According to my personal rating standards sci-fi movies either fall into one of three categories, great, horrible, and fancy eye candy that flopped. Hollywood has a subtle way of transforming potentially great sci-fi into sub-standard, watered down sci-fi in an attempt to make it appeal to the masses. Sub-standard and watered down how? Take your pick; cookie cutter plots, stereotypical characters, old stories with new technology mixed in, predictable endings, etc.
I find myself lowering standards on some sci-fi so it will fall into the great category just because it is unique. Other movies that have great production and effects but are mutilated by the Hollywood syndrome and generally get put in the 'fancy eye candy that flopped' category because it's worth watching even though the story is disappointing. If you don't like sci-fi then your standards are probably high and everything that a I would bend the rules on you may put into the horrible category.
Hungry for some new and original sci-fi I watched the Pioneer One pilot episode that was featured on a recent Slashdot posting. Once the preconception of it being a low budget film was overcome I was surprised at the story and professional content. The story is original and sets the stage for a drama that is realistic and can incorporate some fascinating sci-fi themes. I've seen my share of horrible sci-fi movies but the pilot episode of Pioneer One easily falls into my great category despite being low budget.
I've already donated to the project, what about you? Do you think it's worth $5 to see the story unfold?