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JohnC

Ad Astra

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8 hours ago, K said:

 

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during the scene where Brad Pitt's in the booth recording the message to his dad, chatting to the dude with the man-bun behind the glass, was it just me who kept thinking "yes, I can hear you Clem Fandango"?

 

I was the first thing that came to my mind too.

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19 hours ago, K said:

 

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during the scene where Brad Pitt's in the booth recording the message to his dad, chatting to the dude with the man-bun behind the glass, was it just me who kept thinking "yes, I can hear you Clem Fandango"?

 

:lol: 

 

I hadn't thought that, but unfortunately I always will now. Which pretty much rules out a proper rewatch.

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On 24/09/2019 at 12:29, Fitzcarraldo said:

I can see why this leaves people cold, but I absolutely loved it. Apocalypse Now meets The Tree of Life in space. Incoherent rambling of why I think it touched me so much:

 

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A beautiful, thoughtful look at human relationships and the scars the bad ones leave behind. You can shut yourself out of all emotion, maintain a sub-80 heart-rate, pass routine psychological tests and you can even travel billions of miles from earth to get away from it all, but, as McBride's anxiety-riddled monologues show, still waters run deep and you take your emotional baggage with you, no matter where you go. In the emptiness of space, all you have are your thoughts and eventually they must be confronted.

 

McBride's father abandons everything in pursuit of personal glory and to expand human knowledge of the cosmos, but what's the point? What good is finding intelligent life when we can't even make peace with ourselves? We already have intelligent life on earth but we mistreat and destroy it everywhere we go. We ruin their habitats, we eat them, we experiment on them in labs and send them off to space. In Ad Astra, humans have mastered space travel to such a degree that flights to the moon are not only normal, they are banal enough to offer economy class seating, yet passengers are warned to stay within designated zones due to territorial disputes. We make giant technological leaps forward for mankind, but we are emotionally stagnant. McBride's initial entreaty to his father (his first meaningful contact with him in decades) takes place on a station built by humans on Mars, written for him by strangers.

 

The point of it all for McBride's father is, I suppose, to know that we aren't alone. That we aren't floating in solitude through a vast nothingness, hands clasped in prayer to invisible gods that might make sense of it all. The killer is that his father, in his "failure", is blind to the answer it leaves, which is that we aren't alone and never have been. A lesson his son - terrified of following in his footsteps - realises before it's too late.

 

 


I agree whole heartedly with this. But at the same time, the more I think about it, the more dissapointed I am with it. 
 

Spoiler

 

It was a lovely film in many ways and had some incredible moments. The opening was fantastic, it's vision of near future humaity, expanding into the solar system was excellent. 
It crossed over the "bad gravity" line a few times annoyingly.  The moon buggies were fine but their walking on the moon was way off for example.

 

It was the ending that has really let me down though. Not the characters journey, I think Fitz has nailed how well that was done. But the Father, he was just there to provide this moment for his sons character development. The entire film hinged around it. But everything about that section of the film was poor. None of it hung together. Never mind the crossing the rings scene or the explosion pushing his ship home nonense.

 

 

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Just back from seeing it . 

 

My quick review:



Man comes to terms with his relationship with his father ( or lack thereof) via a great big pointless space journey

honestly this could have easily saved a shit load of budget and been a road movie from New York to LA.

 

pitt was good though .

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I agree with the general consensus in this thread. This was a really confused film.

 

Spoiler

It seemed to make a lot of effort to be hard sci fi with the space antenna opening and believable near future tech, then made zero effort to simulate moon gravity in the moon base scene, and bizarrely introduced a space baboon half way through. It would be immediately improved by completely removing the voice over, which removed any ambiguity. It felt surprisingly low budget at times too, especially during the Mars scenes. It's always great seeing this type of sci fi on a huge imax screen, but there wasn't much in the way of emotional engagement beyond the spectacle.

 

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Yeah. The space/sci-fi element was nothing more than an aesthetic choice for a standard daddy issues film. 

 

The film would have been essentially the same if the dad was in the Amazon rainforest, or had defected to North Korea with a fancy weapon or was living in a retirement flat in Orlando or something. With fewer need for

 

space baboons

 

The more I thought about this the more I dislike it. It's nicely made at times but the story and script are just baws, and I don't think Pitt is a subtle enough actor to make his character interesting. And as for sci fi, well something like The Expanse makes this look like the cartoon it is. 

