Welcome, friends.

What can I say, I'm a geek.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Max Mayer's Adam combines the sweet and the real, yielding a subtle, but successful romantic comedy. Hugh Dancy stars as the Asperger's-stricken Adam, an awkward electronics engineer with few friends and even fewer romantic prospects. Rose Byrne plays opposite him, as his intimidatingly pretty, but kind-hearted neighbor, Beth.
This movie's ability to portray the fumbling nervousness associated with young infatuation between two slightly socially-awkward human beings is this movie's heart. Adam's social ills are obvious. Asperger's syndrome causes glaring obsessive-compulsive-like behavior in the title character. He rambles and rattles on about "nerdy" subjects that his audience seldom cares about and almost never comprehends. He is obsessed with space, the cosmos, and the origins of the universe. His fascination with scientific discovery and knowledge of astronomy and quantum mechanics gets balanced out by an equally obsessive love of the theater.

Beth, though not as blatantly challenged socially, reveals her own insecurities throughout the film. As an only child, she shares with her father in one scene that she feels "emotionally retarded" and inter-personally underdeveloped. (As an only child myself, I can certainly relate.) Adam's innocent fondness for Beth intrigues her, as her previous relationships have ended in heartbreak. The film opens with Beth reminiscing about a children's story she had read when she was little. It's about a prince from outer space. His weirdness, his awkwardness, and his love of the stars suggest that Adam is indeed that prince from outer space.

What sets this film apart from other romantic comedies is its adherence to the dying notion that a relationship isn't about being loved, but is about loving. Through their brief, but life-changing relationship, both Adam and Beth are deeply moved. Beth, as the slightly more advanced counterpart in the relationship finally realizes that central truth; that Love (yes, Love with a capital "L") isn't about receiving love for herself. It's about loving the other. It's about meeting a prince from another planet and finding a way, not only to appreciate him in spite of his weirdness and faults and flaws, but to truly sacrificially care for and cherish his whole being.

**WARNING: The following paragraphs may contain SPOILERS**

In the movie, Beth's mother, bearing the brunt of an adulterous affair, chooses to continue loving her husband in spite of his unworthiness. She chooses to love him in the middle of a world that promotes the idea that love must be earned. Likewise, Beth chooses to love Adam, despite his unworthiness.

At the end of the film, she readies herself to sacrifice all for him. Adam, not fully grasping this sacrificial concept of love, insists she must follow him to California because he "needs her." He can't tell her he loves her. He can't ask her to come with him on the basis that he is ready to sacrifice for her -- because he isn't. But in the closing scene, Adam receives a children's book from Beth -- the book tells a children's version of their own romance. Adam realizes how deeply he impacted Beth's heart, and he finally realizes that he is truly loved by her. For one reason or another, whether he deserves it or not, he knows he is loved. We know from earlier in the film that Adam's mother died early on in his childhood. This moment is probably the first time in his life that Adam feels loved by a woman. And although they don't wind up together at the end of the film, Adam takes a giant step toward being able to love someone else, now that he understands that he himself is loved, despite his many flaws.

The end of the film takes place at the Mt. Wilson observatory, a famous southern California haven for stargazers, astronomy buffs, and researchers of the heavens. Adam found himself in the land of Receiving Love. He didn't belong there. But there he was. (As a Christian, blessed with a myriad of things I don't deserve, I can certainly relate.)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Leer

The Leer is here.
I feel his presence on this dark moor.
The lawns of blue have merged into a sticky black floor.
The moons are low.
His angry eyes outshine their soft glow.
The gnomes he's slain launch cries of pain across the fields to echo.
My harp is sharp.
The strings are tight and power is felt.
The notes of peace I shall release will make his bones melt.
He will return.
The heat from morning suns will soon churn.
And so I wait at his den's gate; my song will make his flesh burn.
The Leer is seared.
He runs for shade inside his rock home.
He meets the noise from music toys and turns into a gray stone.
No more fear!
We're done with troubles from the Leer.
He's molten bone and rock and stone, since life shot into his ear.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Problems With Time Travel

Is time travel possible? My generation knows, that with the flux capacitor, it is. All you need is a shiny DeLorean going 88 miles per hour, and presto! You're off to cause paradoxes, time loops, circular plot structures, and incestuous crushes that could negate your own existence...

