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Babylon 5.1
by Rick Norwood

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Ratings are based on a four star system.
One star means that the commercials are more entertaining than the program.
Two stars watch if you have nothing better to do.
Three stars is good solid entertainment.
Four stars means you never dreamed television could be this good.

According to the IMDB, 2010 will see the release of 83 science fiction films and 64 fantasy films, most of which you don't really want to know about. For example, there's Mars, by Jeff Marslett, whose previous work includes Milton is a Shitbag. Here are some that look interesting.

Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey by Harry 'Doc' Kloor, who wrote for Star Trek Voyager. Animated science fiction with voice acting by William Shatner, Mark Hamill, Neil Armstrong, and a lot more names you'll recognize.

The Book of Eli by Gary Witta. Witta's first film.

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightening Thief, by Craig Titley, from the novel by Rick Riordan. Titley got his start writing the infamous Conspiracy Theory: Did We Land on the Moon, and went on to write screenplays for Scooby Doo and Cheaper by the Dozen.

Alice in Wonderland by Linda Wolverton, from the book by Lewis Carroll.

How to Train Your Dragon, by William Davies, Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders, from the novel by Cressida Cowell.

Both of these films are by Disney writers who worked on such animated classics as The Lion King, Aladdin, and Mulan.

Iron Man 2
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part One
The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec
Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang
The Last Airbender
How to Train Your Dragon
Clash of the Titans by Travis Beacham, Phil Hay, and Matt Manfredi, from a 1981 screenplay by Beverley Cross. Hay and Manfredi wrote Æon Flux.

Radio Free Albemuth by John Allen Simon, from the novel by Philip K. Dick. Simon's first film as writer/director.

Star Child: The Beginning by Ernest Porter. Porter wrote for the Star Child tv series and worked on a film called The Dragon's Tale.

The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec by Luc Besson, from the graphic novel by Jacques Tardi. Besson wrote The Fifth Element, La Femme Nikita, and the Transporter trilogy.

Iron Man 2 by Justin Theroux, based on the comic book by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Larry Lieber, and Don Heck. Theroux wrote Tropic Thunder.

Shrek Forever After by Josh Klausner and Darren Lemke. Klausner worked on the disappointing Shrek 3. Darren Lemke has written a movie called Lost, but not the Lost. The Shrek series has gone downhill in every film so far.

Prince of Persia by Boaz Yakin, Doug Miro, and Carlo Bernard, based on the video game Prince of Persia 2 by Jordan Mechner. Yakin wrote The Punisher. Miro and Bernard wrote a couple of movies I never heard of and are working on the upcoming The Sorcerer's Apprentice.

Destination: Outer Space, by Christopher R. Mihm and Joah Craig. From the same team who brought you Cave Women on Mars.

Rosencrantz and Guilderstern are Undead by Jordan Gallard, who has written a couple of short films.

Toy Story 3 by Michael Arndt, based on characters created by John Lassiter, Pete Docter, Andrew Stanton, and Joe Ranft. Arndt's only previous film script is Little Miss Sunshine.

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse by Melissa Rosenberg, from the book by Stephenie Meyer. Rosenberg wrote the previous Twilight Saga films and a lot of television.

The Sorcerer's Apprentice by Doug Miro & Carlo Bernard, Matt Lopez, and Lawrence Konner & Mark Rosenthal, based on a poem by Goethe. The first two writers brought you Prince of Persia, Lopez wrote Race to Witch Mountain, Konner & Rosenthal wrote the awful remake of Planet of the Apes and the worst Star Trek and Superman movies ever.

Predators by Alex Litvac and Michael Finch, based on monsters created by Jim and John Thomas. First writing gig for both screenplay writers.

Inception by Christopher Nolan. Nolan wrote Memento, The Prestige, Batman Begins, and The Dark Knight.

Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang by Emma Thompson, from the books by Christiana Brand. Thompson won an Oscar for her screenplay for Sense and Sensibility.

The Last Airbender by M. Night Shyamalan, from the television series created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Brian Konietzko. Shyamalan was nominated for a Oscar for his screenplay for The Sixth Sense.

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole by John Orloff from the book by Kathryn Lasky. Orloff wrote A Mighty Heart.

Weed of the Living Dead by Michael Bilinski. The title says it all.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part One, by Steve Kloves, from the novel by J.K. Rowling. Kloves has written all but one of the Harry Potter films.

TRON Legacy by Adam Horowitz, Richard Jefferies, Edward Kitsis, Brian Klugman, Steven Lisberger, and Lee Sternthal, based on a movie by Steven Lisberger and Bonnie MacBird. Horowitz and Kitsis wrote 21 episodes of Lost. Jefferies wrote Blood Tide and Living Hell. Klugman and Sternthal are first-time screenwriters. Bruce Boxleitner, star of the first TRON, is in this one.

Space Battleship Yamoto by Shimako Sato, from the manga by Leiji Matsumoto.

The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely and Michael Petroni, from the book by C.S. Lewis. Makus and McFeely wrote the first two Narnia films, and are working on Captain America. Petroni has written several films I never heard of.

No release date set:
The Tempest by Julie Taymor, from the play by Shakespeare. Taymor wrote and directed the very interesting Titus.

Season of the Witch by Bragi F. Schut, who wrote Scarecrow Joe.

The Tree of Life by Terrance Malick, who wrote Days of Heaven and The Thin Red Line.

The Witches of Oz by Leigh Scott, based on characters crated by L. Frank Baum. Scott has written a lot of movies, but none I've seen.

My top picks:
  •  Iron Man 2
  •  The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec
  •  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part One
  •  The Tempest
  •  The Tree of Life

Worth a look:
  •  Alice in Wonderland
  •  How to Train Your Dragon
  •  The Last Airbender
  •  Inception
  •  Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang
  •  The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader

And I'm very curious about Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey. The few people who have seen it either loved it or loathed it.

Further down the road, in 2011 look for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2, Captain America, Thor, X-Men 4, and Green Lantern; in 2012, Star Trek 2, John Carter of Mars, and The Avengers; and in 2014, Avatar 2. Ender's Game is no longer listed as "in production" so that project has evidently been discontinued.

As for the two movies from last year that I didn't see in theaters, I started to watch Aliens in the Attic, but after about ten minutes I said to hell with it. On the other hand Planet 51 is an entertaining but minor animated sf film from the writers of Shrek.

Copyright © 2010 Rick Norwood

Rick Norwood is a mathematician and writer whose small press publishing house, Manuscript Press, has published books by Hal Clement, R.A. Lafferty, and Hal Foster. He is also the editor of Comics Revue Monthly, which publishes such classic comic strips as Flash Gordon, Sky Masters, Modesty Blaise, Tarzan, Odd Bodkins, Casey Ruggles, The Phantom, Gasoline Alley, Krazy Kat, Alley Oop, Little Orphan Annie, Barnaby, Buz Sawyer, and Steve Canyon.

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