Thunderbirds

Thunderbirds

4.2 8
Director: Jonathan Frakes

Cast: Bill Paxton, Anthony Edwards, Sophia Myles

     
 

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Directed by Jonathan Frakes and based on the '60s British television series of the same name, Thunderbirds chronicles the intergalactic exploits of the Tracy family. Set in 2010, the world looks toward the mysterious Tracy Island when mere international security is not enough; the remote South Pacific island not only houses former astronaut and lifelongSee more details below

Overview

Directed by Jonathan Frakes and based on the '60s British television series of the same name, Thunderbirds chronicles the intergalactic exploits of the Tracy family. Set in 2010, the world looks toward the mysterious Tracy Island when mere international security is not enough; the remote South Pacific island not only houses former astronaut and lifelong entrepreneur Jeff Tracy (Bill Paxton) and his five sons, but also serves as headquarters for the top-secret International Rescue organization. The unthinkable happens, however, when an insidious criminal mastermind known only as "The Hood" (Ben Kingsley) manages to get past the island's innumerable security measures and attempts to take over International Rescue. His goal: stealing the organization's five most advanced rescue vehicles, each of which was designed to accomplish a specific task, and using them for his own agenda. With Jeff and his four eldest sons deployed on a mission, there's only one person with any hope of stopping the takeover -- Jeff's youngest son, Alan (Brady Corbet), who vows to save his family and keep the Thunderbirds alive.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Greg Fagan
Full disclosure: The notion of a live-action movie based on the 1960s British kids' show Thunderbirds seemed desperately bad at first, perhaps because we were still unclear on the distinction between marionettes and the “supermarionettes” that producer Gerry Anderson employed in his various adventure series. The mental image of class acts Bill Paxton and Anthony Edwards going all herky-jerky in service of their no-doubt-significant financial obligations just turned one’s stomach. The gastric upset seems to have been widespread, as Thunderbirds tanked in the theaters and drew mixed reviews, at best. The film, though, deserves much better: Spectacularly produced, it is every bit as entertaining as the Spy Kids movies and targeted to the same audience. At the story’s center is the Tracy family, headed by single dad Jeff (Paxton), a former astronaut who leads an international rescue operation from his island paradise -- jetting out with his four sons in way-ahead-of-the-curve craft to all manner of disasters. But when the evil Hood (Sir Ben Kingsley) and his henchman hijack the island after stranding Tracy and his boys in space, the only one who can save the day is Alan Tracy (Brady Corbet), the youngest son, who demonstrates throughout the film that he’s not quite up to the task, yet. Fortunately, he’s teamed with his nerdy pal Fermat (Soren Fulton) and the lovely young Tin-Tin (Vanessa Ann Hudgens), a Tracy employee who -- like her uncle, the Hood (don’t ask) -- demonstrates a knack for telekinesis. While the three kids attempt an end run to reclaim the island, Tracy family friend and femme fatale Lady Penelope (Sophia Myles) and her chauffer/pilot/manservant, Parker (Ron Cook), try a frontal assault, but they all wind up in the walk-in freezer. It’s standard adventure fare, and the outcome’s never in doubt, but getting there is often quite fun, especially when Lady P and Parker grace the screen, zipping about in a stretch Ford Thunderbird convertible that turns into a jet or speedboat as necessity demands. As for Anthony Edwards…well, he’s a great sport, portraying Brain, the speech-impeded genius behind the Tracy’s toys, who also happens to be Fermat’s dad. Director Jonathan Frakes, Riker from Star Trek: The Next Generation, moves the film along at a crisp enough pace to keep kids riveted, draws suitably earnest performances from his actors, and elicits some tongue-in-cheek laughs. It would be a shame if the disappointing returns on this creative investment failed to yield further films, because this is decent family fun and a franchise that’s ripe for more ambitious story lines.
Barnes & Noble - Donald Liebenson
There's this nice moment near the beginning of Thunderbirds in which the gleefully evil mastermind, the Hood (Ben Kinglsey), uses his superior, telepathic mind to bend another character to his will: "Like a puppet on a string," the Hood laughs. If only! This wholly inexplicable live-action film is based on Gerry Anderson's 1960s-vintage "Super-Marionation" series. This is Thunderbirds in name only, with no strings attached. The result more closely resembles Spy Kids, or in this case, "Rescue Kids," as a plucky, pre-teen trio with much to prove races against time to save the members of International Rescue, whom the Hood has marooned in space. The idea is to leave them up there and then employ the squad's space-age Thunderbirds rescue craft to rob the world's biggest banks. Bill Paxton stars as billionaire Jeff Tracy, who, from his remote island, heads International Rescue with four of his sons. Brady Corbet costars as Alan, the fifth and youngest son, who resents being left behind while his older brothers are dispatched around the world whenever trouble strikes. Joining budding hero Alan are his geeky, bespectacled best friend, Fermat, and TinTin, a girl with a surprising connection to the Hood. As in the TV series, the movie gets a big kick from the formidable, pretty-in-pink Lady Penelope (Sophia Myles), the Tracys' go-to girl on the ground. Ben Kingsley is a hoot as the Hood, who has a score to settle with Tracy and insidiously fiddles with Alan's loyalties. Fans of Spy Kids and Agent Cody Banks will find the PG-rated Thunderbirds a definite "go!"
Boston Globe - Ty Burr
When all is said and done, the movie's a steaming plate of corn -- and, indeed, that's part of the pleasure. [Sophia] Myles, though, delivers a fine comic performance with no strings attached.
San Francisco Chronicle - Peter Hartlaub
A fun afternoon for preteen moviegoers that has just enough charm, humor and game- for-anything actors to keep parents halfway interested as well.
Dallas Observer - Bill Gallo
This special-effects-crammed action blockbuster is not rocket science. It's more like rocket fun.

