|Space Cowboys (Coll)
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This slice of cornball Americana is so much fun you'll be tempted to stand up and salute. Director and costar Clint Eastwood manages to turn what might have been ludicrous into a jubilant tribute to age and experience, and Space Cowboys succeeds as two movies in one--a comedy about retired pilots given one last shot at glory and an Apollo 13-like thriller with all the requisite heroics. With a dream cast of Hollywood vets playing old farts described in tabloids as "The Ripe Stuff," the movie jumps from a 1958 prologue (establishing their lost bid for space travel) to 40-plus years later, when the retired Air Force aces (Eastwood, James Garner, Donald Sutherland, Tommy Lee Jones) volunteer to rescue a falling Russian satellite that only Eastwood's character can repair.
It turns out that Russky bird is a cold war leftover equipped with live nuclear warheads, and Space Cowboys revs up to a rousing climax in which our heroes prove their mettle. But first the comedy: watching these codgers struggle to pass NASA's physical tests is a total hoot, with running gags about wrinkles, dentures, and oysters for sagging libidos. (Sutherland is the scene-stealer, but they're all having a blast.) Once in space, the movie gets down to business, and the visual-effects wizards at Industrial Light and Magic provide stunning vistas from Earth's orbit; a shot looking down at the boot of Italy is particularly beautiful. A subplot involving a weasely NASA administrator (James Cromwell) is rather perfunctory, but it hardly matters. Space Cowboys earns its wings, once again demonstrating Eastwood's comfort with any genre he chooses. --Jeff Shannon
- Aging stars light up space tale
Clint Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland and James Garner, the four stars of Space Cowboys, all have some miles on them. Their average age is sixty-six years. All but Jones, the youngster at fifty-five, are drawing Social Security. That's the bad news. The good news is that rarely has so much experience been gathered together for one movie. In addition to decades in movies, three of them have extensive TV experience. Eastwood is particularly amazing. He has been a star for forty years. He has produced seventeen films, composed the music for seven, and this is the twenty-third movie he has directed. It has some flaws, the main one being that it is too long, but it is his best effort since 1992's Unforgiven. It is most entertaining.
The movie opens back when the American space program was in its infancy. Frank Corwin and Hawk Hawkins [Eastwood and Jones] are part of a team of test pilots. While flying a new jet, Hawk pushes it to the limit, and it begins to break apart. He and Frank safely eject, but the plane is totaled. Apparently they have a knack for doing this, and their boss, Capt. Bob Gerson [James Cromwell] uses this latest incident as a reason for making sure they never become astronauts. Frank holds Hawk responsible for this.
We then switch to the present, and NASA, where Gerson is now an administrator, has a big problem. An old Soviet telecommunications satellite is threatening to come crashing down to earth. NASA learms that the ancient guidance system is one that was stolen from us by the Russians. Gerson discovers another problem. The man who designed the system is Frank Corwin, and he is the only man who can possibly figure out how to fix it. Seizing the opportunity, Frank insists that he and the rest of his old test pilot team be the ones to go into space to fix it. Gerson is forced to agree, and the stage is set for quite an adventure.
The middle of the movie drags a bit because Eastwood spends too much time and energy on jokes about the geriatric set. Such humor has become stale, having been been covered many times before on the screen. Admittedly, Eastwood has endeared himself to audiences by laughing at his own advancing age, but the point about how hard it is for older people to get in shape could have been made in half the time. Once the quartet finally gets into space, the picture turns into a real thriller that is full of peril and surprises. In this part it holds its own against any of the other action-adventure films released last year.
