Best Film Set in Space
For the final round on year one we are looking at the best film set in space, mainly to celebrate the upcoming release of Star War Episode 7. We have plenty of films that have been released through nearly all genres that are st in space but what is our favourites?
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Darren – Movie Reviews 101
I have selected Event Horizon because I feel it could easily be one of the most underrated horror films that built on what films like Alien created, it offers a new enemy in space rather than the easy option of aliens giving us a manmade terror. I will like to point out this is one horror film that could easily be missed but the pure levels of gore and suspense along with the shock value is the special factor about this film.
Khalid – The Blazing Reel
The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past fifty years, you know what Star Wars is and you probably also know that the entire trilogy comprises of three of the best films set in space (And no, I’m not speaking of the wretched sequels). The only question is which one is the best one? and the answer to that is The Empire Strikes Back, because this is a film that built on the unimaginable promise of the first film and surpassed it in so many ways. It’s visually astounding, the story is far more expansive and darker than the first one but at the same time, brimming with heart and emotion. It’s just a brilliant, brilliant film, whose influence today can be felt among almost every moviegoer.
This round’s theme has really put me outside of my comfort zone, as I have watched very few movies set in space. There are some classics which will be on my watch list for next year, but there is a movie that counts for this round, and not only is it one of my favourite space based movies, but one of my all time favourites.
WALL.E is set in a waste-filled future, where the situation became so dire that mankind has fled the planet on a giant cruise-ship, whilst waste collecting robots clean the planet up. Hundreds of years later, the plan seems to have failed as one little robot and his cockroach friend seem to be the only ones left on Earth, until one day a ship drops off a robot named EVE to scan the planet for signs of life. It’s a beautiful animated movie, and a must watch!
Timeless, tense, gritty, claustrophobic, Alien perfectly illustrates how unprepared we are for whatever’s out there… or is there another message?
A deep space salvage crew responds to a distress signal and brings an organism on their ship unprepared for its nightmarish agenda. These people are believable, relatable, and smart, but helpless, vulnerable, and very far from Earth.
They’re sacrifices for Corporate Greed; a global conglomerate that doesn’t hesitate to abrogate the crew’s life for marketable discoveries. And the Xenomorph would certainly qualify; a terrifying creature wholly original and hellish.
Likely the perfect organism; it sits in pod-hibernation, anywhere, indefinitely until some creature comes by. Now a near-impervious face-hugger emerges and deposits a seed which genetically appropriates the adaptations of its host.
A Xenomorph bursts out in short time, a true Xenomorph, but one as perfectly adapted for its environment as its host was. It grows phenomenally and starts a hive straight away. In reality, the Alien is a mirror for man. We force our way in, adapt, and dominate.
And that – human nature – may be the most frightening thing we take into the galaxy.
Brilliant directing from Ridley Scott, unparalleled artistry from H R Giger, magnificent scoring from Jerry Goldsmith, and a solid cast. Even the tag line is snazzy…
In Space No One Can Hear You Scream
Star Wars (1977)
There aren’t many movies that are able to really transport us elsewhere in the universe while still feeling that it all is real. Lucas was able to create a galaxy so detailed and full of many different species that it has all become such a spectacle for us to want to watch. The 7th movie in the franchise is one of the most anticipated movies that so many moviegoers and movielovers can’t wait for it to be released.
Kim – Tranquil Dreams
There are a ton of space movies but among the bunch that I like a lot, I do happen to watch Event Horizon the most. It’s a horror thriller flick. It’s as entertaining as it builds some decent creepy atmosphere. It manages to get a few nice scares in. It’s a true crazy journey as they discover the secret of the spaceship that reappears after disappearing in a black hole. Plus, the cast is great with Laurence Fishburne and Sam Neill. It’s a little predictable at times but to me, it’s an underrated flick.
Guardians of the Galaxy
Before Ant-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy was considered Marvel’s biggest risk. How would the average audience member react to a talking raccoon, a tree who only says one line, a couple of alien assassins, and a dude stuck in the 1980s? Turns out overwhelmingly positive! Guardians of the Galaxy had the trademark humor Marvel had become known for, led fantastically by Parks and Recreation’s funnyman Chris Pratt. But Pratt doesn’t hold up the film by himself. No, everyone of the titular Guardians has their own thing to offer. Rocket and Groot (voiced by Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel respectively) is one of cinema’s best duos since C-3PO and R2-D2. Throw in Dave Bautista’s literal Drax, who provided many unexpected laughs, and Zoe Saldana’s level-headed Gamora to round out the crew and you’ve got one eclectic group. I’ve heard many complaints about the villain being very (very) shallow, which is a common complaint about Marvel villains, but I don’t mind it in this film. This movie is about the team and the team coming together. There isn’t much room for a deep, Loki-level villain. On paper, or at least non-comic book paper, this group looks downright ridiculous and probably shouldn’t work. But it absolutely and brilliantly does. I would argue Guardians of the Galaxy more than The Winter Soldier solidified Marvel as first-rate storytellers.
An easy choice (for once!). Sunshine is one of my favourite movies. I love everything about it, even the last act which does seems to divide people. It’s a great science fiction film, it has a beautiful score, great acting and is very atmospheric and dare I say dramatic. Just a wonderful film and a personal favourite of mine.
S.G. Liput – Rhyme and Reason
I considered nominating fun adventures like Star Wars or Guardians of the Galaxy or Serenity, all of which happen to be generally set in space, but few films actually use space as a silent character like Gravity does. In this Oscar-winning survival story, space is the enemy, the indifferent but relentless adversary. While Alfonso Cuarón’s camera freely glides around the astronauts stranded in orbit after a satellite accident, the characters (Sandra Bullock and George Clooney) are hindered by the uncaring reality of weightlessness and momentum, all presented with relative realism (the fire extinguisher and other physics issues notwithstanding). The film is set almost completely in space with a notable lack of gravity. Space is the foe, Earth is the goal, and Gravity is a visual and emotional masterpiece.
Summer – Serendipitous Anachronisms
Galaxy Quest (1999)
I am certain the person picking Star Wars wins this round, and I won’t be sad because I really like Star Wars, well, episodes 4-6, I pretend episodes 1-3 never happened. As for the new Star Wars films, I am cautiously optimistic. As much as I like Star Wars, I have to admit I like Star Trek even more, but “By Grabthar’s Hammer” the best movie set in space is Galaxy Quest!
It is hysterical!
An aging cast of a classic sci-fi television series “Galaxy Quest”, are stuck on the convention circuit. Benevolent aliens (Thermians) abduct the actors. The Thermians believe the show is real and base their society on the series.
The film stars Tim Allen as the sleazy Captain Kirk-esque actor who “manages to get his shirt off” in every episode, Alan Rickman plays the serious actor who once played Richard the III with five curtain calls, Sigourney Weaver is the babe whose TV Guide interview was six paragraphs about her boobs, and how well the fit in her uniform, Darryl Mitchell plays the child actor forced to learn how to pilot a spaceship, Tony Shalhoub plays a mellow and unflappable cool dude, and Sam Rockwell plays the as the extra who died in episode 81 and has a crisis because his character is not important enough to have a last name.
While a comedy, Galaxy Quest is an intelligent film for Trekkies, it hits the mark capping on both the original Star Trek and Star Trek The Next Generation shows. I like it because honestly captures the fandom surrounding it without being mean spirited.