First Man DVD Review


Good Afternoon Lovelies,

Whether you know a lot about Neil Armstrong or not, First Man and it’s rocket man Ryan Gosling will launch you into his world in one of the most realistic and accurate space stories ever told!

Before he was sent to the moon, Armstrong (Gosling) was a pilot. A skilled one at that. But his true role in life was that of a father to his sons and daughter, as well as husband to his wife Janet (Claire Foy). Tragedy grips the family though when Armstrong’s daughter Karen dies, leaving him unable to speak or express his emotions. All of which lead to his commitment to helping NASA be the first space station to have people walk on the moon.

Further tragedies occur, as his fellow astronauts, Ed White (Jason Clarke), Elliot See (Patrick Fugit) and Gus Grissom (Shea Whigham) are killed before they can witness history be made and strains are placed on Janet and Neil’s marriage due to the not knowing. However, as an audience, you already know the outcome.

Damien Chazelle is a director who likes his audiences to step away from the cinema with new knowledge. Whether it be on the beauty of how cinema is made or of that of his characters, he seeks to give audiences that little bit extra. A charm of Chazelle. Working with Gosling again was an excellent choice, as Chazelle discovers the best in him. Very few words need to be spoken to get his desired outcome or needs from the character.

They occur naturally with the close-up shots of Gosling’s version of Armstrong’s reactions. Intimate moments inside each spaceship. Tears in the corner of the eye. Fear embedded in the pupil. A slight smirk that shows that everything has gone to plan. All cleverly mixed to gather audience reactions.
Foy is equally as impressive in the role of Janet. In moments of pure tension, it is Foy’s family figure who becomes the focal point. A tense scene where Armstrong is facing a fatal situation sees Janet faced with the deathly silence of her box. Not knowing whether her husband is alive, or dead is where Foy ups her game entirely and brings out the Oscar-worthy performance. A scene that is later matched in her need for Neil to tell their children about the mission. The supporting cast, clench and pull at the heartstrings with their portrayals of historical astronauts who will never be forgotten. Especially Clarke, whose death is utterly devastating to watch.

The real beauty of Chazelle’s film is the moments in space. Unlike Gravity or other space films, Chazelle takes the time to add small details. The fine grains of the moon and the imprint left by the boot. The silence that fills space. An edge of a planet in the distance. The reflection of a world unknown in Armstrong’s helmet. All within a system so large that thrives on the small elements.
Picking up the techniques needed to show this, the cameras use cutting edge technology to transport audiences to experience the same elements as those on screen. Confined spaces upon launching and walking out onto the moon dust for the first time are not only pieces that the characters discover for the first time, but also viewers too. Intimacy at its highest form.

All of which is paired with an atmospheric score that creeps up and cuts out in perfect sync with the film. Scenes thrive on it, especially the rocket launches and the loss of it when they first open the door to space is a shock to the system but an incredible one at that.

Chazelle should be preparing for another best director award this year, as his carefully portrayed feature about one of the most important men in history is a pure beauty to view. Gosling and Foy pack a punch with their portrayals and the small details are a feature that will stick with all that watch. This giant leap to take Armstrong’s story to the big screen has earned this huge...

5 Stars

Joey X

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