I liked this movie. Obviously older audiences can relate to it, but I think younger ones can also. While kids may not be expected to understand what it is like to be old and supposedly over the hill, they do like to see that dreams do not always go away, that hope really does spring eternal. In this way Space Cowboys is ageless....more info
- waste of talent
Some top-flight actors in a woefully predictable space walk. When is Hollywood going to start using imagination again?...more info
- space cowboys
This is one movie I will watch over and over. The actors are superb in their characters and the movie seems to be real. I thoroughly enjoyed it....more info
- Format problem
I loved this movie, but was disappointed in the wide-screen format. The ad didn't mention this fact and I did not know the format until I watched the movie. Again, however, the movie was absolutely wonderful. The four stars of this movie should do more movies together as they "click". The subtle humor was terrific. It is one of my favorites....more info
- a fun movie fo all ages
My daughter and I went to see this film at the movies, and we both really enjoyed it. So we decided to buy the DVD. It has humor and depth and no violence or bad language - a good movie that can be enjoyed by the whole family....more info
- For Those Who Love Clint Eastwood
This is a wonderful movie; interactions between the main characters (Frank Corvin, Hawk Hawkins, Tank, and Jerry) are great to watch!!...more info
- BLOCKBUSTER BLU-RAY
It intrigues me how some of these titles have been remasterd to exceptional quality and some that you would be hard put to tell the diferrence between Blu-ray and standard definition. This title falls into the former group, superb picture and "glass on the sink" rattling sound, my sub-woofer works overtime on this one! Terrific movie, terrific cast and fabulous reproduction. ...more info
- One of Eastwood's Best!!!
Clint Eastwood has always been a great actor and director. And Space Cowboys is no exception. It is actually a change for Eastwood, who has done mostly westerns in his career. Space Cowboys tells the story of Frank Corbin(Eastwood), "Hawk" Hawkins(Tommy Lee Jones), "Tank" Sullivan(James Garner), and Jerry O'Neil(Donald Sutherland), four retired Air Force pilots who in 1958 were destined to be the first Americans in space. But our contury had other plans, sending a monkey instead, which infuriates Corbin, for he knows why the monkey was sent. Corbin and his commanding officer, Major Bob Greason(James Cromwell), don't get along and Greason wants to see his career go up in flames. Now forty-two years later, a Russian communication satlette, armed with the stolen and now obsolele guidance system from Skylab which Corbin designed, has fallen out of its orbit and is on a crash course with Earth. Since according to the Russians, its destruction is not an option, a rescue attempt must be undertaken and Frank is the only man for the job. But the man who runs the space program happens to be the same man who ruined him forty-two years ago. Well, i don't want to give the whole plot away so nekt time you rent a movie, give this a rent. It will be well worth your investment....more info
- Better with Age
Great story line, great gags, great characters, great visual effects. True. But a true gem to see 4 great actors of our time perform together quite possibly for the last time. Americans extend the hand of friendship to the Russians before the breakup of the USSR to repair the "only" communication satelite they have. But things dont go their way when truths begin to unfold some beginning on the ground but the most dramatic ones in orbit. Tommy Lee Jones and Donald Sutherland steal the movie with their trademark charismatic one liners. Enjoy it with a big bucket of buttered popcorn....more info
- Blu-Ray showcase film
This is a great film to "show off" your Blu-Ray/HD setup. It is Clint Eastwood going down a very different path-- almost Science Fiction. The plot is inconsequential-- there are other benefits.
1.) Acting: Clint, James Garner, Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland, and a strong supporting actor cast.
2.) Cinemaphotography: Yes, there is CGI, or whatever they are using to provide us the amazing space scenes. Sharp, crisp, colorful-- unlike any Space film I have ever seen. And realistic beyond belief-- or I should say realistic to the point of looking real.
3. Feel-good qualities: No real romance (and no sex whatsoever-- very family friendly) but strong relationships, male bonding, etc.
At the end of the film you feel good about the movie and the characters, and you have seen a very exciting film....more info
- A Nice Change of Pace
Almost every child goes through a stage where they want nothing more than to be an astronaut when they grow up. For most that stage is short lived, but for some that stage never goes away. It is this idea that is at the heart of director Clint Eastwood's latest film, Space Cowboys, a tale of four aging Air Force pilots who get a second chance to do what they wanted to do most for over forty years, go into space.
