THE GOAL FOR 2018: 200 MOVIES WATCHED BY MIDNIGHT NEW YEAR'S EVE!  (AFTER TOPPING OUT AT 194 in 2017)

CAN HE DO IT?

THE WEBER MOVIE COUNTDOWN

​​THE WEBER MOVIE COUNTDOWN

STARFLIGHT: THE PLANE THAT COULDN'T LAND (1983)

#190 is the 1983 TV-movie Starflight: The Plane that Couldn't Land. Why this? I read a recent AV Club interview where they spoke to Hal Linden at length about some of the various roles he's played over a career. One of them was about Starflight where he played the designer of the plane (which was designed to fly thisclose to space without actually crossing the threshold into space). His reply was "ah yes, I end up in a coffin in that one." He mentioned that several times... about ending up in a coffin and I wondered what he was alluding to. The premise of the film is that, due to some space debris, the inaugural flight of Starflight indeed ends up in orbit. And stuck. The space shuttle Columbia makes three trips - THREE TRIPS - within hours, which is impossible. One of those trips includes getting designer Linden, on board the ship, into the shuttle and back to earth to figure out a solution. How does one do that? Well, there's a coffin on board in the cargo hold. Everyone knows that coffins are airtight, right? So they put Linden in the coffin and the astronauts spacewalk him over to the Columbia. This film is full of ridiculous stuff including a space-tunnel from the plane to the Columbia in another ill-fated attempt to rescue the passengers. Lee Majors is the captain who reads his lines from the instrument panel (according to Linden, he taped his script on it, out of sight of the cameras). Lauren Hutton, Robert Webber, Ray Milland, Robert Englund and even little Kirk Cameron round out the cast. So I found out why Hal Linden kept talking about ending up in a coffin, but at the expense of 105 minutes I'll never get back.

TLA one-word review: hokey