Summer may be over, but this flagship year for science fiction still has four months left to wow us. Guardians of the Galaxy, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Snowpiercer and others may be behind us, but the cooler months are bringing their own sci-fi treasures. It ain’t over yet folks. Welcome to the 2014 Science Fiction Movie Fall Preview!
The Maze Runner (September 19)
Remember The Hunger Games? Well, this is kind of like that! But with more boys! And more mazes! And more running, presumably! In all seriousness, it’s impossible to say if The Maze Runner will do the same caliber of business that female-led young-adult adaptations like The Hunger Games and Divergent did, but fans certainly seemed pleased after a Comic-Con screening. Let’s go into this one with an open mind and hope that the “kids remake The Prisoner” style plot has something going on beneath the surface.
The Zero Theorem (September 19)
Terry Gilliam made one of the best science fiction satires of all time with Brazil and The Zero Theorem sees him returning to similar territory. The setting: a dystopic future London. The hero: a lone oddball with his fair share of personal quirks. The enemy: corporations, bureaucracy and a poisonous culture. The quest: to see enlightenment. I wasn’t too fond of this film when I saw it at Fantastic Fest last year, but it’s quintessential Gilliam and a must-watch for any of his fans. It may not blow your socks off, but it’s too weird and too singular to ignore.
Automata (October 10)
Have you seen the trailer for Automata? Holy crap, where the hell did this come from? This Spanish-financed science fiction movie looks like a throwback to ’60s and ’70s sci-fi (albeit with a few more car chases), using big, crazy ideas about future technology to tell stories about humanity and in our place in the world. This looks like a better adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot than, well, I, Robot. Sure, it could be an unwatchable disaster, but I’d like to live in a world where a movie about Antonio Banderas getting involved in a robot uprising is a stellar piece of cinema, thank you very much.
Interstellar (November 7)
Look, if you’re reading an article about science fiction movies, you probably don’t need to be told to seek out Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar. You know when it’s coming out. You’ve seen every trailer. You’ve watched Inception a few times to keep you hands from shaking with anticipation. Now that Batman is officially and completely out of his system, Nolan is getting the chance to make a film that looks like the best parts of Steven Spielberg and Stanley Kubrick combined into one unique beast. If it’s half as good as Contact, it’ll be the best movie of the year.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (November 21)
Katniss is back! And she’s brought an entire revolution with her! Yep, we finally get to see what happens after the cliffhanger at the end of last year’s excellent The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and, with a little luck, the wait will be worth it. And while I’m being hopeful, I’m going to go ahead and assume that the decision to split the final book into two films, while certainly financially motivated, will ultimately give the fillmakers more creative freedom. In any case, hooray for smart, feminist science fiction being smuggled to the young masses!
Godzilla (September 16)
Is Gareth Edwards’ awesome Godzilla reboot really science fiction? Eh, kind of. Maybe. Not really. No. Yeah? Kind of? Who knows? All that is important is that it will be available to own in a few weeks and this is the kind of movie you’ll want to have on hand to test out your sound and picture because day-yum, this movie is incredible. Movies about giant monsters fighting giant monsters have never been this good. Ever.
The Signal (September 23)
As you may recall, I interviewed the director of The Signal a few months back and made it very clear that you should check out this truly deranged, bizarre and stylish Twilight Zone-episode of a movie. Made for a low budget but looking like it was made for a helluva lot more, the film is uneven and silly but wildly entertaining. Everyone in this movie is probably going to blow up in a few years. Look sharp.
Alien: 35th Anniversary Edition (October 7)
Yes, Ridley Scott’s 1979 masterpiece Alien is hitting Blu-ray again and if you don’t already own one of the best movies ever made, this is your chance to rectify your terrible life choices. However, with the incredible Alien Anthology Blu-ray set regularly going on sale, you might as well bite the bullet an pick up all four films and ignore this double dip. It’s only, you know, the single greatest home entertainment package of all time, with the special features on the making of Alien: Resurrection actually making owning Alien: Resurrection worth it. But go ahead and make your own decision on this front. It’s your money.
Edge of Tomorrow (October 7)
The summer’s most underseen and underrated movie is finally going to find its audience at home. Everyone you know is going to watch it and kick themselves for skipping it in theaters and say things like “Man, I was an idiot for not seeing Edge of Tomorrow on the big screen!” And you’ll say “Yes, you are an idiot” and then kick them our of your home because you’re going to watch Edge of Tomorrow again. And again. And Again.
Snowpiercer (October 21)
Speaking of great science fiction movies that everyone you know probably hasn’t seen yet, Bong Joon-ho’s incredible Snowpiercer is arriving soon. And it’s tremendous. There’s a reason every movie blog on the Internet is obsessed with this movie: it’s one of the best 2014.
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