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For All Mankind

Jim Lovell , Kenneth Mattingly , Al Reinert    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 32.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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For All Mankind + In the Shadow of the Moon + From the Earth to the Moon: Signature Edition (Bilingual)
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Product Description


A Special Message from Jonathon Turell, Criterion CEO

I was nine when the Apollo 11 Eagle landed on the moon. I remember vividly watching it on a small black-and-white TV at sleepaway camp that summer of 1969. I’ve been hooked on the space program ever since. Just about twenty years ago, a friend told me he had seen a rough cut of a new space movie and I should see it. I got a tape and watched For All Mankind for the first time. It was unlike anything I had seen before, and I knew that I wanted to be a part of it. I met Al Reinert and we became friends. Janus Films helped to finish the film, and I became an associate producer as we completed the movie. For All Mankind was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary—losing out to Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt. It played festivals around the world. There was a special screening for NASA and the astronauts in Galveston, Texas, and the film showed at the Air and Space Museum at the celebration of the twentieth anniversary of the moon landing.

We started working on the laserdisc release of For All Mankind before the film was complete, and I traveled to Houston to meet Al and interview Apollo 12 astronaut Alan Bean for inclusion on the disc. Bean’s comments were so good that Al recut the film to include a wonderful story about piloting the lunar module in orbit around moon. Meeting one of the astronauts who walked on the moon is still one of the greatest thrills of my life. Last year, when we began working on our Blu-ray release of For All Mankind, we got in touch with Bean again and asked him to participate. He happily agreed to update the feature on his paintings and also to sit down and talk with us about a subject I had become very interested in—science versus art. I wanted to explore the question of whether the astronauts (or the people at NASA) realized they were shooting some of the most artistic images ever recorded (and now some of the most famous) or if it was really all about moon rocks and beating the Russians. This second meeting with Bean didn’t disappoint; he says some wonderful things that are included on the disc. When we finished taping our interview session, he gave me a ride to lunch. The famous Apollo 12 Corvette is gone, replaced by a truck to carry his paintings, but that ten-minute ride will stay with me forever. He talked about walking on the moon; I talked about what movies I like. It didn’t seem quite parallel—for him it was an interesting conversation, for me, it was an audience with a hero.

Over the years, I think I’ve seen every film and TV miniseries about the Apollo program (at least twice), but for me For All Mankind still stands apart. It is unique in its poetic approach and ability to capture the pure emotion of the greatest journey of our time.

Special Features

The Criterion Collection DVD makes this indispensable record of the Apollo space program even better. The likable interaction between director Al Reinert and Apollo 17 astronaut Eugene Cernan creates a noteworthy audio commentary. Reinert focuses us on how the images here are better than any other NASA footage and on curious mission facts (why the earlier Gemini program created superior shots of the earth, for instance). Cernan, the most philosophical of the 12 moonwalkers, discusses at length the life-altering experience of space travel. By using the subtitle menu, each onscreen astronaut (and astronaut's voiceover) is identified. The film's sound and Brian Eno's evocative musical score has been remixed for a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. --Doug Thomas

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
...read the reviews with interest - but frankly I was gutted to discover that Criterion have 'mutilated' this superb doc by messing with the original score/arrangements.
'Deep blue Day' by Brian Eno and intermittant musical inserts lasting only a view seconds (which previously transported the viewer away from the immediate scene with the Astronauts) have all been removed - the magic has been squeezed out of this classic piece of video/doc architecture by a company who have done the equivalent of a painting a moustache on a classic oil with a black felt tip pin!
Please cure my depression with some info on how I can get my hands on the original classic version on DVD or VHS? (unmutilated)!
Bill Andrews
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars creative idea done w/ amazing footage Aug. 13 2011
By Brian Maitland TOP 500 REVIEWER
Director Al Reinert came up with a brilliant idea. He took the footage shot by NASA of all the Apollo moon missions and spliced parts of them together in such a way as to create a film documenting what a single mission to the moon was like. This may sound odd but it does work. (NOTE: He does splice in a Gemini space walk for dramatic effect which is simply spectacular to look at).

The voiceover narration (no talking heads) is done by the astronauts themselves but we never know who the astronaut is that is talking and whether than correlates to the astronaut we see on screen let alone the mission. You'd think that would matter. It doesn't.

The only part I found dragged was the footage on the moon. After you've seen one crater or moon walk you pretty much have seen them all.

The extras are really good with now some talking heads interview outtakes with 15 of the astronauts. Other extras are on Astronaut Alan Bean's moon artwork, a collection of classic NASA audio clips ("Houston, the Eagle has landed," etc.), a series of video on various NASA rocket launches plus you get a nice glossy booklet with the whole thing.

