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Science Fiction Cinema Is Exciting Again

Nordling here.

I think it's an interesting time for science fiction cinema right now.  Just today, Hollywood Reporter announced a new project called EPSILON, a new script by Rhett Reese and Paul Warnice (ZOMBIELAND) that was bought by Sony Pictures.  The story itself is extremely promising - after robots lose a war with humanity, the machines flee to a space station where they begin growing humans to infiltrate what's left of Earth's civilization.  Now that Earth's humans have very little technology, these agent humans could help the robots gain control again.

There's been a quiet renaissance happening with science fiction movies in the past few years, in my opinion - filmmakers are using the new technology to tell interesting stories as opposed to selling Happy Meals or cereal boxes.  Yes, we'll still have shitty movies like the TRANSFORMERS series, but we're also getting movies like Neill Blomkamp's DISTRICT 9, Duncan Jones' MOON and SOURCE CODE, or Joe Cornish's ATTACK THE BLOCK - movies that are way more interested in telling compelling stories, using the medium to advance ideas as opposed to just blowing things up.  The days of STAR WARS are gone, and we seem to be getting more films of higher caliber, full of rich cinematic themes and perspectives.

So enter movies like INCEPTION, or NEVER LET ME GO, or MELANCHOLIA, or even RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES - films that challenge the seemingly popular misconception that good science fiction has to be heavy on spectacle and light on ideas.  Instead, these new science fiction films can have both in ample quantities and not insult the audience and leave them entertained and enlightened.  Even a movie like JOHN CARTER, which hearkens back to the days of pulp science fiction, brought something new and intriguing to the table.  This year we had movies like CARTER, and CHRONICLE, and THE DIVIDE, and SEEKING A FRIEND AT THE END OF THE WORLD, films that aren't obvious box office hits and can still be entertaining and challenging.

Even PROMETHEUS, while being an ALIEN offshoot, had interesting things to say about where humanity came from and where it is headed.  In fact, the attachment to ALIEN may have done PROMETHEUS a disservice - the geek audience, primed to see more Xenomorph action, may not have expected the ideas that Ridley Scott, Jon Spaihts, and Damon Lindelof were throwing around.  And while it wasn't entirely successful, in my opinion, I think the fact that they tried to do something genuinely different should be applauded.

Although this has been building for several years now, I think it's movies like DISTRICT 9 and Gareth Edwards' MONSTERS, movies that are about more than just weird aliens and explosions, movies made on the cheap and yet remain incredibly cinematic, that have boosted the new science fiction into high gear.  Now we have movies like LOOPER, Rian Johnson's time travel epic, or ELYSIUM, Neill Blomkamp's new film about a future society of haves and have nots, or even Joseph Kosinski's OBLIVION, coming in a couple of years.  The Wachowskis and Tom Twyker have made CLOUD ATLAS, a film with intertwined stories from our past all the way to the far future, and what the film says about how we are all connected seems like brave and compelling storytelling.  We're even getting a new breed of giant monster movies like Gareth Edwards' GODZILLA and Guillermo del Toro's PACIFIC RIM.

Even Oscar-winning directors seem to be embracing this new movement in science fiction - Barry Levinson, of all people, has just made a found footage horror movie called THE BAY, and while the premise may seem silly on the surface, the movie actually has deep concerns about the environment and our place in it.  Steven Spielberg will be adapting ROBOPOCALYPSE, based on the novel by Daniel Wilson.  Although it's been having quite a bit of trouble with reshoots, Mark Forster's  WORLD WAR Z (based on the novel by Max Brooks), while not strictly science fiction, is an examination of a world where humanity fights for its survival and what that means for our planet.  Ang Lee is adapting LIFE OF PI, Gavin Hood is making Orson Scott Card's famous ENDER'S GAME, and Vincenzo Natali is still punching away at making William Gibson's NEUROMANCER.  Joe Cornish is adapting Neal Stephenson's SNOW CRASH, a very dense but readable book about our near future and our dependence on living online.

James Cameron is making more AVATARs, Alfonso Cuaron's GRAVITY sounds amazing, and if it works as well as we hope, will join his CHILDREN OF MEN as science fiction films full of rich intelligence as opposed to simply selling toys.  Hell, just recently Richard Garriott actually shot a science fiction short film IN SPACE. I think somewhere right now someone's getting an idea that's going to change the paradigm once again.  As special effects become more inexpensive, I think studios can take even more risks on these compelling stories and with the opening up of new filmmaking technologies that are even more immersive than ever, we could be seeing some amazing science fiction movies in the near future.  I can't wait to see them and talk about them.  For a science fiction fan like myself, this is a very exciting time.

Nordling, out.  Follow me on Twitter!

Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 12, 2012, 8:38 p.m. CST


    by zillabeast

    It's only a matter of time before you put one of them in the White Horse....

  • Sept. 12, 2012, 8:39 p.m. CST

    There's always been good science fiction.

    by Chuck

    You just have to know where to look for it.

  • They proved that people want more than remakes & sequels & cash ins of old popular franchises.

  • Sept. 12, 2012, 8:49 p.m. CST


    by Jared Parker

    why even try to compare great films like PROMETHEUS to that overrated dribble?

  • Sept. 12, 2012, 8:50 p.m. CST

    No... no... no...

    by fauns_bass_1

    ...Prometheus was a kick in the balls for science fiction. It didn't have anything interesting to say about anything and destroyed the alien mythology in one go. Fuck that fucking shitty film. Where is Dredd on your list? Best sci-fi film this year.

  • Sept. 12, 2012, 8:50 p.m. CST

    Avatar "original and wild"?

    by Thunderbolt Ross

    Errrr. Ok.

  • Sept. 12, 2012, 8:55 p.m. CST

    Other science fiction films that need to be made

    by Turd_Is_Floating_Underneath_The_Gravy

    Spielberg's Interstellar, Ghost in the Shell, and Chocky. Ridley Scott's The Forever War and Brave New World. Maybe even the Jon Spaits' scripts 'Shadow 19' (although parts may have been used for Prometheus or its follow up, Paradise) or 'Passengers'. Somebody should take Isaac Asimov's 'Foundation' away from Roland Emmerich and give it to a real filmmaker. Peter Jackson should bite the bullet and direct Halo himself. Maybe he should even try to acquire the rights to Dune; anybody but Peter Berg.

  • Sept. 12, 2012, 8:56 p.m. CST

    Not going to argue with your main thrust, Nordling, but...

    by Red Ned Lynch

    ...a lot of the movies on your list at least have the appearance of being just the usual whiz-bang (although not sequels, and possibly good whiz-bang) and others are delicate. I'm sure you've read both Ender's Game and Snowcrash, so I'm sure you have the same trepidation about whether they can be adapted successfully as I do. For either to work the makers of the films will have to be at once capable of being very faithful to the ideas that powered these works and able to translate them in an interesting fashion to a visual medium. And with Snowcrash there's also the possibility (since so much that was fictiony in the book is just plain old sciency now) that there could be a been there, seen that reaction. Now if someone would tackle The Diamond Age...

  • Sept. 12, 2012, 8:56 p.m. CST

    Depends on how far you stretch the term Science Fiction..

    by tailhook

    after all.. this article throws out Seeking a Friend at the End of the World. So because the world is going to end, its SF? I guess that makes The Bible Science Fiction.

  • Sept. 12, 2012, 8:58 p.m. CST

    Avatar was vastly superior to Prometheus (which was far from 'great')

    by Turd_Is_Floating_Underneath_The_Gravy

    and led the way for this revival of the genre. Hail Avatar!!!! Cameron is King!!!

  • Sept. 12, 2012, 9 p.m. CST

    And Don't Forget About Television

    by Crow3711

    Scifi is always blowing up and reincarnation itself in new and interesting ways on tv. Sometimes it's wildly popular (lost, xfiles) usually its not, but there's always something fascinating to watch if you look. It may only be a season or two, but it's there. Scifi thrives on tv often


  • Sept. 12, 2012, 9:02 p.m. CST

    I love all the Alien movies

    by DrGogol

    ...even Part IV. But Prometheus made them all look extremely unimaginative for focusing on the Xenomorphs. "Why" is a much more interesting question than "what".

  • Sept. 12, 2012, 9:08 p.m. CST

    When did it become cool to diss Star Wars?

    by bat725

    The OT is still leagues beyond most of the movies mentioned. Don't get me wrong, they're great films, but, I'm not on the "fuck Star Wars" bandwagon. And, PLEASE, I'm not saying other movies need to be like more like Star Wars, but, if you think Avatar or Prometheus is better than the OT, then you need to hook me up with your weed dealer, 'cause I needs me some of THAT shit!

  • Sept. 12, 2012, 9:10 p.m. CST

    Also, Epislon Sounds a Lot Like Battkestar Falactica

    by Crow3711

  • Sept. 12, 2012, 9:10 p.m. CST

    Also, Epislon Sounds a Lot Like Battkestar Falactica

    by Crow3711

  • ...right there, with 2001, The Terminator, Blade Runner, Wrath of Khan, The Thing, etc. Both those movies re-wired my brain, and I put them above any film of any genre since the turn of the millennium.

  • Sept. 12, 2012, 9:14 p.m. CST

    Prometheus talk makes me happy. Keep it up.

    by adeceasedfan

  • Sept. 12, 2012, 9:15 p.m. CST

    We need a Thundarr The Barbarian Movie!

    by plisskenman

    C'mon Hollywood, make it so!

  • For those who just want gunslinging, alien busting action in space...well I'm not saying there isn't room for that as my fav film is Aliens but let's demand more from Hollywood when it comes to challenging science fiction. When was the last time you sat entranced by the 'what-if's' posited by such films as 'Pi', Primer or even Twelve Monkeys!

