From the Earth to the Moon - The Signature Edition
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This 12-hour HBO miniseries created by Tom Hanks garnered 17 Emmy nominations and captivated audiences. From the early stages of the space program and Kennedy's 1961 call to reach the moon within a decade to the successes and heartbreaking failures of the race for space, the dream was kept alive by dedicated, daring professionals and a nation intent on reaching for -- and landing amid -- the stars, all while the world faced the Vietnam War.
The 2005 "Signature Edition" adds a powerful DTS track along with a remastered picture (now in widescreen). It takes many of the extra features from the original 1998 release's DVD-ROM disc and puts them onto a DVD disc including the standard making-of docs and several text segments on the solar system and timeline of space travel. This makes for easier viewing, but the new edition loses the virtual datacenter of space and NASA information that would be hard to reproduce without the ROM disc. The extra discs are mainly to hold both the DTS and 5.1 soundtracks; there are no new features. --Doug Thomas
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The series brings so many things to life and shows how big a deal this was, how significant, how historic: President Kennedy's speech, others' ideas, planning, selecting the astronauts, training, hard work, commitment, bravery, perseverance, math/science/engineering, tragedy, near-tragedy, the humanity and emotions and friendships, etc., and much more.
Sadly, Gene Cernan, who was featured in the last episode and was the last man to walk on the moon (Apollo 17, December 1972) died 2 days ago [01/16/2017, the same day my brother-in-law watched 7 episodes].
This is a very common practice these days and used by many populat director's (e.g., James Cameron, Terminator 3). One major reason for this approach is that it eliminates the hack-job method of making pan-scan full screen versions of films where important content is lost on the sides. Using this method the widescreen version contains all the content that the director intended by what is captured within the 16x9 framed viewscreen, while including the extra material above and below for fullscreen presentations with no loss on the sides and no need to pan around the image.
So you see the production was geared to support both aspect ratio's as best as possible. While some may prefer the extra content above and below when watched in it's 4x3 format, it was considered superflous from the director's perspective. I'll bet many have actually seen widescreen movies filmed in an open-matte format and never realized or missed that there may have actually been more content in the fullscreen version.
In the end, the original 4x3 release was intended to maximize the benefits of all the 4x3 TV's still out there. But as time has moved on and more 16x9 sets are in people's home the newer 16x9 version should be the preferred version. Especially, if one considers that while some extra content is lost, what the director truely intended to be seen in the image is maximized on your widescreen set.
Hopefully, this has cleared up some of the reasoning behind the change for potential future purchasers.
The mini series shows all aspects of the moon program starting from its earliest days right up to the Apollo missions. The parts I loved most about this mini series was showing engineers, scientists and the technicians who worked together to develop the vehicles needed to get to the moon.
I also loved the segment about the wives who supported their husbands before, during and after their mission ended.
I highly recommend this beautiful mini series that is well filmed, directed and acted.
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