IMAX's Hubble is full of pure, far-out wonder
A documentary by Toni Myers. Rated G. Opens at the Science World Omnimax at Telus World of Science on Friday, February 4
You can have your Pink Floyd laser show: for pure, far-out wonder, the new Hubble surrounds you in imagery of the cosmos that puts it in a jaw-dropping sphere of its own—no mind-altering substances required. Computer-enhancing the giant space telescope’s unprecedented imagery of our vast universe, the film sends us hurtling through the stars, backward in time, at millions of miles an hour. Try to get your head around that as you hover over a star “nursery” amid a giant gas canyon on Orion’s Belt or zoom in on the “eye” of a distant dying sun. This is one trip you won’t forget.
Watch the trailer for Hubble. />
But that’s only one side of the documentary: the imagery is interspersed with footage of the astronauts’ 2009 mission to upgrade Hubble. Sometimes it does feel like a high-altitude—like, 515 kilometres high—repair job, but a few sequences are as awe-inspiring as the space trip. Gut-rumbling, multiangle close-ups of the Space Shuttle Atlantis’s takeoff look better than watching the event from the stands at Cape Canaveral, and the perilous walks into space occasionally build to 2001: A Space Odyssey tension. At one point, an astronaut risks tearing a glove on a sharp circuit board and having the life literally sucked out of him; at another, the white-suited men float over the Hawaiian Islands as the Earth below them turns.
Does Leonardo DiCaprio’s narration find too much poetry in it all? As we look at the rumbling black clouds of planets apparently being born around a young star, he ponders: “Perhaps this is how we, in our world, began.” I say right on, dude: it’s not too often you go to an IMAX movie and face life’s big questions.