First, they aren’t cool in any sense of the word. Second, there the most overrated, over-hyped, and underwhelming science fiction films ever made. The sins of the George Lucas’ franchise are many:
The key to making good science fiction movies is to create worlds that the viewer believes in. They need to be rich and detailed, but, most importantly, they need to be populated by engaging and interesting characters.
One of Lucas’ failings as a filmmaker may be his lack of irony. His “Star Wars” clunkers are played too seriously – like penny operas. He should have taken some lessons from directors John Carpenter (“Escape from
“Stars Wars” also suffer from predictable action scenes. The shoot-out with the Stormtroopers in the first movie plays out like a backyard cowboys and Indians game between 10-year-olds. Lucas could learn a lot about action by watching Ridley Scott (“Aliens”) and the Wachowski Brothers (“The Matrix”) how excel at breathtaking (and chilling) action.
So forget the drab “Star Wars” films and move on to science fiction that does it right. DaRK PaRTY presents our “8 Coolest Science Fiction Movies of All-Time”:
John Murdoch awakens up in a strange hotel room, sprawled out in a porcelain bathtub. A ceiling light swings above him casting flickering shadows on the bleak walls. There is blood and he is panicked. He learns that he is the primary suspect in a series of bizarre serial murders. In the course of his investigation, he uncovers a world controlled by a group called The Strangers, who alter the reality of the world every night. And they are coming for him. “
The Matrix (1999)
The first 10 minutes of “The Matrix” is breathtaking in its pageantry of violent action. It’s like a ballet. The film is about Neo, a milquetoast computer programmer by day and a rebellious hacker by night, who finds himself seduced by a group of underground hackers wanted by the government. He thinks he’s joining the movement, but finds out that the world isn’t what he thinks it is. “The Matrix” changed science fiction movies (and action movies) forever. It also features Keanu Reeves in perhaps his only non-annoying role. The movie is fresh, fast, furious, and contains one of the most delightful twists you could ever hope for (check out the lobby shoot-out in the video above).
“Aliens” is the sequel to “Alien,” but the movies barely resemble each other. “Alien” is a haunted house, horror movie set on a spaceship. “Aliens” is a pure action driven science fiction – that is extremely scary. It’s like a video game unleashed on the big screen and it will leave you drained. The last half of “Aliens” is intense and not for the squeamish or the easily startled. But if you like your action fast and don’t mind watching 9-foot aliens attacking out of the shadows every few minutes then you’re in for a thrill ride.
“Mad Max 2” takes place in the distant future where men live in roving bands scavenging off the refuse of civilization and how each other. Cars and motorcycles are the modes of transportation and the new gold is gasoline. Mad Max, a former police officer, happens upon an outpost under siege by an army of rebels looking to steal the gas they are pumping from their refinery. Max doesn’t want to help them – he just wants their fuel. But after nearly losing his life to the mutants, he strikes a deal with the outpost to help save their lives. This is the movie that made Mel Gibson – and he plays the quietly seething Max to perfection. “The Road Warrior” has become a cult hit and redefined the movie car chase – and the post apocalyptic science fiction movie. A must see.
Planet of the Apes (1968)
“Planet of the Apes” is the grandfather of the modern science fiction movie. The plot is simple: an astronaut crash lands on an unknown world that is controlled by intelligent apes. Men are like rats – simply pests that destroy crops and need to be thinned. The astronaut is wounded in the neck and captured. He tries to prove he is intelligent, but is ignored by all except for two scientists. The movie may have one of the best surprise endings of any science fiction movie (see video below). And it features Charlton Heston at his noble best – a cross between Spartacus and Moses. “Planet of the Apes” has become a cult classic (and spawned too many bad sequels), but it remains one of the coolest films in any genre.
The Terminator (1984)
At its core, “The Terminator” is a time travel movie – but it also has elements of horror, action, and mystery movies thrown in. It’s also the first movie where Arnold Schwarzenegger utters his famous “I’ll be back” line. The film is about a soldier sent back in time from 2029 to save the life of his general’s mother (who is going to be executed by a cyborg). The soldier lives in a future where machines have taken over the world and human are rebelling to get their world back. The goal of the cyborg and his machine masters is to kill the woman who gave birth to their biggest enemy. Schwarzenegger has had a long acting career, but the terminator remains his best role.
Director John Carpenter has a perchance for disappointing movies. “Escape from
“Robocop” is the most sarcastic and satirical science fiction movie made in the last 30 years. It skewers modern society (our materialism, our media, and our corporate culture). Yet it plays like an action movie on steroids as well. Director Paul Verhoeven dances this tricky line perfectly and makes a movie that was ahead of its time. He brilliantly cast Peter Weller in the role of Robocop – a half human, half machine police officer. Weller is able make the character more human than most of the human actors playing along side of him. A masterpiece of science fiction.