Beyond the Stars (1989) Poster

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Surprisingly good.
rustym26 April 2004
Beyond the Stars is one of those surprising movies. It has a great cast that give very good performances despite the low-budget feel of the film. While the underlying subjects of the movie may not apeal to many people, the time-honored coming of age story that involves all of the main characters should be appreciated by the most basic of movie viewers.

The surprising "twist," which is not much of a twist at all, is a nice addition for those that are the "dreamers" for whom the film was obviously written.

Beyond the Stars is a much under-appreciated film that deserves a look. I'm sure you'll be surprised as well.
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An unexpected pleasure
penhallegowj23 September 2006
When I read the description, and the film's title, I was expecting some pretty cheesy 80's TV treacle. However, as a sucker for movies that involve NASA in some regard, particularly those that deal with the Apollo Program, I had to give it a try.

I was very surprised, then, to find myself being drawn into it and caring about the characters. It was much better than I had expected, and the performances were quite solid. Sheen and Foxworth were very good, Slater was reasonably believable, and Abraham stole his scenes. The female characters were sympathetic and believable. I was also surprised how front and center Apollo was - it didn't just serve as a disposable backdrop for the drama. All in all Beyond the Stars was well worth the viewing, but I agree that the sci-fi ending did cheapen the drama slightly. And the title - whew - they could have done better than that!

I have to chuckle, however, at a description I read of Slater's character being a "troubled" teenager. Ha! Most people should be so lucky to have a kid that respects his parents, wants to follow in his dad's footsteps and study science and math, and plans to go to MIT. Yeah - that kid's a real disaster.

Anyway, a few of the technical space details were off (particularly during the Huntsville trip), and the music was pretty dated, but those are mostly nits. Overall this was a reasonably intelligent and mature drama with a strong Apollo background - and an unexpected pleasure.
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This is one of my favorite movies
endymion915 May 2005
Unlike the other commenter, I found this movie very enjoyable. It is the type of movie you might find in the "Under $5" bin and after watching think "Wow, how did this movie get overlooked?"

I found the relationships handled very well. Father/son Future stepmother/stepson NASA engineer vs. NASA pilot conflict Boyfriend/girlfriend

I found Slater very believable and thought he and D'Abo played very well together as bf/gf. I thought Foxsworth and Sheen's confrontation was the highlight of the movie.

F.Murray Abraham shines in his small role also.

The only weak part of this movie, for me, is the scifi thrown in near the end. I bought the movie looking for scifi. I feel in love with the drama, then found myself wishing they left the scifi out at the end and stuck to the well done drama.

Don't miss this one if you can find it. Very emotional movie, IMHO.
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More truth than fiction
jtcapa3 January 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Saperstein had the gem of a great idea given to him for this movie, but with the oversight and muddling that we underwent in making this picture by those that sanction this movie idea, he burned out. Nothing much happened from him after this film. Other than jumping on an anti-government bandwagon. Look at Sapersteins life after this movie, its almost more interesting than the movie.

The real story that was told poorly in this film was based on more truth than fiction. Sapersteins job was to write and direct something Hollywood could swallow and market, that would make the kernel of truth edible to the public. Unfortunately, he was thwarted and failed. Most people that watch this film try to ignore the "sci-fi" piece, as it doesn't fit with the rest of the film very well.

I have to to give Mr. Saperstein credit, he had a very difficult challenge in disseminating a story that people would find engaging and believable to a degree. But this story is not one the public is ready to hear. But you can see there is truth behind the idea that NASA is no longer a manned exploratory space agency!! Watch it with an open mind and look closely at some of the subtext and subtle images Sapersteins works into the scenes.
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Great old movie
Hawk292921 June 2006
The first reviewer wants every movie to be an academy award winner. This movie is way better and more meaningful. I saw it years ago and would like to find it on my rental stores shelves someday, I would rent it in an instant. Good message and great performances. Well worth the time to watch. Sometimes these little TV movies are just what you're looking for on a Friday night. Even if the ending leaves a bit of thought, sometimes this grey type of ending is what is called for. Makes you kind of think of the message you read into the movie. Not all good movies have perfect endings, perfect performances or perfect editing. If you can overlook some minor flaws you will enjoy this movie.
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That the movie is painfully slow moving just one of countless fatal flaws
millennia-216 May 2000
It's likely that the writer/director of 'Beyond the Stars' had good intentions to begin with, the messy, incoherent finished product leaves much to be desired. Even at eighty-seven minutes the movie feels excruciatingly long, only made worse by the mediocre production values. Excuse my bluntness, by whoever edited this movie ought to be shot in the arm repeatedly until they perish due to lead poisoning. It's that bad. The editor absolutely ruined what could have been a passable drama with their extremely unconventional (and incredibly unsuccessful) editing style. Because of this there is no sense of fluency, and one scene jerks roughly into the next. If there were a Golden Raspberry award for worst film editing, 'Beyond the Stars' would sweep it, then years from now when they did a worst in the history of film, this movie would win it hands down.

