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HTF BLU-RAY REVIEW: Apollo 13: 15th Anniversary Edition



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#1 of 54 Kevin EK

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Posted April 16 2010 - 05:45 PM

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APOLLO 13
15th ANNIVERSARY BLU-RAY
 
Studio: Universal
Year: 1995
Length:  2 hrs 19 mins
Genre: Historical Drama/Science Fact
 
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
 
BD Resolution: 1080p
BD Video Codec: AVC (@ an average 20 mbps)
Color/B&W: Color
 
Audio:
English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (@ an average 4.0 mbps – up to 5.0 mbps during the launch)
French European DTS 5.1
Castillian Spanish DTS 5.1
L.A. Spanish DTS 5.1
Italian DTS 5.1
Czech DTS 5.1
Hungarian DTS 5.1 
 
Subtitles: English SDH, French Canadian, Castillian Spanish, L.A. Spanish, Swedish, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Portuguese, Bulgarian, Czech, Greek, Hungarian, Icelandic, Romanian, Slovenian.   (There are also subtitles available in various languages for both commentaries.)
 
 
Film Rating: PG (Language and Emotional Intensity)
 
Release Date: April 13, 2010
 
Starring: Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Gary Sinise, Ed Harris, Kathleen Quinlan
Screenplay by: William Broyles Jr., and Al Reinert
Based on the book “Lost Moon” by Jim Lovell and Jeffrey Kluger
Directed by: Ron Howard
 
Film Rating:    3/5  
 
Before I say anything else, I’m going to preface this review by saying that Apollo 13 is unquestionably a well-made film. It is well-acted, clearly staged and professionally crafted. It is no accident that Ron Howard won a DGA Award for his direction of this film, even while the Academy left him off the list of director nominees. Regardless of anything else, he makes eminently watchable and easily digestible movies. I should note that the film did pick up Oscars for Sound and Editing, as a tribute to the craftspeople who worked to make this film. And the mission commander, Jim Lovell, was an active and enthusiastic participant in the film.
 
But therein lies the rub. Apollo 13 certainly works on the most rudimentary level. It tells an extremely simple story of what occurred when the 3rd NASA moon landing mission went terribly wrong in the spring of 1970. (To give the short version, the spaceflight was jeopardized by equipment failures that crippled the vessel and nearly killed the crew. Thanks to the work of the Mission Control team and the astronauts, the crew was able to safely return to Earth.)   In terms of jargon and some intermittently messy details about space travel, the film is pretty accurate. But if you are looking for anything deeper or more meaningful, you may be in for a disappointment.  One indicator of this problem shows up here on the Blu-ray: A brief 12 minute featurette (“Lucky 13: The Astronauts’ Story”) manages to cover all of the major issues portrayed over the course of the film’s nearly 2 ½ hour running time.
 
As John Powers pointed out in his review of the film in the Washington Post in July 1995, the movie doesn’t even try to scratch below the surface of its material. There is no serious attempt to get into the souls of the three men aboard the doomed craft, nor is there any attempt to provide any context for the mission. We are told that America isn’t paying attention to this mission, but we aren’t told why. The only moments close to a depiction of the American cultural mix at the time feature the Lovell’s daughter listening to Jefferson Airplane and mourning the breakup of The Beatles. If you only saw this film, you would not know that 1970 was a time of major upheaval in this country. Two major examples of this that would not fit within the world of this film are the Kent State tragedy which occurred within one month after the astronauts arrived home, and the works of Gil Scott-Heron, whose popular songs at the time demanded to know why the space program was prioritized over more immediate social problems.
 
I have heard defenses of the film that say that the movie does not show context or dig very deeply because it is trying to simply relate the facts of the mission. Unfortunately, these defenses don’t hold up once the viewer realizes that various scenes in the film are complete inventions, and that the drama inside the capsule has been heightened with fictional conflicts that did not exist. This is compounded by the fact that other films, like The Right Stuff, have managed to cover this ground with a much surer sense of the contemporary context, and have been able to find a way to explore the souls of the characters with much greater depth. 
 
