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Potentially Great Sci-fi Films Still Due In 2011 342

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the gremlins-on-the-wings dept.
brumgrunt writes "With Source Code already attracting strong reviews, the signs are good that 2011 will be a solid year for sci-fi. Den Of Geek has tracked down 10 upcoming sci-fi movies worth keeping an eye on" The nice thing about this write up is that it's not about the summer blockbuster brand of sci-fi, but mostly about the (somewhat) more traditional stuff. Here's hoping there's a few gems worth getting a babysitter for.
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Potentially Great Sci-fi Films Still Due In 2011

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  • Lets face it (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gad_zuki! (70830) on Thursday March 17, 2011 @10:51AM (#35516684)

    most of these will be unbelievably terrible, just like the Transformers movies or the recent Battle of LA movie. Or that Number 4 movie.

    Sci-fi is very, very difficult to translate to the screen. Hollywood has shown no interest in doing it right except in spite of itself when an unusually talented director with loyal producers and deep pockets reigns control of the project (Alien, Bladerunner, etc). A typical Hollywood sci-fi production simply takes the place of a summer action blockbuster. There's very little interest and profitability in making good or even passable sci-fi.

    I'm pretty happy with sci-fi literature and comics. These forms work well both economically (small production not indebted too deeply to publishers) and artistically (no CGI, no egotistical actors). Dunno, but everytime I see "upcoming scifi movie" I cringe at how terrible its going to be and I'm almost always right.

    • by Zedrick (764028)
      > There's very little interest and profitability in making good or even passable sci-fi.

      I wish there was some scifi-loving billionare who would take a risk and buy the rights to everything by Alastair Reynolds and/or John Birmingham and cough up the money for the best scriptwriters, the best director, good actors, massive marketing etc. Without Warning (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Without_Warning_(novel) [wikipedia.org]) the movie, or Pushing Ice (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pushing_Ice [wikipedia.org]) the movie could not possib
      • Like a movie adaptation of Consider Phlebas I wonder if the story for Pushing Ice would be just too damn long for the popcorn masses to sit through, This isn't the days of Gone With the Wind anymore and I wonder if most people would sit through it.
        That said LoTR did okay with it's epic story length, but then that was a popular classic, practically synonymous with Shakespeare in some circles...

      • Re:Lets face it (Score:4, Insightful)

        by thedonger (1317951) on Thursday March 17, 2011 @11:26AM (#35517192)
        The best directors and actors do not guarantee anything, and massive marketing is why (how?) utter crap becomes popular.
      • I have to respectfully disagree on Pushing Ice. So much of my enjoyment of that story was his depiction of the tech that the colony develops and the environment that they are stranded in. Unless they're willing to commit to special effects budget on the scale of Avater they would have a difficult time of doing the story justice.

        But I do think that a lot of Alastair Reynolds' short stories would make for great feature length films. Nightengale and Glacial spring to mind.

        I would also love to see a film fro

        • would also love to see a film from the Foundation series, or a Riverworld film that doesn't suck.

          I have good news and I have bad news. There's a Foundation movie in the works. Roland Emmerich is directing

          http://www.scifimoviepage.com/upcoming/previews/foundation-movie.html [scifimoviepage.com]

        • by Miseph (979059)

          "I do think that a lot of Alastair Reynolds' short stories would make for great feature length films"

          In my experience, short stories generally do.

          Novels actually tend to be too long, even relatively short YA fare like "Harry Potter" and "Twilight" require substantial cutting just to keep from going over length. I suspect that one of the reasons "Neuromancer" still hasn't been made is that writing a short enough script for it is going to savage the book to where actual fans would riot in the streets.

    • The stories have to be able to fit the mold as well. Typical Transformers and GI Joe episodes were not good for that kind of stuff. A lot of the characters were cool for the kids, but those characters were remarkably shallow.