  • ...I agree that the technology available will eventually open up the genre even further, though. But 00's weren't better than the '80's in terms of sci-fi. Close to par, but not better.

  • which, interestingly, was surrounded by what were equally serious, if not less remembered, films on the subject of consciousness and virtual reality with the likes of Cronenberg's "eXistence" and "The Thirteenth Floor." And only a year or so earlier we had a similar Messianic sci-fi parable with the fascinateing throwback to German Expressionism, "Dark City." '99 was also the year of "Fight Club," which while you wouldn't find it in the Sci-Fi corner of the video store, it did have the marginality and subversive tone, the punk attitude, that many Science Fiction fans recognize with warmth and familiarity. And it also delved into issues of the split persona, the questionable reality, and a modern divided man which are trademarks of science fiction since its inception. That brief period was deeply exciting for some, and yet what became the most prevalent remnant of its bright yet momentary flourishing was the mind-bending visual aesthetic set up in "the Matrix" and copied to ad naseum by the mainstream. So to see a resurgeance, but this time with a focus on the quality of the idea and not merely the image, is yet again a glimmer of hope that once again an age of originality and spontaneity in Hollywood is possible once again.

  • Sept. 12, 2012, 9:27 p.m. CST

    Ringworld needs to be made

    by Islandboltfan

    Can't you just see Andy Serkis playing a Pierson's Puppeteer? Or maybe not. Either way, seeing the Ringworld itself in IMAX would be worth the ticket.

  • Sept. 12, 2012, 9:31 p.m. CST

    It's a great time to be a sci-fi fan

    by jimmy_009

  • saw it 3 times loved the concept of looking for answers about where humans came from.

  • Sept. 12, 2012, 9:33 p.m. CST

    Cloud Atlas looks like pure hokum to me.

    by jimmy_009

    a film with intertwined stories from our past all the way to the far future, and what the film says about how we are all connected seems like brave and compelling storytelling.

  • Sept. 12, 2012, 9:37 p.m. CST

    Inception, anybody?

    by maxwello

    I find it hard to believe this hasn't made the list yet. Glad to see Dark City get a mention. Iwould include Pi and Memento as part of this renaissance, as well.

  • ...which will serve no purpose what so ever if the sequel has no use for LV-223.

  • Sept. 12, 2012, 9:40 p.m. CST

    Even John Carter brought something new and intrigueing to the table

    by DeckardB26354

    Stopped reading at that point.

  • Sept. 12, 2012, 9:46 p.m. CST

    i'm gonna beat the same old drum

    by Monnie Knapp

    Those of you who hate Avatar, Prometheus, or any other film: it's ok. It really is gonna be ok. We liked it, you didn't, and that's fine. You don't have to shit a brick at the mere mention of these pictures, just watch a movie you do like.

  • Sept. 12, 2012, 9:48 p.m. CST

    You just HAD to shoe horn John Carter didn't you?

    by knowthyself

    God what a piece of shit film. Let it die already. It brought nothing but cliche's and poor performances to the table.

  • Sept. 12, 2012, 9:53 p.m. CST

    Prometheus was PSEUDOscience-fiction

    by Hardboiled Wonderland

    boom tish.

  • Sept. 12, 2012, 9:59 p.m. CST

    Weyland-Yutani must be behind it all. (Hint: Ridley is an android.)

    by ChaunceyGardiner

  • Sept. 12, 2012, 10:02 p.m. CST

    I cannot and will not malign the prequels

    by Superponte

    Were they perfect? No film is. Were they as good as OT. Not to me, but neither did they rape my childhood. They were good movies. Nothing more, nothing less. Those 3 films, plus the SEs, did a heck of a lot to push the boundaries of Special effects in cinema. Special effects that all of these new films are using without a 2nd thought. I give props to Lucas and ILM for pushing the boundaries 10 years ago. As in the revolutions of the late 70's and 80's, Star Wars led the way.

  • Sept. 12, 2012, 10:04 p.m. CST

    video games

    by 1Iwilly

    Sci fi has been flourishing in video games for a couple decades now, and whether brilliant or derivative, a whole generation of kids are growing up attuned to the genre. I agree that the best sci fi has been "on the cheap". I'm having trouble thinking of many great original movies with huge budgets. Not that there aren't shitty cheap scifi, but the great ones have passion and an excess of creativity to overcome the budgetary restraints.

  • We are living in a golden age.

  • Sept. 12, 2012, 10:09 p.m. CST

    No arguments about most of the list

    by tomdolan04

    and Prometheus isnt as bad as many make out but christ Attack The Block is fucking horrible.

  • Sept. 12, 2012, 10:11 p.m. CST

    Was there ever a time when it wasn't?

    by JediRob

    Nice enough article but, there's always been plenty of stuff around.

  • Sept. 12, 2012, 10:11 p.m. CST

    So, Epsilon

    by zer0cool2k2

    is a cinematic take on ron Moore's Battlestar Galactica...

  • In what era could you not find that many good "science fiction" movies? And with as many good ones, how many bad ones come along?

  • It seemed to me that as the background got progressively crazier she became calmer and more passive. Like we were watching her breakdown from the inside. The world coming to an end was just a cinematic way of showing her final break with reality. Or was this completely obvious to everyone else and I'm just the last one on the bus.

  • Sept. 12, 2012, 10:20 p.m. CST

    Too bad the days of Star Wars are gone.

    by Saltoner

    I don't understand the meaning of that sentence? Is that a bad or good thing? It is too bad those days are gone. I agree, how do you define the term Science Fiction as a film genre? For me, with a million and 1 genres to brand your film by, sci-fi is NOT a zombie movie (WWZ),or a gaining super powers movie (Chronicle), or a Calvin and Hobbs tale (Life of Pi), nor is the "horror" movie The Bay one either. Why? Because it's a fucking HORROR movie! And while Bay loses sight of what could really be an epic sci-fi tale of the Transformers plight, the first one and many other ideas in 2 and 3 are really cool, fun movies. Granted, it is shaping up to be an astounding next few years for sci-fi fans, especially with Pacific Rim and Elysium happening soon, but we've never been devoid of good sci-fi films for any extended period of time.

  • Sept. 12, 2012, 10:26 p.m. CST

    Attack the Block was one of the WORST films of last year.

    by Atomike2

    Horrible. Just horrible.

  • Not that it couldn't be good being that it is similar to something that came before. Or perhaps there are some other aspects to the story that make it more unique, and the basic log line is not able to convey those elements. Speaking of BSG, Bryan Singer is making another version of BSG in the near future. So add another one to the list of sci-fi flicks on the near horizon.

  • Riddley Scott should retire. Lindelof's script was ass.

  • Sept. 12, 2012, 10:32 p.m. CST

    Would lov a fim/series based around on the sitchns 12 planet books

    by TheAwareness

  • Sept. 12, 2012, 10:33 p.m. CST

    Would love a flim/series based around sitchns The 12th planet books

    by TheAwareness

  • Maybe we'll see the old two movies with the same kinds of concepts thing a few years from now when the Ringworld and Halo movies are duking it out at the box office?

  • who i wish would have directed the prequels Executive Produced by George lucas Produced by Gary Kurtz Phantom menace:Steven Spielberg Attack of the Clones:Terry Gilliam Revenge of the Sith: George Miller

  • Sept. 12, 2012, 10:49 p.m. CST

    will pretty tired guys bare with me

    by TheAwareness

  • Example: look at how some refer to John Carpenter's three films The Thing, Prince of Darkness, and In the Mouth of Madness as his Apocalypse Trilogy. I suppose the most famous of this approach to science fiction cinema would be the Planet of the Apes films. Yes some of the films carried over a character or two, but overall they always felt like they were jumping into new territory and going for broke in that regard. Even though none of the sequels topped the original 1968 film, I give them credit for what they attempted with some of those films. Then there is Mad Max. The series takes a pretty drastic shift in the sequels from the *on the edge of collapse* tone of the first film. It goes from a more down and dirty dystopic future western into the mythic post apocalyptic territory of The Road Warrior and Beyond Thunderdome. The thing is we aren't given a ton of dates and all that, and Max looks about the same age from Mad Max to Mad Max 2 (The Road Warrior). I like that it gives us a more mysterious world and only a little bit of detail on when things might have fully collapsed. I guess Prometheus was a recent step in this direction. They finally realized they could do a movie in the Alienverse without having to center it on Ripley. I'd love to see this approach taken on some new big scale science fiction films. With science fiction, oftentimes we are dealing with vast timescales and a cosmic scope, so perhaps being stuck with a few characters because of movie star status or franchise obligations is not always the right way to continue a story? To some extent I guess I'm saying at times they should eave all that *it must be canon* and *how much to pay Labeouf or RDJ for the sequel* nonsense to the big explosion filled FX pornos and superhero flicks, or adaptations that are already using a well established storyline as the film's plot and structure.

  • Sept. 12, 2012, 10:56 p.m. CST

    Sure, Nordling.

    by MikeTheSpike

    Just what is a "rich cinematic theme," by the way? Or did you just pull that term out of your ass to sound smart?

  • Sept. 12, 2012, 10:58 p.m. CST

    Prometheus being related to Alien had a LOT to do with its problems.

    by Shermdawg

    Like I said nearly everything in the second half was a plot device for the new Xeno, without the Alien retread they could've spent more time going into the Jockeys, the backstory of the the temple, the goos, the apparent worship of the Xenomorphs, and character development which suffered because of it. They had a story with Aliens, hired Lindelof to remove those Alien elements while pretty much keeping the same story which not only needlessly complicated matters and shifted focus away from the more interesting elements of the story all while presenting characters and situations more absurd than even AVP's level of absurdity as well as write themselves into a corner of returning to the planet they just left, when there was really no need to. Poor script, yes.....but I doubt Damon, or even Ridley are to blame for this. Sounds like their idea was met with hesitation from Rothman and they kept elements intact to make it seem familiar but ultimately it's those elements that hurt it.

