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Showing 1-10 of 18 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 37 reviews
on November 8, 2014
Space exploration has often returned to Earth incredible images not just from the heavens but of the Earth itself. So the pairing of out of this world images with IMAX seems like an ideal match and indeed space themed documentaries have long been a staple of IMAX's output. First premiering in 1985, The Dream Is Alive presents highlights from a year of NASA Space Shuttle missions and does so with IMAX's usual flair.

Having being made at the height of the Space Shuttle program in 1984, The Dream Is Alive is in some respects an interesting historical document for those interested in the history of space exploration. There's interesting behind the scenes footage of the shuttle program including the replacing of the shuttle's all important heat tiles (which would play a role in the tragic demise of the Columbia nearly two decades later) and the escape system astronauts would have (but thankfully never) used in the event of an emergency on the launch pad. There's also of course footage from a number of shuttle missions including footage of the now late Sally Ride as well as a number of including the dramatic recovery of the Solar Max satellite.

What this really captures more than anything else is the pre-Challenger atmosphere that surrounded the shuttle program including its early successes and the optimism that surrounded it. The tragedy of Challenger and the eventual disappointments of the shuttle program had yet to happen. There's something rather both odd and touching about the narration of Walter Cronkite, himself a major proponent and enthusiast of space exploration, at the end talking about how people would soon be living in space and how children would one day be born there. Close to thirty years later with the shuttle program over, the ISS soaring over our heads and the recent disasters of both NASA and Virgin space vehicles, the dream is alive but it seems as far away as ever.

Of course being IMAX, the visuals are all important. Filmed over the course of a number of different shuttle missions, The Dream Is Alive presents some incredible footage from those missions. There's dramatic sequences of the aforementioned satellite releases and captures ranging from Solar Max to the Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF) satellite. There's also some incredible point of view footage such as the opening sequence which gives the viewer the impression of what it's like to be inside the shuttle as it's landing and the aforementioned launch pad escape system. Perhaps the most dramatic footage though is of the Earth itself seen from space, bringing to mind the later IMAX space documentary Blue Planet.

Overall then, The Dream Is Alive remains a memorable addition to the IMAX space documentaries. While it has of course dated in its optimistic hopes for the shuttle program, it nevertheless presents a stirring picture of the shuttle program at its height. Thanks to the IMAX footage, it also remains a visual feast as well even on the small screen. For those interested or fascinated by space exploration, this is a must-see.
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on April 5, 2017
We have this on VHS. It's a great DVD, but not very long. We saw it first on an IMAX screen, which is the best! But it's nice to have. Good if you're interested in learning about the original space program.
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on December 20, 2016
We ordered this DVD to replace a VHS tape we had purchased at the National Air and Space Museum ~ 20 years ago. It arrived as promised and was perfect! It has been watched numerous times by ourselves, children and grandchildren, bringing back memories and making new ones!
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on August 16, 2016
It works great! I love this movie! Nothing like it compares in sounds! Yes I still use and love my old technology Laser Disk! It's old footage but it is a classic! At least for this science geek! It is also available on DVD which I have also as a backup.
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on June 17, 2015
Great moments for physics instruction:
"Tallyho" -- the double sonic boom heard as the gliding shuttle approaches landing.
Un-narrated launch. I show this (cranked al, the way up) when we discuss the increasing acceleration of rockets.
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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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on February 2, 2016
Fairly comprehensive, always good to hear Walter Cronkite's voice narrating a space program documentary. Arrived ontime and in great condition.
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on March 24, 2013
The photography is spectacular! The music also wonderful. An interesting subject which is covered very well. Sad to see some astronauts who would later perish in future accidents. But a fitting memorial to them in that regard. This is best seen in IMAX of course. But I'm glad I picked it up. A very worthwhile purchase.
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on November 14, 2016
As described and ontime. Thanks.
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on March 11, 2015
Just be careful in that you can change regions on your DVD, great dvd
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