Apollo 13 (1995)

Apollo 13 (1995)This has been on my watch-list for sometime, and with one good reason – Tom Hanks of course added to that the iconic quote “houston, we have a problemone of those modern classics that have evaded me until now. I can safely say Apollo 13 (1995) was well worth the wait and anticipation. Depicting the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission of 1970, which begins with great hopes as Apollo 11 lands for the first time on the moon. Already the nations filled with euphoria having beaten the Russians in the space-race to reach the lunar rock in the heavens. For astronaut Jim Lovell (Hanks) he believes his next mission is Apollo 14 not ready for this one after an ill-fated flight that took all three men.

His team is soon brought in line for 13 taking place in 6 months time, the training begins and all hopes are with him and his crew. Everything is running smoothly for the crew as they train for the launch and other operations, and the all important landing back to Earth. Things start to go bad when two of the main crew are kept earth-bound when ones taken ill with measles, meaning that the back-up crew consisting of Jack Swigert (Kevin Bacon) and Ken Mattingly (Gary Sinise) whilst Fred Haise (Bill Paxton) is grounded and frustrated, his chances taken away from him, a decision that his commander didn’t take lightly.

The launch is successful, it’s all going so well until routine checks on day 3 spark things to change for the worst. No longer are they on course to the moon, but only to survive and get back home. The three men have to do all they’re told by Houston at NASA who themselves are searching for solutions to get their men down. Lead by Gene Kranz (Ed Harris) who does his best with a team who are doing their best to get them down to earth.

It’s tense for all in space, at Houston and at home, which focuses on the Lovell family who are left at the mercy of a small radio to know what is happening. The media who at first ignored the mission soon descend on a family whose future hangs in the balance. Director Ron Howard creates scenes that have become synonymous with world events, families around the TV which describe the events as they unfold. Between these three locations the tensions built. Of course we the historical events being retold on the screen, we know the outcome, it’s the pieces in between that bring it to life. It’s an all-American tale of a “successful failure” as NASA had only just proved to the world what they could do, pushing forward mankind, there are still dangers that lay before them, and have since with tragedies such as the Challenger disaster 1986. To further ourselves we must take risks that can be costly.

With Apollo 13 they were indeed very lucky, making the retelling of the events all the easier to tell, with our trusted every-man Hanks who holds the crew together when oxygen and moral is low. A classic tale of hope when despair could be around the corner. Showcasing some incredible special effects which have hardly aged even in comparison with films such as Gravity (2013). Both prime examples of the perfect blend of special effects and human drama. Only time will tell where Gravity will be positioned.



2 responses

  1. This is another great movie I’ve only seen once. But it IS great. Just very intense. I also remember when it happened for real … which makes it doubly intense.

    December 3, 2013 at 4:42 am

    • I probably wont see it again for a while, a TV rareity. I guess its quite an experience when events you lived through and remember are depicted/re-enacted on-screen, something that I am sure will happen time and again.

      December 3, 2013 at 10:22 am

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