It's commonly said that a picture is worth a thousand words, but here the case might be the reverse. The filmmakers have seamlessly integrated newly revealed photos and previously unreleased NASA footage with computer-generated and live-action re-creations of the surface of the moon. But, in a cinematic era in which seemingly any feat or place can be generated for the screen, it's what these men said--in mundane exchanges and insightful retrospection--that stirs one most. Eschewing talking heads, the film conveys their words via crackling radio communications and quotations by familiar voices such as Morgan Freeman, John Travolta and Paul Newman.
Yet not all here is imbued with a sense of profound import. Director Mark Cowen covers the history of humankind's relationship to the moon via a brisk Looney Tunes-esque montage and addresses the lingering conspiracy that the lunar landings are an elaborate hoax with a tongue-in-cheek spoof of archival footage. However, notably missing is the historical context of the race to the moon amidst the Cold War. Narrated by Tom Hanks. Directed by Mark Cowen. Written by Tom Hanks, Mark Cowen and Christopher G. Cowen. Produced by Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman and Mark Cowen. An IMAX release. Documentary. Unrated. Running time: 40 min.