Again, none of my comments are meant to say that this film is a poorly made one, or even a bad one. My issues here have to do with the rich material left unexamined, and the potential for a better film that may have been lost here. The problem here isn’t that the filmmakers made a bad movie – it’s that they could have made a much more satisfying and resonant one, but chose not to do so.
 
Apollo 13 has previously been released on standard definition DVD and HD-DVD. The Blu-ray release carries over most of the extras from the last special edition DVD, which also appeared on the HD-DVD, and adds a couple of U-Control features to go along with the high definition picture and sound. If you already have the last 2-disc DVD (from 2005), a purchase here will simply be a matter of whether you want the high definition transfer. Fans of Ron Howard’s movies will certainly want to pick this up, as will fans of Tom Hanks. For more casual viewers, I recommend a rental first.
                                                        
 
VIDEO QUALITY   3 ½ /5
Apollo 13 is presented in a 1080p AVC 2.35:1 transfer that looks great, and brings out a lot of detail in the various flight suits, uniforms and environments on display here. The level of detail is enough that it reveals some of the limitations of the then-cutting edge visual effects from Digital Domain. (Some shots, like an overhead view of the astronauts on the gantry arm, are now clearly seen to use CGI standins walking through the frame.)  I should note that I am watching the film on a 40” Sony XBR2 HDTV. If anyone is watching the film on a larger monitor and is having issues, please post them on this thread.
 
 
AUDIO QUALITY   3 ½/5
Apollo 13 is presented in an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix in English, along with standard DTS 5.1 mixes in French, Castillian Spanish, L.A. Spanish, Italian, Czech, and Hungarian   Given that much of the film is dialogue-driven, the mix mostly lives in the front channels, but there is some effective use of the subwoofer and the surrounds, particularly during the enthusiastic launch scene. James Horner’s score gets a satisfying presentation in the surround channels.
 
SPECIAL FEATURES      3 ½/5
The Blu-Ray presentation of Apollo 13 comes with the usual BD-Live connectivity and My Scenes functionality, as well as pocket BLU, social BLU and D-Box functionality. The disc also carries over most of the extras from the prior DVD (and laserdisc) releases, including two commentaries and various featurettes. New to the Blu-ray are two U-Control features.
 
