The thing about this movie is that it made me feel something I am unable to put into words. I consider that among the highest compliments I can give a film. It lands in a similar way to Interstellar or Arrival. It's not clever or surprising like those movies, but its authenticity and its striking tenderness had me hooked and crying the whole way through.
First off, from a technical perspective, this is a masterpiece. Everything that is shot in a ship looks phenomenal. The moon landing itself is breathtaking. See this in IMAX if possible. That being said, everything outside a ship is just ok. The acting is good overall but I’m not sure if it Oscar worthy. Claire Foy really gives the best performance. It feels a little too long. They used shaky cam a little too much. It makes sense on the ship scenes but it felt overused on the ground drama. It might be my least favorite Chazelle movie but this is still a great movie.
I ended up enjoying this way more than I though I would have.After "Whiplash" and "La La Land", two great music themed movies, I confess I had my doubts if Damien Chazelle could do a simple drama biopic but, he clearly did.Technically speaking, the "First Man" is outstanding. The sound syncs masterfully with the beautiful images we get through the whole movie. Great soundtrack and an amazing use of aspect ratio, making it very immersive.Also, Ryan Gosling proves, once again, how captivating he is. A really mature actor that's pretty much filling his career with great and memorable interpretations. It could have had more deep dialogs and exploration of characters, specially Claire Foy's character, but, I ended up leaving the movie theater pleased. It's a very straightforward story done it right.
A really beautiful movie. As others have mentioned this movie focuses on the journey and all the sacrifices ti took. The music is awesome as well.
this is one of the most anticipated movies of the year and after watching it i feel sorry for the people who were so excited about it the movie in my eyes was nothing but slow and bordom it even didn't show him putting the American flag on Earth it's probably one of the worst paced movie of the year I can't believe how awful this was I really don't recommend it to anyone else I had a hard time staying awake myself so if you have insomnia and need to sleep I guess go see it but otherwise stay away from. it
This movie is a disgrace to all of the sacrifices & hard work that went into the moon landing!! By omitting the scene of Neil & Buzz planting the American Flag on the moon, it undermines everything about the mission!!!
So interesting to see the ambition for space during that time period; the strong push and the seemingly impossible tasks. So much information and knowledge we have today that we take for granted, and which came at such a high cost. Figuring out, on the fly, how to stop bouncing off the atmosphere, and not drift out into space forever! Unreal.
The pacing of the movie makes it a challenge to watch..
One small step for Hollywood, one giant step for Chazelle who makes his first real step into big-budget Hollywood filmmaking. It's a good film; intimate in it's character study and spectacular when it takes to the skies. Kudos too for showing Armstrong as a real and complicated man, and not an all-out American hero.
Damien Chazelle can do no wrong in my eyes. Unfortunate to see so many people not enjoying this movie or thinking it's slow because it's a really great film more about Neil Armstrong than the mission to the moon even though it is ultimately about that it's also about the trials and tribulations to get there. Ryan Gosling is great as always but Claire Foy was phenomenal. You could really just see the pain and stress in thier faces throughout the movie.
Intense and claustrophobic in the spacecraft moments, with at times brilliant sound design, but the drama is so-so and the music is really lame and out of place in the quiet moments.
First Man is a decent foray into the history of space exploration, I guess. There were some bits and bobs that bothered me, though.
During the Gemini VIII malfunction, the increase and subsequent decrease in roll speed were matched by what sounded like a jet turbofan engine spinning up and down. That struck me as very odd—the only active propulsion system was a stuck maneuvering thruster (OAMS number 8), a rocket engine burning hypergolic propellants. In other words, it couldn't make the same noise as a turbofan, even if heard from inside the cockpit. It's doubly odd because the film goes to such great pains in the latter half to keep space scenes silent. Some exterior shots of the spinning Gemini VIII included the anomalous jet-engine sound.
Since watching the film this afternoon, I've done some more fact-checking—or rather, read up on other people's fact-checking. A number of events depicted in the movie were "wrong" somehow. Timings changed (the X-15 flight depicted happened in 1962, but the film states it was 1961); there were no apparent rescue attempts during the fire onboard Gemini I (in reality, ground crew tried to open the hatch, hampered by smoke and flames escaping the sealed capsule); the astronauts had clear views out the capsule windows during the Apollo launch (in the real Saturn V, the launch escape system covered most of the Command Module windows until later in the flight); and Neil Armstrong trained in the three-axis spin device (the Multi-Axis Spin-Test Inertia Facility, or MASTIF; in reality, it was ironic that Armstrong never trained in the device but was the only spacecraft pilot to experience the conditions it simulated on a mission). Numerous other, smaller details are incorrect, as well.
