SPACE – Things in the movie up front are quiet. We are in place after the summer blockbusters closed the store for the season, and just before the award candidates begin to open their doors.
In the meantime, we usually get a few Type B action movies and a few low-level comedies, but one movie decided to downplay the trend and start the awards season early.
Ad Astra is already in theaters and the science fiction has generated a lot of interest. But how is it? This is a great question considering that trailers are likely to leave you confused and intrigued.
I think Ad Astra is an incredibly beautiful and well-crafted movie. And while some will agree with me, leaving the theater absolutely delightful, it can leave many viewers frustrated. I'll explain why I liked it so much below, but I'll also let you know why this movie might not be your cup of tea.
Ad Astra is absolutely stunning in terms of previews. It could have been just images for two hours and I would have paid the ticket price. Director James Gray and cameraman Hoyt Van Hoytema have shot something really special through the lens and we are the lucky ones to get through it.
The scenes on earth, scenes in space, scenes on other planets and the moon are all expertly created and executed and all are eye candy. It's impossible to drink everything on screen, but it's a lot of fun to try as your visuals encapsulate and transport you to another world.
Brad Pitt is a wonderful actor and has turned into some really wonderful performances, including his turn as Cliff Booth earlier this summer in "Once Upon a Time … In Hollywood." But his turn as Roy McBride in "Ad Astra "May be the best thing he's ever done.
While Pete becomes McBride, you forget about his other roles and focus on this brilliant, tormented and struggling astronaut he represents. McBride is an interesting character living in the shadow of a legend, learning facts he never wanted to learn, and embarking on missions that don't understand the purpose. Pete manages to give us all this through his execution. His appearance, reactions, tone, courage and sorrow are obvious and feel real ̵
There is a quiet twinkle in Pete's performance that will probably stand out as one of the best, if not the best of his career.
Science fiction films often fall into two categories: cerebral and action, "Ad Astra" being the first, with hints of the latter.
When things get intense, the action gets pushed to 10 and your blood pressure rises. If you do not feel your heart pumping out of your chest during the opening sequence, you may want to check your heart rate because something is wrong.
But the movie is not that your heart is racing; rather, it makes your head spin. The film is cerebral, but not complicated. This is a thought provoking, but it does not preach. The movie goes fine and goes well.
The slow-burning nature of the movie kept me engaged as I eagerly awaited where we were going, what the next curtain would reveal, and how Roy McBride reacted or overcame this new obstacle.
Slow-burned science fiction is not easy to download and still fun, but Ad Astra succeeds in the way few other science fiction films have.
Although I've found that the slow-burning character of Ad Astra is enthralling and compelling, there are many who will not.
I have the feeling that you need to know that the action sequences found in the trailer – such as a shootout on the moon and a fall from a stratospheric tower – are exciting points in the movie, but are few and far between. Don't go into this movie expecting an action-oriented sci-fi epic filled with space pirates and fists, because this is not this movie.
Ad Astra is deliberate with its stride and antithesis to the great superhero blockbusters. that filled the summer movie bar in 2019. So if the action is the kind of movie you expect, you'll be disappointed. I think Ad Astra marketing can be a little misleading and I want you to know what you are getting into.
While Ad Astra is nothing like a Marvel movie or the thrill of Mission: Impossible, it's a beautiful science-fiction drama filled with emotion and brains. The movie is really stunning in its cinematography and visuals, but it won't be on the lane at all because of its slow-burning nature.
Check KSL.com tomorrow for a guide to content parents for the movie.
The Ad Astra is rated PG-13 for some violence and bloody imagery and for short strong language.