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SPACE COWBOYS

SYNOPSIS:
When Team Deadalus was grounded in 1958, four very disappointed (pissed off, more like it) men were left out of the race into space: Frank Corvin (Clint Eastwood), Hawk Hawkins (Tommy Lee Jones), Jerry O’Neil (Donald Sutherland) and Tank Sullivan (James Garner). Four decades later, the Ikon Russian satellite, supposedly purely for communications, is threatening to fall out of the sky after a circuitry malfunction that can’t be fixed – because the design technology in it is too old. When NASA’s Bob Gerson (James Cromwell) discovers that the design came from the brain of Frank Corvin, he enlists Corvin, but only under duress. Corvin takes on the task for his nemesis from 1958, but only if he can take the old Deadalus Team into space with him to make repairs. The friction and adventure that is triggered in this agreement is set to rewrite history.

"A terrific script drives these veteran actors to pull out all their techniques and twirl about in a movie that manages to combine self deprecating humour, wily stunts and bravado adventure in a riveting and thoroughly entertaining mix. Just as we are lulled into thinking the film is going to be a broad comedy of ageing jokes (the old would-be astronauts are dubbed The Ripe Stuff), the script ups the ante into full-scale space adventure, and does it far better than Mission to Mars did. There is probably a bias in my enjoyment of these veterans turning into vanquishing heroes, but my younger companion seemed to share the thrill of the ride. I guess there aren’t too many deep and meaningful messages here, although some of the old Cold War wounds are given a little scrape and the inter-personal conflicts make for plenty of texture. So do the action scenes in space. Eastwood demonstrates his mastery of film technique as director and star, and shows the young cats a thing or two about getting maximum mileage out of even the odd cliché. For a top remedy against movie tedium, go for a ride with these cowboys; you’ll be saddle sore but happy."
Andrew L. Urban

"The set up is irresistible, the impact is hugely entertaining and the resolution satisfying. Space Cowboys is a launch pad winner! In fact, you get twice as much as you expect. Firstly, there are the delights of the cast. I mean, what can you say about Clint Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland and James Garner? And together in this witty, slick scripted space adventure cum comedy, we see them as we have never seen them before. There's plenty of repartee, great lines and the theme that the voice of experience speaks louder than young, fit athletes is one that we embrace. They may not have the protocol and the jargon, but these guys, who are getting a little long in the tooth, have an inextinguishable and inspiring spirit. The story, told with a light touch and plenty of charm, has a commendable balance of light and shade. We are rooting for the team from the very start, and the attitude, the challenges and the obstacles are all hurdles that we can't wait to overcome. But that's not all. The bonus is the spectacular space adventure whose emotional impact is a welcome surprise. This is the film that Mission to Mars should have been. The effects are extraordinary and the miniature work from Industrial Light and Magic is astonishing. We feel as though we are in space – the exhilaration, the terror and the reality. James Cromwell heads a great support cast as the sceptical NASA bureaucrat, with Marcia Gay Harden appealing as the engineer with heart. The great look of the film is achieved by production designer Henry Bumstead, and all the production team are stalwart Eastwood regulars. Eastwood is a great director and one who knows exactly what he wants. The film must have been a blast to work on – it looks as though everyone had a heap of fun. It's long, but who cares? Spectacular, gripping, moving yet very funny, Space Cowboys is a journey you shouldn't miss."
Louise Keller

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 2
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

See Jenny Cooney Carillo's interview with

CLINT EASTWOOD

TRAILER

SPACE COWBOYS (PG)
(US)

CAST: Clint Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland, James Garner, Marcia Gay Harden, William Devane, Loren Dean, Courtney B. Vance and James Cromwell

DIRECTOR: Clint Eastwood

PRODUCER: Clint Eastwood

SCRIPT: Ken Kaufman & Howard Klausner

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Jack. N Green ASC

EDITOR: Joel Cox

MUSIC: Lennie Niehaus

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Henry Bumstead

RUNNING TIME: 130 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: October 5, 2000

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow Home Ent

VIDEO RELEASE: July 11, 2001







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