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Fazor
2007-Feb-15, 09:28 PM
the Astronaut Farmer (http://theastronautfarmermovie.warnerbros.com/)

Hmm...I haven't seen discussion on this upcoming movie yet, which I find curious given the nature of this forum. What do you all think? Will it be good? Bad? Stupid? Honestly I can't form an opinion based on the same 30-second trailer they've been playing over and over again. "How do we know you're not building a WMD?" "If i was building a weapon of mass destruction, you guys wouldn't be able to find it". ha ha. A barely current political joke. :-p That's the only part of the preview that kinda leaves a bad taste in my mouth, but the rest looks like it could be fairly decent. I dunno, like I said I'm still on the fence about this one.

I did a forum search and didn't find anything; my apologies if this has already been discussed. Kinda surprises me.

Larry Jacks
2007-Feb-15, 09:38 PM
The movie is discussed a little in this thread (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?t=53488).

It might be good but it sounds pretty lame to me. Perhaps not as bad as "Space Cowboys" but in the same neighborhood, at least from the commercial. That political swip alone is enough for me not to bother going to a theater to watch it but I'll likely watch it when it comes out on DVD. There really are very few movies that I care to watch in a theater anymore. I have a good home theater, complete with refrigerator, microwave, wet bar, and a bathroom. There are no sticky floors or noisy people to detract from the experience, either. What theater can compete with that?

Fazor
2007-Feb-15, 10:11 PM
Ah, thanks. I checked that thread but I missed the mention of it. I had a feeling that the movie was the basis for the OP question. Anyway, I agree. I rarely see a movie in the theaters. 42 inch plasma flat screen, dvd player with a pause button, and food that isn't 5x over market price. Why go out? Every movie eventually comes to dvd, no matter how bad it is. ;)

Van Rijn
2007-Feb-16, 12:02 AM
the Astronaut Farmer (http://theastronautfarmermovie.warnerbros.com/)

Hmm...I haven't seen discussion on this upcoming movie yet, which I find curious given the nature of this forum. What do you all think? Will it be good? Bad? Stupid? Honestly I can't form an opinion based on the same 30-second trailer they've been playing over and over again.


I'm going to wait to read about it after it comes out, but I'm not betting on it being good.



"How do we know you're not building a WMD?" "If i was building a weapon of mass destruction, you guys wouldn't be able to find it". ha ha. A barely current political joke. :-p That's the only part of the preview that kinda leaves a bad taste in my mouth, but the rest looks like it could be fairly decent. I dunno, like I said I'm still on the fence about this one.


It's not that far out of line. Historically, attempts to build private rockets in the U.S. ran into roadblocks, attempts to move the operation out of the country got the interest of the State department. Hopefully, after SS1, things are better, but you would need a lot of money to deal with the government.

SolusLupus
2007-Feb-16, 12:12 AM
I'm going to wait to read about it after it comes out, but I'm not betting on it being good.

Eh, I'll wait until it comes out. It already seems very cliche, though. Which isn't necessarily bad, but I'm not counting on it being spectacular; "decent" is okay, though.

Gillianren
2007-Feb-16, 09:56 AM
Every time the commercial comes on (fortunately not often), Gwen and I start trying to figure out how much it should be costing to have a space program in your barn.

NEOWatcher
2007-Feb-16, 01:51 PM
Every time the commercial comes on (fortunately not often), Gwen and I start trying to figure out how much it should be costing to have a space program in your barn.
For me, every time the commercial comes on, I keep picturing Andy Griffith.

Donnie B.
2007-Feb-17, 01:41 PM
For me, every time the commercial comes on, I keep picturing Andy Griffith.Ha! My thoughts exactly.

Salvage 1. That old TV movie (it was a series pilot, actually) completely ruined the whole "build a spaceship in your back yard" concept for me.

Remember the scene with the car on the race track, where the sidekick tries to explain the constant acceleration concept? I think I threw something at the TV...

gGriffeth
2007-Feb-17, 02:40 PM
Where does he get all the fuel? And parts? And computer software? I can tell already, this movie isn't going to appeal to anyone.

