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Space Cowboys (DVD)

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32 Reviews

Genre: Action & Adventure / Theatrical Release: 2000 / Director: Clint Eastwood / Actors: Clint Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones ... / DVD released 14 May, 2001 at Warner Home Video / Features of the DVD: Black & White, Colour, PAL, Widescreen

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    32 Reviews
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      04.09.2011 22:04
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      Eastwood delivers!

      In an age where age discrimination and political correctness are still unlikely buzzwords for the 21st Century, it comes as some refreshment that the main parts of the story are played by four gentlemen that don't need any prosthetic make up to play the part of retired astronauts and are able to get on with the main job of playing the part naturally. Released in 2000, Space Cowboys somehow missed my radar, so when the film was available on Blu-ray the opportunity to buy was taken, I had only seen the first 15 minutes when it was shown on TV and was put off watching it by the continuous breaks, and however getting this on Blu-ray raised the bar somewhat with regards to the viewing experience.

      Space Cowboys tells the story of four men who are bought back into the fold of NASA as a satellite in orbit has begun to decay and requires to be repaired to stop a potential impact. The men were originally set to be the first men to go into Space, yet their project called Project Daedalus is cancelled by various people and government red tape as the men are replaced by a monkey. So forty two years later, the Russians ask for assistance to repair a failing satellite in orbit above the Earth the men from Project Daedalus get themselves seats on the next Shuttle mission to repair and restore the satellite in question. So to get the mission, the members of former Project Daedalus have to go through the whole training regime to get up to speed with astronaut training and learning to launch, fly and land the Shuttle.

      Oh did I mention that not one of the four men are actually under 60? So the age factor does give the story an original twist, especially as the pensioners become media sensations and severely hack off the younger and ready astronauts who should've been on the shuttle.

      With the main leads made up of Clint Eastwood, James Garner, Donald Sutherland and Tommy Lee-Jones the scope and even screen presence of the leads is immense. All are veterans of both TV and cinema and having them together on-screen is a real force of nature, of course with Eastwood is the leader of the gang, there is no way that he is going to be lied too or deceived and with the other three all having equal roles the story takes place from the late 1950's to the present. None of the four are over the top and all are given there own independent scenes to get introduced the characters further. In fact none of the main four are a like and each has a different personality and due to this each have their own input into the story without detracting from each other. With Eastwood as director as well as star of the film, he is always there but never politely steals a scene, in fact it is well balanced overall and the film goes into some insight to show how the men have matured and why some dislike their methods, in fact the film tells each of the characters backgrounds in a meaningful way that gives a great scope of the rise from test pilots in rank to two star Air Force Generals, rollercoaster designers, aircraft engineers and with James Garner turning his back on the Air Force to become a Clergyman which comes over as a very funny shock moment when the four meet again although it is the character played by Tommy Lee Jones that has the darkest of secrets and wants to be part of the mission to finally make the trip into space, something that he was overlooked upon in the past. All four men are different, yet all four have great screen chemistry and this comes across in some scenes that appear to be improvised by Sutherland with Eastwood and Garner attempting to keep a straight face.

      As you would expect with an Eastwood production the cast are backed up superbly by the co-stars and in this case Eastwood has managed to get William Devane, James Cromwell and Marcia Gay Harden who plays a NASA Doctor and becomes the love interest. In fact the women in the movie are all shown to be the equals and are utilised in such a manner that they are strong character of their own.

      With a film that spans half a lifetime, the scenario of having four retired men come back to modern day NASA provides ample opportunity to show people out of place - analogue in a digital world. This is where the film excels as it seals with the issues of getting old such with the loss of hair, eye sight, flexibility and hearing. While its funny it's also good to see the younger and more agile members of the mission looking very concerned that the old guys seem to be muscling in on their show, this leads to a climatic scene where the issues comes to the surface. The age aspect is used as a stepping stone to the reason why the men have been bought out of retirement and that is to repair the satellite and even though I'm not going to say too much about this, it will be suffice to say that the film doesn't fail to deliver at all in the last third.

      What I have always noticed about an Eastwood movie is that he doesn't necessarily tend to use many special effects, so here the addition of computer generated effects has been used in a subtle manner that allows the viewer to watch without being distracted at all by this and that, which detracts away from the story. Naturally the use is around the scenes set on the Space Shuttle and show a depth of reality given the fact that NASA were on-board with the production as advisors.

      When you watch this film it can easily be classified as an action film with the circumstances of the plot and the story, there are many scenes that bring a smile to the face of the watcher, yet these are never over the top and immediately once this scene is complete, the next continues the story and moves it on further and for a film that lasts for 130 minutes in length it does build the tension from the early scenes set in black and white where the main leads are played by younger actors who are all believable in parts to the end where the film takes quite a dramatic turn in nature that changes the whole gravity of the film and then certain things that have happened before falls into place. This is a very clever technique that the writers have employed and one that certainly makes the film enjoyable to watch as this could have been the modern eqivalent of Moonraker!

      The extras on the disc don't fail either and the diamond of this is a full length interview held by Jay Leno with the four main leads in character! In the film this is shown in an edited fashion, yet the extras contain the whole thing which was recorded as part of one of Leno's shows, so he has a full audience as well that just go nuts seeing the actors sitting there. The quality of the other extras included don't disappoint either as the documentaries give an awareness of the thought processes the production goes through to make the film and these go quite granular in depth to explain why this choice was made, an extremely entertaining and informative selection which I suspect Eastwood had some input as they highlight and explain clearly the role of the Director.

