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Now for the bad part....this movie definitely deserves a better DVD than this. It is widescreen, but not enhanced as it should be. But worse...the picture has areas where it almost appears as if it is being projected against a dirty screen. Other areas of the movie are blurred...amplified when viewed in a large format.
I can't NOT recommend this DVD...only because it is the only one available of this film. But I sure wish someone would do the movie justice.
It boasts a cast of actors that never quite made it big, all turning in excellent performances: Elliott Gould, James Brolin, Brenda Vaccaro, Sam Waterston, Hal Holbrook, Karen Black, Telly Savalas, you even get O.J. Simpson in one of his finest minutes.
I get a big kick out of films made in the '70's. The mens fashions were priceless. Those wonderful suits, ties, and haircuts ! What a hoot it all was.
A favorite scene is the one with Sam Waterston on the cliff, and the crop-dusting plane chase is fabulous. The Jerry Goldsmith soundtrack is terrific, as is Bill Butler's cinematography. Though there are lapses in the script, I give this five stars for being one of the most entertaining and best B movies out there.
I could never get the DVD to play in the proper aspect ratio on my new Plasma TV unless I played it in "windowbox" format. It irritated me.
Finally I stumbled upon this 2008 Special Edition (which I didn't know existed until January 2011). This version has a cleaner picture, plays in proper aspect ratio on my widescreen TV, and has a very enjoyable Director's Commentary.
The premise and execution of this film might seem a bit dated and hokey to contemporary audiences, but this film was a product of the 1970's American cynicism and mistrust of the government, and it was VERY relevant in its day.
It is still my favorite Peter Hyams movie (with "Narrow Margin" running a very close second) and for me it holds up well 32+ years after its release.
If you are wanting to buy this movie, pick up the 2008 Special Edition for its enhanced widescreen presentation and bonus content. There is a movie-only Blu-ray edition that was released in the UK (and maybe Canada), but I'm told the picture quality isn't enough improved to justify the expense.
In the Director's Commentary, Hyams readily admits that this film is not and was not intended to be all that plausible. But the concept was a fun idea and came on the heels of a period in our history when we were tired of being lied to by our government (sounds familiar, eh?).
It is meant to be entertainment, first and foremost. To pick it apart for its implausibility is to miss the point.
A fun drinking game to play when watching it is to count the number of Barbra Streisand husbands and ex-husbands in the cast.
O.J. Simpson has a supporting role (with few lines) in this film. At one point during a scene where's he walking through the desert, I could swear I heard him say "I'd KILL for a drink of water".
At the beginning of this movie, three astronauts (played by James Brolin, Sam Waterston, and O.J. Simpson) are pulled from a space flight destined for Mars. There was something wrong with the life-support system. The director of the space program (Hal Holbrook) says that they can't afford for the flight to be cancelled, so the three astronauts are coerced through threats to go through with a fake landing filmed on a closed base.
A reporter (Elliot Gould) talks with a friend (Robert Walden) who claims there is something mysterious going on with the flight. Immediately after this revelation, the friend disappears with no trace of him having ever existed. The reorter begins a quest to find out what is going on.
Meanwhile, the now unmanned spaceship burns up on re-entry. This means that except for the three astronauts and few head people in the space program, everyone else thinks they're all dead. This leads to the exciting last half of the movie.
A similar conspiracy theory (held mostly by extreme nutcases) revolves around our own moon shots, but this movie makes the plot an extremely good way to pass a couple of hours.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The film tells a fictitious story of NASA and an attempt to hide a major flaw in the heat shields on a manned flight to Mars. Fun cast, silly story but mostly entertaining.Published 8 days ago by Heidi
one of the silliest movies from the big studios of the seventies is finally on blu ray!. the picture is far better than the dvd too. As for the movie it's just very silly. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Michael Dobey
Wow! I saw this movie when I was a kid and I thought it was fun then and that's what it is now. Conspiracy just allows the what if story to take place. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
The entire movie met my expectations great suspence, very good dialogue, I felt as if I was watching a film that was made last year! And it was released in 1978! Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
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