Tag Archives: Ron Howard

Apollo 13 – Ron Howard (1995)

A while ago I saw a film about Neil Armstrong as the first man on the moon. That was Apollo 11 about which recently a documentary has been made too. As you can guess, Apollo 13 was a later mission.

Bound for the moon too, we mostly follow Jim Lovell (Tom Hanks). Preparations, practising, etc., but also family life is shown, quite like in “First Man”. The launch is pretty far in the beginning of the film. This -of course- is because Apollo 13 was a troubled mission. Still on its way to the moon, there are major problems, so big even that it is doubtful that the crew can return safely.

With the moon landing abandoned quickly, a new mission arises. There is not enough air and most importantly, not enough power and fuel to complete the return flight. In a gripping and realistic way, Howard tells the story of three man living in a small craft with no power and hence, no heating. They have to repair their CO2 filter with duct tape and a sock, the people below are practising return scenarios and try to come up with ways to have just enough power for the return. Where there initially was little interest from the media in the first mission to the moon, when things went bad, the media was all over it. Specialists talking about the unlikelines of a safe return while the family is watching. All is well-done.

Also well-done are the space scenes with for example weightlessness, the -in our contemporary eyes- amateurish equipment and the hardship of the crews above and below. I am quite surprised that the film is as old as it is.

Solo: A Star Wars Story – Ron Howard

Ah yes, a Star Wars spin-offs to keep the money flow going. As the title suggests, this film zooms in to the character of Han Solo. We learn how he got out of slavery, how he got his name, how he met Chewie and how he got his ship.

Of course that is but a hook to hang on a space adventure including a wonderful Woody Harrelson as space renegade and Emilia Clarke gets to show that she can play more parts than Daenerys Targaryen. The story is told without most of the known Star Wars characters or even being part of the ‘bigger story’.
Actually, the title may suggest that the viewer gets to know Han Solo, but some light is only shed on a small part of his life.

Still, the film is enjoyable. There is no need to watch it on the big screen, but I suppose people who like Star Wars will enjoy this little spin-off.

Inferno – Ron Howard (2016)

Number three of the Dan Brown Hollywood merch is not too interesting. The story is a bit Bond-like. A ‘bad guy’ has plans to eradicate a part of humanity and Langdon sets out to prevent that. Of course he is accompanied by a lady. The ‘puzzle’ this time revolves around Dante, but even more so this time, the puzzle is obligatory. It is but a trail of the ‘bad guy’ in case he cannot fulfill his own plan himself.

“Inferno” is again a fast passed adrenaline rush with continuous chasing and escaping. There is a somewhat annoying amount of changing loyalties, undoubtedly to surprise / confuse the viewer, but it does not make the film any better

A fairly weak action film with a not too interesting story.

Angels & Demons * Ron Howard (2009)

At some point I was going to watch the follow-up of the famous “Da Vinci Code“. It was not very high up the list, but apparently I did not reread my review of the initial film…

Then again, with low expectations, Angels & Demons was not that bad. I guess you all know the story. The Pope has died and during conclave the four cardinals with the best papers to be follower-up are kidnapped and threatened to be killed. The group behind his action is a completely fabricated Illuminiati. Robert Langdon is flown in to decipher the maze that the Illuminati created.

The film is extremely pompous with classical music, a fairly high pace and intelligent-sounding theories of Langdon, who, for some reason, is accompanied by a female scientist.

The Da Vinci Code * Ron Howard (2006)

As regular visitor of these pages will know/expect, I haven’t read the famous book by Dan Brown and I wasn’t really planning on watching the film until it would be on TV some time. A friend bought a copy, so I saw the film anyway. I already expected that I was going to be annoyed by the half- and misinformation in the story. A weird interpretation of the organisation of Opus Dei, an erroneous history of the Knights Templar, etc. This was to be expected. What I did not expect that the story itself is very thin and very predictable too. Besides a few scenes with a nice atmosphere, there is nothing much good about this film and I didn’t even have any good expectations. Nothing more than an all-American mystery/conspiracy film based on a popular book.