11 Science Fiction Movies: 2H 2019

Okay, it’s August, so I’m a few weeks late with this regular post. Given that I was away for most of June and part of July, however, this is the best that I can do. Nothing much of substance came out in my absence, however, so I feel pretty good about starting with the fall movie season.

Good News / Bad News

astronaut with grasshopper, 11 science fiction moviesThe bad news is that this list of 11 science fiction movies is not as long as it seems. Only the blockbusters are likely to make it to the cineplex. One of the films that was scheduled for the first half slipped into the second half, which is not unusual. That one will be a big deal.

Some have supposedly been released already but I don’t think they got much in the way of distribution. Has anyone seen the July movies? Anyone? Crickets?

The good news is that the pipeline for 2020 looks pretty well stocked with some blockbusters and some independents, with a lot in between. So, there’s more than a few films to look forward to.

July

The Immortal Wars: Resurgence

  • Immortal Wars Resurgence, Eric RobertsRelease Date: July 11, 2019
  • Director: Joe Lujan
  • Synopsis: “The freedom war between Dominion and the rebels has just begun. Trikalypse joins forces with the rebel leader and her team of freedom fighters. They must now fight back to bring Dominion down and expose him to the world.”
  • Trailer: Watch Here

My Take: If this plot sounds familiar, that’s because it’s been done. Wherever this went in July, it wasn’t to the big screen. Find it if you dare.

Aporia

  • Release Date: July 12, 2019
  • Director: Rec Revan
  • Synopsis: “Residents of the town are captured by an unknown armed group. They start experimenting on humans, but experiments fail because of some unstable situations. Therefore, the unsuccessful subjects are taken away from the village and taken to the top of a mountain, but the survivors of the massacre ‘arvin’ and ‘ejla’ escape behind the mountains in a deep pit managed to escape. At first they were unaware of what the night-full days were waiting for, though they thought they had been saved. The deep pit they fell into, they begin to turn into grave in time. in the past because they are experimented on them slowly mutated and drift into a dead end.
  • Trailer: Watch Here

My Take: The synopsis is so badly written it’s almost incomprehensible. That’s a big hint that English was a second language. OK, fair enough. People outside of the United States make good movies, too. I wouldn’t let that put me off but, again, this one came out and just disappeared. You can watch the trailer or the full movie online at the same URL.

Iron Sky 2: The Coming Race

  • Release Date: July 19, 2019
  • Director: Timo Vuorensola
  • Synopsis: “A follow-up to the film Iron Sky (2012) in which Nazis plan to take over the world after lying dormant in a secret military base on the moon.”
  • Trailer: Watch Here

My Take: If you can read that synopsis without laughing, you are a better person than I. And we haven’t talked yet about Hitler riding a T-Rex. If this sounds like fun to you, go for it.

August

   Boss Level

  • Release Date: August 16
  • Director: Joe Carnahan
  • Boss Level, Frank Grillo, Mel GibsonSynopsis: “Trapped in a time loop that constantly repeats the day of his murder, former special forces agent Roy Pulver (Frank Grillo) uncovers clues about a secret government project that could unlock the mystery behind his untimely death.

In a race against the clock, Pulver must hunt down Colonel Ventor (Mel Gibson), the powerful head of the government program, while outrunning skilled ruthless assassins determined to keep him from the truth in order to break out of the loop, save his family and live once again for tomorrow.

  • Trailer: Na

My Take: Roy Pulver will encounter Bill Murray, Tom Cruise, Natasha Lyonne, and Emily Blunt playing poker with a groundhog and a Russian doll as the stakes. Just saying. It’s been done, folks, so the question is how this movie will do it better. And can Mel Gibson overcome his off-screen reputation?

September

Ad Astra

  • Ad Astra, Brad Pitt, astronautRelease Date: September 20, 2019
  • Director: James Gray
  • Synopsis: “Astronaut Roy McBride travels to the outer edges of the solar system to find his missing father and unravel a mystery that threatens the survival of our planet.”
  • Trailer: Watch Here

My Take: This is the most significant of the movies that slipped from the first half into the second part of the year. It’s getting major movie treatment—standees in the lobby—so I’m hoping for good things. I hesitate to feel actually positive about it, however, as those have a tendency to become Grand Disappointments. I have watched three different trailers for this movie and they all look totally different. Like three different movies. So, your guess is as good as mine.

October

Lucy in the Sky

  • Release Date: October 4
  • Director: Noah Hawley
  • Synopsis: “Astronaut Lucy Cola returns to Earth after a transcendent experience during a mission to space, and begins to lose touch with reality in a world that now seems too small.”
  • Trailer: Watch Here

My Take: The trailer is so fragmented that I had trouble figuring out what was going on. I hope a new one makes things clearer later on. This could be excellent or it could be awful. Hard to tell–yet I would hesitate to bet on a movie about a woman’s fragmented mental state that’s directed by a man.

