Ryan Gosling, far right, plays astronaut Neil Armstrong in "First Man."
Ryan Gosling, far right, plays astronaut Neil Armstrong in "First Man."

First Man (Universal, Blu-ray or standard DVD, PG-13, 140 min.). Two years after they collaborated on "La La Land," which won six of the 14 Oscars it was nominated for, director Damien Chazelle and lead actor Ryan Gosling (Oscar nominations for "La La Land" and "Half Nelson") came together to make "First Man," the remarkable true story of astronaut Neil Armstrong, who overcame personal tragedy and near-death experiences to become the first man to step on the moon. The film has earned Oscar nominations for visual effects, production design, sound mixing and sound editing.

Based on the biography of the same name by James R. Hansen, the film is an intimate portrait of Armstrong (1930-2012), a test pilot who was profoundly affected by the loss of his 2-year-old daughter Karen to cancer, but carried on with a stoic outward demeanor to become the face of the country's moon mission. Along the way, at least two test flights -- one of the X-15 plane and one of a lunar lander -- almost cost him his life. He did see other astronauts die, three in an earlier Apollo test and one close friend in an airplane accident. It is a very internalized performance by Gosling, who is superb.

Chazelle does a wonderful balancing act, with some amazing action sequences that place the viewer inside the cockpit or the capsule with Armstrong contrasted with Armstrong's ordinary home life, colored by the loss of his daughter, and the grandeur of the successful Apollo 11 mission to the moon. Strong support in the domestic scenes is provided by Claire Foy (Golden Globe nominated for the role) as Janet, Armstrong's wife and mother to their two sons, Ricky and Mark. On the astronaut side, key roles are played by Corey Stoll as Buzz Aldrin and Lukas Haas as pilot Mike Collins on the Apollo 11 flight, Jason Clarke as Ed White, Christopher Abbott as Dave Scott and Patrick Fugit as Elliot See, with Kyle Chandler  as Deke Slayton, chief of the Astronaut Office, and Ciaran Hinds as Bob Gilruth, director of NASA's Manned Spacecraft Center.

Before settling down to tell of his daughter's battle with cancer, the film opens with a wild ride, as the viewer is placed inside the cockpit of an X-15 test flight, which goes awry when the craft bounces off the atmosphere into space and Armstrong has to battle to regain control of the aircraft while fighting not to lose consciousness. Later, Chazelle places the audience in the Apollo 11 capsule, as it takes off and heads towards the moon. Both are technically awesome sequences. A similar intimate sequence takes place when a roll problem develops in the Gemini 8 capsule after an in-orbit test of docking with an unmanned Agena rocket, with Armstrong and Scott as the astronauts.

The realism of the photography is outstanding and the many bonus features show how it was accomplished, especially the use of LED walls as backgrounds (Putting You in the Seat, 7:09). Also wonderfully detailed are looks at recreating the moon landing in a quarry (6:01) and shooting at NASA (3:11), plus the actors' three-day astronaut training boot camp (4:02). There is feature audio commentary by Chazelle, screenwriter Josh Singer and editor Tom Cross, plus two deleted scenes (4:17) that include an extra tragedy the Armstrong family endured when their house burned down (some nice theremin music in this scene; Justin Hurwitz's score won a Golden Globe). There also are looks at the collaboration between Chazelle and Gosling (3:40) and why it was the right time to finally tell this story in a major motion picture, including an interview with author Hansen (3:59); Armstrong's two sons talking about their father (4:31); and how the lunar lander test accident sequence was reenacted, with Gosling doing most of his own stunts (2:42). Grade: film 3.75 stars; extras 3.5 stars

Rating guide: 5 stars = classic; 4 stars = excellent; 3 stars = good; 2 stars = fair; dog = skip it

Johnny English Strikes Again (Universal, Blu-ray or standard DVD, PG-13, 88 min.). The third Johnny English spy spoof reunites Rowan Atkinson ("Mr. Bean," "Black Adder") as Johnny with sidekick Jeremy Bough (Ben Miller of "Paddington 2") from the first film in 2003. The central joke here is that old-school spy Johnny is an analog guy in a digital world, which actually is a plus because Britain's MI7 files have been hacked, releasing all the details on every undercover agent. Johnny, now teaching geography, and spy craft on the sly, at a private school, is one of the few former agents still undercover. (In an amusing bit, the other three old spies are played by Michael Gambon, Charles Dance and Edward Fox in one funny scene.)

The first feature film directed by David Kerr (numerous TV series, including "Inside Number 9"), the comedy leaves the fate of Britain in the bumbling hands of Johnny, who must uncover the source of the cyber attack and stop it, as new attacks have tied up all the traffic in London, and Prime Minster Fiona (a fun comic turn by Emma Thompson) is to host the G12 Summit in a week's time. Johnny and Bough first travel to the South of France (one of several echoes of the earlier Bond films, in particular "Goldfinger," as well as the music cues) in a bright red Aston Martin. One bit has them pretend to be waiters to steal a suspect's cellphone, only Johnny is asked to remove the shell from a patron's lobster. Here, Johnny moves from Bond to Clouseau.

