Feeds

Ten serious sci-fi films for the sentient fan

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

Business security measures using SSL

Star Trek: The Motion Picture

Reg Hardware retro numbers

Generally - and rather oddly - disliked by Trekkies, the first Star Trek on the big screen remains closer to the spirit of the original TV series than the Star Wars-fuelled space operas that followed it. While the sequels focused on the Enterprise's plucky, increasingly plump crew falling foul of stock space villains, this movie had an eye on the bigger picture. The plot device of a threatening alien presence bearing down on the Earth was superannuated even in 1979, but Trek creator Gene Rodenberry used it as a platform to ponder the eternal verities: the strength of friendship, the quest for spiritual fulfilment and the question of what it means to be human.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture

Shock horror space probe
Source: Paramount Home Entertainment

To be fair to its detractors, it is over-long, and the Enterprise takes far too long to encounter the living vessel V'ger. They also complain about the protagonists' characterisation, but that's the whole point of the story: it's only by becoming more intuitive and less coldly logical - regaining their true selves and their pivotal relationship - that Kirk and Spock can understand V'ger and save the day. V'ger likewise, by vicariously enjoying Decker's metaphorical final-reel shag with the bald lass.

Director Robert Wise
Writer Gene Roddenberry
Release 1979
Notes The Director's Cut edition adds four minutes to the run time, mostly with extra "because we can" effects shots, though it is arguably a better edit than the original.

Blade Runner

Reg Hardware retro numbers

You’ve enjoyed it for its dark dystopianism. You’ve gawped at its dazzling special effects. You’ve pondered its peculiar script and continuity errors. You’ve even been amazed by its prediction that Atari will still be producing videogames in 2019 and Pan Am still flying. Now go an enjoy it for its intelligence. Blade Runner, like so many Ridley Scott movies, be more interested in its visual style than its substance, but here at least is a film with some meat to it. Human meat, to be precise, whether it’s the fruit of a mother’s loins or a test tube. Natural people or artificial people - both are equally viable and of equal value.

Is Deckard a human or an Android? If you need to ask, you’ve missed the point of the film.

Blade Runner

Ad nauseam
Source: Warner Home Video

It’s other theme is that life is short so it’s important to enjoy it while you have it. A cynic might say we’re born solely to snuff it - “Wake up, time to die” - and that’s clearly where the moody, wet Blade Runner is coming from. Best make the most of it, then, whether you have three years remaining or many, many more: “The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long,” as replicant boffin-in-chief Eldon Tyrell, played by Joe Turkell through impossibly thick bottle-bottom lenses, says.

Director Ridley Scott
Writer Hampton Fancher and David Peoples
Release 1982
Notes Original cut or one of the many others? It's a vexed question. Certainly Scott's Final Cut is the best of the remodelled versions, though you may miss the film noir voiceover or even the jarring out-of-the-smog ending.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Next page: Gattaca

More from The Register

next story
Oi, Tim Cook. Apple Watch. I DARE you to tell me, IN PERSON, that it's secure
State attorney demands Apple CEO bows the knee to him
4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch
For decades Hollywood actually binned its 4K files. Doh!
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
DARPA-backed jetpack prototype built to make soldiers run faster
4 Minute Mile project hatched to speed up tired troops
Hey, Mac fanbois. HGST wants you drooling over its HUGE desktop RACK
What vast digital media repository could possibly need 64 TERABYTES?
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Apple's ONE LESS THING: the iPod Classic disappears
RIP 2001 – 2014. MP3 player beloved of millions. Killed by cloud
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.