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The Astronaut Farmer

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Product Details

  • Actors: Billy Bob Thornton, Virginia Madsen, Max Thieriot, Jasper Polish, Logan Polish
  • Directors: Michael Polish
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Closed-captioned, Widescreen, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: July 10, 2007
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JPLE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,680 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Astronaut Farmer" on IMDb

Special Features

  • How to Build a Rocket: The Making of The Astronaut Farmer
  • A Conversation with NASA Astronaut David Scott
  • Bloopers and outtakes
  • Includes both 2.35 widescreen anamorphic and 1.33 full-screen formats

Editorial Reviews

All systems are "Go" for Charles Farmer. He's faced bank foreclosure, neighborhood naysayers and a government alarmed by his huge purchase of high-grade fuel, but now he's ready to blast into space inside the homemade rocket he built in his barn. Just be home in time for dinner, Charlie. Billy Bob Thornton portrays Charlie in this charmer about chasing dreams...and about what it means to be a family. 10,000 pounds of rocket fuel alone can't lift Charlie into the heavens. He needs a launch/recovery crew, and he has one of the best: his wife (Virginia Madsen) and children, dreamers all. They have liftoff. Our spirits have uplift. Gravity cannot hold down our dreams. The Astronaut Farmer is that kind of movie.

DVD Features:

Customer Reviews

That just didn't seem very believable, even for a movie that requires a lot of suspension of disbelief.
The Rocketeer
So, it's a not really a bad movie, and I understand why some people like it, but there's something that just isn't there that would have made it a much better movie.
"The Astronaut Farmer" is a really good film about a family who lives a mutual dream, bringing them together, making them closer and more loving.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

75 of 84 people found the following review helpful By thornhillatthemovies.com VINE VOICE on March 7, 2007
Let's take a quick look at a couple of key elements of the new film "The Astronaut Farmer", starring Billy Bob Thornton, Virginia Madsen, Bruce Dern and Tim Blake Nelson.

Charles Farmer (Thornton) and his family live on a farm in a small town called Story, Texas. Farmer has dreamed of traveling into space and now uses the family's large barn to build a spaceship called The Dreamer. He has managed to convince his wife, Audie (Madsen) that he can do this. His son, Shepherd (Max Thierot) helps him build the spaceship and will presumably run mission control. Their two younger daughters are basically the cheering section and provide Farmer with a reason to live the dream.

Okay, so right away, "The Astronaut Farmer" has various telltale signs of a fantasy film or a tall tale. Charles Farmer, a farmer, lives in Story, Texas and builds a spaceship called The Dreamer. Clearly, "The Astronaut Farmer" is not a true story, a story based in reality. It is a fable, a story of dreamers, of hope. And a darned good example of this, a very good film for every one of all ages. Please go and see this film. It needs your support.

Written and directed by the Polish Brothers, Mark and Michael ("Twin Falls, Idaho", "Northfork"), you can see influences from each of their previous films in this new title. "Twin Falls" told the story of conjoined twins, played by the Polish Brothers, who fall in love with the same woman. A strange, but interesting film telling a unique story. "Farmer" has strange, but interesting elements combined into a very personal, almost beautiful story about a family pulling together to fulfill their dreams.

This strange film is surprisingly moving and effective.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Interplanetary Funksmanship on May 20, 2007
Format: DVD
A man wearing a spacesuit rides horseback across the sand dunes of a barren desert. He moves right-to-left, which spells trouble in movies' silent language. There, he finds a calf that has strayed from its mother, lying in the sand. With a firm but gentle hand, he returns the lost beast to the herd.

It's a scene whose incongruous visual elements reminded me of the 1968 sci-fi thriller Planet of the Apes. But this isn't some spaceman marooned in a strange place; it's the movie's earthbound hero, a Texan named Charles Farmer (Billy Bob Thornton). A graduate of the University of Texas aerospace engineering program and one-time member of NASA's astronaut program, Charlie left the space agency decades ago to run the family ranch after his father's untimely death. Yet, through all the years of operating the ranch and raising his own family, he hasn't let go of his dream of defying gravity.

In his barn, Charlie works obsessively, day and night, to build a rocket that may help him realize his dream. He models it after 1950s-era Atlas missiles, using salvage parts he buys on the cheap from rocket graveyards. His supportive wife, Audie (Virginia Madsen, enjoying a rewarding second wind onscreen), and their three kids get caught up in the daily up-and-down drama of his quest; indeed, his first-born, son Shepard (Max Thieriot), was named in honor of the first American in space, Alan Shepard.

However, their neighbors in the farm community regard Charlie as the town oddball, a frustrated man going through a bizarre mid-life crisis. There's even an ongoing bet among the locals as to whether he "will ever go up, or blow up.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By M. T. Stevens on May 21, 2007
Format: DVD
This movie was fantastic. I think what a lot of people are missing is that some movies, while not actually plausible, are meant to entertain. This is a work of fiction; it should be taken as such. As a result, it's a feel good movie with fantastic imagery that you can't help but love, so long as you take your "impossible" disposition out of the equation.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey T. Munson on October 26, 2007
Format: DVD
Billy Bob Thornton and Virginia Madsen star in this uplifting film about following your dreams and the importance of family.

Thornton stars as Charlie Farmer, a former aeronautics engineer and current Texas ranch owner. Charlie has a dream about going into space in a home-made rocket ship. Everyone thinks he's crazy, but his wife Audie (Virginia Madsen), along with the rest of his family support him completely. Time passes, and work has progressed on the rocket. However, things aren't going well financially for the Farmers. The bank has threatened to foreclose on the house, Audie's father (Bruce Dern) has come to live with the family, and the FBI and the FAA have staked out Charlie's house after he attempted to purchase 10,000 gallons of rocket fuel online. At a cost of $50,000, Charlie doesn't have the money for the fuel. So, he goes to his local bank, where he's turned down for a loan.

Meanwhile, a former astronaut friend of Charlie's (played by Bruce Willis) shows up at the house to try to dissuade Charlie from trying to launch his rocket. This attempt fails, and Charlie presses on. Later, a meeting is scheduled between Charlie and the FAA, and the FAA refuses to allow Charlie to launch.

Desperate and running out of time before the bank forecloses, Charlie decides to make his own rocket fuel and launch anyway. This turns into a disaster, as the launch goes terribly wrong. Charlie ends up in the hospital with numerous broken bones. Meanwhile, Audie's father has passed away, leaving a sizable sum of inheritance for the family.

After convalescing at home, Charlie decides he's done with space travel. Audie takes the money she inherited from her father to the bank to pay off the family's debts, but she changes her mind.
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