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Information

Year
2019
Runtime
123 min.
Director
James Gray
Genres
Drama, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller, Mystery
Rating *
-
Votes *
0
Checks
1,092
Favs
85
Dislikes
13
Favs/checks
7.8% (1:13)
Favs/dislikes
7:1
* View IMDb information

Top comments

  1. WanderingSoul's avatar

    WanderingSoul

    Can we officially classify 'middle aged man dealing with family crisis / trauma through epic space adventure' as a subgenre now? Because between this, Interstellar and First Man we've got a lot of that going down these last few years. Thankfully this is probably the best film out of the three, or at least refreshingly different enough to stand apart.

    Love the different visions of space travel we're presented with here. From an epic but just about credible man-made construct that opens the film, to the grimly believable hyper-commodified representation of space tourism* (you'd absolutely be charged for a blanket ), to the beautiful, angular, sandy desolation of Mars... just an all round great piece of sci-fi (many) world building. Hoyte van Hoytema is one of the best cinematographers in the business, and thankfully I think Gray as a director is in far less of a rush than Nolan always is so you get more moments to savour the awesome sights before we move on. It's not a particularly slow film, but it does take the time it needs. The score hits the right tone too - absent the bombast you get in most films of this ilk, and instead sort of glides along unusually while keeping with the rhythms of the film.

    If you've seen The Lost City of Z, this is operating in broadly the same tonal register - this incredible adventure set against serious, moody contemplation on human folly. While this can often be a bleak, sombre film in that respect, it ultimately lands on a spoiler. It can drift into overly ponderous territory at times, but I mostly appreciated its self-seriousness: it knows exactly what it is.

    This is a much more accomplished performance from Pitt than we saw in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood... a few weeks ago. His work there is great, but kinda feels like his brash comfort zone at the same time. This is a much more reserved performance and demands more as a result. He pulls it off. I appreciate how the movie keeps at a distance from him - I mean, it's hard to be totally on board with spoiler - that I for one felt befit the film's overall sense of internalised melancholy. Everyone else is more or less here for a cameo.

    Stray thoughts: loved the lunar rover chase, thought that was going to be silly but works great on the big screen. The film gets very on-the-nose spoiler and while it's briefly a bit eye-rolly I'd absolutely take it over the embarrassing faff of Interstellar's final act any day of the week. It's always good to see a film with such forward momentum - everything kicks into gear nearly immediately - that still feels like it has the time to slow down and contemplate about the bigger picture from time to time. A very fine film.
    1 month 4 weeks ago
  2. Siskoid's avatar

    Siskoid

    Despite feeling like an introspective space drama, Ad Astra is really action-packed and works as an adventure movie in a future very well-derived from the space programs we have now. If there are plans for it, they're in this movie and they feel like exactly what would happen (and how it would LOOK) if we keep investing in space. The realism is perhaps the film's greatest strength, taking its cue from 2001's second act and actively showing us the future, making it look brilliant, and using real physics to complement the experience (the way sound works is especially well done). It's also a father-son story writ large, about a deadbeat dad who left his family and never looked back, and a son who's had to live in his father's shadow and has only nominally learned to deal with it by ignoring it rather than facing it. The entire journey, across an impossible distance, is a therapy session (which sometimes dovetails into narration, a cinema sin when it's all pretty obvious) in a world where space travelers are constantly required to keep in chill. Mental health, one of this century's big concerns, has its fingerprints all over this. And then you can also look at it from orbit and see that questions of isolation and interconnectivity are really broader human issues, and that human pettiness is at odds with human reality in the grander scheme, the need to reconnect with a father really the need to connect with people as a whole, as opposed to seeking something else, something necessarily better to our misanthropic idea of humanity, out there. In the film, that's the cosmos, but in our world, it may be fiction, or hobbies, or materialism, or whatever. Ad Astra is pretty thought-provoking for what is on the surface of it an exciting space adventure. 1 month 3 weeks ago
  3. Minamu's avatar

    Minamu

    If you love the high speed tempo of 2001, Blade Runner, and the original Solaris, you will also love this stepchild :) I certainly did, it was great. 1 month 3 weeks ago
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