Film: This year in science fiction films

Posted by Sam Bouchat on Friday, Jan. 11 at 7:22 pm.

The year 2013 is exploding with action films, mystery and suspense films, but the genre of science fiction is a specific facet of action/mystery/suspense that speaks to an audience of viewers who know their sci-fi well. As such, it’s important for filmmakers who venture into the science fiction world to keep their products believable, but interesting. Here are some of this year’s science fiction films that I hope keep the standard of sci-fi high.

“Oblivion” (April 19): Tom Cruise plays a drone repairman working on post-alien war Earth, the planet now desolate. I have high hopes for this film from director Joseph Kosinski, despite his less-than-stellar direction of “Tron: Legacy.”

“Iron Man 3″ (May 3): Robert Downey, Jr. returns as a post-”Avengers” Tony Stark. This film will introduce the super-strong martial-art-expert villain The Mandarin, played by Ben Kingsley (“Shutter Island,” “Shindler’s List.”)

“Star Trek Into Darkness” (May 17): J. J. Abrams’ sequel to his 2009 reboot of the 1967 series promises a complex villain (Benedict Cumberbatch) and the continuation of the ever evolving relationship between Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) and Spock (Zachary Quinto).

“Pacific Rim” (July 12): I’m excited to see director Guillermo del Toro try his hand at science fiction, considering how much I enjoy his fantasy movies (“Pan’s Labyrinth,” “Hellboy”). This movie is like a defensive version of “Avatar,” but instead of avatars, humans are fighting inside of giant robots. Also, Idris Elba.

“Ender’s Game” (Nov. 1): Orson Scott Card’s 1985 novel finally hits the big screen with Asa Butterfield (“Hugo”) as the title character, playing opposite Harrison Ford’s Colonel Hyrum Graff. This space-based war-themed adventure has huge literary shoes to fill.