Eastwood stars as Frank Corvin, the leader of a former group of test pilots know as Team Daedalus. After making it as close as can possibly be to space without actually being there, the program was disbanded in 1958 in favor of NASA. Upon this occurrence Frank and the other three members of the crew Hawk (Tommy Lee Jones), Jerry (Donald Sutherland) and Tank (James Garner) went their own separate ways. Frank went on to become a great early engineer for NASA by designing the guidance system for the Skylab project. The film then fast-forwards to the present, where a serious situation has occurred with a former USSR satellite that is loosing its orbit and will soon crash into earth. You're probably thinking what's the big deal about one Soviet satellite, but that big deal is eventually revealed in one of the film's bigger payoffs. Anyway, the Soviet satellite mysteriously runs on the same guidance system as Skylab, which is so old that no one at NASA can understand it and in one of the film's funnier ongoing jokes, everyone that could once understand it is now dead. Their ultimate solution is to get Frank to fix it.
Frank smells something fishy in all of this and as a result plays out the situation as best he can. So well in fact, that he is able to get NASA top dog Bob Gerson (James Cromwell), the same official who stopped Frank from making it to space in the first place, to allow him and the rest of Team Daedalus to go into space in exchange for his being able to fix the problem. Frank then goes out to gather up Tank, now a minister, Jerry, a roller coaster engineer with a heavy sex drive, and Hawk, a high-risk pilot who hasn't spoken to Frank for years. The crew then goes through the rigorous training that is needed for them to go into space, which provides the film's biggest laughs. The film provides a lot of them, and as you would expect, the vast majority of which surround their age. Unlike most of this summer's other comedies Space Cowboys is able to be funny without being downright cruel, as the film's humor is more of a case of us laughing with the members of the crew than our laughing at them. The members of the crew are old; they know it and are as willing to accept it just as the audience does.
After the training has been completed, a few plot twists here and there, and a few side stories such as the relationships between Frank and Hawk, Frank and Gerson, and Hawk and a NASA official played by Marcia Gay Harden, the launch date finally arrives. Its here were the film sheds its light-heartiness as it takes itself much more seriously while in space. The space scenes are toned down in comparison to those seen as of late in recent space films, but at the same time still amazing nonetheless. The film doesn't go special effects heavy, but instead uses just what is necessary to make it seem so real. This same relative simplicity was also quite noticeable in the film's opening air sequence, which like the space scenes is also very effective in making a big impact despite not going overboard. At the same time, I also had some problems understanding exactly what was going on during the space mission as parts went unexplained while the angles of certain shots also added to the confusion of the action at hand. Also hurting the scene was the situation back in Houston, which didn't help increase tension of the situation. All in all, the space scene was still pretty well done, and certainly a nice change of pace.
Most of the film's performances were all top notch, as one would expect from a cast of this caliber. It's easy to identify with the crew, and just as easy to dislike Cromwell's character. My only complaint in this regard is with Garner's character, who just wasn't given enough screen time to really develop when compared to the other three members of the crew.
After viewing the film I couldn't help but think of the similarities to 1998's Armageddon in terms of plot. I enjoyed parts of that film, but felt that it took itself way to seriously in addition to being much too over the top in multiple aspects throughout. Space Cowboys is almost the complete opposite in this regard as it is very toned down, and with a few exceptions, lacks any real seriousness throughout the first 2/3 of the film. While that was more enjoyable than the corniness of Armageddon, it also hurt the film to a certain extent, as it could have really used a few more serious moments here and there to balance itself a little more and to help build up the tension surrounding its final act. Other than that, and the fact that the film doesn't really bring anything new to the table, Space Cowboys provides a very enjoyable experience by succeeding in almost everything it tries to accomplish. And as many science fiction films before it have proven time and time again, Space Cowboys reiterates the fact that sometimes less is more, especially in space.
*** (7.5/10)...more info
I don't typically like Clint Eastwood movies cause (most of them are westerns and I don't care for westerns). Anyway this film is a very good movie about four Air Force Pilots who should've been the first Americans into space but due to an *sshole in command of NASA they are replaced with a monkey. Years later the Russian govmt. needs help because one of their sattelites are busted and needs to be fixed. The only person who can fix it is it's designer (Eastwood) who blackmales the same *sshole in command of NASA into putting his original team into space to fix the satelite. Totally Hilarious!!!!!!...more info
- SOMEWHAT OF A MISFIRE
One can't help but admire this film which was a surprise box office hit in 2000. Most industry insiders didn't think audiences would flock to see four "senior citizens" conquer outer space. But to director/star Clint Eastwood's credit, he managed to craft a movie that attracted audiences and it did much better than expected.
