The real perils
- First Man review by Gwydion
I very much liked this film.
Unlike 'The Right Stuff' and even 'Apollo 13', this got across the extreme dangers of space flight. That even when everything seems fine, there is a lot to worry about. That included the clanking, vibration and alarming noises for take-off.
People wanted Armstrong to be more colourful. But as far as I know, he wasn't. Good to have a movie that respected the facts.
4 out of 6 members found this review helpful.
- First Man review by JD
I had been really looking forward to watching this dvd, but I was very disappointed. It is not half as good as Apollo 13.
Was Neil Armstrong as morose as played by Ryan Gosling ? No leadership qualities were hinted at, and Claire Foy as his wife was as bad.
The movie only gets going when they take off for the Moon, and the landing is very exciting. But having spent so long to get that far, it is all over very quickly, the return journey or landing are not shown at all. Again no celebration back on board the aircraft carrier, just a glum looking Armstrong meeting his wife again, through glass as he is in quarantine.
3 out of 9 members found this review helpful.
First Man, eventually with a few problems just before it happened…
- First Man review by DS
There are a lot of negative reviews of First Man, but you will not find one here.
Taking a story that nearly everyone in the world knows but in fact few really do and then drilling down through the bombast and jingoism that infests these type of stories to bring us into a very personal and small account of a huge event is a breath of fresh Hollywood air and dare I say a stroke of genius. Then strip away as much dramatic artifice as you can, play most character and scenes in an understated and realistic way as you possibly can, and you've got me from the first scenes.
The principal characters are Neil Armstrong and his wife Janet with both playing pivotal roles in the emotional drive of the film, Ryan Gosling is the driven and controlled Armstrong, I seem to recall there was some criticism of the way he played the role, but the truth of the matter, pilots are trained in that way, you can't have panicking, arm-waving histrionics in that profession, take note Ron Howard, and Claire Foy playing his wife Janet is the softer emotional core of the film. How the rest of us normal humans would feel. That's not to say Gosling's Armstrong is a robot and one early scene shows his deep emotions but also says to the audience, this is in private.
Keeping it personal we are surrounded by a supporting cast of characters that were in Armstrong's life at that time, we get to see snatches of their personalities, their lives and what shaped them but only a small amount. Basically, mirroring real life - you don't know the intricate details of a work friends’ life. The once again emphasises the personal world view we are getting.
Then in a further stroke of cinematic genius we get to see the Gemini 8 launch as if you were taking part in it, what you would see were you Armstrong. Like I said personal.
All the acting is top notch in the film with even the dramatic effect scenes certainly having the brakes put on. Gosling is restrained to the point somnambulance at times but that is the point, Armstrong was this way, certainly in his professional and public life and it would make sense that a great deal of emotional outlet has to come from his partner in all this his wife Janet played by the sublime Claire Foy. In truth, women are not served well in this film with Foy the only major female character throughout which is unfortunate but perhaps also a sign of the period in which the film was set and of course we are seeing this primarily through the eyes of the Armstrong family.
The look of the 1960s seems tight and correct, but I was seven when the film's story ended so I am probably not the best person to comment, but to me it looked good. Being a true story but a dramatic film there are liberties with the truth and certainly if you go digging you can find many bends, stretches, and obfuscation in my mind though the spirit of the Armstrongs, the spirit of the time, the feel of it, or to go back to The Castle as Dennis said 'The vibe of it'.
This is where First Man gets it right, the very vibe of the times. Spot on. The pace, the look, the emotion, fits the story and the actors correctly. Sure, if you looking for screaming, exploding helicopters, flaming rockets at a breakneck speed you are going to be disappointed and without trying to preach not all films have to be like this, some can flow languidly like a wide peaceful river that makes it way slowly to a raging, beautiful waterfall.
I'd say give it a go, adjust your expectations if you love action, sit back and marvel at the millions of people did way back in the sixties, rightly or wrongly, to send humanity into space.
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.