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    • Director James Gray's film AD ASTRA starring Brad Pitt hit theaters recently.

      The official summary:

      Thirty years ago, Clifford McBride led a voyage into deep space, but the ship and crew were never heard from again. Now his son -- a fearless astronaut -- must embark on a daring mission to Neptune to uncover the truth about his missing father and a mysterious power surge that threatens the stability of the universe.

      I try to always support original science fiction storytelling (see my previous review of WANDERING EARTH here) so I made the trek to find a theater showing the film yesterday.

      What I liked about it: the original approach to imagining our spacebound future (it's very heavy on SpaceX and Virgin Galactic-style references - although in the film the commercial lunar flight Brad Pitt takes is actually provided by Virgin Atlantic, believe it or not)!

      The Lunar Surface is depicted as being a typical travel destination as opposed to the furthest reaches of our travel possibility (there's an interesting discussion with the film's space advisor here on how he doesn't want to see an Applebee's in space).

      There's also some high-octane action courtesy of a chase scene on the lunar surface, which incorporated the different gravitational aspects of space in an interesting way.

      The film's pacing varies: it's at its strongest when you as the audience alongside Brad Pitt are contemplating the unfathomable reaches of space and the determination of the human spirit. The visual effects are stunning.

      If you're in the mood for an original take on a space epic, I'd recommend checking out AD ASTRA. And if you've seen the film, I would love to hear your thoughts on it as well!

    • I MUST see this, and tonight! That trailer really got me. Thanks for the awesome review. ❤️

      I hope this isn't too crass, but among the many things I've always respected about him is how he's kept in shape. He works really hard at it, both on exercise and diet. Anyone who can look like this at 55 gets major respect from me:

    • Instead of going the night you posted the review, Vilen, Kevin and I went together for a matineee on Thursday. We LOVED it. Great special effects, great acting, great although heavy story. I’d see it again, and I don’t say that about many movies.

    • Yeah, I absolutely loved it too. The plot felt a little contrived, but the emotional story telling was fantastic. So many deep lines, like this one:

      'I’m unsure of the future, but I’m not concerned. I will rely on those closest to me, and I will share their burdens, as they share mine. I will live and love.' - Roy McBride