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Thoroughly enjoyed this and it looked stunning on an IMAX screen. Very aesthetically pleasing movie plus I love anything to do with space.

 

I thought Pitt might have returned to his fathers ship and continued his work / live in solitude. 

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I found this decidely mixed.  As someone said above, would have worked better without the sci-fi trappings. The sci-fi elements are so poor it makes it feel like a high quality remake of a straight to video movie called Antimatter Surge.

 

I nodded off just after

 

Spoiler

He met his Dad

 

And then they were floating in space.  My wife couldn't explain why

 

Spoiler

His dad just decides to float off

 

Didnt much care though. 

 

The return to the ship was desperately stupid. 

 

Quote

Director James Gray has said it will feature "the most realistic depiction of space travel that's been put in a movie."

 

:lol:

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I'd be super-interested if someone clever could calculate the required acceleration to take you to Neptune (with one planned stop at Mars and one unplanned stop before mars) in the timescales depicted in the film.

 

I suspect the trip would involve being smashed against the rear bulkhead for the entire duration rather than floating about.

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I guess the more they try to make a film like this realistic, the more  the bits that aren’t realistic stand out. The timescales are impossible, but at least they acknowledge that it does take a long time to get to Neptune and don’t fudge it with some kind of magical FTL drive. There were little bits like that all through the film, like the way that explosions on the moon cause huge clouds of dust to hang in the air, or where Brad Pitt reaches out to the wisps of moon dust drifting above his moon buggy, which is all nonsense because there’s no atmosphere to suspend the dust in, it’d all drop like lead shot. But at least they made the effort to try for realism. It's pseudo-realism rather than actual realism, in the same way that, say Gran Turismo doesn't permanently write off your car when you crash it.

 

To be honest, the bits that annoyed me more where the sections where the science was extremely vague, like the bit at the start where the news report talks about the surge being cause by cosmic rays that come from space. It reminded me a bit of that Mitchell & Webb sketch about the sci-fi drama written by extremely lazy writers who haven’t bothered to do any research.

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Like most, I found this a real mixed bag - which is a shame because when it was good it was very, very good. But when it was bad, it was horrible. 
 

Let’s be clear, it looks fantastic. Like, proper mouth-half-open-popcorn-falling-out fantastic. And the fact that it interspersed the slow, tense scenes with scenes of high octane thrills was, for me, the right way to go and not at all jarring. Each scene built on a rising tension towards a final confrontation. The movie seemed to play with the viewer’s expectations, it assumed the viewer has seen Apocalypse Now. 
 

And that’s what makes it such an unsatisfying film. The voice over is a given - it’s completely terrible and unnecessarily. The real problem is that it builds up to... nothing. The omnipresent sense of threat ultimately gives way to nothing. The promise of reconciliation goes unfulfilled (for really unclear reasons). Space baboons. And to finish it all off...

 

Spoiler

Space surfing. Cowabunga dude!

 

So yea. Some really great stuff in there. And I really love that it’s a Movie Where Not Much Happens. I really liked the vision of near future humanity - that great mix of 2001 meets Virgin Galactic (really not sure why the space flights in the actual movie are Virgin Atlantic branded, total own goal) and I really enjoyed the journey into the heart of darkness. But it just didn’t really amount to much in the end. 

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I think you're right that it's a film that assumes you've seen Apocalypse Now, and is indirectly leeching that movies gravitas.

 

The big issue with this is that as good as Apocalypse Now is it still has that deeply unsatisisfying scene with Kurtz near the end. An obese Brando turning up on set unprepared and mumbling some semi-coherant calendar philosophy.

 

The memory of it taints this movie.

 

Spoiler

The only possible conclusion to Ad Astra seemed to be a meeting with a boring, self-indulgent loon with nothing much to say. And that's exactly what was delivered.

 

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Saw this tonight. Not sure what I make of it yet. Very steady pace (perhaps like a ship's journey through space?).

 

That that the overall Newgate read over of hope.... But not sure it really hit home at the end. 

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Viewed this afternoon. Just above average for me but enjoyed the cinematics. Definitely a one watch film.

 

Spoiler

Strange how astronauts of the future have to be Vulcan like. Also thought Pitters was going to utter "cells interlinked" during the psych tests.

 

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