best ever.

The Matrix (1999): My top film in any category. From the opening credits to final scenes, every moment of this film is so fully conceived and so well executed that in spite of the complete fantasy world portrayed, the viewer was there, experiencing it with the characters themselves.

The Island (2005): Apart from too many minutes of gratuitous chase scenes, I think this movie is profound in its message as well as visually stunning. A rare study of science in the service of vanity, mixed with an exploration of corporate profits, human identity and free will. I've always viewed “Gattaca” (1997) as a lower-budget cousin of this film.

Watchmen (2009): I don’t know if I am alone in thinking that “Watchmen” is the best-of-genre among all superhero films. I liked it because the characters had fully expressed, complex personality profiles. They experience love, hate, revenge, megalomania, moral anguish and trepidation. Nothing polished about them. For this reason, they were all more real to me. If the world really did have superheroes in it, “Watchmen” is the world it would be.

Blade Runner (1982): This story was simultaneously deep and scary. But I never warmed to it the way so many lovers of the genre have. Which makes this comment more of a confession than a review.

Source: LA Times


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Displaying 19 comment(s) Profanity: Turn On
xtlhogciao writes:
on June 8th, 2014 at 8:27:29 AM

disingenuously make it sound like the "inaccuracies" of "Gravity" were the reason he gave his top 10. A movie,by the way, he said he liked, and was only "nitpicking" because he wanted to use its popularity to get people to talk, or listen to the topics of science and space etc - which obviously worked.
boogiel writes:
on June 8th, 2014 at 8:51:03 AM

"If the world really did have superheroes in it, “Watchmen” is the world it would be."

Watchmen? Really? I definitely disagree to a certain extent.
SACdaddy writes:
on June 8th, 2014 at 9:42:10 AM

I don't him saying Gravity was all that inaccurate. I thought his biggest problem came with Sandra Bulluck's character being a medical doctor who knew how to fix a satellite.

Definitely agree with more than half of his list.
I would add:

Alien
The Andromeda Strain
The Thing
Twelve Monkeys
Looper
Gattaca (not sure why he would like the Island more than this film or Logan's Run)
District 9
Elysium (only really for its view of the future. There's nothing scarier than the whole world turning to Mexico)
SACdaddy writes:
on June 8th, 2014 at 9:44:06 AM

"I don't remember..."
Max Rockatansky Junior writes:
on June 8th, 2014 at 10:08:58 AM

Yet, in an alternate, parallel universe (*which Neil believes DOES exist) .... Gravity would be number one on that list and Contact ?

Never would have ever been made.
Max Rockatansky Junior writes:
on June 8th, 2014 at 10:09:35 AM

Watchmen made the list ?

Even Alan Moore would say "Bullsh*te" on that one.
SaulSilver writes:
on June 8th, 2014 at 12:13:42 PM

"If the world really did have superheroes in it, “Watchmen” is the world it would be."
Nah, I think they'd be more like Hanc*ck or Chronicle.
vincere01 writes:
on June 8th, 2014 at 12:25:13 PM

This guy nitpicked gravity to death but likes the island and watchmen??? Da f*ck he think he is??? King kong!??

And his confession that he does not get the love for blade runner??? Just stopped caring what he thinks right there.

And dont even get me started that he failed to mention back to the future in there. Rambo mentioning it was the small jolt I needed to not make a rant comment
cress writes:
on June 8th, 2014 at 1:10:50 PM

Ugh...THE QUIET EARTH. I watched that when I was 16, and remember nothing about it except that it was boring as f*ck. I remember renting it due to the cover art, which looked cool. The movie was a snooze, though.
cress writes:
on June 8th, 2014 at 1:17:20 PM

Anyone else watch COSMOS? I only saw the pilot. One of the things that turns me off about Tyson is the smug, arrogant way he presents himself in everything I've seen him in (interviews). On COSMOS, though, he was actually likeable and "neutered" with his normal personality. I neverwatched anymore of COSMOS because the show seemed to be all over the place, and I've seen better presentation of the material on the BBC or Discovery channel.
WV-Films writes:
on June 8th, 2014 at 2:11:44 PM

Gravity sucks. Thank god someone else knows it.
Sleuth1989 writes:
on June 8th, 2014 at 2:35:36 PM

I kind of f*cking hate this guy. I get he wants people to be interested in science, but he f*cking just likes to criticize films and ruin the fun of them. He put "The Island" as one of his favorites?! Seriously?! It was a fun movie but definitely not an epitome of science fiction. This guy is a pretentious nerd who likes to make himself feel more important. I want to rip that f*cking 70's porn mustache right off his face, dip it in acetone, and then glue it back on. Guys like this ruin filmmmaking, restricting it to realism which takes away imagination, creativity, and depth. He doesn't get Blade Runner? It's a film about the very concept of being human you f*cking prick?!
KillerCOck writes:
on June 8th, 2014 at 3:23:15 PM

Blade Runner just f*ckin sucks.
cress writes:
on June 8th, 2014 at 6:02:12 PM

@Rambo. Goddamn..am I the only one that liked him in the pilot?

#Hate him elsewhere/cool in the pilot.
minkowski writes:
on June 8th, 2014 at 6:02:25 PM

This guy needs to do more astrophysics and less movie reviews.
BlackDynamite writes:
on June 8th, 2014 at 10:34:57 PM

I'm surprised he even considers Watchmen to be science fiction. The only remotely science fiction parts of that movie all involved Dr. Manhattan.
PORN-FLY writes:
on June 9th, 2014 at 12:06:00 AM

I think I'd respect him more if he just went by
Neil Tyson
WV-Films writes:
on June 9th, 2014 at 8:29:26 AM

I agree with Killerc*ck. BladeRunner does sorta suck. I never got the love people give for that movie. It's dull and boring, and drawn out. The cine and the soundtrack are cool, but overall I can't stand that movie.
Jigga_Watts writes:
on June 9th, 2014 at 1:19:29 PM

DAYUM! He a dumb ass.

He say "The hierarchy of apes that ran the planet, chimps were the academics, baboons were the soldiers, orangutans were the diplomats."

Bullshid. Gorillas were the military presence, not no baboons.

There be FIVE great apes species, Humans is just one of the great ape species, the others is orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees, and bonobos.

Baboons ain't even apes stupid ass Neil deGrasse Tyson!!!

He a dummy.


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