I have always been obsessed with space. From Star Wars in the cinema as a very young kid to standing next to the capsules that actually went to the moon at the Kennedy Space Center and having a prized Apollo 11 jumpsuit, I loved it all.
Apollo 11, the documentary, takes me back to those younger days and there are many many moments where I stared at the beautiful imagery with my mouth wide open, wondering if the rocket was going to launch, whether it would reach the moon, whether it would return. Of course, I already knew the magical story but the way the film is made, more like a fiction work, there are no talking heads like in a regular documentary, the film tells its own story and it is magical.
Aldrin, Collins and Armstrong act like a trio of college kids going off to the Prom, rather than taking one of mankind’s giant steps. They are all so likeable that you really do worry when you get the next update on their heartrates, so far away from Earth.
The vintage film stock looks absolutely incredible in 1080dp and the excellent musical soundtrack really heightens the tension throughout and escalates the celebrations and moments of magic. Some of the finest and most tense scenes are not those up in the pod or walking on the moon, rather the faces in the control room, scribbling on pads and using ancient headsets to talk with the space bound trio. Nixon and Kennedy both appear, but this is a film more about the ordinary people coming out to watch the launch and the return, families gasping as the flames fly and the mission flies.
If you know nothing about Apollo 11, you’ll learn it all here, watching just as those lucky enough to be there at the time were, but now in a land where you have more power in your phone than that which took these heroes to the moon.