  • Sept. 12, 2012, 10:58 p.m. CST

    And it works for much more than just those three films.

    by ChaunceyGardiner

  • Sept. 12, 2012, 10:59 p.m. CST

    Very exciteing.

    by ChaunceyGardiner

  • Sept. 12, 2012, 10:59 p.m. CST

    I wouldn't call out "District 9" as being made "on the cheap" end...

    by ufoclub1977

  • That's very exciting, I hope they all do well so they keep them coming.

  • Sept. 12, 2012, 11:01 p.m. CST

    Melancholia was a piece of shit

    by billcom6

    Unless watching totally unrelatable, unrealistic, and uninteresting characters mope around is your thing...

  • And it looked better than a lot of sci-fi films north of a $150 million budget.

  • I like that notion though, of a series of films being what I call a *conceptual trilogy* more than a canonical one. Not that every series needs to go that route, but perhaps it could save us from some disappointing sequels in the future? As much as I like some of what Alien 3 and Alien Resurrection had to offer, overall they pale compared to Alien and Aliens, which gave us a great two-film character arc for Ripley. At the end of Aliens her story was pretty much complete. So there is a great example of a franchise that at a certain point, maybe needs to introduce new characters to continue to explore and expand upon the same concepts of the initial films. Going back to the Mad Max films, initially there was speculation that Tom Hardy would be a new road warrior (maybe the feral child grown up) that takes up the mantle of the legendary Max. I love that idea, but most likely he'll play the same Max. Not that it dooms the film, but I like the notion of not always continuing with the same characters, especially when recasting for the role due to the original actor's age or willingness to return. I think we'd get wilder and more unique films this way, especially in the science fiction genre.

  • -- already released Deus Ex: Human Revolution Syndicate Binary Domain Hard Reset -- upcoming Cyberpunk RPG Remember Me Shadowrun (Kickstarter one) Watch Dogs

  • Sept. 12, 2012, 11:19 p.m. CST

    Tiger! Tiger!

    by Bill

    I wish HBO would take a shot at mini-series based on Alfred Bester's book aka The Stars, My Destination

  • Sept. 12, 2012, 11:20 p.m. CST

    Star Wars = Sci-Fantasy, not true Sci-Fi

    by Bill Kilgore

    Source Code was ( imho ) one of the best Sci-Fi films of the last few years, along with Moon and District 9. Inception was more of a psychological thriller than true Sci-Fi, but still kept me engaged and entertained. Avatar just didn't float my boat. Impressive graphics, but Mr. Cameron could have employed them in the service of a better story. Haven't seen Prometheus, so I have no opinion. Nothing compares with 2001: A Space Odyssey for me. That film serves as my benchmark, and I'm still waiting ( forty-two years later ) for its equal.

  • Sept. 12, 2012, 11:23 p.m. CST

    MOON might be the best of all those movies

    by seymour_scagnetti

    Now that's how ya do science fiction.

  • Sept. 12, 2012, 11:30 p.m. CST

    Most every prequel is pretty unsatisfying, Star Wars or otherwise...

    by ThulsaBoom

    Cover your heart! Cover your heart!

  • That one would be fun to see as a film. It isn't the most epic mind blowing science fiction novel, but it is a clever concept and really a fun read.

  • Sept. 12, 2012, 11:38 p.m. CST

    A.I. ending...

    by BubbaDestructo

    ...was/is missed by so many non-geeks. They are not aliens. They are advanced mecha. Advanced artificial intelligence.

  • ...and now, "Cover your heart! Cover your heart!"

  • Sept. 12, 2012, 11:40 p.m. CST

    Science Fiction films they should make... but probably won't...

    by delvarner

    Rendezvous With Rama (c'mon Morgan Freeman!) - Arthur C. Clarke The Mote in God's Eye - Pournelle and Niven The Boat of a Million Years - Poul Anderson Gateway - Frederick Pohl A Canticle for Leibowitz - Walter Miller Lord of Light - Roger Zelazny Startide Rising - David Brin

  • Sept. 12, 2012, 11:47 p.m. CST

    District 9 has become one of my favorite films of all time

    by Inexplicable_Nuclear_Balls

    For me, the hallmark of great cinema is a movie I can watch over and over but never tire of it. D9 is waaaaaaay up there on that short list. There's a ton if lightning in that bottle... I really hope we don't get a sequel. Just let it be a glorious stand-alone gem. Also, add me to those who don't get the Star Wars hate. I can understand being burned out on some aspects due to the prequels, but the OT is likely why 90% or better of us are here having this discussion today. Almost every movie made nowadays, sci-fi or not, owes something to the multitude of trails blazed by the trilogy. Hell, Star Wars ultimately begat Photoshop (as an in-house ILM tool)... think where we would be without that. I feel pretty blessed to be living through these times. How many of us geeks and nerds ever thought Comic-Con would become fucking mainstream? I say we just be happy and enjoy the ride. However, Jar Jar still sucks.

  • ...Star Wars, Terminator: Salvation, they couldn't even make a funny Dumb & Dumber prequel. Am I forgetting any good, modern prequels? Unless you count Batman Begins, and Rise of the Planet of the Apes. I think of them as remakes.

  • Sept. 12, 2012, 11:48 p.m. CST

    And, the Godfather Part II is not a prequel. It's half sequel.

    by ThulsaBoom

    The Godfather is above the prequel genre, IMHO.

  • Sept. 12, 2012, 11:52 p.m. CST

    Re: A.I. ending.

    by boogel

    To this day I won't watch that final scene with the shape shifting robo things. As the camera pulls away from the boy at the bottom of the ocean is where I press stop. The ending has always felt tacked on to me.

  • Sept. 12, 2012, 11:57 p.m. CST

    Oh, and thumbs up Old Mans War

    by boogel

    If you could keep a director from trying to turn it into an anti-war film I'm all for it. I'm just afraid that in the wrong hands we would get a "can't we all just get along" "see mans inhumanity" preachfest.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 12:17 a.m. CST

    Sorry, District 9 SUCKED!

    by Bob

    I made it about 35 minutes, and then spent the rest of the time fast forwarding through the rest of it. For an ending that was just fucking awful as well. Still don't understand the Oscar nom.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 12:21 a.m. CST

    What is this... A Pep Rally for Sci-Fi

    by ass clown

    While its nice that sci-fi is having its day again in cinema, let's not forget that Hollywood still prefers well marketed crap with a good trailer over an actually well made movie.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 12:25 a.m. CST

    The days of Star Wars are gone

    by John Brown

    That's an incredibly sad but true statement. I'm not sure what relevance it has to this article, though. I never considered Star Wars to be sci-fi, it was a space western. I consider "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" to be my first experience with sci-fi.

  • and my family hit stop in the same spot.

  • The battle for great film is far, FAR from over.

  • If movies like Source Code, Moon, Sunshine, Another Earth, can be derided on AICN and virtually ignored at the BO and even worse, DERIDED on this site, I'm inclined to say that most people here aren't interested in good SF. Seach out the old talkback about Sunshine where I had the "audacity" to suggest that we should support genre cinema that attempts to be thoughtful. You'll figure out real quick why I think the lot of people on here are nitwits that aren't happy with anything. I'm ecstatic there have been so many great sci fi movies lately. Bring em on! I for one won't be complaining about it.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 12:44 a.m. CST

    Hey! He forget to mention 'BATTLESHIP'

    by Raptor Jesus

    I'm sure it was just an oversight.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 12:51 a.m. CST

    Raptor, well played son.

    by Playkins

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 1:04 a.m. CST

    @playkins-Good call on sunshine. That was a fun flick.

    by ThulsaBoom

    Thought the first half was more fun than the second, but I'll never forget Michele Yeoh in anti-gravity. Chilling.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 1:11 a.m. CST

    Prometeus was a god-awful mess

    by Faustous_

    How anyone could point to the many plot-holes, inconsistencies, poor character development (or none i should say), amateur hour science v. theology debate, illogical actions (from fucking scientists in the field!!!), ill-defined rules (black goo), etc...found in that movie and consider it watchable? Checking your brain at the door for Bay movies I can take (since I don't take him seriously as an artist anyway) but I expect more from a Ridley Scott movie. I'm all for tackling large themes like creation, humanity, God, etc in a sci-fi movie but for fuck's sake hire a serious fucking writer next time. As it stands, Ridley's beautiful images are window dressing on a turd.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 1:30 a.m. CST

    The aim is to be Inception

    by niven

    An highly original sci fi, directed by the cream of the crop, and it's still happening...great talent who have the budget making great genre films and it can only get better as their films get more attention, they get more money do a couple of studio films, we might get some good superhero flicks out of them and then we get them doing high budget sci fi...that's the aim, for someone like Rian Johnson, Joseph Kosinski, Neil Blomkamp, Duncan Jones to get absolute carte blance the way Nolan has....we have the greatest group of directors in this generation since the 70's and they are all receiving mainstream very very excited.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 1:56 a.m. CST

    Nordling an EMPIRE-reader?

    by Roderich

    Because this article seems very much inspired by this feature on EMPIRE's website:

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 2:03 a.m. CST

    The Importance of Spectacle

    by Ben Chaney

    Couldn't agree with you more, Nordling. I feel like I've been waiting for these kinds of movies for a long time. Fed at fleeting intervals by the trickle of new, high concept IP over the past years. District 9, Prometheus, Serenity (Firefly Series of course included), and Minority Report to name a few. Though honestly, I find it kind of sad that I had to really think just now to dredge those up out of memory...I'm sure I'm remiss on a few glaring examples. I feel like we've tasted what high-calibur Sci-Fi is, and people are discovering that they're hungry for more. Which leads me to my topic. The great thing about these kinds of movies is that they're written, arguably, with greater attention to message and concept while using their effects to not just dazzle, but deepen our excitement for those concepts and dare us to imagine new applications for their messages. Why else would so many inventions and technologies be inspired by Science Fiction? Because it dares to have the audacity to show us something extraordinary that COULD be. The empathy we have with the characters (facilitated by better character development and plot dynamics) roots us deeper in the constructed worlds. People are attracted to the spectacle, yes, but the writing keeps them thinking about the story. Dreaming about the characters. Thinking about what they might have done in the characters' places. And with technology evolving the way it is (, we should all be thinking about what will be possible in the future. I hope that Sci Fi will be better, more publicly recognized as a fantastic vehicle to do just that. Due chiefly to the fact that it can show us the humanity in human evolution. ((Nerd rant complete))

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 2:06 a.m. CST

    I thought Prometheus was good. *spoilers*

    by Chain

    I thought it was interesting Shaw kept hammering the question why did they want to kill us if they created us. What happened to make them change their minds? And I can't get over the engineers reaction to when he saw her crucifix. And wasn't there a mural of the crucifix with one of them on the cross on the ceiling in the main room? And she said he'd been in stasis for about 2000 years.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 2:10 a.m. CST

    Carter and Source Code? But not Sunshine?

    by E. D.

