Happy Anniversary of the First Moon Landing

Posted on July 20, 2014 at 3:26 pm

45 years ago today, Neil Armstrong became the first human to walk on the moon, a powerful reminder of what is possible if we put no limits on our goals “for all mankind.”  I hope we never lose that sense of endless possibility, boundless curiosity, and the determination and courage to carry it through.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=keoF8YmTjWg

For more about the moon landing, I recommend For All Mankind, and what I consider the finest miniseries ever produced in America, Tom Hanks’ From the Earth to the Moon.

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Based on a true story Documentary Movie Mom’s Top Picks for Families
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From the Earth to the Moon

Posted on July 20, 2009 at 8:00 am

A+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
Profanity: Some strong language
Alcohol/ Drugs: Smoking, drinking, substance abuse
Violence/ Scariness: Characters in peril, tense confrontations
Diversity Issues: Traditional depiction of race and gender per the conventions of the era
Date Released to Theaters: 1998
Date Released to DVD: 1998
Amazon.com ASIN: B000A0GYD2

The very best American miniseries I have ever seen is the HBO production from Tom Hanks, From the Earth to the Moon. Instead of a chronological run-down, each episode takes on the space race from a different angle. One gives us the perspective of the wives, another tells us the challenges faced by the contractors, and another is from the perspective of the press. One tells us about the experience of turning astronauts into geologists so that they could be as effective as possible in bringing home the rocks that would help scientists the most. The last episode focuses in part on a man whose only connection to the moon landing was that he made a fanciful silent film (and invented special effects) in France decades earlier. Brilliantly written, acted, and directed, this is outstanding viewing for ages 10 and up, for space nuts and for those who don’t know their Apollos from their Geminis.

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Based on a true story Drama DVD/Blu-Ray Pick of the Week
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Moon Movies

Posted on July 17, 2009 at 3:59 pm

Salute the 40th anniversary of the Apollo moon mission with some moon-y movies (but my favorite is Monday’s DVD pick of the week, so stay tuned).

1. Moonstruck Cher won an Oscar for her performance in one of the most romantic films ever made, where an enormous full moon inspires unexpected love. “Loretta, I love you. Not like they told you love is, and I didn’t know this either, but love don’t make things nice – it ruins everything. It breaks your heart. It makes things a mess. We aren’t here to make things perfect. The snowflakes are perfect. The stars are perfect. Not us. Not us! We are here to ruin ourselves and to break our hearts and love the wrong people and die!”

2. Capricorn One A conspiracy theory favorite, this one has Elliot Gould, Hal Holbrook, and Sam Waterston (and O.J. Simpson!) in a story about a government plot to fake a moon landing after the real launch fails.

3. Apollo 13 Tom Hanks, Ed Harris, and Gary Sinese star in this gripping drama directed by Ron Howard about the heroic rescue operation after the Apollo 13 capsule suffered an explosion on its way to the moon. This is true heroism and problem-solving — and brilliant film-making as well.

4. Space Buddies The Buddies pups end up as stowaways on a trip to the moon in his family-movie favorite.

5. A Walk on the Moon Diane Lane is exquisite in this story about a lonely housewife who has an affair the summer that men first walked on the moon.

6. RiffTrax: Missile to the Moon – from the stars of Mystery Science Theater 3000! Mike Nelson and the Rifftrax guys provide the hilarious commentary for this story about a rocket to the moon with escaped convicts, a stowaway fiancée, and a moon-man. Here’s the trailer for the original film without the commentary:

7. H.G. Wells’ First Men in the Moon An anti-gravity paste transports Victorian explorers to the moon where they discover some bee-like creatures. Great effects by creature designer Ray Harryhausen.

8. Goodnight Moon and Other Sleepytime Tales Margaret Wise Brown’s night-time classic is beautifully filmed in this DVD collection of bedtime stories. “Goodnight, bears. Goodnight, chairs.”

9. Journey to the Moon: The 40th Anniversary of Apollo 11 Every family should watch this documentary about the real-life adventure that had Neil Armstrong and his team land on the moon and return home safely.

10. The Right Stuff Tom Wolfe’s book about the first group of astronauts is brilliantly filmed by writer-director Philip Kaufman, who recognizes the dream of a moon expedition as emblematic of the American spirit.

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