space

First Man (2018)

First Man (2018)

first man

Drama, history, biography – USA – 141 min

Written by Josh Singer (screenplay) and James R. Hansen (book)

Directed by Damien Chazelle

 

Have you ever wondered how it’s like to board a spacecraft in a fancy, literally out-of-this-world space suit? Cause I haven’t – it’s just beyond the scope of my imagination. But I know one thing – watching First Man is the closest you can get to see and experience space journey.

It’s July 19th, 1969, far from hybrid cars, instagrams and robotic waiters. Somewhere out there something is happening, something incredibly important, much more cooler than all the photos of naked, half-naked celebrities and half-baked muffins of celebrities-to-be. Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you an ultimate triumph of a mankind: landing on the Moon! Starring: Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Michael Collins, dozens of scientists, engineers, technicians, NASA’s staff, fellow astronauts, and their families. This story however, focuses on Neil Armstrong, a man whose feet, or rather foot-parts of his space suit, have touched the surface of the Moon for the very first time.

Becoming and astronaut is not a piece of cake, and so isn’t being a family of a space trainee. The movie shows us making of an astronaut and it is a long journey – much longer than just flight to the Moon and back. The story opens with Neil’s family tragedy which will haunt him till the end. We accompany him in his ups and downs, when he vomits after rotating in multiple planes at the speed so great he passes out,  when his fellow astronauts die at the beginning of their space flight, and when he qualifies to NASA’s project. When he struggles with a traumatic event he just can’t get better from, and when his personality transforms to create an atmosphere so dense, he deserts beloved people. And that’s just before his major journey.

First Man portrays a man who dreams big and takes a journey through his bevearement to find himself in this world or, should I rather say beyond this world. Perhaps it’s his escape…?

But enough with the drama and psychological aspects of this beautiful, stirring deep movie. What I loved the most about it and what impressed me the most were incredible, out-of-this-world (alright, enough with this space-reference puns, I promise!) shots of flight inside and outside the Earth atmosphere. I have never seen such an exciting and nerve-breaking film! As a spectator, I felt just like I was on board with Neil every time he got on a plane or a spacecraft. For all the geeky technomaniacs out there – you will surely enjoy the evolution of space technology and even space suits, which is a silent but important star (okay, that was unintended!) of the movie.

A stunning, life-changing experience, that’s what First Man is.

My rate: 10/10 (!)

P.S. Ryan Gosling surely deserves an Oscar for the main part!

P.S.2 Claire Foy was great too!

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Reasons why you should watch Star Wars if you haven’t

Today in Poland (and many other countries too) is the day of the big premiere of the Star Wars: Force Awakens (2015), the 7th part of the iconic saga. We’re just witnessing a major event in the world popculture.

I never considered myself to be a part of the sci-fi fandom. It was only this year that I have seen my very first Star Wars movie. And boy! Was I surprised! Turns out, it has much to offer, even to those of you who stay away from futurism and space fiction.

For you, dear sceptics, I listed below some reasons why you should give it a try and watch Star Wars* after all. You’re welcome.

1. The characters: whether he or she looks like human, has metal robotic heart or is an alien with fairly odd appearance – it can earn your  favor (or antypathy) suprisingly fast . There are plenty of strong personalities,  fascinating creatures, incredible beings (both from the visual and the temper-point of view) in the saga. The variety of roles is striking – as it covers inhabitants of different planets and races.

Again, many of them has become legendary over the years. Some have complicated background story. Some are just one of many. Some Jedi masters are. Do watch for Han Solo. Do watch for master Yoda. Do watch for Wookie. Do watch for… your pick!

Most of the roles are well-played. MOST.

characters

2. Leia: okay, I just made a whole separate reason for one character. But she is worth it! Intelligent, courageous, brave, beautiful. Good- hearted! Elegant. (And… pretty!) That’s all I could ask for when it comes to perfect female part. Seriously, Leia is one of the best lady character in the whole story of cinematography. Plus – she’s good at combat! My heroine. Feminists out there – you’ll be delighted!

leia

3. The relationships: if you are fond of romances – you will find a good one (Leia and Han Solo). If you hate romances – you will laugh out loud sneeringly at Anakin and Amidala’s poor flirting in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002).

Now, if you’re looking for a movie about true friendship – do watch the saga. It’s full of (often funny) buddies who may not always agree, but truly love each other. My favorite couple of pals are two droids: R2D2 and C3PO. You cannot watch their ‘dialogues’ and not laugh or at least smile sincerely. Do watch for them, do watch for Han Solo and Wookie.

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4. The visuals: firstly, Amidala’s incredible outfits, hairdos and makeup. This is truly a heaven for fashion-oriented moviegoers. Her style is outstanding and delightful! Her appearance surely has been inspired by the Orient but still is original as it could be!

amidala

Secondly, costumes and characterisation. In the old trilogy (episodes IV – VI), the aliens of strange appearance are played by the actors wearing fantastic costumes. It works great! And – surprisingly! – seems so natural! In the episodes I – III most of these wonderful alien costumes has been replaced simply by computer effects (CGI). The audience didn’t like that as it took away much of alien’s charm. In the newest episode the actors wearing costumes are said to be back! 🙂

Thirdly, special effects and scenery. Spaceships, planets, cities. Explosions. Races and chases. Nicely done! Very nicely done!

5. Epic battles and fights: frigging lightsabers! Fighting with lightsabers! Double lightsabers! Not enough?!

figths

Fine combat styles. Fighting with space vehicles. Boom! Boom! Tatatat-tata!

The force! Jedi knights! The dark side of the force!

6. Real-world problems in the imaginary one: the ups and downs of the parent-children relationship (oh, boy!). Not always so perfect work of parliament (yup). The eternal good vs. evil conflict. Lust for power. Greed. Slavery. Death.

slavery

Well, these are the reasons that came to my head. There are probably even more. So why not give it a try?

Still having doubts?

May the  force be with you!

* – I suggest you start your space journey with Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977)