I liked SPACE COWBOYS..to a point. The script was very confusing as to what was exactly going on once they got into space. The special effects are magnificent, though, in their simplicity and the movie has a haunting effect in these well done scenes. You can't fault the actors for trying though. Eastwood was starting to enjoy his aging machismo, and it shows in this movie as he clumsily participates in a fight scene with his co-star, Tommy Lee Jones. Jones' character is only slightly drawn, though; his medical problem seems too manipulative to be believable; Donald Sutherland is wonderful as the lolthario, but he isn't given enough screen time; nor is James Garner's Reverend Tank allowed as much time as Eastwood or Jones. Marcia Gay Harden seems out of place with her prim and proper hairdo and mannerisms; James Cromwell is effectively villainous, and Loren Dean does a nice job as the youthful Ethan. While there are some neat jokes and the expected yuks from the aging astronauts, the movie's pace in the first 2/3 is a little too slow for my tastes, and the final shot of Tommy Lee is just too cute. Sure, it's a flag-waving testimonial to endurance, faith and teamwork, but SPACE COWBOYS just didn't have enough oomph to make me really find it a classic....more info
- Typical Hollywood High Jinks In Space
The plot of "Space Cowboys" is a continuing chain of implausible and illogical events. If you can ignore this and accept the film for what it is, there is enough of a story to be enjoyable. What we have here is not an attempt at scientific accuracy, but a vehicle to get four aging Hollywood veterans into space for one last hurrah. Directed in typical Eastwood style, the old timers complete their mission, save the world, and show-up all the doubters at NASA. The story has more than a few similarities to "Armageddon", but unlike that film, "Space Cowboys" stops short of going over the top, and preserves a measure of credibility. One can overlook the problems with the plot, but it is difficult to ignore the terrible hairstyle chosen for Marcia Harden's character.
Worth at least one viewing if only for the distinguished cast....more info
- One of my Favorite Movies!
I love this movie and having it on Blu-ray makes it even better!! Great quality!...more info
- Now that I am older
As time has started to catch up on me, I find this film to be more relevant. So be prepared for an intelligent plot & acting and enjoy the ride!...more info
- Great Actors in an Average Movie!
Space Cowboys is a case of an average movie that has extra-ordinary actors. In part I feel that while these actors preformed well that their talent was wasted on the storyline... retired Astronauts reunited one last time for one last mission. I'm glad I saw it on video and did not pay full-price to see it.
- Clint Eastwood's Worst Movie
Let me start by saying I have nothing against Clint Eastwood. He is a legend and has made many great films over the course of his career. But this movie is just plain bad. The idea of sending 4 elderly, unexperienced pilots into space to save a Russian satellite is ridiculous in itself. This movie makes a mockery of the space program. Astronauts go through years of training to travel into space and fly the space shuttles. Doing complicated space walks to repair satellites requires even more extensive training. In this film, this training is done in several weeks. Once in space, the shuttle is battered to the extent that it would be incapable of surviving re-entry in real life. At the end, not only does Clint Eastwood re-enter the Earth's atmosphere and lands the shuttle just fine, but he does so without a functioning onboard guidance computer. If you are a fan of NASA, the space program, astronomy, or science in general, you will find this film laughable. This film should be categorized as a "B" movie. And I wouldn't even rank it very high among "B" movies....more info
- What can you say about seeing so many
Hollywood icons on screen.
...other than they should have chosen a different project.
Space Cowboys was fun enough, but lacked the gravitas of Unforgiven for instance. The believability factor of four geezers being sent on a orbital repair mission was stretched beyond willful suspension of disbelief.
Had they chosen a project other than this, perhaps a "Last ride of the..." type Action/Comedy/Western, I believe we as audience members would have gone along for the ride with a bit more gusto....more info
- Geezers in Space and What it Means for Modern America
This is a fascinating film in many respects. Most view it as popcorn entertainment, and it certainly is, but I find it much more. It conjures up the myth of the frontier and the "Turner Thesis" to evoke a powerful image of Americans confronting the unknown. It is, perhaps, the most powerful recent public image of the frontier in space exploration. "Space Cowboys," a film by Clint Eastwood, himself an actor closely identified with the mythic American West, opened in 2000 to mixed reviewed. I want to offer my reading of the film as a mythical statement of the American frontier transferred to the "final frontier," space.
