1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars creative idea done w/ amazing footage
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...
Published on Aug. 13 2011 by Brian Maitland
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Criterion mutilation of a classic space journey experience!
...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...
Published on July 9 2004 by Bill Andrews
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Criterion mutilation of a classic space journey experience!,
This review is from: For All Mankind (National Geographic) (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)!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars creative idea done w/ amazing footage,
This review is from: For All Mankind (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.
5.0 out of 5 stars A great film about the Apollo missions!,
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!
5.0 out of 5 stars For the space enthusiast's heart--not the head!,
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.
For All Mankind is a movie event that does what the astronauts had such a difficult time expressing: by watching these men in flight and on the moon, one can get a better experience of what it felt like to go to the moon. Unfortunately, these men were scientists, test pilots and engineers. They were not poets or dreamers, they were the doers of our world and these modern day "Renaissance Men" were not able to share the emotion that many of us would have experienced in their boots. I tip my helmet to Al Reinhardt for giving us a glimpse of what it felt like to go there.
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty but empty,
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.
3.0 out of 5 stars Expensive But Only Superficially Attractive,
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. One that is useful is the ability to turn on subtitles of astronaut names and selected flight controller names (although mistakes are made here too, they are generally minor). My favorite feature of the DVD by far is a section in which Al Bean (Apollo 12) describes and explains many of his Apollo paintings, which is absolutely fascinating. This alone gave the review three stars.
Overall, there are many better choices of Apollo documentaries available, especially considering the outlandish cost of the DVD. Many critics liked this film. I guess all that means is that many critics prefer a stylized, or 'Hollywood,' form of documentary.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best,
By A Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Preparation to Splashdown, Creatively Presented,
Reinert also wanted to use a generic approach instead of muddling everything up with astronaut identifications (which is actually an option in the subtitles) that might have turned 79 minutes of enjoyment into a technical approach that takes away from the FEELING of the race to the Moon. And all the astronauts, Reinert said, had no problem with that decision. There are enough documentaries and docudramas out there. In my opinion, the intent of this film was simply to place the majority of the world into the cockpit or LEM, buckle that seatbelt and enjoy the ride, since 99.99% or more of us don't have the opportunity to even ride supersonic, let alone even fly into space or even experience zero gravity.
The joy in watching FAM was in how Reinert simply found a way to let us feel the anticipation and drama of preparing for these trips "and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard," as President John F. Kennedy says in his Rice University speech. The quotes that Reinert lifted from the speech empowered the rest of the movie, that Reinert combined the different missions to create a display of a generic preparation- to- splashdown film.
It's such a long journey from Earth orbit to the lunar surface, and in that time, there's so much time to wait. In the way Reinert edited his movie (note that he NEVER said it's a documentary), he did a wonderful job of showing the down time that an astronaut had during that journey. Pop on the optional track where Reinert and astronaut Gene Cernan discuss the projects (the movie and Moon race project) to an even finer detail to get the most out of this DVD.
The package deserves 5 stars in my opinion. There was nothing that I didn't like, except that it wasn't longer. I first knew of FAM while surfing local channels and saw this great piece with a fresh musical track accompanying it. I taped what I could and held on to the hopes of this appearing in a digital format. What also sold me was the musical score by Brian Eno. He has a way of making music sound timeless, and the score he created still sounds just as fresh.
The folks at Criterion did a marvelous job to deliver a great DVD package (details below), and I wouldn't hesitate to purchase this again.
For those who harp about not knowing who is talking or who is being shown in the movie, the DVD has options to see who is speaking through the subtitles. Another set of subtitles is presented as an option to view simply who is on the screen at the time. I did not get this to view manned space exploration in chronological order (you can get this by viewing the Spacecraft Films series of Apollo, Gemini and the Saturns which have none of the excitement and human interest that FAM does). I just wanted a fresh view of the journey to the Moon, and Reinert delivered exceptionally well, in my opinion.
Technical details: 79 minutes in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.33:1; digital transfer from a 35mm print from original NASA stock footage; original mono track was digitally prepared and output as Dolby Digital 5.1 stereo; optional audio commentary by Reinert and Gene Cernan, Apollo 17 commander; paintings with audio commentary by Apollo/ Skylab astronaut and artist Alan Bean; liftoff audio and film footage from NASA; English subtitles with astronaut identifications; onscreen identifications of President Kennedy, astronauts and key NASA mission control specialists; DVD box says this is an RSDL dual- layer edition, also; 3- page, C- folding pamphlet with Apollo astronaut IDs, production credits and foreword by Reinert.
PS- One piece of stock footage that is recognizable is during staging when one of the rocket's rings is ejected. You know it, the ring floats off with flames inside it? It's incredible to see what the camera inside the ring shows, and Reinert describes in his comments how the footage is actually shot and recovered.
5.0 out of 5 stars FLY ME TO THE MOON!,
5.0 out of 5 stars For All Man Kind!,
This film captures through its imagery and ethereal music and the conveyed feeling of these Astronauts thoughts of what it could be like for the rest of us had we been there. It gives us a third person perspective of being on the moon. The viewer is the camera, not just watching the spectacle of what Astronauts do in space but standing there beside them on the moon. Feeling what they felt, experiencing what they experienced.
After watching this I came away with the since that I had been there and had at least glimpsed a tiny bit of the emotional experience that those few men must have been consumed by. It made me think of the beauty of nature, the universe and what it all means. I've watched this movie twenty times now, and each time I get that same feeling of humility. It's a good thing and I think everyone should see it because it's for all mankind!
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For All Mankind [Blu-ray] by Al Reinert (Blu-ray - 2009)
CDN$ 54.99 CDN$ 41.24