Tim Peake is soon to make history by carrying out the first ever spacewalk by an “official” British astronaut. Along with his colleague, Tim Kopra, Tim will be replacing a faulty component on the station’s exterior which has apparently compromised a power channel on the outpost. We’re not going to pretend that we know what that means, but in celebration of this momentous occasion here’s our favourite movies set in space.
This is obviously a stone cold classic that shouldn’t be ignored under any circumstances. Held together by a storming performance from Signourey Weaver as heroine Ripley, Alien drags you into its dark world and doesn’t let go until the credits roll. It established Ridley Scott as a force to be reckoned with in the film directing world, and managed to brilliantly weave the genres of horror, action and comedy together in one great package. Don’t watch this alone unless you consider yourself immune to intensely effective scares.
Best known for exploring drug addiction in 80’s Edinburgh, Danny Boyle threw a curve ball at the movie business by boldly going where he’d never been before, space. Following a crew of 8 sent as humanity’s last hope of breathing new life into a dying sun, things take a dark and twisted turn after an on-board accident. It’s a visually striking film that engrosses you from start to finish, toying with all of your senses and challenging your mind in strangely wonderful ways. Far from your standard sci-fi affair, this movie is truly one of a kind.
We haven’t included a trailer for this one because you should really know as little as possible before watching. Sam Rockwell plays a mining employee on the moon nearing completion of a three year solitary stint. But after he’s involved in an accident, things take a strange and disturbing turn. To divulge anymore would spoil what is a truly unique plot, concerned with the human psyche and the challenges that you face when you’re all alone. One thing we can say, though, is that Kevin Spacey voices the ship’s A.I and is absolutely perfect for the role. Also, there’s definitely no other movie quite like this.
Guardians Of The Galaxy
This one’s a little bit left field, but it was a surprisingly awesome affair that thankfully didn’t take itself too seriously. Brimming with inspired comedic moments, heart pounding action and three dimensional characters we actually cared about, the film was an exciting ride to say the least. The icing on the cake is the old school soundtrack that works perfectly in the film’s ultra futuristic universe.
2001: A Space Odyssey
Stanley Kubrick is a bonafide genius. His poetic tale on the flaws of mankind remains one of the most influential sci-fi films of all time, due to its majestic imagery and ability to transport viewers into an astoundingly beautiful space. An awe inspiring and almost overwhelming experience, this is a film that you have to feast your eyeballs on as soon as possible if you’re lucky enough to not have seen it yet. We’re actually considering inventing that memory eraser from Men In Black just so we can experience the movie for the very first time again. Wish us luck…
The Fifth Element
Luc Besson’s space crime caper was way ahead of its time when it hit cinemas in 1997. Featuring a standout performance from Gary Oldman as a gloriously over the top villain, the film is bursting at the seems with eccentricity and wonderfully inventive set pieces. It’s also got Bruce Willis running around like a mad man in true die hard style, but he’s in space. Need we say any more?
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
Thankfully lacking the ever annoying ewoks, this was the true space adventure that audiences didn’t even know they’d been waiting for. Empire’s narrative is filled with much more invention, purpose and coherent direction than the trilogy’s other two installments. It also features probably the greatest face off between two foes in the history of cinema. It’s a wonderfully tightly crafted affair that combines good, evil, love, loss and most importantly, Han Solo and Chewbacca kicking butt and taking names.