In July 1969, the space race ended when Apollo 11 fulfilled President Kennedy's challenge of "landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth." No one who witnessed the lunar landing will ever forget it. Br... more »eathtaking both in the scope of its vision and the exhilaration of the human emotions it captures, For All Mankind is the story of the 24 men who traveled to the Moon-told in their words, in their voices, using the images of their experiences. Criterion is proud to present Al Reinert's award-winning documentary in a new special edition.« less
"If you're looking for history, skip this dvd. However, if you're looking for a film that will let you experience what it's really like to fly into space and be on the moon, then what are you waiting for? This dvd is for you. I watched FOR ALL MANKIND late at night, the only light in the room coming from the images on my TV screen. I was spellbound. The footage of the Earth from space in this film is so clear and pristine that you feel as if you're actually there. It's really awesome. I didn't mind, as some people did, that the editor mixed footage from different missions and made it seem like it was all from a single mission. I also didn't care that the astronaut speaking on the soundtrack wasn't always the one you saw on the screen. All the voices you hear, just like all the images you see, are the real deal here; it's just that sometimes you hear one astronaut talking while watching footage of other astronauts from a completely different mission. Viewers who expect and demand a chronological history of the missions will be disappointed. This film does not offer that. Watch this film for the immediacy of the experience, which is sublime. Regardless of the editing, all the footage here is authentic. If there's one complaint I have about this edition, it's the extras, which are pretty skimpy. Seeing as how there's miles and miles of footage available, I would've liked to have seen more, especially extra footage of the earth from space and of the lunar surface. What there is of it in the film is so beautiful that you just want to see more of it. I want to stress that this is not your typical PBS/NOVA or HISTORY/DISCOVERY channel documentary. You WILL learn a lot by watching FOR ALL MANKIND, it just won't be about facts and figures. You learn something much more important because it conveys, as immediately and authentically as any film possibly can, the experience of being the first human being to look at the earth from space and to land and walk on the moon. If you're truly open to it and don't mind some creative (and I would say superb and seamless) editing, FOR ALL MANKIND offers an unforgettable viewing experience. It's a wonderful little film that is worth getting and watching over and over again."
The True Apollo Spirit - Untruths Aside!
Tod R. Lauer | Tucson, AZ | 04/20/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As a serious student of the Apollo program, this is my favorite documentary of the program, despite its contextual fabrications and errors. The conceit is to represent a voyage to the lunar surface and back as a composite drawn from footage taken from all Apollo (and even some Gemini!) missions. As such it is in some sense a fictionalized account to begin with, thus one must look beyond this film as a simple and literal documentary, if you are willing to accept its premise. To me it succeeds at a psychological and emotional level as the film that best captures the spirit of the Apollo program, and even better, what it must have been like to have actually gone to the moon.The footage is fantastic and rarely seen, even in real documentaries about Apollo. The pace at many points slows, and you are invited to dwell on the scenes, and perhaps even picture yourself there with the astronauts. A particular treat is that the movie is heavy on footage from the final mission involving the lunar rover, where the real exploration took place. These missions are often woefully represented, but here you get a sense of what it must have been like to have diven miles from the LM, exploring the lunar surface in complete solitude; or in other parts of the movie to have orbited alone in the CSM. Other treats are candid footage of the controllers in Houston, as well as dramatic usage of JFK's speach on Apollo given at Rice university in 1962. I will admit that the film doesn't state the true context of any of its footage, and a good portion of my enjoyment is being able to sort this out for myself; however, more than anything this program reminds me of what it was like to grow up and go to the moon with Apollo."
We choose to go to the moon
Zack Davisson | Seattle, WA, USA | 06/29/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
""We choose to go to the moon, not because it is easy, but because it is hard." Kennedy's famous speech opens up this movie and sets the mood for what is to follow: wonder. As noted in other reviews, "For All Mankind" is not a detailed, factual account of the Apollo program. Rather, it is an impressionist painting captured on film. Brief glimpses of footage and voiceovers flow together to create an atmosphere of wonder and awe. The feeling that the astronauts had when they took their historic flight.This film gives a tourist's eye view of a trip to the moon. One astronaut comments that, when riding up the elevator to the launch pad, he realized just how complicated the ship was and how little he knew about what made it go up. These men were not scientists, they were adventurers. They had fun in space, and had a difficult time paying attention to their duties while in weightlessness. There was a connection made as you hear their jokes, and listen to their insights. It was really nice to see the humanity behind the names. Through their home movies, I feel like I went along.Additional note: The DVD itself is excellent, with relevant, interesting features. Hats off again to the Criterion Collection."
For those who want to know more than facts and figures.
Zack Davisson | 08/16/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Without a doubt the best effort by a documentary/film maker tocapture the real essence of the thoughts & feelings of the men ofthe Apollo missions.The documentary is presented composite style, with all missions and recollections presented as one - and the stunning lunarscapes from Apollos 16 and 17 are intertwined with Ed White's Gemini spacewalk, the Apollo 11 landing and Dave Scott's hammer and feather experiment on Apollo 15.The music by Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois enhances the film further and the soundtrack for this film is also worth the purchase."
The Real Deal
D. Blackdeer | Kansas | 02/27/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Science fiction movies and computer digital effects are great, but they don't compare to seeing actual footage shot in space, such as the case for this documentary. The scenes are spell-binding as ships manuever in the cold blackness of space, eventually landing on the surface of the Moon. The feature follows the sequence of an Apollo mission from the astronauts' dressing rooms, through the launch of the mighty Saturn V rocket and traveling through space, climaxing with views on the Moon's surface. Scenes are inter-mixed with footage from different Apollo missions, but it's not that displeasing and shows particular highlights such as Man's first step on the Moon, to later missions when astronauts had a lunar vehicle for traveling on the barren landscape. Brian Eno's music is perfect for this feature; if you could hear music out there - this would be it. Listening to the astronauts as they narrate this feature is nice and makes you feel even closer to them as you watch them progress through their missions. What's great is that it is all real footage, there are no actors and no FX, you get to see how it really happened."