Discs Are Rated
Click above to purchase "Space Cowboys" at amazon.com
review by Zach B.
Running Time: 90 minutes
Starring Clint Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, Donald
Sutherland, James Garner, Marcia Gay Harden, James Cromwell,
Written by Ken Kaufman and Howard Kalusner
Directed by Clint Eastwood
Retail Price: $24.99
Features: Up Close With The Editor featurette,
"Tonight On Leno" fearturette, The Effects featurette, "Back
At The Ranch" featurette, Cast and Crew Filmographies,
Specs: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, English Dolby
Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, English Subtitles,
French Subtitles, Chapter Search (36 Chapters)
Truly one of the sleeper hits of the summer of 2000,
"Space Cowboys" opened to incredibly strong reviews and took
in nearly 100 million at the box office. For an early August
release, I was pretty impressed, and I was also impressed
how much it hung on at the top ten charts. While I have to
say Clint Eastwood's career wasn't much in the nineties
after his Oscar® winning "Unforgiven", with him
directing such duds as "Midnight In The Garden Of Good And
Evil" and "True Crime". Good old Clint helms "Space Cowboys"
and does a pretty remarkable job.
The film begins in 1958, where it looked like four test
pilots for NASA were going to be the first men in space.
However, they got screwed when their boss sends... yep, a
chimp. After that sequence, we jump to the present where a
Russian satellite by the name of Ikon is about to crash down
to Earth. Russia still needs that satellite, and NASA agrees
to help them out. However, the satellite has some coding
that can't be broken, and it turns out one of the men from
1958, Frank Corvin (Clint Eastwood), created the guidance
system and it is used in the satellite. However, the one who
screwed Corvin in the first place, Bob Gerson, is involved
in saving the satellite. After some bitter talk, Gerson
agrees to let Corvin help, but Corvin wants his old
teammates to go back into space with him. Gerson gives in,
and so begins their training, their mission and everything
else that comes with it.
"Space Cowboys" is pretty much a crowd pleasing movie.
The acting is really top notch. Eastwood is good as usual,
while Sutherland, Garner and Jones are also excellent in
their roles. They're a lot of fun to watch and are really
good, there's a lot of chemistry between the characters.
James Cromwell, a fantastic actor, is perfect as the nasty
Bob Gerson. Marcia Gay Harden and a few other supporting
players round out the cast. Everyone's role is believable
and again, just a lot of fun to watch. It's pretty much
perfection in a movie like this.
The script is an enjoyable ride, though it's an
interesting layout. The film is pretty predictable, but
there's a very good mix. At first it seems serious, but then
it gets a bit silly and then sort of serious again. It's
simply a combination audiences love and tend to enjoy. The
script has some good lines and good plotting, but it's
pretty smart, especially with the humor here and there.
Clint does an excellent job directing, and there's some
excellent shots and excellent editing. There's very good
production values on this film.
I guess what so many liked about "Space Cowboys" and what
I liked about it is the charming and very, very entertaining
mix. There's good suspense, good character development and
good humor. It's planned out really well, and the acting is,
again, perfect for a movie like this. I really liked the
editing as it gave it a good feel and good sense to a movie
like this. Don't miss "Space Cowboys", it's a very good
Presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen, "Space
Cowboys" is yet another top-notch Warner transfer that
everyone should be pleased with. Colors are very bold and
deep, and black level is exquisite. There's some really nice
shots in the movie and they look lovely with crystal
clarity. The only flaw is some slight shimmering in some
scenes and some specks of dirt or a blemish here and there.
"Space Cowboys" features a very impressive Dolby Digital
5.1 track, it has a very strong and diverse soundstage.
There are particularly great sounds here, and the sound
effects editing was nominated for an Academy Award®.
Chapter 1 has some excellent surrounds that will really
bring life to your speakers and make you feel like you're in
the action. Chapter 1 gets things off with a bang and
features a pretty sensational experience... and it only gets
better. Dialogue is clear and easy to hear, nothing
overpowers anything and the music also brings some good
surrounds. A very fine mix that I was really impressed with.
It's not a feature loaded special edition, but there is a
good amount of stuff to enjoy, namely, a few featurettes.
Up Close With The Editor is a seven minute
featurette that takes a nice look at the movie with Joel
Cox, the editor of the movie. It features clips from the
movie, as Cox discusses origins of the project and talks
about some of the shots, as he mentions special effects work
and George Lucas (as well as the ILM team). Cox also talks
about some choices and cuts, and he's pretty interesting
with nice anecdotes. If you're interested in the production
portion of the movie, watch this.
"Tonight On Leno" was a featurette that I really
enjoyed, because there's an incredible amount of movies
where Leno cameos making a joke or two as someone watches
his show. Leno is interviewed and tells the honest truth
about the comedy in the film as well as what he thought when
he read the script. There's also clips in non-anamorphic
widescreen (the interview parts of Leno are in full frame)
of the Leno bits. Good stuff. It lasts over eleven minutes.
The Effects is in full frame and features clips
from the movie as well as some behind the scenes material.
There are interviews with the effects guy and they talk
about doing certain things in certain scenes with effects.
They also show how some things were done. I found it a
little boring, but it will be interesting if you're into
this kind of thing. It lasts seven minutes.
Our last featurette is "Back At The Ranch" that is
broken up into sections. It features a good amount of
interviews with the cast and crew as well as others, with
clips from the film and behind the scenes shots. This pretty
much gives good information about making the movie, and I
liked it the best of all the featurettes. It's also the
longest, lasting a nice twenty-eight minutes.
Rounding the disc out is the Theatrical Trailer in
anamorphic widescreen and two channel sound, as well as a
Cast and Crew Filmographies, though Eastwood is the
only real crew member, while the writers are listed.
What took so long for this disc to come out? I admit I
was anticipating it for a good time. Either how, Warner
delivers a top notch presentation with a good array of
extras. This is a good, fun movie that everyone should
enjoy. Highly recommended.
(4/5 - NOT included in
NOT an average)