Sci-fi has always had a large and passionate following, but it wouldn't be unfair to say that the genre suffered something of slump after the initial boom that followed in the wake of the Star Wars trilogy's success.
Sure, there were more than a handful of great movies to be found during the decade, but there aren't many people that would claim the 1980s was the high-point of sci-fi cinema. The limitations in visual effects technology meant that there was often a huge gulf between the imaginations of the filmmakers and what they were able to put on the screen, leading to many half-baked and compromised ideas.
However, the advent and then rapid advancement in CGI throughout the 90s opened the doors in a huge way, completely rewriting the rulebook on what was possible. Distant galaxies, rich and detailed worlds and alien species were now able to be created with the click of a mouse, and before we knew it sci-fi was bigger, badder, more ambitious and ultimately better than it had ever been before.
12. Back To The Future Part III
The first two installments of the Back to the Future series essentially told the same story twice from two different perspectives, but Part III's period setting slaps a new coat of paint onto the time-traveling franchise, freshening up the gimmick in the process.
Part III is by far the most underrated out of the three, and never gets anywhere near as much love as its predecessors. Which is a shame really, because Bobs Zemeckis and Gale's decision to weld the tropes of classic Westerns onto the established Back to the Future template provides plenty of scope for inventive action and increased dramatic stakes. A lot of it may be familiar, but it also feels new at the same time.
The story is more straightforward, narrowing the focus and allowing the natural chemistry of Marty and Doc Brown to shine through, and brings the trilogy's densely-plotted narrative to a satisfying conclusion that ultimately manages to give everybody a happy ending.