The Space Between Us Preview

It’s been a strange year for the Romance film. While there is a major ongoing BMT saga in the Fifty Shades series, with Fifty Shades Darker coming in as a BMT Live! this year, there wasn’t much besides that. Even Nicholas Sparks seems to have taken himself out of the game. We basically found ourselves choosing between the Reese Witherspoon RomCom vehicle Home Again and the SciFi/Romance The Space Between Us. I think you know which one won that battle. That’s right! We’re watching the very rare SciFi/Romance film in The Space Between Us. This film is about a boy born on Mars who yearns only about experiencing Earth, but is denied that opportunity because his body wouldn’t handle our gravity… until he takes the matter into his own brittle-boned hands. I would have loved to save this film for a Set in the Future cycle (as romances are hard to come by), but alas. Guess we’ll just have to go with Heartbeeps instead. Let’s go!

The Space Between Us (2017) – BMeTric: 19.3

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(The number of votes is a bit surprising and the rating is very surprising. Who watched this film? How does it end up being one of the worst opening of all time and then gets 30K votes on IMDb and decent enough (average at least) ratings. It makes no sense! This could be a mystery, but I think I have to watch the movie first to see if it is worth an investigation.)

RogerEbert.com – 2 stars –  Butterfield and Robertson (who’s about 10 years too old to be playing a high-school student at this point) don’t exactly get sparkling dialogue with which to convince us of their burgeoning love. Neither does the score, which works overtime to make us feel all the feels. But hey, at least there’s an exploding barn. That’s something you don’t see on Mars every day.

(The score! I love when a score is all up in your face, it is the best. I think this film is going to be boring, but there is an outside shot it’ll be just silly and self-serious enough to keep me interested.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x73-573aWfs

(That … kind of looks interesting. Uh oh … this movie is going to be crazy boring isn’t it? How long is this? Two hours?! Goddamnit.)

Directors – Peter Chelsom – (Known For: Hannah Montana: The Movie; Serendipity; Shall We Dance; The Mighty; Funny Bones; Hear My Song; Future BMT: Town & Country; BMT: The Space Between Us; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Director for Town & Country in 2002; Notes: British, his long career has seen him nominated for BAFTAs and Razzies. A classically trained actor originally he played alongside Patrick Stewart and Anthony Hopkins among the Royal Shakespeare company.)

Writers – Allan Loeb (screenplay by & story by) – (Known For: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps; Rock of Ages; The Switch; Things We Lost in the Fire; Future BMT: So Undercover; Here Comes the Boom; 21; Collateral Beauty; The Only Living Boy in New York; BMT: The Dilemma; Just Go with It; The Space Between Us; Notes: His story seems very inspiring. He was struggling and almost bankrupt when he moved to New York, joined Gambler’s Anonymous, and developed the script for The Only Living Boy in New York. This sparked his career despite only just having being produced this year.)

Stewart Schill (story by) – (BMT: The Space Between Us; Notes: Almost exclusively a television editor of all things. He’s managed to earn just about one writing credit every ten years. I assume him and Lewis punch up in their spare time.)

Richard Barton Lewis (story by) – (BMT: The Space Between Us; Notes: Almost exclusively a producer (including being the Executive Producer of The Outer Limits), it is interesting he’s a writer here as this is his first writing credit it nearly twenty years.)

Actors – Gary Oldman – (Known For: Darkest Hour; The Dark Knight; Dracula; Léon: The Professional; The Dark Knight Rises; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2; Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire; True Romance; Batman Begins; Dawn of the Planet of the Apes; The Fifth Element; Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix; Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban; The Book of Eli; Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy; A Christmas Carol; Lawless; JFK; RoboCop; Air Force One; Future BMT: The Unborn; Lost in Space; Paranoia; Planet 51; Man Down; Criminal; Criminal Law; Quest for Camelot; Child 44; Hannibal; Romeo Is Bleeding; BMT: Red Riding Hood; The Scarlet Letter; Tiptoes; The Space Between Us; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screen Couple for The Scarlet Letter in 1996; Notes: Most of the recent news concerning him is about the Oscar buzz for Darkest Hour where he plays Winston Churchill. He also just got married for a fifth time.)

