Science fiction allows viewers to explore strange new worlds both inside and out, as well as envision the possibilities of the future. 2012 was a banner year for blockbuster cinema and many of the biggest hits of the year came from the science fiction genre.
Whether it’s superhero action in The Avengers or family entertainment like Frankenweenie, a decade ago there was a wide variety of sci-fi movies to enjoy. Remarkably, many of these films have stood the test of time and are as enjoyable now as they were then, becoming classics in their own right.
Robot and Frank
Usually, science fiction explores the distant future and gives the viewer a glimpse into the possibilities of a distant time. However, Robot and Frank gave viewers a hilarious look at the possibilities of the near future and the advancements of modern technology. A former jewel thief is given a robot butler to take care of him, but soon the pair embark on one last daring heist together.
Robot and Frank blended elements of crime, sci-fi, and comedy into a perfectly hilarious mix. The film makes subtle comments about advances in technology and how older generations are being left behind by a society that no longer finds them useful.
Remakes can often be very disappointing, but the comic book adaptation Dred was a pleasant surprise for many viewers. The film is set in the near future where crime has become so serious that the police must act as judge, jury and executioner to keep the streets safe.
The original film, starring Sylvester Stallone, was not well received, but advances in modern cinematic technology have allowed filmmakers to tell a more compelling story. Although the concept is cheesy at its core, the film still managed to be action-packed and thrilling from start to finish.
Tim Burton’s stop motion films have become animation classics, and his remake of Frankenweenie was considered a return to form for the director. A young boy’s dog is killed in an accident and he is determined to revive him using the same crazy science of Doctor Frankenstein.
Frankenweenie is both touching and hilarious with a healthy dose of Tim Burton’s signature style. While the original short was live-action, the decision to make the film in stop-motion was a smart one. The medium allowed filmmakers to explore the darker elements of the story without being particularly scary for young viewers.
Even in a year filled with superhero movies, the Chronicle managed to stand out as an interesting spin on the genre. The story follows a trio of teenagers who accidentally gain superpowers. As they explore their newfound abilities, they discover that their lives begin to spiral out of control and their friendship is tested.
By 2012, superhero movie fatigue had begun to set in and the Chronicle was a breath of fresh air. Avoiding the traditional template, the film instead opted for a less slick look that made the events feel much more real. The questions posed by the film are interesting to contemplate and the viewer wonders what he would do if he had powers.
Men in Black 3
A decade after the first sequel, director Barry Sonnenfeld has returned to helm the third men in black movie. The story sees Agent J travel to 1969 to stop an alien from altering the future by assassinating a young Agent K.
At the end of the trilogy, Men in Black 3 delivered both action and drama in equal measure. Will Smith gives a more mature performance as Agent J, and it’s clear the character has grown over the films. Even with modern technology to work with, the third film is still very much like the first two when it comes to their unique visual style.
Time travel and science fiction go hand in hand, and often movie plots can get very convoluted. looper envisions a future where the Mafia sends victims back in time to be murdered when they want to annihilate someone.
The interesting concept is anchored by strong performances from Joseph Gordon-Levitt and action star Bruce Willis. By using CG and makeup, the filmmakers were able to cleverly make the two stars look like versions of the same person from different eras.
After decades of absence, director Ridley Scott has returned to the Extraterrestrial frankness that he had left in the hands of others. Prometheus acts as a prequel to Extraterrestrial and follows a group of explorers who travel to a distant moon in search of the origins of life in the universe.
Although die-hard fans of the franchise had mixed feelings about the film, many moviegoers were enthralled by the interesting plot and distinct visuals. Without the famous Xenomorph, the film relies heavily on new ways to scare audiences and offers a unique take on the vast Extraterrestrial cinematic universe.
Returning once again to the sci-fi/fantasy genre, the Wachowski sisters’ directorial duo have delivered a riveting adaptation of an epic novel. cloud atlas explores the consequences of a decision as it affects individuals in the past, present and future.
Just like the heady science fiction of The matrix, cloud atlas used the convention of its genres to ask questions about morality. Brilliantly understated performances from Tom Hanks and Halle Berry also grounded the convoluted plot in entertaining interpersonal drama.
Considered the culmination of the first phase of the MCU, The Avengers finally brought together all of Marvel’s most legendary heroes for one thrilling adventure. Teaming up to stop Loki, the Avengers rally and attempt to put a final end to the Demigod’s dastardly plans.
The Avengers pushed the boundaries of what a superhero movie could be and left fans clamoring for more Marvel action in later phases. Although the MCU will explore more territory in the years to come, The Avengers set the standard for all future Marvel team-up movies.
The hunger Games
Trying to capitalize on the success of adaptations of young adult books like Harry Potter and Dusk, Suzanne Collins’ dystopian adventure series brought to life. The hunger Games tells the story of a future where neighborhoods must field young people to fight in a televised tournament to the death.
The film launched a successful franchise and made Jennifer Lawrence a star. The story’s unique visual style was stark and left viewers wanting more, and the film itself spawned a few imitators trying to capitalize on its success.
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