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Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood Ending, Explained

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If cinema is one of the few art forms where you have to use more than one sense to experience it, then Richard Linklater’s ‘Apollo 10½: A Space Age Childhood’ demands that you immerse yourself completely. And really, it’s not that hard to do. The film is set right on the zenith of the space race and revolves around the 1969 Apollo 11 Moon landing, told through the perspective of a boy. ‘Apollo 10½: A Space Age Childhood’ is inspired by Linklater’s own childhood in the Houston area and those of his friends and family members. In this way, the plot is incredibly exclusive. It is the mission to the Moon aspect that makes the film truly universal. Here is everything you need to know about the ending of ‘Apollo 10½: A Space Age Childhood.’ SPOILERS AHEAD.

Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood Plot Synopsis

Visually, the animation in ‘Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood’ resembles Linklater’s own works, ‘Waking Life’ and ‘A Scanner Darkly,’ but it is much more playful here than in the older two films, reflecting its narrative. The film begins at the playground of the Ed White Elementary School in El Lago, Texas, in the spring of 1969. The narrator of the plot is Stanley or Stan (Jack Black). His younger self (Milo Coy) attends Ed White, where two men in suits and sunglasses approach him.

They take him to a secret location and tell Stan that his country needs him. They are apparently from NASA and have built a smaller than standard lunar module, in which only a boy of Stan’s age and size can fit. As the space race has heated up, they need to test their machines and calculations one last time before the Apollo 11 Mission. So, they have decided to use the smaller module and send a boy to the surface of the Moon.

Stan, being pragmatic and all, asks why they are not sending a chimpanzee instead. One of the NASA officials (Zachary Levi) exasperatedly tells Stan that between the chimpanzee and him, he knows more words of the English language. NASA is apparently impressed with a “few” of Stan’s science reports and the fact that he has won not one, not two, but three consecutive annual Presidential Physical Fitness Awards. After Stan agrees, the other NASA official (Glen Powell) tells Stan that everything about the mission will be a secret. Stan’s training will start at the end of the school year under the pretext of him going to a summer camp. He can’t obviously tell anyone about this, including his family.

Right when Stan is about to throw up during his training, the plot shifts and the focus is suddenly on his home life. The film heavily depends on the narration. It is the driving force behind the plot. The older Stan reflects on his life in the late 1960s. His father, like many adults in the neighborhood, works for NASA. He is the head of the shipping and receiving at NASA, while Stan’s mother attends grand school and takes care of the family.

Stan is the youngest of six siblings. He has three older sisters — Vicky, Jana, and Stephanie — and two older brothers —Steve and Greg. Stan’s father is incredibly frugal and often ends up becoming a source of embarrassment for his children. We are introduced to a remarkable assortment of other character groups — people from Stan’s neighborhood, his grandparents from both sides, his father’s colleagues, Stan’s friends, and other members of his baseball team, to name a few.

Amidst all this, in one of the turning points in American history, Stan and his siblings grow up. The film spends nearly 50 minutes exclusively exploring various facets of Stan’s and his family’s lives before returning to that moment when he throws up. Older Stan claims that he went to the Moon in secret in a mission called Apollo 10 ½ while the rest of the world waited with bated breath as the day of the Apollo 11 mission approached.

Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood Ending: Does Stan Really Go to the Moon? Does the Apollo 10½ Mission Really Take place?

Stan is our window to this beautiful world that Linklater has created. It just happens to take place against the backdrop of one of the most important eras in human history. We see the first-ever Moon landing unfold through the eyes of a boy with a fertile imagination. He hears the talks of everything that is happening around him and absorbs it like a sponge before letting it all out in the sphere of his own creativity. During one of the lazy days at the playground in front of his school, Stan weaves a reality in which he has been approached by two government agents, asking him to step up when his country needs him.

