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Showing 1-10 of 179 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 261 reviews
on May 19, 2008
I'm a space nut. So, at first, I'm thinking, "This is pretty familiar stuff."

I had often imagined what liftoff felt like, but then I heard astronauts describe it. Mike Collins: "I'd describe it as a nervous novice driving a wide car down a narrow alley. You know, you've gotta make corrections. You're not quite sure. You zig this way, and I mean... and what it is, is those big motors underneath, gimbaling, you know, swiveling back and forth to keep you in balance ... and the gimbaling of the motors, you feel in the seat of your pants. And, thinking, 'Gee, that launch tower is just a few feet off to one side. I hope this sucker isn't gonna gimbal over in that direction too much.'"

I thought I knew all about the 1202 and 1201 computer alarms that almost aborted the first moon landing. The on-board computers were overloaded. I knew why mission controllers said, "We're go on that." But I never knew how the computers got overloaded until Buzz Aldrin explained it in this film: "Being Dr. Rendezvous, no matter what the checklist said, I was gonna leave the rendezvous radar on and active... So the landing radar is feeding information, the rendezvous radar is, and evidently that combination was not anticipated by the guys at MIT."

The astronaut interviews pull you into the experience of going to the moon -- and more importantly, of returning safely to the earth. Apollo 12 astronaut Alan Bean:

"Since that time, I have not complained about the weather one single time. I'm glad there is weather. I've not complained about traffic. I'm glad there's people around. One of the things that I did when I got home, I went down to shopping centers, and I'd just go around there, get an ice cream cone or somethin', and just watch the people go by, and think: 'Boy, we're lucky to be here. Why do people complain about the earth? We are living in the Garden of Eden.'"

I'm a DVD nut, too. I tend to listen to all the commentary tracks, and watch all the extra features. Even if you don't do that, on this DVD, be sure to watch the "Bonus Interviews & Stories" in "Special Features." It's about an hour of additional material that was cut from the movie, and it's solid gold.

Excellent movie. Excellent DVD.
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on September 8, 2012
I watched this movie, twice, when it was in the theaters and wanted to see it again after Neil Armstrong's death. Awesome is not too strong a description for it. There is some science, a history of the project, and lots of amazing visuals, but the heart of the movie is the personal experiences of the men who traveled to the moon during the short window of time that the journey was deemed worthy of resources. All of those men are old now, but their memories are vivid. Watching In the Shadow of the Moon brings back the excitement of those Kennedy inspired Apollo missions, which spanned most of the socially turbulent 1960s, and makes me wish that space travel could still be on our national agenda. The moon landing was meant to one-up the Soviets, but at least for a while people all over the world felt connected to and enthusiastic about the achievement.

Neil Armstrong didn't seek celebrity after being the first person to walk on the moon, and he didn't participate in the making of this movie, but he's remembered with fond amazement by the other astronauts and is seen in old video footage. All of the astronauts that did participate had fascinating things to say about the moon landing program, but Mike Collins, who never actually got to the surface of the moon himself, stands out with witty down-to-earth insights and self-depreciating humor.
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on August 3, 2013
What can I say that has not already been said about the amazing documentary In the Shadow of the Moon? If you love anything to do with The Space Race and those heroic men who flew machines out into the vastness of outer space, you will ADORE this movie! By nature I am an emotional person. The beauty of nature and the strength of the human spirit moves me. The music that starts this film touched my heart so much that tears ran down my check just listening to Mike Collins and Charlie Duke. Truly the music is a character in and of itself. This is one of the most artistic documentaries about the Apollo missions that I've seen (and I've seen almost every one made). You are taken up close to these old men. You are looking into their eyes and their very souls. Then you see them as young vibrant men. And you see how much they've changed...and how much they have not changed. This documentary takes you into places in the hearts of these astronauts you might never go unless you knew them personally. (The additional film and the commentary cut are must see pieces as well.) Astronaut Gene Cernan is one of my favorites (read his autobiography Last Man on the Moon for a great read!) and listening to him open up so expressively touched my soul. They all dug deep to give the viewers a huge piece of themselves.

