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Trailer Blazer: 'The Astronaut Farmer'

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Bbt_lAm I the only one who thinks Warner Bros. really needs to make it clear in the trailer for The Astronaut Farmer (which opens Feb. 23) that Billy Bob Thornton’s character—a farmer named Charles Farmer, who’s preparing to launch himself into space with a homemade rocket—actually has a degree in aerospace engineering and isn’t just a cowboy in midlife crisis? Knowing that he’s a former Air Force pilot whose dream of joining NASA’s astronaut training program was attainable until some kind of “family situation” ended it a decage ago could make the movie’s set-up somewhat believable. Right now, even my mother, who regularly watches The Dog Whisperer, isn’t buying it. And phoned me to ask why the movie got made. I’m all for small-town legends, but when you’re talking about a self-proclaimed astronaut—as opposed to a guy who just built a baseball diamond on his cornfield—we need a reason to believe that we’re not coming to see a suicide mission. (Although, how else could they end this thing?)