    Kind of upside down there, chief. Not to mention Sunshine also had one the very best scores of any movie.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 2:11 a.m. CST

    For anyone who claims Star Wars is not Science Fiction

    by Rick Webb

    Space Opera and Sci-Fi Fantasy are subgenres of Science Fiction. Saying Star Wars isn't Science Fiction is analogous to claiming that a chimp is not an animal because it's a primate.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 2:42 a.m. CST

    Nordling - Great article.

    by hallmitchell

    Real Sci Fi has been dead for ages. District 9 for me was the starting point of the new wave. Nineties sucked for Sci Fi

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 2:45 a.m. CST

    This is the topic to beat as a magnet for B.S.

    by justmyluck

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 2:53 a.m. CST


    by This_is_the_Zodiac_speaking

    justyouwait until asimovlives/scirocco shows up.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 3:09 a.m. CST

    2009 does not exist in this dojo

    by Cobra--Kai

    Nordling this renaissance you mention has not been driven by micro budget movies Gareth Edwards MONSTERS or ATTACK THE BLOCK - films that hardly anyone saw (and those that did see them were ALREADY sci fi genre fans). It actually began in 2009 - this was the turning point and a powerhouse year for sci fi cinema which saw releases of AVATAR, STAR TREK, DISTRICT 9, TERMINATOR SALVATION and MOON. Im suprised you didnt pick up on this zeitgeist. Also as happybunni points out above - aicn wrote opinion pieces about JOHN CARTER, saying that if fans didnt support this movie then sci fi cinema would be dead. Well, this article youve written today proves that you and your colleagues were wrong back then. Big time wrong. One other point youre wrong on Nordling, is you mention LIFE OF PI as an upcoming sci fi film. Its not sci fi genre in any shape or form. Thats a mistake you might want to correct in your article.

  • I can't recall a movie where the Pocahontas tale was set in space. I'm saying movies, sinc ei'm sure it could had happened before in book form.

  • And since so many of them do seem to hold quite a lot of promise, this is double satisfying. And if it seems I'm too harsh on recently made SF movies like "Prometheus", it's because i want the best for my most beloved genre. SF has long since outgrew being a childish juvenile genre only interested in stuff blowing up and simplistic stories, so it better the movies keep up. SF is always at it's best when it's intelligent and shows a mirror to our world, to the times we are living. Escapism can also be smart and topical. It once happened with Star Trek, it can happen to the rest of the genre. And it could happen to Star Trek again. I want to believe there is a SF renascence going on in cinema. Let's see if that's so.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 3:38 a.m. CST

    @Mr foles36

    by albert comin

    Correct me if i'm wrong, but i think i once read somewhere that "Forbidden Planet" was a major inspiration for Star Trek. I rewatched FP recently and the thing that keep poping to my head was "this is like a Star Trek movie made before Star Trek". That FP took much of it's inspiration from Shakespeare's The Tempest is a cool thing, sinc eit means it had a literary inspiration. I'd like to see more SF made today with such literary inspirations, instead of being inspired by the latest sucessful explosion-movie.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 3:41 a.m. CST

    John Carter > Inception

    by CuervoJones

    Estos son mis cojones.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 3:44 a.m. CST

    @Mr cobra--kai

    by albert comin

    I think Nordling made an honest mistake. Many people lump SF and fantasy in the same bag. Part of the reason why Star Wars is for some considered pure SF without a second though, i'm sure. And of course, notice that the majority of publications dedicated to SF also feature fantasy works. And truth be told, some SF is hard to distinguish from fantasy. The two genres seem to be connected by the hip like siamese twins.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 4:20 a.m. CST

    What was the point of this article?

    by Dollar Bird

    To say that scifi is having a renaissance? To drum up excitement for upcoming films? To list some movies Nordling liked in the past handful of years? Honestly, anyone who thinks that science fiction is suddenly popular now has a very myopic view of history. And anyone who is claiming "the geeks have won" or some other such nonsense only wants to feel like they're more important than they really are. For crying out loud, fantastic fiction has been a staple of human storytelling for centuries, if not longer. And don't give me any of that "but, we're talking HARD SCIFI here, man," because I don't think that "hard scifi" has any more potential to say anything new or interesting about the human condition than "space opera" or "fantasy" or "lit fic" or "fairy tales." The quality comes from the storyteller and their story. I'm sure all of us could come up with a "hard scifi" plot (What if we were all neurologically hooked up to the cloud and could download each other's emotions? [gee, never heard that one before...] or What if someone made an artificial person? [another new idea] or whatever) but only some of us would think of something interesting to do with that plot. I wish people wouldn't delude themselves into thinking they're living in some golden era. There are always good and bad of all kinds of stories around. 20 years ago we had the likes of JURASSIC PARK, BILL AND TED, and FREEJACK, all within a few years of each other. And I'd say the quality of those three films reflects the varying quality of what we see today. Nothing changes as much as you'd think.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 4:23 a.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    Still, LIFE OF PI is a Rudyard Kipling-esque tale of a boy on a lifeboat with a tiger. Nothing sci fi about it. At. All.

  • Had to get that in lol. But its also true. Forgot the last good sci movie, Prometheus was great tho.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 4:49 a.m. CST

    I regret not seeing JOHN CARTER in theaters

    by adml_shake

    It wasn't anywhere as bad as I was lead to believe. My friends and I enjoyed it a lot when we finally all got around to seeing it.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 5:33 a.m. CST

    Just hoping Altered Carbon will turn out OK

    by John Emdall

    got realtive high hopes for this one. the blend of noir and SF could work out great

  • There was the planet invasion story, the prison on a diff. volcanoe planet story & the third Necromonga story, all in one film. That's why it doesn't work as an entire film but also why it's cool silly fun and there's nothing else like it. But no one got it. I would have been up for seeing some Underverse nobility space vampires ( u know they've got a major vampire thing going on) hunting down our can't catch a break outlaw hero in a futuristic space city on another civilisation planet as a third or half story in another chronicles myself! Ha! In general, the period around the prequels was a pretty good time for sci-fi/fantasy films rolling out.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 5:43 a.m. CST

    What are you blathering about?

    by James

    This article is pointless. I see that some of these upcoming movies are based on novels, Nordling. Care to spoil them for us?

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 5:47 a.m. CST

    Did someone say exciting Science Fiction?

    by Leo Payne

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 6:07 a.m. CST

    Thulsaboom - Not really ...

    by The StarWolf

    I can't speak to CHILDREN OF MEN as I haven't seen it - too busy - but I did see DISTRICT 9 and it was simply awful. None of the ideas made the least bit of sense. I realize that science fiction often requires some 'suspension of disbelief', but this one requires one to, in the words of one reviewer, open up one's head, pull out the brain, throw it on the ground and stomp it into insensibility. For example, humans giving up on a Holy Grail (interstellar travel) because the ship is designed to be operated by ETs? Beyond ridiculous. Humans would spend lifetimes trying to reverse engineer the PRINCIPLES on which it worked, and then redesign it such that humans could operate it. End of problem. Or that alien weapons would be stored downtown. Right, just like storing nukes in downtown New York and then having them guarded by rent-a-cops. Utter nonsense. And so on. As the film progressed, I was finding myself thinking more and more "Who wrote this drivel?" It was worse than INCEPTION which, itself, was pretty terrible in terms of an idea that didn't make sense, was internally inconsistent, with characters which were generally dislikable.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 6:12 a.m. CST

    cobra--kai - MOON has more holes than the real thing

    by The StarWolf

    Just the 'Big Reveal' alone had me blinking in disbelief. It made no sense. Zero. Nada. The expense in keeping that going would have to be wildly more than the alternative which I won't mention to keep it spoiler free. Not to mention the fact that, if they can mount an operation on that scale, the idea that it could be kept going without a single visitor from another base just makes no sense either. Another example of a film where the basic concept isn't bad, but the execution is wretched.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 6:20 a.m. CST

    Oblivion looks interesting...

    by Darkness

    I thoroughly enjoyed the directors last effort "Tron Legacy". It was pure hokum, and the visuals were the best i had seen in a while. "Inception" and "Melancholia" were a bizarre adrenalin shot into the genres arm, because of the esoteric nature of their narratives; keeping one foot in reality -showing us the world through someones dreams and the other in a fucked up depressive state. This made them more intriguing. Oh and "Attack The Block" was awful. As soon as one of those kids opened his mouth and that generic chav vocabulary spilled out - it ruined the entire movie.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 6:59 a.m. CST

    Sorry, but...EPSILON and MOON? Good sci fi? Seriously???

    by Michael Morning

    EPSILON pretty much steals the plot of Battlestar Galactica and MOON was utter shit.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 7:01 a.m. CST

    I am so goddamn excited

    by Jackson

    This is gonna be legendary

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 7:01 a.m. CST

    starwolf -- you are on the money with MOON

    by Michael Morning

    MOON was appallingly awful. It was full of pregnant pauses and stupid dialogue. The character just didn't behave like a normal person. It was waaaaayyyyy too much of an indie movie and the "reveal" I saw coming from a mile away.

