[FPSPACE] Don't waste your time with Farmer Astronaut
markkramer1 at verizon.net
Sat Feb 24 20:56:25 EST 2007
I believe I first saw mention of this new film here, and so I think it is
appropriate to post this note.
While the producers clearly aimed for a feel-good movie, what they have
delivered is such a ridiculous story, so very far-fetched, that any worthy
elements in this effort are completely overshadowed.
Not only does the hero build two (yes, 2) Atlas-inspired rockets in his
barn, he manages to launch both without blowing the tight-fighting barn to
smithereens...or even setting it on fire. The special effects are good...for
1980, but today they looked like they were done in a high-school graphics
Once in orbit Billy Bob Thornton's character is seen grabbing what are
presumably rotational and translational hand controllers and pushing them
every which way as he punctuates his comments with hand gestures that surely
would have had him tumbling like crazy.
The renderings of Africa and California as seen from orbit are childish.
The Mercury-like spacecraft has the unique property of absolute silence in
flight. No ECS pumps providing air, no electrical humming. Nothing. And
that's when all the systems are up. When they fail, all that seems to happen
is that the lights go out.
I think, though, the part that was the most annoying, was the reentry, in
which the retrofire seems to almost stop the spacecraft and then pitch it
down by 90 degrees for a vertical descent.
Of course, there is also the issue of how an oxygen supply deemed sufficient
for three orbits is stretched to nine, and the fact that after just nine
revs, the craft was able to land essentially where it took off from. With no
enormous crossrange maneuver, it's clear that orbital precession does not
exist in Hollywood.
Other than that, it was fine.
There. Now I feel better.
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