Rated: PG-13
Release Date: 10/12/2018
Production Company: Universal Pictures

Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, Corey Stoll, Jason Clarke, Pablo Schreiber, Kyle Chandler, Olivia Hamilton, Ciarán Hinds, Christopher Abbott, Pablo Schreiber and Shea Whigham.

Director: Damien Chazelle. Producers: Damien Chazelle, Marty Bowen, Wyck Godfrey, James R. Hansen and Isaac Klausner. Executive Producers: Steven Soielberg, Josh Singer and Adam Merims. Screenwriters: Josh Singer and James Hansen (Author of Novel: "First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong").
Cinematographer: Linus Sandgren.
By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

“First Man,” the new biopic about astronaut Neil A. Armstrong, reunites director Damien Chazelle with Ryan Gosling (“La La Land”).

Chazelle and Gosling didn’t miss a beat in “La La Land,” but oddly, “First Man” feels out of sync.

Josh Singer (“Spotlight”) adapted the script from James R. Hansen’s 2005 best-seller “First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong.”

And despite the film’s dazzling cinematography, “First Man” feels as cold, dark and empty as outer space. Plus, it’s incredibly long and moves at a snail’s pace.

Gosling plays Neil Armstrong and he does his best to sell the stoic patriot who made history on July 20, 1969 by becoming the first person to walk on the moon. There’s nothing flashy or showy about Armstrong and perhaps that’s part of the problem with the film.

“First Man” focuses primarily on Armstrong’s family life from when he worked as a research engineer for NASA and with the space crew which led to the Apollo 11 lunar landing.

Early on we see Armstrong and his wife Janet (Claire Foy “Unsane” and TV’s “The Crown”) trying to cope with the loss of their young daughter Karen who died from a brain tumor. Karen is tasked with keeping their two young, cantankerous boys in check whenever Armstrong is away from home, which is often.

But, “First Man” rarely makes that emotional connection and investment with viewers. Even a tragedy among Armstrong’s fellow colleagues, Ed White (Jason Clarke, “Winchester” and “Mudbound”) and Elliot See (Patrick Fugit,” Gone Girl”) doesn’t pack the emotional punch that it should.

Other characters fare slightly better such as Deke Slayton (Kyle Chandler, “Game Night”), one of the original Mercury Seven astronauts, who became NASA's first Chief of the Astronaut Office and the cocky Buzz Aldrin (the second man to walk on the Moon during Apollo 11) who is played by Corey Stoll (“Ant-man” and TV’s “The Strain”). They are the most compelling figures among the bunch.

Strangely, you come away from watching this movie with more questions about Neil Armstrong than answers.

With “First Man” Damien Chazelle reaches for the moon, but doesn’t quite achieve a full lift off.

Be sure to listen to my movie talk segment on the Kitty O'Neal Show Fridays now at 6:20 p.m. on radio station KFBK 1530 AM and 93.1 FM.

Check Out This Trailer For "FIRST MAN"

Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics’ Association (BFCA), the Black Film Critics Circle (BFCC) and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.


Brian's Song Title: Brian's Song
Year Released: 1971
Running Time: 90
Production Company: Screen Gems (Sony)
Director: Buzz Kulik
Director of Photography: Joseph F. Biroc
Screenwriter: Gale Sayers, Al Silverman and William Blinn
Author: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

REVIEW: This Review Reprinted In Honor Of Movie Critic Bill Gibron--May 14, 1961--May 11, 2018. Pictured Top Left.

Now with summer behind us, the arrival of fall means weekends attending and watching plenty of football games. Whether they’re college, pro or high school, I’m all over them.

And when it comes to football movies, few move me as much as the 1971 drama...
Billy Dee Williams Starred In Which Of These Baseball Movies.
"The Bad News Bears
"One In A Million"
"Bang The Drum Slowly'"
" The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings"