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

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Advertisement
Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

With heavy overtones of Hitchcockian mystery and intrigue, this stylish thriller is the enjoyably melodramatic...

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

The 1989 Muay Thai action movie Kickboxer starred a young Jean-Claude Van Damme, who pops...

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

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.