"Houston, we have a problem"
JTurner - wrote on 06/06/09
When astronauts Jim Lovell, Fred Haise, and Jack Swigert signed up for the Apollo 13 space mission to the moon in 1970, little did all three suspect that their voyage (and lives) would become endangered by a series of technical disasters that occurred three days just after launching from Earth. It took a lot of skillful engineering from the folks at NASA, including one Ken Mattingley, who was jettisoned from the mission due to fear of contacting the measles, to miraculously bring the astronaut trio home alive. Director Ron Howard and a top-flight cast led by Tom Hanks (who gives yet another amazing performance) and Gary Sinise (who, incidentally, co-starred with Tom in the previous year's FORREST GUMP as Lt. Dan) depict the events of this near tragedy as a nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat thriller, with engrossing results. The staging, execution, and direction are all top-notch (with plenty of very seamless computer-enhanced visual effects) and James Horner's Oscar-nominated score is rousing, but it's ultimately the very real tension not only in the space flight but between the three astronauts as well that make APOLLO 13 a truly mesmerizing film. Even viewers who know the outcome of these events will find themselves breathless by the climactic moments leading up to the finale.