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Keeping it Real-ish

By Norman Chan

Two movies coming out this year will aim to take a realistic approach to science fiction.

For better or worse, Hollywood is warming up to space-based science fiction again. Two similarly-themed movies this year, Oblivion and After Earth, tackle the idea of humanity leaving our planet and colonizing another one light years away. And Jon Spaihts' (co-writer of Prometheus) much buzzed-about Passengers script is gaining traction with a director and star attached. But diehard sci-fi fans are yearning for more speculative fiction than fantasy--a film more in the vein of 2001: A Space Odyssey than Lost in Space. A space movie with explorers that are actually written like scientists and not action heroes. There are two other movies coming out this year that may fill that void: Europa Report and Gravity. Both promise realistic takes on astronauts with plots that take seriously the endeavor of space travel, and the latter is director Alfonso Cuaron's first film since Children of Men. That alone should get you excited.