Despite the relatively weak script, Martin Sheen still manages put forth a good performance, likely the brightest spot in a dim movie. In likely the biggest casting mistake of the 20th century (besides Tom Selleck in 'Christopher Columbus: The Discovery), Christian Slater plays the lead, an 18? year old boy. Though he obviously tries hard, and it even shows through at times, Slater is one of the worst actors imaginable for this emotionally demanding role, and Slater looks much too old for the part. In a seemingly tacked on supporting role, Sharon Stone is under used, as are many of the other cast members. Even worse though, is the completely flat and uncharismatic Olivia d'Abo as the chief love interest for Slater. The two have absolutely no chemistry, and the scenes with the two together are among the film's worst.

The description on the back of the box, even in the tagline, hints at a cross between 'October Sky' and 'The Man Without a Face', two infinately better films. It succeeds at emulating neither of them, and comes off as a third rate imitator. In the last few sentences in the description, there is mention of a secret on the moon. Normally in descriptions, the writers describe the movie up to about the half way point. The secret is only mentioned at the tail end of the movie, and seems only in passing, like something used to create a good last impression (which it fails deeply at).

Though the writer/director also wrote the book Cocoon (which can be seen on Christian Slater's shelf near the end), the script here is terrible, the dialog astonishingly ridiculous, and it's no wonder at all why he hasn't worked on a film since this. As for the music, there seem to be three themes of a minute each, one for when the characters are building a greenhouse (which has nothing to do with the rest of the movie, yet seems to occupy most of it), one for whenever the moon is shown or talked about, and the third for the artificial 'sad' scenes towards the end. Though the moon theme is actually half decent, the other two are unoriginal and forgettable, much like the movie itself.

The movies end (without giving anything away) seems manufactured and contrived. It also appears that the producers ran out of money at the end of the shoot, as this reflects it. Stay far away from it, if you see the movie on the shelf in your video store, don't even think about picking the box off the rack, think of it as a small plastic case carrying the bubonic plague, just waiting to trick your VCR into playing it, then latching onto you. Martin Sheen's performance is hardly enough to make this disorganized mess worth sitting through, avoid at all costs.

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Quite nice movie
runnerludd12 June 1999
This is quite a nice movie about a boy getting to know an old austronaut(Matin Sheen) and getting closer to his father. Matin Sheen plays very good and so does Christian Slater. It never gets boring it's a movie you wanna watch on an saturday afternoon, The end is a bit stange however,,,and was kind of a disappointment. But see it!
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Superb movie!!!
scvido26 April 2007
I have seen this movie for the first time when i was 15 in SPAIN/Madrid and i never forgot the movie.

now at 29 years old i finally managed to purchased a DVD copy once and for all, i had tears when watching this one, it is an excellent movie and i will never understand why people bashed it.

this is possibly one of the best and most emotional movies from Martin Sheen acting here is top notch, Christian Slater and all the others are very good too. sure there are bit of cliché' here and there but no movie is ever perfect is it?

i assure you by the end of the movie you will be so impressed as long as you keep an open mind.

this for me scores 9/10

and please, if you ever get the chance, rent it or buy it.