NEOWatcher
2007-Feb-19, 02:09 PM
...Remember the scene with the car on the race track, where the sidekick tries to explain the constant acceleration concept? I think I threw something at the TV...
You had to remind me, didn't you. :rolleyes:
I was an older teen at the time, and only had about a 5% understanding of rocket dynamics compared to what I know now*, and I STILL knew they were way off.

*Which is still not a lot.

MrClean
2007-Feb-19, 03:47 PM
I, I,

I just hate Hollywood and everything they stand for. This weekend I turned the TV off after hearing Sarah Silvermans clip on a commercial constantly saying, "What about the unsung heros, the actors?" Talk about an overly promoted, overly sung bunch of high school dropout nobodies that a very large portion of America spends every waking moment with their concentration firmly riveted on, ARGGGHHHH!!!!

At least I have some model airplanes to build, but I have 3 lined up for maiden flights and AGAIN it snowed this weekend so I couldn't get out, AL you lyin sac o crap, so I really can't get too far into the next build in case I need to modify one of the new airplanes. And if I spend too much time on the web-board I start babbling like like, well like I am now.

Astronaut farmer, sweat feathery lord, for a group of people that just absolutely HATE anyone who produces wealth outside of Hollywood, they certainly seem to find money to pour down the sewer.

SolusLupus
2007-Feb-19, 04:17 PM
I just hate Hollywood and everything they stand for. This weekend I turned the TV off after hearing Sarah Silvermans clip on a commercial constantly saying, "What about the unsung heros, the actors?" Talk about an overly promoted, overly sung bunch of high school dropout nobodies that a very large portion of America spends every waking moment with their concentration firmly riveted on, ARGGGHHHH!!!!

...???

"Unsung heroes"? "UNSUNG HEROES"?! W. T. H?

Ow. No you don't, brain. I still need you yet!

SeanF
2007-Feb-19, 05:08 PM
...???

"Unsung heroes"? "UNSUNG HEROES"?! W. T. H?

Ow. No you don't, brain. I still need you yet!
I'm not a big follower of Ms. Silverman, but I've got to believe she was being sarcastic.

SolusLupus
2007-Feb-19, 06:07 PM
I'm not a big follower of Ms. Silverman, but I've got to believe she was being sarcastic.

I hope so. I sincerely and completely hope so.

And I'm warning you: If that's not the case, I'm getting an aneurysm.

Gillianren
2007-Feb-19, 07:21 PM
I will point out that not all actors are high school dropouts. David Duchovny, for example, is a grad school dropout; if I recall, he's about five credits shy of a PhD--from Yale. (Actually, I keep thinking that he ought to go back for those last few credits and stop acting for a while. It's not like he's doing anything that we'd regret missing from him.)

Ooo! He'd maybe stop doing dog food commercials for a while!

Okay, just checked Wikipedia, and it says he's ABT in English lit.

Van Rijn
2008-Oct-17, 10:16 AM
I'm going to wait to read about it after it comes out, but I'm not betting on it being good.


in case you missed the post title, this is an old thread. It's been long enough that I even forgot I made the comment above. But, this movie came up in my Netflix queue and I felt like complaining a bit.

The idea here is about a private citizen building his own rocket and going into space, showing he can do it better than a government led program. It's the sort of idea that appeals to me, so I thought that even if it wasn't very good, I might find it mildly interesting.

I was wrong.

Is everyone familiar with the term "willing suspension of disbelief (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suspension_of_disbelief)"? The basic concept is that the audience knows that they are watching fiction and are willing to put up with it to a point, but it's important not to go too far, or the audience will think more about the "fiction" aspect than the story. This movie meets your suspension of disbelief in a dark alley, and proceeds to beat it into the ground, waits for it to get up again, and repeats the procedure.

Oh, and it's depressing.



Heavy ****SPOILERS**** below if anyone still cares.



This guy (named "Farmer," though I'm not sure if he actually was a farmer - I never saw him doing anything that looked like farming) builds a rocket in his barn with his kid.

Big enough to put a manned capsule in orbit . . . and nobody cares.

Well, doesn't everybody have a ICBM class rocket in their barn?