This film begins in 1958 with a quartet of young military test pilots of Team Daedalus flying advanced aircraft in the high desert of California--a l¨˘ the opening of "The Right Stuff"--crashing the test vehicle for silly but improbable reasons, and then being sacked and replaced by a chimpanzee for spaceflight. Presumably these four intrepid aviators--Frank Corvin (Clint Eastwood), Hawk (Tommy Lee Jones), Jerry (Donald Sutherland), and Tank (James Garner)--were to be the first Americans in space although how this was supposed to take place was not explained in the film. Dismissed from their program, forty years later Corvin is summoned by longstanding rival and NASA official Bob Gerson (James Cromwell) to repair and reboost what is thought a Russian communications satellite. It contains an obsolete guidance system that Corvin designed and that only he can repair. It turns out that this is actually a leftover cold war satellite equipped with live nuclear warheads that the four buddies have to get rid of and thereby prove their mettle. Humorous to a fault, much of the remainder of the story revolves around a bunch of old geezers--described in tabloids as "The Ripe Stuff"--finally having a chance to achieve their youthful dream. For one of them at least, Hawk, it was reaching the Moon. He failed to achieve his dream of participating in Apollo, but survives a crash landing on the Moon at the end of the film as Frank Sinatra sings the rousing chorus of "Fly Me to the Moon."
"Space Cowboys" subtly creates a duality of young organization man/old frontier individualist. The older "frontiersmen" have a knowledge and skill necessary to "conquer" space but are out of step with the system. There are constant comments on the inability of NASA to control Corvin and the other members of Team Daedalus. At the same time, the second part of the film--the mission--demonstrates the capability of the elderly frontiersmen to overcome even the most insurmountable problems and "conquer" space. In so doing, they disprove the belief that they are outdated and irrelevant. "Space Cowboys" succeeds well as a study in the deconstruction of its heroes and their place in modern America, while also providing satisfying entertainment. Most important, the film deconstructs the traditionally romanticized conception of the young hero by depicting the four old friends as sensible and judicious--yet flawed--septuagenarians still capable of great heroism. The villains in the film are senior NASA and Russian space officials who conspire to subvert the mission, aided by career astronauts who are depicted as snotty and cocky kids without judgment or skill.
Eastwood obtained NASA assistance in making this film, being allowed to shoot at the Johnson Space Center, the Kennedy Space Center, and the Dryden Flight Research Center. "I wanted to make the film as believable as possible," Clint Eastwood said. "In order to do that we needed NASA's help to get as close as we could to the circumstances surrounding a launch. It's a complicated process and it requires careful planning and teamwork on all levels. Bringing a film crew in to simulate the whole thing was probably an even bigger headache for NASA, but the agency really came through for us. I couldn't be more pleased with the results" (See "Space Cowboys-The Facts," Sciflicks.com, available on-line at http://www.sciflicks.com/space_cowboys/facts.html, accessed April 24, 2004).
Ironically, NASA emerges from this film as the butt of most of the jokes. The film satirizes the stuffiness of NASA for seemingly going out of its way to make the most exciting activity imaginable, spaceflight, look boring. The linkages between spaceflight and the frontier are paramount throughout the film. Beginning with the title of the film, the principal star and his relationship to the mythic West depicted in Hollywood, the other stars--except Donald Sutherland--also have significant western acting credits, and the imagery of conquest and taming of the frontier of space all conspire to offer a mythic vision of spaceflight as a "final frontier." In the end, space is a place to be conquered in the same way that the mythical frontier of the American West was conquered. In the process, and the heroes of "Space Cowboys" perfectly embody these virtues, America will be revitalized in the model of Frederick Jackson Turner and his "Frontier Thesis." "Space Cowboys" evokes a deeply mythical understanding of spaceflight and the adventure that was Apollo....more info
- Great cast of Characters
Loved the actors selected. Clint and Tommy Lee were great together. Simple plot, predictable ending, but a nice clean movie to see. What a change in this day and age....more info
- Great Movie!
