Is it just me or are space films becoming more popular? We had Gravity kill it 2013, Interstellar do well for 2014 and this year we have The Martian. What the hell is going on!? Not that I’m complaining, bring it on! Perhaps space films could beat out comic-book films one day? A man can dream! Okay, enough shock and awe, let’s get down to business. Or should I say, go up! I’m sorry, that barely makes sense. Don’t look at me.
To be considered for this upcoming list, any entries must be a film where the characters at any point travel in the void of interstellar space. Here are 10 films I feel are essential viewing for anyone needing a quick catch-up on the space genre (yeah it’s a genre, I don’t care what you say):
Now, I could have easily of gone with the first one. But for me, the second is the better (only slightly). I love it. I love the characters, I love the pace of the film and I love how everything goes to shit so quickly. Probably my favourite element is how quickly you forget this is set in the future and that they’re traversing around in space.
Fun fact: James Cameron pitched the idea for a sequel to Alien by writing the word on a board and adding an ‘S’ then proceeding to add two lines down the ‘S’ to form a dollar sign (Source).
Don’t forget to breathe whilst watching this. It was tough for me to put this on the list, I’ve mentioned in the past that Gravity is one of those watch-once-then-never-again type films. You need a massive screen and 3D to really enjoy this, trust me. If you’re able to have that sort of experience, you’ll feel as though you too are screwed in space (not in that way, c’mon you dirty pervert).
I’ll make this one quick as I know everyone gets really emotional when Serenity or Firefly are mentioned. It’s good. Watch it. It’s in fact really good. Go. Now. Don’t worry about not having seen Firefly.
Imagine you’re hurtling toward the sun at stupid-mph and you have attached to the front of your convoy a nuke that would make Putin jealous (thanks, Obama). Your mission being to literally (the correct meaning of literally) blow up the sun. Sounds awesome, right? Throw in a splash of horror and you have Sunshine.
2001: A Space Odyssey
Never trust a robot again! This is a classic for all the right reasons. When watching, take into account this was made in 1968. Yes, before the internet (fun fact: that came in 1969)!
This year’s big ol’ space film (other than Star Wars, but more on that later) comes in the surprisingly familiar form of The Martian. Based on a book of the same name by Andy Weir, The Martian may bring about another genre outside of space adventures. That being Hard Sci-Fi; science fiction that focuses on the science, not the fiction, and could actually happen, nothing too far-fetched (put your lightsaber down).
Space films usually end up with one person alone somewhere, so moon thought it’d try something different; it starts with only one person. Fall in love with Sam Rockwell and follow a really interesting storyline. I may have cheated a little on this film, as I don’t believe he actually travels through space, but c’mon man, gimmie a break! You gotta have this on the list.
The Fifth Element
I don’t understand how director/writer Luc Besson can make such a brilliant film then go off and make generic action trash (I’m looking at you The Transporter: Refuelled). I know most of the work Besson’s name is attached to was only initially created by him, such as the Transporter series and the Taken series, but still! C’mon man (I really need to stop saying that)! Check out this 90’s interpretation of how crappy (and how accurate) our future will be and ask yourself, ‘why don’t we have flying cars yet?’.
Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan
The wait just for the THAT scene is worth the watch. Don’t worry about watching any of the others, just this. Just understand that the Khan is the bad guy and those on the starship enterprise are the good guys and you’ll have a good time. Now, say it with me: KHANNNNNNNNNNNN!
Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back
How could I not have this on the list! And Star Wars is returning to us this year! Soon in fact! We may be ever so worried about it, but hey ho! It’s happening anyway.
Are there any essential Space films that I missed? What would be on your essential Space film list?
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