I am a regrettably disorganized fellow in many areas of life – when it comes to blogging, however, I am miraculously able to affect some notion of organization, hence this post – the five sci-fi movies that I’m looking forward to most in 2012.
Ridley Scott. The “Alien” universe. H.R. Giger. Noomi Rapace. Proper stereoscopic 3D photography. Extensive practical work. Damon Lindelof. Jon Spaights.
Yes, it’s difficult to find much of a downside in this package. The only negative thing that I can really think of in connection with this sci-fi film is that our expectations may ultimately work against it – can any film live up to months/years of fans discussing and hoping for a film which is created in their collective expectation and can never be fully realised by even the most talented artisans working under both a burden of anticipation and the harsh realities of the film business?
This is a project which has been in the works for a while – Natalie Portman was linked to it at one point – and is ostensibly about astronauts afflicted by an orbital disaster, with Sandra Bullock’s lead character attempting to survive on her own and make it back to Earth. So far, so normal.
Whilst we shouldn’t cling solely to technical feats and gimmickry to justify interest in a film, the hook here is too irresistible for me – director Alfonso Cuaron is apparently going all out to extend the elegant, virtuoso single-takes of “Children of Men” and use all of the technology at his disposal to make “Gravity” a film told in a single take.
Clearly this isn’t possible – a film on this scale can’t be done in the manner of, say, “Russian Ark” or “Silent House”, as CG is involved – but the artistry on display in “Children of Men” makes me eager to see what Cuaron does with the formal challenge he has by all accounts set himself. He’s doing out-and-out sci-fi adventure, too, which always has my interest.
3) “The Avengers”
Many fans haven’t liked the way that Marvel have chosen to inter-link their slate of film adaptations and feel that the likes of “Iron Man 2″ and “Captain America” have been compromised dramatically by their perceived existence as jigsaw puzzle pieces which will eventually fit together to become Joss Whedon’s feature for the whole team, “The Avengers”.
I am not one of those fans.
As a long-time Whedon fan, this is the most exciting upcoming superhero film for me. No question about it. As long as some of his point of view manages to permeate the explosions and demands of the franchise holder, I’m going to be a happy lapin.
I like to think that not every film on my radar is a symphony of explosions, spandex and silly eye candy – a moment of cinematic contemplation is most welcome every so often.
Neatly (hopefully) filling that position on my list is the next film from the always interesting Rian Johnson – the time travel and hitman drama, “Looper”.
What could be more speculative fictional than the notion that Joseph Gordon Levitt is going to one day age into Bruce Willis? Snarkiness aside, it seems difficult at this point for Rian Johnson to make an uninteresting film – his previous work includes high school neo-noir “Brick” and eccentric con man caper
“Rachel Weisz Looking Lovely”…sorry, “The Brothers Bloom”.
The hook is a mob hit man recognizing a potential target as his older self – who doesn’t want to know where Johnson’s going with that high-concept premise?
5) “John Carter of Mars”
The reaction to the trailers has been mixed – dodgy special effects, a story which looks too much like recent hit movies, the insanity of reminding us of the Emmerich “Godzilla” by using that P.Diddy/Zeppelin tune on the teaser – but I’m very keen to see what Andrew Stanton delivers in his live action film making debut.
Pulp Sci-Fi, realised with a budget that can do justice to the scale and vistas of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ imagination – that’s what I’m hoping for and the trailers make me cautiously optimistic that we’ll get an old-fashioned, swashbuckling tale which just happens to look a bit like all the sci-fi hits from the last thirty years or so which have so greedily raided the pulp sci-fi back catalogue for barely acknowledged inspiration.
I’m sure you have your own list – feel free to share it with me.