LOS ANGELES – Thirty-five years ago, Apollo 13 (search) reached for the stars.
Tuesday night, the stars returned the favor in not just one, but two events spinning around the March 29 release of the "'Apollo 13': Anniversary Edition" (search) DVD.
The star of the Oscar-nominated 1995 film, Tom Hanks (search), attended an IMAX screening at the California Science Center. With tongue firmly in cheek, Hanks did the hard selling to Associated Press Television News:
"We are celebrating, or announcing, or trying to make hay out of the 10th anniversary release of 'Apollo 13': the motion picture on DVD, with added bonuses, special features, documentaries, everything you want to know about 'Apollo 13': the movie and the mission," he said.
Directed by Ron Howard (search), the film portrays the trials, tribulations and ultimate triumph of the 1970 Apollo 13 mission, in which a crippled space capsule made a life-or-death race to the safety of Earth.
The two-disc anniversary DVD boasts a bounty of extras not included on previous editions, including two new documentaries, "Lucky 13: The Astronaut's Story" and "Conquering Space: The Moon and Beyond."
Joining Hanks for the Los Angeles event was producer Brian Grazer, who noted, "I saw the movie again, about two or three months ago, because I decided, with my 5-year-old boy, I would show him favorite sequences to movies that I loved. So, I loved the blast-off scene in 'Apollo 13.' So, I showed him that ... and it just still made me cry."
Howard was not at the L.A. party, instead attending a similar screening at Cape Canaveral.
"Well, I really had an option here, whether to participate in this event in Los Angeles or get here, and be with (Apollo 13 commander) Jim Lovell," he said via a studio news release. "And I'm getting ready to work with Tom Hanks again. I see (producing partner) Brian Grazer all the time. I wanted to be with Lovell."
The two-time Oscar-winning Hanks said "Apollo 13" continues to rank as a career highlight.
"Well, this was a dream for me from the very get-go," he explained. "I thought for years in advance of making the movie, that the story of Apollo 13 would be a magnificent film, that people would be able to embrace it, and be moved and fascinated by it as I was."