Clearly, I don't know my history well enough. This story is incredible! To think this mission flirted with disaster for so long and made it to the other side is a true miracle.
This is one of those films where the actors were fully bought in. You could just tell. Every scene was performed so on point. You can see why this film literally helped launch several careers in the film industry's stratosphere.
Every bit of the movie is filled with tension. They seriously never let up - the energy is constant and so is the heart. The heart and motivation of the human spirit to endure, especially as a team.
I'm watched "Apollo 13" for the first time over two decades after its release and I can say that the only thing about the film that feels dated is the music. It's very 1990s sounding and carries with it a very melodramatic tone throughout.
I can now see how many space movies copied "Apollo 13" - in terms of style, story arch, angles. I can also see how other films which are filmed in minimal locations gleaned from films like "Apollo 13". It makes for a riveting film, which 90% of the time is shot in the shuttle itself. That means if the environment is fairly stagnant, it better looked good, and everything else really needs to work (ESPECIALLY the story). Every moment builds up to be epic (putting on the space suits, the 3 min. countdown) - the organization of the film is so interesting how distinct the scenes are from each other.
Beautiful! No/very limited CGI and they made it beautiful. That's impressive. The biggest downfall to me were the transitions, which sometimes felt like an old tv show or western. Working with the tight angles and the anti-gravity environment made for some very engaging shots. It's really well directed visually.
The technical advisers and the production artists deserve major credit here. Filming in anti-gravity sets also deserves major props. It's these and many other factors that make "Apollo 13" feel so real. I couldn't always understand the technicalities behind every scene, but I implicitly trusted that they weren't just making it up. Somehow the film quickly proves its legitimacy. The news footage was a very good way to explain some of the technical aspects in layman's terms.