Based on the true story of the Apollo 13 mission to the moon on April 11, 1970, the film chronicles the tragic mishap that gripped a nation. Man had already set foot on the moon and America, though only less than a year before, now considered the mission to be routine. The mission proved to be anything but routine for those involved. Due to an oxygen tank explosion, the crew never got to achieve the goal of their mission, to reach the moon. America watched anxiously for nearly six days, hoping for a safe return of three young American astronauts.
Apollo 13 was released theatrically in June of 1995. The special effects of the film were ahead of its time. Almost 11 years old, this film was a special effects masterpiece that started with an incredibly realistic launch sequence and concluded with the suspenseful descent back to Earth. Directed by Ron Howard and starring Tom Hanks, Apollo 13 is one of the best films of the past 15 years. Bringing the film to HD-DVD was a good idea, but the format presents some downfalls.
The resolution is incredible, especially for a film that was not filmed during the HD era. With such impressive resolution, some things are a bit too clear. The launch sequence that was so impressive 11 years ago, now presented in 1080i resolution, is so clear it almost looks fake. The smoke billowing from the launch site can noticeably be identified as CG because of the clarity and sharpness of the picture. During Ron Howard’s audio commentary, he mentions that he needed to tell Digital Domain, the company responsible for the film’s computer generated graphics, to diffuse the CG graphics because the images looked ultra real. Unfortunately for Howard, they now look even sharper in HD.