Posted on Tuesday, February 26th, 2019 by Rob Hunter
(Welcome to Seeing Double, a series where two strangely similar films released around the same time are put head-to-head. This time, we leave the safety of Earth behind and head towards Mars in search of adventure, the future of the human race, and some intergalactic mediocrity.)
Original movies come out of Hollywood – it’s true! – but much of its output consists of films inspired by previous successes. They’re mostly visible in the form of direct sequels, of course, but they also come from studios trying to mimic a hit in tone, style, and/or genre. Michael Bay’s Armageddon was the second biggest box-office hit of 1998, so it was no real surprise that some similarly themed films went into production soon after.
Disney tried recapturing their own magic with Mission to Mars, while Warner Bros. entered the fray with Red Planet. (Hell, it’s entirely possible that Clint Eastwood’s Space Cowboys got the green light for the same reason.) Both films put movie stars into a rocket and launched them on a mission to the red planet, and they opened exactly eight months apart in 2000. Nobody cared about either one.
Read More »
“In space, no one can hear you scream.”
The often-quoted but terrifyingly true tagline for 1979’s Alien pretty much sums up how scary space is. Space isn’t just vast, it’s also completely hostile to human existence. While our best technology can get us into space, we’ve seen countless films explore what happens when that technology fails. We love to champion films like The Martian or Gravity, which reward viewers with human ingenuity overcoming scientifically improbable odds to survive, but the truth is space kills. A lot.
As Life, the latest film from Daniel Espinosa (Child 44, Safe House), rolls into theaters this weekend, we’re once again reminded that in space, all bets are off. The film’s trailer sets up what’s become a standard formula for space terror: astronauts living on a space station have discovered extraterrestrial life, which in turn discovers them. In this case, we see this alien life form take hold of one screaming scientist’s finger, setting us up for a truly gnarly death.
So, in the spirit of space and its many suffocating terrors, we put together ten of the worst space deaths we could find in film. From Tarkovsky to Corman, there’s something here for everyone.
Read More »
IO9 has created a handy chart which shows which space movies feature the most common scientific mistakes. It might come as a surprise that Michael Bay’s Armageddon actually fares better than the Star Wars of Alien films. And it comes as no surprise that Apollo 13 and The Right Stuff have been graded a clean bill of accuracy. Hit the jump to see the entire chart.
Read More »