      Overall the film is an excellent way to spend 130 minutes, this is nowhere near the sheer outlandish and "funny for the wrong reason" story as Armageddon, the story here is about ageism and four men overturning the beliefs that surround that area and serving their country one last time. Therefore for me the film works on many levels and thoroughly entertains in what it delivers and given the film is on Blu-ray, the picture is crisp with the scenes set in orbit come across as very clear and sharp. This is the complete package and comes fully loaded.

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        15.06.2010 07:52
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        Frank tries to get his aged team to space

        FILM ONLY REVIEW

        Frank Corvin is a retired test pilot who gets a call from NASA. They need help to repair a Russian satellite which is going to crash. He reluctantly agree to the mission on the condition he can work with his old team. Frank sets off to find his old team and finds they are all living quite a different life now. We have a daredevil crop duster, a minister and roller coaster designer.

        Frank manages to convince his team to train for the mission with his as none of them ever got to make it to space before so they want to before it is too late. Frank, Hawk, Jerry and Tank all set off to begin their training but things are not as they seem when they arrive at eh training centre. They learn that they will be training a new group of young astronauts so they can do the mission if the men don't pass their training and they are getting a lot of stick from them for being so old. Soon the men discover they all not all health and the mission gets threatened. Will Frank be able to take his complete team to space and just why is it so important for this satellite to stay in space?

        I have only given a very brief outline for the plot of this film and there is quite a lot more to it but I feel that giving any more way will spoil it for those who have not yet watched this film. I did find the storyline to be great and very fun, at times it was daft and a bit unbelievable but this can be forgiven as the acting from all involved was excellent and made this film a pleasure to watch. I was not too keen on seeing this as it really did not interest me but I have to say thanks to hubby for making me sit and watch as I did actually enjoy it.

        Clint Eastwood took the main role of Frank and he was super. He gave a lot of depth to his role and we got to see so many different sides to his character. He came across as quite hard and strong at the start of the film and it was lovely to see him change and mellow when he got his team back together. I found he worked well with all of the special effects and props which he used and he made it look so effortless when doing so. He worked very well with his supporting actors and they all had a good chemistry on screen which was very believable.

        The rest of the team was acted by Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland and James Garner. The character were all very different and this is why I felt they worked together as a team as there was a good mix of personalities which did clash and give us a good few laugh. The acting from all was great and I felt they gave their all to the roles and e did get to know them quite well and fell for them along their journey. We had some other good actors in the film including, James Cromwell, Marcia Gay Harden and William Davane. They too were very good and added to the depth of the storyline.

        The film was split into two parts, the first half of the film was shot on the ground and followed the men through their training and the sets and scenery for this was all good and looked authentic. The second half of the film was based on their mission to the satellite and a found some of the scenery here to be quite poorly made. Some of the back drops were clearly added at a later dated and some of the costumes and props were not too realistic but I did manage to see past this and just enjoy the film for what it was. There were quite a few special effects and overall they were pretty good, the ones in space could have been better with a little more work but the ones in the first half of the film were much better. The music was good but not very memorable and for me I would have liked a stronger soundtrack.

        This film is not classed as a comedy but we did get a few good laughs and these were mainly from the lead actors and the banter they had between themselves. Some of the one liners and the behaviour of the ladies man was enjoyable to watch and made this more of a light hearted film and not one to be taken too seriously.

        As this is a film only review there are no bonus features to speak about. The running time of this film is 130 minutes and I thought this was going to be too long before watching but once I got into the film I lost track of the time and found the story moved at a good steady pace from start to finish. The certificate is a PG and I agree with this and think it would make a great family film and may even encourage children to see older people in a different light.

        Overall this film gets 4 stars from me, it would have been 5 if it was not for the few bad effects. This is one to definitely sit down as a family and watch together as it is entertaining, has some good laughs and is full of great actors. Another great film Directed by Eastwood.

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          24.03.2010 23:48
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          Great idea for a movie and entertaining

          Space Cowboys was released in the year 2000 and is another movie that Clint Eastwood directed and starred in alongside Tommy Lee Jones and is pretty entertaining and for me one of his best attempts at direction over the years.

          I'm sure we have all at one time of another had the feeling that we have not acheived all we could in life and therefore are left frustrated and this movie tells the story of frustrated ambitions. It starts with a brief prelude set in 1958. Corvin played by Clint Eastwoods and Hawk played by Tommy Lee Jones are the best test pilots in the Air Force at the time. They are all lined up for the first space flights. That is until they wreck one too many planes along the way. They are subsequently replaced by a chimp that can at least follow orders and be trained properly.

          After this initial part of the movie which sets up the story and the characters, we move on some forty years or so to the present day and the pair who have long since retired from active duty become needed again when a Russian satellite starts a deadly descent towards Earth, threatening the lives of all those below. It is spiraling out of control and somone must stop it before it hits. It seems that Client Eastwood's character designed the guidance system for this satellite in question which was then stolen by the Russians.

          So it is decided that a team go out to fix the satellite and stop it's descent. And so the training and fun and games begins as they start their mission.

