7.4/10
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7 user 1 critic

The Space Movie (1980)

The Space Movie is a musical journey through our solar system to the far reaches of the universe. Features breathtaking images and cutting edge moving music!

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The Space Movie is a musical journey through our solar system to the far reaches of the universe. Features breathtaking images and cutting edge moving music!

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Documentary

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17 November 1980 (USA)  »

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Not only intensely boring, but factually inaccurate as well
16 July 2005 | by (Tempe, AZ) – See all my reviews

One of the most annoying aspects of this poorly produced "documentary" is its abysmal editing. Aside from the utter lack of chronological presentation (showing a shuttle orbiter test flight before the Apollo 11 splashdown is more than a bit confusing), there seems to be a lack of knowledge that the Apollo and Gemini programs were not the same, and that maybe they shouldn't intercut video of the slender black Gemini capsule with that of the much larger Apollo command module. The near total absence of narration does not help this problem in the least. Also, who decided that the only footage of astronauts to be shown would be people just dicking around on the surface of the moon, or playing catch and spinning around inside Skylab? What about science? The narrator mentions that we spent two billion dollars on the Skylab project, apparently because it was a neat idea. There is never any mention of the purpose of these various NASA programs, and never a mention of Gemini, despite the program's capsules appearing as stand-ins for the Apollo CM from time to time.

As pointed out earlier they do mention the shuttle. However, they also include this line during it's brief segment. "While testing, it was launched from the back of a 747 to service Skylab and return safely to the earth." There are two major issues with that statement. Let's begin with the "launched from the back of a 747" part. While technically a launch, the orbiter pictured in the video is the 'Enterprise' "Approach and landing Test" vehicle. (i.e. it was never intended, or structurally capable of enduring the forces present in either a real launch or re-entry). That, and the orbiter cannot be launched into space from a 747, especially when it lacks the necessary rocket engines. The bit about servicing Skylab was apparently an idea at NASA, but due to Skylab's reentry and destruction in the upper atmosphere in July, 1979, this would be impossible. Considering this films release date, you would think they should have known this.

The entire movie is just one huge example of how little the producers actually knew about NASA. It's as if they took a bunch of NASA stock footage, set it to an intrusively loud, overbearing, inappropriate soundtrack, added some inane comments about what food the Apollo-Soyuz astronauts/cosmonauts ate during their mission and released it to frolic with all the factually incorrect school textbooks floating around the country. There are really too many errors and omissions in the seemingly random mix of footage to note here, or probably for me to notice. But I assure you, if I did not know better I would be dumber for having seen this pathetic presentation about my country's space program.


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