Perhaps my favorite kind of opening voiceover is the kind where the narrator starts out by intoning, "In the year 2027, we realized we had gone out of the house without any lower garments, and the Earth was reduced to rubble as a result. The survivors lived in caves, eating scraps of jerky. Until one day, a new hope appeared." Here are nine of the most awesome voiceovers that begin with a date and end with a sad recitation:
I love this movie, and the imagery in this opening sequence is great. It starts with a vague date, then walks us through a whole complicated history of our attempted conquest of space, and the creatures that stood in our way. Fantastic stuff.
Escape From New York:
In 1988, the crime rate in the United States rose 400 percent. No wonder Dukakis lost.
This awesome Transformers ripoff starts with a nice touch: in 2007, we made contact with other life forms. And then they reached out and touched us. Too bad it was a bad touch.
This Christian Bale classic tells of a world after World War III, where the cause of humans' inhumanity to humans is eradicated: emotions. Instead of text crawl, we just get key phrases popping up on the screen.
In the year 2026, we discover a portal to Mars. A curiously solemn opening for a crazy-ass Dwayne Johnson shoot em up.
Angelina Jolie's debut movie features a rousing opening monologue by someone who really enjoys talking about cyborg sex workers. You gotta admire that.
Escape From L.A.:
The sequel to Escape From New York is even more over the top and awesome, with a huge, complicated chain of events getting boiled down to its essentials. Crazy religious guy, huge earthquake, L.A. cut off, theocracy, president for life, boom. L.A. is now officially the United States of America's sewer. And we're putting Kurt Russell there. Any questions?
Voyage To The Prehistoric Planet
The year: 2020. The destination: Venus!
This time-traveling submarine movie starts out strong, with a great explanation of how we screwed with the planet, and it screwed us back. Nice montage of stock footage, accompanied by dire voiceover.
First Spaceship On Venus
This one is more upbeat, somewhat. It's the futuristic year of 1985, and we're irrigating the Gobi Desert. Go us! And then we discover a weird rock, and that means it's time to go to Venus!