What's new

Blu-ray Review HTF BLU-RAY REVIEW: Apollo 13: 15th Anniversary Edition (2 Viewers)

Kevin EK

Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 9, 2003
Messages
3,103
Rick, you've brought up a great point.

This film was certainly not meant to be 2001. I had only meant that if we think of the characters as cyphers who we can read our own thoughts into, that would be the logical extension. And you're not alone to note that 2001 moves pretty slowly. Kubrick was not known for being in a hurry...

On the other front, to bring up any of the issues that critics have raised would potentially extend the length of an already 2:20 film, and make things interminable.

But on the other hand, why is it that pretty much all of the in-flight mishaps can be totally covered in a 12 minute Dateline NBC spot in one of the featurettes?
 

Douglas Monce

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2006
Messages
5,511
Real Name
Douglas Monce
Kevin,

Again I'm going to have to disagree with you. And again my own experience of those times were that they actually weren't all that different from the 1950s for most people. The culture didn't really change all that much from 1960 to 1969. It was only later in the 70s that you had moms working and latch key kids and a divorce rate rising to 50%. I think Apollo 13 is actually a very accurate depiction of what those times were like for most people.

When Apollo 13 happened, it really was like the world stopped and looked up. There was nothing else on TV. It was like the days after 9-11 when that was all you would see on TV. There was no discussion about the war. Also the reason the Apollo 13 broadcast wasn't carried by the networks, its because people were becoming bored with it. It had become old hat. We had landed on the moon twice at that point and it wasn't front page news anymore. Iit was nothing more significant than the fact that Americans have a very short attention span, a point which is made I thought fairly clearly in the film. It had nothing to do with people thinking we were spending too much money on space when we had problems at home. VERY few people actually felt that way. In fact people that expressed that opinion were often thought to be on the nutty fringe. As for Capricorn One, that movie was born from that very fringe that couldn't believe that we could possibly have gone to the moon, so it must have been faked. These are the same people who think that every word of the movie JFK is the gospel truth. Everything is a conspiracy to them.

I do consider Apollo 13 to be a fine example of serious film making. It is the first film ever made that with a high degree of accuracy depicts not only the culture of NASA (The Right Stuff, while good, made a farce of it) but also for the first time got what space flight is really like.

I have no problem with good moral conflict, or psychological drama but I don't find putting the space program up to a mirror of the 60's counter culture to be particularly compelling. And again that kind of thing is completely alien to the NASA culture the film was trying to depict. These are not guys who sit around and wonder if someone in Africa would eat today if we just didn't go to the moon. I think the film rightly depicts that kind of short sited attitued as coming from a Washington bureaucrat, and should be dismissed with as much hast as possible.

Sure you could tell the story of Apollo 13 in a 15 min segment of dateline, but that isn't drama, thats an encapsulation. Its the Cliff notes version. I could tell the story of Jack the Ripper in 5 min, but that leaves out much the mood and the drama of the situation.

I think part of our disagreement is that we have different ideas of what serious film making is. I find films that examine the ins and outs the social significance inherent in the times to be intensely boring. I've been beat over the head for 40 years with how socially significant the 60s allegedly were. Another by product of the self absorbed baby boomer generation. I think the filmmakers rightly decided that that was well traveled territory that needed no examination in this context. I too find navel-gazing a rather unworthy past time for serious story tellers.

Doug
 

Kevin EK

Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 9, 2003
Messages
3,103
Doug,

I appreciate your responses and I respect that we have different opinions.

I'm glad you like the film, and that you have contributed so much to this discussion.

Perhaps we may find ourselves in agreement on a different film, with a different director and subject matter.
 

Douglas Monce

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2006
Messages
5,511
Real Name
Douglas Monce
Originally Posted by Kevin EK

Doug,

I appreciate your responses and I respect that we have different opinions.

I'm glad you like the film, and that you have contributed so much to this discussion.

Perhaps we may find ourselves in agreement on a different film, with a different director and subject matter.
I suspect we probably will. Thanks for the back and forth.

Doug
 

PaulDA

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2004
Messages
2,708
Location
St. Hubert, Quebec, Canada
Real Name
Paul
Nothing significantly new to warrant replacing my HD DVD then. (Lossless audio, by itself, to me, is not a reason for a replacement).

Having taught a course on the Sixties, I plan to go over the comments above when I have more time--what little I gleaned seemed interesting.
 

Felix Martinez

Screenwriter
Joined
Aug 27, 2001
Messages
1,504
Location
South Florida
Real Name
Felix E. Martinez
Finally was able to compare the Blu-ray with the HD-DVD on a 92 in screen. As was confirmed in Xylon's screen caps, the Blu-ray has been unfortunately tweaked. What isn't visible in the screencaps is that this tweaking is not consistent throughout the film, which contributes to a much less film-like appearance overall. The main culprit here is the contrast boosting and edge enhancement, which on larger screens can be quite noticeable. DNR comes and goes on the Blu-ray and is only objectionable in a few scenes IMHO. The HD-DVD is not perfect - there's some ringing, the whites are a little cooler, and there seemed to be more appearances of positive dirt compared to the cleaner Blu-ray - but I did prefer the image on the HD-DVD.

The audio, as expected, is better on the Blu-ray in its lossless form.

If you're a fan of the film and don't have access to HD-DVD, the Blu-ray should suffice, but what on Earth (no pun intended) was Universal thinking?
 

Robert Crawford

Crawdaddy
Moderator
Patron
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 9, 1998
Messages
68,425
Location
Michigan
Real Name
Robert
As RAH stated here, this BR release could've been better, but it's not as bad as some other BR releases with video problems such as Gangs of New York or even The Longest Day. The audio is clearly superior to the HD DVD and for me, the audio can be as important as the video. IMO, I think even the video is on par with the HD DVD.