(Oh, by the way, while it's a big rocket for a barn, it's pretty small for something that is supposed be able to put a capsule into orbit.)

Everything goes well until he tries to buy a little fuel. Two problems: He has no money, and THE GOVERNMENT finally notices that for the last few years he's been building a missile in his barn. :wall: Both the bank and THE GOVERNMENT go after him. And, it isn't like there is just the issue of reasonable safety concerns, or a certain amount of government resistance to a private space effort. Oh, no, THEY (basically every agency in THE GOVERNMENT) are out there to absolutely destroy anybody who dares build a private spacecraft.

Let's put it this way: I'm sympathetic to the concern about government resistance to private space efforts, and I was laughing at this movie.

Anyway, we're treated to a lot of depressing stuff about him versus THE GOVERNMENT and his family possibly losing their home because he spent all their money on the rocket (oh, and he did that because his father committed suicide). All very uplifting. Then, amidst all the fun, the wife's caring, friendly father dies unexpectedly.

That's how they solve their money problems.

I'm not kidding.

And, mind you, it isn't like they get a lot of money - at least, not for people building orbital rockets.

Anyway, somewhere along the line, Farmer gets the fuel and fires off his rocket while he's in it, launching from the barn. It manages to flip over and fly a couple feet above the ground, horizontally Nothing is holding it up (it doesn't have wings). Then it crashes, the capsule hits hard, tumbles, and goes over a cliff. It should be a pancake, but he gets out, essentially unhurt. Maybe he's Iron Man?

Strangely, he isn't locked up for life for that stunt (people watched the rocket go by and were lucky not to be roasted or hit, which just might suggest he's a dangerous lunatic). He rebuilds and refuels the rocket (in the barn, which somehow survived), and THE GOVERNMENT finally does think about going after him. But, they're just a little too late and he takes off out of the wooden barn which, for a second time, doesn't burn up.

This time the rocket goes up, and he actually get into orbit. He can talk to his son, who's in a shack, with a radio that continues to work as he goes around the world (well, maybe it's a satellite phone :whistle:).

Okay, now you think we'll see his triumph, and the end to the depressing scenes and constant struggle? Well, no. Instead, we cut away from him to see a THE GOVERNMENT disinformation specialist insist he didn't launch, though they know better.

We come back to him, see a mildly happy scene . . .

and his power dies. At this point, I was actually hoping he would run out of air in orbit. But unfortunately, he finally gets the power going again, calls his kid, and fires the retrorockets.

He lands in the desert, there's nobody around to see his triumphant return, but his family comes in the family SUV to pick him up, and they go to have lunch.

And the movie ends.

Well, they do have a few scenes after that in the credits with him on the Tonight Show, and apparently everyone finally believes he went into space, but they don't explain why he's being taken seriously now. By that time I didn't care. Basically, he struggles all through the movie, and we only see it get good in the credits? Yeesh.

And that's it. What a stupid movie. And, I didn't mention half the stupid stuff I saw.

Jay200MPH
2008-Oct-17, 03:04 PM
That movie made me want to gnaw on my own elbows.
And that's all the review I'm going to give it.

- J

KaiYeves
2008-Oct-17, 10:43 PM
(Oh, by the way, while it's a big rocket for a barn, it's pretty small for something that is supposed be able to put a capsule into orbit.)
How big, exactly?

mike alexander
2008-Oct-17, 11:19 PM
I only saw the last part, but it looked a bit like an old Atlas squished to about half its normal height. It also appeared that the LOX needed could be carried in a regular cyrogenic tank truck. Just one truck.

ravens_cry
2008-Oct-18, 12:08 AM
Wasn't that the amount that was needed for oh, the V2? I love old space, but I think I would enjoy October Sky more. At least that was based on reality. I would prefer a story of an alien races early Space Efforts to reach a human ship in orbit. That would be awesome , to me, and I think if I remember right, technically has been done.

Van Rijn
2008-Oct-18, 01:52 AM
I only saw the last part, but it looked a bit like an old Atlas squished to about half its normal height. It also appeared that the LOX needed could be carried in a regular cyrogenic tank truck. Just one truck.

