February 13th, 2016


We Need Kate, We Need Leo, And We Need Them Now

Valentine's Day Weekend -- Sunday is the 14th.

So, what romantic movies are on Friday night?

TVLAND had Love, Actually.

But TCM, after Tootsie, ran Kramer Versus Kramer. And followed that with... The Deer Hunter. (grin)

Yup. Love is in the air...

Marooned (1969)
Turner Classic Movies

Earlier tonight I ran into the movie Marooned. Great book by Martin Caidin, who was one of my favorite authors in the 70s. This was a huge, big budget Apollo era space movie. Excellent NASA and USAF support. Hell, they even used a real Apollo command module as a set, to say nothing of being faithful to the main story in the novel. (They skipped Pruett's backstory, which is the other half of the book.)

Loved this film. Still do. But...

The visuals in space have always bothered me. And don't tell me it's just dated, that it was the late 60s. I've seen 2001. And zero gee is affected by moving... slowly...

And there's technical issues. The Apollo moved the wrong way when the hatch blew. Why are they hearing the beeping representing the Soyuz? And where are its solar panels? The X-RV cockpit, and especially that absurd canopy hatch, were clearly Hollywood. Some technical issues were done to minimize confusion, but to someone who knows, they seem to have conjoined the launch and mission controls, though they used both sets. And goodness knows, the jargon of the launch procedures was there.

And then there's this:
In 1991, Marooned was redistributed under the name Space Travelers by Film Ventures International, an ultra-low-budget production company that prepared quickie television and video releases of films that were in the public domain or could be purchased inexpensively. As Space Travelers, Marooned was mocked on a 1992 episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, becoming the only Academy Award winning film ever to receive the MST3K treatment.
Yeah the cut version is incomprehensible.

Still, as an advance on Skylab, Apollo-Soyuz, and even the Space Shuttle, it's worth seeing. Besides, it's Gregory Peck. And you get to watch Gene Hackman go nuts in space. (grin)

Down in my office, I have a copy of the original novel, which is Mercury based. The one I read As a teen was the updated Apollo version. Alas, it will be months before I get back to my office...

Dr. Phil