Starring: Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, Jason Clarke, Kyle Chandler, Corey Stoll, Christopher Abbott, Patrick Fugit, Ciarán Hinds, Ethan Embry
Written By: Josh Singer
Directed By: Damien Chazelle
Studio: Universal Studios
Buy On Amazon.com
The latest biopic is about Neil Armstrong and ends with the famous Apollo 11 moon landing. The movie is intense at times, slow at other times but it’s certainly a good movie.
First Man is about NASA pilot Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling) and becoming the first man to walk on the moon. Before he got there though, he had to deal with heartbreak with the lost of his 2 year old daughter and friends in the space program, but powered through to become the first man to walk on the moon. OHHH spoiler alert.
When the trailers for First Man first appeared, this looked like it was going to be a great Oscar-worthy film. While some people might think it is, I only thought it was just a good drama. Ryan Gosling portrayed Armstrong as someone who was so distraught with losing his 2 year old daughter to cancer and then whatever he could to keep his mind off of it. Which meant, going to the moon even if he meant it might kill him.
The movie shows us the struggle with preparing for space exploration and what the men went through. It’s glanced about but not shown in too much depth. You see the training and everything through Armstrong though. When his best friends are killed, he doesn’t show his emotions but you can tell it was eating him up inside. It almost seemed like Armstrong had a death wish, and didn’t want to be around his wife or children. At least that’s how the movie shows it. Someone that just wanted to do the job, but felt like he had to keep his distance from his family so he didn’t want to go through with the NASA stuff.
The rest of the cast was good, but I feel like it was a missed opportunity in a way. You had someone like Ciaran Hinds practically be a cameo. Claire Foy did a great job with the material as Armstrong wife Janet. Jason Clarke and Kyle Chandler were decent for when they were on screen. For the most part, this is all Ryan Gosling. I loved how the space training looked, the shaky cam style and the look of the film even looked like this was shot in the 60s. Justin Hurwitz’s score was interesting as well since part of sounded beautifully, and other times it sounded haunting with the use of the theremin. With that said, I just felt like this movie was too long and fell short of what I wanted. Sometimes the movie was just too slow for my liking. The space scenes were intense and exciting to watch though. Maybe I was expecting something else like From The Earth To The Moon or something similar to that?
The Blu-Ray features include deleted scenes, featurettes and audio commentary. Deleted scenes were just two scenes. The featurettes talked about Armstrong as a hero, even though he didn’t consider himself one. The rest of the featurettes were interesting like how they handled the moon landing and the stunts for the film. There’s also a quick featurette on the actors training at NASA for their roles.
First Man is a good film but I think it’s a little bit too slow in parts. I really enjoyed the space training and Apollo 11 scenes and the movie was shot really well. The score was very memorable too. I don’t necessarily think it’s the best movie in the world since I like other astronaut movies and miniseries more, but I don’t think you should write this one off either.
Shooting for the Moon
Preparing to Launch
Giant Leap in One Small Step
Mission Gone Wrong
Putting You in the Seat
Recreating the Moon Landing
Shooting at NASA
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1, 1.78:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1
English: Dolby Atmos
English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
Spanish: Dolby Digital Plus 7.1
French: Dolby Digital Plus 7.1
English SDH, French, Spanish
Bottom Line: A good movie but gets a little slow in spots
Running Time: 141 mins