I’m a space nut, not as hardcore as some but I’m quite a fan of NASA and Space exploration. Every time I’m in Orlando I make an effort to make it out to the Kennedy Space center. I’ve seen a shuttle launch which is easily one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. Even seeing footage of one gives me goosebumps. I’ve been to the Johnson Space Center the one time I’ve visited Houston. So my interest in the Leonardo DiCaprio narrated Hubble 3D was high from the first trailer I saw for it in front of an Avatar screening some time last December. I missed the special screening of it at SXSW earlier this year but have now rectified that as it is finally opening in Kansas City this weekend.
Hubble 3D has a very short forty minute run time. The film takes footage from three separate missions that serviced the Hubble telescope most of which is culled from STS-125 that took place in May 2009. With it’s short run time not a whole lot of time is spent on the daily minutia of the daily operations of Hubble. Most of the time in the documentary is spent on broad general overviews about the telescope. Thankfully it isn’t a pure cheerleading film skirting over the various issues the telescope has experienced over its time in orbit. They discuss the problems the lenses had shortly after its launch. They also touch on the debate that erupted regarding the final servicing mission from which most of the footage is culled from. It doesn’t dwell on most of these instead using old news footage to run through a high-level of the various situations the Hubble has experienced. The film instead spends most of its time discussing mind melting ideas about the number of galaxies that are out there maybe some like ours, with other inhabitants. It also takes time explaining how stars are made.
A number of popular Hubble images are converted to 3D for the film and this is arguably the coolest way to experience a shuttle launch short of taking a trip to Florida to see one in person. Which if you ever want to, do make travel arrangements now since the final planned Space launch for the foreseeable future is scheduled for next February. The short run time however ends up selling the film pretty short since it does take such a high level view of everything with out getting to into the details. If your a space fan like I it’s a fun ride to take it’s just that it leaves you wanting.
I give Hubble 3D 3.5 “pieces of space junk” out of 5
By John Coovert