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Feature
Five For The Diary: Smart Sci-Fi Movies
The science fiction thrillers headed our way

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Welcome to an occasional feature on Empire, Five For The Diary, in which we round up mini-trends and look at upcoming movies, books and whatever else takes our fancy to leave you a little better informed on what’s upcoming. In today’s slice of preview-y goodness, we’re looking at some of the hard-core, high-IQ sci-fi movies headed our way over the next six to eight months and why they’re worth looking out for…

WORDS HELEN O'HARA
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Five For The Diary: Smart Sci-Fi Movies | 1. Looper
1. Looper

WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Rian Johnson is one of those directors who is always worth watching. He only has two films under his belt – excellent high school film noir Brick and the little-seen but vastly-stylish Brothers Bloom – but this time he's widened his scope and delved into full-on science fiction. Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (who also led Brick) both play an assassin who kills people sent back from the future via illegal time travel technology. The problems start when JGL's future self, Willis, arrives back for disposal. Should he kill himself? Can he trust himself? Etc.

Time travel's one of those things that doesn't always work on film, especially if you're a bit of a pedant ("But if they avert the war, Kyle Rees never comes back in time, John Connor is never born and they never avert the war! It's a huge paradox!"). But Johnson is a smarter and trickier customer than that, so this one should play around with the possibilities and give us a more Dickian twist to the tale (see, for instance, A Little Something For Us Tempunauts).

We're hopeful, too, that this could establish Johnson a little more firmly as a commercially attractive director, thanks to Willis' presence and Joseph "so hot right now" Gordon-Levitt's appeal (hopefully visible past the prosthetic nose). After all, we only have one Chris Nolan in Hollywood at the moment; we need a few more directors capable of making high-concept films with high IQs at the same time.

SEE ALSO Time travel stories like Terry Pratchett's Night Watch and Diana Wynne Jones' A Tale Of Time City also deal with characters meeting their younger / older selves, albeit in a sillier way.

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Your Comments

1 What joo say bout MK?
Hey, don't rag on Milton Keynes, I bet the Empire office toilets are far less hospitable! More

Posted by oakford on Sunday September 16, 2012, 22:08

2 HAHA I love empire sometimes
'It’s also generally easy for filmmakers to create, too: just head to some remote, godforsaken corner of the globe (Milton Keynes, say)' Haha Empire just dissed my hometown lol. Nah take the piss out of it all you want, I want to leave MK hahaha! More

Posted by MartyW on Saturday September 15, 2012, 23:42

3 RE: Diana Wynne Jones' A Tale Of Time City
I am not a fan of every good book out there being turned into a movie. But this one? 'Tale of Time City' is amazing, and would make a great movie--so long as they don't involve any of the 'Alice in Wonderland' design/effects people and turn it into a candy-coloured CGI orgy. But in the hands of a director known for a personal, interesting style, it could work brilliantly. Too bad Michael Fassbender is too old to be typecast as another android... ;) More

Posted by HighwayJoe on Saturday September 15, 2012, 12:09

4 It is now in 3D
Following Empire's news post about Warners converting this to 3D, this needs updating. Hopefully it'll be del Toro approved 3D. More

Posted by JoeN on Friday September 14, 2012, 15:22

5 Oh sweat dreams
"Could we see some of Iain M. Banks’ weirder Culture novels?" YES PLEASE!!! Give me Excession the movie! More

Posted by amerelium on Friday September 14, 2012, 13:57

6 All apart from Cruise!!!
Looking forward to all of these movies ( especially the new Bloomkamp and Del Toro ones ) apart from the one involving Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise sucks big time!!! More

Posted by dannyfletch on Thursday September 13, 2012, 16:24

7
Milton Keynes is an awesome place!! More

Posted by Bowwowow on Wednesday September 12, 2012, 11:53

8
Can't wait for Pacific Rim. Still so far away... More

Posted by Whistler on Wednesday September 12, 2012, 03:35

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