If you are a fan of space flight, this DVD is your holy grail.
While the Spacecraft Films series of releases is full of high-quality products covering the history of space flight, Apollo 11 – Men on the Moon pushes their usual high standards to the outer reaches. The few frustrations that I had with their previous titles have all been remedied here, and the result is an absolutely fantastic DVD set covering every aspect of NASA’s famed Apollo 11 mission.
The amount of footage and informatio… included here is simply staggering. The obvious footage, such as the lunar landing and the first moon walk, is available, but so are vast segments of rare or previously-unseen footage, such as the actual video of the astronauts suiting-up for the mission, and two never-aired TV broadcasts from the spacecraft.
I honestly could not think of anything else that I would want to see in this set. It has met and exceeded all of my expectations.
Audio quality is much improved on this release, with radio transmissions coming in clearer than ever before. On previous releases, much of the dialog was hard to discern, but this time around, almost every word is as clear as it could be, while still preserving the exciting and classic aura of a long-range communications system.
Viewing the rocket launch in surround sound is a breathtaking little extra, and a perfect example of one of the ways that the producers of this title have gone above and beyond the call of duty. Even more impressive is the 5.1 mix of the lunar landing, with each channel providing a different radio source for the events. Of course, the audio is also user-switchable, to allow the viewer to listen to each source individually if they wish.
Other welcome changes to this title from the previous releases include the addition of some informative narration tracks, where previously there was only silent video, and the use of on-screen text to help the listener decipher the mound of acronyms that NASA is so very fond of using.
This is an informative and useful way to mix the audio for a documentary feature, and exploring all the options and combinations available is great fun!
Nobody was slacking in the video department, either. The majority of the footage contained on these discs is very, very clear. While many of us have seen footage of the moon landing and subsequent exploration in the past, I doubt that any of us have seen it in such a crystal-clear format before. While there are occasional blemishes on the reel from time to time, the quality of this footage is much improved over earlier titles.
As this is not a typical DVD release, there are no special features to speak of. This category is not weighted into the overall score of this disc.
While all of the titles in this series are fantastic, this is by far the best of them all. The amount of information packed onto these discs is simply mind-blowing. If you are interested in the Spacecraft Films DVD offerings, but not sure where to begin, this is definitely the one you should start with.
…but then again, you really can’t go wrong with purchasing them all!