Monday, June 25, 2012

HOT: Apollo 13

Space has always been very interesting to me. I would have loved to be an astronaut and fly through outer space. But, it has also been pretty scary as well - and this film really didn't help that fear.

In Apollo 13 Jim Lovell (Tom Hanks) is astronaut with the American space program, or NASA. He, his family and friends are about to watch the Apollo 11 moon landing with Neil Armstrong on television at his house.

Lovell is scheduled, along with Fred Haise (Bill Paxton) and Ken Mattingly (Gary Sinise), to fly in the Apollo 14 moon mission and land on the moon himself.

Around a month before the Apollo 13 launch, Lovell is called into his bosses office and is informed that he and his crew would be bumped up to Apollo 13 due to illnesses throughout the original crew. With just a little time to train, Lovell, Haise and Mattingly throw themselves into the simulators and train for their mission.

During the final week before the mission, Lovell is informed that one of the NASA crew members has developed measles and could have infected all those around him. Lovell and Haise had both had measles so are in the clear, but Mattingly is forced to stay behind having never had them - he is replaced at the last minute by Jack Swigert (Kevin Bacon).

On the day the astronauts broadcast from space, Marilyn Lovell (Kathleen Quinlan) and the rest of the astronaut's loved ones head to NASA to watch. She notices that none of the television stations are covering the show and is told that none of the networks thought it was interesting enough to broadcast.

After the show, those in Houston helping the astronauts on their mission ask Swigert to stir the oxygen tanks. During the process, something horrible goes wrong and the shuttle explodes and begins leaking oxygen into space.

Forced to use their lunar module as a life boat, the astronauts soon realize that going to the moon is now out of the question and even returning home could be difficult. Flight Director Gene Kranz (Ed Harris) and the rest of the guys in Houston must now figure out a way to keep the three astronauts alive and get them home safely - including bringing Mattingly into the simulator to find the best possible way to save electricity and still use everything that they need.

Though it may have scarred me for life from wanting to head into outer space - I think I will wait until we have the U.S.S. Enterprise or the Millennium Falcon to make that trip - the movie itself was amazing and told the story of Apollo 13 very well.

Most of the acting in the film was top-notch. I still am up-and-down on Paxton. Compared to the other actors like Hanks, Sinise and Harris, he really stood out as below par. But, that didn't affect my thoughts on the film. One of my favorites.


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