First Man

Days ago I went to the cinema at Rochester to see the film First Man. It has taken me this long to process what I thought about it along with being away and in an area of limited data coverage. Before I explain what I thought about the film there are some formalities to cover.

I have no idea on the state of the tide that evening. I didn’t particularly look at that tidal area of river as it was dark and raining. I could look it up but that’s not the point. I also rated this film on IMDB and you should see this particular communication which explains the rating system, I’ll give you a hint though, I broke the system for this film.

I’ve a slight feeling that this is going to be a little controversial. But then again, it’s my view and I’m not a professional critic so I don’t make or break movies.

I’m not sure I liked this film.

I wanted to like this film. I wanted to love this film and be amazed at it and learn a bit about Neil Armstrong. I’m not sure I did and that pains me. I think it took me two days before I rated this film on IMDB as I wasn’t sure what score to give the film.

So, we know I am a nerd and I know a fair bit about the moon landings and space travel. I didn’t mind that I didn’t learn anything new about those aspects of the film. I also knew that Mr Armstrong was quite private and quiet but also a professional and extremely clever man. I’m not sure this film captured that.

Here’s what I did like. The emotional aspect of Armstrong attempting to deal with the death of his daughter. This film heavily places that at the centre of the story telling and I am fine with that but it’s almost fiction as the man himself never really opened up about it. I loved the final touch of his offering to the moon and would love that to be true.

What I didn’t like was all the shaking camera work. This film was like watching a tense emotional marriage drama with episodes of shaking camera and stress. I guess that’s what the astronauts’ lives are like but I just don’t like blurry screens.

I didn’t like the way the film side-stepped the knowledge and understanding and skill that is needed to be an astronaut. I like the technical stuff. I know that’s just me and so I get why this film has rave reviews.

So, in the end this film has a 5/10 from me. I didn’t hate it. I just didn’t like it enough.