Interrupting your regularly scheduled horror reviews to bring you a review of one of the better movies of this year.
First Man tells the famous story of Neil Armstrong and all of the successes and failures he and the American space program have in their mission to be the first to land on the moon.
This movie ended up being different than I was expecting it to be. It was much more a character study of Neil Armstrong than anything else, which definitely works in the movie’s favor. We spend so much time with him, his family, and his friends that the emotional moments throughout the movie really land. Because the movie spends so much time with Armstrong and his family, there is a lot of focus on Ryan Gosling, as well as Claire Foy who plays his wife. And as much as I don’t like Gosling in many of his movies, both him a Foy deliver outstanding performances here.
But for a movie about landing on the moon, the big question is how is the space stuff? The answer? See this movie in theaters, IMAX if possible. The last half hour of the movie contains everything from the rocket launch to the moon landing and it is absolutely stunning, some of the most beautiful moments I’ve seen in a movie in a long time. The visuals were jaw dropping and the way the score is mixed in is perfect. Luckily the rest of the movie is very good, but it would be worth seeing for the end alone.
The only negatives I saw for this movie were that, because it does focus on Armstrong so much, it does feel a little long and dragged out at times. I also don’t like one aspect of the end very much, but don’t want to discuss it here in order to not spoil anything.
I’ll briefly address the “controversy” around this movie and how it doesn’t depict the planting of the American flag on the moon. It really is a non-issue. While the actual act of planting the flag isn’t shown, you do get to see the planted flag in several shots. There was also a rumor going around that they had removed the flag from the astronauts’ suits, which is just flat out not true. There are plenty of flags to go around and the movie feels very patriotic. It depicts this as an American accomplishment, as it should. Don’t let this silly controversy stop you from seeing one of the best movies of the year.
First Man gets a Golden Donut.
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