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IMAX: Space Station 3D(2002)
The first cinematic journey to the International Space Station (ISS), where audiences can experience for themselves life in zero gravity aboard the new station. The audience blasts off into space with the astronauts and cosmonauts from Florida's Kennedy Space Center and Russia's Baikonur Cosmodrome to rendezvous with their new home in orbit 220 miles above Earth. Space Station is a story of challenges, setbacks and triumphs and ultimately, the shared international victory of men and women whose dreams exceed the limits of life on this Earth.
For more about IMAX: Space Station 3D and the IMAX: Space Station 3D Blu-ray release, see IMAX: Space Station 3D Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on January 24, 2011 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Narrator: Tom Cruise
Director: Toni Myers
» See full cast & crew
IMAX: Space Station 3D Blu-ray Review
3D in space.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, January 24, 2011
What an incredible sight.
The final frontier meets the latest in entertainment technology in Space Station 3D, a wondrous IMAX 3D journey that takes viewers on board the International Space Station for a brief but exceptionally fun and surprisingly smart and informative glance at life in space in the 21st century. What was Science Fiction only decades ago is now science fact, and what was once a gimmick in moviemaking technology using paper glasses is now infinitely improved and available for home consumption thanks to technology that's almost as cool as anything that's found its way into outer space. Both of these radically advanced technologies merge in Space Station 3D, one of the flat-out best 3D experiences on the planet; getting any more real than this requires a ride on the next shuttle into orbit. And they say 3D is expensive! Space Station 3D represents what IMAX and 3D technology are all about, but more importantly, it's an all-too-brief but nevertheless amazing glimpse into humanity, the film not only offering a snapshot of where man is, but a reflection of where he's been and and a peek at where he's about to go.
Get ready to blast off and experience the ups and downs of zero G's in Space Station 3D. Though it's made in 16 different countries and tested in both Russia and the United States, the International Space Station and all its components have an ultimate destination of 250 miles up, served by a crew of a select few men and women who are both smart enough and fortunate enough to live in space and work on the edge of discovery and the periphery of the vastness of the universe as it infinitesimally extends in every which direction from the small, insignificant chunk of rock called Earth. Viewers will see the astronauts preparing for their lives and work in space before heading on up into the void, but also witness firsthand -- and in three dimensions -- the challenges of living in a zero-gravity environment where quarters are cramped and resources are tight, but hey, the view isn't half bad (sounds like those apartments across the way from Wrigley Field). Narrator Tom Cruise and several of his suddenly weightless friends discuss the process of putting the station together, living within its confines, walking outside of it, and doing all they can to maintain their connections to home, their physical fitness, and their very lives as one false move could spell disaster not only for the billions of dollars in time and resources but the lives of some of humankind's most incredible real-life heroes.
Space Station 3D is the perfect IMAX movie. It's big -- what's bigger than space? -- it's awe-inspiring, it's timely, it's important, it's enlightening, and it's fun. It has a powerful soundtrack, bigger-than-life visuals, and a wondrous 3D presentation that plops viewers into the belly of the International Space Station faster than Mr. Scott's transporter pad. Even viewers who aren't into Science Fiction or, as the case may be here, Science Fact, will marvel at the access granted to the IMAX camera; it's not only the space station that's a focus, but the pad at a Russian launch site, an underwater training facility, and a mind-bending virtual reality simulator that is itself as amazing as the fact that humans are living and working hundreds of miles above Earth. The film takes on a playful tenor that's perfect for the zero-G environment, but also finds a more serious side when showing the challenges and even dangers of life in orbit. Whether having fun with droplets of floating water or discussing the challenges of making the most of limited resources and the wide-range of skills in which every astronaut need be proficient or whether showing a rocket blast off for all it's worth from a visual and sonic perspective or lingering out in the vacuum of space, Space Station 3D never ceases to amaze with what it has to show and impress with how well it's put together.
Tom Cruise delivers a steady, appropriately awed but not giddy or unbalanced narration. The actor tackles the script with a respect for the people and the technology while serving as a friendly guide, the kind one would love to ask questions of and dig deeper with, were he commenting live rather than in a recording studio. Some big name actors just don't work out as voiceover Documentary narrators; Cruise does. Of course, it's easy to be in awe of what's to be seen in practically every frame of Space Station 3D. It's a tour into the all-too-real but still incredible and, in many ways, unbelievable world of space exploration. Just how far man has come since the 1960s and, indeed, since he dreamed of what was really up there for millennia past is just as incredible as the sights there are to see in Space Station 3D. Whether the virtual reality computer simulation graphics that open the film or the incredible views of Earth from miles above, the film is sure to bring out the best in every viewer, to leave them wanting more, to see it again, to dream as big as the smarts it takes to land men and women high up into the far reaches of space above the Earth and on the precipice of eternity.
