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2013: Year Of The Post-Apocalyptic Sci-Fi Movies

December 15th, 2012 1:00pm EST

After Earth Much to my elation, it seems that the sci-fi machine in Hollywood has once again turned on, as some seriously awesome movie trailers were released over this past week. It looks like 2013 will be a promising year for Sci-Fi fans, especially those who like space-ships, big robots, forsaken planets, alien-dinosaurs, Will Smith, Jaden Smith, Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Guillermo del Toro, love stories, ethical dilemmas and mindless, awesome, explosions and epic battle scenes. Oh wait - THATS JUST ABOUT EVERYONE.

"After Earth" stars the father-son douo, Will and Jaden Smith. The Smiths have never failed to deliver, and this movie doesn't seem to be any exception.

Plot Summary: The trailer starts with Will Smith and Jaden Smith's characters drifting through what appears to be an asteroid field on a derelict space ship, which is torn apart and thrown down to a planet. Unfortunately, they couldn't have picked a worse planet to be marooned on. This particular planet is a "Class-1" Quarantine planet, and if that sounds bad - don't worry, it is. It's completely devoid of human life, and overrun by highly evolved wildlife that is none-to-receptive of these starstuck visitors. In fact, for whatever reason, these creatures have evolved completely to combat the presence of humans, so it's not going to be easy going. Towards the end, after some thrilling, adrenaline-infused action scenes, you learn that this planet, is Earth.

Why it's cool: Well, besides Will and Jayden Smith, it takes place on a backwater, feral Earth. We aren't cued into exactly why humans left Earth, or how long they have been gone, but there's a short scene with lasers and spaceships and all sorts of cool stuff that hints the history of humanity might be revealed in the movie. The movies appears to be primarily the story of man versus wild, turned up the the eleven. There's an interesting mix of sci-fi and primacy here too, where the two survivors have access to some pretty cool gadgetry (some cool wingsuits, holographic diagnostic equipment and tight fitting bodygloves), but seem to fight primarily with what looks like collapsable bladed sticks.

Official Release:

After a crash landing, a father and son explore a planet that was evacuated by humans 1,000 years earlier.

"Oblivion" starring Tom Cruise is, of course, the other heavy hitter for 2013 (I'm gonna' start calling it 'Year of the Sci-Fi.')

Plot Summary: Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) is a droid repairman, one of the last. Jack describes an alien war that happened sixty years ago, that humanity emerged victorious from, but at a heavy cost. The planet was evacuated, and he and a couple others were believed to be all that was left - a 'mop up crew' for the last of the vital resources left on earth. Of course, this all changes when Harper is abducted on his last reapir mission before lieaving the planet for good, by an underground organization, and shown the 'truth.' The truth, of course, comes from none other than Morgan Freeman, who exposes him to the vast conspiracy at hand. It challenges everything Harper has known and worked for, and will pit him against the people he knows and loves.

Why it's cool: The crisp, clean presentation of the trailer and the stark contrast between the "humans" in white and "scavs" in sinister black and orange makes for a very cool contrast. Then of course, there are the underground dwellers, who falls somewhere in between. The trailer is littered with sci-fi technology, levitating space ships, mechanized attack robots, big sci-fi laser guns, scary aliens, post-apocalyptic survivor colonies and everything else requisite for a damned good sci-fi action movie. All that's left is for it to come out.

Official Release:

Earth is a memory worth fighting for... Watch the first Oblivion Trailer starring Tom Cruise. An original and groundbreaking cinematic event from the director of TRON: Legacy and the producer of Rise of the Planet of the Apes. On a spectacular future Earth that has evolved beyond recognition, one man's confrontation with the past will lead him on a journey of redemption and discovery as he battles to save mankind. ack Harper (Cruise) is one of the last few drone repairmen stationed on Earth. Part of a massive operation to extract vital resources after decades of war with a terrifying threat known as the Scavs, Jack's mission is nearly complete.

Living in and patrolling the breathtaking skies from thousands of feet above, his soaring existence is brought crashing down when he rescues a beautiful stranger from a downed spacecraft. Her arrival triggers a chain of events that forces him to question everything he knows and puts the fate of humanity in his hands.

Oblivion was shot in stunning digital 4K resolution on location across the United States and Iceland.

"Pacific Rim" was a bit of a sleeper trailer, easily lost among the other two big post-apocalyptic hits, but exciting none the less. Directed by Guillermo del Toro, Pacific Rim already boasts an impressive visual style on a Godzilla-esque scale.

Plot Summary: Aliens didn't come from the stars; they came from within the planet. A portal to another realm cracks open deep beneath the sea, and monsters of truly staggering size surfaced and (as all good aliens do) started to destroy everything within sight. Having never fought anything remotely like this, humanity is forced to band together in a coalition to form a defensive initiative. The most logical solution? Giant robots piloted remotely by warriors wearing digitized cyber suits.

Why it's cool: While the theme of aliens versus giant robots goes waaaaaay back (Voltron, Power-Rangers, you name it) it somehow never loses its charm. Something is always appealing about collossal aliens and gargantuan robots kung-fuing their way across desolate cityscapes with no regard to the collateral damage along the way. Guillermo del Toro as a director means the movie will have a dark, subdued visual style (which it does) and the entire presentation seems to be nothing less than absolutely epic. The CG is top notch, and the presentation is flawlessly executed i nthe trailer, if not for a bit of cliche' dialogue. Still, to say that this isn't an adrenaline-fueled, testosterone-injected adventure would be an outright lie.

Official Release:

When an alien attack threatens the Earth's existence, giant robots piloted by humans are deployed to fight off the menace.

2013 is shaping up to be quite a blockbuster year.
The suspense is killing me. I hope it will last.

Related: After Earth, Oblivion, Pacific Rim, Starpulse Exclusives, Movies, Movie Trailers, In Production

Photo Credits: Columbia Pictures; Warner Bros.;

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