A quick comparison: In 1982, the year’s major sci-fi releases included Blade Runner, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, The Thing and Tron. In 2007, we saw Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, 28 Weeks Later, I Am Legend, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, The Invasion, Resident Evil: Extinction, Spider-Man 3 and Transformers.Popular Mechanics takes on the Bronze Age of sci-fi cinema.
As movie studios sift through their own intellectual-property junkyards, no one seems to be making—or funding—the next Blade Runner or Alien. The path of least resistance is the remake, the sequel or the comic-book movie, with its lack of scientific background, its inherent implausibility and its weird cocktail of adolescent nostalgia.