Welcome to Season 4 everybody. Are you excited? Cause I sure as hell am! A bit of pre-movie trivia this film is the only film to have been given an Academy Award and also featured on MST3K. Not kidding it won an Oscar for Best Visual Effects and was also nominated for Best Cinematography and Best Sound. I usually don’t agree with the Oscars so lets just jump in. Speaking of the film this is yet another Film Venture International release. It’s original title was Marooned and the opening sequence is just a bunch of random 3-D imagery. Also Gene Hackman is in it. And directed by…John Sturgers….Director of The Magnificent Seven and The Great Escape…one of my favorite movies of all time…I am actually kind of excited now! We see some ducks and a spaceship gets ready to launch. They launch and it looks realistic. That’s cause its stock footage. Now I’m getting some Stranded in Space flashbacks as we see our characters sitting in their suits in the cockpit. There’s a lot of footage of them getting rid of stuff and confirming stuff. Our characters chat a bit and we see some of them in space doing stuff.
They talk about doing the whole seven months in space and it seems positive. There are some minor issues, but nothing is perfect. The failures are enough to make them want to bring them down, but it fails. They are stuck in orbit now and running out of oxygen. They estimate they’ll run out within 2 days. This is already a kind of dull movie. There’s just a lot of repeating dialog and talking this limited activity. It doesn’t help that there is no music. Score really helps out movies and now I feel like taking a nap. There are a lot of space shots as everyone talks amongst themselves about eating food. There’s a sub plot about a hurricane coming over Cuba…I guess that’s a thing. Cut to a boardroom scene where they try to launch another ship. Honestly I’m with the guy who says they shouldn’t try. It costs a lot of money and they could lose more than 3 lives. I know nothing about rocket science, but what if the ship crashes after take off or explodes in orbit? They talk to the astronauts and recommend they lower the oxygen. The guy on Ground Control requests they fall asleep to use less oxygen. There’s some driving and we see people working on a rescue mission. Back in the ship they turn off a bunch of stuff to use less power I guess.
One of the guy’s brother and we get some character development I guess. Back on the ground the astronaut’s wives and they talk about goodbyes. The wives talk to their husbands about varying topics. Family, insurance, projects to work on, letters from the president, and the fact that they love them. Gene begins to freak out and they…do nothing. W see they have 60 seconds till launch, but they cancel due to weather. So that was up with the hurricane sub-plot? So Gene gives them a thanks, but the message gets cut off. The main man of ground control has an interview, but has an epiphany after he sees some numbers. Then the storm just passes. The man on GC talks with the astronauts and it’s really just talking about how they might end of dying. The captain gets mad and starts demanding launch times. There’s about a two hour gap between launch and actually getting to them. In this scene the astronauts are taking to one another, but they’re all breathing on their microphones so there’s a loud sound of breath. The short film I made in English class had better sound quality! And I didn’t have a mic! They talk about killing someone for less oxygen. Kill Gene. He’s breathing the most and using the most oxygen. He even acknowledges this so the captain says he’s going to go out and try to fix the engine. Despite the fact that earlier the man on GC told them to not do anything. The captain removes himself and tears his suit. He dies and the others have to watch as he drifts off into the great unknown.
I know this is meant to be tragic or something cause the captain sacrificed himself, but Gene should have died. He WAS using the most oxygen. We still hear them breathing on the mics and it’s annoying as all hell. The other man up there gets pissed at Gene for using more oxygen. Exactly why they should have let him die. A rescue ship comes up and they’ll be saved in six minutes. Considering that we have 15 min means this’ll be a long 6 minutes. MY god did no one see that breathing into the mic that happens for the last 20 minutes as a sound issue in post production!? They get out of the ship and are rescued by a Russian ship. Gene leaps to the Russian, but he misses and starts drifting.
The American ship flies by to the ship of our heroes and he manages to save Gene. One lengthy and boring sequence later and the Americans are saved. The End.
We begin with The Great Crowdini attempts to escape, hanging upside-down, from a set of chains while a cannon is pointed at his head. However Crow loses the key. Next skit Crow reveals the secret to his escape. Which is chewing his own head off. The invention exchange is the Dollaroid, a camera that puts pictures on Money. The Mads have Tissues with Faces. Both are funny and the Bots point out its uselessness. In the second skit Joel and the Bots lists the ways the space program has influenced everyday life. Most are a little bit of a stretch. Kinda funny at first. Middle skit is the SoL crew reenacting a scene from the movie. Crow begins getting to into his roles so Joel drags him away for some quiet time. Kinda funny. Next skit is Joel contemplating what would happen if one of the SOL crew had to sacrifice themselves in space. The Bots point out that he’s the only one who has to deal with this breathing problem. That’s pretty hilarious. Joel fakes out Gypsy while playing fetch and demonstrates a magic trick for Crow and Tom, “Find the Finder of Lost Loves”. The Bots end up frustrated and confused by his pop culture references.
This is a pretty funny episode, but a disappointingly bad movie. I loved Magnificent 7 and Great Escape is one of my favorite movies of all time. This film lacked a major thing that those movies have. It’s character. I didn’t give a crap about any of them and I didn’t care who would die. In Great Escape I wanted to see everyone escape and were saddened about the deaths. Also it lacked music and that really hurt the film. It was dull and boring without any sound in the extended sequences. Then again this is coming from the guy who thought that 2001 was just all right. The jokes are funny, the skits are funny, and it’s a nice start to season 4.
Episode Rating – 7/10
Movie Rating – 2/10
Favorite Riff – Any time Crow mistakes James Franciscus for Tony Franciosa (this happens a lot), “We suggest you start breathing in shifts.”, “We’re kind of getting used to the idea of death. I told Stoney I love him.”
Stinger – Gene Hackman contemplate taking a pill.
Episode – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ax3q-RkVIt4
Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEpHyC72gss