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First Man (2018, D: Chazelle) S: Gosling, Foy -- Neil Armstrong biopic

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First Man (2018, D: Chazelle) S: Gosling, Foy -- Neil Armstrong biopic

Old 10-30-18, 03:10 AM
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Re: First Man (2018, D: Chazelle) S: Gosling, Foy -- Neil Armstrong biopic

Originally Posted by dex14
I saw an early screening of this tonight. Another winner for Chazelle. He’ll definitely be nominated again. I loved his approach to this. Not very typical in the way biopics normally go. Very impressive. It is most definitely a movie about Armstrong, not Apollo. All that bullshit fake outrage controversy stuff is ridiculous. Chazelle’s comments about this make total sense in the context of the film he made.

I loved the look of it too. A lot of period pieces have a glossy, slick look these days. But this just felt right. All the vehicles and props... Production design... top notch. That flight simulator looked like the real deal from the ‘60s and not a prop.

I imagine it would rock in IMAX.
I think they did a decent job with the overall look but one big issue I had was with anything NASA. With the incredibly tight tolerances and as much money and time and effort was going into the Gemini and Apollo programs do you really think they all looked grimy and worn like that? I really didn't like that. It's like they added it in for effect when it would have been pristine and clean.

Originally Posted by The Antipodean
It was good, but not great. Definitely feeling a little bit overhyped with all the five-star reviews I've seen (and god help me for being uncool, but I liked La La Land more). Gosling was great considering what a buttoned-up character he was asked to play and Foy did a lot with a pretty thankless 'doting wife' type role I thought. What really did me in was the shaky-cam, extremely close up cinematography, it was very immersive and means to put you in Armstrong's POV obviously and really made you feel some of what the astronauts did, but good god it made me feel sick to my stomach and I wished they'd stop shaking the camera around so much, even in the quiet at home scenes the camera kept jiggling. A rather pivotal mid-movie action sequence left several people at the screening I was at saying "enough already"! Had a headache for hours after the movie which took some of the shine off it for me, even though I recognise it as a good artful biopic that has a lot of gorgeous moments in it.
Totally agree with the shaky cam. Seriously why does every movie/TV show have to have shaky cam? I totally get for the action and space sequences why they would and this was appropriate but then for a lot of the intimate at home scenes why is this necessary?

Originally Posted by Why So Blu?
Well, I just got back from watching it and it's a fine film. It's also a cold and not-that-entertaining of a film. I don't know if it's due to Armstrong being played almost as an autistic person. The Right Stuff and Apollo 13 blow this out of the water, though. First Man is also 141 minutes and does have a few moments of drag. Glad I saw it on the big screen but I doubt I will be watching it on home video.

I give it a mixed review. 2.75 stars or thereabouts.
I agree they portrayed him as too robotic.

Originally Posted by Noonan
I think the Gemini (which I guess I've been pronouncing wrong all my life?) scene was my favorite. And of course this comparison is going to be made; Apollo 13 shits all over this movie, IMO. It's still the king of early space travel films by a mile.
Yeah the program was pronounced Gem-EN-EE not Gem-EN-EYE.

Originally Posted by Defiant1
The best part of the movie is the final part when they land on the moon. The
Spoiler:
transition from regular film to IMAX is stunning. The sound drops out as we leave the spacecraft and see the lunar landscape in all its glory. My theatre was just as silent too. I thought the thing with his daughter's bracelet was a bit too cheesy though.
Yeah the whole moon landing was really incredible and I really liked the sound design for exiting the craft.
Old 10-30-18, 03:42 AM
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Re: First Man (2018, D: Chazelle) S: Gosling, Foy -- Neil Armstrong biopic

I really wanted to love this movie. I'm a pretty big space nerd so anything related to space is right up my alley. Especially a movie about Niel Armstrong and the moon landing. There are a lot of parts that I did love. All of the technical scenes; the X-15 flight, Armstrong's near disastrous Gemini mission, and of course the launch and landing of Apollo 11 were all amazing. Especially in IMAX the way the screen opened up to take advantage of the IMAX ration on the landing and how it showed a different perspective then we're used to seeing were all incredible. What I didn't like is Niel. Now he was always known for being very private and stoic but his portrayal made him seem like an emotionless robot. The death of his daughter obviously affected him as it would anyone but the way he carries that throughout the movie it always seems like it is always at the forefront of his thoughts. As if the events of the movie took place within a week. It also makes him look like a selfish jerk to his family as if he was so emotionally distant from them to the point of not caring about them. So while the opening scenes dealing with his daughter did have an emotional resonance that pays off in the end it's something that continues throughout the movie to the point that the only emotion that you think Niel can feel is an emptiness akin to the space itself. He is wordless a majority of the movie even during missions. They don't even show him interacting with Buzz Aldrin very much. He's just there. It really hurts the movie. Also although I love the technical aspects of the big scenes the film feels like it's just checking off these moments in Niel's life. There is no real context for these major events either in how it effects Niel or how it plays a role in the Apollo missions.

