Friday, March 15, 2019

Movie Review: "Apollo 11" (2019)

Director: Todd Douglas Miller
Year: 2019
Rating: G
Running Time: 1 hour, 33 minutes

An up-close and in-depth look at the Apollo 11 mission to the moon from launch to landing to return to earth.

Apollo 11 2019 documentary movie still shuttle taking off for the moon
"The launch team wishes you good luck, and God speed." (Image Source)
The Apollo 11 mission was one of the greatest achievements humankind has ever accomplished and was a brilliant display of American ingenuity. In "Apollo 11," director Todd Douglas Miller revisits the Apollo 11 mission in a stunning, immersive way. Using footage shot by NASA, news crews, and the astronauts themselves, Murray restores videos and photos to pristine quality as we get a first-hand, in-depth look at the trip to the lunar surface like never before. It is quite a sight to see.
Apollo 11 2019 documentary movie still Neil Armstrong on the moon
"The enormity of this event is something only history will be able to judge." (Image Source)
"Apollo 11" isn't the type of documentary that explores new territory about our trip to the moon, it just revisits a memorable event most of us are familiar with, one that many people lived through. This is not a deep-dive into the people involved with the mission to the moon or an introspective examination of what they were feeling at the time. It gives a very scientific, matter-of-fact approach to the event on a much more massive scale. "Apollo 11" is merely a presentation of history in better visual quality than we have ever seen it, and that's not a bad thing. Those not interested in this historical milestone may not find this film all that appealing. It provides a condensed version of events set to an epic, terrific score by Matt Morton, and those who are interested in science and history and want to see some spectacular footage of the little blue ball we call home from space with a much bigger scope, this is the film for you. Anyone who hasn't been living under a rock knows precisely what happened on that day in 1969, and here, we get to re-watch Neil Armstrong take his first steps on the moon with footage taken from the celestial body itself. A short time later, Buzz Aldrin joins as they take samples and set up experiments (which we didn't know!) to leave on the moon, and of course, we see their rejoining with poor Michael Collins who was stuck in the orbiter while Aldrin and Armstrong got to bounce around on the surface setting up flags and testing equipment. How crappy must it have been to be the third wheel on A TRIP TO THE FREAKING MOON??
Apollo 11 2019 documentary movie still Neil Armstrong crying and smiling
"This is more than a voyage of three men going to the moon." (Image Source)
In the end, what "Apollo 11" offers is awe-inspiring visuals worthy of an awe-inspiring achievement. We have a tendency to look at the moon as this small little thing hanging in the night sky, but this documentary shows the incredible scope of what a big deal this event was. Despite knowing exactly what was going to happen, we couldn't help but feel tremendously moved while watching this film knowing that for one brief moment in time, we got it right. We made a crowning achievement that will live on forever in the annals of our history long after (or rather shortly after considering what we're doing to the planet with climate change, but hey!) we're all dead and gone. Space freakin' rules, man.

My Rating: 8/10
BigJ's Rating: 7/10
IMDB's Rating: ~8.6/10
RT Rating: ~100%
Do we recommend this movie: Yes!

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