  • This just thinking it sucks...doesn't make it so. And you stating what you think...isn't going to do anything to change other people's views. Did you REALLY think you could waltz in, say "nope, Avatar SUCKS!" and people would go "oh, you know what? I was wrong - you sir, are correct - it indeed sucks. I don't know what I was thinking." That never happens. It will never happen. So what is the purpose of coming in and saying stupid shit like that? I'll tell you why you do it. You do it because you are desperate to be heard. Desperate for affirmation of your pathetic opinion and existence. Truth is, nobody ever gave a fuck what you said or thought. Just helping you realize that. Say Avatar, Prometheus, etc, sucked all you want. Keeeeep saying it. It wont change the fact that other people DO love it, and here's the kicker: they aren't wrong simply because you dont agree. So...try something novel - shutting the fuck up, for instance. It'll serve you well and you'll look less like a colossal fucking piece of shit bent on shitting all over everything.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 7:03 a.m. CST

    Starwolf -- but way off the mark on INCEPTION and DISTRICT 9

    by Michael Morning

    DISTRICT 9 was my favorite movie that year. And while I didn't think INCEPTION was the second coming, I thought it was very well done and thought out.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 7:14 a.m. CST

    PROMETHEUS fucking sucked

    by Rupee88

    But we'll never get more sci-fi movies until there are smarter people to go see them and that ain't happening anytime soon. Instead they release a new horror movie every weekend for the dopey teens (and dopey adults) to go see...sigh..

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 7:15 a.m. CST


    by Rupee88

    I'm glad people are keeping it real here and people liking Prometheus is like the Holocaust and if no one speaks up to challenge that, there is truly no hope for humanity.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 7:17 a.m. CST

    Whose the most responsible for the travesty that was Prometheus?

    by Volllllume3

    Scott or Lindelof?

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 7:29 a.m. CST

    I wish Hollywood would make a movie out of my sci-fi books ...

    by unclemonty666

    ... then I could retire, get rid of the wife, and get fat(ter). One day ....

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 7:36 a.m. CST

    So many cool Sci-Fi films get anounced but never made.

    by The Outlander

    I'm still waiting for live action films of Akira, Ghost in The Shell, Battle Angel, Evangelion, Halo, Gears of War, Mass Effect, Foundation, Rendezvous With Rama, Dune, The Black Hole, Logan's Run, When World Collide, UFO, Battlestar Galactica, The Last Starfighter and so many others I've forgotten. Yes I know most of these are remakes, but still I would love to live in a world where all of these films had been made, not just announced.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 7:41 a.m. CST

    @wcolbert: this should make your head spin...

    by ATARI

    I loved Avatar, and can't wait for more movies to be made. <br> <br> But Prometheus, it sucked. It really did. I was a jumbled mess with plot holes you can drive a Mack truck through and massive character inconsistencies.<br> Most disappointing movie I've seen in a long long time.<br>

  • It's one of the best sci-fi films ever, but one of the most overlooked. It is in the same pantheon as 2001 and Bladerunner.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 7:59 a.m. CST


    by Sandy

    Robots that had a war with humans, haven't been seen in a while and have been working on a pseudo human to infiltrate human society? Sounds a bit like the Battlestar Galactica remake series to me. Hated that series. Dark, dreary, boring, with bad ship designs that look like motorcycle parts, and not enough of the 'real' cylons. Hopefully the movie won't suck, but probably will. Seriously looking forward to Bryan Singer's film based on the ORIGINAL (and still the best) series. Oblivion looks great. Avatar 2, 3, 4, ad nauseam: Because there were so many unanswered questions in the first (lame rip-off of a half dozen other properties) film.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 8:02 a.m. CST

    Own up,Who hacked nordlings account?

    by JohnWayneWasGay

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 8:08 a.m. CST

    Bugeininpo - How is INCEPTION good?

    by The StarWolf

    I'm not a sleep expert (other than indulging in the activity) but even I know that sleep study after sleep study has disproved the 'time flows differently in a dream than in real life' thing. So the central aspect of the film is shot down before it even leaves the starting gate. But let's say it does work that way. OK. But why should it also work that way for a dream within a dream? They've already established that the laws of physics don't apply in dreams, so why should the laws of dreaming apply? Cruddy logic at best, set up because the plot requires it. Bad writing is what it is. And then there's the central character who lies to his team, telling them they'll have a safe way out when there isn't because he really wants to do this and doesn't want to give them an excuse to back out. Not to mention their comment about "if you do 'A', then bad thing 'B' happens ..." until it is inconvenient to the plot and they can do 'A' without 'B' being a problem. Which ties in well with the director going out of his way right at the beginning of the film to show that anything one sees could be part of a dream, at which point why should we care? Because what happens in a dream can affect them in real life? Oops, no, go back to the part about "... without 'B' being a problem." Or when they run away because they don't want to risk causing problems with the dreamer. Er, they've got guys with submachine guns chasing after them. How could anything they do possible make things worse? The film had an intriguing premise - sharing and interacting in dreams - but what the writer(s)/director did with the idea was a load of rubbish which, to this viewer at least, made it less of a dream and more of a nightmare.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 8:12 a.m. CST


    by DannyOcean01

    Who's going to make that? I know Scorsese was developing it years ago, but nothing since. Would love to see the Shrike onscreen.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 8:14 a.m. CST


    by shatnerd enjoy ideas and philosophy. If you enjoy talking about movies after the credits roll, you should find this one to be rich, my friends. LOTS of fascinating connections to be made if you care to take time and pay attention. If you are just looking for a sci-fi action flick, the beats are all wrong. It isn't built to be an action movie or a horror movie: it is a think-piece. And as such, it is FANTASTIC.

  • And of course, Attack the Block gets a mention in this new enlightened age. Really, come on. It was an ok film but nothing special. I'm surprized that Edgar Wright can walk down the street with the collective tongues of Aintitcool up his arse. John Carter harked back to the age of pulp adventure sci-fi, but Star Wars, which does the same, is not good enough? Bullshit. Prometheus was not original. It filched ideas and concepts that have been used and speculated upon in fiction and literature for fucking decades, and then attempted to pass it off as originality: that's why it was crap. Add to that poor characters, poor special FX, poor conceptual design as well. Because people didn't like it, does not, as Aintitcool claims, mean that they are too thick to understand its mighty concepts. We just know when something stinks and falls way short of a mark that was set 30 years ago! Yet again, this site shats out arse-gravy of the highest order. You do mention some good flicks in this piece, some great flicks even. But that does not mean you should be totally dismissive of everything else.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 8:16 a.m. CST


    by wackedfuck

    The movie that helped me realize that Chris Evans is a good actor.

  • Who knows maybe they'll hire him on the next Halloween movie or something, and it will turn out that Michael Myers is really the devil.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 8:29 a.m. CST

    I watched Prometheus again

    by James

    The punk rocker scientist asshole guy howls like a crazy wolf when he lets the mapping devices loose, to show his rebelliousness. *OW OW OWWWWW watch out, I'm wild!!* My second favorite part is when the Captain starts playing his accordion after Charlize invites him to her room. *Honk honk! Love the one you're with! This accordion used to belong to Stephen Stills! Honk honk!*

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 8:31 a.m. CST

    I would love to see a faithful version of Clarke's "Childhood's End"

    by I Max U Mini

    I could instantly tell that the creators of "V" borrowed liberally, but not the quality of ACC. Does anyone know if Universal still owns the rights? Nordling, are you aware if Kimberly Peirce is still attached as director? I hope not, her only two films don't inspire me with the balls to the wall effort it would take to do Childhood's End the proper justice.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 8:54 a.m. CST

    Bring on LENSMAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    by DarthBlart

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 8:59 a.m. CST

    no Star Trek love?

    by SlyWalker

    46 years and counting through good and bad incarnations it sticks around no matter what.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 9 a.m. CST

    John Carter

    by SlyWalker

    god that was awful

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 9:07 a.m. CST

    Now where's the Talk-Back on how Horror is FUCKED?

    by Nice Marmot

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 9:10 a.m. CST

    Prometheus doesn't have the rewatch factor so much

    by performingmonkey

    It was pretty good on the big screen but at home, not so forgiving... Lindelof was a good writer on LOST (up until the final season...) but he was too much of a fanboy to step away from anything other than cliché with his Prometheus script. Also, you constantly feel that everything's up in the air in terms of how it's connected with the Alien franchise, will it get a sequel and if so how much can we reveal etc. etc., it feels unfinished and undefined for this reason. The studio should have let them say BAM, there you go, a solid, independent, non-franchise sci-fi, with a beginning, middle and end that everyone feels satisfied on seeing.

