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73 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Epiphany
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...
Published on July 21, 2004 by Paco Rivero

versus
40 of 53 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great footage disappointingly presented
Other reviews have touched upon what I found fatally distracting about this disc: the "artistic liberties" taken constitute inaccuracy. Much is shockingly out of order or just plain wrong. We see Ed White's Gemini spacewalk presented as though it occured during an Apollo mission, we see the wrong astronauts' names in captions (subtitled), we hear Apollo 12's...
Published on February 28, 2000 by vs


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73 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Epiphany, July 21, 2004
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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.
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59 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The True Apollo Spirit - Untruths Aside!, April 19, 2000
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.
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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Real Deal, February 27, 2000
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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.
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52 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Giants Among The Stars, July 16, 2009
By 
K. A. Walsh (Eatontown, NJ, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: For All Mankind (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Without a doubt, this is one of the finest Blu Ray discs I own, not just for the fascinating and well done documentary, but for the total immersion in the Apollo Experience that new transfer (both video and audio) provides. It is STUNNING; there is no other way to describe 80 minutes of pure perfection.

The film that was brought back from the moon, original film elements, were used in the creation of this documentary to begin with when it was first compiled into an intriguing film some 20 years ago. With the advent of the new digital remaster, the film looks COMPLETELY different; so much so that my 12 year old daughter thought that the scenes shot on the Rover were special effects! Imagine her surprise when I told her that was actual moon mission footage, and it was as real and as untouched as if she herself were to take it using a camera. I don't think she ever grasped that fully. In any case, the video is INCREDIBLE.

The audio of this wonderful film is provided by the voices of the astronauts and their machinery as well as an ambient soundtrack by Brian Eno. The music fully immerses you in its wondrous and enveloping score. The new transfer of the Eno audio soundtrack really cannot be adequately described...it is truly a masterpiece, because it becomes part of the film; it IS the film...it literally feels like part of the missions represented in this documentary. You are surrounded by these voices and machines and this incredible, incredible score by Eno...and it is truly an experience.

I've had the film on DVD for a number of years and it has always been one of my favorites (these guys were all my heroes growing up in the 60s and 70s and I'm a NASA buff). With the new Blu Ray presentation, Criterion has pulled out all the stops. As I watched, I was just shaking my head at just how phenomenal a disc this is; that it could be SO much better than my original DVD copy (which was no slouch either, and I have an upscaling DVD player too that made it look great...but NOTHING like THIS!)

With the 40th Anniversary of our first steps in the playground of the Universe upon us, this Blu Ray makes you realize just how much more there is so see out there and why we need to return to the stars...and how much we need to take care of this fragile world (and each other) as well. Highly recommended...and highly inspirational.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For those who want to know more than facts and figures., August 16, 1999
By A Customer
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.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We choose to go to the moon, June 29, 2001
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"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.
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47 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Re-Issue Soars!, June 29, 2009
By 
Cubist (United States) - See all my reviews
This is a re-issue of a previous release by the Criterion Collection but features a brand new transfer of the film, which looks fantastic. All of the previous extra material has been carried over.

There is an audio commentary by filmmaker Al Reinert and astronaut Eugene Cernan, the last man to set foot on the Moon. Reinert provides some insight into how the film came together. He went through thousands of hours of footage and managed to put together an 80-minute film. Cernan shares some of his experiences about what it was like to be an astronaut at that time.

New to this edition is "An Accidental Gift: The Making of For All Mankind," a 30-minute retrospective documentary. Reinert always wanted to see this outer space/Moon footage on the big screen and this was the impetus for the film. He got his start as a journalist covering NASA in the early 1980s. Through his contacts he got access to their film archives and found footage that had never been shown. This is an excellent look at how For All Mankind came together.

Also new is "On Camera," a compilation of on-camera interviews Reinert conducted with 15 of the Apollo astronauts. In the film itself only the audio is used and it is nice to put a face to the voice.

"Painting from the Moon" is an updating of an extra on the original edition. After retiring from NASA, astronaut Alan Bean became a painter and this is a gallery of his work with commentary.

"NASA Audio Highlights" is a collection of 21 soundbites from the first ten years of the American space program. Some of the most famous words have spoken during this time, including Neil Armstrong's immortal words.

Finally, there is "3, 2, 1 . . . Blast Off!" a collection of launch footage of various rockets taking off for outer space.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative, Beautiful, Fun, and Moving, April 25, 2000
By A Customer
I don't want to repeat the positive comments of others with which I agree, and couldn't state any better, so here are a few more things about this movie and disc which make it a worthy thing to own.
One of the most memorable things about the Apollo astronauts that you learn from this presentation is that when they weren't fully occupied with their tasks, which was rarely, they felt like playing, a lot like kids, in the zero and low-g environments. I found this really cool, coming from serious men committed to doing something very difficult and dangerous. The other unexpected common experience was that even the most red-blooded military-raised task-oriented Astronauts with their rustic accents had profoundly spiritual experiences during the missions, which changed them in ways that they're grateful for. The viewer shares these alternately childlike and deep feelings of discovery and exploration, so what's ostensibly an interesting documentary also becomes much more of an experience. You have the sense that this wasn't intended, necessarily, by the director at the outset, so it comes across very sincerely, not at all saccherine. As a film nut, I regard "For All Mankind" as a masterpiece of editing and documentary. As an appreciator of history, I see it as a both a national and world treasure.
Criterion's digital restoration work and added features, as always, are beautiful and appropriate. Brian Eno fans should know that there's much of his music here that isn't available on the "Apollo" album.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get this DVD if you want some fantastic video footage, May 20, 2001
By A Customer
I wouldn't recommend this DVD if you're someone who just wants to learn the basics about the Apollo space program. If you don't already know something about the Apollo missions, you'll probably just find the format of this movie to be confusing. They've taken video footage from eleven different Apollo missions, plus Apollo-Soyuz footage, plus even some Gemini footage, and pieced it all together into one grand hypothetical mission to the moon. It's a nice idea, if you like that sort of thing. But, if you don't already know Apollo, you'll just be wondering why the astronauts on-board this "one" mission are different in every scene, and wondering what's going on with all of the strange audio clips they've pieced together.
But, if you're an Apollo enthusiast, yup, you simply must buy this DVD. The fantastic footage alone makes this video worthwhile. There's some stuff here that you'll find in the standard NASA videos. But, there's also a lot of hard-to-find stuff that they dug out of the NASA archives. And, yes, it's all authentic NASA footage, no computer generated stuff (though they did use computer technology to clean up some of the scenes here and there).
The primary audio track is put together in the same spirit as the video, clips pieced together from many missions. Some audio clips are from the actual missions. Other audio clips come from interviews with the astronauts. And, of course, there's a director commentary track with guest speaker Gene Cernan. (I always find it interesting to listen to commentary by the actual astronauts who walked on the moon.)
They've even thrown in some bonus material of Alan Bean's paintings, as well as Alan Bean's comments about the inspiration to the paintings, and some of his thoughts about flying to and walking on the moon.
I give this one 5 stars because it's just plain amazing to watch actual moonshot footage, especially when they throw in so much rare and spectacular material.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For All Mankind, January 11, 2000
I own over 60 VHS tapes, dealing with NASA and no other film can convey the fellings you get from watching this movie. It puts you in the driver seat for the ride of your life. I wish all the young people of the world could watch this movie so that they could feel what we felt when it was happening in real time
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For All Mankind (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
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