Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Apollo 13 |
Actors: Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, Kevin Bacon, Gary Sinise, Ed Harris
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama
Universal Apollo 13 (HD-DVD) — Nominated for nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture, "Apollo 13" is now available in incredible High-Definition DVD. Produced by Academy Award winner Brian Grazer and directed by Oscar w... more »
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Don't buy anything but the Special Edition DVD
tropic_of_criticism | 02/06/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Others have remarked well enough on the virtues of _Apollo 13_ as a film. What makes the Special Edition DVD worth its purchase price, however, are the tons of extras that you get. The story of the making of _Apollo 13_ is at least as interesting, if nowhere near as harrowing, as the actual moonshot itself, and this DVD gives you hours of material to walk you through that process. Anyone who's interested in filmmaking will be riveted by both the Ron Howard running film commentary and the hour-long "Making of" documentary. Perhaps even more intriguing is the Marilyn and Jim Lovell audio track, in which you get to hear how Lovell feels about Howard and Hanks made his movie. This is made all the more interesting and informative for the filmmaking student in that _Apollo 13_ wasn't just the retelling of Lovell's real-life experience, it's also the film version of his book. Getting his perspective both as narrative object and storyteller is fascinating, as are Marilyn's observations on Kathleen Quinlan's Academy-nominated performance. Combine all this with the superb technical brilliance of the encoding here, and you've got a DVD that's entirely worth the surprisingly modest price."
Good movie, good extras, nice price
K. Gittins | CA USA | 05/16/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Failure is not an option!". So says mission-control director Gene Kranz, played by Ed Harris, as mission control devises a way to get the astronauts safely home. Although initially viewed as a disaster (explosion in spacecraft which forces cancellation the the moon-landing mission), in reality it is a story of success due to resourcefulness. The astronauts must return to earth and splash down safely with only enough electrical power to run a coffee pot.Probably the best of director Ron Howard's movies, it is well acted by stars Tom Hanks (as Jim Lovell), Kevin Bacon (Jack Swigert), and Bill Paxton (Fred Haise) as the three space-bound astronauts, Gary Sinise (mission-bumped astronaut Ken Mattingly), Ed Harris (mission control Gene Kranz), and Kathleen Quinlan (Marilyn Lovell). The movie was nominated for 9 Oscars including best picture, writing, supporting actor (Harris), supporting actress (Quinlan), music, and visual effects, and won for editing and for sound. There are a lot of special effects thoughout the movie, including the entirely-recreated lift-off sequence from a bird's-eye viewpoint. The weightlessness scenes were achieved by filming in a KC-135 airplane that did a series of parabolic climbs and dives, allowing about 25 seconds of filming at a time.An exciting 220 minute movie about one of the most-watched successful rescues in history, the DVD contains a good "making of" documentary, a commentary by director Ron Howard, and another by Jim and Marilyn Lovell. "Bill Paxton's home movies" were never located, and the "comparison with NASA footage" and the "extensive exploration of special effects" were brief parts of the "making of", not separate items. Text-based production notes and cast/crew blurbs, and a trailer. Undocumented feature is the isolated score which plays in its entirety at the main menu (can skip forward, but not backward, however). The 2.35:1 wide-screen movie has 56 (!) chapters. Highly recommend for fans of any of the actors listed above, the space program, or adventures in general."With all due respect, sir, I believe this will be our finest hour" - Gene Kranz"
A fine release with a few wrinkles
A. J. Thomas | Ohio | 04/15/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"First off, this is easily a five-star film. It's handsome, taut, and thoroughly engaging.
For picture and audio quality, this Blu-ray is obviously superior to prior releases. There is moderate film grain to the transfer, giving it a natural feel. The special effects (i.e. the launch sequence) receive the greatest benefit and the clearest visuals, but on the whole the film is beautifully rendered and, for these benefits, the Blu-ray is worth picking up.
I do concur, however, that this disc has some slight issues. It takes too long to load -- I timed it at roughly two minutes on my slim PS3. This is mildly annoying but comparable to other Universal and Disney releases. I was more annoyed that after waiting for the BD-Java to load, selecting "English," waiting for more loading, waiting for the menu to animate, and selecting the film that I was treated to a "social BLU" splash page asking me if I wanted my Facebook status updated. What aggravated me was that this admittedly brief interruption occurred after I had already selected to play the film, and it would seem that it will occur every time I choose to do so; it was an unwanted and, in my opinion, rather lame attempt to add "interactivity," if having your Blu-ray player post that you're watching a film on your Facebook wall can be considered as such. I would rather that this option could be turned off BEFORE I select to watch the film, and that this setting could be saved. Additionally, advertisements for other Universal products pop-up in the background of the menus, presumably for "shopping convenience" but really an irritating marketing gimmick. These so-called bonuses serve to make the general experience of navigating this disc feel very clunky.
Overall, the content in this package (which carries over most of the content from the last two-disc DVD) is fantastic, but the design of the disc's menus and bonuses suffers from baffling and annoying gimmicks that are mildly aggravating but hardly ruin the experience; you'll forget about the hiccups once the film starts and you're engrossed. If you are a fan of the film and have the necessary equipment to benefit from the technical improvements in this release, it is highly recommended.
But, Universal? In the future, either streamline your gimmicks or leave them off the disc. We purchase these to watch the films, not to update our social networks."
For Audiophiles: The DTS is worth the Money
TobyMan@purdue.edu | Purdue University | 02/26/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Everyone knows that Apollo 13 is a well written and directed movie (Ronny Howard). What everyone may not know is that the DTS audio track transfer from the Video master to the DVD is excellent. With nice speakers and a subwoofer, DTS makes this movie worth the price. AC-3, having to compress the audio more than DTS on the DVD disc, the Dolby Digital just doesn't sound as good. Period. The rumbles of the lift-off are clean and tight - they are not just a low "buzz" or vibration. The high's in the dialog are much crisper and give the audience the sense they are sitting right there next to Tom Hanks and Kevin Bacon. DTS does a much better job with the surround channels as well. What moves around the rear with AC-3 Dolby Digital, REALLY moves around the room with DTS. Transitions are smoother and the sound "flows" around you. The one problem? The cheapest DTS decoder (needed to watch DTS DVD's) is a Technics for 300 bucks. I say that the DTS decoder and the DTS movies by Amazon are well worth the money for even the small home theater guru."