    • Re:Lets face it (Score:5, Interesting)

      by MozeeToby (1163751) on Thursday March 17, 2011 @11:16AM (#35517040)

      The thing I don't get is that it should be easy for Hollywood to put pulp sci-fi on the big screen. There's a whole subgenre that used to be one of the most popular parts of science fiction which is essentially exactly the big budget, over the top action that they crave for a summer blockbuster. Instead of using that source material, they insist on taking the mostly highly cherished, highest quality, most in-depth and artistic sci-fi they can find and massacre it to fit the summer blockbuster formula.

    • by Kozz (7764)

      There's very little interest and profitability in making good or even passable sci-fi.

      I'm pretty happy with sci-fi literature and comics. These forms work well both economically (small production not indebted too deeply to publishers) and artistically (no CGI, no egotistical actors). Dunno, but everytime I see "upcoming scifi movie" I cringe at how terrible its going to be and I'm almost always right.

      So then, I'm curious... what did you think of District 9? I really enjoyed the film, despite it seeming to be misrepresented in the trailers (in my opinion), there was a sci-fi facade over a deeper ethical discussion. Granted, this was Peter Jackson with a $30million USD budget, too. Is this one a diamond in the rough?

    • Re:Lets face it (Score:5, Insightful)

      by LWATCDR (28044) on Thursday March 17, 2011 @11:28AM (#35517234) Homepage Journal

      What is the problem with people. Transformers was a movie based on a kids cartoon about giant robots that can turn into cars and planes.
      Just what did you expect?
      I actually thought it was going to be much worse than it was. I found it as enjoyable for what it was. When are are talking about movies in general most books just do not make great movies. How can you possibly fit a huge book into a movie. As far as the science fiction fan boys go. Get over it. Just like any other book made into a movie you will hate them. Even Bladerunner was only sort of based on Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. I suggest you just wait and see and try to enjoy them for what they are which is movies.
      I will admit that the movie I, Robot does make me want to commit murder. I have never seen it but the trailers where enough to make me say "WHAT!"
      As a reader of Science fiction I long ago came to the conclusion that I will never see a move based on.
      The Uplift books, Known Space, Asmiov's Robots or Federation universe that do not make want cringe.

      And of course just to tick everybody off I must ask one question. Why do people get all worked up over Firefly? I enjoyed it and wish it had keep running but it wasn't really hard science fiction. Frankly it was "The Outlaw Jose Wales" in space. That isn't a bad thing but people get so worked up over it.

      • Frankly it was "The Outlaw Jose Wales" in space.

        You just answered your own question.

      • People forget that most movies are for entertainment, not enlightenment. That said, I go to the movies to see explosions, ridiculous plot twists, and half naked skanks. There's no need to make a movie as realistic as possible when I have such an amazing world to live in already.
      • I Robot wasn't that bad if you consider it a story in the Robot series and forget the book. I actually liked it once I got past the disappointment of not seeing anything from the book on the screen. It's worth watching. It shouldn't make you regret your 2 hours, like I do from seeing the "sci fi" called Knowing.

        Firefly was great fun. Then again I'm a fan of Whedon's style of the witty characters and back and forth. I think people get worked up because it wasn't given a chance and was still developing. His

    • I'm not a Hollywood insider, but I think the problem with Sci-Fi movies is the conflict between directors and producers. Sci-Fi movies are so expensive to produce you invariably end up with the accountants breathing down your neck to meet deadlines and keep things safe and accessible to the public. Hollywood knows how to make slick looking movies, but it always seems like the movies that fail do so because the storyline was altered for mass appeal.

      Gotta have a cheesy love interest, tried and true plot ele

      • CGI will become commoditised, rather than modelling every back drop by hand you will have preexisting models which just need tweaking for individual films.

        Eventually we will get to the point where all those really expensive CGI back drops are going to be cheaper than filming in real life locations because, for example, you don't have to block off traffic from behind a historic house while filming a period drama. You don't need to have people stage sets and wait for the right light etc.

        When that happens,
    • Hollywood has shown no interest in marketing it when it is done right for both Sci Fi and Fantasy. So while sometimes someone gets something right, it does not get even a fraction of the credit it deserves.

