5 underappreciated sci-fi films
Here is my top 5 of sci-fi movies from the 80s people don't generally recall but worth revisiting:
Just like Disney's Dragonslayer, this movie did not connect with the audiences at the time of its release. Nevertheless, pay attention to one of the early appearances of the short-lived Jedi Liam Neeson and the incredible score written by James Horner during one of his most creative periods.
Released by Disney during a time when video games and early computers were fresh in everyone's mind, Tron taps into the core of the digital world by using many references to the computers terminology and mimics the look of the arcade craze by using state-of-the-art computer graphics for many of the sequences. Worth mentioning is the casting of the two young actors: Jeff Bridges (who will later play Starman in 1984) and Bruce Boxleitner (better known for his leading role in Babylon 5 in the 90s).
The Abyss (1989)
Great film by James Cameron which dazzled audiences with its fluid three-dimensional graphics - graphics that paved the way for other huge box office successes such as Terminator 2 and Jurassic Park. Worthwhile score by Alan Silvestri, better known for his popular Back to the Future theme.
Flight of the Navigator (1986)
A very light but entertaining Disney film from the 80s that also used innovative computer graphics for the chrome effect of the alien ship. Also worth noticing are the very dated fashion worn by the actors (including Sarah Jessica Parker), the music references (Twisted Sister) and the voice of the ship by Paul Reubens (Pee Wee).
The Last Starfighter (1984)
One of cinema's earliest films to use extensive Computer-generated imagery (CGI) in a similar fashion to the earlier released Tron. Craig Safan's music recalls other large space opera scores of the time such as Star Wars along with some by-today-standards cheesy electronic sound effects of the era. Many of us eagerly awaited the release of the Atari arcade from the movie but it never happened due to unrealistic cost of production.