First Man (2018) Ryan Gosling | A look at the life of the astronaut Neil Armstrong - Page 2 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #31 of 56 Old 10-12-2018, 05:01 AM
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It's basically a handheld, very shaky, 16mm documentary style film. I would say closeups of faces make up the majority of the runtime. And the closeups are in 16mm.
Wow - 40 ft tall IMAX - 16mm shaky cam. I will have to pass on this one.

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post #32 of 56 Old 10-12-2018, 01:43 PM
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Yea I just saw it in IMAX about an hour ago. It was a good film , I'm very very interested in manned spaceflight but I did not find it to be a great film. Just seemed like they glossed over so many incredibly critical things such as the 1201 and 1202 alarms, how low the fuel at landing actually was right before landing, how the lunar module under manual control was flying at such a rate horizontally that the horizontal velocity indicator was pegged ,Aldrin's expectation to be the first etc. but still for me it certainly has re-watch potential.


The film did show how a man who didn't express his feelings outwardly was the first man.
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post #33 of 56 Old 10-13-2018, 06:50 PM
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Saw it yesterday at one of the local digital IMAX theatres. Well acted with really good hold-your-breath tension at critical moments (impressive, considering we already know the outcome of these historical events). The slightly softer & grainier photography made it look like a movie from the '60s, which I thought added to the storytelling. Really made me feel like I was there. My only complaints were too-long run time, shaky-cam and ultra close ups for most of the movie. No joke, most of the close ups cut off the actors' forehead and chin. Nice audio treat if you stay through the end credits, as radio chatter circles the room.
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post #34 of 56 Old 10-13-2018, 09:21 PM
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Caught the 12:45 pm showing at a local dig today, along with with 8 others in the theater, and got to say all 9 of us loved it in the end. Bravo! USA, USA, USA!!!

Had me in tears at moments.
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post #35 of 56 Old 10-14-2018, 03:15 PM
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I think the handheld, unsteady camera work is being exacerbated by IMAX where, even though the image doesn't cover the full dimension of the screen for most of the running time, you do sit close enough that the image fills your field of vision. You can't really look away or outside the screen. That sense of immersion is obviously by design but it can also heighten vertigo when the camera moves abruptly. I went to a Dolby Cinema screening of First Man this morning on a scope screen and although I noticed the camera shakes during the launch and flight sequences, it wasn't bothersome because I could look outside the frame of the screen. First Man looks fantastic in Dolby Cinema, the most gorgeous and naturalistic uses of HDR highlights that I've seen since Only the Brave. There aren't many shows of First Man on Dolby Cinema because most screens are committed to Venom or A Star Is Born but I highly recommend seeing the Dolby version if available.
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post #36 of 56 Old 10-14-2018, 07:44 PM
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"...Though FIRST MAN may stick around deeper into awards season, it’s a little worrisome that similar and equally critically praised movies like Gravity and The Martian each had much bigger openings around the same time of release. Gravity opened up to $55.8 million and held the biggest October opening until Venom recently toppled it, and The Martian landed $54.3 million."

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post #37 of 56 Old 10-14-2018, 08:57 PM
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"...Though FIRST MAN may stick around deeper into awards season, it’s a little worrisome that similar and equally critically praised movies like Gravity and The Martian each had much bigger openings around the same time of release. Gravity opened up to $55.8 million and held the biggest October opening until Venom recently toppled it, and The Martian landed $54.3 million."
Gravity, and to a lesser extent, The Martian, had unbelievable trailers. Wouldn't surprise me if First Man has better staying power.
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post #38 of 56 Old 10-15-2018, 08:05 AM
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"...Though FIRST MAN may stick around deeper into awards season, it’s a little worrisome that similar and equally critically praised movies like Gravity and The Martian each had much bigger openings around the same time of release. Gravity opened up to $55.8 million and held the biggest October opening until Venom recently toppled it, and The Martian landed $54.3 million."

So you believe that Gravity and The Martian are similar films to First Man ?
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post #39 of 56 Old 10-15-2018, 09:28 AM
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My wife and I are big fans of space exploration and films and documentaries about it. Both of us came away liking, but not loving First Man. The film suffers from an overly long run time as some scenes tend to overstay their welcome. For instance the tension and suspense in the X-15 opening and the Gemini docking malfunction were stretched to the point where the excitement had leeched away and we were left a bit nauseous. I get that scenes in questions were probably close to the time they took in real life, but that run time didn't translate well to the screen for us. The tonal shift from documentary style to action shaky cam felt like the director couldn't decide what film they wanted to make.