Asa Butterfield – (Known For: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children; Hugo; The Boy in the Striped Pajamas; Ender’s Game; Journey’s End; Nanny McPhee Returns; A Brilliant Young Mind; 10,000 Saints; Son of Rambow; Future BMT: The Wolfman; BMT: The Space Between Us; Notes: He broke onto the scene in Son of Rambow, but Hugo was his biggest role in his young career. Born on April Fool’s Day and a supporter of Arsenal (booooo).)

Carla Gugino – (Known For: Man of Steel; Gerald’s Game; Watchmen; San Andreas; Sin City; American Gangster; Spy Kids; Night at the Museum; This Boy’s Life; Spy Kids 3: Game Over; Faster; Race to Witch Mountain; Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams; Snake Eyes; Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael; Mr. Popper’s Penguins; The Lookout; Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco; Miami Rhapsody; Match; Future BMT: The Unborn; Rise: Blood Hunter; Michael; Elektra Luxx; The One; Son in Law; Righteous Kill; Troop Beverly Hills; The Singing Detective; Women in Trouble; Every Day; I Melt with You; The Center of the World; Even Money; Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; Hotel Noir; BMT: New Year’s Eve; Sucker Punch; The Space Between Us; Notes: Was turned on to acting by her aunt Carol Merrill, who, oddly I think, was really only a model on Let’s Make a Deal where she made $77 an episode.)

Budget/Gross – $30 million / Domestic: $7,885,294 (Worldwide: $14,793,385)

(A catastrophe. It is rare that what amounts to a YA romance is so reviled and gets released so widely when it looks to be a disaster.)

#87 for the Sci-Fi – Adventure genre

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(The genre is a-boomin’ and making a ton of cash. But what I’m interested in is the boom period in the early 2000s where the genre was still not making much money. 2002 in particular is crazy: Star Trek: Nemesis; Treasure Planet; The Adventures of Pluto Nash; Star Wars Episode II – Attack of the Clones; The Time Machine. Woof.)

#12 on the Worst Openings – Saturated chart

(This chart is quite interesting. We’ve only seen three of the films above this one, although we’ll hit three or four of the others in the future for sure. Sometimes these films are just not even on the radar though. Like Won’t Back Down. Ludicrous trailer, but I doubt we ever bother with it.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 16% (19/118): 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.

(I had to read this consensus twice. Am I going crazy or does it not make a lick of sense? I think “mind-numbingly vast expanse” just rubs me the wrong way. Seems like it could be fun though. Like Safe Haven maybe? A boy can dream.)

Poster – The Sklog Between Us (B-)

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(Nice artistic poster here with the moon as part of the text and an astronaut standing in a field of flowers. Not super cohesive otherwise.)

Tagline(s) – What’s Your Favorite Thing About Earth? (D)

(Ha! I guess I never thought about it. Maybe the air. Probably the air. It’s nice to breath and it makes the sky and sunsets and maybe gives you a nice breeze on a sweaty summer day. Certainly my favorite thing about Earth does not include this tagline. I could do without this nonsense.)

Keyword(s) – mars; Top Ten by BMeTric: 66.9 Ghosts of Mars (2001); 46.1 The Last Days on Mars (2013); 46.0 Mission to Mars (2000); 45.5 Mars Needs Moms (2011); 44.6 Approaching the Unknown (2016); 41.7 Red Planet (2000); 40.8 Ice Age: Collision Course (2016); 30.6 Avalanche Sharks (2014); 24.8 RocketMan (1997); 21.6 Stranded (2001);

(Wow, at least we hit up the number one. Mission to Mars, Red Planet, and maaaaybe RocketMan are on the docket I would say. Mars Needs Moms … we’ll probably have to figure out a way to choke that pile of garbage down at some point, but I don’t want to. Kind of like this weird list, just wonky.)

Notes – The original title of The Space Between Us was Out of This World.

