Saturday, November 18, 2006

No Salvage Value

I get nervous when an actor I admire is about to do something stupid. I get real nervous when I get that vibe just looking at the poster. Case in point (via

Sigh. For the record, the plot is described thusly:

"Dismissed from NASA's space program, former astronaut-in-training Charles Farmer (Billy Bob Thornton) pursues his lifelong dream by building his own rocket in the Polish Brothers' family film. On the eve of his launch, he must battle foreclosure on his ranch, a small-town community of disbelievers, the FAA, and FBI agents who want to shut him down in the name of Homeland Security - but remains determined to reach his goal and instill in his children the courage to pursue their own dreams, no matter the odds."

Kinda makes Kevin Costner's character in Field of Dreams sound downright levelheaded and sensible, don't it?

So, it seems they are going for a straight-faced feel-good drama, even though the inclination of most people when they see that poster will be to roll their eyes and/or burst out laughing. You can tell they are going for earnest, because the one thing the poster reminds me of (besides photoshopping over at is the poster of The Rookie, another earnest movie of some fortyish guy achieving their dreams while being backlit by a sunset. At least Dennis Quaid isn't wearing a spacesuit and riding a friggin horse!

When Billy Bob Thornton first came onto the scene, his down-home Southern demeanor had some comparing him to Andy Griffith (And for those of you who would consider this an insult, go see A Face in the Crowd). It is then ironic that this film bears an eerie similarity to a cult classic television movie called Salvage. This film starred Griffith as a junkyard owner who dreamed of going to the moon in a spacesuit and rocketship he builds himself. In case you're wondering, the film is every bit as silly as a 1979 TV movie about a homemade spacecraft can be.

I suppose if this film can draw a lesson from it's counterpart from almost thirty years ago, it is this: Keep something like this on the small screen ... and maybe broadcast it opposite the Super Bowl or something.

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