          The cast are very good and there are some extremely funny moments along the way amidst the drama. The story is very fast paced and keeps moving along rapidly throughout.

          I think this movie can be watched over and over again and will still be enjoyable and is compelling enough. I would highly recommend this to anyone.

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          17.02.2010 23:53
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          Good film

          Space Cowboys is a really enjoyable film that boasts an excellent cast who all manage to deliver a funny action adventure film. The film stars Clint Eastwood as Dr Frank Corvin.

          It opens with a scene from the 50's and two prospective astronauts who along with two other colleagues are booted off the space programme after losing another test plane and with it they loose their dreams of being the first men in space. The film then jumps forward to the present day and another soace mission going wrong as a Russian communications satellite is out of control and due to crash back to earth in a couple of months time and the man who expelled the four original astronauts in the 50's must now go back to get one of their number, Dr Corvin for help and he insists on using his original colleagues even though they are all very old.

          This film is a good blend of action and comedy with some fine performances thrown in. Of course some of the humour derives from their age and the fact that they have to complete some training tasks. James Cromwell plays Gerson the man who fires and then brings them back after all these years and he makes a good bad giuy in the film who just uses people to meet his own needs.

          Eastwood is excellent as the sarcastic loner Corvin and alongside him in an impressive cast is Tommy Lee Jones as Hawk Hawkins, Donald Sutherland as Jerry O Neill and engineer who is losing his vision and a real ladies man and finally James Garner who plays Tank Sullivan the oldest and most infirm of the four.

          I liked the simplicity of this film and the blend of gentle comedy and action scenes where the suspense does build quite nicely as the mission gets unde way. This film is rather under rated and definately worth a viewing.

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            28.05.2009 22:13
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            Feel good movie

            Nothing to do and a couple of hours to spare? Fancy curling up on the couch with popcorn and a movie? This one will give you an enjoyable interlude, or is equally ok as a kind of date at the pictures.
            The film begins with two US Airforce pilots who are getting into difficulty in a test plane. It is 1958, the beginning of the US Space Programme and they are half of a project team who have been assigned to work on it, with dreams of becoming the first men in space. The more level-headed of the pair tries to convince his hotter-headed partner that they need to abandon the test. The other ignores his warnings and they are forced to eject at the last minute, leaving the plane to crash. They are reprimanded by their project commander, a man named Gerson, because apparently this is not the first time they have "lost" a jet in a test. You get the distinct impression that Gerson is NOT overly fond of either man, but in particular of Frank Corvin. I would suspect this would be partly because he would also be getting reprimanded from his higher-ups about these lost planes. The friction factor is there.

            Sadly, the teams aspirations of going into orbit are smashed by a press conference, where they find they have been axed from the project. To add insult to injury, their replacement is a chimpanzee. It is the end of their dreams. None of the team will make it into space.
            Fast forward to present day where a Russian communications satellite is due to re-enter the atmosphere in a few weeks, having stopped responding to controls from the ground crew. The Soviet Union has approached the US for help, claiming chaos if this cannot be stopped. The satellite needs to be repaired and its orbit restored. We see Gerson assigned as Project Manager to oversee this. James Crowell plays his part well, as always. He brings Gerson to life in a way that is both watchable and makes you dislike the character.

            Unfortunately, the Project runs into trouble almost immediately. The technicians are all used to high-tech stuff but have no experience on anything that is obsolete - as is this system. There is only one person who can fix this - Frank Corvin - Clint Eastwood and still going strong. Aging he might be but he's as hard-headed as ever, just in slower way. It is up to Gerson to approach the now Dr. Corvin to come to their aid. Dr. Corvin agrees but only on condiion that his old team is re-formed and that they will do it. Gerson agrees but actually intends on Corvin training some of the new high-techies and then dumping Corvin and his cronies at the last minute.
            There is a lot more to this movie. It makes you smile in places - like when the old guys are trying to pass rigorous physical tests which have been designed to make them fail. It brings old friction to the fore, old rivalries. In places it is moving and poignant ... and behind it all, you're wondering how the Russians got this system in the first place, all those years ago when the Cold War was on. Hmmm! but I'm not letting you into any more - you'll have to watch the movie to find out.

            It's kind of a coming of age movie for oldies, and does leave you with some good feelings. I thought it was excellently acted - but what do you expect when you have a line up of Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland and James Garner? As aging actors playing aging wannabe astronauts, they are pretty good.
            The story line was ok, could have been stronger in places, less predictable in others, but overall the question is whether I enjoyed the movie and whether it was worth what we paid to watch it. The answer to both is a resounding "yes".

            There were some incredible special effects, and for those (like me) old enough to remember the early days of man's conquering of space, it was a reminder of all those who didn't make it to their dream. What of the old men who took those first tentative steps towards getting us into space and yet never made it into orbit themselves? I wonder how some of them might feel watching this.
            Overall, I'd say give it a go and you probably won't be disappointed. Blockbuster it's not but neither is it a time-waster.

