Now that I've taken the plunge into writing paranormals with my first, The Yearning, a bestseller; and my next Unending Desire set to release in October, I wanted to reflect on the paranormal, scifi and fantasy stories I've loved. Here's my list:
1. Dark City
OMG, this was such a unique and amazing film. Starring Rufus Sewell (what a hottie) it's unlike anything I've ever seen. Here's an abbreviated synopsis from Rotten Tomatoes: "Separated from his wife Emma (Jennifer Connelly), amnesiac John Murdoch (Rufus Sewell) awakens alone in a strange hotel to learn he is wanted for a series of brutal killings -- but he can't remember if he did or didn't commit these murders. Indeed, most of his memories have completely vanished, and he becomes the focus of interest for both mad genius Dr. Schreber (Kiefer Sutherland) and sympathetic detective Frank Bumstead (William Hurt). Attempting to unravel the twisted riddle of his identity, Murdoch encounters a group of ominous beings known as the Strangers, shadow-like figures who have a collective memory and possess the ability to stop time and alter physical reality through a process called The Tuning."
2. The Matrix
Honestly, I can watch this movie again and again. Sure, Keanu Reeves has the acting ability of a post of wood, but for this story it works. For anyone who hasn't seen this (the one or two beings on earth who let it pass them by), this is about machines taking over Earth and using people as their fuel. God - that scene with Keanu in a pod hooked up to generators was frightening.
I cried at many parts of this exceptional movie. I felt Ethan Hawke's fear, frustration and longing for something better deep in my soul. This wasn't a blockbuster like The Matrix, but its story was so much deeper, so very human. I urge everyone who loves a good love story - an exceptionally crafted human story - to rent this film. Here's an abbreviated synopsis from Rotten Tomatoes: "this science fiction drama, set in a future when one's life is determined by genetic engineering rather than education or experience. The wealthy can choose the genetic makeup of their descendants. People are designed to fit into whatever role is decided before birth. But what happens when someone desires another way of life? Citizens in this impersonal future-world are fashioned as perfect specimens, so those in the natural-born minority are viewed as inferior to the pre-planned perfect specimens (aka "Valids") who dominate. One of the natural-borns (aka "In-Valids"), Vincent Freeman (Ethan Hawke), has several defects (poor vision, emotional problems, and short 30-year life expectancy), but he also develops a different outlook on his pre-ordained fate. He yearns to break free from society's constraints, and he dreams of a journey into space as a Gattaca Corp. navigator."
4. Jurassic Park
WOW - 'nuff said. :)
5. Somewhere in Time
For the sheer romance, this movie cannot be beat. It was lush, romantic and had me weeping like a baby during a good deal of it. The scene where Jane Seymour is crossing the lawn at the grand hotel and Christopher Reeve watched her stirred me in ways I hadn't imagined. The music was beautiful, the anticipation of them meeting exquisite. When she turned suddenly, looking at him, then said, "Is it you?" OMG, I just about died. There isn't a strong enough word to describe the romance in this movie. Simply breathtaking. Unfortunately, it wasn't a huge success. I found it on video years after it had come out. You really need to see this. Here's an abbreviated synopsis from Rotten Tomatoes: "A young playwright, Richard Collier (Reeve), is approached by an elderly woman on the occasion of his first triumph in 1972 -- all she says to him is "Come back to me" and leaves him with a watch that contains a picture of a ravishing young woman. Eight years later, he visits the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island and comes upon a photograph of the same woman, whom he discovers was an actress who made an appearance at the hotel in 1912. He becomes obsessed with the image and what the woman -- who died the night she approached him in 1972 -- meant by what she said. In a manner somewhat reminiscent of the film Laura, he falls in love with her and her image as he learns more about her life and career. Then he comes upon the suggestion of a professor at his former college that time travel may, in fact, be possible, using an extreme form of self-hypnosis to free the person from the place they occupy in the time-stream. Collier's feelings for the woman are so strong that he succeeds, bringing himself back to the hotel in 1912 on the eve of her triumph. He meets the actress, Elise McKenna (Jane Seymour), and the two fall in love."
Rounding out the top ten are:
6. Bladerunner - amazing - A+++++
7. Terminator - loved it - A+++++
8. 2001 - A Space Odyssey - made me want to be an astronaut - no fooling - A++++++
9. Back to the Future - so cute and different - A++++++
10. Planet of the Apes - wow, what an ending - A+++++
You'll note I left off Star Wars. I do believe I'm the only person on Planet Earth who never liked any of those films. They just seemed too cartoony to me...no real depth to the characters.
So there's my list - do you agree? Disagree? Let's hear what you like best. :)