Where’s the American Flag in First Man?

Much ado has been made about the omission of the moment when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin planted the American flag on the moon in the movie First Man. So what’s the deal?

Here’s what the director had to say about this decision:

“It surprised me because there are so many things that we weren’t able to focus on not only during the lunar EVA but in the entirety of Apollo 11. Just by the nature of the story we were telling, we just couldn’t go into every detail. So our through-line became, especially at this part of the movie where it’s the final emotional journey for Neil, what were the private, unknown moments of Neil on the moon? The flag was not a private, unknown moment for Neil. It’s a very famous moment and it wasn’t Neil alone. We included the famous descent down the ladder because that’s him alone, literally first feeling what it’s like to be on the moon. But other than that, we only wanted to focus on the unfamous stuff on the moon. So we don’t go into the phone call with Nixon, we don’t go into the scientific experiments, we don’t go into reentry.”

Regardless of how you feel about the exclusion of this scene, there are numerous people who (at least pretend) to care deeply about it. So much so, they told blatant lies that would be clear to anyone who’s even seen the movie trailer. It’s been said the American flag is deliberately never shown — this is false.

Here are three images (below) showing the American flag in a 2 1/2 minute First Man trailer. The movie is 2 hours and 21 minutes long, so they’re on pace to show the flag 169.2 times! (I’m sure it will be much less because, as they say: sample size matters.)

First Man Flag

First Man Flag

First Man Flag

First Man‘s Oscar-winning director Damien Chazelle is known for stories of intense personal sacrifice in the struggle to achieve, like La La Land and Whiplash. The title First Man really sums up what this movie is about: an individual struggling against his fears, technology, physical limitations, and most of all, gravity.

Chazelle added:

“In First Man I show the American flag standing on the lunar surface, but the flag being physically planted into the surface is one of several moments of the Apollo 11 lunar EVA that I chose not to focus upon. To address the question of whether this was a political statement, the answer is, “No.” My goal with this movie was to share with audiences the unseen, unknown aspects of America’s mission to the moon. Particularly Neil Armstrong’s personal saga and what he may have been thinking and feeling during those famous few hours.”

Armstrong’s sons, Rick and Mark, wrote in a statement:

“This story is human and it is universal. Of course, it celebrates an America achievement. It also celebrates an achievement for all mankind, (emphasis added) as it says on the plaque Neil and Buzz left on the moon. It is a story about an ordinary man who makes profound sacrifices and suffers through intense loss in order to achieve the impossible,”

Conclusion
There are those who think that everyone who disagrees with their perspective on patriotism has some agenda, or is behind some conspiracy to corrupt, what they feel, is the only true expression of patriotism. But, sometimes these decisions are based on artistic expression, or as is more often the case, didn’t notice that there was anything patriotic there in the first place.

Read Next: Where’s the Flag? Opinion, by polyGeek

Movie Review – First Man

Creator of RunPee. Aspiring author.

Notes on Final Trailer for Fantastic Beasts — The Crimes of Grindelwald

Newt and Jacob: the continuing bromance…

The final trailer for Fantastic Beasts 2 – The Crimes of Grindelwald has dropped, and there are more clues and a bunch of spoilers you might wish to avoid. I’m including the trailer link and my commentary about it below, so click away now if you’re trailer-spoiler-averse.

The trailer is 2 minutes and 23 seconds, and everything flips by very quickly:

My thoughts, as the RunPee Wizarding World Expert: 

