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Science Fiction & Fantasy Farscape, Babylon 5, Star Wars, Firefly, vampires, genre books and film.

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Old July 23 2009, 09:31 PM   #1
Grant
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Optimistic future sci-fi movies.........

Besides Star Trek, what other 'future' Earth movies have an optimistic view?

If I was asking about distopian futures you could fill volumes.

But I have a hard time thinking of too many 'good' futures. Do they feel good sci-fi can only come from bleak futures?
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Old July 23 2009, 09:33 PM   #2
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Re: Optimistic future sci-fi movies.........

Frankly, any show where FTL travel is possible seems remarkably optimistic....
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Old July 23 2009, 09:34 PM   #3
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Re: Optimistic future sci-fi movies.........

2001: A Space Odyssey certainly does not depict a dystopia. Though I must admit I'm often drawn to more cynical fare, and am somewhat blanking at the moment.
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Old July 23 2009, 09:40 PM   #4
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Re: Optimistic future sci-fi movies.........

Lindley wrote: View Post
Frankly, any show where FTL travel is possible seems remarkably optimistic....
That's obviously not how the question was meant.

Optimistic, positive views of the future aren't very common either in film or prose science fiction. This is partly because stories are about conflict and crises; it's not easy to tell an exciting or dramatic story set in a wonderful, happy world.

But it's not all dystopias. Back to the Future Part II showed a 2015 that was neither better nor worse than the world we know; it had its problems but it also had improvements. Minority Report was in a future that seemed pretty prosperous, clean, and upbeat, aside from the ethical dilemmas of the Precrime program (and the annoying, ubiquitous ads that addressed you by name). The Bicentennial Man showed a fairly positive future, though one with oddly limited technological progress. I'm sure there are others.
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Old July 23 2009, 09:50 PM   #5
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Re: Optimistic future sci-fi movies.........

I don't know if I'd characterize Minority Report as particularly optimistic. Besides the predictably happy and neat ending (this is Spielberg, after all), I don't think the film postulated we had changed much as a society, unlike Star Trek. People still had affairs, still committed murder (both murders of passion and murders that were pre-mediated), people were still exploited (the Pre-Cogs), people still lived in poverty (the slums Anderton hides out in after his eye operation, speaking of which there was still a need for black market surgeons dealing with organs of dubious origin, and to top it all off, the movie portrayed advertising as far, far more insidious than it is today. Most of the 'optimistic' changes were aesthetic, and not really for the better.

If you want a Spielberg film that is more optimistic in its message, try Close Encounters of the Third Kind, although that was set in the then present day and not in the future.
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Old July 23 2009, 10:46 PM   #6
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Re: Optimistic future sci-fi movies.........

^My point is that it wasn't a dystopia. Of course it had its problems; any society would. But it looked like it wouldn't have been a bad place to live so long as you were a law-abiding citizen with a decent job.
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Old July 23 2009, 10:53 PM   #7
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Re: Optimistic future sci-fi movies.........

Lindley wrote:
Frankly, any show where FTL travel is possible seems remarkably optimistic....
Not necessarily look at Blake's 7 and nuBSG.
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Old July 23 2009, 11:23 PM   #8
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Re: Optimistic future sci-fi movies.........

I, Robot had a functioning future
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Old July 23 2009, 11:23 PM   #9
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Re: Optimistic future sci-fi movies.........

It's hard to think of any. You almost have to go all the way back to Buck Rogers.
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Old July 23 2009, 11:28 PM   #10
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Re: Optimistic future sci-fi movies.........

It doesn't actually show much of future society, but if you like Star Trek, you should watch Forbidden Planet. Also, while Babylon 5 takes place in an imperfect world, I find it to have a very optimistic tone. 2001 and 2010, thought technically in an alternate past now (neo-Steampunk ) are both pretty optimistic.
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Old July 23 2009, 11:42 PM   #11
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Re: Optimistic future sci-fi movies.........

Minority Report was in a future that seemed pretty prosperous, clean, and upbeat, aside from the ethical dilemmas of the Precrime program (and the annoying, ubiquitous ads that addressed you by name).
An advert for Pre-Crime within the movie claimed that the murder rate in the US had reached "epidemic proportions", whatever that means. That doesn't seem too optimistic.
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Old July 23 2009, 11:53 PM   #12
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Re: Optimistic future sci-fi movies.........

Rowan Sjet wrote: View Post
Minority Report was in a future that seemed pretty prosperous, clean, and upbeat, aside from the ethical dilemmas of the Precrime program (and the annoying, ubiquitous ads that addressed you by name).
An advert for Pre-Crime within the movie claimed that the murder rate in the US had reached "epidemic proportions", whatever that means. That doesn't seem too optimistic.
It also sounds like typical politcal hyperbole. Which doesn't sound optimistic, either, but it's one reason note to take that bit at face value.
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Old July 23 2009, 11:59 PM   #13
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Re: Optimistic future sci-fi movies.........

RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
2001 and 2010, thought technically in an alternate past now (neo-Steampunk ) are both pretty optimistic.
The book 2010 was pretty optimistic, but the movie was quite pessimistic, depicting an Earth on the brink of nuclear war and needing alien intervention, essentially, to knock some sense into humanity. Clarke's novel showed American and Soviet astronauts who got along excellently, reflecting the real-life amity between scientists from the two powers, but Peter Hyams tried to make the film more "topical" by throwing in a lot of Cold War tension, which just ended up dating the film badly when the Soviet Union fell just half a decade later.


Rowan Sjet wrote: View Post
An advert for Pre-Crime within the movie claimed that the murder rate in the US had reached "epidemic proportions", whatever that means. That doesn't seem too optimistic.
Again, my point was only that it wasn't a dystopia. How many times do I have to say that? I wasn't claiming my examples depicted especially optimistic or utopian futures; I was merely offering them as counterexamples to the OP's observation that most cinematic futures are bleak and hopeless. A future that's no worse than the present does count as an example of a non-dystopian future. (Unless you believe that the present constitutes a dystopia.)

As I recall, that ad for Precrime referred to the murder rate before the program was instituted, not at the time of the film. Of course, with the program ending at the close of the film, it's possible that the murder rate would skyrocket again, in which case you'd have a point.
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Old July 24 2009, 12:00 AM   #14
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Re: Optimistic future sci-fi movies.........

The Last Mimzy?
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Old July 24 2009, 12:01 AM   #15
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Re: Optimistic future sci-fi movies.........

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