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Subject: "Ad Astra (James Grey, 2019)" Previous topic | Next topic
bwood
Member since Apr 03rd 2006
7953 posts
Mon Aug-19-19 12:03 PM

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"Ad Astra (James Grey, 2019)"


  

          

https://youtu.be/P6AaSMfXHbA

My boy say it last night and loved it. O hope he's right as I've been waiting on this one since it was announced.

Premieres next week at Venice International Film Festival.

Please be good.

------------------------------------------
America from 9:00 on: https://youtu.be/GUwLCQU10KQ

  

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Topic Outline
Subject Author Message Date ID
Damn
Aug 19th 2019
1
Raves coming out of Venice
Aug 30th 2019
2
It’s Gray n/m
Sep 01st 2019
3
Very likely this will be the next movie I pay good money to see in theat...
Sep 06th 2019
4
On a personal level, this is a minor masterpiece for me
Sep 22nd 2019
5
I really liked this
Sep 22nd 2019
6
Weird experience, mostly for good I think
Sep 22nd 2019
7
I appreciate how you summed up the lack of emotional impact of the film....
Sep 24th 2019
9
Fucking fantastic. Easily one of the best of the year.
Sep 23rd 2019
8
Great James Gray New Yorker Profile
Sep 24th 2019
10
He did an awesome appearance on The Ringer too
Sep 24th 2019
11
a visual and aural triumph
Sep 30th 2019
12
Great fi weak sci
Oct 03rd 2019
13
all over the place. horrifically bad voice over.
Oct 08th 2019
14
family this was not good. we dont have to lie to ourselves about that.
Oct 13th 2019
15
I saw it with my dad, which was weird
Oct 15th 2019
16

obsidianchrysalis
Member since Jan 29th 2003
7282 posts
Mon Aug-19-19 07:39 PM

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1. "Damn"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

This looks legit. Might have to see this opening weekend.

  

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mrshow
Charter member
12561 posts
Fri Aug-30-19 03:08 AM

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2. "Raves coming out of Venice"
In response to Reply # 0


          

Can’t wait

  

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benny
Member since Jan 15th 2003
7591 posts
Sun Sep-01-19 10:40 PM

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3. "It’s Gray n/m"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Saw the trailer without having any idea he was directing, but now it’s easily my most anticipated of the year. He hasn’t missed yet as far as I’m concerned

------------------------------
For the record, my teams:
MLB: Mets / Soccer: PSG
NCAA BB: Arizona / NCAA FB: Michigan
NBA: Spurs / NFL: Jets
===
"Si la meuf est bien physiquement, je ne refuserai pas grand chose"

  

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Kahlema
Member since Jan 31st 2003
16850 posts
Fri Sep-06-19 02:06 PM

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4. "Very likely this will be the next movie I pay good money to see in theat..."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Looks very intriguing. Love Brad Pitt and Tommy Lee Jones. Also movies/shows with a space/sci-fi aspect to it I'm generally drawn to.

-------
peace and love

that's when i tiptoed out ur inbox (c) ricky

http://instagram.com/kahlema
http://twitter.com/jazzlema

  

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bwood
Member since Apr 03rd 2006
7953 posts
Sun Sep-22-19 01:48 PM

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5. "On a personal level, this is a minor masterpiece for me"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

If you had told me that at the beginning of the year that 55 year old Brad Pitt would put out 2 movies within the span of 3 months that would speak to me personally about the point of time I'm at in my life right now, I'd laugh in your face.

Absolutely see it in IMAX.

------------------------------------------
America from 9:00 on: https://youtu.be/GUwLCQU10KQ

  

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obsidianchrysalis
Member since Jan 29th 2003
7282 posts
Sun Sep-22-19 06:21 PM

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6. "I really liked this"
In response to Reply # 5


  

          

The special effects were great and the moon buggy scene was really well done. I liked how the scene incorporated the natural laws of physics.