Crawdaddy
 

Felix Martinez

Screenwriter
Joined
Aug 27, 2001
Messages
1,504
Location
South Florida
Real Name
Felix E. Martinez
Originally Posted by Robert Crawford

As RAH stated here, this BR release could've been better, but it's not as bad as some other BR releases with video problems such as Gangs of New York or even The Longest Day. The audio is clearly superior to the HD DVD and for me, the audio can be as important as the video. IMO, I think even the video is on par with the HD DVD.





Crawdaddy
Hi Robert, I agree with RAH and stand by my previous comments that it's not as bad as Gangs of New York, or Patton (never saw Longest Day) and that it could have been better. I also agree with you on the importance of the audio, and that for some, this is reason enough alone to pick up the Blu-ray.

I just don't think that the effort Universal spent on "improving" the visual quality since the HD-DVD release 4 years ago was successful (or necessary, for that matter).

Great film; still holds up.
 

Kevin EK

Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 9, 2003
Messages
3,103
Thanks for the update Felix.

There you have the difference between a 40" HDTV and a 92" screen.

I always appreciate the input from Forum members who have the bigger sets, as it can reveal just this sort of thing.

At some point later this year, or early next year, I will likely upgrade to a 60+ screen, but I'm waiting for this crop of 3D HDTVs to get out of the beta phase, so to speak...
 

Bryan^H

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2005
Messages
9,618
Just finished watching this. Fantastic!! It's been a while. Now on to another Tom Hanks/Gary Sinese powerhouse from a year earlier...Forrest Gump.
 

ManW_TheUncool

His Own Fool
Premium
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2001
Messages
12,130
Location
The BK
Real Name
ManW
Interesting back-and-forth about the 60's, etc.

One little comment I'd add to that discussion is that this film doesn't seem intended to be some sort of documentary (and as Kevin pointed out repeatedly, Ron Howard admitted to making changes to the facts), so why would it need to depict all that much, if anything, about the current events of that era whether it's to be considered "serious filmmaking" or not? It's not as though the film went significantly out of its way to depict certain (possibly politcally biased) aspects of the era to the detriment of other aspects. Often times, less is more.

Seems to me the debate has more to do w/ the individual viewer's expectations about what constitutes "serious filmmaking" (or the like) -- possibly specific to a period context that's relatively close to home -- than whether the film actually succeeds very well at executing and presenting the filmmakers' vision for a good story full of human drama.

Anyway, I very much enjoyed rewatching this one w/ my 10-to-12-yo kids for the first time -- and it's great to be able to share this type of "serious" film w/ them these days.

As for the PQ, on my 61" (from ~9ft away), I thought it looked a bit sharper than I expected (before I heard about the PQ issues). I didn't examine carefully for EE and such, but yeah, what I see in the linked screen caps make sense and explains why the image had a bit more pop (w/ a bit of the "digital" look) than I expected. I didn't really notice the bit of halo-ing on my setup, but I can see them in the screen caps. Of course, I'm also looking at the screen caps w/ a substantially greater viewing angle as well -- and have the "benefit" of the side-by-side comparison (w/ plenty of time to scrutinize the pixels) too, which also makes the contrast/color tweak stand out.

But honestly, if I didn't see that HDD-to-BD side-by-side stills comparison, the image cooking would not be obvious at all. It's certainly not enough of an issue for me to forgo the purchase (at a reasonable price), especially since I don't own it on HDD. Offhand, I'd say the image cooking here is probably less egregious than Amadeus, Dark City and some others, not to mention the worst examples others usually reference. The color/contrast tweaking is probably no worse than say Contact either. Of course, I'm speaking as someone w/ a 61" screen viewed from ~9ft away, not a much bigger FP setup from similar distance for a much bigger angle of view -- and I don't anticipate ever going all that much bigger than now.

_Man_
 

Ted Todorov

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2000
Messages
3,717
I'm amazed no one seems to mention just how long the Blu-ray takes to load, taking you from one absurd screen to the other, and making you push enter on the remote a couple of times. Seriously, Universal? Seriously?


I'm relatively new to Blu-ray, but if this sort of nonsense is common, the format is in major trouble.
 

Bryan^H

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2005
Messages
9,618
Originally Posted by Ted Todorov

I'm amazed no one seems to mention just how long the Blu-ray takes to load, taking you from one absurd screen to the other, and making you push enter on the remote a couple of times. Seriously, Universal? Seriously?


I'm relatively new to Blu-ray, but if this sort of nonsense is common, the format is in major trouble.

I noticed that nonsense too. It certainly isn't normal of Blu-Ray software. I Own about 70 titles, and only a handful(Apollo 13 included) are that tedious. Be warned though, Disney seems to be the worst offender.
 

Jason Charlton

Ambassador
Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 16, 2002
Messages
3,557
Location
Baltimore, MD
Real Name
Jason Charlton
Yes - Apollo 13 is definitely the slowest-loading title I have ever encountered.


I also needed to update my player's firmware in order to get it to play (Panasonic BD55 is now up to v2.2). Before the update, it would reach the menu, but after I made a selection, the menu just popped back up and was permanently disabled... Grrrr.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Sign up for our newsletter

and receive essential news, curated deals, and much more







You will only receive emails from us. We will never sell or distribute your email address to third party companies at any time.

Latest Articles

Forum statistics

Threads
357,526
Messages
5,140,168
Members
144,406
Latest member
servergmr
Recent bookmarks
0
Top