Feature Commentary with Ron Howard –  Ron Howard’s commentary from the laserdisc and earlier DVD releases is carried over here, and it continues to be a rewarding one. Beyond his enthusiasm for the project, and his memory of the various people who helped him make it, Howard’s scene-specific comments also reveal the places where he took dramatic license to stretch the truth or simply invent material. One early example is the Apollo 11 launch party , which he used as a convenient way to introduce the main characters in a social setting. The problem here is that this party did not happen – in reality, Jim Lovell watched the launch from Mission Control.   Another domestic scene, in which Lovell’s daughter is chastised for her “flower child” Halloween costume (and apparently her appreciation for Jefferson Airplane) is revealed to be an invention. Howard openly admits he designed the scene to reflect the kind of mother-daughter run-ins he had seen in his own home. Howard is apparently unaware that many reviewers took exception to this scene in particular, as it seems to repudiate its only example of the popular culture of the time.
Feature Commentary with Jim and Marilyn Lovell – The second commentary from the laserdisc and earlier DVD releases is preserved here. This one is a scene-specific talk with mission commander Lovell, with occasional laughs and observations from his wife Marilyn, who is watching the film with him. Lovell adds to the discussion of various situations in the film that were either changed for dramatic effect or completely invented. As one example, he notes that the doubt shown toward pilot Jack Swigert was not an issue during the actual mission, but he appreciates that Ron Howard wanted to amplify the tension in the capsule.
Lost Moon: The Triumph of Apollo 13 – (58:06, 480p, Non-Anamorphic)  The original making-of documentary from the laserdisc and the earlier DVDs is included here. It’s an amiable piece, including interviews with all of the cast, as well as Ron Howard and the Lovells. It also has some great on-set video of the crew filming on the looping aircraft used for real on-camera zero gravity. (It’s interesting that the participants here never identify this plane by the name by which it’s commonly known…) Like the film itself, there’s nothing particularly deep here. It’s really just an extended EPK piece in which everyone shows a genuine enthusiasm for the material.
Conquering Space: The Moon and Beyond – (48:26, 480p, Non-Anamorphic)  This documentary, held over from the 2005 DVD, is a general overview of the history of NASA. It covers everything from the first space launches up to the then-current material about the International Space Station.   All the various programs (Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, the Shuttles, etc) are dealt with in pretty short order. If you’re looking for an in-depth analysis of NASA’s work, this probably won’t fill the bill. But it’s fine as a quick introduction.
Lucky 13: The Astronauts’ Story – (12:14, 480p, Non-Anamorphic)  Here we have what I would call a misleading title for a featurette. This is NOT an examination of the people who manned the Apollo 13 mission. Instead, it’s a Dateline NBC segment from July 29, 1995 that very quickly recaps the various mishaps that occurred during the mission. (I would venture a guess that this was a promotional segment.)   What’s really interesting here is that in just over 12 minutes, this featurette manages to relay the same information we get from the movie, without feeling like it’s been rushed or that we are missing anything. This featurette originally appeared on the 2005 DVD.
U-Control –  NEW FEATURE – Here we have the only truly new material on the Blu-ray. Two onscreen informational options are available while you watch the feature. The first, The Apollo Era, is a pop-up trivia function that displays various bits of 1970 information, such as the price of groceries and bits of cultural context. The second, Tech-splanations, is a picture-in-picture function that graphically displays computer simulations of various technical issues. One good example is the tank explosion that crippled the spacecraft. When this comes up, the PIP function carefully shows and explains exactly what happened.
BD-Live - The more general BD-Live screen is accessible via the menu, which makes various online materials available, including tickers, trailers and special events. At the same time, the Blu-ray also allows for social BLU networking and pocket BLU iPhone connectivity.
 
My Scenes - The usual bookmarking feature is included here.
 
D-Box - The sensation functionality is present here for those viewers who have this technology in their homes. 
 
The usual promotional ticker is present on the main menu, but can be toggled off at your discretion. The film is offered in a wide range of subtitles, including English, French Canadian, Italian, Castillian Spanish, L.A. Spanish, Swedish, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Portuguese, Bulgarian, Czech, Greek, Hungarian, Icelandic, Romanian and Slovenian.  And while it isn’t listed in the menus, if you manually go through the subtitle options, you’ll also find multiple language options of subtitles for both commentaries. When you first put the Blu-ray in the player, you’ll initially see a language selection menu.
 
 
IN THE END...
Apollo 13 is a film that works on a basic level, and will certainly please fans of Ron Howard and Tom Hanks. The Blu-ray is a fine presentation of a decent film, and fans of this film should be well-pleased with the presentation here.   The film is too simplified for my taste, but I can’t argue with the fact that the film was a big hit in its day, not to mention a Best Picture nominee.   I have a feeling that the movie’s many fans will already be making this an easy purchase.   I suggest that more casual viewers try renting it first, and see what they think.
 
Kevin Koster
April 16, 2010.
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#2 of 54 Nicholas Martin

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Posted April 16 2010 - 07:03 PM

Just picked this up tonight and sampled it by going through each chapter for a few minutes and the image quality completely trounces all the DVD releases by a good mile.

Can't believe I now have four (or five if you consider the IMAX Experience version a separate version) iterations of this: 

-Collector's Edition
-DTS Edition
-10th Anniversary Edition with IMAX
-15th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray

Yikes.


#3 of 54 Adam Gregorich

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Posted April 17 2010 - 06:12 AM

I didn't realize that it had been released that many times.

#4 of 54 Robert Crawford

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Posted April 17 2010 - 06:57 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Gregorich 

I didn't realize that it had been released that many times.
I have five releases of this title:

Collector's Edition 02-24-98
DTS Widescreen 03-16-99
10th Anniversary with IMAX 03-29-05
HD DVD 04-25-06
15th Anniversary Blu-ray 04-13-10




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#5 of 54 Carlo Medina

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Posted April 17 2010 - 07:03 AM

Just as an aside, I could easily tell those CGI standins on DVD when played on my 32" Sony Trinitron back when the first DVD was released.

