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

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

At just 27 years old, Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan has an almost overwhelming set of...

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

Advertisement
The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

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.