Reel Rewind: Space out with space films

MORGAN LESTER, Evergreen columnist

Hello, bored, tired college student. For some reason, you have stumbled upon this listicle for some idea as to what to do this weekend. You’re also likely looking for it to be on the cheap side. So, if space is your thing, strap in, kill your artificial intelligence (AI), and prepare to launch. For this week’s Reel Rewind, we are looking at the top five movies that take place on the final frontier: space.

“Hidden Figures” (2016)

This biopic starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae, tells the story of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson, as they work in the wings to make the Mercury 7 flights happen. While doing the math and fighting the computers, they work against the racist mindset in NASA, as each woman of color proves themselves as mathematicians, programmers and engineers. This is truly one to watch, and a wonderful story to remember. You can find this on Netflix, HBO and YouTube Movies.

“The Martian” (2015)

Matt Damon needs saving, again. Left on Mars after being struck by a flying piece of debris in a Martian storm, Mark Watney (Matt Damon) must reestablish communication with NASA, find a reliable source of food, and escape Mars; all while the planet does its damnedest to kill him. Tense and thrilling from beginning to end, this is another space epic. “The Martian” can be streamed on Netflix, Amazon, YouTube Movies and Hulu.

“Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” (1982)

This is one of the best Star Trek movies out there. Stunning special effects, from the purported gold days at Industrial Light & Magic, this film is a good story filled with some seriously awesome space battles. It can be savored on its own, and can be found on Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and a variety of other platforms.

“Apollo 13” (1997)

“Houston, we have a problem.” A classic film following the three astronauts who fought to come home after an explosion cripples their spacecraft, and the men in the mission control center who worked around the clock to bring them back home. A tense one from the incident to splashdown, it shows the story of these men with hardly any dramatics. The film wonderfully demonstrates the complexity of the Apollo mission, and the reliability of the spacecraft even when nearly destroyed. However, it’s available for rent or purchase with most streaming services like that of YouTube Movies.

“2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968)

A sci-fi masterpiece from the mind of Stanley Kubrick, this film follows the story of a mission to Jupiter following the discovery of a black monolith. The AI aboard the ship attempts to kill the astronauts aboard following a conversation that he might be in error and may need to be shutdown. And that’s all I’m going to tell you. Because the rest is for you to view and interpret. The only other thing I will say is that it is a classic worth viewing, but is really weird. Good luck, and stream this one off Netflix and YouTube Movies.

So, killer AIs, planets and rocketry. I hope I’ve been able to provide some good ideas for your weekend, after you get done studying, of course. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a rogue AI to take care of.

Morgan Lester is a freshman architectural studies major from Leavenworth, Kansas. He can be contacted at [email protected].