But really, if time travel were actually possible, what would happen when you travel into the past and somehow change the events of the future? Well, there are several theories we've seen in popular culture films. The first is in Back to the Future. Marty McFly inadvertently keeps his parents from getting together. As the timeline of events progresses, it becomes clear that Marty and his siblings may not be born. He can tell because he has a photograph of himself and his siblings in his pocket, and one by one, the McFly kids start disappearing from the pic. When things get really hairy, Marty can feel himself starting to disappear. Drenched in a cold sweat, he notices that his hand starts vanishing. But after Marty rights all the historical wrongs with his parents, he and his siblings return to the photo, and all is well...

So, what would happen if you traveled back into the past and killed your father before you were born? (Sorry to be morbid, but this is the best example I can think of to illustrate this point). If your father were truly dead, you wouldn't have any chance to correct the mistake you had made like Marty does in Back to the Future. BUT, here's where time travel gets interesting: logically, if you killed your own father before you were born, you would have never been born in the first place, and you would never wind up getting in a time machine, going back, and killing your father. The results of such an act would make it impossible to ever commit the act itself. Trippy, eh?

**SPOILER ALERT: The following paragraph may contain pseudo-spoilers for Lost season 5.**

Or, another popular time travel storytelling mechanism employed to avoid such paradoxes is the idea that the past simply cannot be changed. In Lost, we learn that "whatever happened, happened." It's the simple idea that you can try, but you will never truly succeed in altering history. God or fate or whatever J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof want to call it, is in charge. Everyone has a destiny that is irrevocable. In the past, the character Sayid shoots a young version of Ben Linus, his future enemy, in the chest, creating a wound that should have been mortal. But since history can't really change, Ben doesn't die. People come to his rescue and nurse him back to health.

My own personal idea about time travel paradoxes is that every time someone time travels, a brand new timeline is created; a brand new reality; a parallel universe. In other words, if you traveled back in time and killed your own father, you would succeed in killing him, and you would not cease to exist. You would create an alternate timeline in which your father is now dead. Back in the original timeline, your father is alive and well, and you were indeed born, thus enabling you to travel back in time to kill your father and create this alternate timeline. Confused yet?

And please don't think I have some weird father issues because of all this talk about killing my father in the past before I was born...I mean really, what other example could I use other than going into the past and killing my mother...? And if you're sitting around at the dinner table discussing this blog and talking about time travel paradoxes, I think your dad would be able to handle the talk of going back in time and killing him better than your mom would.

Anyway, so one intelligent argument I've heard about time travel is this: If time travel ever happens, then we would have had contact from time travelers already. And since we haven't, we know that time travel never becomes a reality. The logic is pretty solid, but I can think of a few loopholes. The first would be if a form of time travel is possible in which travelers are not able to interact with their surroundings at all -- that in fact, the subjects of the past are not even able to see the time travelers among them. Time travelers can simply witness historical events, but are not able to interact with anything they see.

Or, perhaps there are an infinite number of parallel timelines or universes, and in many of those, there are historical records of encounters with time travelers.