The big one I want to talk about, though, is how much bloody camera shake there is during any flight scene. By astronauts' accounts, riding the Saturn V to space was a very smooth, almost relaxing, experience. But in First Man every space vehicle seems to be trying to shake its occupants (and itself) apart during flight. I can't think of any reason for this, other than "it makes things look more dramatic". Unfortunately, the sheer intensity of the camera shaking makes useless the carefully framed extreme close-up shots of controls being actuated, as the button and switch labels are unreadable due to motion blur. It also makes it extremely difficult to tell who's who on screen, when faces are shown. So, aside from being unrealistic, the violent camera shaking actually hurts the narrative.
But enough nitpicking the technical stuff. I've spent 444 words on this nitpicking section, and I haven't even touched on the script yet!
Again, First Man is a decent foray into the history of America's space program. It definitely focuses on the man, not the machine. Or at least, it tries to focus on the man.
The biggest complaint I can level at the script is its pacing. Most of the film drags pretty badly. I have to admire Damien Chazelle for making such a pretty film—so many of the shots were breathtaking, both in space and back on Earth. The same cannot be said about Josh Singer's screenplay. Maybe the flaws in the script can be traced back to the book it was based on, which I have not read (nor even heard of before seeing this film).
At any rate, I find that First Man often glosses over the big picture to focus on seemingly insignificant moments. The characters (real people, but fictionalized) seem to remain the same over an eight-year period. That in itself is unrealistic—all people change over time, whether they realize it or not—but it is even more so in the face of such historic achievements.
I contend that the movie spends insufficient time on what happened after Apollo 11. Saying more would require the use of spoiler tags, and I don't want to go down that route—but the story felt somehow incomplete.
My score of 7 is rounded up from the rating I would give First Man if Trakt supported doing so: 6.5/10
The First Man, a film detailing the life of astronaut Neil Armstrong in his quest to become the first man to walk on the moon, is science non-fiction that works.
And if the film works, it's for 3 main reasons : 1) director Damien Chazelle (Whiplash and La La Land) confirms he is one of the most important directors working today, 2) Ryan Gosling is like bacon (he makes everything good), and 3) go back to number 1.
The deftness Chazelle displays, the rich style of his shots, the flourishes he adds to even the most mundane scenes and the lush cinematography (here he works again with his Oscar winning cinematographer from La La Land Linus Sandgre) helps the audience through the slower passages which concentrate on Armstrong's disastrous and boring personal life. Combine the visuals with a terrific use of sound (we are talking about the director of Whiplash, remember) and you have a film that, simply put, looks and sounds cool.
The First Man works best when it focuses on the space aspects of the Armstrong biography of the same title, and suffers when it feels obligated to include the humdrum parts of the book. It's obvious Chazelle (who, in addition to writing La La Land and Whiplash also penned 10 Cloverfield Lane) did not have a hand in the script here.
Another drawback to the story is that there are no surprises because, guess what, spoiler alert, we already know how the movie ends: Armstrong walks on the moon. Which means there are no moments where we wonder, "Will he be chosen for the mission?" or exclaim "Wow, that's dangerous, I hope he survives!"
But none of that is able to tarnish completely the sheen of excellence that surrounds this film. The First Man will launch Damien Chazelle'a career into the stratosphere and beyond, where he will deservedly become one of stars he works with.
On a more personal note, Armstrong's treatment of his family angered me. I don't know why he was so upset about his daughter's death when it seemed to me he didn't give a toss about his children. I'd wager the poor girl might have even been better off, seeing how aggressively he ignored his sons.
I'm watching this movie for the first time. Because of the time before I've got to stop and how much I've yet got to watch, I've had to stop for tonight. I've got about 40 minutes left to the movie.
I'm very surprised at how depressing this movie is. Of course, I've still got 40 minutes left, but at this point, if I were to stop, I'd have to say this movie is giving me the feeling that we, as a country, wasted our time going to the moon, etc. That most of the main characters were rotten people, etc. So, what I want to know is how accurate is this movie to what really happened and the people portrayed?