That said, I agree with your technical A/V review of the film (I liked the actual film a bit better, but to each his own).
Quote:
The level of detail is enough that it reveals some of the limitations of the then-cutting edge visual effects from Digital Domain. (Some shots, like an overhead view of the astronauts on the gantry arm, are now clearly seen to use CGI standins walking through the frame.)  



#6 of 54 Nelson Au

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Posted April 17 2010 - 07:38 AM

Great review! I watched the first half of Apollo 13 last night. 

I was amazed by the increased detail! I never noticed that detail on fabrics of the clothes and space suits. But the thing that really grabbed me was the film grain! I was surprised by the amount. Looked great!

When I first saw Apollo 13 in the theater, we got there late and had to sit near the front row! That was awful! I was amazed though seeing the launch sequence. The CGI was really convincing then. And it still stands up, though if you hadn't mentioned the CGI characters walking down the gantry, I may not have noticed it as the eye has so much other stuff to look at in that shot!/img/vbsmilies/htf/smile.gif">

As to whether this film could have dug deeper into the people and the events going on around the world at the time, well, sure. But I never think about that. This is a popcorn movie version of the events, a feel good movie. I think From The Earth to the Moon was far better in that regard to dig into these people, their families and events. That would make a good Blu ray! I do want to add more real documentary films on the space program to my collection though!

So if we're sharing our Apollo 13 collection, here's what I got. I only bought the regular DVD and that one died from rot, so I bought another copy when I got the blu ray.




#7 of 54 Felix Martinez

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Posted April 17 2010 - 07:55 AM

Love this film.  Comparisons between the Blu-ray and HD-DVD are out.  Not looking good.  I picked up a sealed HD-DVD for under $7.  I have a feeling its market value may rise...


#8 of 54 Robert Crawford

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Posted April 17 2010 - 08:36 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Felix Martinez 

Love this film.  Comparisons between the Blu-ray and HD-DVD are out.  Not looking good.  I picked up a sealed HD-DVD for under $7.  I have a feeling its market value may rise...
 
Are they comparing the audio because the BRD is clearly superior.

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#9 of 54 Nicholas Martin

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Posted April 17 2010 - 08:38 AM

I never had it on VHS, laserdisc or HD-DVD. Can't call myself a completist!


#10 of 54 Douglas Monce

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Posted April 17 2010 - 09:14 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin EK 


 
As John Powers pointed out in his review of the film in the Washington Post in July 1995, the movie doesn’t even try to scratch below the surface of its material. There is no serious attempt to get into the souls of the three men aboard the doomed craft, nor is there any attempt to provide any context for the mission. We are told that America isn’t paying attention to this mission, but we aren’t told why. The only moments close to a depiction of the American cultural mix at the time feature the Lovell’s daughter listening to Jefferson Airplane and mourning the breakup of The Beatles. If you only saw this film, you would not know that 1970 was a time of major upheaval in this country. Two major examples of this that would not fit within the world of this film are the Kent State tragedy which occurred within one month after the astronauts arrived home, and the works of Gil Scott-Heron, whose popular songs at the time demanded to know why the space program was prioritized over more immediate social problems.
 
I have heard defenses of the film that say that the movie does not show context or dig very deeply because it is trying to simply relate the facts of the mission. Unfortunately, these defenses don’t hold up once the viewer realizes that various scenes in the film are complete inventions, and that the drama inside the capsule has been heightened with fictional conflicts that did not exist. This is compounded by the fact that other films, like The Right Stuff, have managed to cover this ground with a much surer sense of the contemporary context, and have been able to find a way to explore the souls of the characters with much greater depth. 
 