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Product Details

Release Date:
12/21/2004
UPC:
0025192625923
Original Release:
2004
Rating:
PG
Source:
Universal Studios
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:35:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; The Ultimate Action Sequence: go behind the scenes and get in on the action; Secrets of Tracy Island: access top secret rehearsal and design footage; Fab1: More Than Just a Car - get an in-depth look at the development of this amazing car; Lady Penelope's Pink World: explore accessories and gadgets; Lady P. and Parker: fun and stunts; Music video performed by Busted; Feature commentary with director Jonathan Frankes

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Bill Paxton Jeff Tracy
Anthony Edwards Brains
Sophia Myles Lady Penelope
Ben Kingsley The Hood
Brady Corbet Alan Tracy
Soren Fulton Fermat
Vanessa Hudgens Tin-Tin
Ron Cook Parker
Philip Winchester Scott Tracy
Lex Shrapnel John Tracy
Dominic Colenso Virgil Tracy
Ben Torgeson Gordon Tracy
Deobia Oparei Mullion
Bhasker Patel Kyrano
Rose Keegan Transom
Debora Weston Teacher
Lou Hirsch Headmaster
Alex Barringer Excited Kid
Demitri Goritsas News Anchor
Genie Francis Lisa Lowe
Kyle Herbert Know It All Kid
Johannes Zadrozny Panhead
Nicola Walker Panhead's Mother
Harvey Virdi Onaha
Stewart Howson Engineer
Mark Nelmes Ice Cream Man
Julian Spencer Henchman
Andy Smart Henchman & Oil Rig Worker
Nick Glennie-Smith Conductor