As Art put it, I definitely got that Armstrong was a very guarded person that didn't express much. But I'm left wondering how accurate that is? We've watched several documentaries and his portrayal, along with Aldrin's, didn't feel like what had been articulated by the other Astronauts. Maybe it is accurate and that's fine, but it certainly made the film hard to engage with.

Overall the film is definitely worth seeing. The acting from all involved is very good. Some of the scenes are beautifully shot. It just doesn't feel like it would be in the same re-watchable category as say The Right Stuff or Apollo 13.

As an aside for those interested in the history and the space race of the '60's. Please try to visit the museum in Hutchinson Kansas. The exterior of the building doesn't look like a whole lot and you'll probably think "I drove through Kansas for this?", but they have the largest exhibit of Soviet space equipment outside of Russia. Excellent display on Operation Paperclip and all of the machinations that went on after the war. They have the actual Apollo 13 capsule and one of the Gemini capsules. Just an an excellent display and telling of the history of that time. We enjoyed it more than the Smithsonian.

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post #40 of 56 Old 10-16-2018, 02:40 PM
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Just came back from seeing this movie and thoroughly enjoyed it. I agree with the shaky camera work. Best parts were the X-15 opening and the Gemini docking malfunction. There is plenty of bass, Ralph will have a field day reviewing this one..

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post #41 of 56 Old 10-16-2018, 02:42 PM
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So you believe that Gravity and The Martian are similar films to First Man ?
The marketing people probably do, hence the comparisons.
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post #42 of 56 Old 10-16-2018, 03:28 PM
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Anybody who wants to sample Neil Armstrong's personality should watch the 1991 13-part documentary First Flights with Neil Armstrong on Amazon Prime. He flies a variety of vintage aircraft, and at times his love of flying breaks through what are otherwise scripted narrations.

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post #43 of 56 Old 10-16-2018, 05:33 PM
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I know he wasn't the best speaker, it frequently seemed like he had to stumble over his words to get the thought out in a public speaking type setting/ news conference. I'm sure he knew his words always had to be measured.


However watch this video starting at about 6min 15 sec to see his Vietnam trips with Bob Hope and a very different man than the one in First Man can be seen.


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post #44 of 56 Old 10-16-2018, 05:33 PM
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I know he wasn't the best speaker, it frequently seemed like he had to stumble over his words to get the thought out in a public speaking type setting/ news conference. I'm sure he knew his words always had to be measured.


However watch this video starting at about 6min 15 sec to see his Vietnam trips with Bob Hope and a very different man than the one in First Man can be seen.


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post #45 of 56 Old 10-17-2018, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Art Sonneborn View Post
Yea I just saw it in IMAX about an hour ago. It was a good film , I'm very very interested in manned spaceflight but I did not find it to be a great film. Just seemed like they glossed over so many incredibly critical things such as the 1201 and 1202 alarms, how low the fuel at landing actually was right before landing, how the lunar module under manual control was flying at such a rate horizontally that the horizontal velocity indicator was pegged ,Aldrin's expectation to be the first etc. but still for me it certainly has re-watch potential.


The film did show how a man who didn't express his feelings outwardly was the first man.
I haven't seen the film yet but am finishing up the book upon which it is based, First Man: the Life of Neil A. Armstrong. The book is riveting. It is filled with insights about the moon landing, including the 1201 and 1202 alarms and the low fuel in the lunar lander when it touched down on the moon. Typically, Armstrong downplayed the problem, saying that he had it under control.

Unless seeing the film in the theater disappoints me, a result I would find surprising, I will buy what I hope will be the UHD HDR TrueHD Atmos home edition. I am a big fan of Damien Chazelle's work. Whiplash and La La Land are two of my favorite films. In fact, I think that La La Land is one of the all time best movie musicals.
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post #46 of 56 Old 10-17-2018, 01:19 PM
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I haven't seen the film yet but am finishing up the book upon which it is based, First Man: the Life of Neil A. Armstrong. The book is riveting. It is filled with insights about the moon landing, including the 1201 and 1202 alarms and the low fuel in the lunar lander when it touched down on the moon. Typically, Armstrong downplayed the problem, saying that he had it under control.

Unless seeing the film in the theater disappoints me, a result I would find surprising, I will buy what I hope will be the UHD HDR TrueHD Atmos home edition. I am a big fan of Damien Chazelle's work. Whiplash and La La Land are two of my favorite films. In fact, I think that La La Land is one of the all time best movie musicals.

I just think it odd with how long the x15 sequence was for example particularly that not discussing how Aldrin was originally expected to be the first man (in fact I have one book and a few magazines saying such) how they had less than 30 seconds of fuel at touchdown, the broken engine arm circuit breaker that Aldrin replaced with the end of a felt tip pen right before ignition, how the 1202 and 1201 were never seen in any simulation were so important and left out was odd.

