The drought has ended


I don’t know why, but the appearance of great science fiction movies is somehow cyclical. You get a few classics, then for years there’s nothing but a run of B-grade wannabes and remakes. Finally, Hollywood wakes up and stops churning out trash-for-a-buck and backs some original science fiction again, respecting a discerning audience, and the drought breaks.

I don’t hold high hopes for Star Trek Into Darkness. I’m sure it will contain some great space opera, but the last Star Trek was a travesty of science fiction. A journey from Earth to Vulcan took minutes, while the return journey took days! Characters teleported onto ships travelling at warp speed and, presumably, light years away, only to materialize inside water-filled cooling tubes(?) and – oh, don’t get me started.

At first glance, Oblivion and After Earth are entirely different, marking a return to classic science fiction movies that stir the imagination. They’re both quasi-plausible future visions of a dystopian Earth. Not only do they look great in terms of special effects, they’re exploring new territory in their story arcs, which is always refreshing, and they appear more grounded around solid characters.

Oblivion

After Earth

I’m looking forward to both of these films. I’m sure there will be the odd technical fubar, but hopefully nothing on the scale of Star Trek or Prometheus. It would be nice to see another classic emerge from Hollywood.

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15 thoughts on “The drought has ended

  1. I have learned to mistrust trailers made entirely of special effects and a mysterious narrative. Nothing good has ever been behind them, so I kinds expect the new Star Trek movie to fail miserably. Sigh.

    But the other two movies — I can’t wait to see if they can hold up to their promise. They sure look like fun!

      • Yeah. I really hate the way they do trailers. The greatest enjoyment I’ve known from movies lately was from those of which I had no previous clue beforehand. Especially horror and scifi. Watching the trailers afterward, I realized they were either massive spoilers or gave off the completely wrong impression. Starting to watch a movie with a clear expectation is never a good thing, you’re practically setting out to be disappointed. Hollywood should really lay off the spectacular trailers, and get back to tantalizing basics.

      • The 9 minute Star Trek trailer seems to be a bit of an experiment in bringing the webisode concept to the movies. It’s a nice alternative to a trailer, as it gets you hooked without giving anything away, and is highly entertaining. I hope this concept becomes the norm for movies as it has between TV seasons.

  2. Oblivion looks a bit generical to me… If wasn’t for one tiny thing I’d look forward to see it. After Earth puts me in big doubt since M. Night is directing, but Will Smith may save it for me. Star Trek Into Darkness I actually want to see. Yes the details you mentioned (and other plot holes) did bugged me a lot, but for a reboot without being a reboot (story/character wise), it was decent. We need more original stuff in the big screen. Lol can’t wait to see your opinion on the next Star Wars.

    • Believe it or not, I am an optimist… ha ha ha… I just watched Tom Cruise in War of the Worlds again over the weekend and really enjoyed it. It’s such a great movie, extending H.G. Well’s original concept really well. Perhaps that’s why I have high hopes for Oblivion.

      As for Star Wars, that will be tough, as the non-Lucas world has done such an admirable job with the Star Wars canon, I hope they don’t branch in a new direction, but rather bring some of that to the silver screen. The Darth Bane trilogy, as an example, would be brilliant.

  3. I am with you, my friend, up to a certain point… I will watch the trailers, but based on what I’ve read elsewhere the movies look promising.

    About the newest ST, I loved it, even though I understand your points. The thing with me is that a SF movie needs to be REALLY BAD (like SyFy movies bad) for me to dislike it. In fact, I have said this before, I prefer bad science fiction over almost everything else, especially “reality” TV. In the specific example of the latest ST movie, they made a brilliant move when they introduced the changed timeline. Now they can do anything they want with their story lines, and people like you and I will watch everything they make from now on….

    Now, going back to SyFy, have you noticed that their movies are really, really bad but their series are remarkably good? Think BSG and Alphas….

    • But their management for series suck ass. BSG was meant to have 5 seasons with more space action/drama, but declining audience resulted in budget cuts and a season cut instead of making better PR and marketing (the cast and creators didn’t like how the channel treated them and the show). I hear a lot of good things about Alphas, but my new TV package doesn’t have SyFy on :( Also, I want a decent closure for Stargate Atlantis and Universe (I know it’s mostly MGM’s fault, but still).

      Imagine if HBO made a space opera with the same dedication they have for their other shows. I need a space opera and I need it NOW (George RR Martin, JM Straz do/write something).

      pcawdron Cruise will be the reason I may not watch Oblivion. I love War of the Worlds, but the crazytology thing and his outbursts on actual science made me quit his films altogether. Hoping for Will Smith goodies though. I’m also expecting good Star Wars with CGI on the background instead of on my face all the time (Lucas left his blueprints for the next three, I’m pretty sure the writers will use them)… and no Jar Jar like characters.

      • Ah… scientology… I saw a massive three-story billboard in Melbourne that read “Can one book change your life? Dianetics.” The answer to the question is yes. But the question is imprecise. Will it change it for the better? No. :)

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