Yes, at first I wondered if he had built the barn over an old missile silo (or had dug a deep pit) and perhaps we were only seeing the top of the rocket. Unfortunately that wasn't the case.

novaderrik
2008-Oct-18, 04:14 AM
when he was in orbit, did he open the hatch so he could step out side and smoke a victory cigar?

Van Rijn
2008-Oct-18, 04:22 AM
No, but he did open a bag of candy, ate one piece and let most of it float away into the cabin. Really stupid idea - of course, later the power died, which served him right, but there was no further mention of the candy (even though banging on the equipment seemed to jar it back into operation).

reidenschneider
2008-Oct-18, 04:51 AM
I just found this thread and while I did not see the movie in question there was a remark made by Van Rijn that caught my attention...

"Big enough to put a manned capsule in orbit . . . and nobody cares."

Some few years ago there was a local news program that showed a man beside a rocket which the man had built and only required a few more dollars for fuel costs. As I remember it looked much smaller than an ICBM and had its cockpit [sic] at the nose of the ship. I never heard another piece on this effort or any other until Burt Rutan and pilot Mike Melvill.

KaiYeves
2008-Oct-18, 03:36 PM
I love old space, but I think I would enjoy October Sky more.
October Sky is a good movie. Too bad the copy my local library has is damaged.

Tuckerfan
2008-Oct-20, 05:11 AM
What got me (among the things that have been listed here) is that, at one point, he decides to give free tours to see the rocket! This was at a time when he was desperate for cash, BTW. Seems to me that the thing to do would be to charge for the tours and ask for donations!

BTW, he was supposed have been an astronaut on the Mercury program, but got bounced. No way can you make the ages work out for Billy Bob Thorton and when the film is set (post-9/11). None.

Van Rijn
2008-Oct-20, 08:40 AM
What got me (among the things that have been listed here) is that, at one point, he decides to give free tours to see the rocket! This was at a time when he was desperate for cash, BTW. Seems to me that the thing to do would be to charge for the tours and ask for donations!


There was also the time he rented the carnival rocket ride (at $500 a week). This was after they had emphasized how little money he had. I thought he was going to use it as part of a paid tour/show, similar to what you thought of, but then there was just a scene of his daughter sitting alone in it, and him there, with nobody else around, out in the middle of a field. I think it was about that time I started liberally using the fast forward key. There's a decent chunk in the middle I didn't watch and never will watch.

NEOWatcher
2008-Oct-21, 06:31 PM
in case you missed the post title, this is an old thread. It's been long enough that I even forgot I made the comment above. But, this movie came up in my Netflix queue and I felt like complaining a bit.
Thanks for the complaint. It sounds a lot like what I expected.

There's a few point to be made with your complaint though. I know it's not going to make a dent in how bad the movie sounds, but I thought I'd mention them anyway.


Everything goes well until he tries to buy a little fuel. Two problems: He has no money, and THE GOVERNMENT finally notices that for the last few years he's been building a missile in his barn.
Why should they care? Isn't it the volatiles and technology that they care about? Until this guy has something more than a sophisticated pressure container, there's no threat.
But; it does sound like they don't go after him with that premise.


Strangely, he isn't locked up for life for that stunt...
Even Homer got in some serious trouble with the law, and his rocket was only a model.


...he takes off out of the wooden barn which, for a second time, doesn't burn up.
Hey; if Andy Griffith can do it in a more urban area without burning the tarp he had on his...then why not?


...Well, no. Instead, we cut away from him to see a THE GOVERNMENT disinformation specialist insist he didn't launch, though they know better.
Did they give a reason to supress the information. Or is this just another case of that's what "the Government" does?

I can stretch things with the next person, and even if they had a viable group of government agencies with an agenda, there's still things they wouldn't get away with on so many branches and levels of the law.

I also looked for clues on imdb.
He filed a flight plan? On an unlicensed vehicle? Oh; I'd love to see how that one went.

Oh; and Bruce Willis as a former astronaut... Exactly what advice does he give this guy?

