DIRECTOR: Toni Myers
May contain spoilers!
Directed by Toni Myers, who has been involved with the production of IMAX shorts since day one, dating back to 1971, the year after the process was first rolled out, There is no doubt that we are in safe and experienced hands by the time we travel to repair Hubble.
Within seconds, the screen erupts with the IMAX logo, blasting on to the screen complete with it’s 12,000 watts of sound and crystal picture. This is going to be an IMAX experience, that is for sure. And it does not disappoint!
But first for a confession. I did NOT watch this at my local IMAX theatre, instead I watched this on my home theatre, projector and in 3D and the results were breathtaking, leaving me to wonder who much better this would have been on the towering screen. This was without a doubt one of, if not possibly the best 3D experience to date, blending a subtle effect with the profoundly dimensionalised images of deep space as captured by the Hubble Space Telescope.
The Documentary itself is fine, like most IMAX films, a coffee table book or a Sunday supplement of a documentary, showing rather than telling with glossy full page images of the Earth and the spacecraft which service Hubble, before taking us on a n awe-inspiring journey into deep space.
Leonardo DeCarprio’s narration can seem a little trite at times but it is not bad, but for the 44 minute runtime is generally used to the effect with a demonstration of what it takes or took to service the telescope as well as some insight into why it is so important. Though you can take their explanations with a pinch of salt as this is still a pro-NASA propaganda movie at its heart as so many IMAX film are, being effectively produced by NASA.
But the sentiment is true, the nature of exploration is is explored here and the message is received loud and clear. If you are looking for an audio visual extravaganza which might teach you something, then you can not go wrong with Hubble 3D.
On a technical note though, I am still peeved by the fact that IMAX Blu-ray’s are all formatted in 1.78:1 in order to fill the widescreen TV, yet IMAX’s native ratio is 1.44:1, near as damn it to 1.33:1, or 4:3. The original IMAX DVD’s are in 1.33:1 which is near enough accurate yet the Blu-ray’s have been cropped. This is the equivalent of the now derided Pan and Scan format and is just plain wrong.
True that IMAX theatres are no longer limited to the 1.44:1 ratio with the so called “IMAX Experience” meaning that cinemas can just bang up a larger 1.85:1 screen and call it IMAX but still, that is another argument but to me, as fantastic as this looked in widescreen, I would have preferred to have seen this in ALL of its glory.