Stan spends his time at Camp Grizzly, an outdoor camp outside Lake Traverse, Michigan, thinking about the training of the astronauts. He has read about it enough and heard about it enough to have a superficial idea of how everything happens, so he envisions himself training for his upcoming launch. He even imagines traveling to Moon and back. After all, space travels have already happened multiple times before, but that recreation in his mind lacks the details of his other imaginations. It is only when he witnesses the journey of Apollo 11 on television, the void in his imagination gets filled by the information he receives. This includes the landing and Neil Armstrong’s walk on the Moon.

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No, Stan really doesn’t go to the Moon, nor does the Apollo 10½ Mission really takes place. He is the representative of millions of people all over the world who watch as the moon landing takes place and pictures themselves inside Armstrong’s suit. The moon landing wasn’t just an important milestone in terms of history and science, it also expanded the scope of our collective imagination. In the American context, it was the culmination of the prosperity and progress that the country has experienced since the end of World War II.

While the film is teeming with nostalgia and wistfulness for a bygone era, it doesn’t shy away from depicting the other prevalent issues of the time — from the Vietnam War to the assassinations of several political leaders to the Civil Rights Movement. However, as Older Stan admits, he grew up in a suburb, and all those aforementioned things didn’t really exist for most of them beyond the news programs on TV. The only exception is Vicky, the eldest of the siblings. She is quite aware of the state of the world at large and seems to have formed a political opinion significantly different from her Conservative parents.

Stan and his other siblings only become bothered with politics when people appear on TV and criticize the Apollo 11 Mission as excessive for a country that could have spent the money on things closer to Earth. Stan and the others get irritated by these opinions, and their feelings are then conformed by their parents’ dismissal of the critics. But even Vicky, who agrees with the critics, looks on with wonder and hope as Armstrong descends from the module. Like Stan, she, too, perhaps imagines herself walking on the Moon.

Read More: Best Movies of Richard Linklater

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Movie Reviews

Are Max and Yasmine From Lovestruck High Still Together?

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As its name suggests, Prime Video’s ‘Lovestruck High‘ takes a bunch of eligible singles from the United Kingdom and puts them straight into an American High School setting, complete with a principal, homeroom teacher, and sports coach. While attending classes and going about a high-schooler’s daily routine, the contestants are tasked with finding a partner for the end-of-year prom. However, not everyone will get the chance to attend the prom, and only one’s actions can decide if they are to be expelled next.

Max O’Dwyer understood the meaning of love at first sight when he came across Yasmine Rabeea in season 1 of ‘Lovestruck High.’ The 23-year-old Brentwood-based personal trainer seemed utterly smitten with Yasmine, 25, who earns her living as a model in London. Surprisingly, the 25-year-old seemed to reciprocate Max’s feelings, and the two even attended the first homecoming dance together. Nevertheless, with cameras now turned away, fans want to know whether the couple is still together. Let’s find out, shall we?

Max and Yasmine’s Lovestruck High Journey

Interestingly, Max seemed interested in Yasmine right from the beginning when the contestants were being introduced to each other. Moreover, unlike most others, who decided to keep their options open, Max was quite fixated on chasing Yasmine and even told Geoff how the model’s personality and characteristics were precisely what he wanted. However, the homecoming dance was almost upon them, and the contestants had very little time to pick out a perfect partner. Thus, Max decided to gather his courage and talk to Yasmine in order to get to know her better.

Surprisingly, their first meeting took place in a library, and Max mentioned that he was not a regular sight in such an establishment but had to pop in because of Yasmine. Nevertheless, their meeting went quite well, and the two seemed to have a lot in common. Besides, Max even asked Yasmine to attend the homecoming dance with him, and she happily accepted. Later she even turned down a dance request with Huss since she had already said yes to Max.

While talking about Max, Yasmine mentioned that he is her type, and she does find him extremely cute. Moreover, she also revealed how the pair of them get all gooey and lovey-dovey while talking to each other. Although some might find such a relationship cringy, the London-based model explained how she found the feeling to be quite adorable and refreshing.

