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First Man Movie Review (2018) | Now Everybody Has Visited the Moon

What an enlightening experience! First Man movie lets you get into the shoes of Neil Armstrong, the first man to land on the moon, to experience his space sojourn firsthand. Damien Chazelle is the mastermind who weaves his magic once again after making an epic unforgettable musical La La Land two years ago.

First Man movie once again casts his lucky charm Ryan Gosling in an avatar that helps in immortalizing Neil with an intense perspective. Ryan forever carries a rare grave demeanour of a laconic man throughout the film, and successfully brings him back to life by playing Neil with a brooding conviction. Yes, Damien’s splendid take of him literally revives the dead and places him right in front of your eyes.

That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.

First Man movie’s final moments are so intense that you will have your heart in your mouth during that segment. It is a recreation that plays on a whole next level. It is immediately transcending and tries to see things from the eyes of Neil himself. In those final moments, you realize the quiet to be deafening and you can literally hear your heartthrob. It is so powerful that it needs to be experienced in a proper movie theatre to feel ensuing goosebumps. The powerful score of Justin Hurwitz makes sure of it too.

The Direction of First Man Movie

Alright, first things first. You can’t even begin to imagine how much effort might have gone in recreating the moon. It all feels legit. As if you have yourself stepped on Earth’s natural satellite. Damien Chazelle’s efforts are so humongous and meticulous that they beat every other clumsy director in the industry to a pulp.

He is so careful with his direction that if you stop to think of all the incidents that made Neil’s life, they are all in there, properly framed for emphasis. A proper research has been done to ensure things were just as they were in reality. Even the insides of Neil Armstrong’s house was created just the way it was in reality. There are extraordinary simulations that rebuild the real thing thus allowing its actors to completely immerse themselves in a scene. You know, letting them forget the concoction so that they could leverage their drama to the maximum.

first man movie still of ryan gosling

Green screen hasn’t been used at all to direct this one which goes on to explain how serious a filmmaker Damien is. All the space scenes that were used in the First Man movie were in perfect reflection of all the video footages that the world had seen. Such beautiful coordination! It is like he shot for perfection and the end result simply blows your mind away because at the end you realize, it is.

You cannot even begin to imagine how painstakingly the team might have worked on matching the exact communication that went on the static to repaint history. For people who had experienced it back then, it is like reliving it word by word. The world skipped a heartbeat then to experience a gargantuan feat happen on a distant enclave. You will skip a heartbeat now to experience it on the big screen.

Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong

Ryan Gosling as Neil stays phenomenal. Although one could argue that the character he plays is quite taciturn so it doesn’t require a lot of animation or expressions from him. But if you pay attention to him, a rare gravitas plays in his thoughts at all times. You can see how serious he is about the job at hand. That he forever carries a profound eye for what’s going on. That he is conscious about his death at all times, and yet he is not afraid to do the one thing he has prepared himself for.

When you are down here in the crowd and you look up, it looks pretty big and you don’t think about it too much. But when you get a different vantage point it changes your perspective.

It is as if Ryan knows the tremendous importance of the work he does. Challenges are met with an equally grim reaction and an expert eye as he reckons his options. His humour is deadpan but right on.

The Serenity (Spoilers)

Ryan wears an armour of Neil creating this serious avatar that’s so much inside his skull. You show him and you notice that it is his eyes that do the talking for the most part of the movie. There are so many moments in the First Man movie where you see Neil being extensively calm whilst an enormous mishap has just happened in the backdrop. It is like riding your car even though you know it is on fire.

I don’t know what space exploration will uncover, but I don’t think it will be exploration just for the sake of exploration. I think it will be more the fact that it allows us to see things. That maybe we should have seen a long time ago. But just haven’t been able to until now.

You can’t help but fall in love with this guy who is so much more than meets the eye. Every second he is brooding, carrying the weight of a dead daughter on his shoulders. You know he would never be the same when you see him henceforth and that’s how he proves Neil to be. Drenched in his pain, unable to experience anything truly magnificent until eventually it matches something as big as the moon.

Claire Foy as Janet Armstrong

If you talk about the First Man it is hard not to talk about the First Woman who sacrificed so much to see it through. Janet Armstrong, in a world where one cannot be simply what one aspires to be, literally abdicated her throne of life. Where love generally tumbles, she stood there like a rock understanding him at every juncture. She knew what she was getting into and yet she trusted her guts with it. A love like him came with a cost, and it is worth an ovation how she hung around like a warrior.

You are gonna sit them down. Both of them. And you are going to prepare them for the fact that you might not ever come home. You are doing that. You. Not me. I am done.

Claire Foy does ample justice to Janet playing her like a woman in constant battle with her undying resolve and occasionally with her husband who was nothing less than stardust. The constant apprehension she carries is killing and you can’t help but wonder who was really living on the edge? How her life entangled with Neil so fine. There seemed absent love, and yet there it was in its strongest form. Unheard and unspoken.

