Still more lazy thoughts from this one…

How About This For March Madness?

Today marks my brother’s birthday, but more importantly (hehe) it’s also the start of’s March Movie Madness: Pick the Greatest Science Fiction Movie Ever Made:

… After days of bickering, the io9ers have chosen 64 of this planet’s greatest scifi films. We poured over the details and ranked each film based on box office prowess, past io9 battles, historical significance and overall excellence. In all honesty, seeding doesn’t really matter once the tournament begins – after all, it doesn’t matter where the movies start, it only matters where they finish. Vote for which film you think deserves to be #1.

Voting at the site starts at 11 AM (through to 11PM) PST. The polls reopen each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday through to the Championship:

There will be 16 match-ups for you to vote on. Here’s the official schedule.

Wednesday, March 16 and Friday, March 18: First Round
Monday, March 21 and Wednesday, March 23: Second Round
Friday, March 25: Sweet Sixteen
Monday, March 28: Elite Eight
Wednesday, March 30: Final Four
Friday, April 1: Final Four
Monday, April 4: Championship

If you’re interested in participating, print out the PDF file of the bracket and get your selections ready. Some of the seedings are pretty damn easy (Inception vs. Independence Day… ha!), while others are going to be just plain painful (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan vs. THE THING… Criminy!). Let the tourney begin!

24 Responses to “How About This For March Madness?”

  1. The Sci-Fi Fanatic

    Boy that was a lot of fun. Thanks for mentioning it L13. I did not fair well. My choices were in the losing minority most of the time.

    Star Wars – easy.
    Moon- I really couldn’t go with Akira. As much as I love my anime, I never fully embraced Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira which is arguably a classic. It’s certainly highly influential. Otomo’s animation style has even grown on me [see Freedom], but Sam Rockwell and Jones’ Moon is a quiet, interesting science fiction concept. I liked the film. I didn’t love it. It’s actually interesting to see how close these two films really are in the voting.

    Escape From New York. Absolutely. T2 is not better than that film, yet it is crushing Carpenter’s EFNY.

    District 9. Robocop is good, but I really give the edge to District 9. Still, an argument can be made for both and I’m surprised the voting isn’t closer.

    Planet Of The Apes and Ghost In The Shell. This, for me, was easily the toughest battle on the list. WOW! I imagine the GITS anime just doesn’t have the same kind of notoriety. Quite frankly, GITS and POTA were both incredibly influential, powerful, great science fiction films. I love them both equally. My vote went to Planet Of The Apes, but this was like a great political battle- too close to call for me.

    I’m surprised The Dark Knight is science fiction per se, but I voted for it because I LOVED it and never saw TRON. Tron deserves a better sci-fi competitor.

    The Matrix. It’s a classic. I’ve seen Brazil. BRazil was like the most overrated film of that year. I’d have to see it again. It’s been a long time, but The Matrix is an important film. By the way, Ghost In The Shell was highly influential on this film.

    As much as I love Star Trek. The films are good and certainly Wrath is one of the best. Hands down The Thing is the winner. I can’t believe it is getting crushed. The Thing is a no brainer.

    Jurassic Park. Seriously? Um, yeah, Mel Gibson and The Road Warrior should be crushing that film. What’s wrong with people? The Road Warrior must be too old for people to know. What a shame.

    Close Encounters and Starship Troopers was a tough one. They are both influential. The source material for Starship Troopers was certainly a huge influence, but so has Spielberg’s Close. My vote went to Close, but this battle should be closer.

    Ghostbusters! What!? Entertaining, but A Clockwork Orange is distrubing, dark science fiction. It should be doing better.

    WALL-E is a nice film. I like it, but Gattaca is even better.

    Serenity. Love that film. It should crush Spider-Man. I’m really not sure about Superhero films fully qualifying for this poll, but they certainly fall under the umbrella.

