High Noon on an asteroid. Sean Connery goes to investigate
mysterious deaths at a asteroid mining colony. The company
town is run by Peter Boyle who decides to hire some
assassins to get rid of this bothersome marshal.
A made-for-TV movie (Starflight One) that got released
to theaters in Europe. The plot involves the maiden
flight of the first hypersonic airliner. Unfortunately,
it skips out of the atmosphere and into orbit without
the heat shielding necessary to re-enter.
1983, Warner Bros.
70mm, 6track dolby
The movie, based on Tom
Wolfe's book, describes the original Mercury 7 astronauts
and the hyper-competitive test pilot culture from which
most of them came. These guys really were heroic and
not the dull choir boys as portrayed in the press of
The movie had tremendously good reviews but was not
a box office hit. There was too little action for the
Star Wars/Star Trek audience and the arts/serious
film audience wouldn't go to a space movie.
Includes Sam Shepard, Scott Glenn, Ed Harris, and
70mm, 6 track
A sequel to Kubrick's 2001, it follows quite closely
to Arthur C. Clarke's novel that traces the course of
events in the years after the original expedition to
No attempt was made, however, to follow Kubricks style
and the film is conventional in plot and presentation.
The special effects are quite good and Roy Schneider,
John Lithgow and others make you care about the characters
as amazing events unfold around them.
Kids at Space Camp accidentally become stowaways on
a space shuttle. The movie unfortunately came out shortly
after the Challenger disaster. So even if it was a better
movie, it would probably not have been successful.
This sci-fi drama includes actors Martin Sheen, Christian
Slater and Robert Foxworth. The IMDB
This Sci-Fi Drama centers around the teen-age Eric,
son of a computer scientist who worked for the Apollo
mission which sent the first human to the moon. Eric,
determined to become an astronaut himself one day,
befriends Paul Andrews, the first man on the moon.
Paul is avoided by other astronauts nowadays, because
he was very rude and rebuffing when he returned from
space. Only slowly Eric learns, that he discovered
something during his excursion on the moon, that he
keeps as a secret.
London Weekend Television (LWT)
UK, 100 min.
IMDB plot summary:
After a nuclear war on Earth, the Soviet Union and
the U.S. both establish outposts on the moon. When
a murder occurs on the outpost, both U.S. and Soviet
investigators are forced to work on the case together.
70mm, 6trk Dolby
Based on a Philip K. Dick novel, Arnold Schwarzenegger
plays Douglas Quaid, a construction worker in the year
2084 who keeps dreaming of Mars. Another personality
surfaces after a trip to a false memory parlor where
he went to experience an imaginary trip to Mars. This
new personality belongs to a member of the Mars rebel
force and he soon comes under real attack from various
assassins. Not knowing what is a real memory and what
is not, Quaid goes to Mars to investigate.
While the book is a thoughtful reflection on the ambiguities
of self-identity and personality, the movie is mostly
a routine high-body-count action movie.
It is the year 2022. A mysterious systems failure
causes the crew of a spaceship to be stranded on the
dark side of the moon, while rapidly running out of
fuel and oxygen. They are surprised to discover a
NASA space shuttle floating in space, and board it
in the hope of salvaging some supplies. One by one,
the crew is possessed and killed, and it is up to
Paxton Warner to find the links between the dark side
of the moon, the Bermuda Triangle, and the Devil himself.
"The inhabitants of the small town of Plymouth
have to evacuate their homes. Collectively they move
to a moon base. Despite the agreement that no babies
should be born there, because of the risks involved,
the base's doctor does get pregnant. And then a sun
flare hits the moon and everybody has to seek shelter."
- Amazon summary
This was a pilot for a series that was never approved.
While laudable for its attempt at a realistic moonbase
setting, e.g. no alien visitors or faster-than-light
spacehips, the attempts at drama - e.g. someone working
outside when a solar flare hits - fell flat.
Currently (May 07) the movie is available in 10 minute
clips on YouTube:
Very successful reenactment of the Apollo 13 near-disaster
in flight. Technical details are highly accurate.
Many of the weightlessness scenes, for example, were
filmed on NASA's Vomit Comet airplane that is
used to train astronauts. It flies parabolic trajectories
to provide up to 30secs of weightlessness on each downward
curve. (See Microgravity
Experience in the Space
The movie reawakened interest in space for many baby
boomers who had forgotten how fascinated they were by
space while growing up in the Space Race days. Later
Hanks produced the sucessful 12 part Earth to the
Moon miniseries on the HBO cable channel that traced
the entire Apollo program.
