Sometimes a film just can’t live up to the hype. Yet James Cameron’s epic cautionary tale about the dangers of invading planets manned by blue humanoids thrilled cinema audiences, who rewarded it with record-breaking box office sales. To celebrate its Blu-ray release today, we’ve put it among some of its finest peers in modern sci-fi.
‘Why would I want to go and see a film about a load of blue people?’ This is the question you will hear from just about anyone who hasn’t seen Avatar. The answer, as you probably already know, is to experience vertigo-inducing landscapes, ogle the most fluid CGI to date and find out if you could fancy an alien. Buy the film, but don’t tell Stephen Hawking about your secret intergalactic desires.
With the UK theatrical release of Iron Man 2 just days away (Thursday, April 29), it’s time to remind yourself why that news makes you drool. Is it because Tony Stark has (a) a jet pack, (b) a sly way with the ladies or (c) Gwyneth Paltrow for a secretary? If you answered (d) all of the above, you either already own the first in the franchise on BD, or you’re mere seconds away from ordering it.
If we told you District 9 was about a prawn called Christopher, you’d probably stop listening. But you’d be missing out on a tale of alien invasion that packs a fairly powerful message about society’s ability to marginalise migrants. And you’d never find out that Christopher isn’t the kind of prawn you’d want to find in a seafood salad. Or see one of his mates being flambéed with a flamethrower.
When you’re the son of one of space rock’s most fêted characters, a foray into sci-fi movie-making is probably going to end in disaster. But Zowie Bowie (or Duncan Jones, as he prefers to be known) steered clear of his dad’s Ziggy Stardust outfit for this moody Space Odyssey-inspired drama starring Sam Rockwell and Kevin Spacey. The result is a bleak view of an industrial future – but it’s a view well worth enjoying in full HD.
You didn’t need to speak Klingon to understand JJ Abrams’ big-screen adaptation of TV’s biggest sci-fi franchise. It’s an all-out blockbuster that asks for no previous Trekkie experience and delivers an unabashed shot of warp-speed Hollywood highs. From James Kirk starting a punch-up in a bar to the space-age bridge of the USS Enterprise, Star Trek feels young again in this classy update.