So BORING!! Repeatedly uses "scary airplane sounds" to create false tension.
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 breakneck speeds 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.
Honestly, the best part about this movie was seeing Ryan Gosling as a dad. He was so sweet with the little girl.
Besides that, the movie was too long and rather boring. I think a half hour could have been shaved off. I was falling asleep during the last thirty minutes. Some scenes were stretched for far too long. I really liked the score, though.
I'm in complete awe of this movie! It's absolutely brilliant. The acting, the music, the cinematography...everything is on point and just epic. The landing and the following scenes on the moon are one of the best things I've ever seen on film! Just gorgeous to look at in 4K!
Great acting, Gosling deserve the oscar for this more than Rami Malek.
A very slow and quiet movie about a very private man. Great performances from Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy. The technical aspects of this movie were the standout elements - very worthy of the 4 Oscar nods. My guess is that it will pick up a Sound Award. I give this film a 7 (good) out of 10. [Bio-Event-Pic]
Where this movie shines is in what it doesn't do. It isn't trying to be Apollo 13 and it isn't trying to pull at your heart strings. The first moon landing was a triumph for humanity in a time where it was desperately needed. The toll that this endeavor took upon so many is often overlooked and it is about time that this story was told. This film was absolutely filmed with humanity.
It is only fitting that Claire Foy does the heavy lifting in this film and I hopes she wins something during Oscar season. It still sickens me that Sandra Bullock won best actress for playing a sassy privileged Christian in the pile of sugary dung that was The Blind Side.
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The magnificence of the event itself makes this an enjoyable movie. Graphics were close to stunning. The bits about Armstrong's family life almost moved me to tears. The acting could have been a little better, but I'm not complaining. I enjoyed this movie.
Is it just me, or was this achingly boring...? For all the loud, bombastic sequences of the space crafts struggling, I still found myself uninterested. It is pretty interesting though, getting a more intimate look at the life and motivations of the man. It's a very personal movie.
Well I think the guy that was behind lala land should of stayed with musical's, he did a terrible job on this movie,wasted nearly two hours to finally see the moon landing only for them to not even show the flag being placed on the moon,very disrespectful to one of the greatest moments in human history to be wiped away from even showing it in the movie...Ron Howard Apollo 11 is so much better movie than this waste of nearly 2 and a half hours only to not see what U know is history, whereas Ron Howard did the moment in history a justice not like this,apart from sexy Ryan Gosling that's all the movie has going for it...
Now, I am glad they didn't made this into an action packed blockbuster movie. At the same time this movie is not easy to watch. And this is not about the technical side or the training. It is about the man Armstrong. Unfortunately those parts I didn't find interesting.
A lot of the movie is done in a kind of documentary style. The shaky, handheld camera is underlining that fact. You see the scenes more from the outside looking in instead of having the feeling of being with the characters. And it is moving very slow during those elements. Than there are the moments inside a vehicle which are very good. No one of us will ever know what it feels like to sit inside those but this gave me a good idea how intense this must have been. But those two sides of the story don't gel with one another. They almost feel like two seperate movies.
The thing I really struggle with is the amount of errors. Small ones mostly but nonetheless errors. A movie that depicts historical events should stay more true to them. But like always things are added and changed to amp up the drama.
The experience of watching a movie is always a personal one and ultimately I ended up being a bit dissapointed. I had hoped for something more along the lines of "The Right Stuff" from 1983.
Damien Chazelle has officially cemented himself as one of the greatest filmmakers working today and just like his last two masterworks First Man is guaranteed some Oscar buzz.
I personally wouldn’t hold First Man to quite the same pedigree as Whiplash and La La Land but it is certainly a great film. Neil Armstrong’s life makes for a very interesting story and Ryan Gosling plays him perfectly. Gosling’s performance has lead to one of the films biggest criticisms and have to say I am inclined to agree with the majority of critics on this one, while I do think that Gosling’s stoic and closed off performance if perfect for the character it does at points make it hard to connect with the film as the protagonist never fully revels their emotions in a meaningful way.
The first two acts as a result of Armstrong’s stoicism can tend to drag at points. I give the film credit for committing to showcasing the real Armstrong instead of over-dramatising this very real person however it really does make it difficult to stay engaged with a handful of the more character driven moments.
