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 Posted: 2017-02-06 02:01 am
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Shale Stone


The Space Between Us
Movie Blurb by Shale
February 5, 2017
I saw the posters in theater for this movie but don't recall seeing any trailers for it. 

But the sci-fi story was intriguing so it was on my to see list. It is a teen romance movie and I took a glance at Rotten Tomatoes just to see what the aggregate critics thot about it.  Only 18% Fresh but 67% of audiences liked it.  The critics consensus was, " The Space Between Us strands its star-crossed young lovers in a mind-numbingly vast expanse of shameless cheese that will send all but the most forgiving viewers eye-rolling for the exits."
Well, that was pretty harsh, but adhering to my axiom, "I enjoy bad movies," I didn't let the critics disfavor keep me from seeing it.  Turns out it was an enjoyable movie for those who can get into the teen angst/romance headspace.  (I have also alluded to not being a 72-year-old grandpa inside but more like four 16-year-old boys)
The story is in the near future, like The Martian, where NASA has established a long-term colony on Mars for detailed study of the planet and humans living in artificial environs.  Six astronaut/scientists are going , five men and one woman, Sarah Elliot (Janet Montgomery).  But on the trip there, Sarah gets sick and the onboard doctors find that she is pregnant, with the baby due shortly after they land.  Sarah gives birth to a boy she names Gardner - the first birth on Mars. 
The problem is the uncharted progress of a baby gestating in zero gravity then developing in 1/3 of earth's gravity as a child.  So, the movie is about what to do about a baby born on an away mission to another planet, with long durations of weightless travel between the planets. 
But, that is not the romance movie.  That starts when our Martian child Gardner Elliot (Asa Butterfield) is 16 and rather isolated among a bunch of scientists.  Of course he becomes a nerd and is quite intelligent and well educated in technology.  His mother has passed away and one of the scientists Kendra Wyndham (Carla Gugino) has taken on the role of surrogate mother.  He is in a stable routine of working on parts of the station and getting in a little teen mischief such as joyriding on a lander and crashing, because that is his closed world.
Gardner on Mars

However, he makes Internet contact with a girl on Earth named Tulsa (Britt Robertson).  He explains to her that he has a rare bone disease and is isolated in New York.  So, they develop a rapport online. 
Meanwhile on Earth, project manager Nathaniel Shepherd (Gary Oldman) discovers there is a surgical technique which may make his weak support bones more tolerant of Earth's gravity.  There is also the problem of organ weakness but they are prepared to bring him to earth for study. 
Gardner is curious about his father and breaks into his mother's stored personal items on the Mars station and finds fotos of a man with his mother on Earth.  This is his mission while on Earth to locate his father and he escapes from the hospital and finds his online friend Tulsa. 
Finally, we get to the romance part as Tulsa, who is a bit of a loner and daredevil type who can ride a motorcycle, fly a crop duster biplane, steal cars and pretty much street wise goes on a quest with her newfound strange friend who seems to be from another planet sometimes with his total social ineptitude. 
Gardner & Tulsa on The Run

I would recommend this movie for the young in spirit who can still connect to those confusing, awkward and alienated teen years.  BTW, this kid Asa Butterfield is perfectly cast for this role.  He is an attractive looking young man but also quite tall and thin, as if he grew up in reduced gravity.

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