I loved this documentary and have watched it several times. You learn that there is so much more to the story than the United States and Russia racing to the moon. You learn about the men who had the guts to fly out there into the unknown. I recommend it HIGHLY!
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on April 17, 2016
Absolutely one of the best films you'll ever watch about the Apollo Space Program. I was a teenager when it began and was fortunate to watch it on TV when our astronauts landed. It was only TV then, no internet, no cable news. You got what the media reported. The astronauts voice exchange was cool and scientific. Things took place that weren't always broadcast word for word,and here you get a collage of what these men were thinking, and what they feel now. It makes you wonder how this technology of 50 years ago ever could put a man on the moon, which has yet to be duplicated by any other country.
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on September 14, 2007
"In the Shadow of the Moon" is a documentary created by Ron Howard's Imagine Pictures, the group that made "Apollo 13". It combines documentary footage and on-camera interviews with most of the surviving Apollo astronauts, to tell the story of Apollo, and to give the astronauts a forum for reflecting on the experience of having been to the Moon.

The film is superbly put together, as you would expect. The archival footage is lovingly remastered, but the filmmakers resisted the temptation to tart it up: the scratches and, in one case, a clump of dust on the projector, are there for all to see. Most of the footage is familiar, but some I'd never seen before

Most of the surviving Apollo astronauts appear in the film; I missed only Fred Haise and Neil Armstrong. The astronauts' personalities come across very strongly - from taciturn John Young, to jolly Al Bean, to the introspective yet cocky Eugene Cernan. All of them have interesting things to say.

If you're not familiar with the Apollo program, or if you're a young woman or young man and all that Apollo stuff is something that your parents or grandparents natter about, you owe it to yourself to see "In the Shadow of the Moon". Project Apollo was something unique in all of human history, a very special moment in the life of our nation and of our species. NASA did a very difficult thing, and did it superbly well; but even more important, those 12 men who stood on another world and looked back on our Earth, have things to say that are interesting and enlightening and important.

If you're a fan of the Apollo program, "In the Shadow of the Moon" won't present much that is new. You've probably seen most of the archival footage already, and heard the astronauts say very similar things at one time or another. But Imagine has told that familiar story very well. And most importantly, the in-depth interviews with the astronauts give us an historical record of their thoughts as they approach the end of their lives. All of those men are in their 70s or 80s. Soon, they won't be with us any more. Their achievement will reside in the history books, distant, something experienced by someone else long ago. But thanks to films like this, those men will still be able to tell us and future generations what it was like and what it meant.

Some day, a man or woman - perhaps someone not yet born - will stand again at Tranquility Base. And when that happens, it will be thanks in large measure to artists like Ron Howard, who will have helped to keep the dream alive.

In summary: I liked the movie. Go see it. It's a good movie.
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on November 15, 2016
I absolutely love this documentary. It's as captivating as a movie. After watching it twice I still want to see it again.
There's a sensation of getting a 'behind the scenes' view of the space project with insight unavailable available elsewhere. Hearing he astronauts own stories is so powerful. And the order of the story is so gentle and peaceful, but because of the topic it feels almost like an action or drama film.
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on September 25, 2011
I saw this movie in a theater with my wife and a good friend, a former aviator in the U.S. Navy. We sat motionless and in spellbound silence for the entire time. This is a movie about human beings, their need to explore the unknown, and their sense of place on earth, in space, and in the universe. Many of the astronauts talk with an almost religious overtone to their experiences in space, yet it is not religion as practiced on earth. It is more of a raw spiritual reflection that is powerful and thought-provoking. Whether a viewer was alive during the Apollo missions or has simply learned about the U.S. space program in school, there is much to learn from the astronauts reflections 40 years after their accomplishments. This is not Ron Howard in his classic masterful storytelling mode but rather Ron Howard masterfully facilitating all of the people who crafted the story themselves, from the astronauts to the people who spent so many hours in the archives to get just the right pieces of historical footage to complement the astronauts recollections. I have given this DVD to all of my relatives, those who watched Apollo live and those whose young lives are developing today, to give inspiration from real people reflecting on real events.
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on March 18, 2008
Of all mankind's technical achievements, none comes close to landing a man on the moon. This amazing British documentary, made by Apollo 13 director Ron Howard, takes us back 40 years to a time when the world watched in awe as Apollo 11 made that perilous journey to the moon. 'In the Shadow of the Moon' is a truly remarkable documentary, with the astronauts telling the story and superb NASA film from the moonshots bringing their words to life - back to life for those of us who watched it the first time. Like the 'Apollo 13' movie, Howard brings an unerring sense of confidence and suspense to his work. The descriptions and close-ups of the Apollo rocket lifting off are still some of the few truly sensational movie images available; Howard also gathers together the very best and most historic film shot on the moon.

