A crew of astronauts in 1970 go on one of the most dangerous moon operations conducted by the United States. They must improvise, endure, and overcome multiple obstacles in a freezing space environment in order to get home alive.
The story of Apollo 13 follows one Jim Lovell (Tom Hanks) as he celebrates the historic moment of Neil Armstrong walking on the moon with family and friends. We find that he too is an astronaut as glances of his achievements can be observed within his home. While using his thumb to measure the moon, kind of like how artist do when they draw stuff, he discusses his dreams with his wife Marilyn Lovell (Kathleen Quinlan) of some day following in his predecessor’s footsteps by being the next man to walk on the moon. And in addition to that he names a lunar mountain range after his wife and points it out to her creating a romantic moment for the two of them, but she is unable to see it because the moon is thousands of miles away.
Though where there is a dream there is always obstacles and risks that one must overcome. For Jim Lovell it is the pressure of getting everything just right within extremely tight deadlines. We find Jim giving a quick tour of NASA’s facilities to a group of stakeholders who are funding the moon landing operations. As he gives the tour we find that they are questioning as to why they should keep funding NASA as the need to beat the Russians in a race to the moon has already been achieved. As Jim does his best to dodge the bullet there, an opportunity arises for him to achieve his dream and goal. It turns out that the previous crew to fly the Apollo 13 ship have contrived an illness and have been decommissioned. As such Jim and his crew are now considered for the program. There is, however, a catch. They must complete all of their training and get everything right in just six months. Which is apparently not a long time to prepare. In addition to the decreased time and tight training schedule Jim is asked to make public appearances.
Despite this an excited and eager Jim seizes the opportunity and we, the audience, get a glimpse into the procedures and training an astronaut must go through in order to prepare for such an ordeal. It is here are introduced to his trusted crew mates Fred Haise (Bill Paxton) and Ken Mattingly (Gary Sinise) as they run simulations together to ensure a perfect procedure and coordinate with each other in their methods of work.
However, tensions rise and the drama starts when people begin to speculate bad luck for the flight and the higher ups in NASA want to split up the crew just two days before the launch due to medical conditions. While Jim is not happy about the situation he has no choice but to enlist the help of rookie pilot and overall lady’s man Jack Swigert (Kevin Bacon). At this point they must rush through the simulations and training time and time again as Jack fails to work the scenario.
Upon launch day they have a mostly successful flight out of the Earth’s atmosphere until they get their first glitch moments afterwards. Ultimately they decide to not worry about it. After all, there’s nothing wrong when a glitch happens just a few minutes after launching one’s fragile human body strapped to steel tube into endless vacuum that is outer space right? Despite this, it is a smooth ride for the astronauts to the moon. That is until they are given an order to shake up the oxygen tanks. Jack follows orders presses a couple buttons to do so when one small little teeny tiny nozzle breaks which then initiates a non-stop string of chaos and suspense for the rest of the film. Issue by issue the crew must improvise solutions in order to get back home alive. And in one scenario are literally placed in a life or death scenario of figuring out how to put a square plug in a round hole.
Overall, it is an enjoyable film that will keep one on the edge of their seat. Additionally, the film does a good job on informing people like me, who know nothing about being an astronaut, on all of the procedures and complications by adding in scenes where Jim explains it to his youngest son or by adding clips from shows of experts breaking down the process in layman’s terms. If one does not understand just how stressful the situation at the time the explanations given concurrently will definitely have you sweating.
Release Date: June 30, 1995
Starring: Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, Kevin Bacon, Gary Sinise, Ed Harris, Kathleen Quinlan
Director: Ron Howard
Distributor: Universal Studios
Genre: Adventure / Drama / History
Runtime: 140 Minutes
Official Website: www.uphe.com/movies/apollo-13
Eddieson Burkhalter | Writing Contributor
B.A | Japanese | San Diego State Univ.
My name is Eddieson. I’m an open minded dreamer that likes to look for new opportunities, experiences, and challenges in life to make things a bit more interesting. After graduating from San Diego State University with a Japanese degree and minor in Business, I landed an office job in Shinjuku, Japan where I dealt with online marketing matters as well as content creation. Though I come from an international business background I could never escape the alluring call of an emotionally manipulating story, regardless of the medium, that could turn the toughest body builder into a two year old child watching The Muppets and eating “pig newtons”. So long as the story is well done it doesn’t matter to me whether it’s presented as a comic, video game, anime, book, movie, or even an interpretive dance with bananas and jello. After some intense independent study I have not only been more than inspired to join the industry, but brought to a point where I wonder why I gave up pursuing this stuff in college and turned to a course of pulling my hair out before each exam. Regardless, I love stories and hope to be presented with the opportunity to tell my own; most likely through writing. With a fire in my heart and goals set I am actively gaining skills each day to hopefully one day help others in their endeavors as well as achieve my own dreams. |Instagram @BlaEddieBla| View My Articles
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