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Review: The Astronaut Farmer

The Astronaut Farmer
02.22.2007
8 10

An everyday family man/farmer has the life long dream of going into outer space, so he decides to build a rocket in his barn. Oh yeah, he just happens to be an ex-NASA pilot and engineer to make the whole thing plausible. During the final stages of the construction of his rocket, the government and the media catch wind of his "little" pet project and try to put a hold on things. Believing in your dreams, good family values and all that other good stuff that makes you feel good...ensues.

Here's what's really funny: when you hear the premise of the story of a farmer building a rocket in his backyard...it just sounds dumb. But I really enjoyed this film! It had a decent cast, it was funny and it almost felt like I was watching a Disney movie...only a whole lot better! They took a crazy and an original idea and made it believable and fun to watch.

Billy Bob Thorton brought this quiet intelligence and perseverance to his character of Charles Farmer. Next to SLING BLADE and BAD SANTA, his character in this film was one of his strongest yet. As much as he seemed "obsessive" about his dream of going to the stars, the way Thorton expressed it, it felt more like relentless determination with grace. Kudos to him on taking on a simple role that had layers of hidden depth and most importantly, kudos to him for making his character so likeable. You end up rooting for him the whole time!

Virginia Madsen...whoa, this woman is on fire! She's got the hot middle-aged and very supportive wife role down perfectly! She and Thorton had awesome chemistry together and there relationship was inspiring. Did I say she looks hot? I know she's been around for awhile, but she hasn't really stood out much with the exception of SIDEWAYS and CANDYMAN, but I think she will explode onto great things in the near future!

Michael Polish did an amazing job on the directing, he really captured the "little town U.S.A. on the prairie" feel. The film language alone was a special treat in itself. It even felt like I was watching an early Spielberg film. The scene compositions and the natural lighting shots were beautifully crafted and the build-up of the storyline was at a perfect pace. Not to mention, it was fun to see the surprise actor who makes a brief appearance in the film. All in all, this was just a well made movie!

Where is the frickin' marketing for this movie?!!! We finally get something good and simple to come out of Hollywood and this is how they treat it?? Couples, individuals and families can all appreciate this film because it's one of those "feel good" movies that leaves your heart aglow as you leave the theater. In short, if you liked FIELD OF DREAMS (and who didn't??), you'll like this movie as well.

Apocalypto (8/10) Blood Diamond (7/10) Borat (9/10) Crank (8/10) Deja Vu (6/10) Eragon (4/10) Flushed Away (4/10) Grudge 2 (5/10) Harsh Times (7/10) Last King of Scotland (6/10) Rocky Balboa (7/10) Stranger Than Fiction (7/10) The Departed (9/10) The Holiday (6/10) The Nativity Story (7/10) The Prestige (8/10) The Pursuit of Happyness (6/10)

-- by Tim Goernert

Source: JoBlo.com

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