HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Apollo 13: 20th Anniversary Edition
HTS Overall Score:93
Universal seems to be making a conscious effort to start pulling out some nice remasters for their catalog titles. “Munich” came out just a few scant months ago, and right on its heels was the new remastered version of “The Breakfast Club”, and now we have one of their best hits from 20 years ago come back to Blu-ray. “Apollo 13” is one of those fantastic movies that I can watch just about every year at least once and come back for me. It’s well acted, it has a ton of heart and is visually stunning. Released on Blu-ray disc it was given two more re-releases, both of them carbon copies of the original disc. This new 20th anniversary disc is given a 4K mastering and is a huge uptick in visual quality, something the original printing was sorely lack.
Due to the film already being reviewed in fully by Dave Upton, you can find his write up on the plot and the original video and audio quality here. Apollo 13: 15th Anniversary Edition - Blu-ray Review
Rated PG for language and emotional intensity
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=46562[/img]As Dave has already said in his review of the 15th anniversary edition, the video of the previous release was a bit substandard. It was a smeary mess that was even WORSE than the HD DVD version, with smeary textures loaded with DNR, poor grain replication and black levels that looked mediocre. It wasn’t an awful travesty, but definitely taken from a DVD era master that suffered from poor sharpening and digital manipulation to look good on smaller sets. This new 20th Anniversary edition is nothing like that. Taken from a brand new 4K master, “Apollo 13” has never looked better. Detail is simply stunning, from the beautiful layer of grain over the entire image, to the creases and lines in Ed Harris’ face. Blacks are deep and ink, with flawless shadow detail even in the deepest and darkest corners of space. Contrasts and skin tones look natural and all that nasty DNR and extra sharpening is gone from this edition. The difference between the 15th and 20th anniversary discs are so large that it made my jaw drop. I’ve never seen the in theaters and thusly have only seen the poor DVD, VHS and Blu-ray/HD DVD masters, and this is nothing short of a revelation.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=46570[/img]The 5.1 DTS-HD MA track is the same audio track from the first release, and that is in no way a bad thing. The first act of the film is a bit soft and underwhelming compared to when the crew goes into space, but the audio fidelity and crisp clarity is never in question. Vocals are clean and clear with pinpoint precision and localization, while the surrounds get some mild use. However, when the Apollo blasts off from Cape Canaveral the movie goes balls to the wall, especially that launch scene which has had bass lovers everywhere in awe for decades. The surrounds are filled with the distinct beeps and clicks of the ship and the roaring of the engines throb with impressive power. This is one of those demo worthy tracks that any audiophile will want to keep in their collection just to impress guests. As the old saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.
• Apollo 13: 20 Years Later (New)
• Audio Commentaries
• Lost Moon: The Triumph of Apollo 13
• Conquering Space: The Moon and Beyond
• Lucky 13: The Astronauts' Story
• Theatrical Trailers
• Universal U-Control
I love “Apollo 13”, as it is a marvelous film that just gets better with age, and have always been rather disappointed with the previous release’s video performance. This edition, with a brand new special feature, plus a near FLAWLESS 4K remastering process makes this version of the movie the one to buy. If you haven’t bought it already, then it’s a no brainer, but I must say that if you have the other Blu-ray or the older HD DVD then it is STILL very much worth the upgrade, as the new encode looks stunning. Definitely a must buy.
Starring: Tom Hanks, Ed Harris, Bill Paxton
Directed by: Ron Howard
Written by: William Boyles Jr., Al Reinert
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, German, Italian DTS 5.1
Runtime: 140 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: June 2nd 2015
Buy Apollo 13: 20th Anniversary Edition On Blu-ray at Amazon
Recommendation: Must Buy
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