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[personal profile] krpalmer
It took me what seemed like quite a while to find an evening open enough to watch a three-hour-plus movie, but I finally managed to watch The Right Stuff. I had read Tom Wolfe's book long before and believe to some extent that it helped reshape the "idea of astronauts" in popular culture (and for a sense of the "previous idea," I often think of 2001's bland, well-adjusted characters), but somehow had never quite got around to watching the movie until I saw a DVD of it in a bin of them, and thought "well, I'm already getting three movies from here, I might as well get a fourth..."

For somebody already familiar with Apollo 13 and Tom Hanks's TV miniseries "From the Earth to the Moon," the world shaped on-screen in The Right Stuff felt somehow "stylized," almost exaggerated for effect at times quite comedic. On the other hand, I can imagine how someone having seen The Right Stuff in the 1980s might see those productions from the 1990s as somehow "too reverent." Conscious of the movie's "stylized" history, I was able to contemplate moments like Gus Grissom basically freaking out on splashdown without the annoyance I've seen others (for who he seems pretty much a martyr) display. However, John Glenn reentering the atmosphere seems more interesting to me in Wolfe's book itself.

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