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October 15, 2018

Apollo 13 (1995) --- “Houston, We Have A Problem.”

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Hello, Movie Buffs! 
     In April of 1970, three men – Jim Lovell (Tom Hanks), Fred Haise (Bill Paxton), and Jack Swigert (Kevin Bacon) – were sent into space for a “routine” second walk on the moon. Everything is going according to plan until April 13, 1970, when everything suddenly goes horribly wrong. When the oxygen tank in their service module suffers an electrical short and explodes, the men find themselves in a life and death situation that had Lovell utter those famous words, "Houston, we have a problem". With 2/3 of their fuel cells gone, their navigational systems are shot, and their life support is falling rapidly. It was bad when they discovered that their planned moonwalk was canceled, but it got worse when the likelihood of them coming home alive started to rapidly diminish. Thanks to the help from the brave men and women at Mission Control and the prayers of all those watching did Lovell, Haise, and Swigert safely land in the South Pacific on April 17th, 1970. 

     In Ron Howard's 1995 film Apollo 13, audiences are given a glimpse inside one of the most perilous flights in the history of manned space travel by recreating this story with a technical and dramatic precision that makes this film nothing short of a masterpiece. Director Howard does an incredible job of preserving and showcasing the courage and bravery of this unbelievable true story. Writers William Broyles Jr. and Al Reinert did an incredible job with adapting the novel "Lost Moon" by Jim Lovell and Jeffrey Kluger, into a gripping and riveting screenplay that touches on a number of themes. Themes like loyalty, honor, love, and failure are explored in a way that is not derived from cliché sentimentality. And even though we know how the story ends in history, it does not make this film lackluster whatsoever. In fact, hearing and reading about what happened vs. seeing it happen makes it all the more real, especially for later generations who did not have the opportunity to witness these events in person. And rather than try to hard to appeal to everyone, Howard uses better directing, storytelling effectsts, and acting carry this film.
     The cinematography by Dean Cundey and the special effects are breathtaking and served the film with gravity and realism that makes you feel like you were there. The music by James Horner was excellent with moments of patriotic music that helped carry the story’s themes quite well.
     Casting is one of director Howard’s many strengths and this time it is no exception. With a cast like Tom Hanks (Forrest Gump, The Post), Bill Paxton (The Circle), Kevin Bacon (Patriots Day), Gary Sinise (Forrest Gump, Will Gardner) , Ed Harris (Mother!, Geostorm), and Kathleen Quinlan (Parallel), it is no wonder why the performances in this film were superb.

    Overall, Apollo 13 (1995) is an entertaining and a must-see cinematic masterpiece. This was an enormous undertaking by director Ron Howard, the writers – William Broyles Jr. and Al Reinert – and the cast but it was brilliantly handled. The story was riveting to the end, the cinematography by Dean Cundey and the special effects are breathtaking, the music score was fitting, and the performances were superb. This is a brilliant historical adaptation that should be seen at least one in a person’s lifetime.

"Houston, we have a problem."
- Jim Lovell

Final Vote
Worth Seeing:  9.5 of 10 star
Worth Buying:  9.5 of 10 stars

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Movies Similar 
Apollo 18 (2011)
Armageddon (1998)
The Astronaut Farmer (2007)
Captain Philips (2013)
The Core (2003)
Deep Impact (1998)
First Man (2018)
Gravity (2013)
In the Heart of the Sea (2015)
Interstellar (2014)
The Martian (2015)
Poseidon (2006)
The Perfect Storm (2000)
Space Cowboys (2000)
Twister (1996)
Volcano (1997)
United 93 (2006)
World Trade Center (2006)
The Walk (2015)

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