- Alien 3 – The story of Lieutenant Ellen Ripley is a truly memorable and inspiring one. The third chapter in the Alien franchise is the one that stands out most to me for many reasons. The setting was a prison colony in deep space with a stunning visual style. It looked like an art nouveau industrial district. The villain (the Xenomorph) was redesigned by H.R. Giger himself after James Cameron butchered the design in the second installation “Aliens.” This redesign came in the form of a genetic splice with a dog, revealing more about the nature of the Xenomorph. Above all, my favorite part of this film, which critics hated for the most part, was how the hero Lt. Ripley sacrificed herself to protect humanity from the weaponization of the Xenomorph DNA by her former employer, the Weyland Utani Corporation.
- A Scanner Darkly – This film sends chills down my spine every time I see it. The visual style is a work of art, overlaying vector graphics on film to create a realistic animation of iconic characters. The real reason this gem shines in my eyes is because of its use of uncanny valley. It holds a mirror up to society as it falls into a dystopian nightmare in the age of the war on terror. From hidden cameras to spy vans and scramble suits, this film is a trip.
- The Fifth Element – I can’t say enough about this timeless masterpiece. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t seen this movie. It’s an eyepopping work filled with creative sets, costumes, characters and concepts. It’s difficult to describe besides to say that if you haven’t seen it, you’ve been under a rock.
Start Trek was one of my favorite series growing up. It’s had a massive impact on futurism and society. Those who have seen the series know just how much of an impact it’s had. For example, the tricorder was basically the precursor to the cell phone. Back in the 60’s, these fictional characters were sporting devices that for all intents and purposes were cell phones with multiple functions that we would now think of as apps. The show also had a notorious race called the Borg known for their cybernetic nature. We now see the trend of combining technology and biology known as transhumanism on the rise with various implants designed to enhance the capabilities of human bodies and minds among other things like unlocking doors. They were portrayed as villains as kind of a forewarning about the risks of transhumanism.
When it comes to transmedia, Star Trek has it all. From its original conception as a tv show, the franchise has grown to encompass movies, comics, video games, action figures and even an exhibit in a museum featuring props as well as memorabilia. I remember playing an online MMOG (Massive Multiplayer Online Game) on Windows 98 based on the Star Trek Voyager series. It not only had a great story line, state of the art graphics on Unreal Engine and a variety of characters to play as but it also had side games you could play with other users online like capture the flag. I really enjoyed that game and wouldn’t hesitate to buy a copy today if I could even find one.