      Two examples:

      1. StarDust. An excellent movie that did not get even a fraction of the marketing and any of the awards Hollywood hands out to all kinds of cr*p.
      2. GATTACA. Same, with the difference that it at least got some nominations. No Hollywood award though and once again a laughable marketing budget.

      T

  • I am camping out to be first in line to see Paul. Now THAT is good syfy

    • by gilleain (1310105)

      I am camping out to be first in line to see Paul. Now THAT is good syfy

      Hahah. To my shame I have seen this movie : my advice would be (EVEN if you liked Hot Fuzz and are a big fan of Spaced)

      DO NOT SEE

      Although fairly ok for 10 year olds, it really is a bit rubbish. Especially, oddly enough, the militant atheism.

      • I actually enjoyed Paul far more than I expected, I liked watching for the references to other sci-fi's
  • This is a review of 10 movies that the reviewer hasn't seen, because they haven't come out yet?

    • Maybe it's proof that this [slashdot.org] is more real than we think.
    • > This is a review of 10 movies that the reviewer hasn't seen, because they haven't come out yet?

      That's because he used the Large Hadron Collider to send back reviews from the future ..

  • Ringworld... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Grog6 (85859) on Thursday March 17, 2011 @11:00AM (#35516824)

    When the hell is someone worth a fuck going to make a Ringworld movie?

    There's so much great SF that no one will touch; Heinlein got raped with Starship Troopers, but The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is a much better story.

    Or maybe Lazarus Long...

    James P. Hogan's Giant's series would make a great set of movies; it seems like all hollywood wants to do is regurgitate crap.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by natehoy (1608657)

      "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" is a great story, but I'm struggling with how well it would translate into anything resembling an interesting movie that people would actually pay to watch, and still be the slightest bit true to a story about a computer becoming self-aware while outcasts are trying to split from their oppressive overlords. There are scenes that would translate well (bombing the Earth with rocks), but Hollywood would latch on to those scenes and you'd end up with something akin to "The Two To

      • Re:Ringworld... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by gilleain (1310105) on Thursday March 17, 2011 @11:27AM (#35517212)

        Ringworld, on the other hand, is a special-effects masterpiece waiting to happen. The storyline is simple, the beauty of the story is visualizing the engineering involved

        Yet the dialog, as with a lot of Sci-Fi, is absolutely awful. Truly terrible.

        The ring itself would make for good imagery, although I expect that any director that has played Halo would bring certain visual clues along with them...

    • It's a good thing nobody in Hollywood will touch some of the great SF stories. I certainly don't want to see Hollywood crank out an abomination like, say, Michael Bay's Rendezvous with Rama. Let's leave the good stuff well alone.

    • Honest question: what is the big deal with Ringworld? I finally read it a couple of years ago expecting some story masterpiece, but it ended up being a run of the mill 'people discover big dumb object and barely escape with their lives' story. Have I missed something here, because I feel I must have.
      Maybe it's the Asimov effect, that that when I finally got hold of a copy of the books a decade or so ago (had to wait until i had a job after uni to be able to have spare cash) then I was bitterly disappointed.

      • Ringworld is, to me, more 'about' the nature of luck than the actual adventure the characters have. I know lots of people who have read it and liked it, but the ones that consider it Great are usually talking more about the concept of Teela Brown than the ringworld itself.

        (And it's worth noting that I didn't really like the sequels much.)

      • Honest question: what is the big deal with Ringworld? I finally read it a couple of years ago expecting some story masterpiece, but it ended up being a run of the mill 'people discover big dumb object and barely escape with their lives' story.

        You may have read it a couple of years ago, but it was published in 1970, over 40 years ago. It wasn't run-of-the-mill then, and wasn't when I first read it in 1979 or so.

        Now Consider Phlebas, that I would like to see on the big screen...

        Same here!

      • by IICV (652597)

        Maybe it's the Asimov effect, that that when I finally got hold of a copy of the books a decade or so ago (had to wait until i had a job after uni to be able to have spare cash) then I was bitterly disappointed. "Hang on!" I said, "It's just a load of Star Trek TNG episodes but not done as thoroughly". Then I realised the concept of derivative works.

