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4.6 out of 5 stars
The Dream Is Alive (IMAX)
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on February 20, 2004
"The Dream Is Alive" is a beautifully-done, albeit fairly short (36 minutes), IMAX film.
Narrated expertly (as usual) by veteran newscaster Walter Cronkite, this program takes the viewer into space via NASA's remarkable Space Shuttle Orbiters. We see the astronauts working, eating, and sleeping in the vacuum of space, as they orbit hundreds of miles above our Earth at a speed of 17,500 MPH.
We also see three breathtaking Shuttle launches (including one beautiful nighttime lift-off) from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, all of which are photographed from different viewpoints and with crystal-clear clarity. These launches look magnificent on this DVD release!
This program was originally filmed in 1984. In addition to the copyright date on the packaging (which is actually 1985), we can tell the timeframe of this footage by the missions being photographed for the program -- including STS-41-C (launched on April 6, 1984), which was a mission of historical significance, marking the first time a satellite had ever been repaired in space.
Another Shuttle mission we get a first-hand, in-space glimpse of is STS-41-D, which took to the skies on August 30, 1984.
Sadly, two of the astronauts we see performing their duties in this IMAX presentation (Francis Scobee and Judy Resnik) were lost in the Challenger disaster less than two years after the filming of this program.
The DVD gives us a good 5.1 Dolby Surround soundtrack; while the video is presented in Full Frame (1.33:1), which is the original aspect ratio of the film.
In addition to the splendid-looking (and sounding) launches, we also see some rather unique camera angles while the Shuttle is landing (one sequence filmed from -- I think -- one of the "chase" planes that always fly alongside the spacecraft as it's landing). Great footage here!
There's also time given to provide some gorgeous pictures of our blue and green planet as photographed by the Shuttle astronauts on their various missions. The "Pause" function on the ol' DVD Player comes in handy when viewing these pretty Earthly images. You can "pause" them with perfect clarity too. Not a sign of blurriness to be found. Ah, the beauty of DVD. :)
The "pause" button is also great for freeze-framing the spectacular launch footage shown here as well. Just like a picture postcard it is. :)
Even with its brief running time, there's still plenty here for space fanatics to sink their teeth into.
This is one space-related DVD to watch over and over again. A class act all the way.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on March 16, 2003
I saw The Dream is Alive when it first appeared in 1985, and was absolutely blown away by both the photography and the music; IMAX was in its infancy then, but the crispness, the color, the imagery, and the thoughtful editing combined to make this a truly unforgettable documentary. It may well be the benchmark for all IMAX productions. The theme is simple: Space is meant to be explored, and we can do it. Thankfully, the producers concentrated on the visuals rather than clouding the images with technotalk. I spent years trying to find both the DVD and the VHS version, and finally -- 15 years later -- found it at the Reuben H. Fleet Space Center in San Diego, where I first saw it. Micky Erbe and Maribeth Solomon produced a most powerful and moving set of musical selections -- TDIA's signature theme has remained with me through the years. Their mix of syhthesized, symphonic and vocal performances are absolutely stunning, and adds a dimension of synergy to the visuals that I feel has been unmatched in any IMAX production since. Every time I watch the film, I am moved by its sheer power and unparalleled splendor. This film reinforces the belief that, in spite of the 1986 and the most recent shuttle tragedies, the dream truly is alive.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
This is the second or so IMAX film I remember seeing. I think I saw it in 1986, soon after the Challenger disaster, although the film is dated 1985 (Challenger was lost on 28 January 1986.) Remember when they used to show these movies in big inflatable bubble-buildings at the State Fair?
The beautiful scenes of Earth from space, narration by the immortal Walter Cronkite, inspirational music, and scenes with astronauts Resnick and Scobee, later lost with Challenger, make this everything that I think an IMAX movie should be - awe-inspiring, a little patriotic, and flat-out spectacular. This film always brings tears to my eyes and reminds me that the American spirit that made the space program possible can be used to accomplish remarkable things.
Technical note: I expected unbelievably fine image quality from a DVD of an IMAX movie but the master used to make this DVD was not completely pristine. About the same quality as a regular 35mm movie.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 20, 2001
As I was growing up, we would occasionally view my parents black & white (no sound) wedding video. While my mother would point out certain events, my father would always remind us of who was no longer alive - sort of a dark humor thing.
I found myself doing the same thing with this movie, which was made before the Challenger Disaster. There is extensive footage of the Challenger spacecraft, as well as astronauts Francis R. (Dick) Scobee and Judith A. Resnik - all of whom perished in the fatefull Challenger Disaster in 1986.
Assuming your not bothered by images of now deceased astronauts, this is a terrific IMAX transfer. I first viewed this film at the Air & Space museum in Washington, DC. The shuttle launches and opening sonic booms, alone, make this worth the price. Excellent background music and stunning views of Earth from orbit make this very enjoyable.
The only technical drawback is a lack of an index, but this is not a long movie to fast-forward through.
Overall, highly recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 28, 2005
I have seen this movie dozens of times, both in Imax theaters and on VHS and now DVD. It never gets old. I envy those that are seeing this for the first time: a couple of tips: watch on the biggest screen available with a good surround system hooked up and volume turned up to 11. Press "Play" and prepare to be blown away!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 21, 2001
A lot of people say their childhoods were shaped by Star Wars. Pah. Mine was shaped by this movie. No, I didn't become an astronaut, but "The Dream is Alive" brought the beauty of our planet to me in a way nothing had before.
Something is lost not watching the movie on the enormous IMAX screen, but the spectacular 5.1 presentation of the sound makes this DVD well worth buying. Cue up the beginning, crank the sound, and just wait for that opening sonic boom. Magic.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 11, 2001
I first saw the movie in 1988 at the IMAX theater in the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, PA. Till this day I love this movie. You will not find another movie about the space shuttle like this. It's beautiful scenes of the earth, it's nothing you will ever experience without leaving our planet. A must have!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 1, 2001
As someone who is aspiring to be an astronaut this movie is awesome. And to think that the movie was filmed in 85, you would never guess, for the DVD quality is far beyond superb, and the images crystal clear. The music that accompanies the amazing images only adds to the splendor of this DVD, a must have
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 24, 2001
I have seen this movie dozens of times in IMAX theaters, and I bought the VHS. I couldn't wait for the DVD. This movie contains amazing imagery, and incredbile footage. Even naysayers cannot help but feel a twang in their heart for the US Space Program. This movie is so beautiful, I cry every time I see it.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on July 21, 2003
one of the finest dvd i have ever owned it blows star wars away in terms of footage nothing is as beautifull like the shots of earth from space and the launch shook my room so did the sonic boom awesome sound.
buy it for the finest dvd experince ever and go a place far far away.
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