Or, maybe, in an effort to minimize the alteration of history, there have been time travelers here, but they've kept an extremely low profile. During WWII, a number of pilots -- we're talking credible, military witnesses here -- saw UFO's hovering above their planes during famous aerial battles. Is it possible that these UFO's were not, in fact, extraterrestrials, but were actually time travelers; historians from the future, returned to witness a legendary battle in the past? They referred to these strange aircraft as "foo fighters."
If you want to check out a time travel flick that will blow your mind, try Donnie Darko. It's a subtle look at time travel, in which a tangent universe is created when a young man cheats death. And, I was blown away by The Time Traveler's Wife. This film is a sci-fi romance that chronicles the life and love of a man who can't live out his days in chronological order. It's a thoroughly confusing movie, but if you can wrap your brain around what's happening, it's well worth the effort. Finally, I really enjoyed the remake of the H. G. Wells classic, The Time Machine, starring Guy Pearce.
Ah, if only I had a time machine...I would totally go back and invest in Apple.

photo courtesy of healingdream / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Sky Is Falling

Through the hours of dreamy sleep,
The Sandman through the night doth creep.
Heav'n forbid our dreams would die
If on our pillow foreigners leap.

Corrupting truth with fearsome lies,
As a ruptured realm frees Lord of Flies.
Intruders from the outer lands
Watch us with malignant eyes.

As oceans steal the grains of sand,
Our dreams are stripped with evil hands.
The private palace in our minds
Cannot protect us from their plans.

The room comes filled with lights that blind,
And in walk men of different kind
With eyes that paralyze my limbs
Which will real life and nightmares bind.

My mem'ries past that point are dim
While we flew high like cherubim
My captor fills my head with pain.
His voice was hoarse, his face was grim.

He strapped me down with table chains,
Injected juice which swelled my brains.
With no defenses for my fear,
I am left to go insane.

When I woke a light was near;
So bright it filled my eyes with tears
That light's been with me through the years,
And in my life, at will, it peers.

No private thoughts are now protected,
My every whim is checked; inspected.
My plans to kill the fear; rejected.
Through the wasted hours neglected.

The golden face, the silver suit
Forever will my mind pollute.
I just lay deaf, blind, and mute,
No cross or banner to salute.

The blackest eyes, like depths of space
Came to all my peace erase.
The specks of light upon his face
Came with terror's cold embrace.

With cold, black steel the rapture comes;
Delivers me from dingy slums.

Fast the city lights now fade,
Along with all that man has made.

A billion points of burning light
Invade the black, eternal night.

As blue and green is swept away,
The last threads of my mind are frayed.

I am pressed to sleep again,
My body quiet, cold, and thin.

Upon return I slowly rise
And open wide my weary eyes.

As often as my story's told,
I cannot reobtain my soul.

I live in impotence and fear,
Knowing they are always near.

Pooch-a Libre

Animals may or may not have souls...

But this pug definitely does have some style...

And out here in Hollywoodland, that's way more important.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Why I Believe In Life On Other Planets

Well, to begin, I'll just ask the question: "Why not believe in life on other planets?"

From Christians, the most common answer you'll get is that the Bible doesn't tell us about the existence of aliens, therefore, there are no aliens.

True, the Bible doesn't explicitly tell us that there is life on other planets. But my rebuttal to this argument would begin by stating the obvious fact that the Bible doesn't explicitly tell us that there is not life on other planets, either. The argument that "The Bible doesn't say it, therefore it isn't true" is like making the argument that "Since the Bible doesn't give us detailed instructions on how to boil pasta in water on a gas stove, it simply cannot be done." Or, "Because the Bible didn't tell us about DNA, it does not exist."

The Bible, as I have learned in church, can give us certain knowledge of God; that is, it can reveal to us many, many truths about God and His will for us and our world that we can be certain of, BUT it does not give us exhaustive knowledge of God; that is to say, it doesn't tell us every single tidbit of knowledge about God. Since God is infinite and omnipresent, if we were to know each and every detail about God, we too, would need to be omnipotent, and the Bible itself would need to be infinitely long.