        Yep, basically. Niven's Ringworld series essentially roughed out the shape of the now-classical Sci-Fi "find an archaeotech artifact, explore it, escape" storyl

    • Re:Ringworld... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by NitroWolf (72977) on Thursday March 17, 2011 @12:01PM (#35517706)

      When the hell is someone worth a fuck going to make a Ringworld movie?

      There's so much great SF that no one will touch; Heinlein got raped with Starship Troopers, but The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is a much better story.

      Or maybe Lazarus Long...

      James P. Hogan's Giant's series would make a great set of movies; it seems like all hollywood wants to do is regurgitate crap.

      How could you translate the Ringworld stuff to the screen? You'd need like 5 hours of setup just to get into the main plot line. That is really the crux of the problem with Scifi and movies. There's so much supporting material that needs to be in place to make good Scifi that you just can't do it on the screen in any reasonable amount of movie time. I would love to see those you listed translated to the screen, but even The Moon is a Harsh Mistress would need to be 4 to 5 hours long to be done properly. The others... much longer. Think LotR at best.

      The same goes for Enders Game ... I just can't see how you can translate that to the screen in under 10 hours and still have a coherent, interesting story that is true to the original. I fear the movie is going to suck something fierce.

      • by thomst (1640045)

        How could you translate the Ringworld stuff to the screen? You'd need like 5 hours of setup just to get into the main plot line. That is really the crux of the problem with Scifi and movies. There's so much supporting material that needs to be in place to make good Scifi that you just can't do it on the screen in any reasonable amount of movie time. I would love to see those you listed translated to the screen, but even The Moon is a Harsh Mistress would need to be 4 to 5 hours long to be done properly. The others... much longer. Think LotR at best.

        That's exactly why the ideal audio-visual presentation mode for stories like The Moon is a Harsh Mistress - and Ringworld and so many, many other SF classics - is the TV miniseries, rather than a theatrical motion picture. For all their faults, the SciFi Channel's miniseries versions of Dune and Children of Dune are cases in point. Both could have benefited tremendously from larger budgets and better casts, but the miniseries format gave them time and space to present their stories' complexities and do some

    • by elrous0 (869638) *

      See, this is why I hate what passes for science fiction with most of my fellow geeks. Ask any of these supposed science fiction "fans" what they want to see adapted and they immediately cite a bunch of 40-50 year old pulp crap like Heinlein, Ringworld, etc. There is a lot of great serious, modern science fiction out there and yet all you people want is a bunch of pop shit from the 60's. Poor Phillip Dick (who at least wasn't brain-dead, unlike Heinlein) has been adapted into the ground. And the one movie th

  • by sandytaru (1158959) on Thursday March 17, 2011 @11:01AM (#35516840) Journal
    What most sci-fi directors fail to take into account is that good sci-fi isn't about the robots, the aliens, or the gagdets. It's about the people. At the heart of the best classic science fiction is solid character development and rich human interaction. Its really a psychological drama. That's why "I, Robot" failed so hard - the original book wasn't about the robots at all, but the humans who worked with them. Yeah, there is oohing and ahhing over the nifty toys, and nitpicking over the accuracy of the science, but ultimately what we remember are the characters.
    • by immakiku (777365)
      Great point. For me, imagining what the setting is like is fun, but it is much more rewarding to see a whole world constructed. The world doesn't come from cool gadgets and flashy science or magic, but about how people behave differently or similarly in the presence of such things. It takes more work on the part of the movie/book writers and more imagination in the parts of the actors.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Seumas (6865)

      The problem is that when they do take that into account, you get shit like "Warehouse 13", which is a SyFy series that has nothing even remotely to do with science and is all about hunting down magical objects as a plot tool to get an attractive red head and an attractive dark haired guy together into romantic psueodo-Moonlighting situations to attract female viewers.

      And then films like MOON are regarded as "so fucking boring - turned it off" by mouth breathers.