Aftermath

All these protocols and procedures to make it seem like you have it under control. But you’re a bunch of boys making models out of balsa wood! You don’t have anything under control!

Aftermath moon is one of the best parts of the movie where you see Janet getting to see Neil after his sojourn to the moon. They look like mere blank faces but there is so much emotion boiling under that it is hard to see past their sea of calm. They don’t say a word. Their presence on the same planet feels like a story per se. To have returned from a distant dream feels like a whole new life, and yet their acknowledgment is not a big hoot you would have expected but a calm eye-nod which remains unspoken. They look at each other as if there was a rare silent understanding dangling in their air and you can’t help but fall victim to this uncommon unsaid love.

On the downsides, if you try really hard to think would be the screenplay which could have been better. We could have dabbed the throttle on theatrics a bit, but life has no theatrics so it still feels like a perfect gel. Also at times, you feel that they could have done so much with the drama but it ends up becoming sidelined.

You can order First Man movie from here:

The Final Verdict

First Man movie is hands down an epic contender for the Academy next year and I am pretty sure they are going to win big. It has ‘Science’ written all over it that tries to imitate the reality. All the facts check out as if the creators went back in time to ensure that they did. Witness some really serious film-making take shape and fall in love with a movie that deserves an ovation! A man that needs to be celebrated like an unflinching pioneer he is, who put his dream ahead of his life.

To end this on a final note, I would say – Watch out for that last spellbinding moment of the moon. It is made so tangible that you are almost tempted to reach out with both hands for it. It is a completely immersive experience that picks you up and puts you right up there. For the first time, you might realize how lonely it could mean to be on the moon all by yourself. Experience it yourself to understand why!

It is so impactful that it gives you jitters knowing that with that giant leap, mankind had successfully demarked a place of human reach that one could only once dream of.

Everest Review (2015)

The first thing that hits you when the Everest commences is its music. There is melancholy inscribed, and you at once know there is tragedy in the tale. Well, of course, if you have been following the movie, the book, the unfortunate event and been watching the trailers, you already know what you are in for. And so the placard in the beginning tells you.

Everest is a true story that laps around the 1996 disaster on the mountain. The story brings Rob Hall and Scott Fischer, the leaders of two different groups, into the limelight and unwinds every minute detail related to their expedition. What it also does is open the gates for a little dread for those who think trekking it is a piece of cake.

Baltasar Kormakur’s direction is good but not great. His frames are silent and endearing and connect you at once. You suddenly find yourself amongst the characters. But sometimes you feel something is missing. Fleeting frames of the progressive kind don’t actually let you take profundity in. They rarely let you focus and you keep moving on.

Another problem with the movie is that you have a script that you cannot play around with. These events happened. You cannot toy with its reality. To make it into a feature film, you have to ensure that your direction is out of the world. To connect to the audience you have to make the gloom shattering.

Personally, what I felt missing was a heartbreaking emotional touch that would break you into a million pieces. Death didn’t seem to tingle you. Because there was little time spent on the aftermath and more time on the ‘what’. You couldn’t feel the warmth in the characters so losing them didn’t exactly connect. This again was a ball in the director’s court. Also, the screenplay being average fails to blow your mind. But there are, at times, brilliant lines in the movie that can be cherished as is.

There is one badass scene when the storm cloud gradually moves towards a stranded Rob that was one of the most memorable ones. Also, Doug and Harold’s fate was terrorizing to watch. The scenic beauty that the badass mountain offers is simply out of the world and is well captured. Though Baltasar often used the same frame again and again for emphasis.

There are little things in the movie that are really thought provoking. Clouds of thoughts engulf the team when they are asked “Why?” Why are they trying to reach its peak? Also, when the protagonist looks at a returning team with an injured member, fallen and vanquished, it puts him in doubts. The scene is metaphorical of defeat.

If you wish to relive the disaster, this movie sets a brilliant backdrop and entertains one helluva cast into a commiserating melodrama. A definite watch!

Terminator Genisys Review (2015)

Terminator Genisys falls apart circling bland horizons.

If you have been following the Terminator saga closely, which as a matter of fact I have, and which of course is hard for people to keep track of given the humongous year gaps, you would be thrilled to see the beginning sequence of the movie. The untold prologue gets told. What James Cameron had hinted in the first installment gets displayed. But the question goes: was it perfect?

What James Cameron had ignited long ago was a spark of sci-fi awesomeness. The cast then was stellar, their acting prowess unmatched! What Alan Taylor has with him is a bunch of renowned actors, some of them can’t really plunge into the sentient topnotch emotions that the then Sarah, Kyle and Connor had sparked amidst the Skynet terror stricken world. (Daggers intended at Jai Courtney!)

