2 of the past 3 nights, I've stayed up late to watch Apollo 13 on tv. (Around the household, late now means 11:30pm.) I've seen the movie many times. I even have it on DVD. But once that oxygen tank blows up and strands the 3 astronauts in space, I need to see how they can get back to earth.
I'm always amazed when I remember that it was a true event. I think about all the planning that goes into a space mission, and then how suddenly everything changed and how fast they had to work on the unexpected rescue mission. Granted, the movie version probably has a Hollywood spin on what really went down, but I have to believe that just about the whole nation felt a little better when the crew returned safely. It's kind of cool to have everyone rooting and working for a common goal.
If the Apollo 13 saga took place today, there would probably be less of a feel-good movie atmosphere around the event and a lot more people drinking the Haterade. Critics on tv would talk about how incompetent NASA is and how much money the program is wasting. Some bloggers would advocate leaving the guys in space and pretend to really mean it. Martians would threaten to scoop up the disabled spaceship and conduct research on the astronauts.
Maybe that's why I like the movie so much. It reminds me that people can work together to accomplish great things. Of course, I also love movies like Snakes on a Plane.
In an unrelated note, our government crashed a satellite into the moon today. I would have sent Bruce Willis up there with a nuclear bomb instead.