- Actors: Claire Foy, Ryan Gosling, Pablo Schreiber
- Directors: Damien Chazelle
- Format: Widescreen
- Language: English
- Subtitles: English
- Region: Region 5 (Read more about DVD formats.)
- Rated: A (Adults Only)
- Studio: Universal Studios
- Product Release Date: 15 Mar 2019
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- ASIN: B07FP2XQYH
Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
#607 in Movies & TV Shows (See Top 100 in Movies & TV Shows)
- #158 in Drama
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A first-person account through the eyes of Neil Armstrong recounts the history-changing years before the Apollo 11 mission. Neil's character takes us back to 1961 and recalls what it was like to be the first man on the moon. Retelling the most dangerous mission America had ever done, Neil brings to life his personal sacrifices and the sacrifices of the country. Neil leads us from the very beginning, all the way up to July 20, 1969, when he took one giant leap for mankind.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
This movie, First Man, is dedicated to proving the opposite. How? It turns ancient tragedy on its head, presenting a great man, Neil Armstrong, as an insipidly ordinary man with a 'heroic flaw': emotional impassivity. To what end? To make the postmodern point that the concept of courage in the face of great dangers, known and unknown, is merely another 'narrative', a story told in order to deceive you into believing that astronauts are spectacular examples of human excellence, when actually they are the playthings of the powerful, no more than emotionally repressed drones whose apparent conquest of fear is simply an inability to feel anything.
Why do the filmmakers spend so much boring footage on Armstrong's domestic problems rather than showing us more of the many struggles to master a dangerous and difficult technology from the point of view of the men who were expected to pilot it? That's an easy one. The more we see of Armstrong's helpless withdrawal from his wife and children in the face of the demands of marriage and fatherhood, the less heroic he becomes. The test-pilot and training sequences linger lovingly on all the pain and failure. Did the astronauts ever master the three-axis spin challenge? Sure, but do we see it here? No, instead we are treated to these great men vomiting their guts out into toilets in an inexplicably filthy NASA restroom. Why? It undercuts their greatness. If all you knew of the early U.S. space program was what you see here, you would have to think it was a relentless sequence of disasters punctuated by a occasional unremarkable -- and barely remarked -- step forward, until, as if by some inexplicable miracle, Apollo 11 reaches the moon.
So you were expecting a story to lift the human spirit? Listen to the score. You'll hear a few moments of apologetically uplifting music to accompany the lunar landing and that's it. For the rest, the music is appropriate to the funereal mood director Damien Chazelle obviously worked so hard to maintain. And the cinematography, which one would expect to be unabashedly romanticist for a subject like this, also spills the postmodern beans -- Chazelle blends film noir lighting and an over-saturated-kodacolor documentary look, a sarcastic appropriation of harsh realism and 1960's kitsch. Nice touch.
My problem with First Man is not that it is poorly made. Given the theme the filmmakers chose to present, their presentation is a big success. My problem is with the theme the filmmakers chose to present. Let me summarize it in words: Man is not a heroic being of sovereign will and glorious aspiration, but only the plaything of the natural and social forces that control his destiny. If you share this premise, this film will dispel any fears you had that great human achievements are a threat to your world view.
I went to see this movie because it promised me the opportunity to experience the look, sound and feeling of human greatness. I was deceived. First Man is a sneak attack on human greatness.
This movie isn't about beating up Armstrong or any of the characters, this movie is about how to achieve greatness when the world continues to challenge you. When the world puts obstacles and challenges in front of you, will you falter or will you fight to accomplish something that most people won't.
Don't be swayed by the reviews of those who haven't and won't ever accomplish anything significant in their lives, or who gave up when things got tough in their own lives. This movie shows you that no matter what happens, you can accomplish great things if you just keep putting one foot in front of the other.
People, please read the volume First Man by James Hansen that this movie is based on before watching to get the true picture of Armstrong's character...this movie unnecessarily decapitates it and destroys an otherwise fine depiction of NASA's race to the moon.