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            11.08.2008 01:11
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            Directed by Clint Eastwood Space Cowboys rolls a space movie into cowboy ethic into buddy movie. The film opens in the late 1950s when a team called Daedalus is being prepared for a space mission. Just before they are due to go on their mission they are told that instead of them going a monkey will complete the mission. The film soon establishes the main characters and it has to be said you must not blink as the film races along at such a frantic pace you had best not miss a scene.
            As well as directing and producing for his own Malpaso film company Clint Eastwood plays the team leader Frank Corvin. After their mission is cancelled we are reunited when the team is called upon to rescue a Russian communications satellite which has gone awry and threatens to cause major damage if it hits the earth on its return. Corvin himself is happily married and is brought back to the Space agency to meet up with Bob Gerson (James Cromwell) who had cancelled the mission and who Corvin despises. Corvin had designed the guidance system which had been stolen and used by the Russians. It turns out Cromwell was responsible. However the film is a buddy movie and it is the reuniting of team Daedalus which counts.

            We soon catch up with pilot Hawk Hawkins (played with his usual brilliance by Tommy Lee Jones), with the lecherous Jerry O'Neill (smoothly played by Donald Sutherland), and Tank Sullivan (is that really James Garner). Of course they are all now really too old for the mission but Gerson is persuaded to allow them to train for it and if they pass can do it. We see a cameo of old person routines but it is all amiably done. The whole story is of course fantastic but also has a lot of tension, pathos and humour. A rollicking good movie in fact. The American public learn of their mission and take them to their hearts. Gerson cannot back out now after they appear on the Jay Leno show hamming it up. William Devane also deserves mention as the (inevitably) gum chewing mission flight controller Eugene Davis. As does Marcia Gay Harden as Hawks love interest Sara Holland.
            Despite learning of cancer for one of the crew they do go into space with a couple of young minders. Once up there, there are more scrapes, mishaps and adventures before inevitably they succeed in their mission by a somewhat implausible plot twist. Actually it is all implausible, the plot twist is ludicrous. But that does not spoil it being a good film. You do have to suspend your normal judgements and let it flow over you. If you do you will enjoy it.

            As I said it does go at a frenetic pace. After being advised they go in 92 hours, the next scene shows 15 minutes on the countdown clock and a scene later they are on board with 10 seconds to go. It hurtles along, every scene left in is part of the story either establishing the plot or character. The performances by all the main actors are perfectly adequate and there are no weak links. It is all a prefect fantastic story but in all one of the most enjoyable comedy films which does not rely on the unhygienic actions of dorks and pies for its laughs.

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              10.10.2002 01:15
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              After waiting for absolutely AGES for this to be added as a DVD, I decided what the heck...I'll have to post it here. If it ever does appear in the DVD section I will get Dooyoo to move it, but I won't hold my breath! Space Cowboys was released on video and DVD in 2001 by Warner Brothers. It is a single sided disc that has a number of Special features and also some enhanced DVD-Rom PC features. I got mine (the Widescreen edition) from Blackstar for £19.99. For those who like to know, the Special Features and Technical Specifications are as follows. SPECIAL FEATURES: Interactive menus Scene Access Theatrical Trailer 4 Behind the Scenes Documentaries Languages in Dolby Digital 5.1: English Subtitles: English/ Arabic/ Romanian/ Bulgarian/ English for the Hearing Impaired. DVD-Rom PC: Space shuttle Challenge. Links to Original Web-site. TECHNICAL DETAILS: Widescreen 2.35:1 Running Time 126 minutes, approx. Dual layer format Region 2 encoding (Europe, Middle East & Japan only) Colour, Widescreen, PAL CAST: Clint Eastwood - Dr. Francis D. 'Frank' Corvin James Garner - Tank Sullivan Tommy Lee Jones - William 'Hawk' Hawkins Donald Sutherland - Jerry O'Neill James Cromwell - Bob Gerson Loren Dean - Ethan Glance William Devane - Eugene Davis Marcia Gay Harden - Sara Holland The film starts in Black and White, showing the characters as young men in the late 1950s. They are TEAM DAEDALUS, a group of American Test Pilots, who push their planes to the limit in a bit to be part of the Space Programme. They dream of going into space, but are replaced by a chimp and they all go their separate ways and get different jobs. Forty years later they get the chance to go into orbit at last. A Russian satellite, called IKON, which mysteriously has the guidance schematics of the American circa
              1960s Skylab, has a decaying orbit and needs to be saved before it crashes to earth. The actual reason is much more sinister than this, but I won't spoil that surprise. The designer of the guidance system, Frank Corvin (Clint Eastwood) agrees to help, but only if the original Team Daedalus is allowed to do the job. What follows is a story that is both funny and sad, with a few twists and turns along the way. The characters are endearing and are played by some really good actors. I won?t give anymore away ~ I wouldn't want to stop anyone watching, because it is a really entertaining film, so a basic plot outline is all you are going to get! A lot of people have criticised Space Cowboys for being far-fetched and unbelievable, but I think this is what makes it really good and gives it charm. There is no extreme violence or too much swearing, so it is suitable for a variety of age groups. It is also nice to think that, however unlikely, this group of OAPs have been given a chance to live out their fantasy and make a dream come true. The charm of this film for me is that it gives everyone hope that it is never too late to succeed! The film also translates well into the DVD format. Along with the usual trailers there are four documentaries: UP CLOSE WITH THE EDITOR: Joel Cox gives an insight into the film. This is interesting and shows the progression from the initial script idea to the finished film. There is footage of the original animation storyboards, showing how they became translated into the eventual special effects seen on camera. TONIGHT ON LENO: A longer version of the mock chat show seen on the actual film. This is quite funny, but I'm not too keen on American chat shows so I didn't really enjoy it as much as some people would. It also includes an interview with Jay Leno himself, interspersed with the "Chat Show" sequences. THE EFFECTS: This is exactly what it sounds like; a reall
              y interesting and well m ade documentary about how the special effects sequences were achieved. It starts with the Black and White scenes and describes sequences right through the film. I really enjoyed this documentary and it made me appreciate how much effort went into the process and the lengths they went to in making the props look realistic. BACK AT THE RANCH: A look behind the scenes of the film. There are interviews with the Cast, Crew and the Consultants from NASA. I liked this documentary the best because I got to see what the cast thought of their characters and their roles within the film. There is a lot of humour in this and, once again it gives a good insight into the thought processes behind Space Cowboys. I haven't played the DVD-Rom extras yet and I'm not sure if I will. I'm not really interested in looking at the original Web-site because I saw that at the time of the film release. I'm also not interested in simulator games, so I'm not sure if I would enjoy controlling a Space Shuttle mission. I would be interested to hear what other people thought of these features though. The film and special features make Space Cowboys good enough value for me and I think that the DVD is well worth watching. If you like a bit of escapism, and a chance to see some fine cinema greats in their element, then this is the film for you. The special Effects are out of this world (well they are mostly in outer space after all!) and there is a good story with a bitter-sweet ending. I would definitely recommend Space Cowboys, and I would encourage people to watch it on DVD.

