DON'T JUDGE THIS HORRIBLE VIDEO BY ITS COVER!
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Like the other films released by this company, I bought this DVD and was apalled to learn that this is simply re-packaged OLD NASA FILM with a misleading new cover. These 1960's-70's-era films are garbage, with bad picture, bad sound, and narrators so terrible that you expect to hear a projector start skipping, just like when you were a kid in elementary school. Shame on this company. There are many excellent space videos out there--and this IS NOT ONE OF THEM."
Classic for the 'Space Program' fanatic -only!
Edward J. Nowak | Essex Jct., VT USA | 10/18/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD is a collection of NASA's orginal 'propoganda' films on the US manned space program. These are the films you may have seen during a science class in 1963-6 (presumably when your science teacher needed a break). A retrospective view from 1999 makes these films look low-tech and corny, however for those who lived through these times they are a reminder of the very different world view ('Free World') then about. Anybody with a serious interest of fondness of the early space age will value this DVD as a collector. For the rest of you, this DVD may be quite boring! I, however, am ordering the remainder of the set of five."
From the NASA propaganda archives
(2 out of 5 stars)
""You and your fellow astronauts follow the test program closely," the narrator drones on as the first of four NASA films is played out. "Freedom 7" starts us down a long, and often tedious journey through NASA history with America's first man in space, Alan B. Shepard. "The Voyage of Friendship 7" follows chronicling John Glenn's orbital flight. These two films are almost carbon copies of one another, except that in the second the narrator and the background music have loosened up, slightly. Mercifully, these two elements are silenced during the final countdown and first couple of minutes of each flight. With Shepard's suborbital flight I got the feeling that I was following him from liftoff almost to splashdown, although the actual trip lasted three times as long.The third film, "The Four Days of Gemini 4," gives us a glimpse of America's first spacewalk. The narrator is different, the monotone is not. The few minutes of Edward White's adventure are mundane by today's standards, but they were nothing less than Star Wars at the time. I found the few seconds of private reentry conversation between White and James McDivitt somewhat interesting. "Set back and relax. You ain't gonna do much about it from here out." White returns to his "public" voice when he knows the radio blackout has ended.The last film begins with what seems to be an aborted launch, but is actually a practice. "Gemini VIII, this is Houston Flight" focuses on ground support and recovery and almost neglects the mission itself. It's one of the few times where mission control voices are actually in sync with the person on film.These are vintage NASA films and the video quality must be judged accordingly. Also, this being propaganda, nothing bad ever happened during that time, so the fact that the Gemini VIII docking nearly ended in tragedy is downplayed significantly. Also, it is noted that Glenn returned with his retro pack attached, but no mention is made that the nation waited and prayed because it was not known whether or not he would burn up on reentry.Madacy Entertainment's "extras" are pathetic. There are four astronaut bios, two of which have nothing to do with this video. There are three mission summaries and one page on the Mercury capsule. All of this is in print too small to be comfortably read. The film clip stated on the jacket to be George Melie's [sic] film "Voyage de la Lune" is actually 30 seconds each from William Cameron Menzies' "Things to Come" (1936) and Georges Melies' 1903 silent "Trip to the Moon." Both of these titles are noted IN the video, but Madacy obviously never watched it. And there are five "challenging" trivia questions (and answers if you get them correct.) The challenge here is to figure out why the DVD shuts down altogether while in the "game."Especially worthless is the scene index. Of the eight choices not one leads to the beginning of a film. (One can be accessed by keying the correct number on your remote. This exception is obviously accidental.) This is one of the more useful features of DVDs but Madacy clearly hasn't a clue.These films are as interesting as a history lesson. Which is to say that if you enjoy history of this kind you might like this disk. Otherwise, forget it."
Gabriel E. Travesser | Northeastern New Mexico | 02/04/2004
(1 out of 5 stars)
"As with ALL of Madacy's productions, I found this to be, as one reviewer here said I might, BORING. I lived through the history of NASA presented in the DVD, and was expecting much more than a poor patchwork of stock footage, loosely connected by tepid narration."