10 Questions From Science Fiction That We're Glad Were Never Answered

We tend to think of science fiction and fantasy as being like mystery novels — the story is over when you solve the case. So we obsess over questions that have no answers. But here are 10 questions that are better unanswered, either because the possibilities are fascinating or because the answers would be terrible. » 4/29/14 12:00pm 4/29/14 12:00pm

12 Beloved Movies That Were Originally About Something Very Different

Our favorite science fiction and fantasy films seem to have burst into existence fully formed, already perfect. So it's weird when you realize that a lot of the best movies had the biggest false starts and dead ends. Here are 12 much-loved movies that had very different storylines early on in their creation. » 4/24/14 11:00am 4/24/14 11:00am

10 Influential Movies (Where Everybody Copied the Wrong Thing)

Every once in a while, a movie comes along that changes everything. A film that rewrites the rules and influences a generation of film-makers. But all too often, the people who imitate these ground-breaking movies miss the point. Here are 10 science fiction and fantasy movies from which everybody copied the wrong… » 8/20/13 10:14am 8/20/13 10:14am

The Best "Aliens Land on Earth" Scenes Ever Filmed

Movies spend entirely too much time on alien fish-out-of-water stories, and not enough time on how the extraterrestrial visitors got here. NO MORE. Today we pay tribute to the coolest shots of alien landings, both the amazingly good and the "so good it's bad." » 2/01/13 1:07pm 2/01/13 1:07pm

Demented 1970s fan film shows DIY special effects like you've never…

We've been admiring some pretty slick Star Wars fan films lately — but what about the old-school, DIY stuff? » 10/10/11 7:20am 10/10/11 7:20am

10 Ways Steven Spielberg Has Made the World a Better Place

This has been a big year for Steven Spielberg — he's launched two TV shows, including last night's Terra Nova, and produced countless movies. The Spielberg tribute Super-8 was a surprise hit, and it's become fashionable for other film-makers to claim they're paying tribute to early Spielberg. Still ahead this year:… » 9/27/11 10:00am 9/27/11 10:00am

Could Star Wars happen today?

Chances are, you spent the weekend rediscovering the magic of Star Wars (with a few unwelcome tweaks.) The original Star Wars was a miracle of seat-of-the-pants film-making that captured the world's imagination and boosted science fiction to new popularity. » 9/19/11 1:47pm 9/19/11 1:47pm

Did Close Encounters of the Third Kind launch post-modernism?

That's what the Guardian claims in a new article today. Steven Spielberg's seminal 1977 film eschewed the rationality that had been science fiction's hallmark, in favor of an unexplained brush with the transcendent, which mostly takes place in suburbia. Instead of figuring stuff out, Richard Dreyfuss' character starts… » 9/05/11 1:30pm 9/05/11 1:30pm

Polish Close Encounters of the Third Kind poster looks like Mac and Me

We've featured some wonderfully befuddling Polish movie posters before, but Andrzej Pagowski's design for Close Encounters of the Third Kind transforms the movie into a dreadful family comedy with McDonald's dance-offs. It's on eBay if you're in need of a conversation piece. And for more movies lost in translation,… » 9/04/11 3:25pm 9/04/11 3:25pm

10 Real Dramatic Works That Should Be Performed in Scifi Languages

We've all heard of The Klingon Hamlet, a real book that contains a Klingon translation of the text side-by-side with the English version. Some of us have even been . . . let's say 'lucky' enough to see it performed. But what other famous works would be better rendered in science fictional languages? We've got some… » 8/19/11 10:00am 8/19/11 10:00am

We've seen the first 40 minutes of Jon Favreau's Cowboys & Aliens - and…

With Cowboys & Aliens, Iron Man director Jon Favreau attempts to mash up the Western genre with science fiction. How well does it work? We've seen the first two reels, and they conjure a robust John Wayne sensibility. » 3/29/11 11:01am 3/29/11 11:01am

The Best Year in Science Fiction: 1977

Today, we look at the year that gave us Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and "Ender's Game" — does 1977 deserve to be crowned the Best Year of Science Fiction Ever? » 5/26/10 2:00pm 5/26/10 2:00pm

The Milky Way Glows Over the Devil's Tower

It's no wonder the aliens in Close Encounters of the Third Kind chose the Devil's Tower National Monument as the place to make first contact with humanity. The sky above offers a clear and startling vision of the cosmos. » 7/29/09 1:30pm 7/29/09 1:30pm

The Composers That Make Space Adventures Epic

Space is silent and vast, but we can't feel the awe and terror of epic space battles without great music. Here's our list of the ten composers without whom science fiction would feel as empty as the void. (With samples.) » 6/11/09 4:30pm 6/11/09 4:30pm

UFO Sightings in Arizona Can Be Traced Back to "Close Encounters"…

Arizonans are buzzing today about a series of floaty lights that hovered over Phoenix last night for about 15 minutes. One guy captured them on film (you can see it here), and the news covered it to death, wondering how people could have seen a bunch of lights that the Federal Aviation Administration and local air… » 4/22/08 7:11pm 4/22/08 7:11pm

Spielberg Gets Locked Into Underground Vault

Two films that Steven Spielberg had a hand in, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Back to the Future, were both selected alongside 23 other films to be shelved forever in the Library of Congress' National Film Registry. They'll get locked up inside a hermetically sealed vault, and preserved in mason jars with… » 12/27/07 11:30am 12/27/07 11:30am

Top Six SciFi DVD Sets of the Season


Like a mutant virus that wipes out most of humanity, the holidays are upon us once again. If you've been slipping into the Grinch-like ease of just picking up gift cards for everyone at your local supermarket instead of putting real thought into your gift giving, then you need to buck up and give some quality items… » 12/07/07 9:00am 12/07/07 9:00am

Indiana Jones and the Jumping of the Shark

Steven Spielberg has yanked the aliens from Close Encounters of the Third Kind out of mothballs, and plans to stick them in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull when Indiana accidentally finds Area 51. » 11/28/07 10:15am 11/28/07 10:15am

Must See: Close Encounters Of The Third Kind

Must-see movies are futuristic classics that shouldn't be missed. Of course, not every must-see is perfect. That's why we've rated them 1-5 on the patented "crunchy goodness" scale. Written by James Rocchi.

Title: Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Date: 1977

Vitals: Richard Dreyfuss is a regular guy gets a glimpse… » 10/01/07 12:02am 10/01/07 12:02am