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Apollo 13 (1995)

“Apollo 13” (1995), directed by Ron Howard, provides a wonderfully realistic dramatization of the historic aborted moon voyage of 1970. There was a PG rating on the film for language and emotional intensity. I appreciated the warning as the parent of a 10 year old who remains fascinated by gadgets, gizmos and galaxies but who gets slightly stressed out by the super suspenseful inner states of being that sell movies. You really do want to make sure that you go to the bathroom before you start out on this two hour “disasterful” cinematic voyage to the moon and back. Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton and Kevin Bacon (playing astronauts Lovell, Haise and Swigert) form a triumvirate for outer space. Ed Harris provides ground support as Flight Director Gene Kranz. Well, there was that other guy, Gary Sinise. He plays astronaut Ken Mattingly. That’s the fellow who gets knocked off of the roster at the last minute by German measles - but no one ever mentions him. They did manage, in the name of historical accuracy, to mention the fact that the unfortunate Pilot Haise, played by Bill Paxton, got a major urinary tract infection due to not drinking enough water during the mission. Too much information.

Methinks there was a bit too much testosterone floating around the stratosphere in this film. In the end, everyone keeps their head and all get back to earth safely. I really wasn’t sure there for a few minutes – and that was after seeing the film previously and living through the historical event. When they are done right, movies can be an engrossing form of storytelling. This one was done right.

 >>More to see: Looking for more out of life?

>>Real Life Story: Darrell Waltrip was a great success as a NASCAR driver until a near fatal accident changed his direction in life.

View the video trailer for "Apollo 13" (1995)


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