I am sat here watching Contact with Jodie Foster, it is an underrated film, maybe a little too ponderous but so is the Sagan novel. The idea though is of interest to me that an alien species communicates with us via science, specifically the use of the first 261 prime numbers (I didn’t say Sagan was a user friendly SF writer). This mathematical puzzle opens a wider world or Universe that seeks to share technology with us. I think maybe the math element of this film is what probably killed the film at the box office and John Hurt’s portrayal of the philanthropist Hadden is a little creepy. Then again, Foster is wooden and she reminds me of the awful closing scenes of The Silence of the Lambs, ‘Doctor Lecter, Doctor Lecter’ becomes ‘Aliens, Daddy, aliens’ in that same wooden drawl. I wonder how she would have tackled the role of Ripley in Alien? I dread to think.
That moan aside there are some great SF films from Forbidden Planet to Alien to Dark Star. I’ll give Contact a chance but are there any SF films that really rock your boat or just hack you off, please share here – Andrew Oldham 14/11/2009