What DID and DID NOT Make the List
This confusion also occurs within the extremely popular Space Opera genre, when some of the characters serve in a military organization. Given their limited military element, despite the level of action in most episodes, I've decided against including Andromeda TV series. In the case of Andromeda because only one character, Captain Dylan Hunt, is actually a member of the High Guard, and most of the series was centered around Space Opera themes. I also left off ALIEN 4 for it being pure heresy, and let us never speak of it again.
Due to the limitations of current internet search software, along with the mislabeling and misunderstanding of what MSF really is, this list is not as complete as I would have liked. I am 100% sure that there are works in other languages that could be added here, but most search engines are bias toward English. If I've missed something, please comment below and let me know, so I can update the list of live-action MSF works.
Now on to the list!
There is a very good reason to start off with this one, because it is the single best MSF movie there is. ALIENS set the standard for showing a well-developed future military on-screen within an outstanding movie that balances horror/sci-fi/dramatic elements evenly. ALIENS was also responsible for the trend of bring back traditional firearms to sci-fi and introducing caseless ammo to the general public. If there is any kind of justice in the universe, this WILL NEVER be remade.
THE FORBIDDEN PLANET (1956)
THE OBJECTIVE (2008)
STARSHIP TROOPERS MOVIE SERIES (1997, 2004. 2008)
BATTLESTAR GALACTICA (1978)
EDGE OF TOMMORROW (2014)
BATTLESTAR GALACTICA (2003)
BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: BLOOD & CHROME (2012)
THE FOREVER WAR (2014? 2015?)
This 2010 film is the 'real' sequel to the 1987 film in both story and style, making one totally forget about PREDATOR 2...thank the gods. In PREDATORS, a group of elite professional killers from Terra are transported to an alien hunting preserve during the middle of inter-species civil war. Adding to the favor of the film are other alien races and a Vietnam-era soldier that hunts the hunters. All and all, PREDATORS is a real treat for any fan of the original...and the best part of this movie? It was filmed in Texas.
THE SILENT CITY (2006)
This is a seven-minute MSF film from director Ruairi Robinson centers around three soldiers patrolling a dead city during some futuristic war on an off-world colony. This is a gritty realistic MSF short film, with normal soldiers dealing with the horrors of modern warfare against the backdrop of a burned out city that is devote of people but not threats. This movie that can be found on youtube has an eerie WWI quality to it. There is some real promise with this director and Silent City was a good start for him.
BABYLON 5 (1994-1998)
THE LAST STARFIGHTER (1984)
BATTLE: LOS ANGELES (2010)
BABYLON 5: CRUSADE (1999)
Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski was asked by TNT to create a spin-off series of his Babylon 5 universe, and the result was Crusade. The story is set in 2267, about five years after the end of the Shadow War, and allies to the Shadows attack Earth with a deadly nanovirus that will kill all life on the planet in five years. To find a cure out there, the Victory class Excaliber is tasked with the mission to locate the cure. Sound familiar? Yeah, it was recycled from elements of Starblazers. There were just thirteen episodes filmed for Crusade and they were aired in different order than intended, causing confusion. This doomed-from-the-start series was soon cancelled by TNT, and the experience left Straczynski bitter. but he was able to re-order the episodes in the correct placement when the series ran on the old Sci-Fi channel in 2001.
WING COMMANDER (1999)
THE STAR WARS FILMS
I bitch and whine about the effect of Star Wars and how it is more space fantasy than pure space opera, but there is some portions that are military sci-fi, especially the prequel films. Star Wars is primarily concerned with the religious war between the Sith and the Jedi, while two other major conflicts rage through that galaxy far, far away. From legions of space fighters, to massive Imperial warships, to the cloned armies of the Republic, Star Wars contains some serious futuristic hardware that have become part of our everyday culture and our toy stores.
'SOLDIER' THE OUTER LIMITS (1964)
KILLZONE: EXTRACTION (2011)
THE STAR TREK MOVIES and TV SERIES (1966-2005)
THE TERMINATOR MOVIES and TV SERIES (1984-2009)
'QUALITY OF MERCY' THE OUTER LIMITS (1995)
'THE LIGHT BRIDGE' THE OUTER LIMITS (1996)
'HEARTS AND MINDS' THE OUTER LIMITS (1998)
This starts Outer Limits epsiode starts off with a bang! A small human special ops team assaults an hostile alien base with thermal scopes and directed energy fire. These aliens were raiders, undercutting the mining operation on this world for the North American Federation. The Outer Limits twist is that the NAF lied to the soldiers about the real reason behind injections. The brass said it was for protection against an alien virus, but in reality it was hypoallergenic, allowing the operators to see aliens instead of seeing the true face of the enemy...humans.
