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4.6 out of 5 stars320
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 28 February 2006
Considering every living being in the civilised world knows how this ends, Ron Howard has done a masterful job in maintaining suspense through to the end. Although some of the dialog is a bit jingoistic, the film really portrays the Herculean efforts that were made by the 'Tiger Team', led by Gene Kranz (brilliantly played by Ed Harris) and other unsung heroes (although Kranz and others received the Presidential Medal of Freedom for their efforts). It also tells of the pressure felt by the three astronauts during their ordeal, a quarter of a million miles from home. All in all an engrossing depiction of one of the most momentous events of space exploration. If you want drama, buy this and enjoy. If you want the solid facts then read the book “Lost Moon” (now published as “Apollo 13”) by someone who was there, Jim Lovell, Commander Apollo 13, co-written by Jeffrey Kluger.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 25 January 2012
This is a recreation of America's third NASA mission to land on the moon in 1970, and the subsequent disaster that almost befell the mission........

Director Ron Howard and his producer Brian Grazer, made a top draw picture about an incident that everyone knew the outcome too. That it engrosses and thrills to make the inevitable denouement a mere component of a whole, is quite a fabulous achievement. Sure it can be said that it lacks a certain political appendage {RE:The Right Stuff}, but for the duration of this picture we are wowed by the design and construction on offer. It would have been easy for Howard to use stock footage of real NASA missions, but all sequences are recreated by the makers with astonishingly impacting results, thus adding authenticity to the palpable tension when things go belly up.

Howard was wise in his choice of leading man, who better than Tom Hanks {Jim Lovell, who's memoirs the script worked from} to portray a bastion of Americana?, nobody, because Hanks is perfect, as are Bill Paxton {Fred Haise} and Kevin Bacon {John Swigart} sitting either side of Hanks, a couple of bona fide solid and respected actors you could not have wished to have. Down on the ground the acting is also exemplary, Kathleen Quinlan as the fraught Marylyn Lovell is fantastic, with Ed Harris {Gene Kranz} and Gary Sinise {Ken Mattingly} adding emotional weight to the unfolding drama. With Howard reining in his trade mark sentimental flourishes, Apollo 13 relies on its story and its craft to steer it safely home, and safely home it gets, just like the men of Apolo 13. To give us a punch the air joy that comes as much out of tension relief as it does because of raw human emotion, quite a picture indeed. 8/10
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on 1 June 2006
We all know how good this film is. But what you may not know is how good the bonus material is. There are interviews with the real astronauts and recording of the actual radio transmitions from Apollo 13. Many of these were used to help with the script.

The film - 5 Stars

The extras - 5 Stars
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on 18 January 2001
The DVD is brillient and really interesting it tell's you everthing about the movie it even has jim lovell and his wife decribing ever shot of the film telling you whats real and isn't. the movie everyone should know by now it tells of the ill fated flight of apollo 13 to the moon and the way everyone at nasa got the crew back home. Whats brillent is that everyone knows the ending but you still enjoy the film again and again. Worth having in your collection.
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on 14 July 2010
Once again , my review is about the Blu-Ray and not the film its self..
I was a little duboius at fist as this film has allot of old NASA film stock cut into the film and mixing that with moden filmstock would give obvoius drawbacks when creating a perfect 1080 P picture that runs smoothly.
That said , I ate my words because this transfur is indeed close to perfection..
The resolution has been sharpend to a tee and the the colour looks vibrant catching the time period of the 1960's Eastman colour used in almost all moives and polaroids of that time.
The space effects now look sharper and REAL , with deeper backs and moon shots better than any genuine image taken through-out the late 1960's and early 70's.
Allot of work has gone into improoving the final print and it works.
The sound also is crisp with the now standard DTS HD master , then given the 5.1 domestic finshing to set your frontroom wall shaking during "blast off"..!

But for me the detail in costume and prop's always gives me the most pleasure , the fabrics weave can be seen in the sweaters ,and even the time can be clearly seen on all of the lovely OMEGA watch's worn by the crew and NASA staff.
I great movie improoved to a FANTASTIC movie , worth the money and the 1080 treatmant !!
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on 15 November 2000
Apollo 13 tells the true story of a failed space mission which took place less than a year after Louis Armstrong touched down on the moon. Stranded 1000's of miles from home in a crippled spacecraft, Jim Lovell who is played brilliantly by Tom Hanks, Fred Haise (Bill Paxton) and Jack Swigert (Kevin Bacon) fight to keep alive.
Back on earth a heroic ground crew which includes astronaut Ken Mattingly and flight director Gene Kranz battle desperately against time and all the odds to bring their astronauts back to earth.
Famous for it's phrase, "Houston We Have A Problem" Apollo 13 has been excellently portrayed by director Ron Howard. It is an exciting film that tells a story of survival, faith and courage. Because the film is based on a true story the emotions and moods that are created are all the more effective. These range from despair and desperation all the way through to joy and relief. Apollo 13 is a feel good film and by the end you will find yourself willing the disabled spacecraft back to earth.
The quality of acting is very high but Tom Hanks particularly stands out. Apollo 13 compares very well to many of Hank's classic films, but credit has to go to director Ron Howard. As mentioned earlier he has transformed a real life event into a dramatic film that has so many twists and turns, it will leave you squirming in your seat.
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on 1 September 2009
APOLLO 13 is one of those films you either love or hate, and how you respond to it seems to depend on how important you feel that the story of humanity's quest to reach out into space actually is. However, as a fictionalized account of a true story about trying to survive against all the odds there's precious little to beat it.

