No matter how awesome the view of Earth from space, nor how thrilling the liftoff of those thundering giant rockets from Cape Kennedy, baby-boomer nostalgia for astronauts has pretty much run its course. After The Right Stuff (book and movie), Apollo 13, Tom Hanks' From the Earth to the Moon, countless books and TV specials, and the very similar Oscar-nominated doc For All Mankind (1989), Shadow has little new to tell. Surviving members of the Apollo program are all old and white-haired, of course, which gives their recollections an extra dose of mortal poignancy. Still, they've been repeating these stories for decades. Are they heroes? Unquestionably. Role models? Yeah, but they're all too modest to present themselves as such. Their most interesting comments today are environmental: Recalling his view of our planet from his Apollo 11 capsule, Michael Collins says, "That little thing is so fragile." Thus, the new twist to Shadow is that it's a post–Al Gore doc, itself in the shadow of An Inconvenient Truth. So by all means take your kids (or dad) to see it. From those original NASA cameras, likely the most expensive ever built, the most beautiful footage on-screen this year was filmed more than 30 years ago.
Nixon (right) meets some real heroes.
Opens at Egyptian, Fri., Sept. 21. Rated PG. 100 minutes.