The problem with this point of view is that for the vast majority of Americans, these so called cultural events, weren't a part of their lives. Most people weren't listening to the Beatles, they were listening to Mitch Miller and Herb Alpert, both of whom sold far more records than the Beatles did. And frankly most people never heard of Gil Scott-Heron. The lives depicted in Apollo 13, (at least the home lives) are actually far more representative of everyday Americans in that era than anything involving protests or the counter culture. Those things just didn't show up on the radar for the vast majority of Americans. Its nice to see a movie depicting the late 60s and early 70s the way it REALLY was for most people.

Excellent review however. Thanks.

Doug


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#11 of 54 Kevin EK

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Posted April 17 2010 - 09:29 AM

I agree Nicholas!  I mean, if you didn't take the time to pick up both the widescreen and full-screen VHS copies of this movie, why bother trying to be a completist?

In seriousness, though, this title has definitely been mined pretty good in terms of all formats.  It's along the same lines as the Bond films or the Rocky movies.  VHS releases, followed by laserdisc releases, followed by widescreen releases in both VHS and laserdisc, followed by the initial DVD release, and then a "special edition" DVD release, and then a "really special edition" DVD (and maybe a DTS DVD release too, while we're at it), and then an HD-DVD release, and now a Blu-ray release.  There's a writer who once put down the basic logic of home video re-releases:   "How many times can they get you to buy Goldfinger?"  Or Star Trek or Star Wars or any other film or series that we love?

In any case, the positive reaction here, and the large collections in evidence, is testament to the affection people have for this film.  And it is a good film.   It's just not one that particularly resonates for me.  Nelson is right - this is meant to be the kind of movie that Gene Siskel described in his review of Blue Thunder back in the day:  "...the kind of movie you have a good time gobbling popcorn to!"  My issues with the film stem both from its ignorance of serious issues that impact the way the story could have been framed and told, and from Ron Howard's apparent inability to see this.  His commentary and his interviews here show that he was delighted to tell a story about NASA and this specific mission, and that he was happy to do some dramatic embellishing to make it a little more exciting along the way.  (This is where he loses the ground to say that the film is just factual, since it isn't.) 

And Howard is perfectly entitled to do this - but it opens him up to strong criticism that the world he's presenting here does not reflect the real 1970 by a long shot.  His nostalgia is understandable, but 1970 was by no means an idyllic time, for many reasons.  And there was a lot of potential to really examine these guys, that barely gets hinted at.  We get some glimpses of Lovell's inner drive here and there, but it all gets glossed over.   We get an invented story about the crew not having confidence in the replacement pilot - when you could actually turn it the other way and see what it does to the guy who suddenly gets his shot to go to the moon and things go this wrong. 

That said, this is still a well-made, clearly told story.  One thing I have always liked about Ron Howard's films is that it's always clear what is going on and where everyone is.  Other filmmakers tend to try to jumble everything up with a million cuts or a lot of fancy camera tricks that make things more confusing.  Howard has always been very clear in his staging.  And these days, that's a huge relief.

#12 of 54 Felix Martinez

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Posted April 17 2010 - 09:36 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Crawford 




Are they comparing the audio because the BRD is clearly superior.
I don't believe there is an argument that the audio is superior on the Blu-ray.  Unfortunately, when compared to the HD-DVD, the Blu-ray image is DNR'd and contrast-boosted to (IMHO) an unacceptable level.  This is totally unnecessary and disappointing.  The Blu-ray should have been a home run.


#13 of 54 Kevin EK

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Posted April 17 2010 - 09:48 AM

Doug, I hear what you're saying, and I'm glad you've presented it here.

But I must disagree with you on the idea that most people in the US did not know what was going on in their own communities and in the world around them in 1970.  That simply isn't the case. 
The Beatles are not really the issue here, although they were immensely popular.  The breakup of the Beatles in 1970 was seen as the end of an era, in many ways the end of an innocence for many people, who thought that band would go on forever.  This was not just a matter of a teenage girl throwing a tantrum in her room - it was a reflection of how that band had evolved from its early skiffle days to a much more complicated band, and a reflection of how the pressures involved drove the guys away from each other.  But again, this is a side-issue.

