First Man (October 2018)

Though September is technically a “summer month”, nights are beginning to get vaguely chilly, and cardigan-legging combos are slowly claiming their place back in society’s wardrobe. With summer beginning to submit to the will of the people, fall will shortly be upon us. Which means it’s finally time for our historically-based, outer-space-placed, teardrop-emoji-faced movies of the year! Tis the season when the common Hollywood producer knows that the only way kids will step foot in a movie theater is if their homework is done, and mom can be convinced there’s some sort of familial value in the film of choice.

The ideal fall movie involves some –if not all– of the following elements:

  • Overcoming a physical disability
  • Being set in the sixties
  • Children riding bikes through dead leaves
  • Overcoming mental barriers
  • A strong female actress (preferably African American)
  • Metaphors involving chocolate
  • Ryan Gosling
  • Science and math that no one understands
  • Overcoming racism for the sake of the team
  • Children who’s parents don’t supervise them nearly enough
  • A woman accomplishing something that no one ever noticed until this movie was made
  • Overcoming a speech impediment in the face of a public speaking event
  • A nod of approval from the tough guy
  • Lieutenant Dan losing his legs
  • The American Flag

Passing most of the above requirements with flying colors (pun intended… to the dissatisfaction of certain Americans, no colors were flown in this movie. I’m bad.) First Man is sure to be the best not-so-anticipated-but-good-enough-to-see-at-matinee-price film of 2018. So let’s watch the trailer and then I’ll explain why this movie is about to replace October Sky as #1 movie 5th grade teachers show in class when they don’t feel like making a lesson plan.

Right off the bat this trailer establishes that even a rocket blasting into space can’t hold the attention of an audience when placed in the same shot as Ryan Gosling’s face. While this trailer can easily be summarized as over-thrilling for what’s sure to be a slow-burn drama with exactly one point of climax, it manages to both justify the movie’s scientific accuracy and confirm its genre in one shot of a man underlining the word “moon” on a chalkboard. Chills.

Unlike most movie trailers that tease every major plot point of the film, this trailer knows better than to insult audience intelligence by alluding the the ending and leaves the story of history’s first moon landing (that we know of) a suspenseful mystery. With griping shots of pens floating in zero gravity, and a countdown from 6– smart move saving the full 10 for the movie–audiences will hardly be able to wait and find out if Neil Armstrong’s mission was a success or not.

With what is most likely the entire duration of Clair Foy’s screen time in her portrayal of Carol Held Knight, this trailer manages to showcase several of the film’s family values and domestic truisms. In just 2 minutes and 30 seconds, Foy’s perfect execution of the “worried female” role is played out. It’s like the trailer decided to just put her entire character arch in there. The arc of pretending to be a supportive wife but eventually losing your chill in an extreme fit of anger… so not much of an arc. More of an upward ascending arrow that never comes down.

Emotionally prepare yourself for a movie that is sure to tap that favorite feelings-vein of yours with a child asking their space-venturing father if he will return. Then mentally prepare yourself for the internal debate of whether or not Ryan Gosling is pre-maturely transitioning into middle-aged acting roles.

Well that’s really all I have to say. We’ll see if it’s good.

P.S. By far the most important and  part of trailer is the blatant promise of the PG-13 one-time use f-bomb. What a pleasant spoiler.