All the way from Georges Melies ‘A Trip to the Moon’ (1902) to George Lucas ‘Star Wars’ (1977), reality has made fiction grow, made fiction possible so much so that people started to first accept it and then believe in it. Segregated from the mainstream science, the genre of science fiction has depicted the realm of possibilities and has gone to a limit only technology can beat, humans cannot even touch it. The fact that aliens exist was once difficult to believe, but today, a 6-year old can talk about UFOs and describe creatures of the other world, of the ‘fiction’ world.
What has made this possible over centuries? The tool that is used and misused to make or break a belief, media, has extended to niches so far that its reach has surpassed all kinds of barriers. With increasing technology as one hand and expanding media as the other, ‘development’ has traveled the world and in the process, has touched and inspired many. A few talented and extraordinary brains made an attempt to join the hands and introduced ‘science-fiction films’ to the rest of the world. This took a leap from a 1968 film ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ by Stanley Kubrick and then, it never looked back.
Schools of Film Making, Photography and 3D Animation shoved the world of ideas and brought them to play along with the camera. The generation today gets to witness the parallel universe right in front of their eyes with a single click or pressing of a button on mobile phones, to tabs, to laptops and TV screens. Listed below are the top ten of such unique experiences, the upcoming science fiction films that came out as a result of the amalgamation of ideas, talent, camera tricks, software and made-to-believe efforts – the art to which I am no critique.
10. Cloud Atlas by the Wachowski siblings – Lana and Andy Wachowski and Tom Tykwar
The film runs over in six phases from past, present to future depicting the real-fiction connect through threads of common characters shown to be tying along the six stories. Giving it an edge, the idea has been brought out through stories differently complicated yet easily connected as for the three directors, the risk remains high, both financially and intellectually.
The promising adaptation of the novel by David Mitchell, the German film takes off from the year of 1849 where an American lawyer, on his way to make a business arrangement for his father-in-law, later faces a situation that could cost him his life. Saved by a Moriori slave, Autua, he returns safe to his wife. The movie jumps onto 1926, Scotland where a musician, Robert Frobisher, takes one and gives his own life away safeguarding his master piece. The direction by the three, plays with the timeline and continues to depict a scene from years of present and the future. The final ones halt with a futuristic incidence that, though depicts ground realities, is a fiction around Sonmi-451, a clone server at a food restaurant and next becomes the goddess of tribesmen. The movie concludes inside an alien planet where Zarchy, one of the survivors after the end of humanity, is shown telling these stories to his grandchildren.
The above mentioned stories are way more than a single over-viewing paragraph and speak of the talent and the ideas the three minds compiled to bring them on screen. The sci-fi drama starring Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Jim Strugess amongst its popular casting crew, is a must watch and truly deserves the 10-minute standing ovation it got at its debut at the Toronto Film Festival.
9. Elysium by Neill Blomkamp
Again a fiction grown out of social realities of the self and the other, the film orbits to a space station created for the rich, the Elysium, protected from the Earthly population declared to be the ‘others’, the ‘outsiders’. The classic memories of District 9 (2009) are still fresh in the viewers mind and they desperately await the release. This August, opportunity to time-travel to 2159, a paid trip of $ 120 million, to the world of luxury will be brought to the theaters. Max (Matt Demon) will be left with no choice but to depart to the other world, the world guarded by Secretary Rhodes (Jodie Foster), in an attempt to save his own life and bring a sense of egalitarianism amongst the two worlds of extremes.
Casting of Sharlto Copley, William Fichtner and Alice Braga itself earns an appreciation. The film promises to stand to the expectations of astounding direction, impressive shots and killer effects revealing under-the-cover societal issues of segregation and xenophobia but through a futuristic angle.
8. After Earth by M. Night Shyamalan
The father-son tale, written by Gary Whitta (The Book of Eli) and refined by Oscar-winner Stephen Gaghan (Traffic), starring Will Smith and Jaden Smith follows a dream of a 13-year old to become a soldier but this time, it’s not to fight back but rescue his father and himself after crash-landing onto an unfamiliar soil, the planet Earth. The place is no longer a safe place to be, depicted as the future of the planet. The director’s endeavors are focused more on a come-back after the resentment he faced during the 2000s. Therefore, the sci-fi epic should deliver in high hopes of having a decent box-office turnout. The film will catch up the eyes of the audience in June, 2013.