In the scene where Gardner arrive on Earth, the space suit masks, worn by some of the scientists, are actually a brand of full face snorkel masks. (Not a surprise, I feel like I know exactly what these look like)

Highland High school in Albuquerque was used in some scenes, during school hours which caused a hassle between school administrators and the State Film commission (Oh that sounds awful)

Spaceport America in New Mexico hosted their first movie shoot. There were over 400 crew, actors and extras at the spaceport during the shoot.

With less than a month to go before its debut, STX Entertainment has changed “The Space Between Us” release date from December 16, 2016 to February 3, 2017. This will take the sci-fi drama out of the competitive holiday movie season into the less crowded mid-winter timetable where it will open against the horror sequel “Rings”. (What what)

The Space Between Us is the second space-related movie Asa Butterfield has started in, Ender’s Game being the first.

Just after the video call with Tulsa, Gardner is watching a movie left by one of the German scientists. That movie is “Wings of Desire.”

Cameo appearances by YouTube stars Joey Graceffa and Lele Pons during the classroom scene (boooooooooooo)

The Space Between Us stars Britt Robertson, who had also starred in a major role in Tomorrowland. Both movies involve futurology and “illegal” adventures.

Both Asa Butterfield and Janet Montgomery were in BBC’s Merlin as Mordred and Mithian. (Yeah, I didn’t realize Butterfield was in Merlin … my dog has watched every episode twice if that is worth anything (spoiler: it isn’t)).

Britt Robertson also plays a role in the 2-season TV show “Life Unexpected”. In both roles, she plays a foster child who is seeking emancipation.

In Ender’s Game, Asa Butterfield played Ender who had a second in command named Bean. From the Ender’s Game novels, Bean was a baby who was born as part of an illegal experiment, was highly intelligent, was reunited with his biological family, grew to extreme proportions with an over sized heart that would eventually kill him in Earth gravity, left behind the woman he loved, and went into space to prolong his life. This mirrors much of the story of The Space Between Us. (Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat I’ve read Ender’s Game but I didn’t know the backstory to Bean. Thanks random IMDb note, spoiler alert).

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Are We There Yet? Preview

Onwards and upwards to Chain Reaction. After painting ourselves into a corner last year we finally fully extricated ourselves from the mess by landing on Ride Along 2. This cycle we get to move from that to the Are We There Yet? Series through Ice Cube. While this is not the worst reviewed set of films in history (that would obviously go to Baby Geniuses and Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 with a shocking 2% and 0% RT scores, respectively), this is pretty spectacular in its own right with 11% and 8% RT scores for the two films. Also, it has the strange distinction of having the first film be totally original and then having the second film be a remake of the Cary Grant film Mr. Blanding Builds His Dream House (that was in turn based on a book which itself was expanded from a short story). Sometimes you can’t make this shit up. Let’s go! To start the road trip extravaganza:

Are We There Yet? (2005) – BMeTric: 62.5

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(There are two interesting things in these graphs. First, I’m genuinely surprised at how high the BMeTric is. I would have assumed a film with a sequel wouldn’t have been a complete catastrophe. Second, if you ignore the initial uptick the rating is pretty stable over the years and at a surprisingly low 4.2(ish). All signs point to this being a simply terrible film. Can’t wait.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  If you wait long enough, just about anything can happen, including Ice Cube turning into Fred MacMurray. Actor Cube isn’t the problem here, but a stale premise is: the child-hating owner of a sports memorabilia store transports two headstrong kids over a long, disaster-prone trip to Vancouver, all to help hottie-mama Lond out of a scheduling ham while getting into her good graces. Before turning in this box-office success, director Levant did Problem Child 2 and Snow Dogs. Forewarned is forearmed.

