Chair Force Engineer

Monday, February 19, 2007

Born Under the Sign of Capricorn

Dwayne Day expresses his thoughts about the upcoming movie Capricorn Two at The Space Review. The idea has some promise, but I have little faith that Hollywood would get it right.

I own the original Capricorn One on DVD and I share most of Dr. Day's observations. I loved the chase scene between the biplane and the two helicopters. I thought Telly Savalas gave the most inspired performance in the movie. Most importantly, I appreciated the irony of O.J. Simpson being on the receiving end of the murder.

There are plenty of avenues that the director can take with Capricorn Two. We live in an era similar to the one in which Capricorn One was released. The national attitude towards its government is cynical and suspicious, and it would be foolish for the director to downplay this in the final movie.

Then again, important changes since 1978 also need to be captured. I like the idea of replacing the "intrepid reporter" with a blogger, especially given the growth of "do-it-yourself journalism" and the decline of print and broadcast media. Also, a Mars mission made sense in the aftermath of Apollo's successes, but a faked lunar return mission is more relevant to our times. I'd also add commentary about the need to maintain the charade in order to maintain jobs at The Cape, and how the charade is necessary because we're less capable of going back to the moon today than we were in 1969. After all, my generation has seen the space program defined by two disasters instead of a highly-visible achievement like the moon landing.

Plenty of cameos are also in order. Sam Watterston, who played one of the astronauts in the original before his defining role in TV's "Law & Order," should prosecute the villains in Capricorn Two. Christopher Walken should play the biplane pilot, because Christopher Walken is awesome, and because he (like Telly Savalas) played a James Bond villain in the past.

While I have hope that a loose remake of Capricorn One could be an excellent movie, I'm not holding my breath.