Space Cowboys (2000) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)
|Space Geezers is a really enjoyable movie. I thought I would hate it, and I was dead wrong.|
|The main ways the
spacecraft had to be accommodated for the Space Geezers
you know the idea. Four old farts have to go into space to repair a
Russian satellite with an antiquated guidance system, which the commie
boys stole from the United States way back when. It is absolutely
imperative to repair the satellite before its orbit decays, and there
isn't time to train the young kids in the old systems, so the coots
get to do it.
This is actually two movies. The first half is just straightforward character study and good humor, about the politics and friendships that cause the mission to occur. This part really has some good natured laughs, highlighted by an appearance on Leno (a 10 minute version, complete with monologue, appears on the DVD in the special features). The four old buzzards are four gifted performers who do a great job to create believable characters.
Once they actually get into space, the movie takes a right turn, adds some tension, and becomes a bit of an adventure story, because it turns out not to be a routine job at all. It turns out that the Russian satellite is not what it was advertised to be, one of the young astronauts that accompanies them fails to follows orders, or maybe he has his own separate orders, and they find themselves in a helluva dangerous mess.
|Actually, the script
sort of falls apart at the end. Who ever heard of an astronaut just
ignoring his commander and wandering out of the ship on his own? Get
real! Those guys are disciplined, and they beat out about a zillion
other guys for that slot just because they are not likely to do
anything like that.
And then the landing has a lot of the "he's the only guy in the world who'd even try" junk that they always seem to come up with, and Tommy Lee's fate was both predictable (he was dying of pancreatic cancer, so you know they introduced that for some reason, presumably a self-sacrifice), and yet outlandish.
But ignore all that. Clint Eastwood directed, and he's really excellent at telling a clear, coherent, no-frills narrative. The story flows nicely, the characters interact in interesting ways, and the film will make you feel good. One thing I like about Clint and Tommy Lee is that they don't make a lot of speeches. They have laconic personalities much like real astronauts, and Eastwood as director just lets the visuals tell the story. The ending of the film has no dialogue at all, and not much music either.
I guess the storyline may be a bit trite, but there's so much talent applied to the execution that it works. Well done, you old goats!
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