  • Looks like Jude Law as young Dumbledore has a substantial role, more than the extended cameo that was feared. He looks right for the part. I’m glad.
  • “A safe house in Paris.” Now we know why much of this outing will be in France, as was announced during filming last year.  LOL: “It’s good to have a  place to go, you know, for a cup of tea.”
  • The line, “For love,” is placed on a shot of Tina. This makes sense for what we know about where her role is heading in the backstory (as mentioned in J.K. Rowling’s “monster fieldguide” version of Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them).
  • Nagini! WTF. I don’t like what I’m seeing. I get that they’re trying to tie the old series in with the new, but I’m not a fan of major retconning like this. Can’t an animal just be an animal sometimes? Especially in a movie about ‘beasts’.
  • Maybe, maybe Johnny Depp will pull the role off. I think I just have to get over the loss of the cute and “charming rogue” version of Grindelwald we fans were presented with in both the Harry Potter novels and the films. This re-characterization is darker than he should be, and I can’t for the life of me understand why Albus Dumbledore was ever in love with him. Unless they retcon Dumbledore as more of a jerk than we’d been led to believe. Anyway, why do I think Depp might pull this off? His voice-over seems pretty good and his momentary scenes have a certain gravitas I didn’t see from this actor before.
  • Some flying car action! Where have we seen this before? I miss the Weasleys. Nice callback, though. Appropriate car.
  • HOGWARTS! Yes, please, can I have some more?
  • WHY IS THIS TRAILER SO HARD TO SEE? When I say it’s dark, it’s not just the subject matter. The director seems to like filming in dim light conditions.
  • There’s a beast, hard to make out. Oh, no, it’s something else. Where are the pretty critters???
  • There’s the Obscurial. We knew that was coming.
  • Nicolas Flamel! Such a pleasure. Great callback to the first HP film with the Sorcerer’s/Philosopher’s Stone.
  • Hmm. Newt is a lot more grim, too. I hope there’s some humor in this film.
  • Jacob! There’s my man, and there’s the humor.
  • And a portkey, too! All the apparating got boring in FB1.
  • Some beasts at last. I hope we get more of that. And I want to go back in the suitcase where he keeps them.
  • Awww, Queenie is in pain. Hate that. Don’t you go hurting my girl.
  • Leta Lestrange gets the same line she had from the first trailer. I guess they considered that important enough to repeat.
  • Oh hey, Newt’s famous brother! He had a small mention in FB1, if you recall, something about being a war hero. I don’t know what wizarding war this refers to. I guess there’s always dark wizards to fight, in every generation. And there’s a cute bit of sibling rivalry to wrap up the preview.

So, that’s it! It’s not a second by second review, but close enough. I think there’s enough meat to chew here to keep us talking until the movie comes out, which will be on November 16th. I’m fortunate enough this time to catch a screening Nov 14th, so I’ll have Peetimes up early for everyone.

What do you think of the trailer?

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Content Director, and Managing Officer. RunPee Jilly likes sci fi movies, fantasy films, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder.

1st Captain Marvel Trailer Finally Drops

Yup. Captain Marvel falls right into this. If you’re old enough, you’ll find that amusing.

We’ve just seen the first trailer for Captain Marvel, in the next phase of the Marvel Cinematic  Universe…and it honestly doesn’t show much.  It lasts a little less than two minutes. It shows Brie Larson’s character (Carol Danvers, AKA Captain Marvel) falling to the Earth, and then a variety of nano-scenes flash by. We see some super fast sequences, offering almost no solid clues for the story we’re so eager to see next March.

But, from my early thoughts, um…THIS is our hero, come to undo “The Snap’? Carol Danvers seems so…young, so inexperienced. Perhaps this is the point, in-universe, at this time. (The film is supposed to take place in the 90s, way before Nick Fury sends her that desperate pager call in Infinity War).

First trailers for the biggest blockbusters usually don’t provide much narrative, but I am sure I can pick this one apart enough for a quick post…so stop reading now if you are super sensitive to the mildest of spoilers.

