This movie proves that Hollywood can make great family movies. I just saw an advanced screening of this movie in AZ and must say it was fantastic. The Polish brothers (writers, producers, directors, stars, fathers of stars) and Billy Bob Thornton were in attendance for a Q&A after the film and were quite interesting. They said this movie cost $12 million dollars to make and was done as an independent. The movie shows how a family can come together to accomplish a task and achieve a dream even when the full weight of the Gov. comes against them. No matter which side of the political aisle you are on you will find the timely shots at the government funny. This movie will hit all your emotional buttons. Support the INDEPENDENT film makers! GO SEE THIS MOVIE! By the way the two little girls who star as Billy Bob's kids are the daughters of the Polish bothers.
The Astronaut Farmer (2006) 720p YIFY Movie
The Astronaut Farmer (2006)
The Astronaut Farmer is a movie starring Billy Bob Thornton, Virginia Madsen, and Bruce Dern. A NASA astronaut (Thornton), forced to retire years earlier so he could save his family farm, has never given up his dream of space travel...
IMDB: 6.32 Likes
The Synopsis for The Astronaut Farmer (2006) 720p
Texan Charles Farmer left the Air Force as a young man to save the family ranch when his dad died. Like most American ranchers, he owes his bank. Unlike most, he's an astrophysicist with a rocket in his barn - one he's built and wants to take into space. It's his dream. The FBI puts him under surveillance when he tries to buy rocket fuel; the FAA stalls him when he files a flight plan - it's post-9/11, after all. His wife is angry when she finds out their bank is initiating foreclosure. Charlie fears failure and decides, precipitously, to launch. Are twenty-first century American dreams just a sign of insanity? Are those who believe in dreamers only fools?
The Director and Players for The Astronaut Farmer (2006) 720p
The Reviews for The Astronaut Farmer (2006) 720p
Family movie wins again!Reviewed bypostalincopaVote: 10/10
I've heard of "suspension of disbelief" before, but this is ridiculous! "The Astronaut Farmer" features one of the loopiest, looniest premises ever to grace a mainstream American movie. A middle-aged rancher named Farmer (you know a movie's heading into seriously pretentious waters when it starts dispensing heavily allegorical names to its characters), has decided to fulfill his lifelong dream of flying into outer space. To this end, he has single-handedly constructed a fully functioning rocket that, in the real world, would require an army of NASA engineers and millions of dollars in government money to put together. Heck, for sheer grandiosity and technological ingenuity, Farmer's homemade rocket makes Ray Kinsella's backyard baseball stadium look like erector-set kids' stuff in comparison.
In a film shamelessly bucking for the "feel-good movie of the year" stamp-of-approval, Farmer is obviously intended to be an inspirational figure, a little man with a Big Dream who is determined to make that dream come true at any and all costs and despite the seemingly insurmountable odds stacked against him. Yet, even in a fantasy film, the dream has to have some connection with reality, some degree of plausibility to make us believe in it to the same extent that the character does. Unfortunately, in "The Astronaut Farmer," we find ourselves more often siding with the derisive skeptics and cynical killjoys from NASA, the FBI, and the nearby town - who, of course, are portrayed as the villains of the piece - than with Farmer and his preposterously supportive family who already seem to be living on another planet anyway (which tends to negate the need for any such trip in the first place).
Indeed, questions of mental balance are never far from our minds when we see Farmer (well played by Billy Bob Thornton) bankrupting his ranch to finance his quest and dragging his 15-year-old son and two pre-pubescent daughters out of school so that they can function as his Mission Control team of "experts," who are going to be responsible for not only launching him into space but returning him safely back therefrom (not too much undue pressure there, eh?). And what are we to make of the fact that Farmer is so obsessed with fulfilling his own dream that he's willing to go on this potential suicide mission with the distinct possibility that he will leave his wife a widow and his children without a father? In his reckless disregard for the consequences of his actions, Farmer goes well beyond the harmless Quixotic crackpot that the script intends him to be and becomes a genuine threat to the lives and safety of himself and those around him. Even his wife (Virginia Madsen), who is portrayed as a relatively clear-thinking, level-headed pragmatist, is really little more than an enabler who, instead of putting the brakes on her husband's obvious foolishness, encourages him to ever more dangerous heights of certifiable insanity.
The actors - Thornton, Madsen, Bruce Willis, Bruce Dern, Max Thieriot - do what they can with what they've been handed, but the screenplay by Mark and Michael Polish is so filled with sappy, a-guy's-gotta-dream inspirational speeches and cued-up musical crescendos that we feel worked-over and manipulated from first moment to last. The movie does look terrific, however, with director Michael Polish and cinematographer M. David Mullen using the wide open spaces of the rural western landscape to impressive effect.
I know that we're not supposed to take this movie all that seriously, that we are expected to check our credulity at the theater door for the duration of the movie, then pick it up on the way back out. But even a fantasy film has to make some sort of reasonable compact with its audience and "The Astronaut Farmer" asks us to accept far too much on sheer goodwill and faith alone. Yet, you know a movie isn't working when, instead of rooting for the protagonist to succeed in his adventure, you find yourself hoping that some trained, licensed professional will step in and perform an intervention on him before he does serious injury to himself and his loved ones.
I have been a great admirer of the Polish Brothers' work in the past - "Twin Falls Idaho," "Northfork" etc. - but "The Astronaut Farmer" is a fool's mission that should never even have been brought to the launching pad, let alone cleared for take-off.
I saw this wonderfully charming family movie tonight at a free preview in Washington, DC.
The Polish brothers and the Warner Brothers, taking a cue from Walden Media, have hit the family movie sweet spot with this fun, engaging film. I'm giving it an 8 on the basis of pure solid family entertainment value.
(If this movie were a car it would probably be a Toyota Camry)
At the start of the screening, Billy Bob Thorton proudly (and accurately, IMHO) characterized this film as a feel-good Frank Capraesque popcorn flick - the sort of film that would have been on the "A" side of a double bill back in the days of his youth.
Billy Bob and Virginia Madsen do terrific jobs with their characters. I think the timelessly beautiful Ms. Madsen is particularly effective as Farmer's patient, loving, and somewhat exasperated wife.
(and if I were Stephen Colbert interviewing Billy Bob Thorton, I would probably ask this question - "Virginia Madsen: hot co-star, or *the hottest* co-star?").
The story and the arc of the film bring strong elements of "Field of Dreams" and "October Sky" to mind; but absent the mysticism of the former and the somewhat dysfunctional family dynamics of the latter. As a large, tasty helping of pure western Americana I don't doubt for a minute that this film will be a huge hit in Japan.
This movie pays light homage to films like "The Right Stuff" and "Apollo 13." Space fanatics, rocket scientists, and other members of the pocket-protector crowd might experience a few "oh please, you've got to be kidding" moments, but because of its charm, likable characters, and strong acting, this movie requires a lot less disbelief suspension than a film like, oh I don't know, let's say "Armageddon," for example.
Speaking of baby-boomer asteroid wranglers, I was also pleasantly surprised to see Bruce Willis in a small, but key supporting role. I think it's really great when skilled, immensely watchable actors lend their talents to bright young film makers. At the Q&A after the film it was revealed that Bruce took the role as a favor to the Polish brothers and that he essentially worked for free. It was nice of him to do that.
All of the other members of the well-casted supporting ensemble (including some young members of the Polish tribe) delivered solid performances as well.
I won't give you a synopsis of the film here (others are better than me at that sort of thing); but I will tell you that I plan to take my wife and 4, 7, and 12 year old kids to see this film for the pure joy of watching a fun, happy, and slightly quirky movie together as a family.