Science Fiction Remakes in 2018

Fahrenheit 451Predator

2018 is looking to be a terrific year for science fiction and fantasy movies.  The list of films on the horizon merits breaking the movies into sub-categories.  Today I’m looking just at remakes.  Many of the sequels might be remakes to a greater or lesser extent (take Iron Sky for example).  But I’ve only classified two as true remakes for 2018; Predator and Fahrenheit 451.

Predator has an alien antagonist, bur really is otherwise a horror film more than a science fiction film.  People who saw it generally liked it (87% of audiences liked it according to Rotten Tomatoes).  Its sequels did not fare nearly so well.  The film was made in 1987 and stands up well thirty years later if you like this type of film.  The only reason to remake this film is to make money.

Fahrenheit 451 was released in 1966.  It is based on a Ray Bradbury book that was very successful, and in the required reading list of many high schools.  The film is very dated, and of course the special effects of are of a 1960s era, which makes for a severe weakness for a sci-fi geek.  As opposed to Predator, remaking this film generates some excitement in my circles.  This has the potential of being a great story, updated with 21st century special effects and budgets that allow the opportunity for a deeper sense of loss than could be generated in the original film.  As much as I like Julie Christie in the film, Oskar Werner left a lot to be desired as a leading man in the 1966 version.  Let’s hope they do a great job on a great story.

3 Big events for the 20 years in Outer Space

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It should be an exciting two decades in Space.  The last few years have had their own excitement:  water on Mars, two Jupiter moons, and a variety of asteroids; missions to the edge of the Solar System; the reality that there is probably life (although evidence points to microscopic life forms within our Solar System but not on our planet).  Much of this is tied to theory, but the next two decades promise some more palatable adventures:

  1. A permanent manned base on the Moon.  Frankly, I’m wondering why we’ve waited so long.  We have a permanent satellite that is manned in orbit that really requires more danger and maintenance than a base on the Moon would.
  2. Asteroid mining.  I finished a novel about this last year.  I’ll be very surprised if some version of actual asteroid mining isn’t engaged by 2037.
  3. A permanent manned base on Mars.  This one grabs all the headlines, and is actually the most costly and far-fetched.  Target dates of 2034 will likely come and go, but maybe… just maybe we’ll make it by 2037.

It is sad to be aging.  I may be able to witness these three events, but assuming they become a reality, it is the next 20 years that will really turn our lives into the science fiction novels I read as a youth.


What is Star Wars 8 up against in 2017

Image result for Yondu Guardians of the Galaxy 2

In the battlefield of science fiction and fantasy movies many casualties fell along the way in 2017.  Disney went out with a bang in 2016, giving us Rogue One (the best Star Wars movie since Empire Strikes Back) but I entered 2017 with not such a new hope in Episode 8 of the Star Wars Saga that is about to open.  Still looking at 2017 there are only three films that help up to my much narrowed palate in the genre today.

The movie I most looked forward to in 2017 was Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2.  Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2.  It did not disappoint.  Granted it didn’t feel nearly as fresh as Volume 1, and it did have a dry spot on Planet Ego, but nonetheless I found it fulfilling, fun, exciting, romantic, and loved almost all the characters including many of the villains.

The two other movies that Episode 8 to rock my world include Wonder Woman and Logan.

Wonder Woman demonstrated that DC & Wonder Woman are capable of producing an entering popcorn movie.  I might not have seen this film, but for the buzz.  So my first pleasant surprise of 2017 was Wonder Woman.  The duck out of water aura of Wonder Woman in World War I London caught nuances “wonder”fully.  The romance, action, and yes… loss, made this a memorable movie.

Logan was another surprise.  I’ve seen several of the X-Men movies, but have never really enjoyed most of their characters.  Even in this one, Patrick Steward did nothing in this film to make it watchable, except perhaps his final scene.  Logan as the reluctant, aging hero turned the trick though.  There was plenty of action, confrontation, and loss.

I mention loss a lot in these three films.  I understand that Marvel will likely kill off several of its popular characters in their next two movies.  Being a fan of some of those characters I’m not really excited about losing them, but the perennial saves for major characters takes away from the legitimacy of many films.  I was a huge fan of Harry Potter books and movies, but when Harry’s sacrifice is miraculously overturned it was a groan moment for me.  A non-sacrifice sacrifice, a non-tragic tragedy.  Rogue One had that. 

Granted we are in Episode 8 of a nine episode story arc, Carrie Fisher is dead, so we can have a tragic loss there, but I’m hoping that Episode 8 is not simply a retooled Empire Strikes Back.  We’ll see… soon in a Megaplex far, far away.