Thursday, April 21, 2016

Thursday Movie Picks: Astronauts


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.


Armageddon
(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.


Space Buddies
(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.



24 comments:

  1. Ew.... Now I haven't seen Space Buddies and hopefully never will as movies about cute dogs don't do it for me. Tim Burton's version of Planet of the Apes, I think that is his worst film. Armageddon.... Anything Michael Bay did from this film and everything else afterwards are the bane of my existence. You could pay me all of the money and offer me all of the poontang in the world and you won't get me to watch a second of that bullshit. I'd rather jump off a cliff to my death than see that or anything he's done since. I'd rather be sodomized and raped by millions of diseased-ridden men than see a single frame of Pearl Harbor. I would rather do a Salo and eat an entire bowl of fucking shit than see any of his bullshit. Yeah, I'm fucking serious into how much I loathe that motherfucker.

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  2. I almost watched Armageddon once. Thank god I didn't. I haven't seen the other two either, but that's about to change because I'll soon start watching the Planet of the Apes franchise.

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    1. You might be able to enjoy Armageddon on a so bad it's awesome level. I just couldn't after paying for that damn ticket in hopes of seeing something legitimately good. Looking forward to your reviews of the Apes flicks.

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  3. I love it when the themes are about movies the writer hates, that always amuses me. I've managed to block nearly all of Armageddon out. I don't think I've seen it since the initial release, and I was very young when I watched it. Planet of the Apes was terrible too. I can't believe those Space Buddy/Air Bud movies are STILL being made. It always seems like I see a new one in the cheap DVD section at the store.

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    1. Keep blocking out Armageddon. Start doing that with the Burton Apes if you haven't, already. As for the Buddy movies, someone has to be making a killing off those to keep churning them out like that.

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  4. Armageddon is all the things you say it is but I still have fond memories of seeing it. I was living in DC at the time when my nieces and nephew came for a visit and we went to see it at the Uptown which was THE theatre to see anything actiony. It was an old single screen theatre with a 70 ft by 70 ft. screen so watching the movie was as much of an experience as the movie itself, which in this case helped mightily! We all agree it was dumb afterwards but it effects were sure amazing on that immense screen.

    I expected the original Planet of the Apes to show up this week but not this one, probably because I've tried and mostly succeeded with blocking this wretched remake from my mind. The original isn't perfect by any means but it's a gold plated gem next to this lemon.

    I've never seen Space Buddies and I think I can safely say that will never change.

    My first thoughts were the great duo of Apollo 13 and The Right Stuff both of which I’m a huge fan of but I was expecting to see them everywhere today so I went in search of more obscure titles.

    Capricorn One (1977)-While awaiting the launch of the first manned flight to Mars the command center realizes too late to abort that a malfunction in the support system will kill the astronauts during the journey. Needing a success to continue the program the astronauts are whisked away to a false lunar surface in the desert and the entire mission faked. When the spaceship burns up on reentry and the hoax is at risk of being exposed it becomes a cat and mouse game as the astronauts fight for survival.

    Silent Running (1971)-All botanical life on Earth has ceased to exist, ecologist/astronaut Freeman Lowell (Bruce Dern) oversees a greenhouse on an orbiting space station to preserve various flora and fauna for future generations. Assisted by three robots and a small human crew who see no value in maintaining the forest, Lowell rebels when orders arrive to destroy the greenhouse in favor of carrying cargo, a decision that puts him at odds with everyone but his mechanical companions. Lowell and his robots are forced to do anything necessary to keep their invaluable greenery alive. A quiet and meditative take for the most part on the shortsightedness of the human race.

    The Reluctant Astronaut (1967)-Agoraphobic Roy (Don Knotts) runs the kid spaceship ride at the fairground but his father hopes for better and applies to NASA for him. Surprisingly he’s accepted…as a janitor. After many crazy complications Roy ends up in space as the title pilot! If it sounds preposterous, it is but then it’s a Don Knotts comedy after all.

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    1. Nice story about Armageddon, but I still hate it.

      Haven't seen any of your choices, but I have heard a great deal about Capricorn One and Silent Running. I'd like to see them both, at some point. Never heard of the other.

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    2. Well The Reluctant Astronaut is right up there with The Incredible Mr. Limpet, The Ghost and Mr. Chicken and How to Frame a Figg in the Don Knotts canon. If you like his brand of goggle-eyed humor the film is fun and goofy but it will never be mistaken for great art.

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    3. To be honest, I like my Don Knotts in small doses, as in Mr. Ferley or Barney Fife small. Anything more than that is way more than I want.

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  5. I probably won't ever see Armageddon. I won't watch that version of Planet of the Apes again. To paraphrase my father, I would rather nail my scrotum to a table than watch Space Buddies.

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    1. Trust me, if that were an option that day, I would have had to do some deep pondering.

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  6. You are so funny�� I have successfully avoided Space Buddies and will continue to do so even though I love animals. I have seen the first 2 and enjoyed the first one because I took it as a stupid comedy. The funniest moment was when Affleck's character gets separated from the rest but somehow still manages to find them....hahahhaaaaa. This remake of Planet of the Apes was just horrible.

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    1. Thanks! I only saw parts of the first one and I will try to continuing missing it. And the Planet of the Apes remake...yeah...sigh.

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  7. I have only seen bits of Armageddon (nor do I really want to since I already know how it ends), but I'm interested in watching the original Planet of the Apes.

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    1. The original Planet of the Apes, yes. This remake, no.

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  8. LOL I can only agree with you in saying that none of these should ever have been made. Although Armageddon I'm okay with (I have a soft spot for that Aerosmith song), if only because it's far from the worst thing Michael Bay has ever done. It's ONLY completely ridiculous, not completely ridiculous AND also terribly made.

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    1. I suppose that's as good a reason as any to keep it around.

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  9. Oh my Space Buddies :) then again I picked Disney's Space Camp. How the hell did those dogs end up on the flight??

    I couldn't sit through the whole of Burton's apes film, the original was good, but theres something about the story that gives me an anxiety attack.

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    1. Can't remember the particulars of how they wound up on the rocket, nor will I try to find out.

      I didn't get an anxiety attack. It was more a churning stomach ache.

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  10. Dell, I saw Armageddon in the theater.

    On back-to-back nights.

    But, the second time...was with the most beautiful woman...uh, that isn't my wife. So in short, I will never be mad at Harry Stamper. Ever. Can't do it.

    But a room full of kids and some Space Buddies? WHOLE DIFFERENT STORY.

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    1. That argument makes sense. Even I can't hate on that.

      Actually, the kids weren't that bad. They were rather cool, in fact. Space Buddies had their complete attention. There might have been a full scale riot had I turned it off before it ended, though.

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  11. I haven't seen this Planet of the Apes, nor the original, and I do still want to watch both even if this as you say is bad.

    Armageddon - it's a blockbuster, it's Michael Bay, so yeah sort of expect it to not be logical.

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    1. Definitely watch the original first. I'd hate for this version to ruin it for you. Great point on Armageddon.

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