While at the homecoming dance, Max and Yasmine cozied up to each other, and their brilliant chemistry was pretty apparent. They also stood out as one of the few genuine couples who did not have their eyes on anyone else. Although Yasmine mentioned that she never kisses on the first date, the couple got lost in each other and ended up sharing a passionate kiss. Moreover, their relationship flourished further in the following episodes, and fans speculated that they might go all the way.

Are Max O’Dwyer and Yasmine Rabeea Still Together?

Unfortunately, ever since filming wrapped, Max and Yasmine have preferred to keep their personal life under wraps and haven’t revealed much. Both follow each other on social media and have maintained a friendly relationship with the rest of their castmates. Yet, they have rarely interacted with each other in the public sphere.

These days, Max seems to be busy with his profession as a personal trainer, while Yasmine is enjoying life in the French capital. Thus, although we would love to be proven wrong, it seems like Max and Yasmine could not make their relationship work and are now living independent lives.

Read More: Are Jeff and Chante From Lovestruck High Still Together?

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Movie Reviews

Who is Baksa? Where is Cho Ju-bin Now?

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Netflix’s ‘Cyber Hell: Exposing an Internet Horror’ is a Korean documentary about the dangerous and despicable problem of online sexual exploitation of women. The documentary features interviews with journalists and authorities who worked towards cracking down on the people responsible for hosting these images and videos on chatrooms online. In March 2020, their efforts were rewarded with Cho Ju-Bin, the notorious ringleader also known as Baksa or The Doctor, being arrested. So if you’re wondering what happened to him since then, we’ve got you covered.

Who is Baksa?

In 2019, the authorities heard of someone using the online alias Baksa who was blackmailing women online. After posting on Twitter saying he would offer part-time jobs for modeling and escorting. Once unsuspecting women replied, he would direct them to a Telegram group which would allow him to get information like names, phone numbers, addresses, and photos. After that, Baksa would blackmail them with the data.

As a result, the women were made to record themselves doing increasingly degrading and even violent sexual acts. Baksa would later post the pictures and videos in chatrooms on Telegram, where members would pay up to $1200 to view them. The authorities said that most women and girls had run away from home and would use social media to trade online sex for money.

As per the documentary, Baksa had a watermark on the photos and videos as a way for people to know it came from him. He even referred to the women as “slaves.” The people on these chatrooms would pay for it using cryptocurrency, which Baksa would convert to real money. It was reported that he received around 18 million won as part of the blackmailing and exploitation ring.

The investigators eventually identified Baksa as Cho Ju-bin, a 24-year-old college student at the time of his arrest. Back then, he was the editor of the newspaper at a college in Incheon, South Korea. In one harrowing incident, Cho forced a 15-year-old girl to meet someone to perform sexual acts on him. The authorities believed that the online network he ran blackmailed at least 74 women, including 16 teenagers between May 2019 and February 2020. Of these, Cho was believed to have exploited 17 women.

Where is Cho Ju-bin Now?

After Cho was arrested in March 2020, he was presented in the media and said, “I apologize to those who were hurt by me. Thank you for ending the life of a demon that I couldn’t stop.” In November 2020, Cho was found guilty of violating criminal and child protection laws by making and releasing pornography and running a criminal organization. He was initially sentenced to 40 years before an additional five years were added in February 2021 for concealing criminal proceeds.

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In June 2021, Cho’s sentence was reduced to 42 years after reaching out to survivors during the appeal process. However, he was still required to wear an ankle bracelet for 30 years after his release and was banned from being around schools or working at children-related facilities. There was controversy in February 2022 when a blog sprung up with Cho’s name. In it, the writer, claiming to be Cho, stated that some of the victim statements were untrue. It was promptly blocked. Recent reports have indicated that Cho remains incarcerated at Seoul Detention Center in Gyeonggi Province, South Korea.

Read More: Who is Godgod? Where is Moon Hyung-wook Now?

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