Tuesday, November 24, 2015

A Different View from Space

For a change of pace today, I decided to head out into space and discuss three "new" sci-fi movie releases. I think that one thing we can really see from these different movies is how, even with similar premises, stories can be vastly different.

Gravity (2013)

Dr. Stone, a biomedical researcher on her first space mission, finds herself stranded alone in space, trying to make her way home. 

My rating: 3/5 stars

Interstellar (2014)

In the future, a blight is threatening  the Earth's ability to support crops. Scientists take the plunge through a wormhole near Saturn that they suspect was created by beings who are able to travel among five dimensions. On the other side, they hope to find a new world for the human race to inhabit. 

My rating: 4/5 stars

The Martian (2015)

Presumed dead after a tragic accident on a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney must find a way to survive and contact Earth. 

My rating: 5/5 stars


While all of these movies feature space, return to Earth, some (varying degrees of) realistic science, and survival as common themes, there are quite a few differences between them. 

Gravity was my least favorite of the three, mostly because I really didn't like the main character. She seemed to have limited will to live and the relatively low interaction of characters didn't really float my boat. Much of her success seemed to rely on chance and, while it's certainly good to have a great series of challenges for characters, it felt like nothing at all went right. To me, it felt like more of a chance survival story than a true fight for survival. Others might disagree. 

Interstellar, in my opinion, had much stronger characters that had plights I could more readily relate to. One of the larger themes of the story is fighting for family. It also went beyond a simple survival story into some more abstract science concepts like wormholes, black holes, and the fifth dimension. The added science-y bits appeased my inner nerd. My main complaints about this movie were that it was really long and the ending felt a bit rushed. However, the intriguing concepts combined with the  internal conflicts of many of the characters. made for an interesting movie. 

The Martian was the funniest of the three. Watney's wit and humor added an extra layer to a movie that might have seemed dry and grim otherwise. Besides this, I found it more enjoyable than Gravity due to the fact that more characters are involved (we see some of the politics of what's going on back on Earth). Watney also has a strong will to live, even though he is far from unrealistic in his evaluation of the situation.  

All of these movies are PG-13, so don't go into them expecting them to be completely clean. If you like space-centered science fiction, I would recommend any of them. Even if you don't enjoy space movies, I'd still recommend The Martian. 

Have you seen any of these movies? What are your thoughts? And would you be interested in more articles like this in the future?

There will still be a Friday Fiction Fix this week, but I may be slow to respond to comments both on this post and on Friday's due to traveling. Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. THE MARTIAN. I love it!!!!! The science was pretty good in both Interstellar and The Martian (even if I'm still really sceptical that Miller's planet actually exists. If it's that close to a black hole it's getting sucked in!!!!) but The Martian had amazing characters.

    1. I thought the characters in The Martian were well fleshed out, which is somewhat rare in sci-fi movies. (The whole movie was a pleasant surprise, really. A friend and I were trying to find a movie to watch and neither of us really expected to like it, but we both did.) Thanks for the comment!

  2. I have seen the first two movies you listed. The third i havnt watched yet but getting to it. I liked Gravity better then Interstaller though.

    1. You still might enjoy The Martian, depending on why you liked/disliked the other two movies. Like Gravity, The Martian is more of a survival story. Thanks for the comment!


Feel free to share your thoughts below. I reserve the right to remove vulgar, hateful, or rude remarks from the comments. Thanks for sharing!