    • by Colonel Korn (1258968) on Thursday March 17, 2011 @11:28AM (#35517232)

      What most sci-fi directors fail to take into account is that good sci-fi isn't about the robots, the aliens, or the gagdets. It's about the people. At the heart of the best classic science fiction is solid character development and rich human interaction. Its really a psychological drama. That's why "I, Robot" failed so hard - the original book wasn't about the robots at all, but the humans who worked with them. Yeah, there is oohing and ahhing over the nifty toys, and nitpicking over the accuracy of the science, but ultimately what we remember are the characters.

      When we scientists want to understand a complex system over which we have control, we change an input variable and observe the effects. Good science fiction makes a change to the fundamental rules of society that are usually beyond our control, often but not always through a game-changing technology (advanced space flight, terraforming, genetic engineering, AI, etc.), and explores the effects of this change on characters and sometimes their societies.

      I agree with you. Most movie sci-fi is focused on the flashiness of the technology and the generic, tacked on, unrelated stories of the stock characters who interact with it. The genre should instead follow sci-fi literature and use the sci-fi elements to examine the human experience.

  • The trailer seems to give away every major twist that is likely to feature in the film.

    I haven't seen a trailer spoil a film so much since Swimfan (the trailer is literally the film's plot condenced into 2 minutes)
  • One missing! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Mr Europe (657225) on Thursday March 17, 2011 @11:08AM (#35516938)

    The one I'm most waiting is not in the list. Iron Sky.
    http://www.ironsky.net/ [ironsky.net]

  • ...I didn't see Mega Python vs. Gatoroid [syfy.com] on that list! SyFy is still Sci-Fi right? Oh wait... [syfy.com]
    • by JosKarith (757063)
      Flicking past I thought that said Monty Python vs Gatorade. Oh well, disappointed again...
  • seems like such a drunk frat boy's idea of an "awesome movie"

    i mean what next? cowboys and ninjas?

    oh...

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1032751/ [imdb.com]

    uh, vikings and indians?

    good lord

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0446013/ [imdb.com]

    so all i have to do is take two stereotypical protagonists, smash them together, and hollywood will give me millions to make a crappy movie?

    ok, zombies and sharks!

    oh good lord, someone shoot me...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4g8fCxyAVHs [youtube.com]

    freddy v jason, alien v predator (there's a third one coming), etc... ok so if creativity is completely dead, if hollywood has to rape your love for science fiction by mashing up all genres, allow me to make you want to rip your eyes out:

    terminator V back to the future

    mad max V jurassic park

    the matrix V inception

    and, the ultimate betrayal that will make you want to murder me right now, just for uttering the words and potentially planting the idea in some hollywood suit's mind:

    star wars V star trek

    the science fiction fan's ultimate cause for suicide and/ or homicide

  • what's even more wow is that I will not be seeing any of the movies... they all seem to be scraping the bottom of the barrel. Is there really nothing new under the sun?

    • "Now" looks like it might have potential, if only because it's done by the same guy who wrote/directed "Lord of War" and "Gattacca" and wrote "The Truman Show." Each of those actually got the point of SF.

  • I went to see "Paul" last night - the latest Simon Pegg movie. I loved it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPBPAGo-Qn8 [youtube.com]

  • Some good director really needs to make the Rama series. I can easily see it being a low budget flick but of course could do very well with a good director. Evidently some students made a film in 2003 according to IMDB but nothing big budget.
  • No. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Seumas (6865) on Thursday March 17, 2011 @11:22AM (#35517116)

    APOLLO 18: Based on a real-world 70s NASA mission that was abandoned due to budget cuts, Apollo 18 reads like a mixture of Duncan Jones' Moon and Paranormal Activity -- BZZZZT!! NO!

    ATTACK THE BLOCK: It's Independence Day meets -- BZZZZT!! NO!

    COWBOYS & ALIENS: We're really stretching science fiction, now, with this. Good director, though, so . . . .

    SUPER 8: Okay, the trailer for this actually looks good. I don't know that it has anything more to do with Science Fiction than Cloverfield does, though (which was just a movie about a bunch of hipsters running away from a shaky camera all night).