I would also like to point out that this line of thinking is what led the Catholic church to execute the great astronomer Galileo for insisting that the earth went around the sun, and not the other way around. Church leaders at the time were so convinced that the earth was the center of all creation, that they accused anyone who disagreed with them of heresy. They used the Bible as their grounds for this belief, although the Bible certainly does not make any claim that the earth is the center of the solar system. We now know that the Earth is not the center of the solar system, it is not the center of our galaxy, and it is not the center of the universe. I believe God might be trying to reiterate the fact that "It's NOT about US!" Yes, God loved us so much that He became human and died for us, but it's still not about us. God would get along fine without any of us.

The next major argument against life on other planets that I've heard from fellow Christians is that "Jesus died for our sins on our planet, so how do these extraterrestrials get saved?" My simple answer to this is "I don't know." And then I would add: "But if there is life on other planets, God does know." In other words, if another race of beings needed to be saved from their own sins, God would find a way to do it. Since God is infinitely more creative than I am, I'm sure He has come up with something far more glorious than I could even imagine, but just for fun, here are some of my own hypotheses: 1. Human-being Jesus travels to the aliens' planet and He dies for them there. 2. Human-being Jesus travels to the aliens' planet and tells them that He died for everyone's sins on Earth. 3. God is born as an alien, grows up on their planet, and dies for their sins there. 4. At some point in the future, human beings travel to distant planets as intergalactic missionaries and tell them about Jesus.

I think, however, it is quite likely that many of God's creations might have never chosen to sin in the first place. Imagine that: God creates a planet with sentient beings, and they actually choose to obey Him. The great Christian thinker C.S. Lewis was able to imagine life on other planets, and he wrote a trilogy of space-based adventures describing how extraterrestrials might exist in a Christian universe. In Out of the Silent Planet, Lewis chronicles an adventure to a planet full of innocent creatures; creatures that never fell under the curse of sin. The story makes the point that, even though mankind chose to sin and rebel against God, that God was glorified even more greatly on Earth, since God was afforded the chance to become one of us and to heroically save us from ourselves. His purposes for other races on other planets might be very different from His purpose for us.

The second book in the trilogy, Perelandra, takes place on a world with only two indigenous sentient beings, a male and a female. Satan manages to show up to tempt the female character into disobeying God, but God sends a human to tell her about what happened on Earth, and to encourage her to obey God's commands. Hear that? A space-missionary, yo...and you thought I was a heretic for suggesting such a thing. Is C.S. Lewis a heretic, too? And, Joss Whedon...well, I'm pretty sure he's not even a Christian...but he did the whole intergalactic-missionary thing, as well, in Firefly and Serenity.

Furthermore, the very magnitude of the universe suggests that something else is going on somewhere out there. I mean, yes, if it pleased God to create such a ridiculously gigantic-beyond-all-comprehension, immensely, stupifyingly, stupendously, humongously enormous space just to make us humans gasp at how amazing creation is, then yes, He absolutely succeeded at that, and that would be just fine. But, if He chose to create a multitude of worlds and planets and societies just as great or greater than ours, wouldn't that be just as amazing, and perhaps, even more so?

Of course, I'm not saying you have to believe in life on other planets, I'm just making the point that it's not that ridiculous if you do. I personally doubt that any extraterrestrials have ever visited this planet yet. I think we are being isolated in the universe for a specific time for a specific purpose. But of course, this is all conjecture, and I just encourage you all to keep an open mind. But one thing is for certain: Jesus Christ is alive, and He is my Lord and Savior.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Pyrrvhian Probe

As I've noted on my other blog, Blog Mummies of Hollywoodland, the title of this blog, Father of Modern Bloggetry, is an homage to Robert Goddard, the Father of Modern Rocketry. He was instrumental in establishing the space program and developing the technologies that help launch satellites and shuttles into orbit. So, I've decided this blog will primarily be dedicated to all things space and sci-fi related; a haven for geek-dom.