WORTH IT! 100%
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An interesting background story
SaturnCity3 January 2018
Whereas the background story about an ageing astronaut who has found something or someone on the Moon proved sufficiently effective despite not being resolved satisfyingly, the plot around teenage love stories and trite father-son relationships did the film no real favour. On the other hand did the film avoid entering into the domain of hard sci-fi, making it accessible and even enjoyable for a wider audience. Unfortunately, the photography, score and direction were mediocre at best. The acting wasn't really bad but the performances aren't memorable, either. The film is hard to recommend because there's too little science fiction for fans of this genre and unnecessarily much for audiences interested in personal relationships. As a cinematic product, the film is quite negligible.
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I enjoyed this film
paulinewainwright6 September 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Martin Sheen was the highlight of this film without a doubt. His portrayal of ex-astronaut Paul Andrews was very believable and also very emotionally charged, one could really feel for this man and all that he had been through. The scene when he drunkenly revealed some of his innermost feelings was exceptional, as was the confrontation between him and the ex-NASA engineer. Christian Slater as the 18-year old who wants to become an astronaut had some good moments, particularly in the conflicts with his father, but his romance with Mara was unconvincing. The other characters were more like cardboard cutouts, apart from the Whale Man (F Murray Abraham) in a cameo role. My only real criticism however was the ending - yes, we knew right from the opening sequence that there was something that Sheen had discovered on the moon, but the ending took the film into improbable sci-fi, which did not fit well with the believable realism of the rest of the story.
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A very dull drama with a bit of sci-fi in it.
fedor810 January 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Corny to the power of ten. Superficial and very commercial, forgettable fluff. The big, foreseeable "twist" at the end should actually be the core of the story. However, there is more in here about Slater's boring relationships with his girlfriends and his family than about that moon visit. Sheen discovered something alien on the Moon - but all they can talk about is Slater's boring, soap-operatic personal problems. The dialog is strictly sub-par TV drama material, and the continual, awfully cheap schmaltzy music doesn't help matters. Everyone is constantly apologizing for what they said the day before - real pathetic.

There is also a line of PC "open-mindedness" pervading the film, which culminates in a truly pathetic scene with Abrahams giving a silly, ridiculously-timed emotional speech about saving the whales. Those mini-rockets that Slater sent into the sky (and into his school) should have fallen on this director's head. Plus, the moon scenes look awfully phony. If you're interested in reading my "biographies" of Slater, Martin Sheen and other Hollywood intellectuals, contact me by e-mail.
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Sad at the end
nocheblanche29 June 2018
Some people seem to thumbs down movies like eating candy. Martin Sheen , always good to see in any movie. Stick with this film and imagine yourself with a beer in your hand looking at the moon and thinking how far away from Earth when you were there.
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jasondean9918 January 2007
This is a must see!All his life Eric(played by the magnificent Slater)wants to become a real astronaut,but when a freak accident at school happens,Eric finds himself temporary suspended,his mum decides its an issue that his father has to discuss,so sends him on a flight.When he gets there,his father tries to talk him out of astronomy,but Eric learns that his hero(played by Martin Sheen)lives very close-by,he decides to ask questions,but Sheen is not interested,eventually they form a bond and Eric doesn't realise that he spends more time with Sheen than he does with his father,so this causes arguments amongst the family,this film is definitely worth watching,hence the reason i gave it 8/10.
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Good movie poor ending
lesjc25 December 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Quite a nice "people" movie for those who like shows like "Neighbours" (which it slightly resembles. Based slightly on a true story in that some Astronauts did find the transition from life on the "final frontier" to life back home difficult to come to terms with. The boy "hero" was a bit too nieve to be believed but a pleasant chap none the less. Nice main plot (spoiler warning) depicting the ex Astronaut finding a new meaning to life and the boy gaining experience and life skills. (MAJOR SPOILER WARNING). The end of the film showing the discovery and "activation" of an Alien artifact was utterly stupid. I would imagine that the discovery of such an item on the Moon would have done a great deal to revive the "dead" Apollo program which seems to be the old astronauts main grudge in the film. YET HE HIDES IT UNDER HIS GREENHOUSE RATHER THAN WAVES IT IN THE FACE OF THE WORLD! Why ! Worth watching but try to ignore the aliens bit.
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You don't have to be a rocket scientist .... to know this is a dud ........
merklekranz28 April 2010
Failed mish-mash of adolescent drama, preachy ecologic messages, and very weak sci-fi. The astronaut scenes on the moon look like they were filmed for a "Saturday Night Live" episode. In other words, all credibility flies out the window. Christian Slater as the aspiring astronaut, idolizes astronaut Martin Sheen who returned from the moon with a secret. The script is simplistic, preachy, and contrived. The relationship problems are simplistic, preachy, and boring. Throw in a jab at NASA for layoffs, a save the whales message, a moon crater no deeper than a backyard swimming pool, and finally the no surprise ending, and you don't have to be a rocket scientist to know this is a dud. - MERK
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