Eat your heart out, Hollywood. Your over-the-top, overly-embellished movies that are based on actual events have officially been put to shame thanks to PBS and BBC. The agencies released last month, their own presentation based on an actual event – the Apollo 11 mission in the form of 8 Days: To The Moon and Back, and it is everything that a production within the “based on actual events” genre should be. That is proven in part through the program’s story, which will be discussed shortly. The combined special effects and actual vintage footage plays into its presentation just as much as its story. This will be addressed a little later. Considering the positives of all of this noted content, the presentation’s average price range proves to be money well spent and will be addressed a little later, too. When it is considered along with the content, all three elements combine to make 8 Days: To The Moon and Back easily one of this year’s top new documentaries and an example of how to do movies based on actual events the right way.
PBS and BBC’s new docu-movie 8 Days: To The Moon and Back is an important new release from the two companies. That is because it proves that it is possible to create a presentation based on actual events without a bunch of over-the-top special effects and unnecessary embellishments that clearly were not part of the original story. The story in question is that of the Apollo 11 mission, which led to the very first human stepping foot on the moon. Presented here is that story from beginning to end without any extra, unnecessary drama. There are no underlying romance subplots, no unnecessary drama points from when the program alerts happen and no added over-the-top speeches at any point throughout the story. In place of those unnecessary elements are the actual comments from the crew of the Apollo 11 and from the late great Walter Kronkite coupled with actual footage of the mission control staff interacting by radio with the Apollo 11 crew. They all join to make in whole, one complete story that provides just as much drama as any other movie that is based on actual events. It shows that such presentations really do not need extra embellishments to make them enjoyable. Now if only the officials at Hollywood’s “Big Six” would let that sink in. Sadly, that likely won’t happen anytime soon. That is okay, though. It just means that PBS and/or BBC can continue making the true based on actual events presentations and meanwhile let Hollywood’s take on history continue to fade into history.
The story portion of 8 Days: To The Moon and Back is key in its own way to the whole of this presentation. It is just one of the program’s most important elements. The aforementioned vintage footage used to help tell the story is just as important to the program’s whole as the story itself. That is especially the case when it joins with the special effects that are incorporated into the story. The special effects are clearly computer generated, but are still worthy of their own applause. They are not the multi-million-dollar, over-the-top blockbuster special effects that one might see in one of Hollywood’s action flicks, but are still impressive in their own right. From the shots aboard the rocket during its separations to the moments when the Apollo 11 crew looks out of its windows and sees the stars and the sun peeking out from behind the moon to the very moments inside the spacecraft, the special effects utilized in the presentation prove just as good as anything viewers might see on the big screen. When those special effects are set alongside the vintage footage of the Apollo rocket launching, the mission control staff hard at work keeping the crew safe and even the news footage, the whole of that combination makes the program’s secondary content just as impressive in its own right, as the program’s primary content and worthy of applause. Once again, it shows that it is possible to make an entertaining, engaging program without the need for lots of explosions, lasers and other standard science fare. To that end, the combined footage and special effects joins with the story itself to make this presentation a work that outshines any other space-based flick that Hollywood has ever churned out across the board and is well worth the price.
Speaking of the program’s price, that figure is just as important to note as the program’s content. The average price point of $18.59 for this almost hour-long program is clearly affordable. That price was obtained by averaging price listings at PBS’ store, Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Booksellers and Books-A-Million. PBS’ listing of $19.99 is neither the most nor the least expensive listing for the DVD. The most expensive listing comes in at $24.99 at Books-A-Million. Amazon and Walmart list the least expensive price at $15.82. Target’s price listing of $15.86 is only four cents more expensive than the noted listings while Best Buy and Barnes & Noble Booksellers list the DVD at $17.99 and $19.61 respectively. Regardless of which retailer one chooses, PBS and BBC will still benefit from the sales of this DVD, and it is a work that is worth the money regardless of retailer, as has been pointed out here. While the one noted price does exceed the average, the others are below that number. To that point, the listings – average and separate – are affordable and worth spending for this program whose primary and secondary content more than delivers everything for which viewers can hope. Keeping that in mind, the content and price comes together here to make 8 Days: To The Moon and Back a program that viewers will enjoy 365 days.
PBS and BBC’s recently released docu-movie 8 Days: To The Moon and Back is a standout presentation that history buffs, space history buffs and space science aficionados alike will appreciate. That is due in part to its story, which completely ignores any unnecessary speeches, drama and other similar items. Rather, it presents just the facts, but does so in a fashion that still makes the program wholly engaging and entertaining from start to finish. The combined special effects, which themselves avoid being over-the-top, and the vintage footage combine to enrich the program even more. Taking into consideration that overall content, the DVD’s average price point of less than $20 – and separate listings that are mostly below that price, too – is appealing in its own way, considering how much engagement and entertainment this presentation offers audiences. Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the DVD. All things considered, they make 8 Days: To The Moon and Back a widely appealing work that is one of this year’s top new documentaries and new DVDs/BDs in general. It is available now. More information on this and other titles from PBS is available online now at:
More information on this and other titles from the BBC is available online now at:
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