Are you too young to have lived through it? See it for the first time and fly with the astronauts. Were you there when it happened? See it brought to vivid life as a piece of history more dramatic than fiction unfolds before you. And listen to the well chosen words of those walked on the moon, and saw our world with a different, more contented perspective.

Two tips. Watch it on the biggest screen you can. And read Andrew Smith's book 'Moondust' afterwards - it's the perfect accompaniment. True five star entertainment.
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on November 20, 2011
Nearly 50 years later, it's easy to forget or downplay the significance of early space flight. If you were there or not (I was not), this film does just an incredible job of captivating its watcher with the marvel of such a feat. Beyond the summit of Everest, beyond the construction of the pyramids, this film represents the epitome of humankind. In a time when nothing seems certain, when our country seems to have fallen from grace, this film serves as an excellent reminder of what made the United States what it is today. I watched it today and I was proud to be an American. The film has an excellent format that summarizes the Apollo space flights into a 1:40 minute movie. Not every detail was hit upon, but overall it does a great job. I was most impressed by the humanizing of the experience through the astronauts. Hearing heartfelt, first-hand accounts of what it was like to be there, the thoughts and emotions, is both mesmerizing and confounding. I couldn't imagine what such an event would be like, how it would change you. As a professional pilot and an amateur astronomer, I was so glad to hear my thoughts reaffirmed towards the end of the film. We live in the Garden of Eden. I don't care if you buy into that mentality or not, it's just how I feel after studying the universe for several years. In my opinion, this is a mandatory watch. Young or old, it will make you appreciate just what our country did and what we are capable of as human beings.
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on March 3, 2008
The Apollo moon landings of the late 1960's and early 1970's have been the subject of countless documentaries over the nearly forty years since they occurred. Of all of them, only two films have captured the spirit of Apollo and of the men who took the journey. One of them is Al Reinert's 1989 masterpiece For All Mankind. The other is this film: In The Shadow Of The Moon. And this film easily rivals For All Mankind for the position of best Apollo documentary.

This film takes the idea behind For All Mankind and takes it to the next level. For All Mankind showed us the astronauts as they were then with narration from interviews. In The Shadow Of The Moon, as I wrote, goes the next step further. It shows the astronauts not only as they were, but as they are now. The difference is often times amazing. To go from young fighter pilot to being one of the few men to have left our planet must have been an amazing journey as the film shows and these men prove it. Like For All Mankind, their narration and appearances are the heart and soul of the story being told.

The body of the story is the footage. Where as For All Mankind brilliantly combined all the footage into one large mission, this film doesn't to a degree. It shows us highlights from the program including Apollo 8 and Apollo 11 and then makes a conscience effort not to confuse missions together. This allows for clarity that many have complained about being missing from For All Mankind. But this clarity also allows for something else as well. It allows for depth in story.

While the film is always the star of a DVD release, the special features on the DVD are also terrific. From Ron Howard's introduction to the audio commentary (which offers some insight on the footage and its source) to the featureate on Phillip Shepherd's score, one gets to feel the passion the filmmakers have for the subject and the film. They do what special features are supposed to do: offer a supplement to the film.

To be frank, In The Shadow Of The Moon is an amazing piece of work. Not since For All Mankind as a film of any size, shape, or form captured the spirit of Apollo. This is a film about a dream, the men who lived it, and its legacy not only for them but for us as well. I beg you to see this film. Only after that and viewing For All Mankind can one understand not only the legacy of Apollo but our need to explore Space.
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