The semi-documentary style is a really effective way to tell the story and as such gives a lot of technical insight into the fascinating story of America's quest to put men on the moon. The attention to detail in the production design is phenomenal with both mission control and the spacecraft hardware being recreated in loving detail. Sadly, such meticulous attention to detail cannot extend to some of the finer points of the script because the nature of telling a five day story in just over two hours means that the scriptwriters by necessity have to play around a little with - and add "drama" to - the actual events and personalities involved. Whether such a compelling story needs drama adding to it is debateable, but I suppose that that's just part of the art of moviemaking. In-flight disagreements, dream sequences and the fact that a number of outstanding members of the NASA staff are compressed into fewer characters, are all examples of liberties made to make the story more "cinematic", but despite that, all the essentials of what remains a truly human story despite all the technology are still there and you are left with a vivid and lasting impression of what happened during what many consider to be NASA's "finest hour". Ron Howard proves, once again to be a master at manipulating the emotions as you are carried along with the plight of these brave men, their families and their support staff and you'd have to have a heart of stone not to be moved by the ending.

This "special edition" includes 2 commentaries. Ron Howard gives you the Director's opinions from the point of view of a film production on the first and the second is from the perspective of the astronaut played by Tom Hanks in the film, Jim Lovell and his wife Marilyn which adds a much more "real world" perspective on the proceedings. The documentary package on disc 2 is excellent with a 58 minute piece on the real flight of Apollo 13, a 48 minute NASA piece looking at a wider history of spaceflight, and a 12 minute US television piece about the mission including short interviews with some of those involved.
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on 9 May 2015
Although there have been several 'Anniversary' Editions of this classic movie over the years, this 20th Anniversary Bluray release boasts a newly restored and remastered presentation using the original 35mm camera film elements scanned at 4K resolution - the results are truly stunning, with vastly improved colours, depth of field and image clarity which pretty much renders all previous versions obsolete in comparison, so if you're asking yourself 'is this really worth buying to replace the one I already have?'...the answer is Yes, without a shadow of a doubt, it is indeed....
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on 22 August 2012
Apollo 13 is one of the finest films of the 1990s and tells the incredible tale of the 'successful failure' of Apollo 13. There are many things that make this such a fine example of film making but for me what stands of the most is how the story is so remarkable that you would swear it had been 'sexed up' by Hollywood when in fact, it is all so true.

The real flight of Apollo 13 was noteworthy in that the public had lost interest after Apollo 12 - many lost interest after Apollo 11. But 13 was just viewed as a routine flight until it all went so horribly wrong. An undetected flaw in the service module caused an oxygen tank to explode, crippling the spacecraft, aborting the Luna landing and nearly killing all three astronauts. The three men return to Earth by the narrowest of margins thanks to a remarkable effort by a whole host of people on the ground working round the clock to bring them home.

After watching the film I expected parts of the film such as the carbon dioxide scrubbers and the manual course correction to be Hollywood inventions to pad out the film. Incredibly they are not! The real life mission was just that miraculous. There are numerous documentaries which have told the tale of Apollo 13 however, and if this film were to really stand out it needed everything about it to be well made and thankfully, it excels. The all star cast are superb from Ed Harris as Flight Director Gene 'Failure is not an option' Kranz right through to Hanks, Paxton and Bacon on the spacecraft. The music is good as you expect from someone of James Horner's talents, Ron Howard's direction is captivating, even during the 'routine' parts of the mission and the buildup. All in all, it is a fantastic tale told in the most satisfying way. Being a science film, it perhaps has not had the recognition it deserves which is a shame because honestly, I cannot find any fault in the film.

It is true that they do introduce a small element of dramatic license but not in a way which detracts from the accuracy of the film. For example, much is made of Jack Swiggert being a 'rookie' - overlooking the fact that both Fred Haise and Ken Mattingly were as well and Swiggert was a perfectly qualified astronaut. This makes a nice sub plot. Likewise, Ken Mattingly's role on the ground is actually a composite of many astronauts who worked on plans to bring the astronauts home. The reason for the crew switch of Apollo 13 and 14 is given as Al Shepard's ear infection rather than a few other minor factors for simplicity's sake. And finally Swiggert's 'Houston we've had a problem' was changed to allow Hanks to deliver one of the most immortal lines in Hollywood history.

So, well acted, well directed, great music, great script (mostly taken verbatim from voice recordings) and a story so fantastic that it would be dismissed as absurd were it not for the fact that it was true. First rate, brilliant, top class, just buy it.
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on 25 December 2007
Can Tom Hanks do no wrong,not in this case because alongside Kevin Bacon and others he brings this magnificent account of the near 1970 disaster of the Apollo 13 moon mission into one of the most frilling and brilliantly directed films to come out of Holywood for many years.

Ron Howard (Ricky in Happy Days) won a deserving Oscar for this incredible film,the cinematography and script make this an especially memorable film.

Now the last Saturn 5 space rocket took off from the Kennedy Space Centre with Apollo 17s successfull moon mission in 1972.The launch sequence in this film is as realistic as it is possible to get to the real thing way back 35years ago even down to the control centre itself.

Thankfully Ron Howard obtained the help of NASA itself to make this film,the weightlesness in orbit sequences were filmed in NASA very own test aeroplane that vertically dives from an altitude of around 36,000ft resulting in the zero gravity effect.Remarkably Hanks and his fellow actors were standing on boxes to film the majority of the space shots but Howards direction and quality acting desgises this magnificently.

I can go on and on writing about the realism and use of actual events to make a memorable film into a great one but there is no need because im sure there would be few bad words said against this film.

It took two Oscars at the ceremmony and those were more than deserved.

Its a film you can watch again and again and never become bored with it,in my opinion its Tom Hanks best film and if you have never seen it it comes highly reccommended for the visuals alone.
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