    Fun topic. Just thought I’d share my feelings with you my friend. Take care, SFF


    • le0pard13

      Thanks for sharing your choices in your comment, SFF! Many of mine followed yours so I’ll only list the differences (or those pairings you didn’t mention):
      Akira – while I enjoyed Moon, Katsuhiro Ôtomo’s vision and imagery still intrigues
      Tron – I love TDK (our good friend JKM and I disagree about it, though), but I don’t consider it sci-fi (same will go for Spider-Man). But, Tron was a breakthrough moment in the genre and film
      2001: A Space Odyssey – one of the easy selections, and the film should go a long way in the tournament
      Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan – one of the hardest choices I had to make in this! So different, but each so compelling. The kid in me wanted ST II while the adult yearned for THE THING (curse those who seeded this!)
      WALL-E – I love GATTACA, but the little metal guy’s heart, along with the film’s homages to other sci-fi classics is it for me
      Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – PRIMER is clever, but memory…
      Back to the Future – IotBS ’78 remake was a perfect film for that decade, but Zemeckis’ 80s classic still has me in its grip

      And yes, some of the selections by fans is mind-boggling. Some great films are getting crushed in the first round! Thanks again for this. Take care, my friend.


      • The Sci-Fi Fanatic

        My pleasure. I went with Back too.

        Also, I love that first half of WALL*E.

        I completely understand all of the reasons behind your choices because you are an infinitely reasonable individual! : )


  2. Pop Culture Nerd

    I voted! So far all my faves are ahead, except for DISTRICT 9 vs. ROBOCOP. I liked the former but ROBOCOP was more poignant and had better action sequences.

    And how come T2 is in there but not SPIDER-MAN 2? That was a better movie than the first SPIDER-MAN, I think.


    • le0pard13

      There are some really hard choices in the seeds for voters (like the one you point out). Friday’s completion of the first round will bring more, then it’ll really get more formidable. And I have to agree with you. If you’re going to have Spider-Man in this, then Spider-Man 2 should be here. Like The Dark Knight, it’s a sequel that surpasses the first installment. Besides, S-M 2 includes my favorite song homage:

      Thanks so much, Elyse


  3. Christine McCann

    OK, a day late to vote in first round, but all printed out for tomorrow’s second round! I’ve seen more of the movies listed than I thought I had. Thanks for the heads-up about this bracket!

    *Obviously, VERY smart people involved as WALL*E won his bracket. (I believe I can say that it’s one of my favorites of all time.)

    *I’d guess that it was dubbing Mel Gibson’s voice in THE ROAD WARRIOR that gave JURASSIC PARK the edge.

    *Ooh, the choice btwn THE THING and STAR TREK II? Tough one; but I’d have voted for TWoK over THING simply because it’s OK if the Thing is killing humans stupid enough to live in dark, brass-balls cold places but to take out one of the sled dogs? Nah, baby, nah. True story – after we saw THE THING, it just happened that we had to meet some people at a BBQ rib place for dinner. I believe I went with a salad. 0_o

    Always good to see Elyse’s clip!!! Makes me smile every time!


    • le0pard13

      Great to hear you’re participating in this, Christine. BTW, since the first round is so large, they’ll finish it tomorrow on the 18th.

      “Tough one; but I’d have voted for TWoK over THING simply because it’s OK if the Thing is killing humans stupid enough to live in dark, brass-balls cold places but to take out one of the sled dogs? Nah, baby, nah.”

      Too funny! We need more of this kind of commentary! And we’re both in agreement re: Elyse’s cameo in Spider-Man 2. Looking forward to the next polling. Thanks so much, Christine.


  4. Rachel

    Awesome! I’m so in! As soon as I have time to fill it in I’m going to go check out the voting (and vote if it’s not too late) and then come back to see the comments here. Don’t want any spoilers, dontcha know? 🙂


    • le0pard13

      That’s great! The second half of the first round is tomorrow so you still have plenty of time to participate. Thanks, Rachel.


  5. le0pard13

    For those who are interested, here’s how I voted on the 2nd half of the first round today (and it was harder today with the choices presented in the seeds):
    Blade Runner over Dune – I don’t have to explain this, right?
    They Live over E.T. – I’m going to hear it with my kids on this one…
    The Day the Earth Stood Still over Fantastic Voyage – see my first pick…
    Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back over Nausicaa (whatever it’s full title is) – ditto
    Avatar over Galaxy Quest – first hard pick of the day…
    Metropolis over Sleeper – they had to be kidding with this seed
    Inception over Independence Day – move on… nothing to see here
    Alien over Godzilla – I wonder if they specified if this was the original Gojira or the American version?
    Predator over Donnie Darko – yeah, I know…
    Total Recall over Star Trek 2009 – hey, at least it’s based on the Philip K. Dick story (sorta)
    Minority Report over Aliens – another hard one
    Twelve Monkeys over Superman II – I’m being consistent re: superheroes not belonging here
    Children of Men over The Fly – anguishing choice, but I went with the Blade Runner of this generation
    Terminator over Sunshine – I still appreciate the latter
    Forbidden Planet over The Incredibles – I adore The Incredibles, but no superheroes…
    The Fifth Element over Solaris – a lot of sci-fi fans will drum me out of the corp for this one


