Rent Apollo 11 (2019)

3.9 of 5 from 415 ratings
1h 33min
Rent Apollo 11 Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
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Synopsis:
From director Todd Douglas Miller (Dinosaur 13) comes a cinematic event 50 years in the making. Crafted from a newly discovered trove of 65mm footage, and more than 11,000 hours of uncatalogued audio recordings, 'Apollo 11' takes us straight to the heart of NASA's most celebrated mission - the one that first put men on the moon, and forever made Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin into household names. Immersed in the perspectives of the astronauts, the team in Mission Control, and the millions of spectators on the ground, we vividly experience those momentous days and hours in 1969 when humankind took a giant leap into the future.
Actors:
, , , , Clifford E. Charlesworth, , H. David Reed, , , , , , Janet Armstrong, Patricia Mary Finnegan, Andy Aldrin, Joan Ann Archer, , , ,
Directors:
Producers:
Evan Krauss, Todd Douglas Miller, Thomas Petersen
Writers:
Todd Douglas Miller
Studio:
Dogwoof
Genres:
Children & Family, Documentary, Special Interest
Awards:

2019 Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize Editing Documentary

BBFC:
Release Date:
04/11/2019
Run Time:
93 minutes
Languages:
English
Subtitles:
English Hard of Hearing
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.78:1 / 16:9
Colour:
Colour
Bonus:
  • Apollo 11: Discovering The 65mm
  • Transearth Injection Cue Walkthrough with Composer Matt Morton
  • Theatrical Trailer
BBFC:
Release Date:
04/11/2019
Run Time:
93 minutes
Languages:
English
Subtitles:
English Hard of Hearing
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.20:1
Colour:
Colour
BLU-RAY Regions:
B
Bonus:
  • Apollo 11: Discovering The 65mm
  • Transearth Injection Cue Walkthrough with Composer Matt Morton
  • Theatrical Trailer
BBFC:
Release Date:
04/11/2019
Run Time:
93 minutes
Languages:
English
Subtitles:
English Hard of Hearing
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.20:1
Colour:
Colour
BLU-RAY Regions:
B
Bonus:
  • Apollo 11: Discovering The 65mm
  • Transearth Injection Cue Walkthrough with Composer Matt Morton
  • Theatrical Trailer

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Reviews (9) of Apollo 11

Great story , well told - Apollo 11 review by DB

Spoiler Alert
22/11/2019

As someone with an interest in space and spaceflight in general I thought that over the years I'd seen pretty much all the footage publicly available as far as the Apollo 11 mission was concerned so while I was looking forward to watching this documentary, I wasn’t particularly expecting to see anything new. How wrong I was, I would guess, that at least 70% or more of the footage used was new to me so I suspect it may be new to you as well. So, thumbs up for that.

It also benefits significantly from , firstly, not having a contemporary voice over telling you what you are looking at , instead there are just the recordings made at the time so the story is allowed to unfold in its own way and secondly by the clever use of very simple on-screen graphics to reveal telemetry changes. I thought that worked really well.

All in all, a great watch, I'd recommend it to anyone.

6 out of 6 members found this review helpful.

Involving recreation of the original event - Apollo 11 review by GC

Spoiler Alert
16/12/2019

I am surprised by how involving this film is. Tense at times and thrilling, I was so impressed by the achievement of going to the moon, landing on the surface, walking about there and returning with the quite basic space technology of the times. Heroic, brave and daring, it shows the USA at its best.

Several other people watched it and agreed with me.

4 out of 4 members found this review helpful.

Missed opportunity - Apollo 11 review by PD

Spoiler Alert
28/11/2019

I'm afraid I was bit surprised at all the very positive reviews of this in the press. For it’s a special sort of achievement to take a collection of footage of the Apollo 11 mission and make it rather dull. For that, unfortunately, is what director Todd Douglas Miller has (for the most part) done here. Despite the attempt to focus on the heroic actions and extraordinary experiences of the three astronauts, and to display the vast concerted effort on the ground that their flight required, Miller manages only to provide a sketchy overview of the historic event, only intermittently and fleetingly illuminated by a telling or surprising detail.

The concept of a film composed entirely of found or pre-existing material is a radical one. It asserts that the material deserves to be treated as something special and invites an artistic approach that’s similarly distinctive. Fine in principle, but the composition and the editing, by contrast, have no identity, no form that reflects the discovery of the material, the sheer wonder of its very existence. Rather, the film sketches the story of the mission in haste, hitting dramatic high notes and scooting onward, and formulates the episodes of the mission superficially, in familiar chronological manner, as if working from a wikipedia entry .Throughout the film, the voice-over of Walter Cronkite, taken from news reports at the time, describes in grave tones the succession of events as they unfold onscreen; and the effect is to simply retransmit the long-sedimented version of the mission rather than redefining it on the basis to what the filmmaker experienced in the newly found footage itself. If you’re old enough, imagine the History of the FA Cup as narrated by David Coleman.

