Apollo 18 on DVD & Blu-ray

There are two schools of thought likely to stir up the population of America when their orthodox view of the Moon landings is challenged.  The first is that man never set foot on the Moon at all – space radiation from the Van Allen Belt would have made it impossible.  The second is that yes, man did get to the Moon, but either far earlier than history notes, what they found there was different to what we have been told, and/or trips to the Moon have continued as ‘Black Ops’ secret operations ever since. The majority of the American Public (and press and media) don’t like the thought of any of these – hence why reaction to “Apollo 18” at the Box Office was so hostile.

In consensus reality we are told that Apollo 17, launched 17 December 1972, was the last manned mission to the Moon.  “Apollo 18” works from the criteria that in December 1973, a crew of three astronauts were sent on a secret mission to the Moon funded by the US Department of Defense.  Somehow the actual footage which the astronauts took on that mission has escaped into the wider world. And we had three copies of the DVD to give away of “Apollo 18” in a prize competition.

Apollo 18 - The secret exposed on DVD & Blu-rayOne of the featured titles in the DVD/Bluray Review Comedy Panel show Behind The Sofa from Cult TV Productions (as seen on Contriversial TV - Sky channel 200), this is the sort of movie which, once you open yourself up to possibilities, positively pulls you along in its wake.  As Mitch Benn described it, when he reviewed the film on Behind The Sofa, this is “The Blair Witch Project” in space! And as part of the set-up, while NASA denies its authenticity, others say what’s detailed in the footage is the real reason we’ve never gone back to the Moon (be it the Americans, Russians, or Chinese... or have they?!)

Gonzalo López-Gallego takes on the Directorial chores admirably, making the exposed footage have the required archive nature. It really does feel like you’ve stumbled onto one of biggest conspiracies of all time (save for the fact this is a mainstream movie release ... but what better way to hide the truth than in plain sight?)

The back story, that 84 hours of film from the mission suddenly surfaced on a website, can be assisted in the suspension of disbelief by what has been happening in the world around us – this is Wikileaks taken to the next level.

What could be a very limiting aspect to having this as footage, which was filmed by the astronauts (or their drone cameras that they set up), actually helps in making the story more believable. The astronauts are Ben Anderson (Warren Christie), Nate Walker (Lloyd Owen), and John Grey (Ryan Robbins), with Grey being given the least to do, as he stays up in the Command Module, orbiting the Moon.

Some of the bonus features help those interested in the process of cinema to get inside the heads of the creatives involved in the film. The commentary track has the Director sitting alongside the editor, Patrick Lussier (an essential element to the success of this project).

You also get sixteen deleted and/or extended scenes, and as has been the case with many a movie, these are interludes early on in the timeline of the mission, before the Saturn V launch, and help build additional layers of characterisation. In particular there are four alternative endings – a huge debate could ensue between viewers as to whether the right one was chosen in the end – for one or two it’s a close call.

You also get the original movie trailer, which really should entice anyone to find out more.  However, the fact it didn’t does beg the question of how, on any topic, you can shake some people out of a state of ‘wilful ignorance’ about what’s really going on in the world (especially when they cannot play a game of "what if?", even on this simple level).

“Apollo 18” is out now from Entertainment In Video.  It has a ‘15’ certificate, a running time of 86 minutes approx, and RRPs of £19.99 (DVD) and £24.99 (Blu-ray), or get either format for less as www.culttvstore.com

Thanks to Entertainment In Video and Cult TV, there was a chance to win one of three copies of the DVD of “Apollo 18” we had up for grabs in our prize competition.  All you had to do was answer the following: Which reviewer on the “Behind The Sofa” TV show was tasked with covering “Apollo 18”? The answer was Mitch Benn, and the winners were Michelle Hall of Ashton-under-Lyne, Bruce Pearson of Norwich, and Ann McKennam of  Oswestry. Thanks to everyone who took part.

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