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                19.09.2001 01:16
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                Space cowboys is ironically about the ancient Russian space program and four equally decrepit actors. Like the MIR space station, this is a vehicle for for relics of the Hollywood past. And like the bulky space station, it didn’t totally burn up in reentry, but just enough juicy chunks to give us a descent special effects spectacular. The film starts its tempo with black n white footage for the early sixties airforce test project days of Americas pre Apollo mission. Clint Eastwood and Tommy Lee Jones voices are pasted ridiculously on the young actors playing them as they were. Clearly the two aging actors are too far-gone to be a youthful bunch of young bucks, but that just didn’t work Mr director. Then we are in the present day with the retired crack operation dateless team in their seventies carrying the middle age spread. But the boys are resurrected like the old days when NASA s only hope is team dateless to retrieve a rouge failing Russian communications sattelitte. The creaking Ruskie space vehicle Icon’s guidance system just happens to be one built for the skylab by Frank (Eastwood) way back when. The first question for the space cowboy Frank Rogers (Eastwood) is why is his guidance system in a Russian bird. And the audience’s question is why is this plot getting ridiculous by the second. Somehow they manage to pass the NASA fitness and entrance tests to make the pad for the shot. Like I say it gets more ridiculous by the minute. But in true Hollywood style the aging creaking astronaughts are blasted into space to save the day and they’re falling movie grosses and credibility. Hawk (Tommy Lee) is the wild gung ho one who the ladies can’t resist. He gets the films predictable love interest. As her potential Mr Right, Mr right now!. Bizarrely his girl has a 1960s bob that looks like a period wig from Apollo 13.. James Garner is the bumbling preacher with a gut that only just
                fits through the hatch..Donald Sutherland plays the ladies man to Eastwoods cocky not a team player character. Space cliches come thick and fast up there with depressurizations and untethered space walks. The FXs are expensive and theres a decent twist for all ages to rescue the movie that’s decaying faster than the orbiting sattelitte. But the antiquated relic is not quite what it seems and suddenly the film changes direction and gets going. The film is too long at two hours and doesn’t use the time on detail. Theres a silly on going fude between Clint and his old program director from the last time he was in the service. NASA rejected Clint for a monkey (Val Kilmer) at the cusp of the American space program. This is not the only unrealistic and over the top moment in a film that doesn’t know if its series or a comedy. Alone in space with two young buck crew for company it’s a clash of young versus old in deep space. It’s so cold and far away from the planet that they can pick up Donald Sutherlands last decent movie on the radar. But that’s not the only distraction with space debris everywhere. None more hazardous than 400 hundred thousand copies of Johnny Pneumonic dump-blasted into space. Unless you’re an adult American wrestling fan, this is a kids film through and through with little for adults. Its ok stuff with a tediously predictable ending and passes the day with time for coffee and biscuit’s without pausing the vid. Enjoy! If you can.

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                  27.08.2001 18:27
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                  Although many people laughed at Amargeddon when the producers felt that they shouldn't have done- Space Cowboys arrives and has a good laugh at itself and the one thing Hollywood discriminates against: AGE. Clint Eastwood plays Frank Crovin, an Air Force test pilot whose claim to fame is that he was replaced by a chimp! So he never made his dream debut on the moon. Forty years on- Houston has a problem and yes, you guessed it, they call upon Frank and his original crew (Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland, and James Garner) to help out. Where this film succeeds in in its sheer ability to constantly take the mickey out of its concept. The geriatric jokes are good natured and often poignant as are the performances. And watching the fantastic four enter NASA headquarters dressed in leather jackets, wearing shades and strutting is worth the rental price alone. Yeah the premise is hokey and corny but Space Cowboys doesn't pretend to be rocket science, but it certainly splits the comedy atom. I was laughing throughout most of it. Eastwood directs as well as stars and gives the film a steady pace and manages to coaxe fully rounded peformances from his co-stars. He also looks a great deal younger than his 71 years. If you want to see a once in a lifetime cast take on the young guns with style, panache and gentle humour then you'll be over the moon with Space Cowboys. If the premise does not appeal then see Scary Movie instead and weep!

