Richard Linklater is the acclaimed director of films like Boyhood, Slacker, SubUrbia, and the Before trilogy. He seems like an unlikely choice to helm a goofy movie about a pre-teen boy who inadvertently becomes an astronaut, but that’s only one of the mysteries raised by this strange first trailer for Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood.
There’s a lot to take in here, but let’s start with the ludicrous premise that NASA has accidentally built the lunar model smaller than they intended. It’s so flawlessly ‘80s—Apollo 10 1/2 could be the perfect companion piece to the 1986 movie Space Camp, in which a well-meaning robot launches a shuttle full of kids into space—except Apollo 10 1/2 is clearly set in the ‘60s. My next big question is, why has Linklater decided to use the same rotoscopic animation as he did in his 2006 movie, A Scanner Darkly? There, the uncanniness of the visuals arguably matched the sci-fi dystopian story, but for a movie about a bunch of families leading an idyllic life in ‘60s suburbia, it’s quite off-putting to see.
Also, maybe the kid doesn’t even go into space? Here’s the official synopsis:
“Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood tells the story of the first moon landing in the summer of 1969 from two interwoven perspectives – the astronaut and mission control view of the triumphant moment, and through the eyes of a kid growing up in Houston, Texas who has intergalactic dreams of his own. Taking inspiration from Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Richard Linklater’s own life, Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood is a snapshot of American life in the 1960s that is part coming of age, part societal commentary, and part out-of-this-world adventure.”
Starring Milo Coy, Lee Eddy, Bill Wise, Natalie L’Amoreaux, Zachary Levi, and Jack Black, Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood will (blast off and then) land on Netflix on April 1. Hopefully, it’ll earn a prequel about the NASA workers who assemble the module and slowly realize with growing horror and nausea, something has gone terribly, terribly wrong.
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