Space Between Us, The (Blu-ray) (2017)

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Released 21-Jun-2017

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Romance Audio Commentary-Director Peter Chelsom
Alternate Ending
Deleted Scenes-(13:38)
Featurette-Love Featurette (4:28)
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2017
Running Time 120:18
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Peter Chelsom
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Gary Oldman
Asa Butterfield
Carla Gugino
Britt Robertson
BD Wong
Janet Montgomery


Case ?
RPI ? Music Andrew Lockington


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
English Descriptive Audio DTS HD Master Audio 2.0
English Audio Commentary DTS HD Master Audio 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     In 2018 a group of six astronauts, five men and mission leader Sarah Elliot (Janet Montgomery), are sent to colonise Mars by Space Programme head Nathaniel Shepherd (Gary Oldman). After the mission lifts off it is discovered that Sarah is pregnant and just after the mission lands on Mars she gives birth to a son but dies in childbirth. It seems that the weightless pregnancy means that the boy’s body will not be able to survive in Earth’s gravity so Shepherd and his team decide to leave him on Mars and to keep his existence a secret.

     Sixteen years later the boy, named Gardner (Asa Butterfield), has grown up knowing only the scientists who rotate through the Mars colony at regular intervals although he has become friendly with a teenaged girl in Colorado on Earth, Tulsa (Britt Robertson), with whom he has regularly been texting / Skyping. The nearest person to a mother Gardner has known is the scientist Kendra (Carla Gugino) who does feel for Gardner, especially his desire to travel to Earth and to find out who his father is. It appears that surgery to place implants to strengthen Gardner’s bones may allow him to visit Earth and with Kendra’s urging this is allowed; after some further strengthening exercises Gardner and Kendra travel to Earth, when Gardner is placed in quarantine under strict observation. But Gardner feels as isolated on Earth as he did on Mars and he manages to escape and sets out to find Tulsa although he is aware that the Earth’s atmosphere will in a short time cause his death. Gardner finds Tulsa; she has been in foster care since a very early age and is suspicious and distrusting of people and finds Gardner very difficult to believe or take at face value. However she decides to help him to find his father and the two set off on a road trip across country, during which love starts to grow between them. With Shepherd and Kendra desperately trying to track them down, can they find Gardner’s father before the Earth kills him?

     With films like Serendipity (2001) and Hannah Montana: The Movie (2009) on his resume it would appear that director Peter Chelsom is somewhat of a romantic and The Space Between Us is a charming, sweet, funny and, yes, romantic film, a love story about the worlds (both physically and emotionally) that divide us, and the worlds that bring us together. The cast are good and they do help to sell the story, even some of the more outlandish bits! Gary Oldman can be an excellent manic villain, but he can also do gruff and sensitive very well as here in The Space Between Us. Asa Butterfield is certainly a star on the rise with his performances in such films as The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2008), Hugo (2011) and Ender’s Game (2013) and here he portrays naivety, confusion and hurt well, while Carla Gugino, just like her role in San Andreas (2015), has a noticeable presence as another strong woman. To me the only slightly false note was Britt Robertson, who in her late 20s looked a bit too old to be a teen opposite the baby faced Butterfield (whatever director Peter Chelsom may say about her in his commentary) but they do play off well against each other. The film also looks gorgeous, courtesy of cinematographer Barry Peterson, and the red earth of Mars, the autumn colours of Colorado, the green fields or blue oceans of Earth, all have a lovely glow.

     The Space Between Us is certainly manipulative; we get a life threatening disease, doomed youthful love, beautiful landscapes, good looking young people and a lush score with added ballads. The twist towards the end is also pretty obvious but the film is done with such style and good humour that it gets away with it and you cannot help being swept away and joining in the fun.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The Space Between Us is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, in 1080p using the MPEG-4 AVC code.

     This is a beautiful looking film. Whether the red earth of Mars, the autumn colours of Colorado, the green fields, the greens and blues of Cape Canaveral, hot air balloons in the blue sky, the blue oceans of Earth or a biplane over the hills, the colours are vibrant and have a lovely glow. Detail is firm, blacks and shadow detail pristine, skin tones are fine and brightness and contrast consistent.

     I did not notice any artefacts or marks.

     English captions for the Hearing Impaired are provided.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     Audio choices are English DTS-HD MA 5.1, English descriptive audio and English commentary track, both DTS-HD MA 2.0.

     Dialogue is easy to understand and the effects are clean. The surrounds and rears were used for ambient sounds and music plus buggy and aero engines and they became enveloping during rocket and shuttle launches. The sub-woofer also added rumble and depth to the launches and the explosion.

     The score by Andrew Lockington was lush and moving and included a very beautiful main theme. A range of songs and ballads were added which enhanced the romantic mood of the film.

     There are no lip synchronisation issues.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Commentary: Director Peter Chelsom

     Peter Chelsom is an informative and interesting speaker. He does mention some technical details such as camera speeds, but keeps it low key as he talks about the themes of the film, the locations, his influences, the shooting style, cast, music, the budget, how they did certain shots including green-screen, and points out where CGI is used and, more interesting, where it was done for real. A good commentary and well worth a listen to enhance one’s enjoyment of the film.

Alternate Ending (3:00)

     This ending is more a bookend to Shepherd’s monologue in the opening scene; the existing ending uses a voiceover instead and I feel is more effective.

Deleted Scenes (13:38)

     Five extended and deleted scenes, not in film order, including a fuller version of Shepherd’s opening monologue. Each is introduced by its title in a text screen.

Love Featurette (4:28)

     Rather lightweight as director Chelsom, a producer and cast members Gary Oldman, Carla Gugino, Asa Butterfield and Britt Robertson speak about the themes of the film and the story.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     This Australian release of The Space Between Us is almost the same as the Region A US version. The extras are the same but the US release comes with a DTS-HD MA 7.1 audio and Spanish subtitles. If your system is set up for Region A and 7.1 audio that would be the one to have. If you are not set up for 7.1, our release is fine.

Summary

     The Space Between Us is contrived, manipulative and the co-incidences are not worth thinking about but it is such a charming, sweet, funny and romantic love story that it manages to suck us in and to rise above the clichés. Stylish and heart-warming, this is one for romantics, and those who are romantic at heart.

     The video is beautiful and the audio good. The extras are not extensive but the audio commentary is very good and we do get the same extras that are available elsewhere.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Monday, August 21, 2017
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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