The duo are pitted against spy Opehlia Bhuletova (Olga Kurylenko of the Bond film, "Quantum of Solace"), with Johnny taking her on in a couple of battles. Jake Lacy ("Miss Sloane," "Rampage") plays Silicon Valley tech billionaire Jason Volta, who is trying to convince the Prime Minister to turn over all of Britain's Internet capabilities onto his servers.

While the film has an excess of Atkinson's silly dancing, there is a brilliant sequence in which Johnny dons a VR helmet to learn the layout of a target mansion, only he fails to turn on the treadmill like surface and instead wanders outside into the real world, interacting in hilarious ways with real people he cannot see, while he thinks he is battling virtual characters. The VR trip even gets him atop a tourist bus.

Bonus features include audio commentary by director Kerr; and looks at four main supporting characters (7:12), the sets and locations (4:03), the cars (5:07; Atkinson used his own Aston Martin and did most of the stunt driving), the gadgets, including the exoskeleton suit (6:08), the virtual reality scene (4:14), the Johnny English legacy (5:06) and Atkinson's comedic talents (4:58; British Thompson calls him "our Buster Keaton"). Grade: film and extras 3 stars

Jonathan (Well Go USA, Blu-ray or standard DVD, NR, 100 min.). In the slightly science fiction film, Ansel Elgort (so great in "Baby Driver") plays the title character, who works at an architectural firm mornings and goes to sleep by 7 p.m. When he awakes the next day, he views the video log left by John (also Elgort, but almost entirely viewed only on video). John is his brother, who shares the same body, each living in a 12-hour shift, as managed by Dr. Mina Nariman (Patricia Clarkson). The videos to each self are so each knows what the other has done and there are no slipups to reveal their multiple consciousnesses in one body.

Problems start when Jonathan finds a bar napkin in John's pants while doing laundry. John never told Jonathan he went to a bar, so Jonathan goes to the bar and discovers Jonathan has a girlfriend (Suki Waterhouse as barkeep Elena). Jonathan starts to stalk Elena and even hires a detective (Matthew Bomer of "Glee," "The Normal Heart") to track John -- the PI thinks he has been hired by his client to track himself, which is a weird first). When John finds out, he goes silent in his anger, taping no video messages for days. Jonathan starts to seek out Elena and companionship soon develops into romance. This leads John to some radical moves.

The central concept of the two completely different personalities is never fully explored, especially the science part. Certainly, we see in the videos that John has a much more outgoing personality. Also, the film's ending is not so hot. The film is worth watching for Elgort's performances. This is the feature film directorial debut for Bill Oliver, who also co-wrote. There are no bonus features. Grade: film 3 stars

The Lost Village (First Run Features, DVD, NR, 90 min.). This documentary is about the effect commerce and especially New York University have had on changing Greenwich Village from the epicenter of the counterculture in the 1960s and 1970s to a wasteland of chain stores, banks and multi-million dollar condos. The film, by Roger Paradiso, who I believe narrates as well, mainly focuses on two events: former student Mandy, masked, telling her story at a rally of how she had to turn to prostitution to pay the extremely high  tuition fees (over $36,000 annually) and saying many others have done the same; and NYU's plans to construct four huge, tall new structures, a $6 billion dollar commercial project. Some of those interviewed point out that student debt has become the new serfdom.

What never is really addressed is why students are willing to pay such a high tuition, which the film says is artificially high to pay for development and large salaries for heads of the school. I also expected more on how Greenwich Village used to be and its transition, but there are only a few old-time photos. Paradiso's approach is to intercut back-and-forth between two opposing views, such as Mandy's speech and the spokeswoman for a "sugar babies" group of young women paid by men to be companions. Paradiso does talk to journalists, activists, shop-owners, professors and students. Overall, while the film presents valid arguments, they are not presented in an effective way. The editing seems amateurish and this viewer soon lost interest in the film. Grade: film 2 stars

When Harry Met Sally ... (1989, Shout Select Blu-ray, R, 96 min.). Directed by Rob Reiner, written by Nora Ephron and starring Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan as Harry Burns and Sally Albright, the romantic comedy has two friends find out 11 years after meeting that they might be the perfect couple. The film also stars Carrie Fisher and Bruno Kirby. This 30th anniversary edition is from a new 4K scan of the original camera negative. New is a conversation with Reiner and Crystal (44:34). Ported over from previous editions are two audio commentaries: one by Reiner, Ephron and Crystal; and the other by Reiner alone; as well as a making-of documentary (33:21); seven deleted scenes (7:24); a Harry Connick Jr. music video ("It Had To Be You"); and seven featurettes, including a 2008 meeting between Reiner and Ephron talking about the project's evolution (19:58). Other featurettes talk about the locations and whether men and women can be friends. Grade: film and extras 4 stars