This looks like it might be a winner, right?
After watching the trailer for Automata (which is way too close to the warmed up left overs that is the Penny Arcade crew's Automata), I wondered something: Are we quietly living in the best era of science fiction since the late 70's/early 80's? While that decade had Silent Running, Alien, and Star Wars and in the early 80's you have Blade Runner, Empire Strikes Back, Aliens, Terminator, and Outland.
Now, we have Looper, Moon, District 9, Inception, Primer, Her, Attack the Block, Snowpiercer, and the new Planet of the Apes series. . . I mean, these movies aren't perfect, but we're in pretty good shape here, right? They're either great pieces of cinema or they're interesting pieces of cinema.
And with that said, look at how good our big, dumb blockbusters are! Did anyone expect Guardians of the Galaxy to be that hardy of a picture? And while Edge of Tomorrow might be a lark, it's a smarter film than a lot of other sci-fi films that I do not care to name. Then there's Pacific Rim, which is a movie that I could go on about forever (and have).
And what did the 90's have? Total Recall (a great, great movie) followed by a bunch of Will Smith movies (you could argue for Terminator 2 (but that's more action than it is science fiction and that seems to be an outlier). Then you've got the 2000's which are stained with the legacy of the Prequels That Shall Not Be Named and, what? Avatar?
Oh yeah, Minority Report was awesome. Good call on that one, reader.
Maybe I just have a selective memory or a kind of blind confirmation bias. Who knows? Whatever the case is, we're lucky to be in an era where special effects have finally caught up with screen writing.
I don't know. Movie are cool. I guess that's what I'm getting at. We should be exicted about them. Which brings me to the next item on the agenda:
The script of Blade Runner 2 is complete.
There's been a lot of boring, Internet skepticism about this and as much as we all love a good skeptic now and again, it's important to remember you can shut the fuck up we have a goddamn Blade Runner sequel here. Thirty fucking years in the making do not take this away from me!
There's every reason in the world to trust Sir Ridley Scott on this one, too. I mean, he did make Blade Runner.
And Alien. And Gladiator. And Kingdom of Heaven. And Black Hawk Down. And Prometheus and fuck you, Prometheus is awesome. And sure, he's done quite a number of highly questionable films-- some of them as recent as the past year-- but, hey, when you're one of the greatest film makers of all time, you're entitled to a slump here and there. HE MADE BLADE RUNNER, YOU CURS.
In the meantime everybody go read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep as a warm up for Automata. And toss Neuromancer and Akira in there while you're at it, because, you know, they're great.
James Kislingbury is a writer, podcaster, and an enemy of mankind. You can follow him on twitter.
*Notably I've left out Kathryn Bigelow, who would be perfect to take the mantle from Scott, except that she's already at work on Alien V, which is a fact that I am 100% is true.