Apollo 13: The IMAX Experience

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +3

Content: -2

The original 35mm version of Academy Award-winning APOLLO 13, released in 1995, can now be seen in large-format theatres across the country. This debut marks the first time a live-action 35mm feature has been digitally remastered (DMR) for the IMAX 15/70 format. Viewers can now experience APOLLO 13 on screens eight stories high and more than a hundred feet wide with greater sharpness and clarity than ever before, accompanied by the specially-designed sound system providing an awesome all-encompassing intensity. The APOLLO 13 story is ideal for this new larger-than-life format as it follows the real-life events of the ill-fated Apollo 13 flight to the moon in 1970. Astronaut Jim Lovell, commander of the three-man space team, is played by Tom Hanks. Fred Haise and Jack Swigert, his flight team members, are played by Bill Paxton and Kevin Bacon. Based on Lovells book, the film depicts events in the personal lives of the three astronauts, but focuses on the heart pounding, life threatening in-flight crisis which forces them to abort their moon landing. As they struggle to survive on the crippled space ship and get back to earth, the Houston space command center led by Gene Kranz (Ed Harris) and back-up astronaut Ken Mattingly (Gary Sinise) test make-shift, jury-rigged repairs in the frantic efforts to save them. The anxiety of the astronauts families and friends, as well as the close bonds of their NASA co-workers, are also dramatically portrayed. Todays viewers of this remarkable film will be even more thrilled by the large-screen format than those who cheered it in 1995.

Still, it is somewhat surprising that this film received a PG rating, considering the frequent occurrence of foul language, mostly profanities, in the dialogue. With the most screen time, most of the objectionable words are blurted out by the astronauts as problems are encountered in the attempt to save their lives in the badly damaged space ship. And the stress of events in the Houston command center, also cause moments of offensive expletives. Although this language is somewhat understandable and probably realistic, the drama and suspense of this exciting film provide more than enough realism without resorting to profanity. Swigert is characterized as a womanizer and uses a sexually suggestive explanation of a spacecraft maneuver when talking to an attractive woman. At the same time, both Jim Lovell and Fred Haise are portrayed as loving, family men with caring and supportive wives and children. Both the astronauts and their ground support team display outstanding courage, ingenuity and fortitude in dealing with the potentially deadly spacecraft crisis. Although the big-screen APOLLO 13 is a special treat, the original film could be a better view on video using a filtering device like TVGuardian to eliminate foul language.

Preview Reviewer: John Evans
IMAX and Universal Pictures, 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91606

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (18) times - Mild 16, moderate 2

Obscene Language: Once S-word

Profanity: Many (11) times Regular (GD 6, J 2, C 2 G)

Violence: None, but malfunctions cause parts of the spacecraft to violently tear apart and damage the ship

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times - Astronaut gives sexually suggestive explanation of spacecraft maneuver to woman, references to sexually transmitted diseases

Drugs: Some social drinking, no drunkenness

Other: Uplifting drama of space mens courage and determination in time of crisis, loving/ supportive families portrayed

Running Time: 117 minutes
Intended Audience: 8 years and older

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