Technical Credits
Jonathan Frakes Director
Tom Aitken Stunts
David Allday Art Director
Marit Allen Costumes/Costume Designer
Lucy Allen Stunts
Joceline Andrews Makeup
Nick Angel Musical Direction/Supervision
Effects Associates Special Effects
Shaheen Baig Casting
Terry Bamber Asst. Director,Production Manager
Roderick Barron Camera Operator
John Beard Production Designer
Graham Bebbington Animator
Nikki Berwick Stunts
Tim Bevan Producer
Nicholas Bond Stunts
David Bunting Animator
Jo Burn Co-producer,Executive Producer
Peter Cavaciuti Camera Operator
Raymond Chan Art Director
Liza Chasin Executive Producer
Chris Clark Co-producer,Executive Producer
Gary Connery Stunts
Ben Cooke Stunts
Trevor Coop Camera Operator
Paul Corbould Special Effects Supervisor
Talila Craig Stunts
Gabe Cronnelly Stunts
David Cronnelly Stunts
Paul Cross Art Director
Clive Curtis Stunts
Tatiana Cuvelier Asst. Director
Stuart Doig Animator
Tamsin Dorling Makeup
Eric Fellner Producer
Elizabeth Finch Musical Arrangement
Neil Finnighan Stunts
Glenn Foster Stunts
Walt Fowler Musical Arrangement
Brendan Galvin Cinematographer
David Garrick Stunts
Renata Gilbert Makeup
Andy Godbold Stunts
Tommy Gormley Asst. Director
Matt Gray Art Director
Alice Grinomet Asst. Director
Jaques Harter Asst. Director
Debra Hayward Executive Producer
Peter Hewitt Original Story
John Hill Art Director
Gary Hoptrough Stunts
Mark Huffam Producer
Martin Hume Camera Operator
Rob Inch Stunts
Paul Inglis Art Director
Rowley Irlam Stunts
James Foster Art Director
Ruth Jenkins Stunts
Vincent Keane Stunts
Peter King Makeup
Adam Kirley Stunts
Maurice Lee Stunts
Sue Lefton Choreography
Laurent Levy Asst. Director
Paul Lowe Stunts
Tony Lucken Stunts
Tom Lucy Stunts
Justin Martin Special Effects Supervisor
Tina Maskell Stunts
Michael McCullers Screenwriter
Kim McGarrity Stunts
Claire McGrane Producer
Jo McLaren Stunts
Rod McLean Art Director
Peter Miles Stunts
Stephen Morahan Art Director
Suzette Moriarty Musical Arrangement
Mark Newman Stunts
Ray L. Nicholas Stunts
William Osborne Original Story,Screenwriter
Daz Parker Stunts
Sue Parkinson Makeup
Bean Peel Stunts
Sarah Pickering Makeup
Stuart Rose Art Director
Janine Schneider Makeup
Gordon Seed Stunts
Mary Selway Casting
Mark Silk Camera Operator
Philip Sindall Cinematographer
Juliette Stern Production Manager
Tom Struthers Stunts
Peter Talbot Camera Operator,Cinematographer
Gareth Tandy Asst. Director
Rocky Taylor Stunts
Paul Turcotte Production Manager
Martin Walsh Editor
Vincent Wang Stunts
Julia Waye Asst. Director
Fiona Weir Casting
Des Whelan Camera Operator
Lucy Willis Makeup
Julia Wilson Makeup
Petrona Winton Makeup
Leonard Woodcock Stunts
Jeremy Woodhead Makeup
Hans Zimmer Score Composer

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Main Titles [3:50]
2. The Son Left Behind [6:49]
3. No Shortcuts [4:11]
4. Playing by the Rules [4:06]
5. Thunderbird Five Hit! [5:04]
6. Activating Mount Olympus [5:48]
7. Taking Over [6:06]
8. Escaping the Hood [3:04]
9. Dangerous Mission [7:38]
10. Establishing Communication [3:34]
11. No "I" in Team [4:40]
12. The Arrival of Lady Penelope [5:07]
13. Cooling Off [7:12]
14. Unexpected Visit [4:56]
15. An Act of Courage [4:16]
16. Saving Lives [6:55]
17. Earning the Honor [2:31]
18. End Titles [8:35]

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