These sci-fi gems available online at DStv Now are exactly what the medic bot called for!
Edge of Tomorrow
At first, you might think this is a video game movie because it is all action and not much substance. Then the hero (Tom Cruise) dies… and wakes up again a few hours before the battle. Something happened, trapping him in a time loop: every time he dies, he wakes up again in the same morning.
This is when Edge of Tomorrow becomes much more interesting, using its ‘Groundhog Day’ mechanic smartly to tell a riveting story. It’s also very funny and is helped with a solid support cast led by the magnificent Emily Blunt. A thinking person’s sci-fi with plenty of humour and action: that’s why it’s a classic.
This should have been a bad movie. But there are a few directors who can infuse b-grade cinema with Hollywood flare. Paul Verhoeven is such a director and Starship Troopers is his insane, over the top sci-fi that hides a few surprisingly deep messages.
Whether you wish to think about the problems of fascism and government power, or you want to see a giant insect rip a human soldier into two, Starship Troopers provides both and a whole lot more. It’s never boring and still looks fantastic. 22 years on and there has never been a movie like this again.
War of the Worlds
H.G.Wells’ story about Martian invaders is famous for many reasons, not the least causing panic when it was adapted as a live radio play nearly a century ago.
Yet other than a movie adaptation of 1953, we would have to wait for Steven Spielberg to give it a modern spin in 2005.
This is a darker and much more intense take on the invasion as we follow Tom Cruise’s attempts to get his family out of danger.
You can certainly get a sense of that panic that audiences felt during radio broadcasts half a century earlier. If the aliens invade, it’s gonna be everyone for themselves!
It’s totally valid to say a lot of stuff in this movie don’t add up. Really, how is the ending even possible? And how did they manage to destroy all those ships? But those are really the wrong questions.
Independence Day is the quintessential modern special effects extravaganza, complete with sassy heroes (like Will Smith in his prime), lots of jokes and so much destruction.
This is the movie that forever gave us the White House exploding into millions of shards, an image that has never been topped yet.
Other disaster movies have only turned up the volume, but nothing has surpassed the glorious armageddon of Independence Day.
Believe it or not, there is a movie on this list that isn’t about invading aliens. Snowpiercer is a very different experience, but still excellent science fiction.
It’s set in a dystopian future where the environment is dead and the only survivors live on a massive train called Snowpiercer.
But even in this last bastion for humanity, a stifling class system keeps the people in place.
It doesn’t take long before the revolution starts brewing as the lower classes rise to overthrow the elites.
The clever and entertaining story gives enough reasons to watch this movie, but it’s the incredible visual style and design that makes Snowpiercer a must-see.
Orson Scott Card is a famous science fiction writer and his most loved book is Ender’s Game. This is serious sci-fi but portrayed in a way that can draw anyone in.
Finally made into a movie, now more people can experience the captivating tale of Ender, a young boy whose brilliance sees him recruited into a war against a distant alien civilisation.
If he cannot quickly learn to also become one of Earth’s greatest battle commanders, the fate of humanity is very grim. Beautifully made, this flawed gem of a movie brings Ender’s saga to life like nothing else.
The Hunger Games
Long before it was a popular type of video game, ‘battle royale’ had already existed in movies and a Japanese ‘manga’ comic series. But The Hunger Games made the idea a worldwide sensation: a group of people fight to the death in a ‘last person standing’ contest.
In the movie, teenagers are forced to battle each other by an evil regime. Trying to protect her sister, the hero Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) takes her place in the games. But she has other plans than to play along in this epic action saga.
This article was published in partnership with DStv Now.