August 5, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES I, II, III & IV • Page 19 ‘For All Mankind’ documents quest to reach the moon by Dennis Seuling “For All Mankind” (Criterion Collection) was made two decades after man first set foot on the moon. Director Al Reinert pored over hours of NASA footage from the nine Apollo missions launched between 1968 and 1972 to put together a fascinating documentary in which 16-millimeter cameras operated by the astronauts themselves show the interior of the spacecraft and the surface of the moon. Reinert went back to the actual camera film magazines, kept by NASA in cold storage, to ensure the best image quality. The documentary has recently been released in the Blu-ray format. Most people have seen clips of the first moon landing and incidental shots from the capsules that delivered men to the moon’s surface, but Reinert’s movie provides a more in-depth experience of what it was like in claustrophobic spacecraft on the long journeys to the moon. The soundtrack includes ground control personnel discussing various readings, banter between the men in space and those earthbound, and even the astronauts breathing. When a musical soundtrack kicks in, it never overwhelms the images, which in some cases are spectacular. July 20, 2009 marked the 40th anniversary of man setting foot on the moon and there was a great hoopla surrounding it, but prior to that, the space program had Earth and an Apollo lunar module, one of the incredible images in ‘For All Mankind,’ a documentary about man’s odyssey to reach the moon. maintained a low-key presence. “For All Mankind” is a reminder of the majesty of space exploration and the scientific achievements necessary to send people to the moon and return them successfully. All footage is edited into a single journey, so the end result plays more as a vast quest than an individual mission. The Blu-ray edition includes a restored high-definition digital transfer; audio commentary by Reinert and Apollo 17 Commander Eugene A. Cernan, the last man to set foot on the moon; a making-of featurette; “On Camera,” a collection of excerpts from on-screen interviews with 15 of the Apollo astronauts; and a booklet featuring essays on the movie. “The Soloist” (Paramount Home Entertainment), based on a book by Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez, is a most unusual buddy film. It is a tale in which a reporter looking for a human interest subject comes to see a man who lives on the street as a human being, not just a story. Lopez (Robert Downey, Jr.) hears the strains of a violin in an L.A. park. Following the sound, he discovers a homeless man (Jamie Foxx) accompanied by a shopping cart filled with his worldly goods. Trying to make conversation with the al fresco musician, Lopez learns his name is Nathaniel Ayers. In a litany of manic babble, Nathaniel mentions that he once was a student at Juilliard. Lopez senses a story for his next column, and an unlikely bond between the two men begins. “The Soloist” sparkles when Foxx and Downey are on screen together. This is an example of chemistry between two actors being crucial to viewers buying into the story. Blu-ray extras include a making-of featurette, deleted scenes, and director commentary. “Icons of Screwball Comedy” (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment), available in two volumes, each containing four movies, features some of the biggest stars of Hollywood’s Golden Era. Screwball comedy customarily focused on affluent individuals who get themselves into peculiarly awkward situations and try to extricate themselves, only complicating matters in the process. The genre flourished during the Depression primarily because it was purely escapist, with the characters in the movies seldom concerned with earning a living or feeding their families. In Volume One, Jean Arthur stars as a down-on-herluck cook who charms a millionaire (Herbert Marshall) into playing along as her husband so they can get work in “If You Could Only Cook,” then as a girl who finds herself legally wed to two men (Fred MacMurray, Melvyn Douglas) in “Too Many Husbands.” Rosalind Russell is the sensible elder sister whose pretty younger sister (Janet Blair) brings a host of eccentrics through their Greenwich Village apartment in the original film version of “My Sister Eileen.” Russell then battles her patient’s (Lee Bowman) impulses while suppressing her own as a proper psychiatrist in “She Wouldn’t Say Yes.” In Volume Two, Irene Dunne plays a small-town author whose racy bestsellers, written under a pseudonym, bring her unwanted notoriety when a New Yorker (Melvyn Douglas) discovers her secret in “Theodora Goes Wild.” In “Together Again,” Dunne plays the mayor’s widow who (continued on Crossword page) K A S S C H AU 51 Years of Free Summer Entertainment Under the Stars ������������������������������������ ������������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������������������� ��������������������������������������������������������������� State Line 375 State Highway 17 North, Mahwah Open 24 Hours, 7 Days Join Us For Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner The Best Got Better! MEMORIAL SHELL ������������������������� ������������������������������� Diner - Restaurant 201-529-3353 Now Serving Cocktails, Espresso & Cappuccino ����������������� � ������������������� � ������������������������� � $ 00 ������������������ � ������������������������������������� � �������������������������������������������������� �������������������������������������������������������� �������������������������������������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������������ ��������������������������� On $10.00 and over. With this coupon only. One Coupon per table. 5:00 to 9:00 pm only. Off 1 $ 00 VT On $20.00 and over. With this coupon only. One Coupon per table. 5:00 to 9:00 pm only. Off 2 VT