Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Upcoming Science Fiction Movies: Is There Light at the End of the Jefferies Tube?

After Earth
After Earth
In a March 15 post, I listed the science fiction movies that were coming up in 2013 but I included only the ones that had public release dates.  Time has moved on and some new movies have appeared while distributors have issued a release date for others.  The updated list of what we have to look forward to follows.  As before, it does not include superhero and comic book movies, animation, anime, movies based on video games, and (with a few notable exceptions) monster movies.

The List:
  • After Earth – (May 31)  I have hopes for this movie about a father and son team stranded on Earth a thousand years after humanity has abandoned it.  But I also have two reservations: (1) It’s directed by M. Night Shyamalan, whose movies have not, of late, had a good track record, (2)  In the trailer, the father (Will Smith) warns his son (Jaden Smith) that every animal on the planet has evolved to hunt humans.  Now, why would they have done that if there haven’t been humans on the planet for a thousand years?  What species evolves to hunt a non-existent prey?  And how would that species survive for a thousand years with nothing to eat?  Evolution is more logical than that, even if screenwriters Shyamalan and Gary Whitta are not.
  • This is the End  . . . of the World) -- (June 12)  The apocalypse happens during a party at James Franco’s house.  Any movie with Seth Rogen in it is an apocalypse as far as I’m concerned, but I could be wrong.
  • World War Z from the novel of the same name by Max Brooks – (June 21) I included this movie even though it’s a zombie film because it is also about an apocalypse.  The trailer looks good but, then, trailers usually do.
  • Pacific Rim – (July 12) To fight off an alien attack, humans create and pilot giant robots to fight them off.  Lovers of anime shows like Big O or Gundam Wing will be drawn to this one.  The trailers make it look like the Transformer movies but Director Guillermo del Toro could do a better job than Michael Bay did with big hulking robots.   
  • The Europa Report – (August 2) Six astronauts go to Europa, Jupiter’s fourth moon, to try and find extraterrestrial life.  Directed by Neill Blomkamp, who directed District 9.  This could be more real gritty science fiction like Outland.  That’s one of my all-time favorites and it was also set on one of Jupiter’s moons, Io.
  • Percy Jackson 1, Sea of Monsters from Book 2 of The Olympians series (young adult) by Rick Riordan – (August 7)  The sons of Poseidon search for the Golden Fleece.  It might be better than the first movie based on this series because it’s directed by Thor Freudenthal and not Chris Columbus. That’s a lot.  There is also Nathan Fillion.
  • The Mortal Instruments, City of Bones from the popular Mortal Instruments series (young adult) by Cassandra Clare – (August 23)  When her mom is attacked and taken from their home in New York City by a demon, teenager, Clary Fray, finds out truths about her past and bloodline on her quest to get her back.  This isn’t technically science fiction but the books are good.
  • Riddick 3 – (September 6) Left for dead on a sun-scorched planet, Riddick finds himself up against an alien race of predators. Activating an emergency beacon alerts two ships: one carrying a new breed of mercenary, the other captained by a man from Riddick's past.  I really hope this is the Riddick we know and love from Pitch Black.  The rest of the cast includes Karl Urban (Dr. McCoy from Star Trek) and Katee Sackhoff (Starbuck from Battlestar Galactica).  That’s a cast with some science fiction street cred.
  • Escape Plan – (September 13) A man tries to escape from a high-security prison that he designed. 
  • Gravity – (October 4) A remote space station is destroyed by debris from an exploded satellite while two of its crew are traveling outside.
  • The Seventh Son – (October 18) From a series of Last Apprentice novels by Joseph Delaney, the plot is about what happens when the wizard who has been protecting the county is dying.  Who will take his place?
  • Singularity – (October 31)  This is the story of an impossible love set across two time periods and continents.   We shall see.
  • Ender’s Game – (November 1)  This is adapted from the first book of the Ender Quartet science fiction novels by Orson Scott Card.  70 years after a horrific alien war, an unusually gifted child is sent to an advanced military school in space to prepare for a future invasion.  The trailer looks like the movie—with Ben Kingsley and Harrison Ford—could be better than the book.
  • The Hunger Games 2, Catching Fire, from the astoundingly popular Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins – (November 22).  As Katniss and Peeta embark on a "Victor's Tour" of the districts, Katniss senses that a rebellion is simmering, but the Capitol is still very much in control as President Snow prepares the 75th Annual Hunger Games.
Disappointing as Star Trek: Into Darkness was (see yesterday’s post) there seems to be light at the end of  the Jefferies Tube.  At least a couple of these upcoming movies have to be good.   
The Europa Report
The Europa Report

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