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                    15.07.2001 03:05
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                    Curl up on the couch with popcorn and a movie - make this the movie and it'll be a relaxing afternoon. It'll make you smile at some of the antics of the four aging astronaut wannabes, and at other times will tug at your heart strings for sympathy. It's worth the watch, though. The film begins with two US Airforce pilots who are getting into difficulty in a test plane. It is 1958, the beginning of the US Space Programme and they are half of a project team who have been assigned to work on it, with dreams of becoming the first men in space. The more level-headed of the pair tries to convince his hotter-headed partner that they need to abandon the test. The other ignores his warnings and they are forced to eject at the last minute, leaving the plane to crash. They are reprimanded by their project commander, a man named Gerson, because apparently this is not the first time they have "lost" a jet in a test. You get the distinct impression that Gerson is NOT overly fond of either man, but in particular of Frank Corvin. I would suspect this would be partly because he would also be getting reprimanded from his higher-ups about these lost planes. The friction factor is there. Sadly, the teams aspirations of going into orbit are smashed by a press conference, where they find they have been axed from the project. To add insult to injury, their replacement is a chimpanzee. It is the end of their dreams. None of the team will make it into space. Fast forward to present day where a Russian communications satellite is due to re-enter the atmosphere in a few weeks, having stopped responding to controls from the ground crew. The Soviet Union has approached the US for help, claiming chaos if this cannot be stopped. The satellite needs to be repaired and its orbit restored. We see Gerson assigned as Project Manager to oversee this. James Crowell plays his part well, as always. He brings Gerson to life in a way that i
                    s both watchable and makes you dislike the character. Unfortunately, the Project runs into trouble almost immediately. The technicians are all used to high-tech stuff but have no experience on anything that is obsolete - as is this system. There is only one person who can fix this - Frank Corvin - Clint Eastwood and still going strong. Aging he might be but he's as hard-headed as ever, just in slower way. It is up to Gerson to approach the now Dr. Corvin to come to their aid. Dr. Corvin agrees but only on condiion that his old team is re-formed and that they will do it. Gerson agrees but actually intends on Corvin training some of the new high-techies and then dumping Corvin and his cronies at the last minute. There is a lot more to this movie. It makes you smile in places - like when the old guys are trying to pass rigorous physical tests which have been designed to make them fail. It brings old friction to the fore, old rivalries. In places it is moving and poignant ... and behind it all, you're wondering how the Russians got this system in the first place, all those years ago when the Cold War was on. Hmmm! but I'm not letting you into any more - you'll have to watch the movie to find out. It's kind of a coming of age movie for oldies, and does leave you with some good feelings. I thought it was excellently acted - but what do you expect when you have a line up of Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland and James Garner? As aging actors playing aging wannabe astronauts, they are pretty good. The story line was ok, could have been stronger in places, less predictable in others, but overall the question is whether I enjoyed the movie and whether it was worth what we paid to watch it. The answer to both is a resounding "yes". There were some incredible special effects, and for those (like me) old enough to remember the early days of man's conquering of space, it was a re
                    minder of all those who didn't make it to their dream. What of the old men who took those first tentative steps towards getting us into space and yet never made it into orbit themselves? I wonder how some of them might feel watching this. Overall, I'd say give it a go and you probably won't be disappointed. Blockbuster it's not but neither is it a time-waster.

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                      02.07.2001 02:19
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                      Space Cowboys, a film we watched because all the copies of The Mummy were out! And I`m glad we did. This was one of those films that made me realise that I still think Clint Eastwood is lovely, despite his ever increasing years. Heh - but if you can look that good at his age whose complaining. Sorry I guess I digress. The basic plot is a team of four pilots who finally fulfil their dream of going to the moon…even though they should be retired. The film is an easy going, at times humorous way of passing a couple of hours. The four main characters Dr Frank Corvin (Clint Eastwood) fwahhhh!…sorry!, William "Hawk" Hawkins (Tommy Lee Jones), Jerry O`Neil (Donald Sutherland) and Tank Sullivan (James Garner) are, as you can tell, played by well established, and fine actors. Each are sufficiently characterised to add variety and interest to the film. In fact I wish the film had not had to have the addition of some younger stock as these four do an admirable job on their own. After a brief black and white section at the start of the film to set the scene, the film wizzes to the present day and the team being reformed to fix a Russian satellite which luckily enough can only be fixed in space. Anyway not to give too much of the story away, the film contains some interesting shots from space ..especially the moon walk bit which had my stomach turning…I don`t like heights and this scene was believable enough to make me feel slightly uncomfortable at the thought of being miles above the earth! Suffice to say the team save the day and the film did not have the cheesy ending that I thought it would have..if you`ve seen the film maybe you`ll know what I mean. If you like Clint Eastwood ,even if just to lust after, this won`t let you down. An easy watch and it passes a few hours when there`s nothing on the TV..oh..yes..guess that`s most of the time!

