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IMAX: Hubble 3D(2010)
An IMAX 3D camera chronicles the effort of 7 astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis to repair the Hubble Space Telescope.
For more about IMAX: Hubble 3D and the IMAX: Hubble 3D Blu-ray release, see IMAX: Hubble 3D Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on April 1, 2011 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.5 out of 5.
Narrator: Leonardo DiCaprio
Director: Toni Myers
» See full cast & crew
IMAX: Hubble 3D Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, April 1, 2011
This is the last chance to save the Hubble space telescope.
Space is the final frontier, and these are the photographs of the Hubble space telescope, now on a mission of over 20 years to explore strange new worlds and, who knows, maybe even stumble upon new life and new civilizations. Its lens has certainly seen farther than any man has gone before, and certainly further than any man has seen. Gene Roddenberry would be amazed. Launched in 1990 -- a year before Gene's death -- Hubble never actually transmitted any clear picture back home until 1993 when a faulty lens was replaced and man finally caught a glimpse of what this fantastic piece of technology could see. Amazing new images of galaxies near and far, star formations, star collapses, stellar nurseries, nebulae, and other astronomical wonders so fantastic, so out of this galaxy, that even now it's hard to believe they're not the work of a visionary Science Fiction master craftsman. Indeed, Gene Roddenberry would be amazed at what really lies out there, what really goes on in outer space. While man has yet to discover intelligent extraterrestrial life -- insofar as the "Average Joe" knows -- he's no doubt probably already seen whatever star they might call home, if the're out there, now appearing as just another dot on a picture but maybe, who knows, one day a dot that will forever change the course of human, alien, and astronomical history.
Hubble 3D covers the highlights of the telescope's history, beginning with its 10-year construction and launch in 1990. Of course, things didn't go exactly according to plan; a misaligned mirror resulted in blurry stellar photographs, and it was a long three-year wait before another team of astronauts could be launched into orbit to repair the crippled out-of-the-box Hubble. Things weren't looking too good for the ambitious NASA project, either in terms of its potential for success or for its initial barrage of images. That perception changed immediately when the repaired telescope sent its first clear pictures back to Earth; the images were stunning, revelations that would forever change the study of Astronomy and man's perception of the size of the universe and his place in it. Indeed, Hubble proved to be the greatest space endeavor since man walked on the moon, but years later, it was once again in need of repair. The 2003 Columbia disaster put into question not only the future of Hubble but the value of NASA in terms of dollars spent and lives placed in risk. Fortunately, man's yearning for exploration triumphed over petty political differences, and in 2009, the shuttle Atlantis was launched into orbit -- with 3D cameras in tow for help in the creation of this very IMAX 3D picture -- to repair the Hubble once again but for the last time; the famed telescope is scheduled for replacement in a few years by the more advanced James Webb Space Telescope.
Hubble 3D is a slick, very satisfying, and surprisingly thorough look at the history of the Hubble space teelscope, the science behind the images it captures, and the astronauts who serviced the device in 2009. Indeed, this is a complete package of outer space goodness, made complete by a dazzling 3D image that brings every aspect of a shuttle mission and the images the Hubble has captured themselves to brilliant life like never before. In full HD 3D, Hubble 3D takes viewers trillions of miles away for a look at Earth's closest neighbor star, Sirius, and also offers an in-depth examination of the Orion Nebula, which is home to "infant solar systems" that may or may not one day blossom to fruition, each one having to contend with the powerful winds that wreak havoc within the nebula. Hubble 3D delves into the probability that, from data collected from the telescope, there may be some 100 billion -- yes, "billion" with a "B" -- galaxies out there. Imagine, for a moment, the vastness of the entirety of the Milky Way Galaxy -- Earth's own -- and then place that within the context of the sheer scope of even Earth's own solar system, and even the distance between Earth and the next closest planet, Venus -- and 100 billion galaxies becomes an almost unmanageable, mind-boggling number. The film also covers a few more down-to-Earth elements, namely the lives of the astronauts both as they prepare for their mission on Earth and live in orbit above it for the 11-day repair mission. The film examines the challenges not only of life in space but the precision and speed with which the men and women must work to make the necessary repairs to the telescope -- including catching it, matching its speed, and working through the 90 minutes between sunrises and sunsets. Hubble 3D goes into some detail about the specifics of the mission and the technology necessary to carry it out, but never at the expense of the viewer's comprehension; this is a well-done film that's both entertaining and accessible, even through the technical jargon and mind-boggling images and statistics that make it up.
What really makes Hubble 3D so spectacular are the senses of awe and wonder it's sure to engender in its audiences. It's not just the amazement at the science behind the telescope and the shuttle missions or the vastness of the galaxy as man understands it, but the splendor of the things man can accomplish, the juxtaposition between his sheer insignificance when compared to the absolute vastness of the universe and his ability to create things to help him better understand it and reach far beyond his natural terrestrial existence. That's the real magic of the Hubble space telescope and all of the technology that's made it possible. That man can achieve so many things, see so far beyond his own back porch, and not only see it but understand how it works, how big it is, and how far away it's situated that's truly mind-boggling. That the human mind -- of which man makes use of only a fraction of its power -- can shape what he's been given here on Earth into devices that extend his own sight and, by extension, his own understanding is as impressive as what's out there in the heavens. In that context, Hubble 3D narrator Leonardo DiCaprio handles his duties with a sense of awe that's equal to that displayed on the screen and engendered in the audiences's minds. He narrates as if reading a story, giving the script just the right amount of emotion, but keeping it within the context of the grandeur of the mind, the machines, and what lies throughout space that may still be far out of man's reach but, thanks to Hubble, right in front of his eyes.