  • Ridley Scott has a habit of shooting movies that are way too long for theatrical distribution and then having to cut them down until they don't make sense. I suspect that many of the so-called plot holes will be filled in with the twenty minutes of footage being added back into the movie.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 9:14 a.m. CST

    I loved John Carter

    by alex

    Deal with it.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 9:14 a.m. CST

    If Neuromancer and/or Snow Crash actually end up being produced

    by TheGreatHomsar

    I need them to be masterpieces. Not good movies, not "fun summer popcorn" etc etc....MASTERPIECES. And let's face it, that's just not very likely. I'd say the same for Ender's Game, but that seems all but guaranteed to be mediocre.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 9:16 a.m. CST

    I just hope the sequels will complete the story arc in a satisfying way.

    by Mystery Roach

    The open-ended nature of it and the questions left about how it all relates to Alien is what hurts it most for me.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 9:17 a.m. CST

    John Carter (of Mars) was a great PULP sci-fi flick

    by Yukon Cornelius

    John Carter (of Mars--the studio probably shoulda left this rather important sci-fi signifier in the title) may not have been the greatest or most successful hard sci-fi film made in the past few years but it was WAY more of an enjoyable and entertaining piece of PULP sci-fi than the turgid Star Wars prequels, and that's coming from an OT Star Wars fan! And I totally agree with i_max_u_mini--I'd also love to see a faithful version of "Childhood's End" but like John Carter, elements of the original story have been ripped off for so many years by other lesser projects (V, Independence Day, etc.) I fear a film adapatation would invariably be criticized as tiresome and unoriginal and a rip-off of movies and shows that were influenced by the original novel. Still, what the hell--bring it on, I say! Neil Blompkamp would be be a great director to bring it to the screen--the prawns in District 9 are pretty close to how I always imagined the devil-like aliens in the novel to appear. Just paint 'em red, give them some wings, horns, and a tail and you're there.

  • It was the equivalent of one of those later Michael Jackson videos from the 90s. Overblown, nothing to say, wayyy too long and ultimately childish. Though at least we didn't see any Na'vi children getting drunk on wine and spending the night in an elder's bed or bath.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 9:34 a.m. CST

    No love for Primer?

    by Cobb05

    It's a great little movie.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 9:40 a.m. CST

    RE: ultratron--Prince of Darkness was great

    by Yukon Cornelius

    And so was Carpenter's "They Live"--had a similar theme as all those virtual reality flicks of the late 90s (Matrix, Dark City, etc.) but released a decade before them. OK, the idea of using miraculous Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses to see the aliens in their true form was a bit daft, but still a great, fun little John Carpenter movie--and one I hope the powers that be NEVER remake or reimagine!

  • The opening scene of Prometheus is so compelling. So much potential. The idea of someone breaking into the weapons facility and then seeding our planet was great. When the engineer wakes up he tries to erase the horrible abomination that is us. All that is great. Didn't even need the alien.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 9:45 a.m. CST

    Cabin in the woods hard R science fiction/horror comedy I guess.

    by UltraTron

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 10:03 a.m. CST

    solaris, gattaca, etc

    by borisdoris

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 10:07 a.m. CST

    Avatar is one of the worst films I've ever seen.

    by ObiBen

    It's prequel bad.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 10:09 a.m. CST

    Wackedfuck - SUNSHINE? Bwaaahahahahaaaa

    by The StarWolf

    They should market it as a comedy. One of the silliest things I've ever run across which, at a minimum, requires the viewer to believe that decades of solar observations and stellar evolution physics are all wrong. Yeah, right. And using an H-Bomb the size of Manhattan to reignite the sun? Do these guys have no conception whatsoever of how BIG the sun is, or the ENORMOUS amounts of energy it puts out? That firecracker wouldn't rate a pinprick next to that. It would have been entertaining in an SF sort of way in the 50s, but now? And what was the deal with the movie going from a science fiction flick to a gothic horror thriller with the guy who seemed stuck in some sort of temporal vortex? Director seems to have gotten confused somewhere along the way.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 10:12 a.m. CST

    Darthblart - LENSMAN? I hope not.

    by The StarWolf

    I LOVE the novels and I used to hope they'd do movies, but not any more. There was a rumour JMS (of BABYLON 5 fame) had optioned the series, but I'm glad it didn't get made. Let's face it, they'd do the political correctness bit on it to the point where the universe would be practically unrecognizable. Remember how they screwed up STARSHIP TROOPERS?

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 10:12 a.m. CST

    Avatar could've been good

    by Cobb05

    For me Sam Worthington killed the movie for me. I felt like the voice over was tacked on. I don't think it was needed at all. The movie was way too long. I didn't care about the characters and a lot of it was JC showing off. I agree that the movie really didn't have a lot to say, other than save the Earth and human fuck shit up. But the movie was long-winded and not written that well. I think a better writer could've made the movie leaner, meaner and more interesting.

  • please?

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 10:20 a.m. CST

    @Mr volllllume3

    by albert comin

    Lindelof, hands down.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 10:25 a.m. CST

    @Mr shatnerd

    by albert comin

    "Prometheus" sucked because i enjoy ideas and philosophy and the ones presented in the movie are of the most childish and ignorant level i ever seen in my life. That movie has an idiot's idea of what intelligence might look like and fails miserably at that. The ideas the movie has are not only childish but wrongly presented. A movie writen by an idiot who has no idea what he's talking about but has delusions of intellectuality. I'd rather had seen a straigh Alien horror movie, at least i would had been spared the spectacle of moronic pretense.

  • Get in on the ground floor for one wild night at the opera.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 10:27 a.m. CST

    Cabin in the Woods blew a great chance to really be special

    by Cobb05

    I liked Cabin in the Woods a lot. Sure there were plot holes. Cameras everywhere, the end of the world riding on it and they don't make sure Marty was killed? But it's a movie you talk about after seeing it. The basement with all the artifacts is an awesome idea. Now what they should've done was have multiple movies. You have the Japanese movie. You have the British movie. You have a Spanish movie. They are all happening on the same day. You see the scenes happening in the monitors of other movies. We see them all fail. Then the American movie plays out as it does. You know they are the last hope. It would've added to the mythology. It would've satisfied our want for seeing other objects being picked. It would've been a really cool idea. Now they'll just do a sequel that's either a prequel or basically a remake where you say it's a n alternate universe or whatever, so you get to see them pick a new object and see it all play out.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 10:30 a.m. CST

    "John Carter", one of the most useless exercises in banality i ever saw.

    by albert comin

    The movie is a big pile of nothing. One of the most misguided efforts of recent times, and that's saying a lot. The movie even plays as a complete opposite of the book it's based on. The atempts at modernization for today's audiences are beyond risible. The main character was an asshole and the actor who played it has no charisma. The only good thing in the movie was Bryan Cranston and James Purefoy (those looked like they were actually having fun making the movie) and the princess actress, who seemed to be taking the movie way more seriously then it deserved.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 10:34 a.m. CST

    @Mr mystery roach

    by albert comin

    The problem of "Prometheus" is not the plot holes but the general idioticy that permeates the movie form begining to end, the characters who behave in ways that they do not resemble human beings at all and a plot lifted from a low rent slasher movie. No amount of added scene can cure that. "Promehteus" problem is not what was left out, but what was left in.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 10:43 a.m. CST

    Lost me at Prometheus

    by JacksParasites

    Prometheus wasn't bad because it lacked sufficient amount of Alien imagery; it was godawful because the script was utterly brainless. It was a Friday the 13th film posing as a high-concept, serious hard science fiction film. There were no aforementioned big ideas in that film, only the illusion of them. What big ideas was the film exploring? Don't be an idiot and try to pet clearly hostile foreign animals? Don't poison people with magic goo? The first thing you do on an alien planet is take your helmet off? When a giant, thin, long object is about to fall on top of you, run straight instead of off to one side? And John Carter was boring as shit. Like Avatar, it was a cynical attempt by studios to just throw a shit-ton of money into special effects instead of story in order to get an easy pay-day.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 10:46 a.m. CST

    Oh, and District 9 was shit too

    by JacksParasites

    That too was just a brainless Michael Bay flick posing as hard science fiction. Nothing in that film makes sense or is consistent. Why would a company spend 20 years and presumably trillions of dollars trying to unlock the secrets to using alien weapons that are no more powerful than a common bazooka? Why not just make an atomic bomb and be done with it already? I hope the executives that that company were fired for superhuman levels of incompetence.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 10:46 a.m. CST

    This is a really stupid article.

    by vetepalapinga

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 10:49 a.m. CST

    Star Wars> Anything put on film.

    by shutupfanboy

    Lawyered. Also, Sci-fi cinema is always going to be a here and be great. You can thank Star Wars for that. Now STFU. Prometheus was good, not great, just ok.

  • And Lindelof may have been responsible for the abortion of the script but Scott still went ahead and filmed it.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 11:09 a.m. CST

    Moneygrabsequel - Absolutely

    by The StarWolf

    And, while we're at it, how about raiding my shelf full of Andre Norton novels? There are easily a dozen terrific films waiting to be made there. STORM OVER WARLOCK? JUDGEMENT ON JANUS? LAST PLANET (a.k.a. STAR RANGERS)? DAYBREAK 2250, THE TIME TRADERS, and so on and so on ... instead of this constant flood of uninspired remakes.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 11:31 a.m. CST

    No mention of STAR TREK, Nordling?

    by adeceasedfan

    I think the success of Abrams TREK has as much to do with this as the films cited. We're lucky to have successes of Team Abrams (Lindelof included) which encourages Hollywood to greenlight other Scifi films and shows.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 11:41 a.m. CST

    I think Pandorum is a pretty good flick

    by JackSlater4

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 12:56 p.m. CST


    by Ralph Scifaretto

    You all morons will be saying the same thing in a few years.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 1:28 p.m. CST

    yes ralph. morons WILL be calling prometheus a masterpiece

    by JAMF

    in a few years. some of them are doing it right now. meanwhile: "waaahh i'm rashomon and i hate tdkr waahhhh"

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 1:47 p.m. CST

    FUCK GARY KURTZ--- tension breaker had to be done!

    by Dan

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 1:48 p.m. CST

    It seems we have selective memories...

    by Dan

    Selling toys was fine when we all were kids, (star wars, trek etc...) suddenly now it's an evil thing to do? Seriously... stop.

