Let’s go into space.
Let’s go to space in a place that looks like a big white flying saucer. There’s no better vehicle in which to venture into the inky void than the Boeing IMAX Theater at the Pacific Science Center.
The trip comes courtesy of “A Beautiful Planet 3-D.” It’s that “3-D” bit that’s key to the sense of you are there — way, way out there.
It comes early in the picture, shortly after a Soyuz spacecraft docks with the International Space Station and three astronauts are warmly welcomed by colleagues already onboard. They start drifting, careening, slowly, balletically, and suddenly — Ulp! — we’re weightless! Or at least as close as our ground-bound selves are likely to get to experiencing for fleeting moments the zero-G effect, courtesy of the special 3-D glasses handed out to viewers. Your eyes and inner ear conspire to give you momentary queasies.
But then the camera shifts from inside views of the cramped confines of the station to sights outside its windows. (All footage was shot by the astronauts.) And the queasies give way to awe.
We look down in awe at …
The boot of Italy, its outline edged in lights at night. A spectacular sight.
At lightning flashes pulsing through heavy storm clouds. A light show to stir the soul.
At smoke plumes stretching like gray-white tendrils across the Brazilian rain forest. From this distance, there’s a grim beauty in that far-off destruction.
Like other IMAX documentaries of this type — “Blue Planet” is one example — environmental themes are woven through the narration delivered by Jennifer Lawrence and written by director Toni Myers. There is fragility in the beauty we see. The picture drives home the need to safeguard it. It is, after all, our home.
A Beautiful Planet 3-D
☆☆☆☆ out of 5
Director: Toni Myers.
Running time: 45 minutes.
Rated: G; suitable for all ages.
Where: Boeing IMAX Theater, Pacific Science Center, 200 Second Ave. N., Seattle.