Movie review of “A Beautiful Planet”: This documentary in 3D shows spectacular IMAX images of Earth filmed by astronauts aboard the International Space Station. Rating: 3 stars out of 4.
Let’s go into space.
The trip comes courtesy of “A Beautiful Planet” in 3D. It’s the element of 3D that’s key to the sense that you are there — way, way out there in the inky void.
That sense really kicks in early in the picture, shortly after a Soyuz spacecraft docks with the International Space Station and three astronauts are warmly welcomed by colleagues already on board. They start drifting, careening, slowly, balletically, and suddenly — ulp! — we’re weightless! Or at least as close as our ground-bound selves are likely to get to experiencing the zero-G effect, courtesy of the special 3D glasses handed out to viewers. Your eyes and inner ear conspire to give you momentary queasies.
Movie Review ★★★
‘A Beautiful Planet,’ a documentary narrated by Jennifer Lawrence. Written and directed by Toni Myers. 45 minutes. Rated G. Boeing IMAX Theater at the Pacific Science Center, Alderwood Mall 16.
But then the camera shifts from inside views of the cramped confines of the station to sights outside its windows. (All footage was shot by the astronauts.) And the queasies give way to awe.
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We look down in awe at …
The boot of Italy, its outline edged in lights at night. A spectacular sight.
Lightning flashes pulsing through heavy storm clouds. A light show to stir the soul.
Smoke plumes stretching like gray-white tendrils across the Brazilian rain forest. From this distance, there’s a grim beauty in that far-off destruction.
Like other IMAX documentaries of this type — “Blue Planet” is one example — environmental themes are woven through the narration delivered by Jennifer Lawrence and written by director Toni Myers. There is fragility in the beauty we see. The picture drives home the need to safeguard it. It is, after all, our home.