Now, if you are looking for a DVD that covers each Apollo mission chronologically, this is not it. This is an actual feature film type presentation.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great film about the Apollo missions! May 1 2004
By Ted
This review is for the Criterion Collection DVD edition of the film.
This film is a documentary and is well compiled. Consisting almost entirely of stock footage of the missions, it has audio interviews with the astronauts and mission control technicians.
The film has a superb score by Brian Eno. One particular piece of music in the film, also heard on the main menu of the DVD has been resued for two other films: Traffic (2000) and 28 Days Later(2002).
Much of the footage taken in space is high resolution and very well preserved as it was stored at the NASA film archives in liquid nitrogen.
The special features on the DVD are audio commentary by the Director Al Reinart and Apollo 17 astronaut Gene Cernan. There is subtitle identification of the astronauts and NASA employees when they appear on screen. There are Audio and Video highlights from several NASA missions. My favorite is the soundbyte of the apollo 8 astronauts when they gave a radio address by reading parts of the Bible on Christmas day.
There are also paintings by Apollo 12 astronaut Alan Bean and interviews with him describing some of his paintings.
For anybody interested in the space program, this DVD is a musy buy!
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5.0 out of 5 stars For the space enthusiast's heart--not the head! Feb. 2 2004
What makes this a unique addition to the collection of the "space junkie" is that it is a nostalgic look at the Apollo space program. If you are looking for a documentary full of facts, then buy Nova's "To the Moon" or the Discovery Channel's "Blast Off." Deke Slayton's "Moonshot" is also another good documentary on the early space program.
What makes this unique is that it allows the knowledgable/obsessed Apollo fan the opportunity to look at these early images of Apollo (and Gemini) footage from the perspective of an artist. Though the film of Ed White's EVA has come under scrutiny due to the fact that it was before Apollo, yet the footage has been enhanced so that it looks sharper and clearer than the original. The footage that has been pieced together contains images that are obscure and commentary that is rare and personal, reflecting the personalities of the men who made these remarkable voyages. It is truly a delight to hear of Pete Conrad's explanation of why he made his "historic" first words when he became the third man on the moon, or to hear Charlie Duke sharing his dream that he had while on the lunar surface.
Al Reinhardt is a dramatic director, not a documentary director and this is evident in this work. Apollo buffs are probably aware that he directed two episodes for the HBO miniseries, "From the Earth to the Moon," depicting the Apollo 8 and Apollo 11 missions. I believe that this is a must see series for the space enthusiast as well, for this miniseries depicts the Apollo program at its worst and best, the men and women who made it happen and does so in the best movie traditions.
Read more ›
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4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty but empty Nov. 14 2003
One day in the USA there will be a revolution in entertainment. At that time we'll discover how good it feels actually to use our brains for something other than passive, thoughtless goggling at spectacles. But until then we'll continue to get things like this. Very pretty pictures, potentially an amazing set of stories, reduced to "wow, would you look at that" cliches.
This DVD is a melange of clips from Apollo VIII onwards, strung together as though it were all one disjointed mission. The footage itself is of course incredibly beautiful but there is a paucity of intellectual content. Very little information, less explanation of history and context, and ultimately it's junk food for the mind.
With the footage available a really interesting and profound video could have been assembled. But until the revolution we'll just have to get along with this "turn off your brain and open your mouth" prettiness.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Expensive But Only Superficially Attractive
This DVD is nearly twice as expensive as the outstanding "Nova-To The Moon" DVD, yet it falls far short of what a true documentary should be. Read more
Published on Sept. 28 2003 by Robert I. Hedges
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best
I got the feeling and floated through space watching the DVD the first time. If you want to know the astronauts and other informations, just listen to the audio-commentary and turn... Read more
Published on Sept. 10 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Preparation to Splashdown, Creatively Presented
I usually don't read other reviews when giving my own but decided to thumb through to make certain that I had not reviewed this before. Read more
Published on Sept. 5 2003 by FrontPage
5.0 out of 5 stars FLY ME TO THE MOON!
This dvd MUST be watched with headphones on to enjoy the full impact of the blend between Brian Eno's space music score and the stunning video footage. Read more
Published on June 21 2003 by Jimmy
5.0 out of 5 stars For All Man Kind!
I have long been a fan of the U.S. space program. I think it is a very noble endeavor. As far as the public goes, we may be amazed at the technical achievements of the space... Read more
Published on March 31 2003 by "cwlegraj"
5.0 out of 5 stars Some reviewers missed the point
Some have dubiously criticized "For All Mankind" for being inaccurate, because it's a pastiche of footage from different NASA missions (mostly Apollo) edited together as... Read more
Published on Jan. 30 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars UNBELIEVABLE!
I have to STRONGLY disagree with the person who gave this 3 stars. That was far too picky. Yes, the footage is not in true chronological order. Read more
Published on Nov. 8 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtakiing
I"ve been a fan of the Eno Apollo album since buying it around '84 on vinyl. Recently I bought the CD and for grins did a search to see if the movie ever appeared on DVD. Read more
Published on June 20 2002
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