Rent First Man (2018)

3.5 of 5 from 802 ratings
2h 15min
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Synopsis:
Director Damien Chazelle and star Ryan Gosling reteam for the riveting story behind the first manned mission to the moon, focusing on Neil Armstrong and the decade leading to the historic Apollo 11 flight. A visceral, intimate account told from Armstrong's perspective and based on the book by James R. Hansen, the film explores the triumphs and the cost on Armstrong, his family, his colleagues, and the nation itself for one of the most dangerous missions in history.
Actors:
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Luke Winters, Connor Blodgett, Lucy Stafford
Directors:
Producers:
Marty Bowen, Damien Chazelle, Isaac Klausner
Writers:
Josh Singer, James R. Hansen
Others:
Ian Hunter, Claire Foy, Paul Lambert, Tom Cross, Jon Taylor, Nathan Crowley, Frank A. Montaño, Josh Singer, Linus Sandgren, Mildred Iatrou Morgan, Ai-Ling Lee, Mary H. Ellis, Tristan Myles, J.D. Schwalm, Kathy Lucas
Studio:
Universal Pictures
Genres:
Top 100 Films, Drama
Awards:

2019 Oscar Best Visual Effects

BBFC:
Release Date:
18/02/2019
Run Time:
135 minutes
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.39:1
Colour:
Colour
Languages:
Anglicized English Audio Description, English
Subtitles:
English Hard of Hearing
Bonus:
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Giant Leap in One Small Step
  • Recreating the Moon Landing
  • Shooting at NASA
  • Astronaut Training
  • Feature Commentary and More!
BBFC:
Release Date:
18/02/2019
Run Time:
141 minutes
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.78:1 / 16:9
Colour:
Colour
Languages:
Anglicized English Audio Description, English
Subtitles:
English
Bonus:
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Giant Leap in One Small Step
  • Recreating the Moon Landing
  • Shooting at NASA
  • Astronaut Training
  • Feature Commentary and More!
  • And More
BBFC:
Release Date:
18/02/2019
Run Time:
141 minutes
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.78:1 / 16:9
Colour:
Colour
Languages:
English
Subtitles:
English Hard of Hearing
Bonus:
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Giant Leap in One Small Step
  • Recreating the Moon Landing
  • Shooting at NASA
  • Astronaut Training
  • Feature Commentary
  • And More!

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Reviews (16) of First Man

Disappointed - 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 7 members found this review helpful.

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.

3 out of 5 members found this review helpful.

One of the best films of 2018 - First Man review by MW

I enjoyed this more than I expected to. I liked Damien Chazelle's first film Whiplash but this is on a whole other level of filmmaking. Ryan Gosling is perfectly suited to the role of Neil Armstrong and gives what could be a career best performance. Claire Foy is also excellent. The thing I loved about the film was that it managed to be both epic and intimate, I believed and cared about the characters and their personal setbacks but was also utterly absorbed with the progress made leading up to and during NASA's trip to the moon. The space missions show what a great director Chazelle is, they could have been boring but I was captivated by them. Another review on here mentioned Apollo 13 and how this was not as good, anyone who knows Ron Howard's films knows his films are very crowd-pleasing. This film has more depth and for me a much better film and in fact in my top films of 2018.

3 out of 6 members found this review helpful.

Critic review

First Man review by Mark McPherson - Cinema Paradiso

Damien Chazelle has at the very least proven he’s not a director held to jazz. First Man marks his first biopic and it’s certainly one that stands out for taking a contemplative aim at the journey of Neil Armstrong through the space program that led him to the moon. Is it a wholly accurate portrayal of Armstrong? Probably not but Chazelle succeeds greatly at trying to get us more into the cockpit than inside the full and dry history of the legendary astronaut.

Neil is played by Ryan Gosling as a reserved man, quiet and distant, trying to keep his work separate from his family life. He loses a very young child a tumor but doesn’t let him slow it down. Everyone thinks it would make him want to take some time off but he’s right back in the office after some fast and hard grieving, leaving his tears and memories at home. When he’s at the office as a pilot, nothing distracts him. Or at least he doesn’t let it show. I can’t say I blame him when it comes to piloting crafts into the atmosphere where one wrong move or tiny error and death is assured. It’s this determination that keeps him sharp, focused, and a prime candidate for the space race to the moon at NASA.

It’s not an easy life for his wife Janet (Claire Foy). She tries to stay with her man as her family is moved about the country for Neil’s work but it certainly takes its toll. Janet is not as strong as her husband when it comes to watching the man of the NASA program suffer deaths as the dangerous testing continues. There is only so much of Neil’s quiet nature she can take before she eventually explodes on him for how he treats every day as just another day at the office, including the eventual Apollo launch. Neil can play cheerfully with his kids but when it comes time to tell them that he’ll be heading off to the moon, he gives them the same talk he gives a press conference. He just doesn’t want to talk about it.

Aside from Gosling’s beautifully contained performance and Foy absolutely dominating in her role, Chazelle’s direction keeps the film an intense one of flights that could go wrong at any moment. I love how he keeps us saddled right next to Neil during these many tests and adventures above the planet, seeing and hearing everything he senses from within the cramped cockpits. Our vision limited and hearing plagued by gauges, radio static, and howling metal, it’s a shaky and terrifying experience, especially during the film’s most horrific scene of a test capsule gone wrong where the electronics catch fire and the astronauts are burned alive. The most frightening of scenes features Neil struggling to stabilize his craft during a docking procedure that sends him spinning faster and faster to the point of nearly passing out.

Chazelle still proves he has a way with the camera, making great use of the space and lighting, everywhere from the cramped lunar lander to the hallways of Neil’s home. And then there’s the eventual landing of the lunar module on the surface of the moon, kept tastefully devoid of sound and falling back on the memorable audio from that monumental event. Chazelle holds back on trying to amp up the scene, keeping it more contemplative, almost more than it probably was for Neil about coming to terms with death if there were such thoughts bouncing around in the furthest pockets of his mind.

First Man certainly isn’t Chazelle’s strongest picture. It develops many characters, including a cocky Buzz Aldrin played by Corey Stoll, but then doesn’t do much with them. Much like Neil, the film remains far more focused on the mission to the moon rather than Armstrong’s relationships, existing as distant echoes he tries to shut out. But for what the film is as an experience to perhaps peer inside Armstrong’s helmet and feel every quake of ascending to outer space, Chazelle delivers an engaging film if not as straight.

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