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                        30.05.2001 18:01
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                        Space Cowboys was one of those films that you see in the video shop, recognise some big names in the starring roles, but you have no idea what the film is really like. I can't recall this one being at the cinema, let alone reading a review in the press, so I was taking a bit of a chance when I hired this one. (The guy in the video shop said it was excellent, but then he would say that, wouldn't he?). Even the cover design was pretty dull, so I couldn't say, "Well, the cover looked good!". The verdict? The film is an extremely effective blend of gentle humour, and space-age thriller, and I for one thoroughly enjoyed the movie from start to finish. The film opens in 1958 where two US Airforce pilots are shown getting into difficulty in a test plane. Forced to abandon the craft at the last minute, they are quickly reprimanded by Gerson, their senior officer, for having lost "another " jet. The two pilots are half of a project team who have been assigned to work on the space programme - all four men hope to be the first men in space. At a later press conference they are unanimously horrified to discover that they have been expelled from the project- their replacement is a chimpanzee - and their dreams of space travel seem over. The film then cuts to the modern day, where we discover that ground crews have lost control of a Russian communications satellite. The satellite is due to re-enter the atmosphere within 60 days - an outcome which would plunge the Soviet Union into communications chaos. The Soviet Union has approached the US military for their help in repairing the satellite, and restoring its orbit - and Gerson has been assigned as the Project Manager to assist them. When it is discovered that the technology used on the satellite is defunct, Gerson realises that the only man who may be able to assist them is Dr Frank Corvin - one of the four disgraced astronauts from 1958. The project team approa
                        ch Dr Corvin to request his help, which he reluctantly agrees to provide, on the condition that he can use his team from 1958 - despite the fact that all four men are now "of retirement age". Dr Corvin's team are then faced with the task of training on modern technology, up to the standards of the young astronaut team - unaware that there is more to the task at hand than meets the eye?.. The film romps along at a suitable pace, with a good blend of humour and action that keeps the viewer genuinely engaged right the way through. The film balances the relationship between the four "Space Cowboys", with the politics of NASA and Gerson, and there are plenty of plot twists that ensure you never quite know what is going to happen. All too often, I find that the humour employed in American films verges towards the farcical side of things, but Space Cowboys is much more subtle, with some great lines from the cast members. The opening sequence, and last forty minutes or so contain some extremely competent action scenes, with high quality special effects and some stunning outer-space sequences. It is quite evident from the start that Gerson knows more than he is letting on (James Cromwell always plays the villain anyway) and as the story unfolds, the viewer has a growing suspicion that the four cowboys' mission is going to become complicated. As the plot gradually unfolds, the film develops into an engaging thriller, with some real "edge of your seat" action. However, Space Cowboys is highly implausible - despite their age, and despite the physical conditions required to make the trip into outer space, they all somehow manage to bungle, cheat and surprise their way through the rigorous testing - but ultimately they are all so genuinely likeable that you don't really care - indeed you can't wait for them to whip the youngsters' butts. It is only through the quality of the actors in the starring roles
                        that this is really carried off. Clint Eastwood stars as Dr Frank Corvin, the main man and designer of the system that they are required to fix. Eastwood, aged the least of the four cowboys, is a cantankerous individual, constantly reprimanded for his inability to be a team player, but refreshingly cynical and realistic. Still looking pretty good for his age, Eastwood is perhaps best placed to carry off some of the action sequences. Tommy Lee Jones plays William "Hawk" Hawkins who since leaving the Air Force has set up a business providing white-knuckle plane flights for unsuspecting punters. Jones is effective enough, and also manages to get the only real love-interest in the film. Donald Sutherland is Jerry O'Neill, a shortsighted engineer who now spends his time building rollercoasters. I thought Sutherland was excellent as the lecherous O'Neill and managed to make a move on anything in a skirt without being too slimy. James Garner appears as Tank Sullivan, perhaps the quietest of the four men, and definitely the most wobbly. Garner is the most fragile of the four men, and hobbles his way through the scenes in a truly geriatric fashion - but is all the more likeable for it. Space Cowboys is not a sophisticated film by any means - much of it is a little far fetched, and rather gung-ho - but it is a genuinely enjoyable film. There were parts I didn't like -the young astronauts have the voices of the older actors edited over the soundtrack - but I would definitely recommend the film for a couple of hours of fun film viewing.

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                          26.05.2001 20:48
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                          Although this film did not exactly straight away catch my eye, after seeing it was either this or Charlies Angels on offer, i had no option what to see! The film is based around 4 ex pilots dreams coming true, and at the same time saving the earth. Clint Eastwood stars and also Tommy Lee Jones does a good job of being central to a love relationship. Although aging now, i did think that he came across as charming and loveable! The beginning of the film is in black and white and in my opinion the start is a bit slow, but, soon after i became engrossed with the four well known good actors gelling the plot together. Space Cowboys although undoubtedly about space exploration and politics, but there is a very human feel to it.Concentrating on the aging mens struggle to leave their day jobs for one last chance of being heroes. There are many funny times, such as the training that needs to be undertaken before the crew can go into space etc., and that what makes it unlike the boring Apollo 13. You should see this film, it's well worth the rental charge!

