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Movie Review: Sci-Fi Sappiness in ‘The Space Between Us’

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The Space Between Us Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

Read on for our movie review of The Space Between Us:

[dropcap]A[/dropcap] female astronaut discovers she is pregnant during a spaceflight to a Mars colony in The Space Between Us, birthing the baby when she finally arrives. This is an amazing event of untold discoveries; the first baby that traveled through space in the womb and the first human born on another planet. The mother does not survive, but the boy named Elliot (Asa Butterfield) lives to be the first kid raised entirely in a space colony with no other children. What could have been a unique sci-fi scenario for an intriguing perspective on life somehow mutates into a teen road trip movie with a clunky coating of romance.

The Space Between Us Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

Elliot becomes the first child raised on Mars in ‘The Space Between Us.’

Elliot forms a secret internet chat with Earth delinquent Tulsa (Britt Robertson), a girl he desperately wants to meet as much as his Earth father he never met. He cannot travel to Earth, as his body wouldn’t survive the difference in pressure and for the PR nightmare of the space organization that want to keep him a secret. These obstacles are quickly glazed over, however, as the movie would rather favor its mushy journey of young love than science driven drama.

When Elliot first arrives on Earth, he’s not the least bit worried about what this new world could do to his body. He’d rather run away from the scientists trying to help him with his enlarged heart so that he can disappear with Tulsa and find his dad. And given that the scientists who look over him are a Mars-obsessed coot (Gary Oldman) and a barely defined mother/mentor influence (Carla Gugino), I can’t blame him for running away.

Asa Butterfield proved himself to be well suited for science fiction when he starred in 2013’s Ender’s Game, but he’s wasted as the awkwardly ill-defined Elliot. On Mars, he’s a smart and curious teenager who can assemble robots, speak German, recite history and go on secretive spacewalks behind the back of the unaware scientists. On Earth, however, he’s a complete dolt of a fish out of the water who literally forgets what water feels like, even though he worked with irrigation on the Mars colony.

The Space Between Us Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

Elliott experiences the joys of Earth via motorcycle.

Every single thing on Earth seems strange and alien to him from simple interactions to rain to cheeseburgers to horses. But should he really be this ignorant of Earth culture? The Mars colony apparently had movies from Earth, but all Elliot apparently has to work with for his Earth training is an old 1950s video on courtship. He studies this dated video carefully so that the movie can build to one cornball joke of him opening a car door for a lady with a dorky demeanor.

Related: Movie Review: The Circular and Comatose Scares of ‘Rings’

But what type of future is this that the only training video Elliot can view is from the 1950s? This is a kid who can hack his way into a secret chat line, but had no interest in observing Earth through YouTube? Was online video abolished in the year 2034? Earth doesn’t seem to have changed much outside of slightly different cars and more slick computers. And yet there are odd characters such as a classically free-spirited hippie and a wacky looking bum straight out of Blade Runner.

The Space Between Us Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

Their love defies gravity…and sense.

The time period of The Space Between Us becomes more muddled by the direction of Elliot attending a high school that plays more as a 1980s teen comedy; Elliot can apparently rattle off the history of Thomas Edison, but in the same scene ignorantly pulls the lever of an eye wash station. This movie cannot decide on a concrete setting, tone or even a soundtrack. It’s a world where crop-dusting planes explode into giant plumes when they hit barns and cars are left idling out in the open for Elliot and Tulsa to easily make quick getaways.

Britt Robertson doesn’t fair much better as the slick-talking bad girl Tulsa who steals everything to get wherever she needs to go. She’s a bad girl, but not really all that bad as she can apparently play the piano well when she’s not making snarky criticisms or speaking in a world-wise street tone. But do teenagers really speak with such phrases as “see you in the funny pages?” Tulsa admits that she doesn’t know what this phrase means as she heard adults say it before. She must have adopted her entire speech and personality from other adults as modern teenage girls, even the most wise and rebellious, would never speak as though they were a forty-year-old adult using dated slang.

