Space Craft
Most of my work has many a spaceship, but few cars


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2001: A Space Odyssey
D: Stanley Kubrick (1968) 139m


Widely regarded as Kubrick's masterpiece, 2001 is an entrancing visual extravaganza that is without peer. Humanity's four-million year history of contact with unseen aliens culminates in the discovery of an artefact on the Moon. An expedition tracks it to Jupiter. Things go awry when HAL, the on-board computer, turns nasty. Inspired by Arthur C. Clarke's short story 'The Sentinel'.





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Silent Running
D: Douglas Trumbull (1972) 89m


Earth's surviving trees and plants have been exiled to giant spaceships. The anti-ecology lobby couldn't care less and it falls back to Freeman Lowell to save the planet's botanical heritage in a desperate dash into the lonely reaches of deep space. His only companions are three personality-charged robotic 'drones'. Classic social and environmental commentary that remains disturbingly relevant.





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Solaris
D: Andrei Tarkovsky (1972) 165m


Fans of the Stanislaw Lem novel are probably asking themselves how anyone could manage to make a movie out of a mind-bender like Solaris. Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky does a brilliant job with this story of a cosmonaut who goes to a planet where all sorts of memories can take physical form. At the heart of it all is a sentient ocean. The film is in Russian, but English dubs do exist.





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Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
D: Nicholas Meyer (1991) 101m


The last of the original cast Star Trek movies - The Undiscovered Country - has Captain Kirk and crew in hot water when a prominent Klingon diplomat under their care is assassinated. Christopher Plummer is terrific as the villainous General Chang who is trying to avoid peace at all costs. The film finishes by noting that others will continue "...to boldly go where no one has gone before".





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Serenity
D: Joss Whedon (2005) 119m


When the short-lived TV series Firefly folded, fans rallied. They didn't get their series back, but what they got was this theatrically released feature film. The crew of the Serenity are finding jobs hard to get, thanks to the fact that two of them are fugitives from the Alliance. A spoken word, 'Miranda', may hold the key. Despite critical accodlades, the film was not a box-office success.





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Sunshine
D: Danny Boyle (2007) 107m


In 2056, the sun is dying and a crew of eight aboard a spaceship is on a mission to jump start the sun. However, late into their journey, they lose contact with the Earth and the mission starts going terribly awry. Director Danny Boyle had the cast live together for a while before making the movie - a form of method acting - leading to a familiarity with each other that allowed them to gel.





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Star Trek
D: J.J. Abrams (2009) 127m


Trekkers the world over breathed a collective sigh of relief when they saw this. The best Trek in a long time was a long time coming. A slam-bang action flick that follows the story of Captain Kirk from the Starfleet Academy to the bridge of the Enterprise. Zachary Quinto is sublimely perfect as Spock, and the set design is the ideal blend of TOS and the CGI-era. Trek was well and truly back.





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Gravity
D: Alfonso Cuarón (2013) 91m


Seasoned astronaut Matt Kowalski, alongside brilliant engineer Dr. Ryan Stone, experience a spacewalk disaster on a relatively routine mission. As their damaged shuttle begins to fail, Stone and Kowalski are left completely alone, tethered to nothing but each other and it is up to their faith and ingenuity to get them both home safely. George Clooney and Sandra Bullock are a match made in space.


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