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Stories are one of the few true magics. With the right words in the right order, you can evoke an emotion in your audience and influence the way they think. If you do that to enough people, you can shift the public consciousness and maybe even the course of the future. No genre is quite as good at that sort of narrative imagination as science fiction. It's there that we first envision future technologies and their potential consequences. Science fiction is a looking glass through which we can glimpse possible futures and attempt to chart the best possible course by either aiming toward them or avoiding their mistakes. It's also just a lot of fun.
We love science fiction so much it's not just our middle name, it's the only name we've got. Check out some of our favorite possible futures, streaming now on SYFY.
When a young and successful artist learns he has a terminal brain tumor he makes the biggest, and last, gamble of his life. Instead of rolling the dice on treatment, he rolls the dice on technology and has his body frozen in cryostasis in the hope that he'll be resurrected when his body can be cured. The movie picks up 70 years in the future when he becomes the first person to be resurrected. It explores the question of what happens when you get exactly what you wanted, only to discover it isn't what you hoped? And what do you know when you can't go back?
In the not-so-distant future, climate change has plunged North America into a persistent drought. As farmland shrinks and food production declines, the fate of humanity hangs in the balance. To make matters worse, a mysterious and fatal illness is driving a dramatic increase in assisted suicide. The only hope for humanity is the corporation Vastgrow, which not only provides seeds and farming equipment, but also the drones which are necessary for the production of a successful crop. Except that things in this dystopian future aren't precisely as they seem and the things you think will save you might actually be the things that do you in.
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is often cited as the original science fiction story and this adaptation adds to the mythos by showing us part of the creature's story we've never seen before. The premise is familiar to readers of the book, with mad scientist Doctor Frankenstein constructing a monster from the body parts of the recently deceased, but that's only the beginning. The novel ends with the good doctor dead in the Arctic and the creature determined to burn himself alive in a funeral pyre of his own construction. That's where the movie picks up. In I, Frankenstein, the monster doesn't end his own life. Instead, he returns the doctor's body home to be buried and we get to see what new adventures he gets up to.
LAND OF THE LOST
Loosely based on the television series of the same name, Land of the Lost stars comedy heavyweights Will Ferrell and Danny McBride, with Jorma Taccone (The Lonely Island) as Chaka. When paleontologist Rick Marshall (Ferrell) goes on television espousing the use of time warps for paleontological research, he's laughed out of academia and into an entry-level gig at the La Brea tar pits. Years later, he's proven correct when he takes a short ride on a run-down amusement park ride and into… the past? An alternate dimension? It's not exactly clear, but it is pretty funny!
THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN
Based on the Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill comic book of the same name, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is basically what you'd get if you tried to build a crime-fighting superhero team out of Universal's classic monsters. Sean Connery plays adventurer Allan Quatermain who, along with Captain Nemo, Dorian Gray, the Invisible Man, and other characters from science fiction's past, are charged with saving the world from a terrorist group bent on sparking World War III. It got mixed reviews upon its release (and Moore has totally disavowed it) but it's one of those movies that is almost a time capsule of the moment it was made and it has only gotten more fun over time.
If you throw a dart at Nicolas Cage's filmography there's no way of knowing if you're going to get a heartwarming and serious film or one of the weirdest movie experiences of your life. One thing you can be sure of is that you're going to have a good time. Knowing falls somewhere in the middle of the Cage Camp Continuum and sees him playing a mathematician who discovers a sequence of numbers that accurately predict major disasters. After banging his head against this apocalyptic sudoku puzzle he realizes the numbers identify the date, planetary coordinates, and body count of every major disaster going back centuries. There are only a few dates left before the end of the sequence, and with it, the end of the world.
Christopher Nolan's The Prestige has a cast as impressive as the movie itself. The film stars both Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale, with additional performances by Michael Caine, Scarlett Johansson, Andy Serkis, and David Bowie as Nikola Tesla. It takes place at the end of the nineteenth century with rival magicians Robert Angier (Jackman) and Alfred Borden (Bale) competing to craft the best version of a new trick called The Teleported Man. In their attempts to one-up or stifle one another, tensions escalate and by the time the credits roll there has either been a whole bunch of murders, or only two, depending on your point of view.