First Men in the Moon

First Men in the Moon ★★★★

"Man-eating moon beasts! Electro-guns!" It's First Men in the Moon, an H. G. Wells space adventure, but really a hearty slew of Wells, Verne, Méliès, and of course, Harryhausen.

The latter's role here is actually less pivotal as far as giant monsters go, compared to the other four films of his I've seen—which only means the general story is more evenly entertaining.

His influence shows up everywhere else: in an executive producer role, gravity-defying effects, and truly astounding set design, all captured in gorgeous, wide Panavision.

Even more impressive are characters which actually grow over their journey that's never short of fantastic, but consequently—on the occasion—strangely profound.

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