The Best Movies for Engineers, 2017

The OSCARS® have been announced and awards go out in early March. You either watch it every year or forget it’s on.

 Somewhere around hour three, the Visual Effects nominees and the winner will be announced. That’s when we’ll take notice.

 Sure, the OSCAR® committee have their criteria for choosing films, based on merit, popularity, quality and star power. Our criteria? Is the movie visually stunning? Would an engineer find it realistic but entertaining? Does a film feature spacecraft, the future, cool designs, and engineering feats?

 Allow us to chime in, comment, and choose our own winner.

Nominee: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Blue screens, CGI, models, and an animated skinless raccoon (an admitted highlight for us) make this a strong contender. The plot, sure. Groot. Of course. In fact, Groot was created from both a CGI and a model. It’s got space travel, modern, curvy spaceship interiors, and extraterrestrial communities. And, if you really want to see what goes into making effects in a movie, you’ll want to see stills from the movie that show sets in all their blue-screen glory. It’s a fascinating look.

 Guardians of the Galaxy screenshot

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Nominee: Kong: Skull Island

Raise your hand if you watched the original King Kong. No, not the one from 2005. The one from 1933. It’s hard, like really hard, to beat that original animated Kong by Willis O’Brien. I can’t even imagine what moviegoers thought in the 30s when Kong climbed to the top of the Empire State Building. Cut to the present. Kong: Skull Island. It’s awesome (those 1933 audiences would’ve been speechless). And to give Kong that bigger-than-life feel, producers even tapped into Panavision to engineer a new set of custom-designed anamorphic lenses. Impressive.


Kong: Skull Island

Nominee: Kong:War for the Planet of the Apes

Yes, this is a design and engineering blog, and not a film review blog, but, really? Another remake? To be fair, the new slew of Apes films have taken on their own look, feel and culture and some say surpass the original. Regardless, this film is stunning, especially the apes themselves who were created by mixing motion-capture and CGI key-frame animation. This movie’s technology is all about the apes

.Planet of the Apes

War for the Planet of the Apes

Nominee: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Of course we loved the movie. Even better, not only did it feature amazing visual effects it featured future technology, a double win. Hyperspace technology? Yep. Space travel? In spades. Robots? Lots and lots of robots. (Duh). And it features an actual engineer, Rose Tico, as the unassuming member of the Resistance. Nice! We can’t say what’s already been said. This movie is an engineer’s dream.


Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Winner: Blade Runner 2049

This is our winner for the best pictures of the year. It has the perfect mix of great special effects with tons of future technology. Robots. Self-driving cars. Internet of Things (IoT). High-speed transportation. What made this movie even better and more in touch with engineers was the fact that the future it portrays isn’t that far off and most of these technologies are here and being designed by you. What will 2049 be like? A lot of us will be around to find out.


Caption: Blade Runner 2049