One of my recent movie resolutions is that “documentary” is no longer a dirty word to me. So when I heard that this documentary that restores footage of the NASA mission was something worth seeing, I planned it into my weekend. Initially meant to see it as my usual Friday night, but then I had an opportunity to meet Andy Grammer, so I pushed it to Saturday. Thankfully there was a showing at the Universal City Walk right around park closing time (which was where I intended to spend my day). I almost even cut my day short and switched up my time, but that’s a whole other story. Let’s just say Disney >>> Universal.
When I think of a documentary, I think about a collection of footage and interviews and maybe some renactments all put together to tell a story. That’s not how this worked. This really was just pure archival footage (with a few illustrations) put together to form the narrative story of the Apollo 11 mission (and if I need to explain to you what the Apollo 11 mission was, just GTFO now, you’re beyond my help). The footage was so stunning, you’d think it was filmed yesterday. IDK if they’re showing this on IMAX or other large formats, but it’s worth seeking out there if possible.
For me though, when I think of a movie, I think of something with more narrative action. This felt a little slow and stunted, not helped by the fact that I knew how it’d all play out. So I didn’t experience this like I would any other movie I’d see in theaters. This felt more like something you’d see at a science museum (but on a legit IMAX, where again, it’d look effing gorgeous). That said though, I felt like I learned so much watching this. Obvioiusly I knew the big picture steps, but there were so many details I was oblivious to. I think had I been in a better mindset (and not tired and annoyed) I may have liked it better. I think 16 year old Dawn who wanted to be on Mission Control would have EATEN. THIS. UP. Current Dawn would rather watch Apollo 13.
One quick word though about 16 year old Dawn who wanted to be on Mission Control. That legit was my goal for a long time. It’s why I only applied to colleges that had aerospace engineering (whole other story why that didn’t work out). Watching this, I realized something. Mission Control (at least at the time) were all dudes. That’s not something I even noticed before, but I don’t think it would have phased me. I wanted to do science, and I intended to do science. Male, female doesn’t matter. And that’s how I was raised, to believe I could be or do anything I wanted. I could feel my very proud Daddy watching this movie with me because if there was ever anyone who instilled that attitude in me, it was certainly him.
Apollo 11 – \m/ \m/ \m/