Jim
2008-Oct-21, 07:08 PM
Oh; and Bruce Willis as a former astronaut... Exactly what advice does he give this guy?

"Stay away from asteroids."

Van Rijn
2008-Oct-21, 08:51 PM
Why should they care? Isn't it the volatiles and technology that they care about? Until this guy has something more than a sophisticated pressure container, there's no threat.


Well, he'd built and bought rather sophisticated hardware: Tanks, engines, Mercury capsule, etc. He basically had put together a missile. It's the sort of thing you'd expect somebody would have noticed, would have required some rather careful safety overview, licensing, etc. It's insanely beyond what an amateur rocket builder would even try to get away with. It seems odd nobody cared until he tried to buy a little fuel.




Did they give a reason to supress the information. Or is this just another case of that's what "the Government" does?


Essentially, yes. They didn't want a private citizen in the orbital rocket club.



I can stretch things with the next person, and even if they had a viable group of government agencies with an agenda, there's still things they wouldn't get away with on so many branches and levels of the law.


I could fully believe government putting up roadblocks - it isn't new. But the way they did it was ridiculous. First they came down on him with an alphabet soup of agencies, he called in the press, and public sympathy pushed them back a bit.

Realistically, it wouldn't have gone any further than shutting down an extreme safety hazard (huge, untested, unlicensed, liquid fueled rocket), but then there wouldn't have been much of a movie.



He filed a flight plan? On an unlicensed vehicle?


No flight plan, it was unlicensed, and it launched over populated territory (not over the ocean or anything like that).




Oh; and Bruce Willis as a former astronaut... Exactly what advice does he give this guy?

Willis was attempting to buy him off. The guy was offered a ride in the Shuttle, but he wouldn't take it.

CJSF
2008-Oct-21, 09:59 PM
I *LIKED* this movie. A LOT. I was willing to suspend my belief to the limit. I found it charming and silly and awesome (even despite the "evil gvt/NASA" stupidity).

Oh well.

CJSF

Van Rijn
2008-Oct-21, 10:17 PM
Well, everyone has different perceptions. I wanted to like this movie, and I'm sure I could see a movie with essentially this theme and like it a lot. But, to me, it was hopelessly unrealistic and depressing (except for the very tiny bit at the end). It wouldn't surprise me if they consciously considered ways to make it less realistic.

AGN Fuel
2008-Oct-22, 12:28 AM
Oh; and Bruce Willis as a former astronaut... Exactly what advice does he give this guy?

"Stay away from asteroids."

Good advice. My uncle had asteroids - couldn't sit down for a month.

KaiYeves
2008-Oct-22, 12:29 AM
Essentially, yes. They didn't want a private citizen in the orbital rocket club.
Oh no! Are the scary government guys going to come after Elon Musk now?

Count Zero
2008-Oct-22, 12:38 AM
Even Homer got in some serious trouble with the law, and his rocket was only a model.

But at least the hamster was able to eject safely.

NEOWatcher
2008-Oct-22, 01:24 PM
... It's the sort of thing you'd expect somebody would have noticed, would have required some rather careful safety overview, licensing, etc.
But; what red flags is my point. I assume that this was your typical "see what I built with off the shelf parts" that wouldn't wave the flag. It's usually supply chain regulations that trigger the flags.

So; unless somebody had a close look at the product, I don't see the red flag. I've seen some pretty elaborate playhouses that look like they could fly.

NEOWatcher
2008-Oct-22, 01:25 PM
But at least the hamster was able to eject safely.
I don't think we are speaking about the same Homer.

ryanmercer
2008-Oct-23, 10:30 AM
Maybe I'm weird... but I watched it as a MOVIE not as an educational film. I had some good laughs out of it to, whether the science was good or bad.

NEOWatcher
2008-Oct-23, 02:51 PM
Maybe I'm weird... but I watched it as a MOVIE not as an educational film. I had some good laughs out of it to, whether the science was good or bad.
I don't think anybody here is disagreeing with you, or has a hard time being able to watch it if they take it that way. I would probably enjoy it myself with that attitude toward it. Heck; I enjoyed Salvage One and many of those others.
My problem with it is that it doesn't sound like a movie that was intended to be that way and they just slightly missed the mark by about 120 degrees. And, to top it of by promoting to me as something that is realistic is a bit of an insult.