7. Pacific Rim by Guillermo del Toro
Sci-fi films of the upcoming year majorly dwell into either the fear or the consequences of an apocalypse. Warner Bro’s Pacific Rim, with its endless battles to safeguard the survival of mankind, has a plot encircling havoc, a war between human-brain-ventured giant robots, the Jaegers and ocean-born giant monsters, Kaiju. Over the time, these giant creatures prove to be highly resilient and the robots fail to bring them down. At the verge of defeat, the eyes look upon to the two ultimate heroes, Charlie Hunman and Rinko Kikuchi, who make their last attempts legendary.
The film is worked upon by Oscar winners John Knoll, Hal T. Hickel and Clay Pinny for their renowned work on films like Pirates of the Caribbean and Independence Day respectively. The film will hit the cinemas in 3D in July, 2013 to bring the action live.
6. The World’s End by Edgar Wright
Pals of the past reunite in sci-fi comedy motion picture, The World’s End. Though it takes off from a motive of depicting an amusing experience at a pub, it turns out to be a social science-fiction. The reunion of five childhood friends for a pub crawl after twenty long years becomes an overnight plan of visiting pubs like The First Post, The Old Familiar and many more, later on, ending up with an attempt to reach the fabled pub, The World’s End. Struggling to do so, they realize how the entire human race is part of the same race in one way or the other.
The British Sci-fi starring Pegg and Nick Frost is scheduled for the month of August, 2013 to hit the screens and catch the attention of sci-fi fans.
5. Ender’s Game by Gavin Hood
Adapted from a novel by Orson Scott Card, it’s a young boy’s extra-ordinary intellect that drives the film to the eventual battle against the aggressive Formics (the alien race) that have and will attack Earth in the coming future. Training for the same, the children are geared at the military academy, the Battle school and the strategic brains of Andrew “Ender” Wiggin (Asa Butterfield) comes up with unpredictable game tactics mastered at winning over the enemy.
The pre-teen army is under preparation to bang on to the theatre screens in November 2013. Ben Kingsley, Harrison Ford, Hailee Steinfeld, Jimmy Pinchak, Aramis Knight, Viola Davis and Abigail Breslin highlight the credit list for the cast.
4. The Prototype by Marcelo Grion
The dead wakes up to face the alien-acquired world 300 years from now and ends up being the only human survivor of the nuclear holocaust. All he has is a past life of an FBI agent, a few human clones around and a big mission of saving the Earth and its resources from the alien domination.
Mark Vasconcellos, playing the role of the agent in the first half and the Prototype against the alien conspiracy in the second, is the star cast in the action-cum-sci-fi that believes to hit the box-office in 2013.
3. Oblivion by Joseph Kosinski
Paying homage to sci-fi films of 1970s as per the director Joseph Kosinski, Oblivion is a film that leaves certain questions unanswered. Humanity, destroyed or yet to be destroyed depends on the sole decision of Jack Harper (Tom Cruise), ex-Marine Commander who, after a court martial, is sent to a remote planet to extract the planet’s remaining essential resources. A stranger, who is a young lady, survives a plane crash, happens to interrogate Jack about his objectives so much so that his beliefs on war and the operation might take a different stance and leave the future of mankind at stake.
Fighting for the mother Earth even after 60 years of alien invasions and destructions makes the film a depiction one of its kind that brings out the expected real motives and characteristics through fiction.
It’s a 3D release scheduled for April 2013 starring Tom Cruise, Olga Kurylenko, Andrea Riseborough, Morgan Freeman, Melissa Leo, Zoe Bell and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.
2. Robot and Frank by Jake Schreier
The not-yet-dead zeal in Frank (Frank Langella) makes him resume over to his profession of burglary when he gets a robot companion as a gift from his son, Hunter (James Marsden). The purpose of the robot is to take good care of the old man who is left alone but weekly visited by his son. Occupied with his personal and professional commitments, the son purchases a robot for the father Frank. The fact that the machine cannot distinguish between legal and the illegal puts Frank to work again. Assisted by the robot in lock-picking, both Frank and the robot work as a team and end up stealing jewels and ensures that the place where they hide them does not get revealed till the end.
Jake Schreier manages to keep the suspense through the character of Frank’s divorced wife who leads him to the realization of his wrong deeds and Frank, finally, after being convinced, wipes off the memory of the robot bringing him back to his actual purpose of existence. The successful, smartly projected companionship of the machine and the solitary soul will attack the theatre screens in UK in March 2013.
1. Gravity by Alfonso Cuaron
The thriller sci-fi film stars the all-time-favorite George Clooney and Sandra Bullock as the astronauts surviving through a space-craft crash and struggling to come back to Earth. The task becomes intricate when they’re the only people in space planning the return trip all alone.
The picture began filming in London back in May 2011 and is scheduled to be out on the 3D screens in October 2013 with a $ 80 million budget.