  • People love to ride bandwagons.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 1:58 p.m. CST

    Star Wars is FANTASY/Space Opera

    by Dan

    Take away the sci-fi trappings and you could tell the SAME story in a western setting, medieval, etc... The following sci-fi movies could NOT do the same: 2001:ASO Planet of the Apes A.I. Close Encounters... Star Trek: TMP Forbben: The Colossos Project etc... STAR WARS IS FANTASY.... Also, when the dust has settled how many of the above moives will be remembered? I hope most, but reality says maybe not and guess who will be there... Diss Star Wars and the prequels because they made a mean face at you all you want, but it will be there when all the others have been forgotten and that maeks me damn happy.

  • I like/hate this movie because so-and-so feels that way.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 2:08 p.m. CST

    This site is part of the problem...

    by Dan

    getting behind stuff simply because they are bribed or have biases against a certain franchise/director/actor... take the anit-Lucas tirades...are these traffic-generating-only articles ever going to stop?

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 2:14 p.m. CST

    People are sheep as well...

    by Dan

    most have no clue what makes a good or bad movie. They don't know their own thoughts inside their head, they have no clue how to base or form an opinion; theme, plot, etc.. mean nothing.....they listen to anyone with the same opinion... I asked a co-worker recently why a movie she thought was bad...why didn't you like it? "I don't know, it just was...." I hate that phrase! Who is this dumb that they can not decipher their own thoughts and ideas? Really? I wanted to grab her and shake some smarts into her, but to no avail she moved on talking about a Tyler Perry movie.... ugh...

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 2:59 p.m. CST

    zodlovesmaude you know...

    by steve

    you come across as a pretentious dick? Just saying.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 3:01 p.m. CST

    But he's right, choids

    by vetepalapinga

    This article has "stupid" and "talkback bait" written all over it.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 3:25 p.m. CST

    choids - Not my intent...

    by Dan

    but if the shoe fits... and yes, the showrunners have chummed the waters real good with the talkback bait.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 3:28 p.m. CST


    by Dan

    Are you one of those dummies incapable of deciphering your own thoughts into coherent, logical sentences and phrases that belong to you and only you? Or do you regurgitate what some hipster douche posts? I'm not apologizing for being able to lay my thoughts out in a logical manner. If someone is too stupid and dull to do that, not my problem, I'm just here to call them out.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 3:43 p.m. CST

    Do not compare SHITTY DISTRICT 9 to Duncan Jones' brilliant MOON.

    by MajorFrontbum

    The "shrimp" movie was ridiculous and fucking stupid, whereas MOON was amazing in every way. Don't do it again, alright!

  • Otherwise, it felt to me when watching the movie that pretty much any other weird character behavior could be explained by things that were cut for time. And no, running in the wrong direction to avoid a falling ship doesn't count. Most of us would probably be dead in that circumstance as well. I'm thinking more of things like Shaw acting like nothing happened after the abortion scene. Maybe I'll be proven wrong, but given Scott's track record with extended cuts, I'm hoping for the best. I did think some of the big ideas in the movie came off as a little half-baked and I'm sick to death of the whole science vs. faith routine, but I still think there's a core of something interesting there and I'm looking forward to seeing how it's expanded upon.

  • ...and just want another excuse to hate Damon Lindelof. Personally I loved that show from beginning to end, and always enjoyed Damon on the podcast, so he's still ok by me.

  • There was like no science in the movie to speak of.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 4:41 p.m. CST

    Avatar was preachy sentimental crap, but it looked nice

    by kimbers

    scifi has never gone away! from fritz langs metropolis its been a cornerstone of the cinema and tv fads have come and gone - star wars redifined the whole of cinema alien(s), terminator, predator, robocop, total recall (fwiw i think all the sequels to those films were shit) and the Thing!!!!!!!!!!!! and from the 60s onward gene rodenberry has pushed a vision that's shaped our own future and fuck me star trek ran for how many episodes in all incarnations and superhero films; superman, xmen, iron man, hulk,spidey etc are pure scifi and people lap them up meanwhile BSG ranked up there with the wire and sopranos, x-files, fringe, space above and beyond etc etc of course theres been a lot of shit........sliders anyone? sure some people look down on it, but we live in a world where reality tv and xfactor filth is the most popular shit on tv scifis biggest problem is that it gets caught up in the holywood bullshit factory and we end up with formulaic dross ruining the good stuff

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 4:46 p.m. CST

    Hey, who has the Stranger in a Strange Land rights?

    by Anthony Torchia

    that movie needs to be made and my ex told me the worst possible producer has the rights but she didn't tell me who (she works for a major studio and has access to the data but would get fired for sharing it) Anybody know who it is?

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 5:09 p.m. CST

    Fair enough, Mr. Moe...

    by Mystery Roach

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and I'm not doubting that you come by yours honestly. However, it's pretty clear that many people here do have an awful lot of resentment built up for Lindelof.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 6:04 p.m. CST

    A.I. really is fucking awesome

    by JackSlater4

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 6:34 p.m. CST

    DUNE needs to be done right.

    by Mandolorian

    2 films per book. Even the prequels, though not well written would make great fims if they found a good screenwriter.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 6:51 p.m. CST

    OK, just so long as it's DARK and RISES

    by animatronicmojo

    I would not consider most of these science fiction or anything new. John Carter, certainly not either. (And can we please have a moratorium on space savages in loin cloths?) <BR> Movies that I liked, that I would consider science fiction, and would like to see a sequel for: <BR> Source Code- compelling opportunity here to discuss quantum entanglement as it relates to karma, as his consciousness continues to erase that of previously dead individuals within multiple realities <BR> District 9- You know there'll be hell to pay when that mother ship comes back. <BR> Prometheus- yes, I am among those that loved it in all it’s cheesy, heady, loopy, campy, eye-candy glory- can’t wait for the story to continue. <BR> Tron: Legacy- some very compelling possibilities at the end with the first ISO in our world, exploring the nature of consciousness and what truly separates/binds the real from/with the imaginary- could be a very different kind of movie. Maybe Richard Linkletter or Godard could direct. <BR> Avatar- mmmmaybe, barely, IF the story goes somewhere new- and it does sound like Cameron's got a bigger picture. Of Avatar The First, I enjoyed the sci-fi gear-tech and left bank enviro-war porn for what they were- the touchy feely new age blue “peek-a-boo, I see you” schmaltz-fests, not so much. <BR> Star Wars. Yes, but set AFTER the death of Vader, PLEASE?! Why can’t you move the m*%&$&ing story FORWARD!!?! And a different and serious director, please. Either that or "Star Wars Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf" with Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher. <BR> Farscape. What that you say?! Scorpius got your wormhole tech after all, John, and now is blowing the f* out of the galaxy! Earth is next unless you do one leeetle favor for him. <BR> Some books I wouldn’t mind seeing made into a movie… <BR>Arthur C. Clarke’s “Rendezvous with Rama” by David Fincher and “Childhood’s End” by Darren Aronofsky <BR>Isaac Asimov’s “The End of Eternity” by Duncan Jones <BR>John Christopher’s 4-book Tri-Pod Trilogy by Alfonso Cuarón. <BR>Kurt Vonnegut’s “The Sirens of Titan” by Spike Jonze <BR> Suzy McKee Charnas’ Listening to Brahms by Charlie Kaufman <B> Plus, there's lotsa great stories out there by Bloch, Ellison, Heinlein, Serling, Dick, Ballard, the pages of Amazing Stories, Omni, you name it, Carl Sagan and billions and billions of original ideas.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 7:01 p.m. CST

    LOL adeceasedfan

    by gotilk

    Best comment.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 8:05 p.m. CST

    Did anyone mention time crimes?

    by GrizzlyMurder

    That flick was fuckin great and its within the last few years.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 8:36 p.m. CST

    Cloud Atlas is already a classic

    by Patrick

    Just finished the book today. If they only capture HALF of the ideas and only HALF the story foun in the book, we'll be talking about this movie like we talk about 2001. Speaking of which, where's the Stanely Kubrick love?

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 9:09 p.m. CST

    Mission to Mars had a more coherent script and consistent characters than Prometheus

    by Hardboiled Wonderland

    Prometheus was visually stunning, I liked the ideas and themes... but how anyone can continue to defend the horrid script, character development (the little there was), editing and pacing is beyond logic. And no, I don't blame Lindelof. The blame falls squarely on Scott -- he told Lindelof what to write (take out all of the Alien stuff from Spaihts's original script... that's what Lindelof did). Spaihts deserves a fair bit of the blame too. And Tim Rothman

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 9:24 p.m. CST

    Thx gotilk!

    by adeceasedfan

    What'd I do? ;)

  • I'm dying to read Spaihts' original Alien prequel draft before it became Prometheus. Unfortunately you're right about a lot of the blame falling on Ridley in terms of the story for Prometheus. Lindelof was asked what he'd do with it, and he said he would remove some of the standard alien/xenomorph stuff. Ridley was already thinking along those lines so that is why he was interested in what Lindelof's take on the script was. So yeah, Lindelof gets some of the blame, but Ridley was on that same path anyways, and still could have brought in another writer after Lindelof worked on the script.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 9:38 p.m. CST

    With video games ruining imaginations everywhere...

    by Dan

    I don't have much hope past the above mentioned... I seriously hate video games and wish they'd dry up and go away.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 9:52 p.m. CST


    by James

    Video games ruining imaginations? How so?

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 10:06 p.m. CST

    OMG YES!!!!!!!!!

    by korbermeister

    Louis Wu!!!! FTW!