IMAX: Hubble 3D Blu-ray, Video Quality
Hubble 3D launches onto Blu-ray with an exceptional 1080p Blu-ray 3D transfer. Things begin with the opening titles dissolving into star fields and, with the subsequent "warp speed" effect (like that old screen saver), each appears to zip right on past the viewers's heads. The image also sports seamless general depth in just about every single shot; whether in the pre-flight prep room that practically transports the viewer onto the industrial blue/gray carpet or several distant shots of the shuttle and launch pad that see terrain seem to sprawl out for miles in between the camera and the shuttle, every shot delivers a perfect sense of space, whether on Earth or, yes, in space. It's extraordinary, too, how the transfer gives shape to some of the Hubble photographs; the Orion Nebula, for instance, takes on a real, tangible shape, allowing viewers to see the ups and downs and ins and outs of the "stellar nursery." Back on Earth, the six-million-gallon water tank where the astronauts train for zero-G missions is filmed from the surface level; all that seems to be stopping the water from spilling into the living room is the front of the television screen. Better still, the image features impeccable detailing, perfect colors, and great blacks. What else could anyone want? This is a seamless 3D presentation that will leave viewers saying "wow" time and again.
IMAX: Hubble 3D Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Hubble 3D's DTS-HD MA 5.1 lossless soundtrack is every bit as impressive as its 1080p 3D visuals. This is a smooth but completely engaging soundtrack that offers up seamless clarity, pinpoint accuracy, lots of surround activity, and precision dialogue and narration. Whether the almost otherworldly Science Fiction-like cues that sometimes work their way into the track or the more general accompanying music, the track enjoys a smoothness and effortlessness that gives it an almost weightless, airy sort of feel, the perfect companion for an outer space picture. The track delivers some extraordinarily robust, ear-crackling, ribcage-rattling sounds, such as when shuttles blast off, sending incredible waves of energy through the listening area that play with a startling amount of clarity; never do such effects simply sound like jumbled masses of loud but indistinct sound. It's almost as if the listener has been transported to the outskirts of the launch pad and experiencing the effect firsthand. The track makes almpost continual use of the surrounds, whether helping along the primary musical track or serving as a supportive element carrying various effects, both real and fabricated, such as the sounds of gusty winds through Orion that seamlessly blow through the listening area. Aside from the heft of the launch sequences, Warner's track also delivers some rumbly, potent low end effects in support of several scenes. Rounded out by stellar dialogue reproduction, this track plays as a wonderfully big, extensive, and exciting soundtrack that does the space program, the Hubble, IMAX, and Blu-ray all proud.
IMAX: Hubble 3D Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Hubble 3D features a few quality extras. Inside 'IMAX Hubble 3D' (1080p, 8:17) features the "cast" (read: astronauts) and movie crew speaking on how the project came together, why it's important, the splendor of viewing Hubble's images, the process of shooting "live" footage in 3D, extrapolating 3D images from Hubble's 2D photographs, the work of Narrator Leonardo DiCaprio, and more. Next up are seven short behind-the-scenes "Webisodes" (1080p, 26:44), most of which are hosted by Astronaut Mike Massimino, that take viewers behind-the-scenes of life as an astronaut. Segments include Space Is an Open Book Exam, The Swim Test, Space Glasses, Getting Dressed for Work, A Wild Ride, Tools of the Trade, and We're Go for Launch. These are very well-produced, informative, and entertaining shorts that NASA fans, budding astronauts (remember to stay under 6'4"!), and general space enthusiasts will enjoy a great deal. Also included is a digital copy of the film. Sampled on an iPhone 4, the 2D-only (obviously) image yields strong details, good blacks, a high level of detail, and minimal visible compression-related issues. Audio is satisfactorily crisp and accurate, delivering a fair bit of power and space where it counts, albeit sounding somewhat mushy and indistinct compared to the excellence of the Blu-ray lossless presentation.
IMAX: Hubble 3D Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Hubble 3D is an extraordinary film that stretches the imagination by bringing the vastness of outer space right onto the 3D screen. Displaying wonders far greater than anyone could have imagined existed while also sharing the stories of the people behind the mission to save Hubble and the technology that makes it all work, Hubble 3D is a short but complete motion picture experience that's sure to dazzle all audiences, both hardcore amateur space explorers and those just wanting to catch a glimpse of what lies beyond alike. Warner Brothers's Blu-ray 3D release of Hubble 3D is a must-own. Sporting perfect technical specs and a few good extras, this is a release worthy of every Blu-ray 3D collection. Very highly recommended.
IMAX: Hubble 3D: Other Editions
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IMAX: Hubble 3D Blu-ray, News and Updates
• IMAX Hubble Blu-ray & 3D Blu-ray Best Buy Exclusive - March 2, 2011
On March 29, Best Buy will exclusively offer both the 2D and 3D Blu-ray versions of IMAX: Hubble. This IMAX documentary, narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio, offers "an inspiring and unique look" into the Hubble Space Telescope's legacy and highlights its profound impact ...
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