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For All Mankind

49 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jim Lovell, Kenneth Mattingly, Russell Schweickart, Eugene Cernan, Michael Collins
  • Directors: Al Reinert
  • Producers: Al Reinert, Ben Young Mason, Betsy Broyles Breier, David W. Leitner, Fred Miller
  • Format: Color, DVD-Video, Full Screen, Special Edition, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Criterion
  • Release Date: July 14 2009
  • Run Time: 80 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0026VBOJC
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #51,249 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

And you thought Titanic was pricey--this dazzling documentary comes courtesy of the hundreds of millions of dollars NASA spent on moon shots, ethereally gorgeous footage that had never been seen until journalist Al Reinert, who had covered NASA for magazines prior to this film, got his hands on it. (Reinert subsequently coscripted Ron Howard's acclaimed Apollo 13.)

Reinert sifted through 6 million feet of film footage and 80 hours of interviews with astronauts, which serve as humble voice-overs for the lyrical imagery, and he assembled all this into a unique experience which was nominated for a Best Documentary Oscar. Brian Eno's lovely, atmospheric score evokes the sense of peace the astronauts say they felt while floating through space; the film's spiritual quality is as affecting as its breathtaking visuals. "There was a great deal of difficulty paying attention to what our job was," admits one astronaut, and you can see why.

A major caveat--while this is mind-blowing on the big screen, it may be less impressive on your TV. Or, you can simply sit up real close. Who would've guessed that NASA was also a training ground for cinematographers? --David Kronke --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ted on May 1 2004
Format: DVD
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Brian Maitland TOP 500 REVIEWER on Aug. 13 2011
Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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.
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Format: DVD
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. My main complaint is the liberty Producer/Director Al Reinert takes editing video and especially audio into single sequences when they clearly come from multiple sources. The effect is jarring and unpleasant, in direct contrast to the new age musical noodling of Brian Eno.
Yes, the cinematography is great, but it is certainly no better than other commonly available documentaries, as it is after all almost 100 percent 30 year old NASA footage, which is largely common to all the available documentaries.
I do grasp the concept of artistic license, but my issue here is that Reinert takes license when there is nothing to be gained. The most obnoxious single moment for me is the Apollo 13 'Houston, We've had a problem..." audio, which has added sound effects not found in the original (common through the film) and edits bits of the Apollo 13 dialogue together with the Apollo 12 lightning strike problems during launch, which in his mind, I suppose added drama, but in my mind distorts the truth and fails to tell the story of either of the two emergencies well. When unnecessary compilation and editing like this continues through the film it makes for a very muddled, less factual, film that the materiel deserves.
Some reviewers have praised the film for conveying the 'feeling' of going to the moon well. I don't really dispute that, I just think that a documentary can be factually accurate and have information accurately presented (like in the Nova special) and still be captivating. In fact I think it would be more captivating.
The DVD does have some strong points, that are unique though.
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