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First Man (PG-13)

Doug’s score: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ Steve’s score: B

This week there was no doubt about what our big movie of the week is: it has to go to First Man.

First Man takes a look at NASA’s race to put a man on the moon and focuses on the life of Neil Armstrong, played by Ryan Gossling, based on the book by James R. Hansen, and follows Armstrong  between the years of 1961 and 1969 in the lead up to his historic walk on the moon.

The guys went into this movie with pretty high expectations, and they were let down.

“These guys are jocks,” said Doug Wright. “I mean, they are rocket jocks. They are pilots, they are there. They’re adventurers, and that there’s just an enthusiasm and then a joy in everyone. I was so anxious about this because if you were a baby boomer, you know exactly where you were when this happened.

“Technically, this movie is wonderful, I mean, this movie opening with Armstrong flying the X-15, bolted onto the wing of a B-52 like a bomb with explosive bolts, and then flying into space and bouncing off the atmosphere trying to get back in. My heart stopped!”

“I thought the portrayal of it the equipment, some of the tension, some of the heartache for families, some of the tentative relationships, and then how eventually most of these guys would bond with one another.”

“Neil Armstrong was a very understated person, to begin with,” Steve Salles commented “[and he’s] being played by a notoriously low key actor, so what they’re trying to do here, I think is, tell a very personal story, not about the whole program like the right stuff but about one guy’s journey through all of this, and we do see everything through his eyes and I think maybe I missed that, but it’s just not as good of a movie you know and it felt too long. There are just moments where this movie drags.”

“It does,” Doug said, “and it dragged dark, and it dragged broodingly.”

“I’m hearing ‘Oh! First Man, Best Picture of the Year!’ But I’ve got some problems with this movie… I thought this was a good movie, but it had its issues.” said Steve.


Listen to the full conversation and hear the guys share stories about their memories of the space race and the moon landing here


First Man is rated PG-13 for some thematic content involving peril, and brief strong language.