It's amazing that Tom Hanks has evolved from Bosom Buddies' Kip to an Academy Award-winning actor and a leading proponent of World War II veterans and space exploration. Recently, Hanks reprised his role as a space ambassador by narrating the IMAX film Magnificent Desolation — Walking on the Moon. Unfortunately, you'll be hard-pressed to find the production on an IMAX screen now. Released on November 6, you can now view the movie from the comfort of your home.
The film gives a brief survey of the Apollo missions that landed astronauts on the lunar surface. Through historic videos, seldom-viewed images, and lifelike animations, Magnificent Desolation takes you to the lunar surface.
The production hammers home the real danger involved with space exploration. During the nearly 300 hours that astronauts wandered the lunar surface, NASA never had to enact an emergency program. With actors and computer animation, Magnificent Desolation presents a scenario of what could go wrong in a mission, and how NASA and the crew would tackle it.
This film might be the best tool for rekindling the general public's interest in a lunar mission. As Hanks explains, time has diminished the majesty and wonder the Apollo missions brought to America during the Apollo program. Magnificent Desolation shows thatlunar exploration is an incredible feat that can inspire people today, as it did when Neil Armstrong first planted his foot on the Moon.
Tom Hanks isn't the only star appearing in the film. Heavyweights like Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon, and Paul Newman lend their voices to the film, providing the narrative to the Apollo astronauts' memoirs.
After watching Magnificent Desolation, my only regret is I never watched the film on the IMAX screen.