This post is from a story I wrote in a Penn State class taught by Dr. Alex Wolszczan, an astronomer who co-discovered the very first planet outside of our solar system in 1992. Unfortunately, the planet he discovered orbited a pulsar, and the astronomy community wasn't terribly excited at his finding, because pulsars are stars that pulse like a beacon, and emit huge amounts of radiation, and certainly could never support life of any kind. However, in my humble opinion, his discovery was an historical breakthrough, and it encouraged other astronomers to search for planets within inhabitable star systems. Since then, over 200 planets have been discovered outside our solar system. Dr. Wolszczan's class focused on "The Drake Equation," a famous formula that predicts the number of intelligent civilizations in our galaxy.

The equation states that the number of intelligent civilizations capable of interstellar communication equals the number of stars that are "born" each year in our galaxy times the percentage of those stars that have planets times the number of inhabitable planets orbiting each of those stars times the percentage of those planets that actually develop life times the percentage of those that develop intelligent life times the percentage of planets with intelligent life that transmit evidence of their existence into space times the duration of those intelligent civilizations that transmit signs of their existence into space.

Each scientist or astronomer or layperson plugs in their estimate for each of the variables into the equation. As you might have guessed, answers range from .00000000001 to 100,000,000,000. In other words, even with this equation, humanity is still divided into those who think our existence is a unique occurrence and those who think the galaxy should be teeming with intelligent civilizations. I think my personal answer to the Drake Equation was 38...and trust me, that's a weird answer. The vast majority of people (and astronomers) get numbers well below 1 or well above 100,000.

Anyway, this story has nothing to do with pulsars or the Drake Equation, I just thought I'd give you some background. And, FYI, Dr. Wolszczan gave me a 100% on this assignment:

The Pyrrvhian Probe

Vush was resting in his lab one evening lazily working on his computer system, checking on what was referred to as "star system 821" to the Pyrrvhian government. Plucking away at the moist lobes on his computer console with his tendril-laden arms, he accessed the files on the system's active history of fascinating pulsed emissions. Now Vush was a very intelligent Pyrrvhian, but he had a tendency to waste time tasting the newest flavors of Pyrrvhian dishes over the computer network of food samplers. (Pyrrvhian technology is so advanced, that the programs can manipulate the chemical formations of organic materials and provide and infinite variety of tastes over a sort of Pyrrvhian "internet.") So Vush's overseer made it a habit to check on him periodically to make sure he was earning his keep as the planet's foremost "skywatcher."

"Vush! Wow! You're actually doing some work for once." Vush. Yes, "Vush" is the closest approximation the average human would be able to make in trying to say his name. Of course Vush, or at least the sound of the word "Vush," was nothing remotely like his actual name--Vush's Pyrrvhian name was actually a series of chemical gases emitted through the Pyrrvhians' frontal torsoid appendages, received and interpreted by another's sensitive nasal canal as one's name. (This was how everything was communicated with the Pyrrvhians, but we will leave this story in English for the sake of simplicity.) The word "Vush" is just a human imitation of the sound that the aliens' scent appendages produce as they emit their series of chemicals.

Vush raised his long, slender head and turned towards Gyloc, his boss. "Of course!" he said, slightly insulted. "I'm checking out that weird system just outside the range of where our probe went a few years ago...that, uh, 821; System 821."

"Hmm. Let me see those files." Gyloc stepped closer to the computer. Vush cringed a little at the sound that Gyloc's torsoid scent appendage produced. Vush suspected he had not cleaned it for several days, and Pyrrvhian scent appendages tended to make an unpleasant little wheezing noise, which was audible at close proximity, if the appendage was not maintained properly.

The files flooded the screen. A myriad of unusual characters filled the monitor, each one representing a Pyrrvhian smell. Vush gently rubbed his tentacles on his tired, bony posterior end, which had been fused to a shallow indentation on the floor, (a cheap Pyrrvhian chair) for the past few hours.

"I figured we owed this little star another look, what with this planet they've found with spectral analysis and everything," explained Vush.

"Hmm...These patterns certainly are incredible," said Gyloc as he glanced over the star's past emission records. "Let's make a closer check around the 1420 MHz area again, shall we?"

