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SPACE COWBOYS: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
When Team Deadalous was grounded in 1958, four very disappointed (pissed off and angry, 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.

The movie: When Team Deadalous was grounded in 1958, four very disappointed (pissed off and angry, 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.

The DVD offers all the joys of the digital soundtrack and vision, and the extras are short but sweet.
The Jay Leno Show is a nice touch, and ends with a brief chat with Leno, who explains why they had the stars on the show in character, not as actors: because people like Tommy lee Jones are too serious when out of character, and not a great tonight show guest.

Unusual to find an editor doing a solo gig on a DVD, and there should be more of it. Joel Cox is good copy for over 6 minutes, and reveals a few things besides editing issues, including the fact that the movie’s main theme, a quiet, introspective riff, was basically written by Eastwood himself. He also talks about Eastwood’s propensity to shoot fast, and how a movie like this defies that style.

In the VFX feature, Michael Owens from ILM discusses the painstaking accuracy of the detail and shows off some of the models built for the film.

Anyone in digital design should be perving on this disc – it’s like a short freeby course from ILM. But me, I like the movie.
Andrew L. Urban

Published July 19, 2001

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INTERVIEW with Clint Eastwood

MOVIE REVIEWS

SPACE COWBOYS (PG)
(US)

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

DIRECTOR: Clint Eastwood

RUNNING TIME: 125 minutes

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow Home Entertainment

DVD RELEASE: July 11, 2001

SPECIAL FEATURES
Back at the Ranch – on location
Conversation with VFX supervisor and team
Tonight on Leno (expanded version of The Tonight Show)
Up Close with The Editor, Joel Cox
Trailer;
DVD ROM features: Space Shuittle Challenge, original website, trailer sampler.
Widescreen 2.35:1 16.9 enhanced, Dolby Digital 5.1







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