Friday, October 28, 2016

Sci Fi Top 100, #73: "The American Astronaut" (2001)

Movie Stats:
Released 2001 (USA)
American, in English
Director - Cory McAbee
Stars - Cory McAbee, Rocco Sisto, Gregory Russell Cook

Plot Summary:
It’s a space western musical in which trader Samuel Curtis (McAbee) sets out on a mission that will earn him a big payday. Sisto co-stars as Professor Hess, Curtis’s frenemy who’s on his tail, and Cook as The Boy Who Actually Saw a Woman’s Breast (yes really), who’s part of Curtis’s get-rich scheme.

Minor violence; blue language.

Bad Stuff:
It’s utterly absurd. Whether or not you find that entertaining is entirely subjective.

Character development is poor. It’s a movie full of caricatures rather than a movie full of people.

It sort of feels like what would happen if a bunch of guys who’ve known each other a really long time got together and made a film. “Wouldn’t it be funny if we did XYZ?” “Haha, totally, man, write that down!” In the vein of, say, “Pineapple Express,” only more ridiculous.

Good Stuff:
I really liked the visual effects and cinematography. It’s clear that they didn’t have much money, but they found inventive ways around it so that in the end it looks cool rather than cheap.

It’s funny. I can’t really explain how it’s funny. There were times when I was laughing and I had no idea why. Some of it was just so wacky (like the “Hey boy!” scene in the bathroom) that all I could do was laugh.

It made me uncomfortable in the best sort of way.

The Verdict:
I honestly can’t believe I’m saying this, but I loved this film. I was skeptical until the opening credits began to roll. Then, as I laughed through the sequence, I knew everything was going to be okay. It’s certainly a very strange movie. I know a lot of people who wouldn’t like it at all. Personally, I found it compelling. One of the rare times that something was really weird without being off-putting. In fact, I was so intent on it that I didn’t hear a timer go off in the next room! My pizza spent an extra five minutes in the oven (it turned out browner than I like but still edible). I really wish someone else I know would watch this so I could hear what they think about it.

I give it 4.25 stars.


Patricia said...

I'm scratching my head, here. I've never heard of this movie. And it's from 2001 and on a list, so I feel like I should have. I've just checked and the library does not have a copy, so it looks like it won't be me who is watching it so we can talk about it. I'm intrigued, though.

balyien said...

I'd never heard of it before either. It's not the most obscure movie on the list, but it's in the top 5, I think. I had to rent it on iTunes to watch it. I couldn't find it anywhere else.