BR: Hubble 3D (2010) – IMAX

April 18, 2011 | By

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Film: Excellent/ DVD Transfer: Excellent/ DVD Extras: Very Good

Label: Warner Home Videos/ Region: 1 (NTSC) / Released: March 29, 2011

Genre: Documentary / Astronomy / Space / IMAX

Synopsis: IMAX documentary on the last space shuttle mission to upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope in May of 2009.

Special Features: 7 Hubble Mission Logs Webisodes Gallery with astraunat Mike Massimino (26:45) / Making-of Featurette: “Inside IMAX Hubble 3D” (8:17)




The third IMAX space film in 3D makes it to DVD, BR, and BR-3D, and while it’s still spectacular on a blah 2D screen, far more attention was given towards creating a film whose visual elements are within the audience’s grasp. Perhaps more than the animated films of 2010, Space Station 3D should be a mandatory purchase for 3D TV owners – and the bigger the set, the better. Even with a 2D HD projection system splashing the film on an entire wall will be an immersive experience because many shots are design to centralize the action, while the intricate 5.1 sound mix just hangs over one’s head.

The narration is above par, largely since the film’s focus is on what’s billed as the final shuttle flight to the Hubble Large Space Telescope and commit one final equipment upgrade before it’s allowed to age and eventually decay (criminal as that sounds).

The doc covers the training of the astronauts in NASA’s giant, 4 storey deep underwater tank to ensure the delicate repairs are done accurately, the shuttle launch, and the repair work that relies on the Canadarm to support the astronauts as they remove and augment the innards of the massive telescope.

The details of Hubble were previously covered in a 15th anniversary doc, so this 2010 film is more of an addendum, if not a progress report on the marvelous images Hubble’s managed to capture since its flawed mirror was fixed two years after its launch. Director Toni Myers had effects artists splice the high definition Hubble stills into layers and create 3-dimensional images designed to hang as far out into the audience as possible (an immersive trick also employed in Under the Sea, where sea snakes swirled just above one’s lap).

Once the telescope’s been given its final tweak, the film launches into a trippy montage as we travel through the images of galaxies Hubble gathered after the hardware upgrade – and they rank as some of the most hypnotic flying-thru-space montages on film, largely because the layers of passing stars are so detailed in movement. It feels like a natural ride through space, with the payoff being 3D renditions of distant stars and mega-galaxies that look far more impressive than the soft focus images seen on websites and news reports. Aided by Mickey Erbe and Maribeth Solomon’s gentle score, the montage forms a perfect finale to what may be one of the last tributes to a great feat of observational engineering.

Perhaps NASA might have second thoughts, and like the two Voyager crafts that still fly through space, gathering data and images since their launch in 1977, they’ll keep Hubble alive and well, because to lose it at all would be tragic.

Warner Home Video’s Blu-ray combo set includes a DVD + Digital copy and 2D BR edition, plus a making-of featurette with director Myers as the chief guide, and 7 webisodes offering further production minutia in small, easy to digest morsels.

This title is part of several IMAX 3D films available as standalone DVD, Blu-ray combo and Blu-ray 3D combo editions, including Deep Sea 3D (2010), Hubble 3D (2010), Space Station 3D (2002), and Under the Sea 3D (2007).

The main run of IMAX space documentaries includes Blue Planet (1990), Destiny in Space (1994), Dream is Alive, The (1985), Hail Columbia! (1982), Hubble 3D (2010), Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon (2005), Mission to Mir (1997), and Space Station 3D (2002).



© 2011 Mark R. Hasan


Related links:

DVD / Film:  Hubble: 15 Years of Discovery (2005) — Inside the Space Station (2000) —  Solarmax (2000) — Space Station 3D (2002)

Interviews:  IMAX composer Maribeth Solomon —  director Toni Myers on working in 3D


Related external links (MAIN SITE):

DVD / Film:  Deep Sea 3D (2010) —Under the Sea 3D (2007)


External References:

IMDB Official WebsiteComposer Filmography


Buy from: – IMAX: Hubble (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy Combo Pack) [Blu-ray] – Hubble IMAX [Blu-Ray] – Imax: Hubble [DVD] [2011] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]


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