As much as I enjoyed the attention to detail there were definitely some glaring errors that just stood out too much. One of my biggest gripes about the look is that all the space craft looked really old and grimy. As if they had pulled the actual capsules from the smithsonian. They would have looked pristine and well kept. There was no real reason to dirty it up. Also I thought it was odd that they didn't show anyone trying to help the Apollo 1 crew. Just an empty loading bay as no one cared. Where in reality the crew were frantically trying to get them out and several were badly burned because of their efforts.

I follow this youtuber and she is an actual NASA historian and I thought her thoughts of the movie from her perspective were very interesting.

Old 11-17-18, 07:18 AM
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Re: First Man (2018, D: Chazelle) S: Gosling, Foy -- Neil Armstrong biopic

Originally Posted by Why So Blu?
Well, I just got back from watching it and it's a fine film. It's also a cold and not-that-entertaining of a film. I don't know if it's due to Armstrong being played almost as an autistic person. The Right Stuff and Apollo 13 blow this out of the water, though. First Man is also 141 minutes and does have a few moments of drag. Glad I saw it on the big screen but I doubt I will be watching it on home video.
A month after opening, and I saw this yesterday at the discount theater.

Not as interesting about about the early space program as The Right Stuff. Not as dramatic about the single mission as Apollo 13. And terrible as a bio-pic.

Did make me want to go back and watch my From the Earth to the Moon DVD set.

High RT score is because it is well-made and well-intentioned. This won't get any serious awards consideration and will fade away. People will watch it on TV and say it is okay because they can stop and restart at will.
Old 03-17-19, 07:47 AM
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Re: First Man (2018, D: Chazelle) S: Gosling, Foy -- Neil Armstrong biopic

This was not very good. Pretty boring actually. Neil Armstrong had some interesting life experiences but his life was not worthy of the focus of this movie. A lot of him fighting with his worried wife. The moon landing did bring back that summer night 50 years ago when the entire world was enthralled and that was fairly well done. The producers chose not to show the planting of the American Flag which I thought was a missed opportunity. We were in the middle of the cold war. The entire moon landing was the culmination of the space race with Russia. This was meant to be a big middle finger to Russia. "See we beat you there." With Russia being the focus of much ire these days not sure why they chose to be so PC. Political rant aside. Unless you are a space nerd that loves every minute of it, or has to see Gosling in every thing he does, this is a rental at best.
Old 03-17-19, 09:57 AM
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Re: First Man (2018, D: Chazelle) S: Gosling, Foy -- Neil Armstrong biopic

I dunno, I got caught up with the drama and space stuff pretty easily. I always liked space movies though. The sound alone kept me engaged all the way through. Yeah, a lot of controversy about not having the flag planting probably hurt the box office somewhat. Oh well, can’t please everyone I guess.
Old 03-17-19, 10:00 AM
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Re: First Man (2018, D: Chazelle) S: Gosling, Foy -- Neil Armstrong biopic

If you're some kind of space movie purist, you should watch the new Apollo 11 documentary that's out now. It's a good follow up to this movie.
Old 03-17-19, 10:34 AM
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Re: First Man (2018, D: Chazelle) S: Gosling, Foy -- Neil Armstrong biopic

I did like Amy Shira Teitel's view above. Watching the movie, it seemed odd at the time of the Apollo 1 fire the way they portrayed it. I had always been under the impression of the engulfing fire and the people trying to rescue them instead of the poof that was portrayed. So I always imagined it more the way it actually happened versus what they showed and it took me out of the movie for a moment.

Brack - the sound design bugged me as well. This was a rental at home so the theater experience may have been better. But much of the sound effects for flights were so loud I had to turn them down then turn it back up for dialogue. Apollo 13 gave you the heavy rumble and envelops you in the experience, it wasn't just loud which was my impression of this movie.

