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Dec. 1st, 2009

Good review of 'Moonshot' from Edge NYC

Moonshot [Bluray]
by Jim Halterman
EDGE Contributor
Monday Nov 30, 2009

"If you think the new History Channel Blu-Ray release of Moonshot is just another documentary about the infamous Apollo 11 landing on the moon, think again. With a script taken from real transcripts from the missing as well as contemporary documents, books and interviews with those involved, Moonshot plays like more of a real-life enactment with top notch acting, direction and dialogue.

Moonshot is a production that effortlessly feels produced with a sense of reality in mind. Using actual footage from any event can often feel contrived or forced to give an illusion of reality but because the History Channel made this film wanting to preserve the realism of the events leading up to (and including) the July 20, 1969 moon landing, the film succeeds.

While most of the actors are unfamiliar, Buzz Aldrin is played by television actor James Marsters who has appeared as the omnisexual love interest to John Barrowman’s Captain Jack on the BBC’s Torchwood and vampire Spike on the long-departed Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Marsters channels the right tone as the leader of the space mission and brings a strong, yet admirable, caricature to this real life figure.

That said, the rest of the cast gives strong performances that, again, come off as more natural than overly acted biopics of historic events. It also lends itself to the film that this obviously isn’t a huge-budget project instead of an over-produced Hollywood production.

The Blu-Ray edition of the isn’t much different from the DVD version but the space footage, while older and shot before the advent of modern camera technology, is still sharper in the Blu-Ray edition.

Bonus features on the Blu-Ray edition include galleries of the Apollo, Gemini and Mercury space missions as well as biographies of the key Apollo personal. There are also five complete tracks from the music score from the film.

However familiar the viewer may be with the actual Apollo 11 event, this film gives background into the principals on the mission including early NASA days right up to the moment where Neil Armstrong (played by Daniel Lapaine) and Aldrin (Marsters) step on the moon.

While not as dramatically overwrought as the Ron Howard-directed film on the Apollo 13 mission, realists who want to get as close to actually being there for the Apollo 11 will want to rush out and add the History Channel’s Moonshot to their home video collection."

The bonus features are the same on all the DVDs.