(So much to unpack here. (1) Forewarned is forearmed? I honestly had never heard the phrase until now and it just seems so strangely out of place to me. And yet looking it up it dates to at least the 16th century and has been used throughout the years and has a quite literal meaning. (2) Calling out the director specifically for Problem Child 2, who do you think you are Leonard … me? (3) Name dropping Fred MacMurray in a review of an Ice Cube family comedy. All bold moves. Something just makes me love this entire review.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cn7IPP2bc5c

(Wow the music. I will say this though: this is a straight kids movie, why are we watching this and how are we going to judge it. Also the Paul Bunyan Ax would have seriously injured Ice Cube)

Directors – Brian Levant – (BMT: The Flintstones; The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas; Are We There Yet?; Problem Child 2; Snow Dogs; Jingle All the Way; The Spy Next Door; Beethoven; Notes:  Won the Razzie Award in 1995 for Worst Screenplay for The Flintstones; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1997 for Worst Director for Jingle All the Way; Notable television writer starting his career on the Jeffersons and writing for other huge shows like Happy Days. He wrote Sklog childhood staple Problem Child 2. Egad, imagine doing that for BMT?! Gross.)

Writers – Steven Gary Banks and Claudia Grazioso (story & screenplay) – (BMT: Are We Done Yet?; Are We There Yet?; Notes: Writing duo. Not much about them … but their not-a-movie Family Dude seems to morph into Just Go With It, no? Just in Hawaii with Adam Sandler instead of Montana. That is kind of nuts, they must have landed Sandler and then cut Banks and Grazioso free. As a matter of fact I wonder if they were thinking of Just Go With It as the third Are We There Yet? movie starring Ice Cube as well. Would have had to be a different character though, he doesn’t need to pretend to have a family. But perhaps it was supposed to be Cube’s next PG film and he bailed in favor of better projects.)

David Stem (screenplay) – (Known For: Shrek 2; Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius; The Rugrats Movie; Rugrats in Paris; BMT: Daddy Day Camp; Are We There Yet?; The Smurfs (BMT); The Smurfs 2 (BMT); Clockstoppers; Notes: Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2008 for Worst Screenplay for Daddy Day Camp; The next two have also been writing partners since 1992. These guys worked on the Nickelodeon classic Roundhouse! Be still my beating heart. Is in the process of writing the sequel to Enchanted with Amy Adams.)

David N. Weiss (screenplay) – (Known For: Shrek 2; All Dogs Go to Heaven; Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius; The Rugrats Movie; Rugrats in Paris; BMT: Daddy Day Camp; Are We There Yet?; The Smurfs (BMT); The Smurfs 2 (BMT); Clockstoppers; Rock-A-Doodle; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2008 for Worst Screenplay for Daddy Day Camp; Before he teamed up with Sterm this guy wrote All Dogs Go to Heaven and Rock-A-Doodle. I’m star struck over here. He’s written several children’s books and both Weiss and Stern were nominated for an Emmy as part of the writing team behind Rugrats.)

Actors – Ice Cube – (Known For: xXx: Return of Xander Cage; 21 Jump Street; Friday; The Book of Life; 22 Jump Street; Boyz n the Hood; Barbershop: A Fresh Cut; Three Kings; Barbershop; Rampart; Higher Learning; Barbershop 2: Back in Business; Trespass; The Glass Shield; The Longshots; BMT: xXx²: State of the Union (BMT); Anaconda; Torque (BMT); Are We Done Yet?; Ghosts of Mars (BMT); Are We There Yet?; First Sunday; Lottery Ticket; Ride Along 2 (BMT); Friday After Next; I Got the Hook Up; All About the Benjamins; Dangerous Ground; Ride Along (BMT); Next Friday; The Players Club; Notes: Slowly creeping up the ladder of BMT legends. Obviously most famous for being part of NWA and in my opinion he has made an incredible transition to acting. Seeing xXx 3 as non-BMT makes me sick to my stomach. Disgusting.)

