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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Sci-Fi/Fantasy Fandoms that I Am a Fan Of

I enjoy seeing that my friends on Facebook are sci-fi/fantasy fans, and are big fans of Doctor WhoGame of ThronesHarry PotterThe Lord of the RingsBuffy, and Star Trek. But I feel outside of it that I cannot get into most franchises, despite being a sci-fi fan. I can't get into the fandom of a specific world that has multiple movies, several books, or a whole fandom universe. I feel as if I'm not a "real" fan in that way, but I don't have enough interest to be a super-fan. So I tried to think of some exceptions that I do like:
  • The Terminator series. I am a fan of the first two movies, and the Sarah Connor Chronicles TV show. I am so-so on the third movie (not great, but moved the story along well and had a pretty epic finale), couldn't stand the fourth movie (just a waste of time to watch), and I don't care about the fifth movie. The story is fascinating to me because of the Judgement Day climax, and Sarah Connor is a complex and interesting character. I never found John very interesting, no matter what age. He was alright as a scrappy kid in the second movie, but I found him dull in adult portrayals.
The portrayals of the cyborgs has been hit or miss. The best ones in my opinion have been the original Terminator, the T-1000, the "good" Terminator in the second movie, and Cameron in the TV show. They all had something memorable about their characters, whether they were a stone-cold killer or a cyborg learning about human emotion. I found them captivating, and the later movies just has dull pretty faces as killers with nothing behind the eyes. Even Robert Patrick as the T-1000 was terrifying to me as a kid because his narrow face and lean frame made him look more robotic and colder. Plus, I like that some of the story's origin comes from a Harlan Ellison story, adapted for a 1960s Outer Limits episode, and James Cameron re-worked it for the original movie.
  • The Indiana Jones series. I am a fan of the first three movies, and the Young Indiana Jones TV show. I've seen parts of the fourth movie, and I pretend it doesn't exist. Harrison Ford is really charming and fascinating as Indiana Jones, and really makes him feel like a real person in the films. You can see him as a character who has seen and done a lot, with this lived-in look in his face and gait, and can completely believe that he's had a lot of history with the other characters.
I am fascinated by cultural history, and enjoy how the films combined real history with mythology, and made it all very believable. The TV show was a great way of teaching children about geography and history, weaving in real historical figures of the early 20th century to interact with a child/teenage Henry "Indiana" Jones. The worst part of that series was the horrible casting for the elderly Jones, who sounded like Grampa Simpson holding people hostage to listen to his long-winded stories from nearly a century ago. The movies and TV show were exciting and fun to watch, and were great tributes to old adventure serials from the 1930s while not feeling outdated or stale at all.
  • Firefly & Serenity. My other friends are into it, too, so I am not alone. I liked Buffy, but never was a huge fan of it. I liked Angel too, but also didn't get into watching it much. I like the rag-tag group on Firefly, of a group of outsiders, rebels, and stragglers who left the Alliance and are just managing to get by. The characters are complex and three-dimensional characters, and each of them contributes something special as a crew member. The show was pretty much magic in a bottle, and I don't want to see a reboot of it, it should stay as it is. Serenity is one of my favorite movies of all time. I loved how it expanded the story beyond the TV show, the excellent performance by Chiwetel Ejiofor as The Operative, the stunning fight sequences, and the cool cinematography. The show has a very special place to me as a fan, and I loved how vital and interesting the characters were. Even if Jayne was a lunk-headed jerk, he still was needed as the muscle and the secret softie on the ship. I can't pick between a favorite character, everyone had something special to them. So it was a great show and movie, and I'm sorry I only heard of it when the film came out.
Besides those things, I can't think of much else I am a fan of for franchise sci-fi. I liked Alien and Aliens, but didn't see the third movie, was mixed on Alien: Resurrection (bad story, great visuals and good cast), and didn't like Prometheus (great visuals, boring story). I am a fan of movie series like RobocopGhostbusters, and Blade. I do consider myself a sci-fi fan, but know that I am not a super-fan or really deep into fandom like many others.

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