Adventure Blu-ray Review

'The Space Between Us' Blu-ray Review: Men are from Mars, but Earth girls aren't easy

May 12, 2017Ben MK

Long distance relationships can be a challenge — but what happens when the distance separating two kindred spirits is better expressed in light years, instead of in miles or kilometers? That's the founding premise behind The Space Between Us, a film that tells the story about a girl from Earth and a boy from Mars, and the lengths — both physical and emotional — they'll go to to be together.

Born on the fourth rock from the Sun to an astronaut mother who was also the leader of the Magellan-61 space mission to colonize Mars, 16-year-old Gardner Elliot (Asa Butterfield) has spent his entire life there, doomed to a "classified" — albeit not-so-harsh — existence after his mother died in childbirth. As a result, Gardner ended up being "raised by scientists" — one of them being Kendra (Carla Gugino), who's the closest thing to family he's ever known — and left wondering about the identity of his biological father, a man whom he's never met.

When Gardner begins secretly video-chatting with a spunky and street-smart Earth girl named Tulsa (Britt Robertson), however, that's when his desire to leave Mars begins to grow, fueled by romantic feelings he had heretofore only seen in old movies. But even though Gardner eventually convinces NASA to let him make the seven-month-long shuttle trek to meet Tulsa in-person, his happiness proves short-lived, as it soon becomes apparent that his all-too-Martian heart can't withstand the pressure placed on it by the Earth's stronger gravitational pull.

Directed by Peter Chelsom and scripted by Allan Loeb, what follows imbues the scientific drama of The Martian with the teenage love story of The Fault in Our Stars, as Gardner and Tulsa embark on a cross-country road trip in search of his long-lost father, falling madly for each other along the way. But while The Space Between Us has plenty of opportunity to devolve into just another eye-rolling YA romance, it mercifully never does. The result may not be the perfect movie — but it's one that's perfectly geared for all the star-crossed, young lovers out there.

The Space Between Us arrives on Blu-ray boasting a sharp and crisp 1080p transfer. Details are cleanly resolved, from the readouts on near-future computer displays to the landscapes of mountains and forests; colors are robust, whether it's the reddish-orange rocks of Mars or the bright, neon lights of Las Vegas; and pinpoints of light appear stark against the dark void of space, thanks to attractive contrast levels. Audio-wise, the disc comes equipped with a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 sound mix that makes easy work of the movie's primarily dialogue-driven sound design, which is bolstered by the sounds of rocket thrusters and ocean waves, not to mention a rock ballad soundtrack full of songs by artists like Banners, James Bay and Ingrid Michaelson.

VVS' single-disc Blu-ray release includes the following Blu-ray extras:

  • Feature Commentary - Director Peter Chelsom touches on the origins of the movie and how he came to be involved in the project, the film's themes and how they apply to the main characters, the CGI and his approach to visual effects, the production schedule and its impact on the visual style of the movie, filming in New Mexico, the music score and the soundtrack, and more.
  • Alternate Ending (2:58)
  • Deleted Scenes (13:32) - Five scenes ("No Bigger Than a Lima Bean," "Nathaniel's Full Speech," "Manual Capture," "Kendra's Mission" and "Gardner Gets Mugged").
  • Love Featurette (4:26) - The cast and crew share their thoughts on the movie's central love story.

The Space Between Us is available from VVS Films as of May 16th, 2017. The Blu-ray features English and French Dolby TrueHD 5.1 tracks. The film is presented with English and French subtitles. The total runtime is 2 Hrs. 0 Mins.

* Reviewer's note: Portions of this Blu-ray review were adapted from my original review of the theatrical release, published on February 2nd, 2017.

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