Space Station (IMAX)

Starring: Tom Cruise
Director: Toni Myers
Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
Color, Closed-captioned
Run Time:
DVD Features: Audio Commentary: Expedition 7- An Audio Visual Tour of the ISS (TRT 16:07) Narrated by Astronaut Dr. Ed Lu, STS-A Audio Visual Tour of the ISS-(TRT 18:40) Narrated by Commander Dom Gorie, Mission SPecialist Dr. Linda Godwin, Pilot Mark E. Kelly, Mission Specialist ISS Flight Engineer Daniel Tani, Former Astronaut Capt. Frank Culbertson Jr. Featurette: Featurette: Adventure In Space (RT22:29)--Interviews with Tom Cruise, Director Toni Myers, Astronauts Marsha Ivins, Brian Duffy, Susan Helms, Jim Voss and cameraman James Neilhouse Other: First-Ever True-Life Space Station Movie Shot by Astronauts! Photo gallery:16 photos (Including Never-Before-Seen photos)



It is rather pointless to watch something designed specifically for the giant IMAX screen on your home entertainment theatre system. Face up to it: theirs is just plain bigger than yours!

This is also true for Imax Space Station, a rather superficial documentary narrated by Tom Cruise about the International Space Station (ISS) being constructed 250 miles above the Earth right now as you're reading this. Since the IMAX experience is supposed to purely visceral, anyone coming to Space Station looking for in-depth knowledge about the ISS would walk away disappointed.

Several questions remain unanswered: when and why was the whole project started? What will the thing look like when it's done? When will it be done? What is the total cost? What about criticism that the whole project is "make-work" designed to keep Russian scientists off the streets and out of trouble? How do astronauts pee and poop in zero gravity?

(Okay, fess up to it: you're also interested in that last question of mine. We didn't need a graphic illustration of how it is done, just a peek at the onboard facilities, that's all.)

Don't get me wrong: I'm all for space exploration. Critics which say all that money could have been spent on something better are missing the point: all that money would probably have been spent on something worse, specifically on defence budgets. Now instead spending a fortune on ways to kill our fellow man, we're spending ways to . . . well, grow peanuts in space or whatever.

The point is that there is just something uplifting about the space program, a sense of can-do, even though I personally believe that the program is way behind where we could have been by now. Then again, I belong to that idealistic generation that grew up in the techno-fetishist 'Seventies when kids believed that one day we all can go on holiday trips on the moon, instead of space trips being the preserve of useless rich people like "astronaut" billionaire Mark Shuttleworth as is the case today.

THE DISC: To make up for the shallow main feature, there is an interesting ?making of? feature included. Don't miss it.

WORTH IT? Despite the topic's shallow treatment, the footage is still gosh wow! Thanks to TV shows like Star Trek - Enterprise we've forgotten just what space travel exactly involves - all that floating about and all that. Space Station goes some way in correcting those misperceptions.

RECOMMENDATION: If you're a space nut then you'll no doubt want to check it out. However, the best place to see Space Station is on the Imax screen and not at home.



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