2013 Science-Fiction Film Preview

We deviate a tad today for a look at some upcoming Summer Science-Fiction films. I figure most of my readers, like me, are also fans of Science-Fiction. And while I grew up devouring Bradbury, Asimov, Ellison, Herbert, Niven, and many more of the greats - the recent slate of popular films does show some encouraging signs of a return of science-fiction themes to the big screen.

Will this upcoming slate of films finally deliver? Probably not entirely, but they do look interesting and a few look like they have real promise.


This has been on my radar for almost three years now and I couldn't possibly be more excited - actual giant robots ( I say actual because of the horrors of Transformers! ) and giant monster aliens popping in from another dimension! I've been saying for years that the next great Hollywood source will be Manga and it looks like Pacific Rim is the first in what is already looking like a new wave. ( There are already more "inspired" by projects in the works.)

Science-Fiction takes many forms, that is one of its greatest strengths, and Pacific Rim is just one example of how wide and varied those sources can be. I'd be worried if this wasn't in the capable hands of Del Toro, but this is his passion project and that is good enough for me.

This one gets 10 Rifters on the anticipation scale.


I was very excited for this film when I first heard about it, a realistic take on the first human visitors to Europa. But then the teaser trailer hit and it honestly looked more like that horrible Apollo found footage film. And then this extended trailer came out and now I'm all conflicted. I'll be kind and say this one has potential, a potential difficult to determine from what we've seen so far. It looks well made and with an interesting premiss, but will it drop the ball at the end and become just another "Oh my God its loose on the ship!" story? Hard to tell.

This one gets 5 Rifters for guarded optimism. It could go either way.


District 9 was one of the great surprises in the genre and Elysium certainly looks to be taking the next step. For this reason Blomkamp is a very interesting creator and one we can pin our hopes on. Elysium manages to cram a lot into a little and borrows generously from many films before it, but in a way that feels fresh. At least in the trailers we've seen. I have high hopes for this film and I've watched this trailer over and over again.

It has robots, speaceships, swords, powered armor and lots of gritty dust, what's not to love?

I'm also giving this one 10 Rifters! Please be awesome.


Perhaps my highest hopes rest on Gravity. This film is either going to be amazingly amazing or incredibly high-handed. The only real "action" is in the trailer, after that it is pretty much someone floating alone in space for the rest of the film. With A list casting and Alfonso directing, it has the potential to be something special. I sure hope so.

I'm giving this one 8 Rifters, just because I've been burned before.


The low-budget sleeper hit of the year? Or the forgotten Netflix icon of tomorrow? I honestly don't know, but it does have promise and the trailer does a nice job of presenting itself. Only time will tell with this one, but I am anxious to see it.

6 Rifters.


I wish I was more confident in this one. It has taken so long for this to get to the big screen and we all want it to not suck so much... that it kinda feels like it has to suck. Ford's narration doesn't help much ( we all know what that did to Blade Runner! ) and some of the set-beats, at least in this trailer, seem a tad... television level? I don't know, maybe I'm being overly critical. The fact remains this is a great story and it has the potential to be truly good. Will it?

7 Rifters and 1 Incursus for extra tank.


I'll throw it in here because it is science-fiction based, although man that Chronicles was really stretching that fact. This looks like a twist back to the original Pitch Black, which was a nice surprise when it came out. I'd like this to be entertaining and bring something new to the on-going story of Riddick, but I seriously have doubts.

4 Rifters and one of them is on fire.

Oblivion, After Earth, Star Trek into Darkness, Man of Steel, Iron Man ( I guess? ), heck even Wolverine sorta counts, this is turning into a year full of science-fiction films. But will any of them be good? Are we looking at a new wave or just another crest that will break up on shore?

Only time will tell. But I have hope that one or two of these may be the real deal.

What are your thoughts? And what are you most excited to see?


  1. Elysium seems a pretty cool movie and Riddick is back cool. I liked the previews movies and I guess will like this one.

  2. In fairness to Blade Runner and Harrison Ford, the industry story I heard is that Ford deliberately did a bad job on the voice over because he, like the director, thought it was a bad idea. Allegedly the producers were tone deaf enough to think the V.O. was good enough to use. Dunno if that is true, but it seems possible.

    1. That is essentially the story that I've also heard over the years as well. The original story, which isn't as revisionist in my opinion, was that it was recorded and never intended to be used in the final film but simply as a test audience solution. Once the film was effectively removed from the director's control the vo was added because it tested well. As horrible as it is you can see how it would test well with general audiences. It is a subtle difference, but I suspect many things about BR have undergone some slight tweaking in the years since it was released.

  3. Rixx, great post. Had no idea some of these were even coming out =)


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