Van Rijn
2008-Oct-23, 09:00 PM
Maybe I'm weird... but I watched it as a MOVIE not as an educational film. I had some good laughs out of it to, whether the science was good or bad.

I was watching it as a movie. I didn't see anything to laugh at - on the contrary, they seemed to be trying to make it as painful to watch as possible. It wasn't just the technical aspects that were wildly unbelievable, but the actions of the characters as well.

Van Rijn
2008-Oct-23, 10:05 PM
My problem with it is that it doesn't sound like a movie that was intended to be that way and they just slightly missed the mark by about 120 degrees. And, to top it of by promoting to me as something that is realistic is a bit of an insult.

Yes, that's pretty much how I felt. As I said earlier, the basic idea (private citizen building his own rocket and going into space, showing he can do it better than a government led program) appeals to me. But, yes, this was insulting. I would have liked it better if he had a magic space drive. At least that way it would be explicit fantasy. And, if it had been fun to watch, I would have given it more rope too.

Tuckerfan
2008-Oct-23, 11:14 PM
Yes, that's pretty much how I felt. As I said earlier, the basic idea (private citizen building his own rocket and going into space, showing he can do it better than a government led program) appeals to me. But, yes, this was insulting. I would have liked it better if he had a magic space drive. At least that way it would be explicit fantasy. And, if it had been fun to watch, I would have given it more rope too.

Heck, I could have enjoyed the flick even without a "magic pixie dust" powered rocket, if it had just been well written and they'd gotten some simple details right.

All they had to do to improve the flick tremendously would have been to fix the issue of his age (instead of making him a Mercury astronaut, just having him growing up during that era and wanting to be an astronuat, but not getting the chance because of some minor issue), give him enough sense to charge admission to see his rocket, and rent the amusement park ride out as an attraction for folks waiting in line to see the rocket. None of those items would have required significant retooling of the script, or expensive added effects.

NEOWatcher
2008-Oct-24, 01:47 PM
... give him enough sense to charge admission to see his rocket, and rent the amusement park ride out as an attraction for folks waiting in line to see the rocket...
Actually; that sounds like a good premise for a story. Hide the rocket right out in the open by making people think it's just an educational attraction to the theme park.

Tuckerfan
2008-Oct-24, 01:53 PM
Actually; that sounds like a good premise for a story. Hide the rocket right out in the open by making people think it's just an educational attraction to the theme park.

The original Outer Limits had an episode with that as a theme, only the captain of the ship was an alien.

KaiYeves
2008-Oct-24, 09:26 PM
All they had to do to improve the flick tremendously would have been to fix the issue of his age (instead of making him a Mercury astronaut, just having him growing up during that era and wanting to be an astronuat, but not getting the chance because of some minor issue), give him enough sense to charge admission to see his rocket, and rent the amusement park ride out as an attraction for folks waiting in line to see the rocket. None of those items would have required significant retooling of the script, or expensive added effects.
You know that No-Prize you gave me in the Carmen Sandiego thread? Take it back, you deserve it for that.

Tuckerfan
2008-Oct-24, 10:25 PM
You know that No-Prize you gave me in the Carmen Sandiego thread? Take it back, you deserve it for that.

I'm afraid I have no idea of what prize you're talking about. :confused: I can't even recall participating in a thread on the show.

KaiYeves
2008-Oct-24, 11:50 PM
Ooophs, that was Noclevername, sorry. Anyway, a No-Prize is something Stan Lee used to give out for coming up with creative solutions to factual mistakes in Marvel Comics.
Anyway, for your solution for The Astronaut Farmer, take a No-Prize of your own!

Tuckerfan
2008-Oct-25, 12:36 AM
Ooophs, that was Noclevername, sorry. Anyway, a No-Prize is something Stan Lee used to give out for coming up with creative solutions to factual mistakes in Marvel Comics.
Anyway, for your solution for The Astronaut Farmer, take a No-Prize of your own!

Well, thanks!