Nia Long – (Known For: Friday; Keanu; Boyz n the Hood; Boiler Room; Alfie; Soul Food; The Best Man; The Best Man Holiday; Lemon; Roxanne Roxanne; The Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy; BMT: Big Momma’s House 2 (BMT); Are We Done Yet?; Are We There Yet?; Big Momma’s House (BMT); Made in America; Premonition; The Single Moms Club (BMT); Held Up; Stigmata; Notes:  Against all odds these two movies will be the second and third Nia Long movies we’ve watched in this cycle alone! If only she had appeared in Big Momma Like Father Like Son. The younger half-sister of comedian Sommore)

Also stars Aleisha Allen (who was in School of Rock)

Budget/Gross – $32 million / Domestic: $82,674,398 (Worldwide: $97,918,663)

(That is a pretty significant success so not shocking they made a sequel. Anything near $100 million is quite good for a comedy.)

#10 for the Comedy – Fish-Out-of-Water Father genre

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(This comes in right above a recent BMT (Cheaper by the Dozen) and far above Hall of Fame inductee Old Dogs. Naturally right at the peak of as genre which may or may not attempt a comeback soon. The fact that zero films have been placed in this genre on Box Office Mojo since 2013 makes me think the odds aren’t good.)

#10 for the Comedy – Road Trip genre

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(I love it! I feel like we haven’t seen a “novel” trend in one of these in a while. Here the genre was put to quite the long term test from around 2000-2010. Given how there was an intense burst with Dumb and Dumber in 1995 and then the genre slowly climbed its was back to reasonable box office returns, I’m surprised by the lull in 2010. If I were to guess it is, like many other things, a genre that kind of got pushed to the side as tentpoles were being hastily assembled. It is nice to see that it has recovered and has not been relegated to VOD forevermore … although recent ones have not been great including the sequel to the aforementioned Dumb and Dumberer. This came in near the reviled Tammy. BMT classic Wild Hogs came in number one, where’s my sequel?!)

Rotten Tomatoes – 11% (13/116): This supposed family comedy staring [sic] the usually blameless Ice Cube and Nia Long has provoked most critics to write, “Is it over yet?”

(Hilarious type in the consensus. Not actually as uncommon as you would think. For an initial movie in a two part series that score is very very low. Supposed comedy is a little concerning. Sounds … boring.)

Poster – Are We Sklog Yet? (C-)

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(There is a whole class of posters that a similar to this that I just hate, hate, hate. Too much empty space and not enough stylization of the characters on the poster. Here the font is OK and the visual tells me a story so not a total loss. For the record: it would still be really easy to make Are We Sklog Yet?)

Tagline(s) – 24 hours. 350 miles. His girlfriend’s kids. What could possibly go wrong? (D-)

(That is for real the tagline for this film and it is terrifying. Like the worst. Can’t give it an F though cause it does give me some tantalizing details about the plot. What could possibly go wrong indeed.)

Keyword(s) – car fire; Top Ten by BMeTric: 62.5 Are We There Yet? (2005); 62.3 The Last Exorcism Part II (2013); 59.9 Cell (I) (2016); 56.7 The 5th Wave (2016); 55.7 Spring Breakers (2012); 53.2 Cold Creek Manor (2003); 49.9 Point Break (2015); 46.1 Sleepwalkers (1992); 42.1 The Black Dahlia (2006); 41.6 Southland Tales (2006);

(Thinking about it I can’t wait to watch Southland Tales. Somehow that has just flown under the radar for years. Otherwise a sparse list with the 5th Wave seeming particularly weak … kind of amazing it is near 60 BMeTric at the moment)

Notes – Ice Cube’s first PG-rated movie. (And I think this series is his only foray into that genre. Prob will stay that way I would think)

Actor Ice Cube stated on Late Night with Conan O’Brien (1993) that this film was originally intended as an Adam Sandler vehicle. (Jeez, that makes a ton of sense)

Despite the film’s title, “Are We There Yet?” is only said once in the film. (Small blessings)

Kevin said his mom (Nia Long) thinks Nick is better looking than Taye Diggs. Nia Long and Taye Diggs played love interests in The Best Man and The Best Man Holiday. (fun facts)

When Nick is asked what Suzanne’s kids names are, he answers ‘Theo and Rudy [Huxtable]’ from The Cosby Show (1984). (ooooof that joke has not aged well to say the least)