Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Shuttle Discovery |
Actor: Curtis Brown
Genres: Television, Documentary
Very glad I rented this first
The Cheshire Cody | Tarrytown, NY | 03/27/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"The space shuttle is one of the most spectacular machines man has ever created, and a launch is mind-blowing. An HD-DVD of a shuttle mission should rock my geeky world, right? Um....
The launch on this mission is shown a few times, twice from the same angle, and every time it is a ho-hum experience. The audio, which is a big part of the experience, is either obscured behind some ghastly New Age music, or the boring and distractingly over-enunciating narrator. The actual launch is edited and chopped up, but there are several minutes (yes, minutes!) of unedited footage of the shuttle so far away from the camera that all you can see is the flare of the engines in the camera.
Why harp on one part of the mission? Because it is a perfect indicator of the mis-steps taken by the director. We get mini-biographies of each astronaut on the flight, but no idea of their personalities. Some of them we never even see speak. The timeline jumps all over the place, from the launch to pre-launch to training to pre-docking inspection to the post-landing press conference - then back to the launch, then forward, then back again. I doubt there is anyone watching this who has zero knowledge of the space program, so there is no need to define EVA for the viewer, or explain why astronauts train for outer space underwater.
To be fair, there is some great footage here. The External Tank cam is pretty cool, as is the footage shot by one of the crew of the ET falling away from the shuttle. The aforementioned shuttle somersault, astronaut Stephen Robinson pulling the gap-fillers, the close-ups of the shuttle underbelly during the inspection - all satisfied my craving, but they were few and far between. The interviews with Alan Shepard's daughter are interesting, to a point, but they don't replace the virtually non-existent interviews with people who were actually involved in the mission - or even in the space program.
The HD content is virtually 100% from the ground, and is of all the wrong things. Do I really need to see the NASA chiefs in HD, when almost all of the footage from the actual mission is SD? The audio mix is meager, at best. The ostensibly 5.1 surround elicited virtually no response from my rear speakers, or the sub; the DTS-HD was almost exactly the same, and neither had any "oomph." Extra features? A promo spot for other HDnet productions. If they're all like this, no thanks."