Thursday, March 25, 2010

‘Hubble’ astronaut knows how to stay grounded, too

WASHINGTON, D.C. — It’s doubtful that many at the National Space and Air Museum here, with its massive five-story screen inside the Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater, were not impressed by “Hubble 3D.” Narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio, this seventh film from the award-winning IMAX Space Team, “captained” on Earth by director/producer Toni Myers, provides insight on the Hubble space telescope that, Myers declares, “has changed the way we see the universe.”
Yet, this visually overwhelming chronicling of the NASA Space Shuttle Atlantis’s journey to repair and update the massive viewing device didn’t have the same impact in all corners. Consider the impression made upon the teen children of Dr. Michael Massimino, one of the astronauts aboard for the STS-125 mission.
It landed, if you will, when the outgoing Massimino — born and raised in Franklin Square, N.Y., with an accent reflective of the Queens end of Long Island — took the kids to a recent IMAX 3D screening of “Avatar.” By chance, Massimino recalls during interviews at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, that the theater’s selection of previews included a teaser for dear old Dad’s “Hubble 3D” adventure.
“The first thing I hear,” Massimino tells correspondent Stan Urankar, “is, ‘OK, Dad, real nice. You paid them to show that, right?’ I swear to them, up and down, that it’s pure coincidence, but they’re looking at me, kind of like they still weren’t buying it.
“Well, the preview goes and on, and I can see they’re getting more and more interested. I’m telling you, the way that 3D looks is just amazing, so I can understand it. Then, here comes the announcer saying that the movie is narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio.”
Massimino turned and found himself under his daughter’s wide-eyed gaze. “She looks at me and says, ‘Wow, Dad! That’s amazing. You mean, Leonardo DiCaprio is going to say our name?’ ”
For video interviews with Massimino and four of his fellow astronauts from "Hubble 3D," scroll through the "new movie interviews" section at .
Meanwhile you can read my most recent reviews, including "The Yellow Handkerchief," "A Prophet," "Greenberg," "Repo Men" and "Saint John of Las Vegas," right now at Sun News and or ReelRave.


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