In the extras, interviews with Neil's sons say he actually had a good sense of humor where the movie portrayed him as sullen and distant.

As far as the flag goes, I'm sure there would be a few people insulted it wasn't there just as there would be people offended they showed it. Goslin did some bullshit interview about it being a world accomplishment not a USA accomplishment. It was accomplishment for mankind but it absolutely was a 'Merica moment. Dating back to 1962 when Kennedy announced the goal, he did it because we were tired of the Russian bullying. After the Cuban Missile Crisis and Bay Of Pigs, the cold war was serious. The Russians were already well ahead of us in the race for space. It wasn't just a we got here moment. It was a "we got here before you" moment.

I didn't see it in the theater not because of any flag controversy, but the lukewarm reviews. Glad I waited. Wish I would have saved myself two hours last night.

For those interested in space From The Earth To The Moon is fantastic. Used to own it and saw it a few times. A mini-docu-series about the entire program.
Old 03-17-19, 01:11 PM
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Re: First Man (2018, D: Chazelle) S: Gosling, Foy -- Neil Armstrong biopic

87% on Rotten Tomatoes is lukewarm...?

Maybe for certain critics. I don’t tend to read many reviews anymore. DVD talk is my source for a lot of reviews.
Old 03-17-19, 05:36 PM
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Re: First Man (2018, D: Chazelle) S: Gosling, Foy -- Neil Armstrong biopic

Originally Posted by Brack
87% on Rotten Tomatoes is lukewarm...?
Maybe for certain critics. I don’t tend to read many reviews anymore. DVD talk is my source for a lot of reviews.
I usually go by the people here and reviews on Netflix. They weren't bad. They just weren't good. I think Netflix gave it a 2.6 average. RT I only consider the audience score which at 66% isn't bad. The online reviews I read didn't make me run out to the theater. If I still had Moviepass at the peak I definitely would have gone.
Old 03-18-19, 10:35 AM
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Re: First Man (2018, D: Chazelle) S: Gosling, Foy -- Neil Armstrong biopic

Originally Posted by Mabuse
I think it’s worth pointing out that the film has only screened one time, at the Venice Film Festival. So some rat fuck reporter who covers film festivals is the one who spun this nothing into a story.

When a story comes out with such a shabby pedigree (One guy at the Venice Film Festival says...) the press shouldn’t even run the story.

It’s a shame that most people’s first impression of this film will be tainted, “Isn’t this that movie that pissed off a lot of people?” Because it looks to be stirring and patriotic and a tribute to a brave hero. A film that might actually unite Americans. Which is something we could use right now.

The more I think about it, I feel like this was floated with the exact purpose of undermining the film before Americans get a chance to discover it themselves. Probably by some jealous nation that didn’t win the space race.
The more time that passes the more I believe this whole non-issue about the flag was a sabotage by foreign news.

I vote we stop mentioning it when discussing our feelings about the film. The story was dropped to torpedo the film and divide Americans before we even had a chance to fairly evaluate it.
Old 03-18-19, 10:42 AM
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Re: First Man (2018, D: Chazelle) S: Gosling, Foy -- Neil Armstrong biopic

Originally Posted by Mabuse


The more time that passes the more I believe this whole non-issue about the flag was a sabotage by foreign news.

I vote we stop mentioning it when discussing our feelings about the film. The story was dropped to torpedo the film and divide Americans before we even had a chance to fairly evaluate it.


I don't know about "sabotage", but I agree that it is a non-issue and not worth mentioning.

I'm one who really enjoyed the film when I saw it. People seem to just want the standard Hollywood Apollo 13 approach, and this is much more indie mentality. As mentioned, the Apollo 11 doc is a great companion piece and will help you appreciate the approach to this even more.

It also is crazy to me that accolades were thrown at Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody instead of this.

Last edited by dex14; 03-18-19 at 10:56 AM.
Old 03-18-19, 02:38 PM
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Re: First Man (2018, D: Chazelle) S: Gosling, Foy -- Neil Armstrong biopic

Originally Posted by Mabuse
The more time that passes the more I believe this whole non-issue about the flag was a sabotage by foreign news.