Pilot for the TV
series based on the shuttle program:
"'The Cape' explores the daily lives of current-day
NASA astronauts, astronauts in training (ASCANs) and
support personnel. In the pilot, the Russians have
lost radio contact with one of their nuclear-powered
spy satellites. This satellite threatens the Eastern
Seaboard of the United States when its orbit degrades.
A Space Shuttle mission, which includes a Russian
cosmonaut, is deployed to prevent the spy satellite
from de-orbiting." - Amazon
"The most dangerous criminals in the universe
escape from the Off-World Penitentiary and stow away
to the quiet Moonbase Waste Disposal Plant. Hidden beneath
the lunar surface lies an arsenal of nuclear warheads-
the inmates' passport home to earth. Moonbase Commander
John Russell launches a desperate fight to save his
crew from a force capable of laying waste to an entire
planet." - Summary
A Disney distributed comedy in which character "Fred
Z. Randall is geeky and obnoxious spacecraft designer,
who gets the chance to make his dream come true and
travel to Mars as a member of the first manned flight
An asteroid is on course to collide with earth. While
the special effects of the mission to blow up the asteroid
are quite good, the film concentrates more on the effects
of this news on the people on earth. Thus it is less
an action movie than Armageddon but has more emotional
impact, so to speak.
budget TV movie about the first mission to Mars. The movie
avoids the usual pitfalls of over the top gimmicks such
as discovering lost alien civilizations or stumbling on
human consuming animals and tries to stay within nearly
plausible technology and scenarios. However, the plot
is routine and predictable and doesn't create any sense
of excitement or realism.
Based on the book The
Rocket Boys by Homer
Hickman, this autobiographical story follows the
coming of age of a boy in an isolated coal mining company
town in West Virginia in the late 1950's.
Homer is inspired by the flight of the Russian Sputnik
satellite to launch rockets of his own. The often humorous
rocketry efforts that follow are interwoven with the
story of his difficult relationship with his hard-driven
and remote father.
The collaboration of Homer and his friends, who become
known in the town as the Rocket Boys, overcomes the
discouragement and ridicule of the community and eventually
reaches great heights with ever more powerful rockets.
joint US-Russian team goes to take up residency at the
first permanent space station in orbit. The Russian team
captain, however, is from Tadjikistan, which is currently
being attacked by Russia. He uses nuclear material that
he has smuggled on board as a threat to blackmail the
US into forcing Russia out of Tadjikistan.
Survivors of the 20 original cosmonauts and their families
remember the exciting years following the launch of
Sputnik in October 1957. This documentary mixes interviews
and archived film as the victories and tragedies of
those days are recounted.
Released in Australia in 2000, in USA in March 2001
This Australia movie builds a fictional comedy around
the true events concerning a receiving station in Australia
that was crucial in obtaining the images from Apollo
11 and the first step on the moon.
Generally, it got very good reviews. However,
it was not released very widely in the US so didn't
make much impact. Will probably do well, though, in
Contact with the first manned mission to Mar in 2009
ends just after a mysterious beacon is detected coming
from the Mars surface. A rescue mission is sent and
they soon discover an even bigger mystery.
"..Eastwood, Jones and Garner will play former
distinguished Air Force pilots who, decades past their
prime, are recruited by NASA to fly a crucial space
shuttle mission. The space agency reluctantly calls
them into action after a satellite launched in the
'60s malfunctions and is headed back to Earth.
Eastwood is the only person with the knowledge to
fix it, and he'll agree to go only if he can take
his buddies..." - Ea stwood Ropes In Cast
For 'Cowboys' - Daily News, Yahoo, July, 4, 1999
James Garner, James Cromwell, Donald Sutherland, William
Devane, Marcia Gaye Harden, Eastwood and Tommy Lee Jones.
After the mysterious disappearance of signals from
the first mission to land on Mars, a team is sent to
Mars to investigate. This new mission in turn encounters
severe malfunctions during the approach to Mars. While
the leader remains to save a failing orbiting module,
the rest of the team crash lands on the surface.
The movie then turns into a survival tale with the
mysteries of Mars gradually revealed as the crew members
die off one by one.
While it is better than Mission to Mars, the movie
did poorly at the box office.
One serious flaw is the dreary tone of the movie. None
of the crew seem to really believe in going to Mars
and they all want to get back to earth as soon as possible.
