2013: Top 10 SF and Fantasy Movies

Wolverine movie posterOur experience of movie-going has transformed utterly in the last few years, with CGI, motion capture and (half-decent) 3D offering a series of fully realised worlds. 2012 was an incredible year for speculative adventure movies with The Avengers (a major triumph), Dark Knight Rises (certainly dark), Snow White and the Huntsman (some fabulous effects), The Hobbit (first of three – I loved its detail and perfected performances), the Spiderman reboot (I wish they’d made a good Spidey movie not another origins film), Dredd (didn’t like this one, but I know many who did), John Carter (derivative but entertaining), Prometheus (I hope the sequel delivers on its promise) and Wrath of the Titans amongst many others.

2013 has some fantastic movies coming too. I’ve whittled these down to a top ten and juggled between SF, high fantasy and horror. Each entry has a poster and a trailer, if the producers have released one. So, in no particular order:

The Evil Dead movie posterThe Evil Dead (April release)
Remake of the classic horror movie that spawned a thousand imitators. Hopefully the brilliant effects will be matched by the suspense.

Further information here
The trailer below is great tease:

Iron Man 3 movie posterIron Man 3 (May release)
Looks like a change of pace in this one, with Stark being affected by the action of the Avengers rather than being consumed by the scale of his incredible powers. He has to dig deep and resort to his personal qualities to defeat both inner and external demons.

Further information here
The trailer below is pretty awesome:

Star Trek Into Darkness movie posterStar Trek Into Darkness (May release)
I’m glad they’ve managed to carve a credible space before the first of the first Star Trek movies so we can have some serious adventures without any daft reboots. This one looks pleasingly dark, with J.J. Abrams at the helm.
Further information here
The trailer below is well-worth watching

Man of Steel movie poster, supermanMan of Steel (June release)

I must confess: I’m not a Superman fan. When I was young, it was Marvel that gripped me and the school playground was strongly divided between DC and Marvel lovers. I hated Batman until the movies turned truly dark and added some depth to the character. I’m hoping the new film will do the same for Superman, who, for my taste, is just too good to be true (yes I know superheroes all suffer this in varying degrees).

The film’s synopsis is here.

And the trailer:

Pacific Rim movie posterPacific Rim (July release)

A return for Guillermo del Toro whose last film was 2008′s Hellboy II: The Golden Army. It seems to  combine an old-fashioned King Kong vibe with Transformer-like technology. It could be a disaster, but it’ll certainly have some delectable moments.
More information here

And the mighty trailer:

Wolverine movie posterWolverine posterThe Wolverine (July release)
Hugh Jackman makes a gritty return as everyone favourite, angry mutant, Wolverine in a Chris Claremont and Frank Miller inspired tale, based in Japan. Claremont and Miller are core comic creators and their superb work deserves much more credit than it receives, beyond the confines of fans, cognocenti and comicons.

Hunger Games posterThe Hunger Games: Catching Fire (November release)
In truth this is most eagerly awaited by my daughter who is Hunger Games mad. I’ll watch it willingly because the first one was pretty good. It was much darker than I expected and featured some very strong, moody performances from Jennifer Lawrence and the scintillating Woody Harrelson. I can’t find a trailer for this yet, although it’s supposed to be coming in April.

Some news stories are starting to hit on this now as the publicity machine cranks up.

Official website with news and images here.

Hobbit posterThe Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (December release)
Hard to contain myself on this one. Promises to be fabulous. Loved the first film, with its idiosyncrasies and intimate cinematic detail. It was not received well by the critics, but none of this big films do; so far it’s taken 1 billion dollars at the box office and still going. Can’t be all bad eh?

More information here.

Here’s a video with interviews (the trailer’s not out yet):

Dark Skies movie posterDark Skies (February release)

A nicely scary, supernatural abduction thriller with possession and horror thrown in. I miss the enigmatic drama of the early X-files, with its occasional lapses into horror SF. Hopefully Dark Skies will live up to the trailer which is chilling.

More information here:
Here’s a terrific trailer:

After Earth Movie Poster After Earth, movie poster, these fantastic worldsAfter Earth (June release)

With M. Night Shyamalan as director and the irrepressible Will Smith, this has to be a highly watchable movie. After a spaceship crash lands, father and son (played by Will and son Jaden Smith) explore a planet deserted by humans 1,000 years earlier. Plenty of adventure and suspense. The two movie posters here show very different ways of promoting the film – I wonder which one direction they’ll go in the end.
Further information here.
And here’s the trailer:

Bubbling under

Thor, Dark World, movie posterThere are a number of other potentially fantastic movies coming too, but for a variety of reasons they haven’t quite made my top ten: Oz: The Great And PowerfulG.I. Joe: Retaliation, Thor: The Dark World (with Christopher Eccleston)Starwars: Revenge of the Sith (3D version) and Starwars: Attack of the Clones (3D)Oblivion (A Tom Cruise vehicle, hopefully with the style of Vanilla Sky), Elysium (with Jodie Foster and Matt Damon) and finally, after all these years comes Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game.

So here’s to the next 12 months of incredible celluloid, 3D glasses and these immersive, fantastic worlds. Do you have any other movie suggestions? Let me know in the comment section below, or on twitter.

Some edits made on 25/01/13