August 26, 2010

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Hubble 3D (G)
Go deep into the final frontier thanks to the Hubble telescope and the magic of IMAX 3-D in Hubble 3D, a glorious look at the once beleaguered NASA project and the wondrous images it captures.

This short documentary takes us through Hubble’s troubled beginnings, including the infamous warped mirror, to a recent shuttle trip to service the telescope and keep it working. Why bother? That’s where this delightful movie really shines, taking us into some of the pictures that Hubble has taken. We see other stars in our galaxy, nebulae here stars are being born, neighboring galaxies and out, we’re told, to the edge of the observable universe.

If I worked at NASA I’d make sure everybody in Congress and their kids saw this movie — and I’d make sure the Obama girls saw it twice. There is nothing as “dude, awesome!” in quite the same way as space travel and nothing like kids excited about something sciencey to keep your department from being zero-funded. Hubble 3D reminds you what a powerful thing space exploration can be and how awe-inspiring. I doubt they’ll be looking to middle-aged couch potatoes when they pick astronauts for whatever the next incarnation of human exploration is but that doesn’t stop even me from wanting to don a suit and learn how to pee in space. Spend whatever you need to, NASA, you’ll think after soaring through nebulae and viewing baby solar systems, it’s totally worth it.

Which also goes for the money you’ll spend seeing this IMAX extravaganza. Sure, it’s only about 45 minutes and Leonardo DiCaprio is narrating, but this right here is when you break out the big bucks to see IMAX — and break out enough to bring the kids. I’m not saying one viewing will turn a liberal arts geek into a science nerd but even I left the theater wondering where I’d put that old astronomy textbook. The images here are stunning and beautiful and the 3D is both enhancing and unobtrusive. The third dimension is more gimmick than attraction in most movies (see, for example, the review of Piranha 3D) but here it is exactly what’s called for.

Finally a 3-D movie worth its ticket price and more. A

Rated G. Directed by Toni Myers and written by Myers and Frank Summers, Hubble 3D is 45 minutes long and distributed to IMAX screens by Warner Bros.