Title – Apollo 11 (2019)
Director – Todd Douglas Miller (Dinosaur 13)
Cast – Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong, Janet Armstrong, Walter Cronkite, Charles Duke
Plot – A documentary examination of the Apollo 11 mission that saw man finally reach his dreams of walking on the moon.
“One small step for man… one giant leap for mankind”
Review by Eddie on 23/07/2019
I’m fairly certain we all know the outcome of the Apollo 11 mission, the 1969 space mission that changed the destiny of mankind forever, but that doesn’t stop Todd Douglas Miller’s documentary celebration of the stunning achievement (that would make a great double bill alongside First Man) any less than thrilling as he crafts an edge of your seat and moving portrait of a journey that we shall never forget.
Utilising previously unseen footage and audio from the time period, Miller has forsaken talking heads or scientific explanations on every minor detail as he thrusts the audience straight into the thick of the action as he steadfastly and confidently builds his film purely around stock footage and audio that transports us all back to the time and place where mankind reaching for the moon (and the stars) was but a starry eyed dream long thought about but never thought possible.
It’s a painstakingly and masterfully put together piece of documentary construction as Miller’s wise editing choices and sound design literally builds up around us, fully immersing us into the mission that makes us feel like we are very much fly’s on the wall to the whole she-bang, from being in the cockpit with Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins to technicians and scientists in NASA that all played an important part in bringing about the success of the life changing mission.
There’s no doubt Miller and his team had some outstanding footage to draw from, from being on ground level as the shuttle is transported by a sci-fi like vehicle, beautiful landscape shots of the big launch day filled to the brim with wide-eyed and unified on-lookers and the moon landing itself, you’ll constantly be reminding yourself that what you’re seeing is the real stuff, amazing and wondrous as anything that could be conjured up by the great filmmaking minds, Apollo 11 provides us with scenes and spectacle you will not soon forget.
Coming out in the 50th year of the moon landing, Apollo 11 also provides an unexpectedly optimistic and unifying version of America and also the world, captivated by a common goal and power of humankind to work together to achieve so much good, in today’s political climate and world where we constantly feel like we are hanging on to our sanity and safety by one thread at a time, Miller’s film offers a stark reminder of the good we can all enact upon with the right mindset and with leaders paving the way for us to walk upon.
Seeing the smiling faces of thousands upon thousands of bystanders, the ecstasy of the NASA teams or the humbling presence of the Apollo 11 crew, Miller’s film is nothing short of cinematic nirvana as we are transported into the past and enthused about our future as we are reminded of the magic of exploration and dreaming big in the face of countless obstacles and roadblocks.
Final Say –
As close as many of us will ever get to experiencing the world from an entirely different view, Apollo 11’s captivating real life footage provides a thrilling, heartfelt and memorable examination of a very special moment in mankind’s history. A film for all ages, Miller’s soulful documentary is one of 2019’s most assured feel good events that needs to be seen on the biggest screen available to your viewing needs.
4 1/2 Krispy Crème stands out of 5