First Man (2018)

“You’re down here and you look up and you don’t think about it too much. But space exploration changes your perception.” – Neil Armstrong

Number of Times Seen – 1 (3 Nov 2018)

Brief Synopsis – Biographical look at the life of Astronaut Neil Armstrong who was destined to be the very first man to walk on the moon.

My Take on it – As a fan of space exploration and specifically the NASA missions and their astronauts, I was really looking forward to seeing this film for quite a while.

The idea to show the perspective of these missions from the viewpoint of one of the most famous men to have gone through their training is an intriguing idea and they manage to give us an amazing first hand look at things.

The way that much of the film is shot from a first person perspective gives us a great view of things and sometimes helps the viewer experience vertigo and claustrophobia as the astronauts themselves might have felt when they were in those situations for real.

Ryan Gosling is a nice choice for the lead role but I’m still not convinced that he was the best choice for it because things sometimes feel a bit out of place with him in that place.

The film itself tells the story well but unfortunately there are too many scenes that drag on a bit too much and lose focus on what is being told.

They skip over much of the story of the missions, the astronauts themselves and even NASA itself which slightly hurts the film for people without prior knowledge of some of those events and people which leaves gaps in the narrative that should have been filled if they wanted this to remain a stand alone film.

Damien Chazelle does a great job tho showing this film in an epic fashion that shows why these people and events are so important to history despite their faults and by showing the heroism that these brave men through it all even if they needed to forsake everything else in their lives in order to achieve those goals.

Bottom Line – Great idea that does an amazing job giving us a first hand look at the life of an astronaut as we get to see things from his perspective that would give most people claustrophobia. Gosling is quite good in the lead here, but he is still far from perfect in the role. The film drags along a bit too much which makes the viewer lose focus along the way.  Much of the story about NASA and the Apollo missions is skipped over which hurts the story especially for those who aren’t as familiar with the history and leaves gaps in the narrative that could have been easily filled.  The story does manage to give off an epic feeling of the events and it’s easy to see why this is such an important story to tell. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Not content with training them at NASA, Damien Chazelle sent each of his actors YouTube videos of the person they embodied so they could learn to reproduce their phrasing and tics of language. In addition, the director provided a list of books and films to consult. Literary suggestions include titles such as ‘Carrying the Fire’ by Michael Collins, ‘Deke!’ by Deke Slayton and Michael Cassutt, and ‘First Man’ by James R. Hansen. On the movie side, there’s For All Mankind (1989), Moonwalk One (1970) and Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes of Apollo (2017). (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (8/10)


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4 thoughts on “First Man (2018)

  1. This is a great blog: I first found it after listening to your video with Rachel Wagner. First Man was my favourite film of 2018 – while I would have liked a bit more real-life information to be included, I still loved the style and the way in which it chose to tell Neil Armstrong’s story.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Supporting Actress – Oscars 2018 | MovieRob

  3. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 2018 | MovieRob

  4. Pingback: Armstrong (2019) | MovieRob

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