Feeds

Ten serious sci-fi films for the sentient fan

In space, no one can hear you ponder the eternal verities

Top three mobile application threats

2001: A Space Odyssey

Reg Hardware retro numbers

Stanley Kubrick's attempt to turn sci-fi into a serious movie genre - no man-in-suit monsters, no flying saucers, no screaming chicks - presents a world where advanced technology (for the late 1960s) has almost entirely dehumanised the people living in it. Boffins and spacemen - they're all as cold as the airless lunar surface under which they discover an alien beacon awaiting the arrival of a species sufficiently evolved to uncover it.

2001: A Space Odyssey

Kubrick's surreal Heaven
Source: Warner Home Video

Worse, technological supremacy has given mankind delusions of grandeur - our attempt to play god and create life leads to failure when artificial intelligence HAL is forced to become too human and fib. He can't cope and kills the crew - and the hope we're ready to become quite as god-like as the makers of the Monolith. It also has aliens as a metaphor for God - they're certainly advanced enough. Powerful intellectual stuff, but it's a hard journey for sci-fi fans who prefer the black-and-white not-so-nuanced philosophy of Star Wars and its successor.

Director Stanley Kubrick
Writer Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C Clarke
Release 1968
Notes Yes, the 1960s styling grates today, but the pre-CGI star gate sequence remains one of SF cinema's most arresting episodes. The space craft photography is very special too.

Planet of the Apes

Reg Hardware retro numbers

Only the man who created The Twilight Zone's dark view of inner space could have worked Pierre Boulle's bizarre allegory into a sci-fi classic with a true twist in its (prehensile) tale. But that's what Rod Serling's script gives us: an adventure in the far future that makes us question our own prejudices.

Planet of the Apes

Taking liberties
Source: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Forget Chuck Heston the wrinkly old gun fanatic, and enjoy Chuck Heston the granite-faced anti-hero so disillusioned with the human race's self-destructive sabre-rattling that he has to he fling himself off into space to get away from it all. But he's brought down to Earth with a very literal bump, crashing landing on a world where humans are speechless animals and apes rule supreme. And they're just as bad as we are: hubristic, blinkered, dogmatic, dismissive of the different and preferring the comforts of easy religion to the harsh facts of life. Goddamn us all to hell!

Director Franklin J Schaffner
Writer Rod Serling and Michael Wilson
Release 1968
Notes The source of a quartet of stock sci-fi sequels notable only for building on the paradoxical notion that chimps returning to the past from the future establish the conditions for the apes to succeed man. Timey-wimey.

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Next page: Zardoz

More from The Register

next story
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
Fat-fingered fanbois rejoice over Chinternet snaps
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER
Too much pixel dust for your strained eyeballs to handle
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
US mobile firms cave on kill switch, agree to install anti-theft code
Slow and kludgy rollout will protect corporate profits
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.