Greetings fellow geek and geek adjacent readers! We are The Geekfather and Lil’ Bit, the hosts of The Blurred Nerds Podcast. Like us, many of you enjoy the genre of science fiction. It encompasses so many broad types of films ranging from “pew pew pew” fight the aliens fare to cerebral think pieces and everything in between. That said, Lil’ Bit and I wanted to put together and share with you our top 10 list of our favorite underrated sci-fi films. These are in no particular order because trying to rank them outside of that would possibly cause our collective geek brains to seize up. Nobody wants that. Our brains are far too valuable. You might notice there are only five. You’re just going to have to tune into episode 212 of the podcast to hear the ones we think you’ll really like! On to the list:
This is a 2005 Michael Bay directed thriller starring Ewan McGregor, Scarlett Johansson, Djimon Honsou, Sean Bean, the late Michael Clarke Duncan, and Steve Buscemi. Now I know what you’re thinking…Michael Bay? Michael Bay?! He actually has a few movies under his exploding (I assume it explodes) belt that are actually very entertaining. This is one of them. The premise is that Lincoln Six Echo (McGregor) and Jordan Two Delta (Johansson) are residents on, shocker – an island that they believe is the last bastion of unpolluted land save for another utopia that winners of a random lottery are allowed to go to. Things may not be as they seem as Lincoln begins having dreams of another life that he can’t shake and that leads him to try and uncover the real, dark truth. No explosions or tight white pants were harmed in the making of this film.
This is a 2007 psychological thriller directed by Danny Boyle and written by Alex Garland. If you aren’t familiar with Garland, you really should be if you are a science fiction fan. 28 Days Later, Dredd, Ex Machina, Annihilation, and most recently, the tv show Devs are all either written by him, directed by him, or both. Sunshine stars Cillian Murphy, Chris Evans, Rose Byrne, Cliff Curtis, Benedict Wong, Hiroyuki Sanada, Michelle Yeoh, and Troy Garity. The year is 2057 and our sun is dying. Eight international astronauts are sent on a mission riding a massive fusion bomb called the Icarus II to hopefully restart the sun’s fusion reaction in order to save Earth from becoming a frozen husk. Along the way they discover the distress beacon of the Icarus I, the first ship that attempted the same mission years earlier. After an error leads to a horrible accident, the crew are shaken and on edge.They find the Icarus I, board it, and what follows is a harrowing dive into psychological terror.
Director Neil Blomkamp’s cult classic thriller about aliens from another world who have escaped slavery on their home planet only to be placed into another form of slavery after they land their ship above 1982 Johannesburg, South Africa. The movie stars the wonderful Sharlto Copley in his first major role as WIkus van der Merwe, a low level bureaucrat of the government agency involved in managing the now slums that the aliens are forced to live in. The movie is adapted from Blomkamp’s short story, “Alive in Joburg”. Themes of racism, poverty, bigotry, wealth disparity and intolerance are touched upon. This is Blomkamp’s scifi analogy of apartheid and it’s effects on his city. Excellent movie that deserves a sequel we probably will never see.
From Lil’ Bit: A dark, noirish, steampunk styled science fiction movie released in 1998 starring notable genre favorites such as Rufus Sewell, Jennifer Connelly, Kiefer Sutherland and William Hurt. The basic plot is that Sewell plays John Murdoch, an amnesiac character accused of murder who attempts to discover not only who he is but also clear his name while evading police as well as a fantastically creepy and mysterious group called The Strangers. This movie has everything that both fans of sci fi as well as cinefiles should find intriguing. Bizarre and eye-chewing scenery, talented actors, super powered abilities, a noirish mystery for both our lead character & the viewer to unravel and a nightmarish twisting narrative. If you happen to enjoy movies such as Brazil, City of the Lost Children or even The Matrix – then there are plenty of elements in this film that will draw you in.
The Movie. We aren’t talking about the Michael Bay series of movies full of pointless empty dialogue, explosions, scantily clad women in tight white pants running about screaming or Shia Lebeouf yelling at the top of his lungs “NO, NO, NO” or “OPTIMUUUUUUUUUSSS”. What we’re talking about is the 1986 animated feature film. The movie features the superb voice acting of Peter Cullen, legendary voice actor behind such roles as Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh and KARR from Knight Rider – as well as Leonard Nimoy, Judd Nelson and Orson Welles in his final role before his death. Every geek child who loved toys, loved the Transformers and this movie was essentially a feature length advertisement for the new line of toys for that year – but that didn’t mean it was a fluff movie. In the year 2005 (it was made in ‘86, shut up) the Autobots have seemingly won the freedom of their home planet of Cybertron. The leader of the evil Decepticons, Megatron, hatches a plot to sneak attack the Autobots’ home on Earth, Autobot City. From that point on, a battle ensues across the galaxy until a greater threat emerges that could destroy Cybertron itself. This is a cartoon movie, but it dealt with very adult themes such as death, change, courage under fire and sacrifice.
So that is five of Lil’ Bit and The Geekfather’s ten underrated sci-fi movies. Again, if you want to catch the rest, listen to The Blurred Nerds Podcast which posts every other Saturday on every major podcast platform. As always, Don’t Forget Your Pillow!