The final act is absolutely incredible! Seeing this film in IMAX has officially been added to my bucket list. Chazelle knows how to make a shot feel remarkable and he manages to make it feel like you are really standing on and looking around the moon with the end of this film. I am curious as to whether or not the sequence on the moon is completely accurate, either way it is incredibly moving and helps to put the rest of the film in context. Having seen the end of this film the first two acts feel less of an issue and even become recontextualised to a extent.
First Man is a really great biopic telling a really great story. It’s a solid base hit showing that Chazelle will be around for a long time to come.
What the movie does do is give you a hair-raising feeling of what it really felt like inside the space craft, where every hour was life-threatening and the outcome was always perilous. Amazing score and acting.
The movie of the year!
Neil: "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind!"
Ryan did an absolute fine job with this one! AMAZING JOB!! damian keep on delivering, he'll change this cinema for the better one hundred percent
Great sound, great photography, if you can enjoy it from HD or above.Its a storyteller, about content that already everyone know, but still have that mystic about it.Ryan great performance.Some dark humor to get some fresh air and clear the viewer mind it Corey Stoll (great performance fom this guy, didn't see him since The Strain).And Claire Foy with great performance, hope enough to the golden globe.Great team, great director, more one point to Damien, this guy is collecting great movies.
I must say that this is a really good movie and really good performance of Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong.
1 / 2 directing & technical aspect1 / 1 story1 / 1 act I.5 / 1 act II.5 / 1 act III1 / 1 acting1 / 1 writing0 / 1 originality0 / 1 stays with you
0 / 1 misc
6 out of 10
I will never watch this! You can rewrite history.
The greatest achievement of this movie that it kept lingering between a spectacular and marvellous blockbuster and a moving drama and it was apt for both genres. I wasn't familiar with the true events I only knew about Neil Armstrong's famous one-liner and the exact date of landing on the moon. That is why all the twists and turns were truly shaken me for example the deaths and Neil's big talking with his sons right before his departure to the moon. As I wrote earlier it was a jaw dropping blockbuster and every rocket launching made me feel I am part of mankind's history and as Apollo 11 was departing to the outer space even my tears just pouring down my cheeks. I'm sure it'll be in my top 10 films in this year!
Wow, a heartfelt story of one man's mission to deal with great loss and prove to humankind that it was all worth it. 8.5/10
The trailer for this movie almost gives the wrong impression. First Man is not your usual Hollywood offering and is akin to Interstellar or Arrival. Without giving too much away, this is not so much a story about going to the moon, but about dealing with something even more difficult. The attention to detail, the action sequences, the acting, the photography, and the directing are all superb. It blends moments of tender human interaction with the frantic controversy to win the space race.
I never knew the full story of Neil Armstrong but this movie shows it with real passion and I came away after watching it feeling overcome with emotion and very humbled. First Man takes you on a journey of human discovery. The pressure builds to the inevitable famous sequence but it is overshadowed by a moment which the world never saw... until now, and that is what makes First Man so special and will be remembered for. "To the moon and back" is a phrase that it is used to measure unmeasurable things, like love, and this movie is a beautiful example of that.
If you can, see it in IMAX and take a pack of tissues :-)
After The Right Stuff and Apollo 13, we continue with the space race. He tells us things that we have already seen and new ones, everything from the eyes of Armstrong, which looks good, sometimes it is anguishing when you see what he sees.
Very captivating. The acting was good overall and technically it was a superb movie. But I felt there were some missing exciting moments at certain parts of the movie and fell pretty flat. For instance when they first land on the moon and announce that the Eagle has landed, they should've shown the excitement on the ground, at the mission control, and the people who were glued to the tv. Also when they land back on Earth there wasn't much actual footage shown of the real events. In my opinion just that left a hole in the overall experience of the emotion filled movie.
The casting was excellent and superb acting all around."At the edge of your seat" is an overused expression but this one literally had me leaning forward on several occasions which is really saying something considering everything that happens is already known.Surprisingly the predictability of it all really takes nothing away from the story and when the climactic words The Eagle has landed where spoken I could feel the hairs standing out on the back of my neck.The only thing keeping this from getting a solid 10/10 is that the soundtrack could have been better.Bring out the popcorn and strap in, you're in for a wild and amazing ride.
An immersive experience that brings you close to this elusive and stoic character. Pretty long, yet thoroughly worth it.