Monday, October 28, 2013

Capricorn One (1977)

Director: Peter Hyams

Writer: Peter Hyams

Composer: Jerry Goldsmith

Starring: Elliott Gould, James Brolin, Brenda Vaccaro, Sam Waterson, O.J. Simpson, Hal Holbrook, Karen Black, Telly Savalas, David Huddleston, David Doyle, Lee Bryant, Denise Nicholas, Robert Walden, James Sikking, Aland Fudge, James Karen

More info: IMDb

Tagline: The most important event in our nation's history...what if it never really happened?

Plot: Charles Brubaker is the astronaut leading NASA's first manned mission to Mars. Seconds before the launch, the entire team is pulled from the capsule and the rocket leaves earth unmanned much to Brubaker's anger. The head of the programme explains that the life support system was faulty and that NASA can't afford the publicity of a scratched mission. The plan is to fake the Mars landing and keep the astronauts at a remote base until the mission is over, but then investigative journalist Robert Caulfield starts to suspect something.

My rating: 7.5/10

Will I watch it again? Yes.

What a great flick!  It's a sci-fi thriller with three parts - the mission, the astronaut escape/survival and the reporter investigation and all three work nicely.  The cast is chock full of familiar faces and they all do a fine job.  I dig the obvious comparison of the conspiracy theory that the moon landings were faked.  You can't have a conspiracy with so many people involved stay hidden.  The logistics are staggering.  Screw that bullshit about the moon landing this is about landing on Mars.  CAPRICORN ONE is an effective 70s thriller with a great take on the genre.  The chases are fantastic.  The out of control car scene was intense and it felt pretty real (the sped up footage felt like it was the actual speed - it was different somehow).  The astronauts being hunted in the desert was fun and the helicopter/airplane chase at the end was well executed (and Telly Savalas was hilarious).  The only gripe I have is the slow motion at the end.  It was...uh, cheesy to say the least.  Aside from that I was pleased with the ending.  It's been a while since I saw this last and it's even better than before.  Hal Holbrook is amazing in this and you can't go wrong with a great Jerry Goldsmith score, right?

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