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First Man – The Land Of Egelloc

It’s very imperative to be appreciative of the Land of Egelloc, as mentioned in this film. A place of mystery, curiosity, and hope. It’s where dreams come true, and fantasies become reality. One only need to understand the backwards syntax of that phrase, and the whimsical characteristics become self-evident.

Summary

First Man (2018) is directed by Damien Chazelle and distributed by Universal Pictures.

A plethora of substantial actors and actresses are added to the cast such as Ryan Gosling, Jason Clarke, Claire Foy, Kyle Chandler, and Corey Stoll.

Set in the early 1960’s, NASA creates a variety of substantially threatening, unparalleled missions in an attempt to land on the moon by the end of the decade.

Neil Armstrong, a bright engineer, joins the space program and spends rigorous years in dangerous training, essentially risking his life during test flights and simulations.

The historic and revolutionary Apollo 11 space flight on July 16, 1969 is depicted on screen as the nation and world watch and listen in awe at Armstrong and fellow astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins achieving the unthinkable.

Sociable Storytelling & Direction

When I knew first coming into this movie that it was gonna be based on the actual events of the Apollo 11 space program and successful moon landing, I had a worrying suspicion that the whole story was gonna get bogged down by the excessive exposition.

Fortunately, that didn’t happen.

While the story does include informational development to accurately depict the events of the famous landing, most of the progression focuses on the characters and their personal lives with their families.

How the events of the dangerous missions affected the mood and tone of the astronauts’ social relationships, and in turn how they responded to the negative possibilities of launch failure, were all constructed in an engaging portrayal to inform the viewer what it was like for these men to undergo this life-changing endeavor.

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

Chazelle’s direction of the entire plot was magnificently followed through with captivating drama.

One scene I particularly became fascinated with was introduced somewhere in the beginning act.

The newly-accepted astronaut candidates go through a flight testing simulation where they accustom their body and mind to the effects of a spacecraft losing stability and becoming out of control.

It was basically conducted in this weird spinning ball (forgot what it was called) that mimicked to the astronauts the potential danger of losing consciousness due to heavily-nauseating motion imbalance.

Scenes like that, as well as others that focus more on character development through compelling drama, are what make the direction overall interesting for me to take in.

Eye-Catching Visuals

The practical effects and CGI looked appealingly manufactured.

To be honest, I couldn’t really tell how some scenes were visually-enhanced due to them being mixed and blended in a creative way.

They weren’t exquisitely perfect though if compared to other space movies.

Some scenes admittedly do get a little bit shaky and hard to watch.

For example, in the moments where the astronauts are performing their test flights, the camera speed tends to lose focus and becomes too jarring to view.

I guess it’s not really that much of a problem though if I think about it in a different way.

When putting yourself in the shoes of these men in the unsteady environment they occupy, it’s understandable that there’ll be moments that’ll make you want to barf from stomach-churning vibrations all around you.

All-Encompassing Score

Justin Hurwitz composed a thrillingly powerful score.

Especially during the ending when the astronauts embarked on the mission of a lifetime.

The anxiety-driven music in the background complementing the uneasy spaceship maneuvers served to instill in me sensations of being awestruck.

For me, they were the absolute best aspect when compared to the other features of the movie.

The comprehensive score is undoubtedly what drives the emotional nail sharply through the wood.

Amblin Entertainment/Universal Pictures

Explorative Performances

Ryan Goslling along with Claire Foy were amazing with their roles of Neil and Janet Armstrong.

Gosling however kind of conveys a bit of an expressionless face in a lot of the scenes.

He does a good job of releasing emotional tension in the moments when they’re necessary, although his impassionless nature tends to get in the way often of providing deep, in-depth development to his portrayal.

I just didn’t really resonate that much with who Neil Armstrong was.

It was more like what Gosling was doing that was given more attention, rather than establishing his identity in a perceptive-dense fashion.

Jason Clarke and Kyle Chandler were great as supporting actors, as well as Corey Stoll playing Buzz Aldrin.

All of them definitely provided insight and original drama to the prominent events that transpired with NASA in 1969.

Final Thoughts

First Man proved to be a thrilling history drama, with various effective methods employed to give the story an interesting spin.

Throughout the whole narrative, it felt like the direction and story progression was handled modestly well.

Striking visuals, as well as enormously-stimulating music, were implemented spectacularly to amplify the practical effects and score.

The performance given by Gosling was great, however that look of detachment he kept doing could’ve been improved upon.

I wholeheartedly had a good time with this film, and would no doubt recommend it to others.

It’s incredibly inspiring to know that NASA managed to put humans on the moon in a time when aerospace technology was seemingly still growing and innovating.

Why we haven’t colonized Mars yet, I have no idea.

For that task to be accomplished, the world currently is looking at Elon Musk with his visionary SpaceX company.

I may not have experienced the good news and reactions of the moon landing when it happened, but the red planet looks to be an opportunity that will have mountainous responses from people all over the world when that day of sand-stepping wonder is broadcasted, not through ham radios this time, but on vivid 4K screen devices.

FP Score – Noteworthy

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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