Magnificent Desolation plays mostly as a promotional piece for young, would-be astronauts. The impetus for the production, it seems, was the thought that interest in the Moon, and space exploration in general, has been waning. The film is about one-third education, one-third inspiration and one-third mystifying 3-D visual effects.
At 40 minutes, it's a short number -- which suits school children well. Now that my attention span has grown with age, however, I wished it had been longer and the recreated 3-D scenes had been more embellished -- maybe an adult version fraught with fictional peril. I became greedy for more time in the 3rd dimension.
The three-dimensional visuals are stunning like none that I have ever seen. The 3-D glasses are still somewhat clownish in appearance, but are an advancement compared to the cheap-paper disposals I am accustomed to, as they don't distort your view with hues of blue and red.
I predict that there will be renewed interest in viewing films in 3-D, and Robert Zemeckis and Co. are wise to re-release the Polar Express in 3-D IMAX format this December.
Although for the adult, the educational aspect may be a little rudimentary or underwhelming, Magnificent Desolation is inspiring, and I'm always willing to pay a few bucks for some inspiration; to be reminded of how incredibly amazing our achievements have been over the past 100 years, and how amazingly able we humans are at realizing dreams that still seem so impossible, so mystifying -- whether viewed through 3-D glasses or just contemplated on a clear night while looking up at the night's sky.
To be the first man to ever set foot on the Moon is an ineffably fantastic feet; to think that you were the first person to set foot on something that every living inhabitant of this earth has looked upon since the inception of this planet. It's amazing -- one of the most extraordinary experiences one can have -- talk about "out of this world!" I didn't fully appreciate the awesomeness of this accomplishment until I was forced to think about it this past weekend while watching this film. So, I think the Magnificent Desolation is effective at getting audiences to think a little more about how amazing the original Apollo missions were.
In closing, even though my matured tastes left me wanting more, in the end I think it best that Magnificent Desolation is what it is: a simple, short film that captivates the eyes, minds and, hopefully, hearts of young and old alike, inspiring us all to continue reaching and dreaming of things that appear beyond reach of human capacity, for Magnificent Desolation reminds us that how things appear is just that, illusionary appearance. In this world, during our lifetime, anything is possible.