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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Brazos County officials are distributing free backpacks, school supplies and gift cards for K-12 students on July 12 from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Bryan High Silver Campus Cafeteria.
Brazos County to distribute free school supplies
‘Back to School Bash’ invites K-12 families on July 12
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • July 11, 2024
Graduate G Tyrece Radford (23) drives to the basket during Texas A&Ms game against Nebraska in the first round of the 2024 NCAA Tournament at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee, on Friday, March 22, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
How Tyrece Radford can catch the attention of NBA scouts
Roman Arteaga, Sports Writer • July 10, 2024

After 5 years of college basketball at Virginia Tech and Texas A&M, Tyrece Radford is furthering his athletic career with the San Antonio...

Craig Reagans 1973 brown Mach 1 Mustang features custom stickers of Craig and his wife, and is completely rebuilt from the ground up. The interior was completely torn out and replaced with new dashboard and radio.
Compassion in the car community
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • July 9, 2024

This past Sunday, Cars and Coffee welcomed exactly one car: a sleek, brown Mustang that stood alone like a lone ranger in the Wild West. This...

Chancellor John Sharp during a Board of Regents meeting discussing the appointmet of interim dean Mark Welsh and discussion of a McElroy settlement on Sunday, July 30, 2023 in the Memorial Student Center.
Analysis: Chancellor Sharp’s retirement comes with new dilemmas
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • July 2, 2024

Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp announced Monday he will be retiring on June 30, 2025.  A figure notorious in state politics,...

“First Man” an awkward but accurate portrayal of Apollo 11

Lead actor Ryan Gosling and director Damien Chazelle come together to make First Man an immersive space epic that tells the story of Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon.
Photo by Creative Commons

Lead actor Ryan Gosling and director Damien Chazelle come together to make ‘First Man’ an immersive space epic that tells the story of Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon.

“First Man” tells the story of Neil Armstrong in the years leading up to his historic moon landing. The first part of the film deals with the emotional aspects of training to be one of the Apollo astronauts, while the second part portrays in vivid detail Apollo 11’s journey to the Sea of Tranquility.
The film starts off slow. Beginning with Armstrong’s time as a test pilot and engineer, the movie jumps awkwardly between his home and work life. Often, abrupt cuts skip over indeterminate amounts of time. The camera seems to stumble haphazardly through random events in Armstrong’s early career. One aspect of his astronaut training is shown in detail, while the rest of the intensive process is neglected almost entirely. Everything is portrayed with a layman’s interest. The first part of the film was boring, unemotional and slightly confusing.
The second part of the movie, on the other hand, suffered none of the shortcomings of the previous portion. This part of the film showed Apollo 11 in glorious detail, depicting everything from the astronauts’ ascent to the cockpit, to the launch, to the LEM landing and Armstrong’s legendary first step — all with a sense of wonder, awe and accomplishment. Honestly, this second half felt like a completely separate movie, and it mostly made up for the underwhelming first half.
The camerawork for most of the film was atrocious. Most of the movie is composed of extremely tight shots and shaky-cam effects. The whole thing feels like a late 90s Jason Bourne-esque action flick, which is odd considering the subject matter. I think the cinematographer must have been trying to create some level of raw realism, or intimacy with the characters, but if that was the idea, it failed horribly. There were times when the camera was so tight on someone’s face that I wasn’t even sure what I was looking at. When literally the entire screen is filled by Ryan Gosling’s cheek, I think it’s time to take a few big steps back. These extreme closeups, combined with the almost constant shaky-cam technique, did little more than frustrate me and induce some slight nausea.
Acting-wise, there’s not a lot to mention. The film portrays Armstrong and the other astronauts as big strong men who have trouble expressing their emotions. As a result, there isn’t a lot of emotional warmth being thrown around on screen. I love Ryan Gosling as an actor, but his Armstrong was a little too stoic and stunted to be interesting. The best performance of the film came from Claire Foy as Mrs. Armstrong, and even she didn’t seem fully developed as a character.
If you’re a space history buff, then I would absolutely recommend seeing this movie. I was pleasantly surprised by the historical accuracy of the film. There are, of course, artistic liberties, but the film stayed mostly true to life. However, if you’re not into space, I don’t know that it’s worth the money. I hated the camerawork, was underwhelmed by the acting and found the first part of the film to be jumpy and boring. However, the movie’s stunning depiction of the moon landing itself almost made it all worth it.

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