Space Cowboys
(Click here for Internet Movie Database entry)

This is a sweet little film which shows off the talents of four old pros from Hollywood, Clint Eastwood, James Garner, Tommy Lee Jones and Donald Sutherland.  Not since Wilford Brimley, Don Ameche and Hume Cronyn strode across the screen in Cocoon has there been such a celebration of old guys who still have the Right Stuff. In Space Cowboys, the four aforementioned old guys were involved in the early days of supersonic flight but were passed over when the first astronauts were selected. They are called out of retirement to help fix an aging satellite and convince NASA that they have to fly up there themselves to fix it.  Since I am one of the few movie reviewers who has actually worked for NASA, I can say that at this point Space Cowboys loses any semblance of reality. But who cares. With these guys mugging their way into orbit, this is a very funny film. The younger members of the cast are visibly trying to act but the old guys seem to be just having a good time.  In case you were wondering, Tommy Lee Jones isn't actually on social security like the other three guys. He's only 54.  And his college roommate is the Democratic Party nominee for President. But I digress.  Joining the Over the Hill Gang in the cast are some other old pros, Blair Brown as a NASA doctor, James Cromwell in his now familiar role as the villain and Barbara Babcock as Eastwood's wife. Babcock is still looking good.  Diehard fans will remember her as Grace Gardner who bared all on Hill Street Blues. While all four of the guys are great, I have to say that Donald Sutherland wins the scene stealing contest. His character is amused and amusing through the whole movie. As well as starring, Clint Eastwood produced and directed Space Cowboys. He keeps the action moving along with the laughs. And he makes some effort to make it realistic.  I almost cried when they broke the Canadarm off the shuttle.  Only space nuts like me will notice the violations of orbital mechanics. And thank God for John Glenn. Like Eastwood, Jones, Garner and Sutherland, I too can dream of  flying on the space shuttle someday.