MIT was consulted at the Alarm to even find out what it was "Houston give us a ready on the 1202 alarm ?"

I also think that knowing that Slayton offered to not have Aldrin on the flight and he offered Lovell and Armstrong kept Aldrin on the flight was important.


As I thought it was good but knowing what I know about the history makes what they left out seem strange since each of those would have been a few minutes at most.

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post #47 of 56 Old 10-17-2018, 07:59 PM
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I just think it odd with how long the x15 sequence was for example particularly that not discussing how Aldrin was originally expected to be the first man (in fact I have one book and a few magazines saying such) how they had less than 30 seconds of fuel at touchdown, the broken engine arm circuit breaker that Aldrin replaced with the end of a felt tip pen right before ignition, how the 1202 and 1201 were never seen in any simulation were so important and left out was odd.

MIT was consulted at the Alarm to even find out what it was "Houston give us a ready on the 1202 alarm ?"

I also think that knowing that Slayton offered to not have Aldrin on the flight and he offered Lovell and Armstrong kept Aldrin on the flight was important.


As I thought it was good but knowing what I know about the history makes what they left out seem strange since each of those would have been a few minutes at most.

Art
What I hope to get from the film is a useful insight into a guy who was perhaps the space program's most enigmatic and complex character. I have seen enough biopics to understand that history always takes a back seat to drama, so the gloss the film apparently puts on some of the historical details is unlikely to bother me much, least of all its failure to show the planting of the American flag. In short, I'm really looking forward to see it and have high hopes that I will be well entertained.
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post #48 of 56 Old 10-18-2018, 06:45 AM
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What I hope to get from the film is a useful insight into a guy who was perhaps the space program's most enigmatic and complex character. I have seen enough biopics to understand that history always takes a back seat to drama, so the gloss the film apparently puts on some of the historical details is unlikely to bother me much, least of all its failure to show the planting of the American flag. In short, I'm really looking forward to see it and have high hopes that I will be well entertained.

I think you are going to be disappointed then. From reading First Man to seeing half a dozen documentaries and film clips of Armstrong there is no way this film accurately portrays the man. Hell he seemed close to suicide for a decade. I know he was not a good public speaker was reserved and generally reticent but I simply can not believe that from every account that I've seen that this was the real Armstrong.

The film is entertaining but IMO you will not learn about the man from this film.

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post #49 of 56 Old 10-18-2018, 10:47 AM
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I think you are going to be disappointed then. From reading First Man to seeing half a dozen documentaries and film clips of Armstrong there is no way this film accurately portrays the man. Hell he seemed close to suicide for a decade. I know he was not a good public speaker was reserved and generally reticent but I simply can not believe that from every account that I've seen that this was the real Armstrong.

The film is entertaining but IMO you will not learn about the man from this film.

Art
According to Rotten Tomatoes 88 percent of the critics who reviewed First Man were positive about it. Most of the reviews I have read have been raves, so I'm still optimistic that I will like it too.

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post #50 of 56 Old 10-18-2018, 12:35 PM
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According to Rotten Tomatoes 88 percent of the critics who reviewed First Man were positive about it. Most of the reviews I have read have been raves, so I'm still optimistic that I will like it too.

I'm not saying it isn't entertaining or a good film it isn't an accurate representation of Armstrong as a person. I don't want to spoil it but Armstrong never walked up to a crater and threw a bracelet from his dead daughter into the abyss just as an example. The Mastif device was no longer in use when Armstrong came in on Mercury astronauts were trained on it "whitey going to the moon" came out after Apollo 11. The film had all sorts of issues. I liked it, it just isn't fair to Armstrong IMO.
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post #51 of 56 Old 10-18-2018, 04:12 PM
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I'm not saying it isn't entertaining or a good film it isn't an accurate representation of Armstrong as a person. I don't want to spoil it but Armstrong never walked up to a crater and threw a bracelet from his dead daughter into the abyss just as an example. The Mastif device was no longer in use when Armstrong came in on Mercury astronauts were trained on it "whitey going to the moon" came out after Apollo 11. The film had all sorts of issues. I liked it, it just isn't fair to Armstrong IMO.
The law of averages suggests that First Man is more likely to be merely good than great. If it is good, I will be satisfied. Am about to finish the book upon which the film is based so will probably see in soon. I will report after that.

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post #52 of 56 Old 10-18-2018, 04:52 PM
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The law of averages suggests that First Man is more likely to be merely good than great. If it is good, I will be satisfied. Am about to finish the book upon which the film is based so will probably see in soon. I will report after that.

Hope you enjoy it, I think you will.