    REAL STEEL: Wow, that really has NOTHING to do with the Twilight Zone episode it's supposed based on. Also, shouldn't this be a heart warming riot starring Will Smith? This is also really stretching the name "science fiction" in much the same way Warehouse 13 stretches the term "science fiction".

    CONTAGION: Let me guess -- it'll have something to do with bird flu or biological warfare and will be as scientifically inaccurate as "Right At Your Door", which was a shitty two hour "science fiction" movie I recently saw where nobody seemed to comprehend the difference between bacteria, a virus, radiation, and nuclear weapons. Seriously, a fucking DIRTY BOMB (a nuclear weapon) went off downtown, so the government instructs everyone in the city to go home and seal up their houses with plastic and duct tape. Then the guy's wife comes home, but it's too late and they leave her outside until they "see what the effects are". She gets worse and people are dying and medical professionals are scouting the neighborhoods putting people out of their misery and/or checking their medical status as they try to develop a cure for the virus (THERE WAS NO VIRUS, IT WAS A NUKE!). Eventually, the man who locks everyone out and stays inside dies, because it turns out that just enough of the stuff from the nuke seeped into his home and his efforts to seal his house shut provided the perfect climate for the bacteria to mutate and become too deadly to overcome (AGAIN, THERE WAS NO VIRUS/BACTERIA -- IT WAS A NUKE). This will be another one of those movies Good Morning America and other shitty television shows use to ask the question "COULD IT HAPPEN HERE?!". *yawn*

    THE THING: Won't this be the third time? No thanks. NO. It would have to be the most fucking amazing film ever to justify itself. Also, we already know about "THE THING". The surprise is already gone. Also, The Thing is a horror movie; not science fiction.

    RISE OF THE APES: Couldn't care less about more Planet of the Apes. And certainly not from a cast I've never heard of (except for Serkis, which sadly isn't enough to entice me). Seriously. That was 40 years ago. New stuff, please?

    THE DIVIDE: The Divide sees New York obliterated by an unspecified apocalyptic event. Huddled in a dank basement, eight survivors battle both a group of armed men in decontamination suits and their own disintegrating psyches in a thriller described as a combination of Assault On Precinct 13 and Lord Of The Flies. -- I'm sure I'll see it, because I'm a sucker for this sort of film, even though it sounds completely unrelated to the science fiction genre. Unfortunately, we've also seen this movie 800 times. Do something new?

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      RUBBER: a sentient tire causes peoples heads to explode... THIS IS A MUST SEE!

      Honestly wierd enough to really make you want to see it.

  • Cheapo horror flicks comprise most of the list. The rest of the movies also follow the basic 'Us vs. them shootout' scenario. 'Cowboys vs Aliens'? Really? Whats next, Snakes on a plane? The only movie that is probably worth watching is 'Now'.
  • Wow (Score:5, Informative)

    by ledow (319597) on Thursday March 17, 2011 @11:30AM (#35517268) Homepage

    I always considered myself a geek, so like the sci-fi genre. But that list... wow. That's enough to turn me off going to the movies forever. It's like "Remakes meet Bad Plotlines", to paraphrase the article.

    Apollo 18 - some made up crap about something that never flew (see U-571).

    Attack The Block - gangsters take on aliens with baseball bats in London (Left4Dead in a movie, badly).

    Cowboys & Aliens - "When aliens invade the 19th century West," - 'nuff said.

    Super 8 - kids see alien walk away from train crash.

    Real Steel - regurgitated Twilight Zone crap with fighting robots.

    Contagion - disease-killing-everyone movie.

    The Thing (a prequel) - dear God, no!

    Now - vaguely interesting "live forever" soap opera.

    Rise Of The Apes - dear God, no!

    The Divide - apocalyptic survival movie.

    Serious, the sci-fi genre has become this pile of trash? God. Yeah, once in a while maybe, as a light relief, but that's not "sci-fi".

    • Apollo 18 - some made up crap about something that never flew (see U-571).

      Except U-571 was a real U-boat and the movie wasn't meant to be any kind of fiction, it was completely inaccurate "historical" movie. "Some made up crap" is the definition of of fiction. That's the "fi" part of "sci-fi", in case you weren't aware.

