Original NASA film of the Apollo missions to the moon
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 10/07/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD features four original NASA films covering the missions of Apollo 11, 13, 15, and 16, and I found the material quite interesting. A lot of people run Madacy Entertainment into the ground for putting out inferior DVDs, but I don't find this offering inferior at all. Certainly, the documentaries look grainy and old, and the sound is far from crisp, but that all comes from the fact that these are all original NASA films, and anyone who has ever watched Neil Armstrong's first step on the moon knows how bad the picture quality of these historic video recordings are. Madacy also does more than just throw the old films together for this release; included here are a clip of President Kennedy speaking about the space program, biographies of four select astronauts, mission summaries of three Gemini missions and a look at the Gemini capsule (which I admit is rather weird since this DVD covers only the Apollo missions), and a handful of NASA trivia questions. As for the featured content, you get four quite interesting presentations adding up to a little less than two hours of material. The Eagle Has Landed covers the launch, mission, and return of Apollo 11; many of these scenes are familiar, but who can get tired of watching man first set foot on the moon? The story of Apollo 13, Houston We've Got a Problem is both fascinating and inspiring. This was the mission that almost didn't make it home, having suffered a serious problem onboard en route to the moon. The feature film Apollo 13 starring Tom Hanks brought renewed attention to this story, which truly was NASA's finest hour, but nothing beats watching the tale unfold in reality. The missions of Apollo 15 and 16 are almost forgotten these days, but these missions provided the lion's share of data that man has collected from his lunar neighbor. Apollo 15: In the Mountains of the Moon is a real treat to watch. While the astronauts went about their business in a serious, commendable manner, they also had some fun. These guys were giddy all three days they spent on the lunar service, oohing and aahing almost nonstop. In addition to putting the moon rover to use for the first time, this mission also contributed more to scientific knowledge than any other. Apollo 16: Nothing So Hidden is in some ways quite similar to the Apollo 15 story, but here we have what are by far the best shots and video of the moon's surface.Both informative and entertaining, this collection of vintage NASA films makes for an excellent addition to any space enthusiast's DVD collection. It especially helps those of us too young to actually remember the Apollo missions to understand just how incredible, exciting, and monumental these manned missions to the moon really were."