I'm back from seeing Space Cowboys at Rideau Centre this afternoon. It's a fun film, particularly if you liked The Right Stuff. As many film reviewers have mentioned, it comes in two halves - the first is the old folks getting together and doing astronaut training. The second is the space mission where they get to wrestle with a big satellite (too big for the shuttle to carry down, so it has to be repaired in place, by Clint Eastwood's "Frank" and his old team from before NASA).
The first half was a lot like "Grumpy Old Men" and a good piece of comedy as the characters get together again and try to make it through training. They did a good job showing the friction between old enemies and buddies. The second half is the space mission, which was realistically dangerous, no silly unlikely impossible stuff like in Armageddon, but still dramatic. I'll avoid spoiling the plot by not describing exactly what and why. There is also an honourably sad ending to top it all off.
I was impressed by how good the space scenes are, except for the sound - which shouldn't be there (panels of metal flying by don't go whoosh). Other onboard spacecraft noises were pleasantly realistic. For that matter, we got to see the launch tower from the inside, rather than the usual distant exterior shot where you can't tell how it works.
So, Grumpy Old Men in the first half, and a kind of Right Stuff attitude through the whole thing. I'd see it again on video, or see it again if you guys want to go out and see it.
Copyright © 2000 by Alexander G. M. Smith.