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                            21.05.2001 05:33
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                            What can I say - Space Cowboys!! The not so big hit of 2000 starring Clint Eastwood (who also directed and produced the film), Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland and James Garner (yes he is still alive!!). The film starts by showing our four heroes as young (yep in the 50s) pilots and engineers working on the supersonic/space testing program for the American airforce. Suddenly withdrawn from the program because of NASA deciding to send a monkey into space they all go their separate ways. Forty years on our not so young heroes are asked to help out with an ailing Russian communications satellite. By using blackmail they manage to convince the world that they are the only ones able to fix the satellite and must therefore be allowed to finally fulfil their dream of going into space (why they couldn't just pay $14 million like everyone else I don't know!!!). After somehow getting through astronaut training they are shot into space only to find ... well that would spoil it wouldn't it!! Let's just say things aren't as easy as they first thought. The film seems unable to be able to make its mind up as to whether its a comedy or whether its an action film. Whilst there are humourous moments in the film its not exactly a laugh a minute. And to be quite honest watching Donald Sutherland's character flirt with anything in a skirt is quite painful (thank goodness Scotland doesn't have a space program!!). However there are some poignant moments in the film and it is well acted as you wold expect from four such big stars. At just over 2 hours long though it does tend to drag - probably something for a wet Sunday afternoon.

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                            13.05.2001 02:06
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                            I cannot understand how they come up with “Space Cowboys” none of them were a cowboy. They should have called it “Old Men in Space” or something like that. This movie is packed with stars and big stars at that, Clint Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland, James Garner and William Devane. Directed by Clint Eastwood Written by Ken Kaufman and Howard A. Klausner Running time is 130 minutes and is Rated PG-13 The Main Actors The first four portray the Air Force pilots from 1958 to the old men going on a shuttle mission. Frank Corvin: (Clint Eastwood) William "Hawk" Hawkins: (Tommy Lee Jones) Jerry O'Neil: (Donald Sutherland) Tank Sullivan: (James Garner) Sara Holland: (Marcia Gay Harden) she is the NASA technician that that helps to train the four. Bob Gerson: (James Cromwell) is an old friend and enemy of the four. Eugene Davis: (William Devane) is the flight director at NASA. The Movie The movie starts out in the year 1958 about four Air Force pilots who tests the experimental flights for the Air Force and pushes them to the limit. The four Pilots are Frank Corvin, William "Hawk" Hawkins, Jerry O'Neil and Tank Sullivan. These are their younger days and they all dream of going into outer space someday. Then one day after crashing one of the jets, they find out that a new program called NASA will replace their space dreams, they will be using monkeys instead of men. Now it jumps to the present day, which is about 42 years later. They are all old men now, in their sixties. Now something goes wrong with a Russian satellite and after some research NASA finds that it has Frank Corvin’s navigational design built in it that was once on Skylab. The mystery is how did it get on the Russian satellite? Since the design was done years ago, none of the new technicians knew how to
                            fix it, so Frank Corvin was called in for help. Needles to say, head of the program at NASA was his old buddy Bob Gerson, who Frank never could get along with. Now Frank has Gerson over a barrel and blackmails him into taking all four of the original bunch from 1958, to fly on the shuttle to fix the Russian satellite. Meanwhile the flight director of the shuttle missions, Eugene Davis, has his suspicions about the whole plan. After training for about 30 days they are off to fix the Russian satellite. All goes well until they get close to the satellite and it acts like the shuttle is a target to be shot down. So the shuttle turns off the radar and the satellite then lets them approach. That has Frank curious and the first thing he does is to look over the satellite to see what he can find. I’m going to leave it here for now so I don’t give it all away. DVD Extras Widescreen approximately 2.35:1 English and French Dolby 5.1 surround sound Thirty-Six Scene Selections Up Close With the Editor: is about 7 minute long and is narrated by Joel Cox the editor. Tonight With Leno: is around 12 minutes long and you will see unedited appearance by the guys on the Tonight Show. Back at the Ranch: A Look Behind the Scenes is about 29 minutes long. This is worth a look! Cast and Crew 10 different ones to look at. Theatrical trailer If you have a DVD-ROM on your computer there is more. Official websites with on-line events. Plus a lot of WB studio links including a store. Overall It is a very entertaining movie and I was really surprise how good it turned out to be. I find this to be a good movie for the entire family, it gets the Rated PG-13 for some language in it. So parents if you are really particular on what your kids may hear, watch it first by yourself. The picture quality was great and the Dolby
                            5.1 was also great1

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                          • Product Details

                            Space Cowboys is a slice of cornball Americana that's so much fun you'll be tempted to stand up and salute. Director and co-star 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 Russkie bird is a Cold War leftover equipped with live nuclear warheads, and the movie 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 sub-plot 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, Amazon.com On the DVD: Even though it boasts no sub-title like "Special Edition," this DVD has some of the nicest extras you'll want to see. There's nearly an hour of behind-the-footage material, all of it superior made-for-cable featurettes so often included on DVDs. The technicians divulge little tricks of the trade, revealing more computer effects in the film than you think. Longtime Eastwood editor Joel Cox provides insight into the director's work routine. The highlight, though, is an extended version of the four principle's appearance on The Tonight Show with Leno providing some interesting comments on how he chooses what films will "appear" on his show. --Doug Thomas, Amazon.com