The Rebirth of Sci-Fi and Fantasy Movies and Television

I’m not really a movie guy; I’m much more comfortable sitting at home with a book in one hand and a glass of bourbon in the other while orchestral versions of Final Fantasy (and other video/computer game) music floats in the air. In part, this is because of my social inclinations:

  • I’m highly introverted and need alone time; why would I pay to be surrounded by the noises and smells of other people?
  • I like that I can read a book at my own pace instead of waiting around; the average movie pacing is too slow for me.
  • If I watch a movie in theaters, I can’t re-watch it without paying again.
  • Books are within the domain of my imagination.

But largely, this is actually more generational than anything. When I was growing up, geek movies and tv shows were terrible. Sure, you had Star Wars, but what else was there? You could either go for the inanely slow and confusing (2001: A Space Odyssey), the campy and cheesy (Galaxy Quest, which I love), or the underbudgeted (original series BSG). This is most clearly seen in superhero movies. They were either overly melodramatic and operatic (every Superman movie ever) or ridiculously silly (Jack Nicholson as The Joker; Arnold Schwarznegger as Mr. Freeze; Jim Carrey as The Riddler). Now, I don’t mean to impugn Batman or Batman Forever. Those movies were good in their own right, with Jack Nicholson portraying a much more over-the-top Joker, and Jim Carrey being on of my — guiltily — favorite movie comedians. But there was a certain sense in which science-fiction and super hero movies and fantasy movies were all made very tongue-in-cheek, with a sense of ‘we don’t really take this seriously; isn’t it so silly?’

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