It's more crucial to know that there was a strong and common awareness of what was going on in Vietnam in 1970, because the news was on everyone's television every night.  It was a strong, polarizing issue between people who wanted us out of there, and people who backed first the Johnson plans there and then the Nixon approach.  And this debate went beyond just what was happening in Vietnam - it was a conflict between people who were just coming of age and rebelling against "the establishment" and people who were just as vigorously backing the Nixon Administration.  The whole idea of "antidisestablishmentarianism" is actually a pretty good summary of the most fervent Nixon supporters, for obvious reasons.
You could argue that the astronauts lived in a kind of bubble where they didn't see what was going on around them, or didn't understand it.  But I give them more credit than that.  This was serious business, and people died over it.  I brought up the deaths at Kent State specifically for that reason.  The irony pointed out by critics like John Powers  (and his review is much harsher than what I have mentioned), is that while the NASA team was properly motivated to get these 3 guys home, their safe return happened in the shadow of many deaths overseas of guys the same age or younger than the ones in the capsule.

I brought up Gil Scott-Heron as a cultural reference, although I understand that many people did not listen to his songs.  But his song about the moon landings was well known.  I won't quote the title here, but if you google him, it'll be clearer. 

That said, I'm glad you brought up this point of view.  Many reviewers of this film had the same reaction to it that you do, and have similar views of what was happening in 1970.  So I don't want you to think I'm dismissing your post.  We just have different views, and that's what makes the Forum go round.

#14 of 54 Kevin EK

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Posted April 17 2010 - 09:50 AM

Felix, I honestly didn't see a major DNR or contrast problem with the picture here.

But I acknowledge that I am watching the Blu-ray on a 40" HDTV.  It is entirely possible that on a larger set, you may see some issues becoming more obvious.

Can you tell me where you were seeing the most egregious examples of this, and I'll go back and check them?

#15 of 54 Felix Martinez

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Posted April 17 2010 - 10:05 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin EK 

Felix, I honestly didn't see a major DNR or contrast problem with the picture here.

But I acknowledge that I am watching the Blu-ray on a 40" HDTV.  It is entirely possible that on a larger set, you may see some issues becoming more obvious.

Can you tell me where you were seeing the most egregious examples of this, and I'll go back and check them?
Hi Kevin, I know screen caps don't tell the whole story, and the Blu-ray's audio is surely superior, but based on these comparisons, I'm about to return my unopened Blu-ray and keep the HD-DVD that's en route.  That kind of "remastering" is just not pleasing to me. 

I don't mean to "thread crap" - I did enjoy your review and think you did a nice job critiquing the title.  Nonetheless, while this is not Patton or Gangs of New York, the digital "massaging" is certainly worth considering before purchasing.



#16 of 54 Nelson Au

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Posted April 17 2010 - 10:12 AM

Yeah, I'm curious about the DNR too! I have a 50" screen and from what I can see and without the HD-DVD to compare, I thought it looked great!

And I did a search of other reviews and I didn't see any mention of a comparison to the HD-DVD. Maybe you can point out who did this review?

Given what you said, I might try to find an HD-DVD copy too!/img/vbsmilies/htf/smile.gif">

One other thing about that review that commented that this film didn't do more to cover the events of the time, perhaps this was due to a couple of reasons. Jeffrey Kluger and James Lovell's book is the basis for this film, so they were focused on the mission. Though I've not read it, it probably didn't talk about the world events, just the mission. Tom Hanks is a space buff, so maybe he had some influence. Though I doubt that.

Speaking of Hanks, sometimes when watching the disc, which I've not seen in a while since my DVD died of rot, I was amused to see how slim his face was then. I thought maybe the anamorphic setting was off on my player! <br type=

#17 of 54 Dave Moritz

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Posted April 17 2010 - 10:12 AM