This movie is very entertaining and fasinating. Would it be realistically possible in real life? Probaly not, but who cares...strictly for entertainment....more info
- An entertaining Space Adventure.
When Four Friends (Three Time Oscar-Winner:Clint Eastwood, Oscar-Winner:Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland and James Garner) are Team Deadauls, they were trained and mind for America`s to leap into Space but at that moment, they were replaced by a Monkey and Thier Dreams were Finish but That`s what they thought, when 42 years later. Team Daedauls are giving one last chance to go in Space for the first time in thier careers for a Mission to Repair a falling Russian Satellite that only Eastwood`s Character can Repair.
DVD`s has an smooth anamorphic Widescreen (2.35:1) transfer and an Strong Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. This entertaining Sci-Fi Adventure mixed with an sense of Humor. Written by Ken Kaufman and Howard Klausner. Directed by Actor:Clint Eastwood (Play Misty for Me, Unforgiven, The Bridges of Madison Country. The Film was Oscar Nominated for Best Sound Editing. Panavision. Grade:A-....more info
- C'mon, Clint, 'make my day' in space!
It is obvious that Eastwood and company had a ball in making this film, getting to play "spaceman" like any other red-bloodied American child that watched in awe at the early pioneers of the space program like Glenn, Carpenter, and Sheppard. "Space Cowboys" is a well-made, superbly acted tribute, of sorts, to the adventuresome spirit that once inspired a nation.
Though there are a few plot discrepencies, the overall appeal of the film, with its blend of masculine bravado, humor, and suspense, makes it a captivating viewing experience.
And who can't lose with a cast of Oscar winners (Eastwood, Jones), Oscar nominees (Marcia Gay Harden, James Cromwell), Donald Sutherland ("Ordinary People," "Don't Look Now," and countless other films), television legend James Garner ("Maverick" and "The Rockford Files"), Emmy winner Barbara Babcock, the underused Blair Brown, and the equally underused Courtney B. Vance ("The Preacher's Wife," "Law & Order: Criminal Intent")
For those that find the premise of "oldsters in space" too farfetched to believe, I think its no more unbelievable than George W. Bush in The White House for a second term.
In fact, I'd rather see astronauts of their age in the space shuttle than having Bush in The Oval Office. ...more info
Gift for my wife. She loves it (she likes codgers, guess that's why she likes me)!...more info
- Good Actors
Nice job, I think the stars had fun doing this one. Nothing real special just a fun movie to watch....more info
- Space Cowboys (2000)-Really great!
Space Cowboys (2000)was a really well done movie that rated five stars with this reviewer. This film was really fine and the outstanding special effects, story line, humor, and basic premise are all very excellent and plausible extensions of reality.
A movie like this one should have been made long ago about the actual early space pioneers who piloted the X-1, X-2, through the X-15. When something needed to happen aboard these craft the pilot had to make it happen and often only by the seat of his pants.
Although some well deserved credit has been given to Chuck Yeager, and some others who made it to the Apollo Program (i.e., Neil Armstrong, White, etc.) none of the very early rocket plane pilots have been aboard the Shuttle gaining public attention (with the possible exception of Mercury Astronaut John Glenn, America's first man in orbit aboard the Atlas ICBM) and they are not mentioned nearly enough in modern discussions of space flight.
The quality of this film's special effects was excellent! For those who think that the altitude record of the X-15 only brought her pilots to the threshold of space, civilians will shortly be paying a big price tag to essentially repeat (give or take) the altitude record set by that aircraft aboard Virgin Galactic's space plane. They are also being told in the interest of good marketing that they will travel in a sub-orbital spacecraft. This is exactly what the X-15 was, only the first to my knowledge, the first in the world....more info
- Cowboys, Camaraderie and Courage set the System Straight
This film has a great premise and starts out brilliantly and only falters just a bit in the third act. Clint Eastwood, James Garner, Donald Sutherland and Tommy Lee Jones are very good. However, Tommy Lee Jones looks about 15 years too young to be from the same era as the other three. Yet, I felt Jones came off the best and his character truly comes to an endearing end, which makes up for a lot in this film. All considered the camaraderie these four actors have really comes across and saves the day making the film really enjoyable. The animosity between James Cromwell and Clint Eastwood is central too the premise of this film and that also is enjoyable as it harkens back to the days when Dirty Harry bucked the system run by self-absorbed bureaucrats. As with most newer films, this Blu-ray version looks very good....more info
- Great beginning but looses momentum.
