Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D

"Very Good"

Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D Review


When Tom Hanks gets his mitts on a topic, he squeezes it within an inch of its life. So just when you thought Hanks was done with space (Apollo 13, From The Earth to the Moon), he teams with NASA and an all-star roster of talent for this thorough, occasionally thrilling 3D IMAX feature.

Magnificent Desolation is another Hanks love letter to the country's lunar program, and his earnestness makes for compelling content about American moon voyages and the details within. But the real awe comes from the film's incredible 3D, giant screen versions of moonwalks, as guided by director Mark Cowen.

Smartly, Cowen and his team recreate the real thing and then some. They posit what could have happened, a surprisingly chilly reality about the inherent dangers -- and possible disasters -- that awaited the men who walked on the moon. When Hanks, in an entertaining voiceover, reveals that hours and hours of moonwalks resulted in zero error, he imparts a real sense of pride and relief. And when the film imagines the slightest of problems, the fear is real too.

Hanks' storytelling skills also come in handy in an attempt to overcome the film's most challenging problem: the grainy, crappy black-and-white footage of the actual moonwalks. The filmmakers' subpar solution is to display these historic moments within a series of faux television screens layered over a serene 3D moon background. Essentially, we end up watching TV in a really big theater. Sure it's different, but it takes virtually no advantage of the 3D technology and less involved viewers may lose interest.

If the assorted voiceovers throughout the film sound familiar, they should. Reading actual quotes from the astronauts is an impressive assembly of major film talent including Gary Sinise, Matt Damon, and Paul Newman. To credit their dedication and delivery, I only recognized a few distinct voices, and assumed there were perhaps five actors participating. In reality, the voiceover list, including the real astronauts, is 30 deep. Have fun seeing whose voices you can recognize.

A funny, unexpected addition to the film is a series of quick interviews with youngsters, proving that today's kids know little to nothing about man's exploits on the moon. To them, traveling to the moon is as fantastical as it was to "lunatics" hundreds of years ago. Sound bites from a couple of particularly ambitious kids springboard into a dreamy IMAX creation of a moon existence not yet realized -- but one that might be.

Even with the lags that occur within Magnificent Desolation, condensing the moon program into roughly 60 minutes is a pretty impressive feat. Giving you the feeling of actually being part of it is even more impressive.

Bouncy bouncy.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 40 mins

In Theaters: Friday 23rd September 2005

Box Office USA: $32.5M

Distributed by: Imax Corporation

Production compaines: IMAX, Playtone, Herzog-Cowen Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
Fresh: 28 Rotten: 4

IMDB: 7.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , , , Mark Herzog

Starring: as Narrator, as Ed Mitchell, as Neil Armstrong, as Charles Duke, as Dave Scott, as Al Shepard, as Jim Irwin, as Al Bean

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

The 2012 Canadian comedy Goon was one of those surprising little films that snuck up...

Detroit Movie Review

Detroit Movie Review

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Good news: Steven Soderbergh's well-publicised retirement from directing only lasted about four years. He's back...

American Made Movie Review

American Made Movie Review

An enjoyably freewheeling tone and Tom Cruise's star wattage combine to make this an entertaining...

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

Advertisement
The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.