ASTRONAUT FARMER (2007)
The Astronaut Farmer (2007)
Actors: Billy Bob Thornton, Virginia Madsen, Max Thieriot, Jasper
Polish, Logan Polish
Director: Michael Polish
Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, Widescreen, NTSC
Region: 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Number of discs: 1
Run Time: 104 minutes
- Available Subtitles:
English, Spanish, French
- Available Audio
Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
- How to Build a Rocket:
The Making of The Astronaut Farmer
- A Conversation with
NASA Astronaut David Scott
- Bloopers and outtakes
- Includes both 2.35
widescreen anamorphic and 1.33 full-screen formats
Bob Thornton is an ex-NASA guy turned Texan rancher who single-handedly
builds his own rocket ship in his backyard to orbit the Earth in what must
surely be the year's most far-fetched movie. (His surname is Farmer by the
way; otherwise, I suppose the movie's title should have been The Astronaut
Thornton however attracts the authorities' attention when he wants to buy a
huge quantity of rocket fuel for his trip and soon the FBI descends on his
ranch to investigate and his dream of space travel becomes a media circus.
Thornton gives an understated performance and unlike one would expect,
Virginia Madsen as his wife is actually supportive of his
vision. After all, as she said, without Thornton's obsession and his
family's support of it, they would be merely another dysfunctional family.
This way one supposes that they are an eccentric dysfunctional family
. . .
THE DISC: The movie is presented in both widescreen and full screen
modes on a double-sided disc. Even though it is an intimate drama, you
should preferably check out the widescreen version. There are some bloopers
and outtakes as well as a "making of" feature.
WORTH IT? It's not exactly sci-fi -
unless you count the notion of an almost destitute rancher (the ranch is
small enough, the movie tells us, to be run by Thornton and one
illegal Mexican immigrant laborer) somehow managing to have the sufficient
capital to have his own successful space program as being SF. Instead it's an
understated drama of the "dream the impossible dream" and "succeeding
against all odds" variety.
Anyone raised on the idea of everybody going to the moon one day for
holidays would of course want Thornton to succeed. After all, space travel
shouldn't be the sole domain of the mega-rich and those few fortunate enough
to be actual astronauts. Still, no matter how hard one roots for Thornton's
one knows deep down just how unlikely the film's premise is.
RECOMMENDATION: Worth a rental perhaps if 300 is out.