Gemini Man

  • Gemini Man, Will SmithRelease Date: October 11
  • Director: Ang Lee
  • Synopsis: Gemini Man is an innovative action-thriller starring Will Smith as Henry Brogan, an elite assassin, who is suddenly targeted and pursued by a mysterious young operative that seemingly can predict his every move.”
  • Trailer: Watch Here

My Take: We have already seen a trailer for this movie, like three times and we haven’t gone to the theater all that much. Paramount seems positively giddy at the prospect of two Will Smiths in another science fiction film. It will get a lot of marketing play. I hope the film is up to the hype. The trailer highlights the fighting, not the science fiction.

November

Terminator: Dark Fate

  • Release Date: November 1, 2019
  • Director: Tim Miller
  • Synopsis: “Sarah Connor has returned from far away, and she’s gearing up with a team of agents who will fight against T-1000.”
  • Trailer: Watch Here

My Take: Have you missed Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor? Yeah, me too. I hope she can refurbish this franchise and return it its former glory. Once the boys took over and turned suspense into wham-bang action and gory violence, they destroyed what made the first two movies great. Go get ‘em, Sarah! Do what you do best.

December

Little Joe

  • Release Date: December 6, 2019
  • Director: Jessica Hausner
  • Synopsis: “Alice, a single mother, is a dedicated senior plant breeder at a corporation engaged in developing new species. She has engineered a very special crimson flower, remarkable not only for its beauty but also for its therapeutic value: if kept at the ideal temperature, fed properly and spoken to regularly, this plant makes its owner happy. Against company policy, Alice takes one home as a gift for her teenage son, Joe. They christen it ‘Little Joe’ but as it grows, so too does Alice’s suspicion that her new creations may not be as harmless as their nickname suggests.”
  • Trailer: Watch Here

My Take: What could go wrong? Seriously. I mean, other than turning a botanical lab into the Little Shop of Horrors. I have hopes for this one.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

  • Star Wars the Rise of SkywalkerRelease Date: December 20, 2019
  • Director: J.J. Abrams
  • Synopsis:
  • Trailer: Watch Here

My Take: One has only to hear the music to get in the mood for the next entry in the Star Wars saga. Sadly, it has devolved into telling the same story over and over with different people and settings. Will this one be more original? Or will we get another round of “Chewie, we’re home” from a returning character. Let’s hope it’s a big Christmas present.

Superintelligence

  • Release Date: December 20, 2019
  • Director: Ben Falcone
  • Synopsis: “Nothing extraordinary ever happens to Carol Peters (McCarthy), so when she starts getting snarky backtalk from her TV, phone and microwave, she thinks she’s being punked. Or losing her mind. In fact, the world’s first superintelligence has selected her for observation, taking over her life – with a bigger, more ominous plan to take over everything. Now Carol is humanity’s last chance before this artificial intelligence-with-an-attitude decides to pull the plug.”
  • Trailer: NA

My Take: James Corden is the voice of the superintelligence. Need I say more?

The 11 Science Fiction Movies 2H 2019

So, there you have it: 11 science fiction movies between now and New Year’s Day. Three have already been released and virtually disappeared. More are likely to do so. Still, keep your eyes wide open because you never can tell what movie will be a big success.

summer movies, 11 science fiction movies 2H 2019Yesterday, for example, is a low-budget summer movie that has made over $17 million so far. (On a $26 million production budget.) Although it was never marketed as science fiction, what else do you call a movie about a world where the Beatles never existed?

Yesterday is an alternate reality film where you have to pay attention to discover what other things/people were excised from the current reality. It was far better than I expected and I recommend it — and not just to science fiction fans.

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About Aline Kaplan

Aline Kaplan is a published author, a blogger, and a tour guide in Boston. She formerly had a career as a high-tech marketing and communications director. Aline writes and edits The Next Phase Blog, a social commentary blog that appears multiple times a week at aknextphase.com. She has published over 1,000 posts on a variety of subjects, from Boston history to science fiction movies, astronomical events to art museums. Under the name Aline Boucher Kaplan, she has had two science fiction novels (Khyren and World Spirits) published by Baen Books. Her short stories have appeared in anthologies published in the United States, Ireland, and Australia. Aline’s articles have also appeared on the Atlas Obscura website. She has been an active member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America since 1988 and is a long-term member of the Spacecrafts science/fantasy writers’ group. As a tour guide, Aline leads architectural and historical walking tours of the city for Boston By Foot, ghost tours for Haunted Boston and historical bus tours of the city. She lectures on Boston history and has appeared in the Boston Globe, as well as on TV for Chronicle, an award-winning television program that broadcasts stories of New England. As a lecturer, Aline has spoken at Brandeis and Tufts universities for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. She has also addressed as service organizations and local meetings. She is a graduate of Northeastern University in Boston and lives in Hudson, MA.

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