Is the video really that bad on the Bluray?  I have purchased this title on laserdisc, dvd and hd-dvd and would like to own it on Bluray to have the lossless audio.  I used to own both the Dolby Digital version of the film on dvd but got rid of it after I got the DTS edition.  So far IMHO the DTS version is the best sounding version I have heard.  The HD-DVD so far is the best looking format I have seen of this title so far.  The only reason I have not gotten rid of the dvd is the IMAX version of the film.  Who knows I may just add the Apollo 13 dvd to the pile of dvd's I am thinking about selling sometime soon.  I figure that I can use the money for other Bluray titles or for putting towards upgrading my old Yamaha RX-V995 reciever to hopefully a Denon.  The HD-DVD's audio is not bad but it's not as good as the DTS, IMHO.  The HD-DVD has a very good video transfer but only has the Dolby Digital Plus audio track.  One of the reasons why I upgraded my HD-DVD version of Transformers to the Bluray, to get the better Dolby True HD audio track.

How good or how bad is the video transfer on the Bluray?

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#18 of 54 Nicholas Martin

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Posted April 17 2010 - 10:47 AM

For me, I hadn't seen the film back when it came out and didn't actually see it until DVD had taken off. I was too young to get into the high-end, high-price laserdisc format. I rented the DVD and it literally took months to find a copy of it to purchase.

When the 10th anniversary edition came along, I bought it not only because I figured it would have improved picture, but also because I enjoyed the IMAX Experience version, which was the very first IMAX presentation I'd ever seen back in 2002 (it was the first film to undergo that remastering process and it was spectacular).

I then picked up a used copy of the DTS Edition because it was highly praised back when it came out and was an inexpensive way of feeding my curiosity about it.

 I didn't own any HD-DVD hardware/titles (though I was well aware of it and did prefer it to Blu-ray when the format war was raging and I was very upset that it lost) and now here's the Blu-ray release.

I typically don't have many issues with image quality unless it's something obvious and distracting, but the last thing I'd do is scrutinize screencaps to pick these things apart.


#19 of 54 Kevin EK

Kevin EK

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  • 2,768 posts
  • Join Date: May 09 2003

Posted April 17 2010 - 10:58 AM

Felix, don't worry about "thread crap" issues.  If there is a problem with the video that is popping up on larger displays, we'd all like to know about it.  My only concern is that I think you're saying you may be basing your opinion on screencaps from an online forum and that you're returning your Blu-ray unopened.  Are you saying that you haven't actually watched the Blu-ray? 

Nelson, I hear you.  But the movie goes beyond just the mission in a few places, particularly in showing the Lovells at home.  There are also several key places where the film goes beyond "just the facts" and begins inventing scenes or changing situations to either simplify them or make them more dramatic.  I wish the film could just rely on the factual argument, but once Ron Howard admitted to making changes and creating scenes out of whole cloth, he gave up that ground.

#20 of 54 Douglas Monce

Douglas Monce

    Producer

  • 5,514 posts
  • Join Date: Nov 16 2006

Posted April 17 2010 - 11:09 AM

Kevin,

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that most people were not aware of the events you are talking about. The astronauts would have been aware of them, however probably not as much as the average person. Working 12 hour days leaves you little time to keep up on current events.

My point is not that people weren't aware, its just it wasn't a real part most people's daily lives.

As you point out, the Beatles are not really the point, but they illustrate what I'm talking about. Even by 1970, to most adults, (I'm talking people over 30) the Beatles, and most rock and roll, was still considered children's music. The break up of the Beatles might have been an issue on the college campus, but must adults couldn't have cared less, because they weren't listening to them.

My own experience is limited because I was born in 1966. But I would have been 10 at the end of the Vietnam war, and I have to say that I was unaware of it until several years after it was over in 1975. It wasn't something my parents talked about, you didn't see anything about it on TV, contrary to popular belief that it was everywhere. No one I went to school with talked about it, and it wasn't an issue that was talked about in civics class.

The point is, for most people, the 60's were really not all that different from the 50's. All you have to do is look at the most popular TV shows of the time to see that. The idea of the radical 60's is something of a myth that has been blown way out of proportion by a media that idolizes that notion.

There is a very interesting book called The Politically Incorrect Guide to the 60's. I highly recommend it.

Doug

"I'm in great shape, for the shape I'm in."
Bob Hope in The Ghostbreakers