Clint Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland, and James Garner are the best. The movie had a GREAT beginning where experience/technical history wins over the inexperienced techno kids. Eastwood's character has a history which is the thread through the movie. The best part of the movie is the beginning when Eastwood is at his house and when Eastwood's character brings the four of them together again. Too bad the movie starts to go down hill from there.
Where the "Cowboys" loose their class and my support is when they start acting "old cootish". Even though it was a very predictable movie the ending was good....more info
- Cowboys Rock
I love this movie. The plot is good the acting too. It keeps my interest. Enough humor to keep it fun with a touch of sadness and a commentary on taking yourself or your job too seriously....more info
- Chuck Yeager's Revenge...
This is a fun movie based on an interesting premise. Back in the 1950's it was the Air Force that assumed that they were going to lead the country into space. Air Force test pilots were pushing aircraft to the edges of space and preparing to become the first astronauts when space research was taken away from the Air Force and became the mission of the newly created civilian agency, NASA. This was a real shocker to most of the top pilots of the Air Force, and although many of them left the Air Force to join the fledgling NASA eventually making it in to space, many like Chuck Yeager, (the man who broke the sound barrier) stayed in the suddenly mundane Air Force. Yeager served in Vietnam, and led an Air Force Fighter Group in Europe in the 1970's, but never got closer to space than he was in the late 50's.
In this movie, Clint Eastwood plays Frank Corvin a Yeager-like member of a fictional Air Force project called Team Daedalus that was pushing at the limits of space in the late 50's, only to have the rug pulled out from under them when space research went to NASA. Tommy Lee Jones plays Hawk, the best pilot on the team, and James Garner and Donald Sutherland are supporting members of the team.
The movie starts very effectively as a blue-tinted flashback to the Muroc glory days of the Air Force sometime in 1958 with a portrayal of Team Daedalus' fall from grace. The theme music, written by Eastwood who also directed the movie, complements perfectly this nostalgic look at simpler and starker times.
Flashing forward to the present the film picks up the pace as we learn that the Russians have a huge communications satellite called Ikon that has a deteriorating orbit and will be plummeting to Earth in 70 days or so. The Russians are adamant that the satellite must be saved and the only way to do it is with the Space Shuttle. Unfortunately, the shuttle isn't big enough to retrieve the massive satellite to return it to Earth, so repairs will need to be made in orbit. Adding to the complexity of the project is that the guidance system is 1970's era technology and there is no one around that knows enough about it to fix it.
Surprisingly, it turns out that the guidance system is a copy of the guidance system that Eastwood's character Frank Corvin designed for SkyLab in the 1970's, and Corvin is still around, although retired. Suffice it to say that Corvin is lured out of retirement by the chance to go into space as long as he can take the other members of the old Team Daedalus with him.
Eastwood, Jones, Garner and Sutherland are hilarious as the cantankerous old veterans cramming to learn how to fly a crash Space Shuttle mission. And James Cromwell, one of Hollywood's great character actors of the last 20 years does a fantastic job of playing the oily project manager, Bob Gerson. Cromwell is the kind of guy that seemingly pops up in small roles in every movie you see, but never actually stars in one. Every era of Hollywood has actors like that, think of Sidney Greenstreet in the 30's and 40's, and without them movies wouldn't be what they are. That said, Cromwell is truly great in this movie in what he does best, a supporting role.
The rest of the movie is pretty standard: they go into space, things don't work out the way they were planned, there's a surprise or two, a disaster to be averted, and a "will they make it?" trip home. But the special effects are fantastic, everything outside of the shuttle was done with computer graphics with the actors faces plopped in behind their face shields, and it is absolutely convincing. Of course you hear the hiss of the propulsion units on the space suits and the roar of the maneuvering rockets in supposedly silent space, but physics has never been Hollywood's strong point.
