February 3rd marks the opening of Chronicle, the first of what is shaping up to be a great year for science fiction movies. We've got a third and final outing for Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight, the return of Agents Kay and Jay and the debut of the very first comic book superhero All-Star film in Marvel's The Avengers, possibly the most anticipated film in this year's summer movie season. Join me as we take a look at this year's science fiction movies and discuss what has potential and what will probably fall flat.
Personally, The Dark Knight Rises, Men in Black 3, The Avengers and Dredd are the movies I'm most looking forward to. We're also going to take a look at Prometheus, Total Recall and Spider-Man 90210 (AKA The Amazing Spider-Man), which are the movies I'm least looking forward to. Unfortunately I don't have time to talk about EVERY science fiction movie coming out this year (that's what the reviews are for), but there will be a list at the bottom of the article.
Men in Black 3 (May 2)
I loved the first two MiB movies, and I have no reason to believe this one won't live up. I am very intrigued by the time travel aspect, Agent Jay (Wil Smith) traveling to the 1960's to get assistance from a young Agent Kay (played in his younger incarnation by Josh Brolin). I like that this isn't just another alien shoot 'em up like the first two were. There's nothing wrong with that premise, but I appreciate when a big franchise tries to do something different. Obviously, aliens are going to have play a major role in the plot, that's MiB, but the time travel aspect is what really has me impatient for this movie's release.
The Avengers (May 4)
Probably the most anticipated movie of the decade, maybe even the century, and certainly the most anticipated movie of 2012 is Joss Whedon's The Avengers. This is something that's spent the last five years in coming (since Samuel L Jackson's surprise cameo as Nick Fury in 2007's Iron Man), The Avengers marks the first time in history that several comic book movie franchises will merge to form a team-up franchise. Usually, comic book movies try very hard to make their superhero the only one on Earth, ignoring the DCU or Marvel Universe continuity to do it. Marvel Films has taken the step to make the movies like the comics, where the characters share a common universe. Warner Bros and DC considered doing this first with their Superman vs Batman film, but chickened out. That appears to have been a bad move because fans have been rabid for The Avengers and this picture stands to make over a billion dollars. Unfortunately, the guys at Sony are stupid and they decided to release MiB3 the same week. MiB3, no matter how good it is, is going to be a financial failure because of this. Personally, as excited as I am for both movies, if my pocket book and my work schedule only allow for me to see one movie that week, it's going to be The Avengers, and I think a lot of other fans feel the same way.
Prometheus (June 8)
I was really looking forward to this movie. You know, back when it was being marketed as an Alien prequel. Unfortunately, now it has no connection to Alien at all, and that killed this movie for me. I'll still be there, I'll still let all you guys know what I thought of it, but I'm not as excited as I once was. Oh well. It might still be good.
Spider-Man 90210 (July 3)
As usual, the Fourth of July weekend belongs to our favorite web-slinger. Unfortunately, this isn't the web-head we've all come to love (forgetting, of course, about pointless emo dance montages). Tobey Maguire and Sam Raimi are out and the kid from The Social Network and I don't even know who the director is, but those guys are in. In a mad dash to not let the Spider-Man rights revert back to Disney, the people at Sony have made yet ANOTHER terrible decision, rebooting a franchise that barely turns 10 this year. Personally, I would have preferred they just tell a stand-alone Spidey story with a new cast than going the reboot route and telling the Spider-Man origin all over again. BORING! Hollywood, we all know Spider-Man's origin. We just saw that movie. We don't need to waste time telling that story all over again, and we certainly don't need to see a angst-ridden teenager worrying about having to ditch chem lab to go get a cat out of a tree. Also, whose stupid idea was it to cast Gidget as Aunt May?
The Dark Knight Rises (July 20)
Another highly anticipated film, and another potential billion-dollar blockbuster, is the final chapter in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy. This may not be the final Batman movie in the forseeable future, but it will be the last time Christian Bale dons his cape and cowl. This time Batman is going toe-to-toe with Bane, and it looks like this is going to be a better version of the character than what we saw in the Joel Schumacher crap-fest Batman and Robin. When Warner Bros first announced that Tom Hardy would be playing Bane, my first thought was "Shinzon? From Star Trek: Nemesis? Isn't he too skinny?" Well, it looks like someone over at WB got ahold of some real Venom (the drug that pumps Bane up) because in the stills I've seen, Shinzon looks amazing. I'm a little less thrilled about Anne Hathaway playing a maskless Catwoman, but I trust Christopher Nolan. Also, after Halle Berry, how bad could she really be?
Total Recall (August 3)
OK, if someone wanted to make "We Can Remember it for You Wholesale" into a movie that was more true to the original source material than the original Total Recall, I'd be all about it. And who knows? Maybe this movie WILL be truer to the source material. But marketing it as a remake of Total Recall, which I found fun for what it was and I do still enjoy that movie, I see no potential in a TR remake. Just as I see no potential in a Blade Runner remake, but would be interested in a film that was a closer adaptation of "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?". R3 is a much bigger PKD fan than I will ever be (I enjoy his work, just don't go out of my way to read everything), so he might have some interesting things to say about this film (good or bad). Me, as with Prometheus, of course I'll be there (that's my job), but I'm not expecting it to blow me away.
Dredd (September 21)
I know I will probably lose my Nerd Card for saying this, but I liked Judge Dredd with Sylvester Stallone. It was a fun movie, great eye candy, and it really did stay true to the spirit of the JD comic books. It was tongue-in-cheek and it was very, very cheesey, but so could the comics be too. They didn't take themselves very seriously. Here we have what I can only assume to be a more serious adaptation of the Dredd comics, and I'm all for that too. Plus, I'm a really big fan of Karl Urban (Dr. McCoy in 2009's Star Trek) and I would really love to see what he does with the character.
Well, folks, there you have it. My most and least anticipated movies of 2012 list. As promised, below is a list of all the movies (that I've found) coming out this year with science fiction themes. If anyone knows of anything I've missed, please let me know in the comments section and be right back here Monday Feb. 6 for my review of Chronicle!
2012 Science Fiction Movies:
Chronicle- Feb 3
John Carter- Mar 9
The Hunger Games- Mar 23
Lockout- Apr 13
Battleship- May 18
Men in Black 3- May 2
The Avengers- May 4
Prometheus Jun 8
Spider-Man 90210- Jul 3
The Dark Knight Rises- Jul 20
Total Recall- Aug 3
Dredd- Sept 21
Looper- Sept 28
Gravity- Nov 21