Guy Cry Cinema
The Most Pants-Wetting Terrifying Space Peril Movies

Firefilm | 17 Sep 2015 12:00
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DISCLAIMER: This is not a series dedicated to proving men shouldn't cry, or to suggest ONLY women cry and are therefore inferior. The goal of this series is to dispel the pre-established (yet flawed) notion that being "manly" and being disconnected from your emotions go hand-in-hand. Even the most macho of men enjoy and even shed a tear at films, and the sooner we can admit that the sooner the concept that one sex is better than the other can go away. While the approach to these articles is one of light-hearted comedy, the emotional core is valid. While men might be more hesitant to admit it, movies often times have the potential to make us cry, for example:

"Space Peril Movies"

In the coming weeks we will see the film adaptation of The Martian, which can be summarized as "Apollo 13, but on Mars and is fiction." Hopefully it's successful in throwing off the shackles of humans never having made a good movie about the red planet (I maintain Total Recall was awesomely bad, but not good). Things can and do go wrong in space, both in film and real life. However, only in movies do we get excited at the vacuum-surrounded peril, waiting with bated breath to see how our fearless heroes or unwitting every-joes will find their way to safety. Perhaps it's good that we run these frightening scenarios out in the safety of our cinematic imaginations before engaging them for reals, because many of these catastrophes are downright horrific. Below are a list of five excellent examples of what can go wrong in space, and how we shed tears of hope that the stories have happy endings. Note: this is sticking mainly to near-future or present-day movies, so no Wars or Trekking in space.

1. Gravity
A nightmare for anyone who's afraid of the reality of space, this film has Sandra Bullock delivering a Tom Hanks in Cast Away level performance. I all but loaded a bazooka full of Oscars and fired them at the movie screen. One of the rare space movies that tries it's hardest to be true to the silence that space truly holds, some of the scariest parts are when things are exploding behind Sandra but she has no indication to look. Between ex-Batman's all-but-too eager self-sacrifice to Sandra showing the world that she can float in space with the best of them, this is a great movie to instill the fear of low Earth orbit into anyone.

The part that truly got to me is the core of her character, and what ultimately starts Sandra's arc. Once a mother, Sandra escapes to space physically in an attempt to metaphorically escape the death of her child. The child died by falling in just the right way next to a hard surface at just the wrong time, and the randomness of that all but destroyed her. As a father myself, I can bubble wrap the world only so much and cannot fathom what I would do if the one square foot I missed ended up being his undoing. I'd probably want to leave the planet as well.

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