And while the second half of the movie is pretty formulaic, it is well done. The first half of the movie is different enough to make the whole thing an interesting and entertaining whole....more info
- Actors Take Center Stage
This was a pretty enjoyable tale of "The Ripe Stuff," as one early reviewer put it: four old geezers going up into space to help save a project they had a hand in years ago.
It's pretty long at 130 minutes but the four diverse characters help keep your interest. Clint Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland and James Garner are quite a foursome. Add Marcia Gay Harden to the mix, along with Loren Dean, Courtney Vance and James Cromwell and you have a fabulous cast.
This is a drama but one in which there is a fair amount of comedy and some romance. There are some Hollywood clich¨¦s (a suspect boss, arguing pals going back-and-forth all the time, a weak minister, etc.) but they aren't as blatant as usual.
The storytelling is pretty good but the real show here is not the story but that group of veteran actors. One joke was overplayed: Sutherland and the size of genitals. Not real classy stuff but, overall, the movie is fine. ...more info
- A good film that becomes great in the last third...a very good Clint picture...
When I first saw this film, I didn't really dig it. A 2nd viewing helped immensely. While it's not one of Clint's greatest works, it's still immensely watchable and surprising. It was also Clint's biggest opening until his recent film, Gran Torino (which is excellent).
Clint plays a somewhat disgraced pilot who has to come back to NASA to fix a Russian satellite, which somehow has a programme that he designed (we find out later it was stolen during the days of the Cold War). He assembles his old crew (Donald Sutherland, James Garner, and Donald Sutherland), and goes along with a young crew. The film starts out rather quietly, as we see the four men living their lives in relative comfort. When Clint blackmails his former boss (played by James Cromwell) into letting him and his old crew go into space, they all have to pass the same physicals the new recruits do. William Devane, who plays the leader of mission control at NASA, is also sceptical, and insists on putting his own crew with Eastwood's. The narrative is very leisurely here, with some good observations about aging, modern day journalism, and some corny, though funny, jokes about aging and manhood.
It would have been easy for Clint to just let the narrative flow and make a nice but inconsequential film about old astronauts, but Clint doesn't do that. The film takes a surprising and excellent turn in the last third. It turns out that the satellite that Clint has to repair has nuclear warheads on it, and the last third is incredibly suspensful and has excellent special effects. The tension Clint creates here is really good, reminiscent of his very underrated film, Firefox. It's very intense and extremely well done. And the ending is one of bittersweetness and surprising poignancy.
Space Cowboys is a must for any real Eastwood fan. It's not his greatest work, but it has many things to recommend it. Great special effects, good pacing, and great performances. It's a very good Clint picture.
- Just good fun
This is just a good, fun movie. Makes for an enjoyable afternoon or evening without a whole lot of brain thought. Sit back, relax,and enjoy!...more info
- GREATEST MOVIE EVER
THIS IS THE BEST FILM I"VE SEEN IN MY LIFE. I HOPE THERE"S A PREQUAL. I HAVE IT ON 9 DVDS. ITS BRILLIANT!...more info
- Space Cowboys (Blue Ray)
It is so much easier finding movies through Amazon.com than try to search all over town to try to find the movie. After the movie was delivered to the USPS when the tracking the status of your items becomes crazy. The USPS does a very poor job at keeping up the tracking of your items on the internet. ...more info
- some bright moments in overall flawed effort
A few times during this movie I was pleasantly surprised. The jokes about the main characters' ages and Donald Sutherland's libido were very good. But, as another reviewer stated, the 2nd 1/2 of the movie really lets you down. For example, I expected more tension and a better follow-up of the question of how a US design ended up on a Soviet satellite in the middle of the Cold War. Unfortunately, they didn't follow up on the issue at all. No questions were answered. Also, there was no sense of an urgent need for self-sacrifice on Tommy Lee Jones's part when he makes his fateful decision. Contrast that, and the entire movie, with the very well done "Mission to Mars."
This movie may be worth a rental, but not worth purchasing....more info