IMAX: Space Station 3D Blu-ray, Video Quality
Space Station 3D delivers a glorious Blu-ray 3D presentation. It's not perfect -- aliasing is visible in a scene, the early CGI/virtual reality shots lack much depth, a few objects and characters occasionally appear unnaturally elongated, and minor bouts of apparent "ghosting" or "transparency" are visible on occasion -- but its flaws are seen only in small quantities. Generally, this is a tremendous presentation that's packed full of excellent depth perception; long corridors or any elongated areas appear to stretch on and on and on, deep into the bowels of the television and beyond. Exterior space shots are amazing, too; Earth appears nicely offset against the blackness of space, and any and all shuttle or station exteriors showcase plenty of wonderful textures and shapes that appear with plenty of appreciable depth and space. The camera lies on the edge of a water tank in one scene and it's a wonder water doesn't come spilling out of the television screen. Like long corridors, the liquid surface seems to stretch far back into the distance. Depth is certainly not a problem with this one; save for the digital opening shots, never is there an instance where the validity and value of the 3D transfer can be called into question.
Better yet, the transfer delivers plenty of "wow" moments that will have viewers dodging objects and ducking for cover throughout. The film's extracurricular "gimmick"-style shots are all perfectly integrated into the film; in fact, it's safe to say that zero-G and 3D go together like peanut butter and jelly. That various odds and ends or even people can float on past or practically into the camera and out of the TV makes placing a 3D camera on the space station a natural, and viewers will certainly enjoy some of the treats the filmmakers and astronauts have in store. Whether objects or people drifting on past the screen or various foods that are playfully tossed at the camera and, by 3D extension, the audience on more than one occasion, the weightlessness of space serves as a veritable playground for fun 3D elements. Even as a rocket blasts off on Earth, small pebbles and dust and debris come hurtling towards the viewer; accompanied by a robust sound presentation, the viewer will feel everything but the power of the thrust against his or her skin. Rounding out this excellent transfer is the superb detailing seen around the frame; not only is the image sharp as a tack and incredibly clear in 3D, but fine object detail and texturing is strong, particularly evident on the little odds and ends scattered all over the space station. Colors are accurate as well, flanked by strong blacks and neutral flesh tones. Warner's Space Station 3D is easily one of the best Blu-ray 3D transfers on the market, and it also happens to accompany one of the best titles, too.
IMAX: Space Station 3D Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Space Station 3D roars onto Blu-ray with an explosive and downright fun DTS-HD MA 5.1 lossless soundtrack that recreates the IMAX experience quite well. This is surround sound in its truest form; combined with the 3D visuals, the track immerses the listener into the various environments wonderfully. The picture opens with breezy and light music of the cosmos that floats from every channel with superior clarity. Dialogue is handled primarily up the middle, but it, too, is apt to emerge from any of the speakers in an effort to create superior and realistic imaging as characters sometimes speak off to the sides. The track is also home to robust shows of power; rockets blast off with enough energy to rattle the subwoofer and figuratively crack the screen -- a neat little effect seems to do just that -- and the track never wants for potency when the situation calls for it. Warner's lossless soundtrack is also content to simply get on by with minimal atmospherics and rely primarily on dialogue and narration in many of its scenes. Whether it's loud or quiet, there's a precision to the track that's hard to beat, a precision that makes it the perfect compliment to the visual 3D delights.
IMAX: Space Station 3D Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Space Station 3D contains no extra features.
IMAX: Space Station 3D Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Space Station 3D is the perfect IMAX film. An homage to the format that's all about big visuals -- they don't get any bigger than space -- and roaring sound, the film does everything but remove gravity from the theater, and who knows, maybe one day that'll be a reality, too. The only real problem here? It's not with the movie; the home video rendition simply leaves the image too small -- even in 3D -- for something this big in scope and spectacle. It deserves to be seen in all its IMAX glory, but this Blu-ray certainly does all it can for a fantastic title that's worth watching time and again, no matter the size of the display. Warner Brothers' Blu-ray 3D release of Space Station 3D is unfortunately absent any supplemental content, but the picture and sound quality are pretty much out of this world. Space Station 3D definitely comes highly recommended!
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IMAX: Space Station 3D Blu-ray, News and Updates
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