'RELATIVITY THEORY'THE OUTER LIMITS (1998)
On a normal mineral and resources planetary survey mission to distant planet, the mixed team of military and scientists are attacked by primitive alien life. After they are beaten back, the head of the military unit takes control of the mission against the pleas of the science team to study more and shoot less. But they do not listen, hunting down their attackers killing them. On one of the bodies, they discover an golden object. Then the twist comes...these primitive aliens were actually similar to Boy Scouts on a camp trip, and that object was a distress beacon. Above the planet, an advanced alien warship comes out of hyperspace, and bombs the survey team then the warship travels to Earth for some payback.
'PHOBES RISING' THE OUTER LIMITS (1998)
ENDER'S GAME (2013)
ENEMY MINE (1985)
HALO: FORWARD ONTO DAWN (2012)
STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE (SEASON 3) (2004)
SPACE BATTLESHIP YAMATO (2010)
GEAR SCHOOL: PLUG & PLAY (2010)
HALO 4: COMMISSIONED (2012)
HALO: SCANNED (2012)
COCKPIT: RULES OF ENGAGEMENT
THE WAR IN SPACE (1977)
PRIORITY ONE (2011)
BATTLE FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES (1973)
thank merciful god, it's the last of the Apes movies", and I couldn't agree more.
HALO: BELIEVE (2008)
'Believe' is a entire campaign designed to push the finality of the third HALO game, and the impact of the Covenant War on Terran society. Several of the videos are interviews with elder former UNSC soldiers for the 'museum of humanity''s archives. Most center around their experiences with the Master Chief, and are an interest piece of MSF media. Another video details the massive hand-built diorama, depicting a portion of the Second Battle of New Mombasa. One of the most bittersweet HALO live-action videos.
CAPTAIN POWER AND THE SOLDIERS OF THE FUTURE (1987)
STARGATE SERIES AND FILMS (1994-2012)
HALO: LANDFALL (2008)
HALO: landfall is actually composed of three separate short films: Arms Race, Combat, and Last One Standing that rocked work of science fiction and gaming. Never before had we seen the world of HALO or MSF These were put out before the launch of HALO 3 to generate buzz and were directed by Neil Blomkamp. For me, these three shorts became one of the best examples of hard-edged futuristic combat. With anmazing shorts like this, I have to ask...where the hell is my HALO movie?
HALO: DELIVERY HOPE (2010)
We fans of MSF and HALO got something amazing with this less than three minute live-action short film in 2010. Delivery Hope is quality short-flim production, with incredible music, props, and story line. Noble Team has been tasked with destroying an CCS class warship over a human city, supporting the invasion of this nearly lost human colony. The goal is to get a micro-nuke onboard the alien vessel and destroy it from the inside out. Delivery Hope explains how Kat lost her arm, and why a slot in Noble Team was empty for SPARTAN-III B312. If you haven't watched this, watch now.
HUNTER PREY (2010)
This low-budgt, nearly straight to tape film starred Peter Weller (Robocop) and the original material was written by Philip K. Dick under his 1953 story Second Variety. In the year 2078 on the planet orbiting the star Sirius 6B, where a civil war over the mining rights to the planet has ended the flow of ore and ruined the cities. The war is pretty much over when the fresh troops, supplies, and government interest stop, making for a soldiers' ceasefire possible. When one faction asks for negations on a ceasefire, Peter Weller's character goes out to met the them and discuss terms. It is there, that Weller and company, find out that one of their own automated killing machines, the Screamers, are changing and heating up the war on this off-world colony. Over all, not a bad B-movie, and was a sci-fi movie of its time. FWS will devote a full 'Forgotten Classics' blogpost on Screamers in the near future.
HALO: WE ARE ODST (2009)
Brutal. That is one word for this 2009 live-action short for the HALO 3: ODST game, which was no way connected to the actually game. For me, this was perfect. It showed the hard lives of the elite SPECOPS unit of the UNSC, and what the future of paratroopers could be.
SPACE: ABOVE AND BEYOND (1995)
During the height of the science fiction boom on TV during the 1990's, there was alone standout of pure live-action MSF: Space: Above and Beyond. For one season, we followed five US Marine space attack jet pilots during the 2063-2064 Chig War, when mankind meets their first ET when their interstellar colonies come under attack. There was nothing like it on TV before or after until the reboot of BSG, and for fans like me, it loom large in our hearts. Wild Cards forever!
HALO: OPERATION CHASTITY (2012?)
There was some get buzz around this production, one of my favorite DeviantART artisits, ukitakumki, did the concept art. At present, there is not much in the way of news...I believe that Operation: Chastity is in post-production. At least, I'm hoping so.
PROJECT ARBITER (2012?)
HALO: BIRTH OF A SPARTAN (2010)
Yet another live-action HALO short advert for the Reach game, but this one shows the full measure of transforming a normal teenager into a SPARTAN-III. Really worth watching if you are into the HALO mythology or super-soldiers in general. As always, so real quality work here.
CAPTAIN AMERICA (2011)
PACIFIC RIM (2013)
AFTER EARTH (2013)
FALLING SKIES (2011)
HALO: NIGHTFALL (2014)