Thursday Movie Picks: Astronauts

This week's theme from Wondering Through the Shelves is all about astronauts. You know, that thing everyone wants to be as a kid but few actually do as adults because it's really hard to become an astronaut. Here's three of my favorites. 

1) The Martian

Mark Watney is the king of Mars! The poor guy got left there and managed to survive. Mars fears Watney's botany powers. Hopefully NASA doesn't bill him for the effort to retrieve him...

2) Gravity

If Gravity had a title like Birdman's, it would be "Gravity: Or fuck that, I'm never going to space." Even though I'm not a Sandra Bullock fan, I loved seeing a strong female character lead this film. It's also one of the few movies I think worked in 3D

3) Moon

This film is so underrated and Sam Rockwell deserved an Oscar nomination for this astronaut who has been working on the Moon by himself for three years. It also has twists you may or may not see coming. I certainly didn't, because I actually managed to avoid all trailers of this before popping it in my DVD player all those years ago.

28 comments:

  1. The Martian is one of my favourites from last year, and Gravity is spectacular. I regret not seeing it in 3D because it must have been even better.

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    1. That was the first 3D movie in a long time I had went to see. Definitely worth it.

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  2. Good picks. My favorite of the three is Moon which should be better known. I agree about Sam Rockwell, he makes the movie.

    Gravity is a visual stunner but I found my attention drifting from time to time.

    Same goes for The Martian. The parts with Matt Damon, who like Rockwell makes his film, were terrific but when the movie looked away from him it lost momentum.

    I was sure two of my favorites, Apollo 13 and The Right Stuff, would be everywhere today so I went in search of more obscure titles. I've yet to see them so I'm kicking myself for not choosing them but here are the three I came up with instead:

    Capricorn One (1977)-While awaiting the launch of the first manned flight to Mars the command center realizes too late to abort that a malfunction in the support system will kill the astronauts during the journey. Needing a success to continue the program the astronauts are whisked away to a false lunar surface in the desert and the entire mission faked. When the spaceship burns up on reentry and the hoax is at risk of being exposed it becomes a cat and mouse game as the astronauts fight for survival.

    Silent Running (1971)-All botanical life on Earth has ceased to exist, ecologist/astronaut Freeman Lowell (Bruce Dern) oversees a greenhouse on an orbiting space station to preserve various flora and fauna for future generations. Assisted by three robots and a small human crew who see no value in maintaining the forest, Lowell rebels when orders arrive to destroy the greenhouse in favor of carrying cargo, a decision that puts him at odds with everyone but his mechanical companions. Lowell and his robots are forced to do anything necessary to keep their invaluable greenery alive. A quiet and meditative take for the most part on the shortsightedness of the human race.

    The Reluctant Astronaut (1967)-Agoraphobic Roy (Don Knotts) runs the kid spaceship ride at the fairground but his father hopes for better and applies to NASA for him. Surprisingly he’s accepted…as a janitor. After many crazy complications Roy ends up in space as the title pilot! If it sounds preposterous, it is but then it’s a Don Knotts comedy after all.

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    1. Obscure is right, I haven't heard of any of those lol. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. I sense a theme within a theme. I'll call it One (Wo)Man Alone...in SPACE! Seriously, Gravity and Moon are both fantastic with great lead performances. Haven't seen The Martian just yet, but should be soon.

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    1. Oh lord, I didn't even realize I did that. lol

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  4. I'm not as well, er, watched, as Joel, but in couldn't think of three better picks.

    Man, I could have been an astronaut. Had I been smart. And strong. And not a huge bitch.

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  5. I really want to see (or read) The Martian. Moon came up a couple of times already and I'm starting to get curious :)

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    1. Moon is great, do yourself a favor and don't watch any trailers for it if you can. The Martian is an excellent book too. One of my favorites in recent memory.

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  6. Great choices! but all thinking of Moon does is reminding me how insanely underrated Rockwell is :/

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    1. Rockwell is so good in everything. No idea how he doesn't have an Oscar nom yet.

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  7. I'll go for Apollo 13 and after that From the Earth to the Moon. It's not a movie, OK, but it goes with it lol!

    I like The Martian more than Gravity and Moon. For this last one, Sam Rockwell is great (I'm mad at him for having a boring career right now, what are you doing, Sam ? Make an interesting movie!) but the twist is too obvious for me and the story lacks momentum. But still nice (I should rewatch it to have a more define opinion).

    Gravity... Technically interesting, bad dialogue (my hat to George for being good with really poor lines) and big problem with Sandra Bullock's character. The actress is pretty great, but she is at the beginning the opposite of Matt Damon in the Martian and I couldn't pass the fact that you would never send in space someone like that. That's actually one of the things that I love most in The Martian, the psychological aspect, the tenacity those people must have to do their job (I'm not equipped at all, so I'm impressed by people who are just so good at life lol). So Matt Damon totally rocks.

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    1. The Martian is a better film than Gravity, IMO so I agree with you there. Plus I liked Watney's humor, that's the kind of person you'd want in space. When I first watched Moon, I didn't see the twist coming. lol

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  8. I haven't seen The Martian (though I'm sure it'll be on HBO later this year) yet Gravity is a film that made me never want to be an astronaut while Moon is just awesome.

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    1. lol right? Gravity made Space look terrible. I hope HBO gets the Martian so I can DVR it. It's so great.

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  9. I have not seen Moon but I have seen the other 2 and you know I picked the same one as you...The Martian which I really enjoyed. Aside from the special effects I thought Gravity sucked. She may be a strong female role in here but it was unrealistic. She is new up there yet can read Chinese?. 30 seconds after landing she can get up and walk?? That shot made me laugh because she looked like a giant. I have expected to see little people running away from her.

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    1. lol I liked the final shot, I think triumphant worked over realism in that case. Though I do remember people bitching that she should've been wearing a diaper because that's what real astronauts wear. lol

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  10. I have yet to finish watching Moon, but loved The Martian (though I prefer the book) and Gravity. Great picks!

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    1. I prefer the book too because they made it harder for Watney. I hope you finish Moon!

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  11. The Martian is one of my favorites from last year - so entertaining! Moon is also really good. But Gravity is a flat-out, no-holds-barred masterpiece. Even without the (fucking stunning) 3D.

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    1. I never expected to like Gravity as much as I did. Great film indeed.

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  12. Cool picks! The Martian and Gravity are definitely two of my faves. Can't wait to finally read The Martian this summer!

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    1. I love that book. It's so funny and science-y

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  13. Great picks! Both Moon and The Martian were almost on my list, the latter being quite popular this week - greats films though.

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    1. I figured The Martian would pop up a lot since it's so recent and so good.

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  14. Love Moon, look forward to seeing The Martian but can't stand Gravity. It was pretty to look at but the story was just not there for me.

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  15. @Wanderer, I've noticed quite a few people didn't care for Gravity this week. It's definitely my least favorite of the 3 I named. But it surprisingly worked for me.

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