In Neill Blomkamp's upcoming sci-fi film Elysium, set to hit theaters on August 9th, and set in the year 2154, the world will be divided into upper and lower classes. The lower classes will live on the Earth's surface, constantly fighting to survive, and the wealthy will live on a decked-out space station, merrily oblivious to the struggles below. While this is a clear political allegory readily comparable to Fritz Lang's awesome 1927 epic Metropolis, for the purposes of this article I will ignore all the politics and even innate sympathy for the underdog to posit how awesome it would be to live aboard an ultra-wealthy spaceship devoted to comfort and not doing any work at all. Sure, your fellow man is languishing in an unpleasant and faraway place, fighting a distant war, but you're up here in posh, air-conditioned surroundings, drinking fancy drinks, and being entertained by a rotating bevy of hot future bodies.
Science fiction – going back as far as Plato at least – has always been good about juggling the idea of the Utopia, presenting an imaginable future city-state wherein all governments have reached an ideal place, the people are all living in peace, the classes are obliterated, and we can finally devote our lives to a 24-hour cycle of constant hedonistic indulgence. Sometimes the utopia isn't so ideal (most movie utopias are underlined by a streak of death and betrayal; four words: Soylent Green is People), but the movies can often make those future places seem so ideal. Those planets, those future cities, even some of those future bars, restaurants, and business establishments, make us yearn for a visit. Elysium seems like one of those places. Thanks to an over-active imagination and a working knowledge of sci-fi movies, we here at CraveOnline have come up with eleven more.
From Star Wars (dir. George Lucas, 1977)
Seedy bars are always a fun place to visit, and why not start your vacation with sci-fi's most famous hive of scum and villainy? Good music, good drinks, and only a slight chance that you'll be killed by a yeti or something. Which might not be a bad way to go.
The Domed City
From Logan's Run (dir. Michael Anderson, 1976)
Sure, you may be hunted down and killed on your 30th birthday, but the walled-off city in Logan's Run seems like the best place to live until then. Young attractive bodies everywhere, and a sex roulette wheel in every room (you can literally choose a sex partner at random from your bedroom). This is doomed hedonism at its finest.
From Avatar (dir. James Cameron, 2009)
Say what you will about the cheap story and weak characters of Avatar, the visuals are undeniably dazzling. I know for sure that I would love to take a misty and casual adventure stroll through the lush, glowing psychedelic jungles of Pandora.
From Total Recall (dir. Paul Verhoeven, 1990)
Another seedy berg, this time in the slums of Mars, Venusville may seem depressing until you realize that you are surrounded by awesome local bars serving God-knows what, hot three-breasted prostitutes, and a string of wicked-looking psychic mutants. How is it this place hasn't been built in Vegas yet?
From A.I. Artificial Intelligence (dir. Steven Spielberg, 2001)
Imagine a sci-fi version of Las Vegas, only ten times the size, and with sex in the place of gambling, and you might have an idea of what this choice destination is like. Surrounded by STI-free hookerbots, and without a care in the world, Rouge City may be the perfect place to spend a week. Or decade.
From Double Dragon (dir. James Yukich, 1994)
This film is one of the dumber video game adaptations (which is saying something), but it does at least depict a pretty cool place to vitis. In the future, and underground base, headed up by the local resistence, features safety from the police state above, hot short-haired Alyssa Milanos, and a seemingly endless supply of skateboarding time. Sounds fun to me.
From Pokémon: Destiny Deoxys (dir. Kunihiko Yuyama)
The Pokémon universe is vast and baffling, but in the sixth of the Pokémon films, we are presented with one of the most beatific cities of any feature film. LaRousse City is an environmentally correct marvel that is clean, gorgeous, and powered entirely by wond and solar. Also, each visitor is granted a personal helper robot. Sounds perfect. I bet rents are high, though.
Mr. Boogalow's Pad
From The Apple (dir. Menahem Golan, 1980)
In the distant future of 1994 - as presented in this awesomely awful musical oddity - the world will be ruled by an evil music corporation, headed by the demonic Mr. Boogalow. He has an enormous mansion, this Boogalow, and regularly hosts drunken sex orgies of mirrors and glitter and bad choreography. I've never been to Studio 54, but I imagine that this is what it was like. Only chintzier.
The Frankenstein Place
From The Rocky Horror Picture Show (dir. Jim Sharman, 1975)
It may be hard to get to, located deep in the woods as it is, but the castle of Dr. Frank-N-Furter would definitely be worth the trip. Your generous host and his freaky retinue seem to have regular days-long parties full of cross-dressing, bisexual experimentation, and, uh, more bisexual experimentation. Also artifically created sex slaves. Count me in!
From Westworld (dir. Michael Crichton, 1973)
Amusement parks are always fun, and the best sci-fi amusement park is probably Westworld, a full-fledge simulation of an old Western town, complete with gun-slinging robots, and other droids devoted to putting on a show. Sure, gun-slinging robots have a tendency to break down and kill humans, but until that happens, I'd have a grand old time living in the Old West. But also the future.
From the Star Trek series (1979 - 2013)
And who doesn't want to live on the a starship devoted to space exploration, meeting aliens, and is equipped with food replicators, comfy quarters, a Ten Forward bar, and holodecks? No one, that's who. Beam me up.