    • Christine McCann

      Some of my Round 1, part deux less-than-scientific picks:

      *Took Alan Rickman and Galaxy Quest over visually stunning Avatar, but it was tough. Plus, Galaxy Quest had some fun with Trekkies and SciFi conventions even though…

      *…I SO picked Star Trek 2009! Great casting, but Simon Pegg as Scotty and Karl Urban as Bones were my favorites. By the way, I believe your pick disqualifies you from holding a seat on the board of the Zoe Saldana fan club, Michael. Although, your Avatar vote could cancel any hard feelings, so maybe they’d let you be secretary or something.

      *Umm, am I a complete rube because I’ve never even heard of Nausicaa…?

      *Godzilla sentimental favorite – watched all those dubbed Japanese monster movies on Sunday afternoons with my dad. Plus Aliens was my favorite over the original in that series. “Sigoulash” (nickname courtesy of Bill Murray) totally kicked ass in that one. Although, you can’t beat that alien erupting from John Hurt’s chest. Of course, it took me a couple viewings before I would watch without closing my eyes and covering my ears, but a classic scene nonetheless.

      *Independence Day over Inception: 1) Haven’t seen Inception yet and 2) Feeling a little contrary today. ;p

      *Terminator – DUH!

      *I seem to recall being bored with Donnie Darko and Solaris, so went with the boys of action.

      *There were a few brackets where I’d not seen or don’t recall seeing the movies, so I just voted for whatever horse you backed.

      My criteria for selecting my picks might not be exactly what they’re looking for, but I’m having fun. 😀


      • le0pard13

        I completely understand your picks, Christine. I’m sure I’ll step on some toes with this, but what the hell is Nausicaa…? And why is it here and not the 1956 original Invasion of the Body Snatchers, or Dark City, or Westworld.

        I’m with you, too, re: Donnie Darko and Solaris. It’s all very much good fun though, isn’t it? Thanks so much, Christine.

        p.s., don’t forget to sign my petition for more Zoe Saldana in sci-fi films ;-).


  6. Rachel

    So I finally got my bracket filled out but I missed first round voting. 5 of my picks didn’t go through. I’ll get in on the voting tomorrow and I’m going to try and post my entire bracket on my blog.

    But, Michael! Oh, Michael! I’m in anguish! I haven’t quibbled over Wall-E or Toy Story 3 because, hey, everyone has different tastes and I can live with that but Avatar over Galaxy Quest???? Avatar over Galaxy Quest!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I mean, Avatar over anything is my actual question but over Galaxy Quest? I am stunned!


    • le0pard13

      I know, I know. I’m quirky that way. Call it the Zoe Saldana Factor ;-).

      I look forward to your 2nd round picks, Rachel. It’s only going to get harder and harder for tournament selections. Thanks.


  7. le0pard13

    For the first half of the 2nd Round, my picks:
    Blade Runner over Ghostbusters – was there any doubt what I’d pick here?
    Serenity over E.T. – sorry, E.T. Go home.
    Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back over The Matrix – this was hard as I wanted The Matrix to go further (damn seeding!).
    The Day the Earth Stood Still over District 9 – another hard one.
    Metropolis over Jurassic Park – I’m beginning to spot a trend.
    Alien over Akira – another Ridley Scott film gets the nod.
    Planet of the Apes over Inception – Yep, definitely a trend.
    Galaxy Quest over Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – in this case, Rachel, I’m with you 😉


  8. le0pard13

    For the second half of the 2nd Round, my picks:
    Star Wars over The Incredibles – yeah, it’s Pixar, but it’s a superhero tale. I’ll go with the Force, here.
    2001: A Space Odyssey over The Fifth Element – sorry, Rachel. It’s Kubrick’s klassic for me.
    WALL-E over Terminator – now this Pixar I cannot vote against.
    Children of Men over Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan – hard choice, indeed. But, the new Blade Runner it is.
    Aliens over The Dark Knight – see first pick above.
    Terminator 2 over 12 Monkeys – move on… nothing to see here.
    Back to the Future over Star Trek (2009) – “Great Scot!”
    Close Encounters of the Third Kind over Predator – another tough call.



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