Not surprisingly, most of the audience soon wants to
get away from this movie as soon as possible.
An eccentric comedy fantasy with a space motif created
by a band called The
Billy Nayer Show. Here is description of the film
from the web
Written, directed, and starring Cory McAbee of The
Billy Nayer Show, this space western musical uses
flinty black-and-white photography, rugged Lo-Fi sets
and the spirit of the final frontier to bring the
film, set in the dirty, isolated vastness of outer
space, to life. The film also stars Rocco Sisto and
Gregory Russell Cook. THE AMERICAN ASTRONAUT follows
the adventures of an interplanetary trader (McAbee)
through his Homeric intergalactic journey to provide
the all-female population of Venus with a suitable
singular male, all the while being pursued by the
cold-blooded and childish killer, Professor Hess (Sisto),
an enigmatic figure from his past. The film features
an original soundtrack
by the The Billy Nayer Show.
This film takes place during the days of the early
space program when test flights included chimpanzes
such as the famous Ham. Alex Linz plays a young boy
who wants to become an astronaut someday. His father
is played by James Woods.
Annabeth Gish is an Air Force veterinarian and animal
trainer in charge of getting the animals ready for their
This comedy stared Eddie Murphy whose character runs
a nightclub in a Lunar Colony in the year 2087. He refuses
to sell out his club to the local mafia.
This film became one of the biggest disasters of 2002.
After sitting on the shelf for a year or two, it finally
got released but with very limited advertising. Eddie
Murphy was so embarassed by it, he refused to do any
publicity for it. The reviews were awful.
BBC TV docu-drama from 2004. The Wikipedia
entry describes the show as follows:
"Five astronauts pilot the Pegasus spacecraft
on a tour of the solar system. Their mission takes
them to Venus, Mars, a close flyby of the Sun, Jupiter’s
moons of Io and Europa, Saturn’s moon of Titan, Pluto,
and the fictional Comet Yano-Moore.
Hemispheric Pictures LLC
The famous German art film director made this low budget
metaphorical sci-fi/fantasy. Space flight is apparently
portrayed as escape from environmental damage to earth.
See the Synopsis
on his official site for the film.
"about renowned aerospace scientist and visionary,
Dr. Robert Zubrin, and his struggle to get the first
human mission to Mars off the ground.
Shot entirely in breathtaking High Definition (HD)
and directed by accomplished documentarian, Scott
J. Gill (Porn Star: The Legend of Ron Jeremy, The
Blood Earth), THE MARS UNDERGROUND brings to life
Dr. Zubrin’s vision, known as "Mars Direct", through
startling 3-D CGI animation of the launch, voyage
and landing of spacecraft, as well as glimpses into
the future of man’s reign on Mars...."
A "large format' (but not IMAX) independently
"Postcards is the story of our possible future in
space exploration and colonization - seen through
the eyes of an engineer working to build a base on
the moon, who occasionally sends 'video postcards'
back to wife and family on Earth..
A 'future documentary' with a narrative form and
story function that lets the audience humanize space
exploration - to see how the New Vision for Space
Exploration will affect their lives.."
"The story of the men who went to the Moon,
told in their own words.
Between 1968 and 1972 twenty-four Americans journeyed
to the Moon. They remain the only human beings to
have visited another world. In this film the Apollo
astronauts tell their own story, and share their reflections
on what these great voyages of exploration meant to
them and to humanity.
The film-makers have shot intimate and revealing
interviews with prime crew members from every Apollo
mission from Apollo 8, the first voyage around the
Moon, to Apollo 17, the last lunar landing, during
which two men lived on the surface for more than three
days and nights. The interviews are interwoven with
re-mastered NASA film footage, much of it never used
(Written with his brother Mark)
This film stars Billy Bob Thornton, Bruce Willis and
Synopsis: "The film is about a man named Charles
Farmer (Billy Bob) who is destined to reach outer space.
Forced to retire from NASA in order to save the family
farm, Charles Farmer reaches a crossroad in his life.
Should he give up his dreams to save the family farm,
or come up with a new dream to accomplish both? It is
an incredibly touching movie based on life struggles
The Sun is dying, and mankind is dying with it. Our
last hope: a spaceship and a crew of eight men and
women. They carry a device which will breathe new
life into the star. But deep into their voyage, out
of radio contact with Earth, their mission is starting
to unravel. Soon the crew are fighting not only for
their lives, but their sanity.