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post #53 of 56 Old 01-12-2019, 02:04 PM
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I know he wasn't the best speaker, it frequently seemed like he had to stumble over his words to get the thought out in a public speaking type setting/ news conference. I'm sure he knew his words always had to be measured.


However watch this video starting at about 6min 15 sec to see his Vietnam trips with Bob Hope and a very different man than the one in First Man can be seen.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSKCaxx58Bg
Good post Art. Was an interesting watch.

Spoiler!
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post #54 of 56 Old 01-27-2019, 04:59 PM
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I'll lead by saying I saw this last night and disliked it immensely. I don't criticize it for being so inaccurate as incredibly incomplete...almost cynically so. Bad filmmaking.

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Anybody who wants to sample Neil Armstrong's personality should watch the 1991 13-part documentary First Flights with Neil Armstrong on Amazon Prime. He flies a variety of vintage aircraft, and at times his love of flying breaks through what are otherwise scripted narrations.
You and Art both point out the obvious to those of us who were around in that time and saw the endless news, interviews, documentaries, and appearances. Too bad the filmmakers chose not to depict him this way.

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I know he wasn't the best speaker, it frequently seemed like he had to stumble over his words to get the thought out in a public speaking type setting/ news conference. I'm sure he knew his words always had to be measured.


However watch this video starting at about 6min 15 sec to see his Vietnam trips with Bob Hope and a very different man than the one in First Man can be seen.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSKCaxx58Bg
Great example of the man who clearly did experience wonder and joy in what he witnessed and accomplished. NONE of that human wonder was seen in the Armstrong in First Man.

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I just think it odd with how long the x15 sequence was...

Art
Kind of started out like a wannabe of material from The Right Stuff.

The problem with how this movie story is told is that there is no contrast in how Armstrong is depicted. He is on one vibe at all times; a sullen downer who cannot smile, be pleasant, much less joyful in great accomplishments. How much more interesting it would have been to show us if he struggled with conflict of how he felt inside with how he must present himself on the outside, to those making decisions on his suitability and stability, and to the public. The movie allows the uninformed to believe this man behaved entirely differently than the documents of history (such as Art has offered) depict. That is just wrong...and bad filmmaking.

Are we sure that Ryan Johnson didn't direct this? The filmmakers must have just watched Johnson's Luke Skywalker in The Last Jedi before making this movie. Forgive me...that's just for laughs...but you get my drift.

And yes, the whole extreme closeups and epileptic camera operator technique was ridiculously self-indulgent and distracting rather than supportive of the narrative. Horrible musical score. God-awful movie.

But how do you really feel, Cam Man?
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post #55 of 56 Old 01-30-2019, 02:49 PM
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I watched First Man last night and loved it. As is the case with all movies based on a "true story" both facts and details always give way to the requirements of the drama. This film is no exception. Thus, for example, I was not concerned with the screenplay's failure to describe what was going on with the alarms in the Lunar Lander. That the lander was running out of fuel and Armstrong and Aldrin were still looking for a place to set it down while the alarms were blaring told me all I needed to know. The extreme closeups worked too. They enhanced the claustrophobic close quarters in the lander and earlier in space capsules and experimental aircraft.

Nobody does a better job of playing edgy, somewhat unlikeable but charismatic characters than Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy. They were perfectly cast as Neil and Janet Armstrong.

There are a couple of caveats to my rave review, which I should make clear. First, I am a Damien Chazelle fan so it should come as no surprise that both Chazelle's Whiplash and La La Land are among the best films I have seen over the past five years. First Man has now joined them. I won't say that First Man is quite as good as the other two but it's certainly in the conversation. Second, I am far from a Neil Armstrong scholar. I have learned little about his life from any source other than from having read James R. Hansen's wonderful book, First Man.

Bottom line, First Man was a wonderfully well told tale about a man who lived an incredibly eventful but often sad life. 10 Stars out of 10.

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post #56 of 56 Old 11-10-2019, 06:06 PM
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I finally got around to watching this...rented the 4K Blu-ray...I'm only going to talk about the last 10 minutes as overall I found the movie extremely boring...but those last 10 minutes!...wow...they filmed the moon landing sequence with real IMAX 70mm cameras...not the fake IMAX digital cameras used in movies like Avengers: Endgame...if you're a videophile then you know 70mm championed by Christopher Nolan is the only real IMAX...that sequence looked amazing...aspect ratio switched, black levels were inky black and detail was excellent...the shots of outer space were literally pitch black, even the shadows cast on the moon were gorgeous...amazing sequence and props to Damien Chazelle for shooting that scene in 70mm IMAX

3 movies coming out in 2020 were filmed (partially) with 70mm IMAX cameras- the new Bond film, Wonder Woman 1984 and Christopher Nolan's latest movie- Tenet
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