THOUGHTS WHILE WATCHING THE CAPTAIN MARVEL TRAILER: “…She’s falling a long way. LOL, she hit a Blockbuster Video store. Nice in-joke (it’s a blockbuster movie), and also this is supposed to be the 90s, so that’s a good bit of iconic flashback.  And then there’s a mall scene…also very 80s-90s. I grew up in a mall myself. Nick Fury narrates: “Renegade soldier from above…space invasion”…Whut? Hey, Fury has two eyes! And I think that’s Phil  Coulson! Man, that went by too fast — I had to back it up three times to make sure who that was.  He hasn’t been in a Marvel film since The Avengers. Then there’s that ‘pager’ thing – Fury must have had it in his pocket for 30 years by the time Infinity Wars comes around…hmmm…it looks like a regular pager at this point, so I guess the super-tech follows later in the timeline. And, that’s kind of it. Besides Carol Danvers  decking an old woman. I’m sure that makes sense somehow.”

I asked RunPee Dan to take a look at the trailer, to see his thoughts. Dan: “It doesn’t answer much, but it looks good.” He also noticed that when Captain Marvel stands up from her fall into the Blockbuster Video store, there’s a good shot of her walking right past the “Action” section. Heh. Good catch, that!

Ultimately, I don’t expect this early trailer to provide the answers we’re seeking to resolve the  questions of Avengers: Infinity War. Probably only Avengers 4 — the as-yet-unnamed finale — will do that. (And it better!) This little preview gives us some hints, a teaser of possible directions. Notice the trailer doesn’t provide even one clue to Captain Marvel’s powers or skill set, except that she punches an old lady…so, yay?

Here’s the short trailer, for your viewing pleasure: 

 

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Content Director, and Managing Officer. RunPee Jilly likes sci fi movies, fantasy films, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder.

Fun Details You Didn’t Notice from the Halloween Trailer

Bringing the story back to its roots.

The new Halloween movie returns to its roots. Yeah! It cleans up the timeline — ignoring the iffy sequels and remakes.  Almost entirely. Right on!

It’s full of visual metaphors and clues reminding you of the original movie, and promising what may come. Will we see hints of chilling thrills, and a great concluding narrative — instead of continuity-breaking and random plot twists, or mere pandering slasher gore?

Learn many small details about this year’s exciting Halloween trailer, starring a strong-seeming Jamie Lee Curtis, bringing vengeance and the pain to her old nemesis Michael Myers.

Enjoy this seven-minute video that picks apart every minute and taunted promise of fun, for this good-looking, exciting finale of the 1978 classic!

Halloween 2nd Trailer Released, Curtis to Whip Some Psycho Butt!

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Content Director, and Managing Officer. RunPee Jilly likes sci fi movies, fantasy films, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder.

Halloween 2nd Trailer Released, Curtis to Whip Some Psycho Butt!

“Michaelllllllllll. Michaelllll….I’m coming for you!”

Halloween is coming — in more ways than one. We at RunPee couldn’t be more excited for Jamie Lee Curtis, after all this time (since 1978!), to scare HER psycho boogeyman Mike Meyers, and whup his deranged butt for once and for all. Some people just shouldn’t be allowed to go to prison, allowing for the potential of evil to arise again. (And I’m an unashamed tree-hugger who normally hates the death penalty.)

So, go Jamie go, take this mother down.  Terrorize him! It’s like Terminator 2: Judgement Day, but for an older woman, with nothing on her mind but preventing more atrocities. 

Off my soapbox now; sorry about that. I hope this movie is as good as it looks.  The 2nd trailer seems like a bit of awesome. Even the 1st trailer was good, but this one is a lot more intense. Enjoy, and get excited: 

Looking forward to Halloween? Will it be worthy, or just a sequel cash grab? We think Jamie Lee Curtis reprising her role speaks for a possibility of quality.

Fun Details You Didn’t Notice from the Halloween Trailer

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Content Director, and Managing Officer. RunPee Jilly likes sci fi movies, fantasy films, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder.

The Predator final trailer

I was underwhelmed after I saw the first few trailers for the latest installment in the Predator universe — however, this latest trailer shows the tone of the movie to be more humorous, with good fun action, than the previous trailers did.

