Friday, February 23, 2007

The Astronaut Farmer: a review

The opening image of a man in a space suit riding on a sandy range to retrieve a wayward calf promises a movie rich in cultural symbolism. Unfortunately that promise never gets off the ground. Maybe if I hadn’t just seen Flight of the Phoenix (Battlestar Galactica) I’d been more impressed with the Astronaut Farmer.

In both stories a man builds a space ship against incredible odds, but Flight of the Phoenix is a much better story. Both men face opposition from friends and foes, but in Flight of the Phoenix Chief Tyrel wins over his skeptics one at a time, and they become the key to building the Black Bird. Charlie Farmer, yes a farmer named Farmer who’s an Astronaut too, builds his ship mostly on his own. He doesn’t win anyone over, no one comes along side to help. Chief Tyrel is building a ship to help the fleet survive against an aggressive enemy and to restore people’s faith that they can build anew, even when on the run. Farmer is chasing his dream, cause it’s his dream, and that’s what good American’s do – if you can defy some stereo typical bureaucrats along the way all the better.

My advice, skip the Astronaut Farmer and rent Battlestar Galactica instead. BTW I did get two free passes to see The Astronaut Farmer.

- Peace

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