      [Moaning about everything else]

      "Wahh! Movies aren't books! Sci-fi is for books because books are filled with words for intelligent people like me. By making movies about sci-fi they're implying that sci-fi isn't inherently for smart people and therefore they're treading on the one thing I have t

    • Did you notice almost every one was described as "$PREVIOUS_WORK_1 meets $PREVIOUS_WORK_2"?

      The only one of remote interest is Real Steel because, heck, big fightin' robots will at least be some eye candy.

    • Contagion is by Soderburgh, so there's some chance it could be good to very good. There's also a reasonable chance that it will be completely unintelligible crap. Guess I'll wait for the reviews :)

    • by Chelloveck (14643)

      Apollo 18 - some made up crap about something that never flew (see U-571).

      Oh, come on. Isn't nearly every movie some "made up crap"? And practically every science-fiction movie revolves around some completely fictional device.

      Cowboys & Aliens - "When aliens invade the 19th century West," - 'nuff said.

      That one actually looks like it has potential, as long as they don't fall into the trap of assuming that the humans have 21st century moral and cultural values.

      Super 8 - kids see alien walk away from train

  • by owlnation (858981) on Thursday March 17, 2011 @12:06PM (#35517790)
    What most of you seem not to understand about sci-fi movies in particular, and most movies in general, is that in order for them to be successful, they need to target the movie to the cinema-going audience.

    And folks, that's 12-25 year olds. Specifically for most action movies they are targeting 14 year old boys. (Romcoms are 14 year old girls). And that's the average 14 year old, not just the smartest ones.

    Most modern sci-fi movies don't fail as far as Hollywood is concerned -- they make an enormous amount of money and kids love them. Sure, adults, critics and sci-fi fans really hate them, but there's not enough of us going to the cinema to make the slightest bit of difference to Hollywood profits.

    Henceforth, you will not see an adult story with realistic dialogue, great acting, great photography and an original plotline. What you will see is 2d good vs bad characters, loads of VFX, melodramatic heroism, and dialogue that no person (nor alien) would ever say in their lives. Because their lowest common denominator teenage audience requires big, flashy, shallow stuff, and nothing else.

    The days of adult movies are finished -- in every genre of movies, not just sci-fi. Adults do not go to the cinema. Not enough of them to count anyway. (yes, adult indie arthouse movies will still get made, but they are niche market with niche profits, if any profits. Few of those are ever sci-fi.)

    Just wait to see how much you are going to hate "Foundation". There is absolutely no way they can make that movie to satisfy the same target demo as the books. It's going to be a VFX-fest. 14 year old jocks will love it -- none of us will.

    The golden age of sci-fi movies is OVER. It is unlikely ever to return with current distribution and marketing methods.
    • by peter303 (12292) on Thursday March 17, 2011 @02:49PM (#35520286)
      It was an 'adult" film requiring more attention than your average high school boy has. It turned out to be 2010 2nd largest grossing film and got some respectable film awards. I didnt particularly like it. but shows you can make an adult scfi film.
    • by X86Daddy (446356) on Thursday March 17, 2011 @04:04PM (#35521420) Journal

      The golden age of sci-fi movies is OVER. It is unlikely ever to return with current distribution and marketing methods.

      Actually, the current distribution and marketing methods are beginning to see competition... which means a golden age might just be ahead of us. Iron Sky may or may not represent the dawn of that age (not released yet), but the mechanisms are falling into place.

      I look forward to the day that the current distribution and marketing methods are the ones who are OVER. We'll get much better quality on everything, all the way around, thereafter.

  • Is it worth reading past Apollo 18?

  • those two sound interesting, and hard sci-fi-ish.

    The rest is all rinse-and-repeat stuff. Still, 2 good sci-fi movies in one year would be terrific achievement.

    By the way, the article greatly underrates the number of "pandemic" subgenre movies. There have been dozens in the last few years alone. Maybe several tens in this century.

  • A brave new world. I thought that was coming in 2011

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