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Mark Suszko
Re: First Man
on Oct 31, 2018 at 7:47:29 pm

You know, every space movie shows a bunch of vibration in the cabin during launch. First Man took this aspect to an almost ridiculous level, IMO, in every launch scene.

The script is based on the book, and you can't count on the movie having something if it wasn't in the source material to begin with. You can make a good movie about a non-reacting man, if you make it about the reactions of everybody around him. ("Saint Vincent" is such a film. Bill Murray's character never changes throughout; only the people around him do, like he's a catalyst) But the script in First Man doesn't open things up enough to make that work... we get a little of it with the wife's portrayal, but just as that's going someplace, the story cuts away to another milestone. I'm a total space geek who watched every Apollo mission as a child and every launch since, and have maintained a strong interest in NASA and manned space ( even worked as a NASA contractor of a sort for three years once, thanks COW!). So I kind of felt let down by this film when I left, though I was really wanting it to be successful.

It's not a *bad* movie. It has plenty of action and eye candy. But I can get that with a couple hours of Kerbal Space Program on my computer. It's just that the script has a big hole in it where we're supposed to have an insight into the protagonist's character and emotions. It's practically a resume' on film, instead of a character study. I don't blame Gosling: he made some choices in how to act here, but he's given precious little to work with and no room to ad-lib when the guy is supposed to be taciturn, closed-off, and inexpressive. I think the book and script *wanted* us to know that he WAS a regular guy with passions and sorrows and fears like anybody else... that were held very close and private. Maybe because, after being the most famous man in the world after Jesus, and being so exposed, he *needed* to keep a boundary to his inner life, or go mad. Except for one scene on the moon, I got very little of that peek inside the man. And that's what I paid to see.


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  • First Man by Mark Suszko on Oct 31, 2018 at 3:55:45 pm





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