In Movies on October 3, 2009 at 6:29 pm

One of those movies about the making of a movie — only this movie is an epic disaster, a massive overbudget wreck like Waterworld or Ishtar, one of those movies that kills careers and is a punchline before it ever hits theatres.  This film-within-a-film is about one of mankind’s early space launches, one of the ones where we sent a monkey up in a capsule.  This image is meant to symbolize the poignancy of man’s condition, a smelly animal with noble dreams.  The movie features a real rocket, real footage from space, A-list stars, a cast of thousands.  But of course, one thing after another goes wrong — the rocket explodes on the platform, the succession of monkey “stars” develop deadly hemorrhagic fevers or are simply unmanageable prima donnas, etc.  The main character is the screenwriter, a dorky, overenthusiastic guy who sells his script and then gets steadily pushed aside and humiliated during the filming process.  But after everything goes wrong and A-listers quit, he gets bumped back up and actually directs the end of the film, which, it turns out, is not that bad.


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