Vush began rapidly prodding the tiny nodes as the characters on the computer changed. The pair of alien scientists adjusted their frequencies until something unusual flashed up on the screen. A series of "o's" and dashes rapidly flowed across the gelatin-covered monitor.

Gyloc and Vush waited intently as the sophisticated computer arranged the "o's" and dashes in hundreds of patterns until what appeared to be a picture of a humanoid being and nine circles beside him appeared to the curious aliens.

"Oh my heavens! There's a repeating pattern there. Call President Blaff!" exclaimed Vush.


It has been more than 110 earth-years since the probe Gyloc-Vush left Pyrrvhia. The probe was stocked with gallons upon gallons of Pyrrvhian communication chemicals. The probe's state-of-the-art fusion drive can propel it at 99% the speed of light. It was due to arrive in the system about 55 years ago, and the probe was programmed to directly transmit all information to Pyrrvhia upon entering the system, taking spectral analyses of any planets encountered in order to detect the presence of methane, molecular oxygen, or nitrous oxide in the atmosphere, and upon its detection of these chemicals, will attempt to land on the planet's surface. It is equipped with standard video equipment to document the encounters after landing.


Galdruk, the Pyrrvhian, was sitting at the head of the great scientific convention and watching, as the probe that his grandfather Vush helped launch sent back its transmission. The video footage warped back to the eager aliens, containing what many had hoped to be the Pyrrvhians' first contact with another civilization. The footage had already rolled through its findings on Jupiter, the gas giant that their spectral analyses had detected, and Mars, and now, the probe was approaching Earth. The detection of high amounts of methane and molecular oxygen on this planet brought the science community of Pyrrvhia to a standstill. The educators, the physicists, and the astronomers all perched themselves in the Great Gathering Hall as the screen revealed the probe's adventure. Relaying the smell through symbolic subtitles on the screen, they watched as the probe flared and flamed into Earth's atmosphere. Landing in a lush, green valley, the probe proceeded to hover across miles of grass and grain and stopped in front of a strange red box about ten meters wide, accompanied by two tall, silver, cylindrical structures to one side. The crowd of Pyrrvhians gazed in awe as a being appeared from within the strange red structure and cautiously approached the hovering probe. Hanging on the creature's every action, the Pyrrvhian scientists watched as the probe followed through with its programming and opened its communication hatch. A tube protruded from the opening in the side of the probe, as the human stood, trembling with fear. Reaching out slowly to touch the probe, the human was startled by the quick hiss of chemicals shooting out from the tube; a simple Pyrrvhian greeting. Suddenly, the man grimaced and lurched away from the probe. His face turned red, and he fell to the ground coughing, and within seconds lay motionless on the ground below the probe from the apparently noxious series of gases used in the friendly intergalactic message.

The crowd fell smelless and still. Galdruk solemnly placed his tendrils over his scent appendage, and his cranial lobe grew somewhat green, as it often did when he was grief-stricken or afraid. And now, he was both. And so he would remain until he knew that there was once again peace in the galaxy.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Alien Film Invasion: The Ten Best Alien Movies of All Time

We love extraterrestrials! Check out our freaky and fantastic picks for the greatest alien movies ever...

Alien movies have been a staple of the science fiction film genre since it began. From the cute and cuddly, to the gruesome and grotesque, outer space aliens have captured our imaginations, filled us with fear, and made us re-contemplate our place in the cosmos. Here are our picks for the 10 best alien flicks ever:

1) Our first pick is the original Ridley Scott "Alien." If the title of this film isn't imaginative, then the film itself makes up for it with originality, groundbreaking effects, and an H. R. Giger-designed monster. A young Sigourney Weaver heads up the brilliant cast, which also includes Tom Skerritt, Ian Holm, and John Hurt. While visiting a distant planet, the crew of the Nostromo picks up an extraterrestrial killing machine that begins terrorizing the people on board. It's as much a suspense/horror thriller as it is a science-fiction film.