Here’s why I’m the most excited about this movie: it’s written and directed by Shane Black. If that name sounds vaguely familiar, that’s because he’s as big a name in the action genre business as there is. Check out his writing credits: Lethal Weapon I, II, and III; The Last Boy Scout; The Long Kiss Goodnight, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang; Iron Man 3; Nice Guys, etc. He’s also the writer/director for the upcoming Doc Savage, starring Dwayne  (The Rock) Johnson.

If you’ve seen any of those movies you know that this guy writes action as well as anyone, but his dialog is what sets his movies apart.

And oh yeah, he was part of the cast of the original Predator movie as Hawkins — he died early.

So strap in, this movie is going to be a fun ride.

Creator of RunPee. Aspiring author.

Comic Con Releases Grim but Exciting Trailer for Fantastic Beasts — The Crimes of Grindelwald

The new trailer for JK Rowling’s Wizarding World was released to great excitement at the 2018 San Diego Comic Con. I didn’t manage to make it into the panel where it was released (SDCC is no joke, folks), but I was nearby at the convention center, and eventually got a look. I’m happy to say the preview’s got a bit of everything in it. Wizards, witches, critters large and small, heroes and villains, and lots of world building.

While Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald definitely sports that signature dark look from the latter Harry Potter films, there seems to be a little light and humor here and there. There’s hints of the majestic beauty that keeps legions of fans begging for glimpses of a world with magic in it.

Let me get this out of the way: the trailer is full of spoilers. If you don’t want to know anything that happened after the end of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, you might want to move along now. And as we ramp up to the holiday movie season, you’ll have to look away and hum whenever this preview comes up in the theaters (it can be done. I did it for The Last Jedi, and before that, Logan).

For everyone else, here it is. My thoughts are below and contain said spoiler items from the trailer: 

Okay, if you’ve plunged in, you saw all kinds of interesting stuff ahead. We start off with a return (YAY) to Hogwarts, and a revisit of the protective Ridikulus Spell against Boggarts. We see Newt as a young student, with his fear of a desk job. A bearded Jude Law steps in as our third Dumbledore, who’s already a Hogwarts teacher at this point. (For Protection Against the Dark Arts, it seems, which is weird. I though he taught Transfigurations?) Further, he’s not using The Elder Wand, so this helps place the movie more clearly in the Wizarding timeline.

Newt Scamander seems to have the New York crew back from his first movie. (Remember when we weren’t even sure Newt would return as the protagonist?) Adorable Muggle Jacob looks like he’s got his memory back, and the Niffler makes an appearance, begging for shiny objects.

One extremely charming appearance in the trailer: Nicolas Flamel is in the movie! AWESOME. You’d have to remember Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone to get this callback (HP and the Philosopher’s Stone for UK fans; the original title). Anyway, its the person whom the titalar “stone” refers. I am giddy. 😉

We also see Johnny Depp managed to hold onto his role, as controversial as that choice was at the time, and hopefully he’s got a better handle on where to take this character.

And somehow or other — this was teased at the end of the first Fantastic Beasts with a single ashy wisp escaping — Credence survived his apparent explosion. He looks like he’s got a better grip on his powers. Not a good thing. Maybe.

In the ambivalent section, Leta Lestrange (Zoe Kravitz) shows up. Is she as bad as her surname (and Queenie’s telepathy) fears? Could she be so awful if she was once so close to shy and sweet Newt? It’s hard to tell from the preview. She seems to hold some affection for her old friend.

Overall, the trailer is brisk and a bit gloomy. I understand Grindelwald is known as the most powerful dark wizard of his generation (a bit before Voldemort’s time), but Grindelwald was portrayed with more mischievous humor in the Harry Potter flashbacks. I hate to see that lost. This prequel series features grownups, but that doesn’t have to mean it’s a joyless affair.

Here’s the 17 minute Fantastic Beasts panel from Comic Con, if you’ve got the time to kick back and enjoy. And again, here be spoilers:

Also, on RunPee.com: 

Movie Review – Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Content Director, and Managing Officer. RunPee Jilly likes sci fi movies, fantasy films, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder.