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Rebirth of Reason

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Sunday, March 11, 2007 - 11:01pmSanction this postReply
Maybe when it comes out on DVD...

This is an old story:
Gary Hudson, the Percheron and the Conestoga, here:

and Robert Truax (engineer of the Polaris missile) here:
 Truax turned to a small "Volksrocket" design for sub-orbital space tourism flights. Funding was never available in the amounts needed to develop the project, and although the engine was test fired and a mockup built, the design never flew.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Truax

... which led to a movie and TV show called Salvage 1 with Andy Griffith:
Plot summary for "Salvage 1" (1979) ...  Harry runs a salvage operation, in which he and his partners reclaim trash and junk and sell it as scrap (or as other things). Harry also has a home-made spaceship which he sometimes uses to reclaim junk satellites. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0078681/plotsummary

And, of course, there are the Rutan Brothers, Orville and Wilbur ... I mean, Robert and  Dick ... whose SCALED COMPOSITES company has succeeded in several astonishing feats, from a non-stop, around the world flight to a sub orbital rocket launch, and now working with Richard Branson...
OSHKOSH, Wis. --July 27, 2005-- Today, Sir Richard Branson (Founder, Virgin Group of Companies) and Burt Rutan (President, Scaled Composites) announced their signing of an agreement to form a new aerospace production company to build a fleet of commercial sub-orbital spaceships and launch aircraft.

Much like the Avengers or James Bond, you have to take the fiction with a grain of salt and consider the consequences of making a commercial movie in Hollywood, where bootleg romanticism exists in the interstices between naturalism and cynicism.

We have our own copies of Wall Street, Boiler Room, and Other People's Money. ... not exactly Atlas Shrugged... I have Space Cowboys and The Right Stuff in my own aviation film library.

Over and Out,
Your Captain,
Mike Mercury

Post 1

Monday, March 12, 2007 - 6:49pmSanction this postReply
I liked the movie.

Post 2

Friday, March 16, 2007 - 5:05amSanction this postReply
It was a fun movie about a man with the vision and drive to realize a fantastic dream and in light of the private space efforts of Burt Rutan, Robert Bigelow and others, the film was not completely farfetched. We have a review of it in the April 2007 issue of The New Individualist.

Another interesting fact: Geyer Kosinski, the film's executive producer, is one of the producers on the Atlas Shrugged movie.  

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Post 3

Saturday, February 8 - 1:56pmSanction this postReply

Just watched this movie for the first time, a few days ago, as research for an idea for a story I'm writing (the "why" of what motivates daredevils and risktakers),  and couldn't help but think of this review, which I had read back then.

Luke, you were spot-on.

Like Luke, I REALLY wanted to like it; I REALLY did. Like Luke, I had personal reasons for doing so. But, unlike Luke, I am not a scientist/engineer, and have a thing for myth and fantasy as metaphor, so I was willing to let go of the "Realism" part of Romantic Realism to do so.

But the reality STILL got in the way.

I wouldn't know so much about the scientific failings of the story, but the psychological/sociological points alone were enough to kill it for me. I realize that this wasn't an "Objectivist" story, but it doesn't take an Objectivist to point out that the character's disregard for safety, finance, and family were simply less-than-heroic. (I suppose there is a parallel that could be made between Charlie Farmer and Nat Taggart, who was said to let no man stand in his way, with stories about his violence towards those that did, but Nat Taggart was not John Galt, either.) I DID like the Farmer's antipathy towards psycho-analysis of ambition as neurosis, in an abstract way; yet, the character DID display some traits that were less-than-sane. And, while I had a personal resonance with his monologue/metaphor about space in relation to his father's death (my personal connection/reasoning for wanting to like the movie), his behavior and example set towards his own family was simply not right. (And the inheritance that solved all the problems? Talk about your "deux ex machina"...)

At least, for my story's sake, it wasn't a loss, because I learned what NOT to do. (And it did provide insight for secondary characters. ) But I would have liked to have liked on its own terms. Like Luke said, there were ways that this could have been done right. But, "it is what it is."




(Edited by Joe Maurone on 2/08, 2:17pm)

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Post 4

Thursday, April 10 - 8:57amSanction this postReply

An old Andy Griffith television movie and series called "Salvage 1" offered me more inspiration.  In retrospect, I can still see why government agents expressed disdain for a commoner building and launching a potentially devastating rocket in an urban area.  But it was a fun show.


(Edited by Luke Setzer on 4/10, 9:00am)

Post 5

Monday, April 14 - 3:19pmSanction this postReply

a farm is an urban area? - how droll.............
that villege would be like a Titusville......

Post 6

Tuesday, April 15 - 7:34amSanction this postReply

The Andy Griffith junkyard show was in an urban area, Robert, not the farmer movie, though both featured government agents trying to protect public safety from dangerous missiles launched by amateurs.


Even the Chinese government acted like amateurs here:



(Edited by Luke Setzer on 4/15, 8:12am)

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