Last year saw a couple of films leap directly into the top drawer of the 'all time greats' in the shape of the bleak and twisted 'THE DARK KNIGHT' and the altogether lighter and brighter 'WALL-E', both of which were mandatory viewing (subject to the Batman opus's certification of course). There was also the extremely good 'HELLBOY 2' pushing to join them.
We're halfway through blockbuster season and there's no sign of this year coming up with a single genre film to impress. To date the closest we've come are the kiddie flick releases 'CORALINE' and 'MONSTERS vs ALIENS', both of which were highly enjoyable, but not really what you could call classics. 'STAR TREK' also entertained, but turned out to be surprisingly forgettable as well.
'WOLVERINE', 'TERMINATOR 4' and 'TRANSFORMERS 2' all turned out to be disappointing at best.
'HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF BLOOD PRINCE' is the last of the big budget hopes for the season, but advance word suggests that it'll entertain, but not surprise. '2012' is Roland Emmerich's new destructathon which might be spectacular, but will probably also be as empty as the robot mash ups of the year so far.
In fact it looks like the science fiction movie hope now lies with James Cameron's 'AVATAR' which might manage to make it into the cinemas for December, but in the UK is likely to be next year. Whilst he's a safe pair of hands is that the best that we can expect for half a year? The cost of sci-fi epics makes them a target for a cost-conscious film industry in these recession-hit times, so this summer could mark the last throes before the genre goes to sleep like ancient Magrathea, waiting for the economy to recover enough to afford them once again.