John Scalzi's Weekend Assignment #81: Share one of your favorite science fiction movies. Note that this doesn't have to be the "best" science fiction film ever, or the most popular, or the most significant; it doesn't even have to be a good science fiction film. It just should be a science fiction film you enjoy watching over and over again -- the kind that always sucks you into the couch whenever it's on TV.
And I say: No question, absolutely, hands-down, it's Stanley Kubrick's '2001: A Space Odyssey'.
I saw it in the theater in 1968 when it was the must-see, lines-around-the-block event. It was the first time I had ever seen science fiction that didn't involve a giant rubber lizard, and it blew me away. The grandeur of it, the wonder, the mystery ... and oh man, that amazing soundtrack.
I was in high school at the time, and my whole gang saw it together. Then we spent half the night debating its meaning and pondering the nature of the universe, as kids were wont to do in the Sixties. Good times, fond memories.
Extra credit is "Coolest character"? Hal: pure, ice-cold malevolence.