2) Next is Steven Spielberg's touching alien drama, "E.T." Has anyone not seen this movie?

3) A new addition to our favorite alien movies list is the Peter Jackson produced "District 9." Shot documentary-style, this movie chronicles the arrival of an alien spacecraft, the extraction of its inhabitants, and their incarceration at a detention facility full of dilapidated shacks and shanties. It's a unique alien invasion scenario; malnourished prawn-like aliens travel many light-years across the galaxy to become oppressed by the human race.

4) Also making the list is James Cameron's "Aliens," a follow-up to the Ridley Scott film. This time Ripley finds herself in the company of a rough and tumble unit of space marines, armed to the teeth with cool weapons and tech gadgets, ready to fight their way through not just one alien this time, but a whole swarm of the vicious creatures. Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton, and Paul Reiser join the cast for this critically-acclaimed sequel.

5) Although this film has hardly stood the test of time, we're going to have to drop another Cameron film into this list: "Avatar." Recently smashing box office records, employing brand new 3D technology, and introducing audiences to a new breed of blue extraterrestrials, this Golden Globe winner has already made its share of waves in the ocean of science-fiction filmmaking. Greedy humans begin mining operations on a distant planet, inhabited by a troublesome native population, the Na'vi. Military forces are deployed to "relocate" these aliens. Military scientists combine the DNA of human soldiers with that of the Na'vi, thus creating big, blue super-soldiers; or avatars, controlled remotely by the thought patterns of their human counterparts, of course. The avatars, bringing with them the cruel agenda of the human mining operation, intermingle with the natives. Big budget action ensues as Sam Worthington's avatar leads a rebellion against the well-armed human oppressors.

6) "Contact." Robert Zemeckis helms an adaptation of the Carl Sagan novel by the same name. The astronomy community is all aflutter after receiving a mysterious message from deep space. Jodie Foster's character, Ellie Arroway, is an astronomer at the center of all the commotion. Her foil, Palmer Joss, played by Matthew McConaughey, is a man of faith. They face-off in thought-provoking philosophical debate about God, science, and life on other planets. Pay close attention to the character named S. R. Hadden...Is he an alien?...Or is he an angel?...Or perhaps both?

7) "The Day the Earth Stood Still"(1951). Robert Wise directs. An humanoid alien, Klaatu, does his homework on planet earth to make the ultimate decision: whether it should be destroyed or not. Meanwhile, his giant robot buddy, Gort, intimidates the U.S. Army with fancy lasers that melt tanks.

8) The original "War of the Worlds"(1953) makes our list. This Oscar-winning sci-fi flick, directed by Byron Haskin, is as classic as they get. The first film adaptation of H.G. Wells' terrifying alien invasion tale is still worth a watch today. **SPOILER ALERT: Wells surmised that alien intruders would die from our common cold. Imagine how safe Earth is now we have H1N1.

9) Next up, "Lilo and Stitch." That's right, we put a Disney cartoon on this list. Full of off-beat humor and plenty of heart, it's a tale of a misfit Hawaiian girl adopting an intergalactic fugitive as a pet. The two title characters are sophisticatedly strange for a children's movie. Artfully drawn figures and beautiful renditions of Hawaiian scenery add depth and style to this quirky, Oscar-nominated film.

10) Another Spielberg movie, "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" rounds out our top ten list. Featuring special-effects that still hold up to modern standards, this film, starring Richard Dreyfuss as Roy Neary, takes place in remote parts of New Mexico. Neary and others spot UFO's in the skies. Visions of a mountain and mysterious music run through Neary's head, eventually leading him to the rendezvous point where he'll meet advanced interstellar visitors.

If you love aliens as much as we do, then you've probably seen most of the movies on this list. But these are essentials, so if there's one you haven't seen, then you're missing out. Check it out today!