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Mark Steyn remembers the 1995 Apollo 13 movie because …

File:Mark Steyn.jpg
Mark Steyn/Tania Gale

Apollo 18 is set to launch in theatres: “There’s a reason we’ve never gone back to the moon.”

(Yes. Speculation is cheaper, and the public doesn’t care any more. But that’s no thriller plot.)

Here’s Mark on Apollo 13 (02 September 2011):

The scenes in space are great, simultaneously claustrophobic and panoramic: a pokey module with a vast, silent blackness pressing against the windscreen. Better still are the earthbound moments at Cape Kennedy, with Ed Harris in superb form hustling the boffins to improvise DIY oxygen kits for the astronauts, made from the polythene wrappers of their spaceship manuals. Is Hanks really Lovell or Bacon Swigert? Who cares? The film works as a tense techno-thriller pitting a crew of arbitrary Everymen against the whims of their ship. And, when it’s over, you realisze that, yes, you knew the ending but it wasn’t the one you’d remembered: sure, the boys got back safely, but you leave regretting that NASA was never able to use that success to capture the popular imagination again. Apollo 13 is an exhilarating evocation of a rare moment when science was in tune with man’s dreams.

Now, some fear NASA will end up in tune with crackpot cosmologies. You know, “We are living in a giant hologram, or a giant trailer filled with poop, or whatever Stephen Hawking says we are living in” because he is The Smartest Man in the WorldTM, and these days genius beats exploration as a source of knowledge.

Apollo 13

Apollo 18

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