Apollo 11 (2019)
Coming out of Sundance so many people were buzzing about how great Apollo 11 was and how breathtaking it was as a cinematic experience, so when it got a week-long Imax release I instantly got excited and rushed to the theater to see what all the hype was about, and I must say that I enjoyed this movie a good amount.
One of the biggest things that stuck out to me while watching this was how they decided to tell this story, instead of relying on some narrator to walk us through the events it capitalizes on its ability to let the people who were actually there be our guides through sources such as radio transmissions and interviews. I was so surprised by how effective this actually was and never felt like I was getting lost due to this gimmick. It is so impressive to me that they not only got these audio sources but also the visuals that they use, it is almost suspicious how much footage was shot over this course of time and how much they were able to get access of. It feels like even if a documentary team set out to film this event today they wouldn't be able to capture not just the amount of footage but the quality of it. They have footage from basically everywhere and the visual quality of it literally shocked me at points. There are clips used in this movie that feel like they could be in any modern movie and they wouldn't feel out of place at all.
I also found this story to be really interesting, this focuses on a lot of logistics surrounding this event and thoroughly explained the concepts and events as they presented themselves. In movies such as Hidden Figures and First Man, we got a bit of this but this easily is the best deep dive into the event itself and I found myself genuinely interested in these events as they played out and taken back on just how complicated each step of this was. I had a general understanding of this before the film but once you actually see everything at play you can't help but be taken back. Despite this, though I couldn't help but notice that this movie lacks anything deeper really, its interesting and educational but as far as a message this feels pretty barren. It's not like this hurt the movie as I was watching it and its not the goal that the filmmakers had, but when I reflect on this movie it does hold it back when compared to other documentaries that are able to have the best of both worlds when it comes to this. Sadly Apollo 11 is already basically gone from theaters, but once it finds a home either on physical media or VOD I highly recommend you get on the rocket and take the trip that is Apollo 11!