"The realism of this film has to be seen to be believed."
“Space Cowboys” is one of the most awesome SF films I have seen in many years. And it’s not awesome because it is over-the-top SF, but because it is so well grounded in reality.If you haven’t read the blurb on the back of the DVD, or seen any previews (as was in my case) I found the title misleading. Actually, I expected to see a movie like "Battle Beyond the Stars,” a B-grade SF flick that has camp things like a spaceship with breasts. And, the title" Space Cowboys" made me think of George Peppard's character named cowboy in "Battle Beyond the Stars." However, I was totally surprised that “Space Cowboys” was nothing like “Battle Beyond the Stars.”
“Space Cowboys” is realistic because the director had consultants from NASA advising him on all aspects of the space sequences. In fact, we learn from the documentaries on the DVD that an astronaut who saw the film said that it seemed real. And that must be why I thought the space sequences were like watching a very very clear telecast of a real mission. (We also learn that the space suits were an exact copy of the NASA ones, they were made of the same material, and some of the parts were interchangeable - not working like the real ones, of course, but they would fit.) Also, pilots will really enjoy the film because of the piloting sequences.
The DVD, even though it lacks a director’s commentary has brilliant documentaries.
The full version of the Jay Leno sequence is especially good. Leno adlibs the interview part (as he does in reality). In one documentary, Leno said that he just treated the actors as if they were real astronauts and interviewed them accordingly, and that after a while the audience was able to believe it.
There are a lot of other interesting little tidbits on the DVD documentaries. For example, we learn that there is a close up of a digital Clint Eastwood outside the shuttle (he is in a space suit so all we see is his face.)
The sound is excellent and, if you have a surround sound system, you will enjoy the take off of the shuttle. The sound coming through the subwoofer shakes the room.
I was disappointed with the DVD Rom content only because the feature on the space mission didn’t work as the site is still under construction. I assume this will be finished soon.I think you will love this film. See it.