  • No film, and I mean none, not even 2001, Children of Men, or Blade Runner holds up to 100% scrutiny. Armageddon and The Core aren't just shit because the science is ludicrously off... they are just shit movies all around to begin with!So I'm sorry, but Moon, District 9, Inception are great movies regardless. Well acted, shot, and directed period. Also somebody get me, Rendevous with Rama, Stranger in a Strangeland, Foundation, and The Forever War stat. Hell even through in Armor to boot. That movie would look incredible on the big screen.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 10:14 p.m. CST

    The Reality Dysfunction!!!

    by korbermeister

    Al Capone, Armada Storms, Sentient Spacecraft, Satanism, New California, He3, Norfolk Tears! someone call Peter F. Hamilton, STAT!

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 11:28 p.m. CST

    jackslater4 Pandorum IS a pretty good flick.

    by baldalienprobeinhighheels

    First off I'm a sucker for any "haunted house on a spaceship" story. The acting was solid. Ben Foster was a bit intense but given the circumstances welll... I would be too. Maybe the whole "abandon Earth because we fucked it in the ass" theme is a bit played out but it wasn't OVERplayed within the movie itself. I also thought the mystery was intriguing and the clues handled in a judicious manner. The twists came as genuine surprises. Overall it was the atmosphere that worked for me. Creaking metal from a hulking spacecraft filled with dark metallic corridors and flashing strobe effect lighting as a result of a malfunctioning power system. I love how the imagination can conjure up frightening visions just from hearing distant clanks in some far off portion of the ship. I'm not putting any of the following on equal footing but Alien and Event Horizon share this atmospheric quality to a certain extent as well. I'll always prefer interesting production design which, truly allows you to feel transplanted into another universe, to an "advance ideas" or "says something" type of sci-fi. It's like listening to music. A songs lyrics may be the most profound poetic statement ever put to paper BUT if the melody is crap it's going to turn people away and the message will be ignored.

  • Wouldn't mind the following books to screen: Hyperion Series (Maybe do these HBO like GoT), Mote in God's Eye, Gateway, Just about everything by Niven and Pournelle but especially Ringworld Saga, Mar's Trilogy by KSR, A Fire Upon the Deep, The Yiddish Policemen's Union, and The City and The City. Just So many good stories out there, that they can stop with the stupid Transformer's shit already.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 12:21 a.m. CST

    Woah youre missing a movie...

    by Dawhiteguy

    Where is The Prototype love. That movie looks awesome.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 1:19 a.m. CST

    It doesn't mean because we have a lot of shit, that it's good shit

    by chien_sale

  • and fwiw i think the peter f hamilton stuff tends toward the slow and stodgy hyperion and ilium/olympos are far better infact awesomely brilliant and their complexities make a adecent series preferable if unlikely Ian M Banks Culture books and Alistair reynolds Revelation Space are the daddies though they make scott and camerons, in particular, latter day efforts look like derivative crap full of badly written characters and some sort of pseudomystical bullshit that 60 year old directors and hack scriptwriters think we are all searching for and as for 3D, cant believe they are forcing a true auter like DelTorro to post convert pacific rim, he knows that its no substitute for real characters and ....any way thats for a different rant

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 2:13 a.m. CST

    Joseph Kosinski's OBLIVION, coming in a couple of years

    by Winston Smith

    Uh... I thought it was coming out this April.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 2:28 a.m. CST

    Star Wars is fantasy, not sci-fi

    by Winston Smith

    Though the lines do blur and that's cool and all, it does kinda annoy me whenever a talkback about sci-fi devolves into a boring Star Wars discussion. It also shows how lame AICN readers have become that Star Wars is mentioned way more in this tb than Blade Runner or 2001. When I hear sci-fi, those two immediately come to mind. Or Metropolis. I still think, despite a weak last act, that Minority Report was a standout, with some of the best sci-fi production design ever put to film. AI was also excellent, and the ending - though not perfectly edited - is ambitious and works better on repeated viewings. District 9 was of course exceptional, and I cannot WAIT for Elysium. Avatar was a kids movie, like, the plot felt like a kids movie. I don't even mean that in a bad way. It was like a Disney cartoon. It is what it is. Cameron's best films for me were all in the 80s, and The Terminator is still my favorite of his, followed closely by Aliens. Alien still stands out because the gothic production design is unique. Even Prometheus had trouble matching the high standard set by Alien, despite a bigger budget and 3 decades + technology increases. I liked Prometheus because it was a well made film, but the screenplay was utter shit. Literally, the characters are paper thin, the mythology is lacking and everything we know from about 20 minutes in is WHAT WE KNOW. There's nothing else to learn. There's no greater idea there. It's a hollow film, but a fun hollow film. Scott's a great visual director. But back to my point from above, Oblivion is supposed to come out in about 6 months, not a few years. Right? Is AICN bullshitting as usual or do the other sites have it wrong?

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 2:29 a.m. CST

    Pandorum was fun

    by Winston Smith

    I agree. Loved the ending. I would love to see a movie about a culture living in subs under the ice of Europa in vast alien oceans.

  • How desperate it was to be an action movie when there was no need for, and always the extreme dumbing down in the 3rd act. No, Anderson didnt directed it, but he wrote and produced the movie, and it shows.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 3:24 a.m. CST

    @Mr halfbreedqueen2

    by albert comin

    How I agree with you about the chockhold that Sw has on Sf and the SF comunity. It's as if Sw is the begining and end of the genre, when in fact there's so many better things out there in the genre. It's as if people mistake popularity with quality. SW is good, but it's not the end all of SF. There's better stuff then that. I wish i could be as good opinioned about "Prometheus" as you are. The best way to describe my feelings for it is heartbreak.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 3:40 a.m. CST

    @Mr dougmckenzie

    by albert comin

    C'mon, man, you really think that the "no movie is perfect" argument can really justify bad moviemaking and soddy storytelling? Really? That argument died 10 years ago, why people keep on bringing it up from the grave like Burke and Hare? And there are perfect movies, and you mentioned some of them. There's a difference between a flaw in a movie and nitpicking for the sake of nitpicking.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 7:15 a.m. CST

    Rashomon - You expected TDKR to be good?

    by The StarWolf

    Didn't you go to THE DARK KNIGHT where that hack Nolan forgot to include the Batman? Oh, the Joker character was fine, but Wayne/Bats was completely out of character, doing things no incarnation has ever done. For example, that incredibly dumb bit where he sets himself up as fall guy for Dent's death? Made zero sense. The Joker is a homicidal maniac and had been screwing around with Dent's mind, leading up to those tragic events. So, have him named as the guilty party. End of problem. But, no, no, Nolan needed a soap opera ending, regardless of the fact that it simply doesn't hold up. So I didn't bother going to RISES and, by all I've heard, I glad I didn't.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 8:27 a.m. CST


    by Dan

    Maybe it's just me being a grumpy old guy, I'm 40, I grew up with the 80's game boom, but never followed up on it. video game players are some of the most literal people I have ever met. Everything has to be explained to them in a movie... they can't just go with things. Again, probably just me.


  • Sept. 14, 2012, 8:35 a.m. CST


    by Dan

    YES! I recall arguing with some idiot because he got annoyed with Star Trek because "there is no sound in space." Dumb fucker.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 9:14 a.m. CST

    Frank Miller's

    by phast freddy

    Ronin is a movie I am looking forward to

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 9:46 a.m. CST


    by James

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 10:01 a.m. CST


    by James

    I'm not quite as old a fart as you, but soon. Trust me, man, you're really missing out. Get you one of these consoles, PS3 or Xbox360. They're making games that knock these silly ass Hollywood movies out of the water.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 10:36 a.m. CST

    Re: dougmckenzie

    by Yukon Cornelius

    Seconded on Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Trilogy. I would LOVE to see this as a sprawling multi-season series on HBO with a big ensemble cast a la Game of Thrones. Would be so much better as a series with room to breathe than a compressed 2 1/2 hour special effects focused epic event film. Yes, please!!!

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 11:37 a.m. CST

    Korbermeister - Reality Dysfunction?

    by The StarWolf

    Doing the doorstops of the NIGHT'S DAWN trilogy would require at least four movies. Unless they dropped the whole, pointless nonsense with the Alchemist thread. Even so ...

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 11:42 a.m. CST

    Rashomon - There were signs

    by The StarWolf

    When Natalie Portman did Evey in V FOR ... she had her hair shaved off because the role demanded it. Yet it was too much for Nolan to get his lead actress to cut hers short and dyed black the way the character has been portrayed for ten or fifteen years in the comics? Hard to take the guy seriously in terms of getting things right. By the way, I like the name.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 1:51 p.m. CST


    by Dan

    Thats it, I don't feel that way. It's a money pit I don't want started. Movies to me, bring peopel together for a shared experence and promote endless discussions, vidoe games not so much- "hey did you play ____ yeah, it was cool!" end of discussion... *sigh.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 1:54 p.m. CST


    by Dan

    Movies can change your life, can change society's take on something. Can alter perception on things, issues and events... Video games are time fillers/killers. Nothing more.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 2:14 p.m. CST

    What the F-Bomb?

    by mark smithie

    John Carter has interesting things to offer as a tribute to pulp serial science fiction, but thank God Star Wars is over? What a crock of shit. Way to know what your talking about there. I swear, how did you get this job?

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 2:22 p.m. CST

    I'm a Sci-Fi Lover!

    by mark smithie

    And I'm thrilled about what's cooking at the cinema lately. But Avatar. Come on! Fun Fluff at most. A lot of your choices there are just laughable. Ferngully + Thundercats + Half of Cammeron's old work + Any movies about natives = Avatar! The love for that fucking movie is hillarious!

  • Sept. 15, 2012, 5:19 p.m. CST


    by Winston Smith

    Actually, by definition, that's an opinion.