Like a lot of other kids, I wanted to be an astronaut, for like ten minutes. For that brief moment in time I was bound and determined to be the next Neil Armstrong. The next giant leap for mankind would be made by me. When that feeling passed it was on to something else. Still, that didn't stop me from watching astronaut movies and dreaming that dream all over again. For ten more minutes.
If you couldn't tell, I'm rambling about this because astronauts are the topic of this week's Thursday Movie Picks hosted by Wander at Wandering Through the Shelves. However, I'm going a different route than even I usually go. Just as I never pursued that dream of planting an American flag on Mars, these movies should never have been made. These are three astronaut movies you should avoid at all cost.
(1998)Early spring or late summer of 1998, I forget which, I saw a trailer for this. It looked all kinds of awesome. My brother and I plunked down some hard earned cash on opening night, and...sigh. I sat in slack-jawed amazement at how awful this movie is. How could something with THAT CAST suck so hard. HARD. In case you somehow don't know what this crap is about, a giant asteroid is on a collision course with Earth and will likely destroy it when it hits. The plan, if you can call it that, is to train a bunch of ruffian deep-sea drillers in short order, send them into space onto the asteroid, yes they have to execute a landing on a rapidly moving asteroid, drill a hole in it, drop a nuke in, get off of it and detonate said nuke. Let's assume that all of that happens. You must also understand that this asteroid will be dangerously close to Earth when the nuke is detonated because us humans haven't figured out how to go all that far into space. There's still one little problem. Blowing a giant asteroids to smithereens is just going to create a countless number of smaller projectiles, many of which will still be hurtling towards Earth. Right? Apparently not. According to the minds that thought up this plan, the rock will split clean in half sending the two pieces around the Earth at its opposite ends. Huh? I was done. And that was before most of the cheese started dripping off the screen. It oozed off the screen up the aisle to my seat and gummed up everything. I even looked at my brother and "This is some cheesy shit."
Planet of the Apes
(2001)I'm a fairly big fan of Tim Burton. Long before Christopher Nolan turned the trick, Burton brought back Batman in a big way. I'll forever be indebted to the man for this. Aside from The Caped Crusader movies, by 2001, Burton had already given us Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, and Ed Wood to name a few. When I heard he was going to tackle a remake of Planet of the Apes, I was on board. Besides, he had Mark Wahlberg in the lead. What could go wrong? Everything, dear reader, everything could and did go wrong. The astronaut in question is Wahlberg's Leo. He trains chimpanzees for space missions, so I guess they're the real astronauts. Anyhoo, when one climbs into a space pod and goes missing, Leo jumps in another pod and takes off after him. They both run into a space storm and, next thing you know, Leo is on the titular planet and finds himself in Charlton Heston's shoes. Nothing good comes of this, for him or us.
(2009)You know all those horrible "live-action" movies where all the animals speak to each other in English whenever there are no humans around? Yeah, this is one of those. Forgive me if my synopsis is a bit spotty, but I've honestly tried to forget everything about this movie. Basically, some kid's dog and all his doggie friends make their way down to see a rocket launch and wind up on the damn thing, or something like that. Of course, that leads us on an all canine space adventure. If you're under age ten, this is like one of the bestest things ever. If you're not and find yourself having to sit through it anyway, you might do like I did. I deliberately started trying to piss kids off in hopes one of them would just lose it and gouge my eyes out with his spork. I was in a room with about 40 of them, so my odds were fairly decent. No such luck, though.