As someone who is enamored with the mystery of space, I was so upset I never found a way to see Hubble 3D in an IMAX 3D theater. However, I’m happy to report that no matter the size of the screen or the number of dimensions, Hubble 3D is a fun, informative and beautiful movie. Continue reading for my full review.
Hubble 3D has two main intents: to document a NASA mission to fix the Hubble telescope and to provide a thorough introduction to astronomy. NASA’s Hubble space telescope orbits around the earth and takes pictures of galaxies millions of light years away. Some of the images taken by Hubble are so far away, that in the time it took the light to reach Hubble, the stars have since died.
Despite the beautiful images Hubble has provided us with since its launch, the telescope has had its share of technical problems. After the Challenger disaster, many higher-ups at NASA did not want to risk sending another crew into space to repair the Hubble. Eventually, a last ditch mission was agreed upon, and that’s what the film follows. The crew, which has to make incredibly precise alterations to the telescope, is made up of a mix of first-timers and old pros. There is great footage of the astronauts training on Earth and adjusting to space. It’s great to see space from the perspective of real people, not characters.
Beyond the footage of the mission, the film boasts amazing images and animations of outer space. Many of the pictures in the film are actually taken directly from Hubble. Other, longer animated scenes are based on Hubble images. These sequences take the viewer into deep space with realistic and beautiful animation. It’s in these sequences where Hubble 3D teaches the audience a great deal about deep space. And with Leonardo DiCaprio as the narrator, it’s hard not to pay attention.
The disc only includes one special feature, but I couldn’t recommend it enough. The Inside IMAX Hubble 3D provides a really cool behind the scenes look at the production of the film, from securing the clunky IMAX cameras on the ship, to footage of DiCaprio recording, to extra footage of the astronauts’ training. There are also a few minutes about the precise 3D conversion of the Hubble images. Because the actual film, like all IMAX films, is only about 40 minutes, the 8-minute Inside feature is a must-see.
Overall, Hubble 3D is a great little film for anyone with any interest in space. At a brisk 44 minute runtime, the movie is easy to digest. It’s more of a space art show then a narrative story, and the images and animations are awesome.
The film is presented in widescreen 1.44:1 with Sonics-DDP sound. The DVD has no 3D option.