That sense of personal experience is what’s missing. (Peculiarly, the graphics, which provide intermittent breakdowns of particular stages of the mission, often have a greater sense of immediacy and drama.) Miller’s guiding principle appears to be shoehorning as much and as varied an array of footage as possible into the film's brief span and to edit it into a smooth unity. He hardly works closely with the images themselves, whilst the musical score, which is part action film banality and part lift musak, has the effect of cushioning the images to fit them into the standard audiovisual aural-wallpaper of Hollywood and television.

But the figures who suffer most from Miller’s approach are the astronauts themselves. You get a sense akin to those awful royal documentaries, that straightjacketed official portraiture; we remain remote from the astronauts’ characters, their own sense of experience. The one time the film does try to get close is a woefully misjudged montage, patched into a sequence of the astronauts suiting up that shows a brief flurry of their personal still photographs, depicting in flashes the Kodak moments of their earlier years, as if suggesting that, at the moment, those memories passed through their minds. The concept is both banal and superficial.

Some of the film’s most striking footage shows the hundreds of people who worked in Mission Control: rows and rows of scientists at long tables, each staring at monitors, banks of buttons & switches, some taking notes on paper. These images recur, and one in particular, a long tracking shot revealing vastly many rows of technicians, tightly arrayed in long lines, is awe-inspiring—but, inevitably, the speculative wonder that it inspires is instantly thwarted, because Miller never conveys the slightest sense of what any one of them is doing, so they become mere extras in the drama (take a look at James Burke's old 1979 documentary to see how it could be done).

The new footage is amazing, with plenty of fascinating incidental details, but the film's style, borrowed from conventional, documentaries, merely turns the whole thing into something bordering on the soulless. For enthusiasts like me, therefore, this felt like a missed opportunity.

2 out of 6 members found this review helpful.

Critic review

Apollo 11 review by Mark McPherson - Cinema Paradiso

For the longest time, one of my favorite movies on outer space missions by NASA has been the fantastic documentary For All Mankind. Showcasing so many brilliant bits of footage and audio from the historic event, it was such an immersive experience for allowing most the majesty of being in the rocket wash over the audience. Now comes Apollo 11, a film that aims to be even more contemplative on the experience with more footage and way less dialogue. This is my new favorite film on the subject now.

Similar to For All Mankind, Apollo 11 is assembled entirely from archival footage of the first spaceflight where human beings first set on the moon. Also, like the aforementioned documentary, this film also brings to light never-before-seen footage in an astonishing 70mm transfer. But what separates the picture most is that there are no interviews overlayed on this footage and no narration. The footage does all the talking and has faith in the audience to follow along and take part in just sharing the wonder rather than having it all explained to us outright. There’s not shortage of films like that, including a recreation special that aired the very same year. There are few films that let such an experience grip us without guidance.

The film was directed by Todd Douglas Miller, who has previously worked on the documentary The Last Steps involving Apollo 17. With the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission on the horizon, his editor recommended he take the same approach to Apollo 11 with his minimalist style of directing, choosing more to step back from the footage than tinker with it too much past the technical.

Thanks to a deal with NASA, Miller was granted access to some astounding footage. So much of the 70mm footage is just breathtaking with some of the highlights being the launch complex, the Saturn V rocket launch, and scenes of spectators during the launch. Watching the film is less like Miller directing a story and feels more like him giving us a grand tour through NASA’s finest archives of the greatest story in spaceflight ever told.

Though there has been a severely edited down version for certain IMAX equipped science museums (running 47 minutes), this is not a film you want to only catch the abridged version of. Consider how Miller sorted through over 11,000 hours of footage to find just the right pieces and parts to takes on the same adventure as Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong, and Michael Collins. There’s not a spec of footage present within the full film that feels like extra fluff to establish the mission or lingering too long subtle moments. For a film that’s so stand-offish in its audio, it never pulls back on letting us take a look under the hood of this event.

Apollo 11 is without question one of the best documentaries of 2019. It takes one of the most artful approaches to such a crucial element of American history and thankfully has enough material to let it speak for itself. What a fantastic time to be alive where media has become such a constant that something as groundbreaking as the moon landing can have its own voice in history, amplified by Miller and his dedication to such a picture.

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