Huston, We Have a Problem

Apollo 13 made space exploration cool again. Although it contains plenty of language and “emotional intensity,” Apollo 13 was rated PG in order to make it accessible for classrooms and curious younger audiences. Apollo 13 was nominated for Best Picture, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Adapted Screenplay, Art Direction, Original Score, and Visual Effects. Only winning for Best Sound and Best Film Editing. CGI is only used in breathtaking outer space scenes. It was director Ron Howard’s goal to make the most authentic space travel movie that he could. So the movie had help from NASA and filmed with genuine antigravity.

Rather than focus on the more famous first moon landing, Apollo 13 brings attention to the 1970 failed moon landing by the Apollo 13 crew. As told by astronaut Jim Lovell in the non-fiction book Lost Moon. Apollo 13 popularized the space program and Mission Control with iconic lines like “Houston, we have a problem” and “Failure is not an option.” The all-star cast is great whether they’re in space or on the ground. Fresh off his 2 Oscar wins, Tom Hanks ironically ended up playing a spaceman months before Toy Story hit theaters. Jim Lovell is joined by fellow astronauts Fred Haise and Jack Swigert. It’s game over for Bill Paxton who plays Haise and Kevin Bacon joins the team last minute as Swigert.

Although Ken Mattingly is unfortunately grounded, at least Gary Sinise kept Lt. Dan’s promise of becoming an astronaut. Their mission starts off well, but tension rises when the crew faces electrical failure and oxygen loss. Turning a 3 day trip to the moon into a week long fight for survival. Meanwhile, Ed Harris earned an Oscar nomination as the determined Flight Director Gene Kranz. Both Lovell and Haise have families to think about, but only Kathleen Quinlan was nominated for playing Jim’s worried wife Marilyn. Speaking of family, Ron Howard gave a small role to every member of his family. Apollo 13 lands with an impressive depiction of astronauts and space travel.

Apollo 13

The Apollo 13 crew

6 thoughts on “Huston, We Have a Problem

  1. My parents were in High School when the Apollo 13 malfunctioned. They remember pretty well all the news coverage and the astronauts letting everyone know they were OK. Such an entertaining and gripping story, you root for the astronauts all the way to come back home safe.

    Liked by 1 person

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