film reel image

film reel image

Friday, March 8, 2019

Apollo 11 2019 * * * * Stars

Apollo 11Director: Todd Douglas Miller
Year: 2019
Rated G
Rating: * * * * Stars
Cast: Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Michael Collins

"That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." Indeed.

In July of 1969, the spaceflight involving the first two people to land on the moon, is gloriously and masterfully depicted in Apollo 11 (my latest review). "Apollo" is shot in 70 mm, cut from thousands of hours of reel, baited in effective title cards, and contains cinematography from the actual astronauts involved (Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong, and Michael Collins). Barely grainy, split-screened, and nevertheless revolutionary, you as the viewer feel like you're stuck in an outputted time warp.

Image result for apollo 11 2019 movie scenesYup, it's official. "Apollo" is so far the best film of 2019 and the most heady since Kubrick's 2001. I left the theater elated and enthusiastic at what I just saw. Heck, Apollo 11 is the real "First Man", not the mediocre science fiction flick where Ryan Gosling plays a turgidly aloof Neil A. Armstrong.

Clocking in at a perfect 93 minutes, distributed by up-and-comer Neon, and containing archived restoration of the highest order, "Apollo" is a documentary without interviews, commentaries, narration, or whatever. Hey, its predictable true account just works and everyone from age 10 to 100 should check it out.

Director Todd Douglas Miller (a docu genius in the making) pulls you into "Apollo's" "in the moment" vision. He lets the actual people involved (no actors here) do the talking and his footage is so pristine and polished, your jaw will literary drop. After 50 years, I can't believe nobody thought about releasing this kind of maverick foresight earlier. Eat your heart out Paul Greengrass cause Apollo 11 is totally mind-blowing (and mind-boggling if you think about it).

Image result for apollo 11 2019 movie scenes"Apollo's" music by Ohio native Matt Morton, is an added bonus (it's fitting since most spacemen hail from the Buckeye State). It's stirring and Herculean and pounces in at all the right moments. Bottom line: Apollo 11 is the future of factual programs for years to come. Now all I gotta do is see Peter Jackson's They Shall Not Grow Old and my cinematic world will be complete. My highest rating: 4 stars.

Written by Jesse Burleson

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