2012 brought us plenty of sequels and prequels, perhaps too many, although it had some originals too. In fact, one of those originals, “The Hunger Games”, will see a sequel this year. So 2013’s films in the genre doesn’t seem to be much different as far as sequels go, based on this Examiner’s research some of which comes from movie websites’ synopsis and some from available trailers. However, he did find some originals that are potential gems. He didn’t take into account fantasy or supernatural horror except for those movies that mixed these genres with sci fi. To do otherwise would have made the list too long. But this is good news because it only means that the year is loaded with all kinds of great speculative fiction films including high fantasy such as “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” and supernatural horror such as “Mama”. Because yours truly is a Sci-Fi Examiner, he has to give preference to the specific genre of his title. Also, the list mostly consists of movies, along with their release dates that show potential based both on their apparent quality of production as well as their popularity with fans. As a bonus, a smaller list of 3D re-releases of earlier films is attached.
“Iron Man 3” (May 3): The plot seems good in which is basically man versus his suit (on the psychological level at least). However, in one scene Tony Stark wears a version of his suit likened too much to Captain America’s. Or can this be a high tech competitor of Iron Man’s?
“Star Trek Into Darkness” (May 17): Director J.J. Abrams returns with this sequel to his first “Star Trek” reboot. The Enterprise crew goes into battle to track down the villain who is the cause of the destruction of Starfleet headquarters. One scene shows, what appears to be, Spock and Kirk giving the Vulcan handshake while touching between glass similar to what they do in “Wrath of Khan”, making one wonder if this could be a reboot of that. If so, let’s hope it’s not a mere remake and that Abrams will do a good job of giving it his own touch like he did his original.
“After Earth” (June 7): Directed by M. Night Shyamalan, this movie is about a father and son whose ship crashes to Earth, “1000 years after cataclysmic events forced” the human race to flee, according to RottenTomatoes.com. The two must survive the wild that has reclaimed the planet. His father (Will Smith) seriously injured, son Kitai (Jaden Smith) goes on a dangerous journey to find help. But from who? Or from what? This movie seems to promise some good character interaction between father and son as well as many great action sequences.
“Man of Steel” (June 14): A reboot of Christopher Reeve’s Superman origin movie of the ‘70s, only this time seeming to focus more on the character development and interaction, especially that of Clark Kent (Henry Cavill). The panorama looks excellent, but the darkened costume and emblem of Superman just don’t go well and so gives him more of the appearance of following in the shadow of Christopher Nolan’s Batman. And maybe it shouldn’t be too surprising—Nolan is producer on this one.
“Pacific Rim” (June 12): Guillermo del Toro’s sci fi adventure thriller about soldiers who, using robotic armor, battle giant sea monsters. This movie looks suspenseful with mesmerizing action sequences enhanced by great special effects especially when it comes to the monsters, except when the CGI seems to give itself away in the robots. The robotic armor seems to be made to resemble that of Iron Man’s, although not a lot but enough to show that the movie may be trying to compete with the Iron Man films.
“The Wolverine” (June 26): Hugh Jackman returns to his mutant super hero role in the sequel to 2009’s “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”. Inspired by the Chris Clarement/Frank Miller 1980s comic miniseries, Wolverine battles ninjas in Japan in this installment.
“Ender’s Game” (Nov. 1): Speaking about “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”, Gavin Hood who directed it will also be directing this adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s award-winning novel. The movie is set in the near future where a boy (Asa Butterfield) is being trained with other children through a game run by the military in preparation to battle hostile aliens. Harrison Ford will also star.
“Thor: The Dark World” (Nov. 8): Chris Hemsworth returns to his role of the God of Thunder based on Marvel Comics’ adaptation of the legend in this sequel to 20ll’s “Thor”. In this episode Thor must protect both Earth and the Nine Realms from a mysterious enemy that originated before the universe began.
“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” (Nov. 22): Picking up not long after where “The Hunger Games” left off, the starring characters, Katniss and Peeta, find themselves journeying through the nation of Panem, the former North America. Along the way, Katniss feels a rebellion beginning while the nation’s president sets up the 75th Annual Hunger Games. Forbes says that this one is anticipated to be “the biggest film of the year.”
The new year also brings us 3D editions of some earlier blockbusters. It starts April 5 with “Jurassic Park”. Then George Lucas’s “Star Wars” prequel trilogy continues in 3D (the last one, “Episode I: The Phantom Menace”, occurred in Feburary of last year) with “Episode II: Attack of the Clones” on Sept. 20 and “Episode III: Revenge of the Sith” on Oct. 4.
So those are the more promising sci fi films of 2013. How much that promise will hold up we can only know when each movie releases. For those films not listed above, here’s a title list:
“Dark Skies” (Feb. 22)
“World War Z” (June 21)
“Elysium” (Aug. 9)
“I, Frankenstein” (Sept. 13)
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