From The Next Phase Blog
A low-budget science fiction movie, Project Almanac, opens today and next week we have the debut of the visually spectacular Jupiter Rising. More movies are scheduled to open during the year so this is a good time to follow up on my previous post on the Top 10 Science Fiction Movies in 2015, with a list of the lesser—but possibly even better—offerings that are scheduled to open in the first four months of 2015.
Here are the 14 upcoming science fiction movies of 2015 in chronological order.
* The Usual Disclaimer: See Below
- Project Almanac (January 30, 2015)
“A group of teens discover secret plans of a time machine, and construct one. However, things start to get out of control.” Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 36% Fresh, 57% Liked it. But the reviews are still coming in. Children and teenagers have been discovering futuristic technology in the movies for a long time. It’s becoming a trope of its own.
Project Almanac Trailer
- Predestination (Release date is January 9 but it is not yet in theaters)
“Chronicles the life of a Temporal Agent (Ethan Hawke) sent on an intricate series of time-travel journeys designed to prevent future killers from committing their crimes. Now, on his final assignment, the Agent must stop the one criminal that has eluded him throughout time and prevent a devastating attack in which thousands of lives will be lost.” This is is based on the short story, “All You Zombies” by Robert Heinlein. It’s certainly not a new idea but the proof of the pudding is in the execution.
- Vice (Release date is January 16 but it has not yet appeared in theaters)
“Julian Michaels (Bruce Willis) has designed the ultimate resort: VICE, where anything goes and the customers can play out their wildest fantasies with artificial inhabitants who look, think and feel like humans. When an artificial (Ambyr Childers) becomes self-aware and escapes, she finds herself caught in the crossfire between Julian’s mercenaries and a cop (Thomas Jane) who is hell-bent on shutting down Vice, and stopping the violence once and for all.” Ah, Westworld, father of them all.
- The Phoenix Project (Release date is January 16 but not yet in theaters)
“Four young scientists work to craft a machine to reanimate deceased organisms. As the project develops, the machine exceeds their wildest expectations, creating boundless possibilities that challenge the very nature of human existence. However, success with this experiment comes at a price, as ulterior motives and reckless abandon lead to consequences none of them could predict.” This could equally have been called The Lazarus Project. Are we going to see a scientific basis for zombies or a science-fiction Flatliners?
The Phoenix Project Trailer
- Alien Outpost (January 30)
“Two documentary cameramen embedded in an army unit in the most hostile place on earth, an outpost surrounded by the last remaining alien fighters (Heavies) of an invading attack force. The world may have forgotten about the Outposts, but the Heavies are planning the second invasion of Earth and the soldiers are the only ones who can stop it.” The Battle of Los Angeles goes to Afghanistan to fight aliens that look like they migrated from Edge of Tomorrow. It looks gritty–and not just from sand blowing around.
Alien Outpost Trailer
- Seventh Son (February 6)
“In a time long past, an evil is about to be unleashed that will reignite the war between the forces of the supernatural and humankind once more. The sole remaining warrior of a mystical order travels to find a prophesized hero born with incredible powers, the last Seventh Son.” This fantasy film is based on the novel “The Spook’s Apprentice” by Joseph Delaney, which is the first book in The Wardstone Chronicles series. That gives the production companies lots of room for sequels.
The Seventh Son Trailer
- Absolutely Anything (February 13, 2015)
“Monty Python alumni John Cleese, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam, and Eric Idle reunite for this sci-fi comedy directed and co-written by Jones (along with Gavin Scott), and centering on the story of a group of mischievous extraterrestrials (voiced by the Python crew) who grant embittered schoolteacher Neil Clarke (Simon Pegg) extraordinary powers in order to see how he will use them. Subsequently seeking the wisdom of his loyal canine companion Dennis (voice of Robin Williams).” I hate to see Robin Williams go out as the voice of a dog but, hey, he could make any role outstanding.
Absolutely Anything Trailer
- Ejecta (February 27)
“The story of one night on earth that changed everything we know about the universe.” That’s a pretty short description for such an enormous topic.
- Chappie (March 27)
“Every child comes into the world full of promise, and none more so than Chappie: he is gifted, special, a prodigy. Like any child, Chappie will come under the influence of his surroundings — some good, some bad — and he will rely on his heart and soul to find his way in the world and become his own man. But there’s one thing that makes Chappie different from anyone else: he is a robot. The first robot with the ability to think and feel for himself.” Ah, the thinking, feeling robot. Calling Mr. Data. Wait, he’s busy watching a double feature of I Robot and Wall-E.
- Monsters: Dark Continent (April, 2015)
“An American platoon stationed in the Middle East is thrust into battle with a new breed of Aliens in this epic sequel to Gareth Edwards’ cult sci-fi hit, Monsters.” If you liked Monsters you’ll probably want to see this. I missed it so I’ll have to catch up.
Monsters: Dark Continent Trailer
- Ex Machina (April 10, 2015)
“Caleb Smith (Domhnall Gleeson), a programmer at an internet-search giant, wins a competition to spend a week at the private mountain estate of the company’s brilliant and reclusive CEO, Nathan Bateman (Oscar Isaac). Upon his arrival, Caleb learns that Nathan has chosen him to be the human component in a Turing Test—charging him with evaluating the capabilities, and ultimately the consciousness, of Nathan’s latest experiment in artificial intelligence.” Thanks to The Imitation Game, people actually know who Alan Turing was and what he accomplished. This seems to be a science fiction sequel with a dark “what if” scenario.
Ex Machina Trailer
- The Moon and the Sun (April 10, 2105)
“Follows King Louis XIV (Pierce Brosnan) in a tale of how the French monarch tries to achieve immortality by stealing the life force from a mermaid.” I can’t believe that I just typed that sentence. The movie is based on the Nebula Award-winning novel by Vonda McIntyre, the book that beat Game of Thrones for the award in 1997. We get to watch Pierce Brosnan and William Hurt stride the halls of Versailles. What could go wrong?
No trailer available
- Z for Zachariah (April 16, 2015)
“In the wake of a disaster that wipes out most of civilization, two men and a young woman find themselves in an emotionally charged love triangle as the last known survivors.” Somehow I think that survivors of an extinction-level event would be more concerned with survival than love triangles. You know, the bottom of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: food, shelter, clothing, heat. Oh, and not becoming an easy source of protein for other, fiercer or less ethical survivors. Love, not so much. it’s based on the novel of the same name by Robert C. O’Brien.
Z for Zachariah Trailer
- The Age of Adeline (April 24, 2105)
“Adaline (Blake Lively) ceases to age following an accident one icy night, but keeps her condition a closely-guarded secret while embarking on a number of incredible adventures throughout the 20th Century. After years of a solitary life, she finds the love and courage that enable her to fully begin living.” An immortal who isn’t a vampire–what a concept! It’s got romance without a bloodbath.This could start a trend.
The Age of Adeline Trailer
That covers January through April although debut dates move and shift. that’s why the list has only 14 movies instead of 15 I’m not promising to see and report on all of these films, mind you. A lot depends on quality, reviews, and availability.
Again, for more information on the biggest science fiction movies of the year, see my post on the Top 10 Science Fiction Movies of 2015. I’ll follow up with another post later in the year that lists science fiction movies opening in the summer and beyond.
* The Usual Disclaimer
The list does not include superhero or comic book movies, anime, animated children’s movies, movies based on video games, horror (including poltergeists, haunted mirrors, creepy children, etc.), James Bond, fairy tales, Bible movies, paranormal romance and (with a few notable exceptions) monster movies. These films either fit into their own separate genres or I don’t consider them true science fiction.