Genisys has a brilliant plot too, but unfortunately it negates everything James had built in his timeline. The time theory just gets trudged upon big time and little explanations of justification make things even more difficult to understand. If you aren’t up to speed with the Terminator timeline, you might as well miss it.

The powerful drama of the franchise gets lost into mediocrity. Gravity in the characters is nowhere to be found. There is no impending dread like there used to be. It fails to milk on hard-to-defeat robot fear factor.

SPOILERS AHEAD:

All that had happened in ‘The Terminator’ is made to rest in dust, as Sarah encounters another Arnie (whom she calls Pops, and boy does he behave like one!) in the year 1973, who had come to save her from a Skynet cyborg sent from the future just like the first installment. Now the meeting with Kyle Reese in the year 1984 happens but this time with an already prepped Pops (who knows everything about the future) and Sarah who intercept Kyle and kill Arnie from The Terminator. What is the next logical thing to do? Avoid the judgment day. So that is what Kyle and Pops are in for, but Kyle breaks in with a memory he had in the time machine saying they have to go to 2017 as that is when the judgment day was bound to happen and not 1997 (Kyle and Pops don’t know that as they haven’t seen T-2 :P). So what appears to be a recalcitrant Kyle coaxing Sarah to go to 2017 (that looks horrible btw) was basically based on a memory Kyle had. Trusting that they reach 2017 where Genisys aka Skynet is about to go live.

What makes the story even more intricate is the fact that John Connor in the future gets affected by Skynet something that Kyle witnesses when he was about to time travel to 1984. The affected John Connor is then sent some years prior to 2017 to see to it that everything goes fine and that Genisys goes online without a hiccup (so primarily to stop Kyle and Sarah).

Along with Kyle, Sarah time travels to 2017 only to find the future bad John and of course Pops still up and running. What follows are some brilliant action sequences in an effort to stop Skynet/Genisys from going live. I know it’s one hell of a hotchpotch. Things were simpler when there was only one timeline to follow.

Jai seems literally absent with emotions. (Was he just chosen for the naked time travel scenes or was he really supposed to act?) He looked more cyborg than Pops! Emilia could have been a good Sarah, but sometimes it is really hard to read her. The Kyle and Sarah romance and the right chemical vibes are literally absent from the movie which makes it hard to relate to their commotion. Movie lacks profundity something that its predecessors had mastered. Arnold is showing too many expressions for a cyborg. The inclusion of J.K. Simmons looks dispensable. Jason Clarke doesn’t look that great as John too.

On the good side we have some pretty dope action scenes, like the one where Pops holds a T-1000 in the acid. Or when he rams a rotor into John, the bus action seq, and the final action bits that look pretty great. Other than that, mediocre!

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Review (2014)

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a perfect example of how to make a perfect movie.

We saw the gradual development of a baby ape into an intelligent leader in Rise. In Dawn, we see him reign.

Reeves offers us an insight, a glimpse about the impending chaos in a Simian afflicted world. He spends hours into character building, the crucial element to any flick, where a director makes you feel ‘value’ and ‘importance’ of every soul at large. With apes spending more time on screen than humans, the title of the flick justifies.

SPOILERS AHEAD:

There is Koba, the bad-ass scarred ape, who defies the leader of the herd with his differences and engenders villainy and exasperates chaos. Maurice, the lovely and loyal orangutan, is charming as ever, whilst Blue Eyes wears an apt role exhuming strong emotional vibes, his best part being: where Reeves uses his perceptive to show the ugly side of war, the absorption of the aftermath on a young amateur heart, the effects of violence, the dread, the fallen victims and the cadavers of the innocents. The war presentation was drenched in beauty.

Caesar emanates pizazz. We see him develop into a more thoughtful and intelligent being. The maturity that adorns his countenance makes him stand out from the rest. His personality would put you in awe.

The CGI is marvelous. It was thrilling to watch each and every Serkis emotion captured into a series of dark and grim frames impeccably.

On the humans counter, we have Jason, Gary, Kodi and Keri in the driving seat as crucial elements trying to help their own species for survival, by gathering resources for sustenance. The fear in the eyes of Jason Clarke is natural and relatable, when he ventures himself into the ape territory. A strange blend of geniality and fear persists whenever he is around Caesar and he dons it brilliantly.

If we take the downsides of the movie into account, we find a clichéd tale that has probably been narrated many times before in epic tragedies. There is no element of surprise in the flick. Nothing memorable to cherish too. Matt needs to take these factors into account, whilst directing the next sequel.

But overlooking the above fact, we do have a brilliant moulding of a tale that is on its way to become an epic saga of Caesar, his scion Blue eyed wonder, probably the next possible leader, an ape family who is willing to follow the footsteps of its leader, extinction of humans and their gasp for survival in a Simian-ridden Earth and a fight for coexistence – nature’s felony of keeping predators and preys in one basket.