The film once again pairs director Danny Boyle with
writer Alex Garland and producer Andrew Macdonald,
who previously teamed up for the thinking person’s
zombie film, 28 DAYS LATER.
A science fiction movie made in the Machinima
3D animation style.
Created using game engine technology Stolen
Life stars Claudia Black of Stargate and Farscape and
Chris Jones of the legendary Tex Murphy interactive
adventures. Stolen Life is “Future Noir”, a dark and
moody sci-fi detective story set on an asteroid in our
solar system. It received six nominations and one award
at the 2006 New York Machinima Film Festival. The Stolen
Life trailer, interviews and screenshots can be found
First shown at the 2009
Sundance Film Festival. The plot involves a character
working on the Moon by himself at a Helium 3 extraction
facility. Nearing the end of a 3 year contract, he begins
to experience hallucinations and "and soon realizes
that his life at the base is not what it seems."
A film about Anousheh
Ansari's flight to the ISS. "This documentary
follows her journey into space and shows everyday life
as it is on the International Space Station." It
also looks at life in Kazkhastan, especially those who
collect the metal from booster stages that fall back
to land. A profile of the Romanian ARCA
group is included as well.
It was one of 12 films selected out of 782 international
documentary submissions for the World Cinema Documentary
Competition at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.
Synopsis - "After losing contact with Earth, Astronaut
LEE MILLER becomes stranded in orbit alone aboard the
International Space Station. As time passes and life
support systems dwindle, Lee battles to maintain his
sanity - and simply stay alive. His world is a claustrophobic
and lonely existence, until he makes a strange discovery
aboard the ship. Driven by the powerful music of ANGELS
& AIRWAVES, LOVE explores the fundamental human need
for connection and the limitless power of hope A high-impact
visual adventure, that resonates a common truth, that
everyone has a story to tell and something even greater
to leave behind."
This film tells the amazing story of the Japanese Hayabusa
robotic spacecraft mission to the asteroid Itokawa.
The flight controllers overcame one near-death setback
after another for the spacecraft. Eventually they managed
to bring it back to earth for a hard landing in Australia.
It carried minute samples of the asteroid with it.
Richard Garriott made this short film while on the
ISS with the help of crewmembers. Considered the first
sci-fi movie made IN space. NASA resisted its release
for unknown bureaucratic reasons but eventually they
An animated large frame format 3D CGI film mixed with
NASA background imagery of various places in the solar
system. The 48 minute long film appears aimed at IMAX
theaters but they don't explicitly say that.
As indicated by the
trailer, the film is aimed at young people and includes
a science education goal within the comic action hero
Ths movide is about a future privately funded mission
to the Jupiter moon Europa and is done in a documentary,
found-footage style. The mission is also depicted in
a very scientifically rigorous manner, i.e. the film
is of the rare "hard sci-fi" genre. It's also in the
Solar Sci-Fi category.
"In the year 2154 two classes of people exist:
the very wealthy who live on a pristine man-made space
station called Elysium, and the rest, who live on an
overpopulated, ruined Earth. Secretary Rhodes, a government
official, will stop at nothing to enforce anti-immigration
laws and preserve the luxurious lifestyle of the citizens
of Elysium. That doesn't stop the people of Earth from
trying to get in, by any means they can. When unlucky
Max is backed into a corner, he agrees to take on a
daunting mission that if successful will not only save
his life, but could bring equality to these polarized
A routine space mission is smashed by space debris
and Dr. Ryan Stone must fight and use her wits for survival.
This smash hit film, in more ways than one, won 7 Academy
Awards. Sandra Bullock was nominated for Best Actress
in her role as Stone. One of the very few successful
films based on a scenario of current space capabilities,
depicted in a realistic manner.
The depiction is far from perfect, especially with
regard to the orbital mechanics of the various spacecraft
involved. However, these are details and overall they
subtract little for most people from the overall believability
of the film.
Amazing special effects amid gorgeous orbital views
Plot summary: "Blair Mason has wanted to be an
astronaut since he was three years old. Now, at 17,
that dream has become a vision for "moving humanity
beyond Earth." But what does it take to be an astronaut?
And, more importantly, what are we doing now as a nation
to keep the dreams of young people like Blair within
the realm of possibility? "I want to be an Astronaut"
examines the current state of America's space program:
where we've been, where we are, and where we might be
headed. The film is a powerful and emotional ride that
explores the human side of space exploration, and the
realities that need to be in place so that our nation
has a program for the "Blair's" of the world to aspire