the fresh films reviews

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Apollo 13 (1995)

Ron Howard



Apollo 13

140 minutes

Brian Grazer
William Broyles Jr.
Al Reinert
Based on the book "Lost Moon" by:
Jim Lovell
Jeffrey Kluger

Cast includes:

Jim Lovell Tom Hanks
Fred Haise Bill Paxton
Jack Swigert Kevin Bacon
Ken Mattingly Gary Sinise
Gene Kranz Ed Harris
Marilyn Lovell Kathleen Quinlan
Barbara Lovell Mary Kate Schellhardt -
Susan Lovell Emily Ann Lloyd -
Jeffrey Lovell Miko Hughes -
NASA Director Joe Spano -
Henry Hurt Xander Berkeley
Glynn Lunney Marc McClure -
Sy Liebergot - EECOM White Clint Howard
John Aaron - EECOM Arthur Loren Dean -
Jerry Bostick - FIDO White Ray McKinnon -
CAPCOM 1 Brett Cullen
Jeffrey Lovell Miko Hughes -



Ron Howard's big-budget epic Apollo 13 is a celebration almost deification of NASA's early lunar travels. But hey, their achievements were among humanity's most remarkable, and certainly worth commemorating. There's no hiding Howard's nostalgia here, however, and while that creates a little distance to the human drama unfolding, it also gives the film a wonderful look and feel. It's almost as if you can smell the 1970s cigarette smoke, feel the wallpapers in the Lovells' house, and believe your own false memories (and cinematographer Dean Cundey's conception) of how every colour was warmer back then. This framework is the basis for Howard's storytelling, which is classically structured within the biopic formula, meaning that every element, from character presentation, build-up, bumps in the road and so on, are a little too neatly laid out for us. The picture does all the thinking for you. You just have to come along for the ride. But it's a fascinating ride which presents its technical aspects with aptitude and without insulting your intelligence. You may not be quite as emotionally invested as Howard would have hoped for, but he is certainly able to captivate with the story's intrinsic momentousness. The star-studded cast all do well, although this is not set up to be their parade. Based on Jim Lowell's own book "Lost Moon".

Re-reviewed: Copyright 29.05.2021 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang
Original review: Copyright 08.10.1997 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang