A Million Miles Away – The DVDfever Review – Amazon Prime Video – Michael Peña

A Million Miles Away

A Million Miles Away, in a nutshell, is that Michael Peña (Secret Headquarters) wants to be an astronaut. Well, his character, Jose Hernandez does, and this is based on the man’s true story, starting in the late ’60s, when we see him as a child, who then graduates from college, and begins to work as a lab engineer, where he impresses the bigwigs with his skills. This part happens during the late 80s, and we get Rick Rolled… yes, you can’t escape that song anywhere.

Not everyone forsees his talents, however, since he needs someone to replace the bulb in his office, but gets mistaken by the receptionist as being the janitor, although this does come in handy later on, as you’ll see.

While buying a car, he asks out Adela (Rosa SalazarAlita: Battle Angel), and that all seems to go swimmingly. In fact, while I don’t know the man’s story prior to watching this, rarely does anything go wrong… except when he applies to be an astronaut and keeps getting knock-backs. That’s when things aren’t all sunshine and roses.

Of course, we know he’s eventually going to get it, so maybe it would’ve ben better to cut to the chase and get to space as soon as possible. Unfotunately, when we do get some space training scenes, we’ve seen them all before, and at the point in space, the final frontier… that’s then the end of the film!

Oddly, dialogue keeps mixing between Spanish and English, even mid-conversation. In reality, the family would all speak Spanish, but given the intended global audience, surely it’s best just to put it in English?

A Million Miles Away is not a complex watch, but it is very slow-paced. It’s passable if you’re expecting a regular TV movie to watch at home, but don’t go in expecting a huge theatrical experience. It’s just about the journey, not the destination.

However, on the plus side, at one point, José is inputting data into a TRS80 Model III! I had one of those! (albeit around 1981/82, not the late ’80s, so they should really be using IBM PCs at that point)

The end credits feature some footage of the real José up in space, as well as pictures with his family, and space crew – not at the same time, though, since the family stayed home…

Thanks to our friends at Amazon Prime Video for the screener prior to release.

Trailer posted: September 4th 2023 1:00
Updated with review: September 14th 2023 21:00

A Million Miles Away is on Amazon Prime Video from Friday September 15th, but the film isn’t yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD.

A Million Miles Away – Official Trailer – Amazon Prime Video

Detailed specs:

Running time: 120 minutes
Release date: September 15th 2023
Studio: Amazon Prime Video
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Rating: 4/10

Director: Alejandra Márquez Abella
Producers: Mark Ciardi, Campbell G McInnes
Screenplay: Bettina Gilois, Hernán Jiménez, Alejandra Márquez Abella
Novel: José M Hernández
Music: Camilo Lara

José Hernandez: Michael Peña
Adela: Rosa Salazar
Salvador: Julio Cesar Cedillo
Julia: Veronica Falcón
José: Juanpi Monterrubio
Sturckow: Garret Dillahunt
Kalpana Chawla: Sarayu Blue
Beto: Bobby Soto
Marisa: Ashley Ciarra
Clint Logan: Eric Johnson
Weissberg: Jordan Dean
Miss Young: Michelle Krusiec
Stacey: Emma Fassler