I vote we stop mentioning it when discussing our feelings about the film. The story was dropped to torpedo the film and divide Americans before we even had a chance to fairly evaluate it.
Just to be clear. The flag issue had no bearing on whether I went to see it in the theater nor on my enjoyment of the film. I was really not caring for it long before they landed on the moon. Had the flag planting been in there I would not have thought much more highly of it. For those that were alive at the time, there were civil defense signs showing where the bomb shelters were and duck and cover drills. The cold war was a big, big deal. Any documentary you see on moon landings show them planting the flag. Having seen From the Earth To The Moon a couple times, I probably would have noticed anyway even if I had not been aware of it. Things added or left out of historical dramas are a favorite pastime in the forums. Should the entire film be evaluated on one scene? No. But they made the movie their way and now will live with their decisions
Old 03-18-19, 06:12 PM
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Re: First Man (2018, D: Chazelle) S: Gosling, Foy -- Neil Armstrong biopic

Netflix reviews movies?
Old 03-18-19, 06:58 PM
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Re: First Man (2018, D: Chazelle) S: Gosling, Foy -- Neil Armstrong biopic

It also is crazy to me that accolades were thrown at Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody instead of this.
I'll take both of those over this anyday.
Old 03-18-19, 07:19 PM
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Re: First Man (2018, D: Chazelle) S: Gosling, Foy -- Neil Armstrong biopic

Originally Posted by Why So Blu?
I'll take both of those over this anyday.
Yea... but... you’d take Hunter Killer over all three. So... “
Old 03-18-19, 07:29 PM
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Re: First Man (2018, D: Chazelle) S: Gosling, Foy -- Neil Armstrong biopic

Originally Posted by dex14

Yea... but... you’d take Hunter Killer over all three. So... “

Old 03-19-19, 05:48 AM
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Re: First Man (2018, D: Chazelle) S: Gosling, Foy -- Neil Armstrong biopic

Originally Posted by Brack
Netflix reviews movies?
I was curious about that too. Autocorrect went weird?
Old 03-19-19, 06:01 AM
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Re: First Man (2018, D: Chazelle) S: Gosling, Foy -- Neil Armstrong biopic

Originally Posted by Brack
Netflix reviews movies?
Customer reviews
Old 03-19-19, 03:19 PM
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Re: First Man (2018, D: Chazelle) S: Gosling, Foy -- Neil Armstrong biopic

Ah, like of their disc rentals page.

If I went by customer reviews, I’d hate anything with women in prominent roles lately.
Old 03-19-19, 04:24 PM
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Re: First Man (2018, D: Chazelle) S: Gosling, Foy -- Neil Armstrong biopic

Originally Posted by Decker
Just saw it in IMAX -- read this is a must see in IMAX movie.

I really, really liked it. Yes it's kind of cold and a little overlong and slow. But it has a great deal of respect for the space program and I think it was handled very well. Technically it was so impressive. Loved how claustrophobic it was. Also really appreciated that they went completely the opposite of Apollo 13 in that they never cut away from the mission in space to show folks watching TVs and listening to the radios. Yes, they were shown, but not during the mission and I think the scene worked far better because of it. I will be the first to admit, I'm a sucker for Space Mission movies -- loved The Right Stuff, loved Apollo 13, Really loved From the Earth To The Moon (and WISH it was available in HD). So this was up my alley more than most folks. But I thought it was a great film and Gosling was so understated and intense in it. He won't win an Oscar for this -- it will be some big, grandiose performance like Bradley Cooper or Christian Bale or Viggo Mortensen. But what Gosling did here was just as impressive.

I loved the score as well, done by the composer of La La Land.
For this reason, my wife informed me that she will never watch it again.

It didn't bother me, at all, but I'm not claustrophobic.

I really enjoyed the movie. Didn't find it to drag, in the least.

I only wish I could've seen it at an IMAX theatre, but it wasn't an option. I did watch it on a friends 8 foot wide screen, which was a treat.
Old 03-23-19, 08:15 AM
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Re: First Man (2018, D: Chazelle) S: Gosling, Foy -- Neil Armstrong biopic

Finally saw this earlier today.

I enjoyed the technical aspects such as the Sound Design, Soundtrack & Cinematography but I'm not sure if this is a film I would re-visit.

As others have mentioned, the feeling of claustrophobia in this film is fantastic but it's characters are pretty thin (outside the work Claire Foy does with Janet Armstrong).

I realize that Neil Armstrong was supposed to come off stoic but it just felt like Ryan Gosling was literally auto-piloting characters that I have seen him play in the past.

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