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Peter Chelsom
Gary Oldman, Asa Butterfield, Britt Robertson, Carla Gugino
Writing Credits:
Alllan Loeb

The first human born on Mars travels to Earth for the first time, experiencing the wonders of the planet through fresh eyes. He embarks on an adventure with a street smart girl to discover how he came to be.

Box Office:
Opening Weekend
$3,775,596 on 2812 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated PG-13.

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
English DTS-HD MA 7.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 121 min.
Price: $34.98
Release Date: 5/16/2017

• Audio Commentary with Director Peter Chelsom
• “Love” Featurette
• Alternate Ending
• 5 Deleted Scenes
• Previews
&bull. DVD Copy


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


The Space Between Us [Blu-Ray] (2017)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (May 7, 2017)

For a teen “coming of age” drama with a sci-fi twist, we head to 2017’s The Space Between Us. On the first space flight to colonize Mars, the crew discovers that one of the travelers is pregnant.

After they land on Mars, Sarah Elliot (Janet Montgomery) gives birth and soon dies. Her son Gardner then becomes the first human born on another planet, and he grows up on Mars among scientists and astronauts.

Now 16, Gardner (Asa Butterfield) finds himself restless and also fascinated by the Earth, a planet he doesn’t know from his own experience. In addition to a desire to find his father, Gardner strikes up a very long distance relationship with Tulsa (Britt Robertson), a girl with an unstable family history.

Gardner wants to travel to Earth to pursue these human interests, but factors complicate this endeavor. In particular, it appears that his heart won’t adapt to the atmosphere on the Earth. Despite this, Gardner decides to risk his life to follow his dreams.

At a basic level, Space offers an intriguing notion. What would life be like for the first human born/raised on an alien world? How would this person differ from a “typical” Earth resident?

As depicted here, “not at all” seems to be the answer, as Gardner feels an awful lot like an ordinary teen. This doesn’t make much sense, as one would have to believe a person raised by scientists on another planet with zero connection to peers his age would greatly differ from the average kid.

Nope. Somehow Gardner resembles every other teen you’ve seen, and that’s just one of many stretches of logic embraced by Space - though it tries to have its cake and eat it, too. The movie makes Gardner Just Another Teen when it suits the narrative, but it also imbues him with awkwardness and an alien feel when it prefers that sense.

This makes Gardner a weird mix of Anthony Michael Hall from Breakfast Club and HAL from 2001. To call Gardner an unrealistic character would be an understatement, as he comes across as a wholly cinematic conceit without a shred of believable personality.

Which makes him a great match for the others – especially feisty Tulsa, a role saddled with every “neglected teen” cliché in the book. Never mind that Robertson was 26 years old when she shot the movie, an age that makes it tough to swallow her as a high school student.

This becomes a particular problem because we need to buy the romance between Gardner and Tulsa, which we don’t, partly because of age issues. Butterfield was 19 during the shoot, but he looks 14, and that contrast with the obviously much older Robertson makes their connection tough to swallow.

It doesn’t help that Butterfield and Robertson enjoy zero chemistry. The movie wants us to accept a tight connection between the two, but we don’t, as they show no warmth or charm in their interactions.

In addition, Space embraces every sappy cliché it can find. The story basically steals from a mix of sources, though I suspect old fogies like me will connect it mainly to the awful 1970s TV movie Boy In The Plastic Bubble, another tale of a youngster who risks his life to experience a more normal life.

Bubble now gets viewed as a piece of Seventies cheese, and I suspect Space will go down the same way. A few aspects of the film come with the potential to succeed, but Space clings to sappiness and cliché with such abandon that it becomes more laughable than emotional.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture A-/ Audio B+/ Bonus C+

The Space Between Us appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. At all times, the image satisfied.

Sharpness worked well, as the movie always looked well-defined. No signs of softness cropped here, so the flick appeared concise and accurate. I saw no shimmering or jaggies, and both edge haloes and print flaws remained absent.

To the surprise of no one, teal and orange dominated the film’s palette. When Gardner got to Earth, the palette opened up a little more, but not much, so the hues stayed restricted. Within these choices, the tones looked appropriate.

Blacks offered nice depth and density, while low-light shots seemed appealing. These boasted appropriate clarity and smoothness. I felt pleased with this high quality image.

Almost as good, the film’s DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack gave us a fairly engaging piece. As expected, space-based scenes offered the most involving audio, as these used rockets and the like to create exciting material.

A few other elements worked well, too, such as vehicles and Earth-related aircraft. All of these filled the room well and moved among the channels in a satisfying manner. Music brought good stereo presence as well, and quieter scenes demonstrated a nice sense of atmosphere.

Audio quality seemed positive, with speech that appeared concise and distinctive. Music was warm and full, while effects showed good reproduction. Those elements offered fine clarity with fine low-end response as well. The soundtrack fleshed out the film in an appropriate manner.

As we shift to extras, we find an audio commentary from director Peter Chelsom. He offers a running, screen-specific look at how he came to the project, story/characters/themes, cast and performances, sets and locations, cinematography and visual effects, influences, music and related domains.

Chelsom made a bad movie, but he recorded a terrific commentary. The director covers a nice array of subjects and does so in a lively, engaging manner. He turns this into a full and informative discussion.

A featurette called Love runs four minutes, 28 seconds. It offers notes from Chelsom, writer/producer Richard Barton Lewis and actors Gary Oldman, Britt Robertson, Carla Gugino, and Asa Butterfield. They discuss character and story areas in this completely promotional puff piece.

In addition to an Alternate Ending (3:01), we get five Deleted Scenes (13:44). The “Alternate Ending” finishes the movie on a limp, chatty note that seems wholly unsatisfying.

As for the five deleted scenes, they add little. The first – “Nathaniel’s Full Speech” – takes up almost half of the running time, and it’s a snore. The “Speech” segment of the final film already feels too long, so an extended version becomes even more tedious.

Two more add to the Nathaniel character in insubstantial ways as well, while the fourth shows an attack upon Gardner. The final clip features more of a conflict between Nathaniel and Kendra. The bit in which Gardner gets beaten up offers a little merit, but the others feel forgettable.

The disc opens with ads for Before I Fall, The Bye Bye Man, A Dog’s Purpose and The Resurrection of Gavin Stone. No trailer for Space shows up here.

A second disc presents a DVD copy of Space. It includes the same extras as the Blu-ray.

Sappy and silly, The Space Between Us embraces every cliché it can find. While a few elements threaten to prosper, the movie wallows in cheese and melodrama. The Blu-ray offers very good picture and audio as well as an excellent audio commentary. Maybe easily entertained teens will dig Space, but I can’t imagine it’ll work for anybody else.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.7777 Stars Number of Votes: 9
3 3:
View Averages for all rated titles.

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