Apollo 13 on PAL Laserdisc – The DVDfever Review

apollo 13

Apollo 13 tells a true story, less than a year after the first time man walked on the moon. It was considered as simply another routine mission until Lovell (Tom Hanks) spoke the famous words, “Houston, we have a problem”.

Lovell, Haise (Bill Paxton) and Mattingly (Gary Sinise) are the three astronauts chosen to go up in the ship until April 9th 1970, 2 days before the launch, when Mattingly gets the measles and has to pull out, much to the annoyance of the other two. As a member of the backup team, Swigert (Kevin Bacon) takes his place.

On the 13th day, disaster strikes and oxygen begins pouring out of the tanks. Desperate measures are taken in an attempt to solve things. Top-notch acting comes from all the big names, although Kathleen Quinlan doesn’t seem to do much apart from look forlorn as she waits for the return of her husband.

The picture quality is very crisp and clear, coping admirably with the full range of colours on display, and allowing Ron Howard’s vision to fill the screen without a hitch, particularly the special FX which are nothing short of superb.

The surround sound excels in every department from James Horner’s score, through to general ambience, right down to the rocket launch powerful enough to knock you off your seat.

Songs from the 60’s and 70’s form the background music back home, such as The Rascals’ “Groovin”, Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze” and Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit In The Sky”.


Detailed specs:

Running time: 134 minutes
Studio: Pioneer LDCE
Cat.no: PLFEC 34081
Year: 1995
Released: 1996
Sound: Dolby Surround
Widescreen: 2.35:1 (Super-35)
Sides: 3 (CLV)
Chapters: 57 (16/24/17)

Director: Ron Howard
Producer: Brian Grazer
Screenplay: William Broyles Jr & Al Reinert (based on the novel “Lost Moon” by Jim Lovell)
Music: James Horner

Jim Lovell: Tom Hanks
Jack Swigert: Kevin Bacon
Fred Haise: Bill Paxton
Ken Mattingly: Gary Sinise
Gene Kranz: Ed Harris
Marilyn Lovell: Kathleen Quinlan
Mary Haise: Tracy Reiner
Whiz Kid: Austin O’Brien
Congressman: Roger Corman