Read more for the rest of the movie review for The Space Between Us:

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Izzy

Movie Magic: The De-Aging Technique of The Irishman

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Have you read Izzy yet? If so, you know that Izzy makes the apples that give the Gods their youth and immortality. It also seems Robert De Niro discovered one of Izzy’s apples too… In Martin Scorsese’s upcoming biographical film, he stars as Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, a labor union leader and alleged hitman for the Bufalino crime family. The trailer for the movie, which will premieres NEXT WEEK (!), also features a “de-aged” De Niro. “We’re so used to watching them as the older faces,” Scorsese said in an interview on the A24 podcast. “Does it change the eyes at all? …If that’s the case, what was in the eyes that I liked? Was it intensity? Was it gravitas? Was it threat?…How do we get that? I don’t know.” Some might consider this magic and I for one can’t wait to see the impact of Izzy’s apples on screen for myself. 😉

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“Captain Marvel” Retains Top Slot at the Box Office

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It’s no surprise that in its second weekend, the first Marvel Cinematic Universe of 2019 is still riding high. Captain Marvel, the latest in the MCU with Brie Larson starring as the lead, generated another $69 million over the weekend, placing its domestic total at $266 million. Tallying up the international box office, the film’s global total to date is $760 million. Despite the online controversy, the film is looking to be another strong box office smash for Disney and Marvel.

As for the premieres for the weekend, and there were plenty, they were all over the map. Just below Captain Marvel was the animated adventure Wonder Park, bringing in $16 million, another film with controversy when the director’s name was removed from the picture after sexual harassment charges. Five Feet Apart, the dying teen drama about a romance amid cystic fibrosis, only came in at #3 with a weekend gross of $13 million. And debuting the lowest in the top 10 for debuts was Captive State, a sci-fi dystopian tale, only making $3 million. The film debuted so low the little film No Manches Frida 2 was able to sneak about it at #6 with a gross of $3.8 million.

Drops were fairly low all around for the returning films, mostly because Captain Marvel was dominating the previous weekend. The only milestone worth noting is that The LEGO Movie 2, after six weeks at the box office, finally cracked $100 million. And the sun is now setting on Green Book’s post-Oscar run by coming in at #10 for the final weekend of its top 10 run over the past few weeks.

View the full top ten weekend box office results below:

Captain Marvel ($69,318,000)

Wonder Park ($16,000,000)

Five Feet Apart ($13,150,000)

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ($9,345,000)

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral ($8,085,000)

No Manches Frida 2 ($3,894,000)

Captive State ($3,163,000)

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part ($2,135,000)

Alita: Battle Angel ($1,900,000)

Green Book ($1,277,000)

Next weekend, Captain Marvel may very well have some competition when Jordan Peele’s new horror film Us hits over 3,600 theaters.

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“Dragon” Continues To Soar, “Funeral” Close Behind, “Green Book” Back

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With little competition for the weekend, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, the third in the animated fantasy saga, was able to secure the box office once more. In its second weekend, the animated epic made $30 million to push its domestic total to $97 million. So far the film has done about the same as the previous film and is on track to stay in the top 10 for a few more weeks in March.

Debuts this weekend were small with one big exception. Tyler Perry’s latest Madea film, A Madea Family Funeral, naturally made a relatively big splash with its dedicated audience. Starting at #2, the film made $27 million for its first weekend. No word on the budget yet but it’s most likely on a budget as most Tyler Perry productions are, so it’s safe to call this a success, especially for debuting with a box office so close to Dragon.

The rest of the premieres were not as strong at all. Greta, the new thriller starring Chloe Moretz, debuted all the way down at #8 with $4.5 million box office. To be fair, however, the film was in a constant battle for its spot as three other films also reported earnings around $4 million for the weekend. Of note, Green Book, fresh off winning the Academy Award for Best Picture one weekend ago, splashed back into more theaters to arise even higher in the top 10 with its domestic total now sitting at $73 million. Don’t count on it remaining there long as bigger blockbusters will be swooping as we plow through the last remnants of winter movies.

Check out the full listing of the top 10 box office weekend results below:

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ($30,046,000)

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral ($27,050,000)

Alita: Battle Angel ($7,000,000)

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part ($6,615,000)

Green Book ($4,711,000)

Fighting With My Family ($4,691,284)

Isn’t it Romantic ($4,645,000)

Greta ($4,585,000)

What Men Want ($2,700,000)

Happy Death Day 2U ($2,516,000)

Next weekend is once again all about Marvel as their latest superhero solo film, Captain Marvel, will be appearing in 4,100 theaters.

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