Brad was excellent. He really carried the emotional weight of the story. He sold the heaviness of the loneliness he carried with him through life.

******* SPOILER *******

I liked how the basic premise of the story was that its good for Roy (men) to get in touch with their emotions and emptiness surrounding the lack of love from their fathers. Take for instance, the scene where Roy decides to speak from his heart rather than act stoically. He did something unexpected and in a way desperate, but his openness was rewarded.

I wish the scenes with Roy and his father were a bit more satisfying. I don't know enough to know what exactly I expected. Maybe the scene outside of the outpost was that closure. Then again, I heard a review which criticized that aspect of the movie and so my perceptions maybe were biased.

***********************


I really liked the scene where he has his confession about the intimacy issues he has.

Ruth Negga was good, as usual. I liked that Roy at least had one ally with him on his mission.

The writing was good as well. The plot didn't have many holes and it created stakes which seemed plausible.

Like the pacing especially. The movie was 2 hours but while it moved along deliberately, it never felt overdrawn.

I'd give it a A-. As I sit with it more, the more I realize how excellent it is.

  

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Nodima
Member since Jul 30th 2008
13978 posts
Sun Sep-22-19 10:05 PM

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7. "Weird experience, mostly for good I think"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

It follows all the beats you'd expect from a "son travels to find his presumed dead father" movie, narratively it takes absolutely zero risks. What makes that so interesting is that everything else about the movie is so inspired, particularly it's often dull presentation of the big set pieces and both Brad and Tommy's relative disengagement from everything exceptional happening around them.

My eyes perked up when I saw the DP in the credits after, because Ad Astra also felt simultaneously very strange and very familiar. Turns out, he was the DP on both Interstellar and Dunkirk, two other movies that captured impossible and fantastic scenarios with both wonder and a sort of, yeah, of course it looks and works like this detachment that I think found its apex here.

But that also means the emotional beats aren't very emotional, and I couldn't tell if that was the point. I saw this movie in a 3/4 full cinema but both during and after the movie I felt like I was walking out of a small arthouse theater into the already-closed bar in the lobby. Nobody was reacting to it during or talking about it after, and I caught myself more than once wishing the movie would get past it's "necessary" action and emotional beats (specifically the punctuation of a mayday call and a lot of the final conversation in deep space) because it just wasn't connecting with me like the sheer visual and audio spectacle on display.

Walking home, I figure that probably was a goal of this movie, to make the audience aware of how the wrapping paper of it all practically stiff arms the audience away from really connecting with its content beyond a visceral discomfort driven by the set design, soundtrack and cinematography. And I really admire that about it; it's a movie I'll like to see again when it comes home to see if it holds up without the potential for surprise and the magnified scope of the theater. It's a far better MOVIE than Dunkirk, but I have a nagging worry it might shed a lot of its intrigue on a home screen with a home audio system in the same way Dunkirk did.


~~~~~~~~~
"This is the streets, and I am the trap." � Jay Bilas
http://www.popmatters.com/pm/archive/contributor/517
Hip Hop Handbook: http://tinyurl.com/ll4kzz

  

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obsidianchrysalis
Member since Jan 29th 2003
7282 posts
Tue Sep-24-19 12:19 AM

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9. "I appreciate how you summed up the lack of emotional impact of the film...."
In response to Reply # 7


  

          

I appreciate how you summed up the lack of emotional impact of the film, especially the relationship between Brad and Tommy Lee's characters.

It's not that the message of shedding blame and resentment of bad parenting wasn't gotten across, I just wanted a cathartic moment.


************* SPOILER *************


Maybe the scene in space Brad screams after his dad floats away was supposed to be it. But that didn't quite connect for me.


*********** END SPOILER ***********

  

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Frank Longo
Member since Nov 18th 2003
83084 posts
Mon Sep-23-19 11:16 AM

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8. "Fucking fantastic. Easily one of the best of the year."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Brad Pitt is having the best year of his career by far. James Gray continues to *crush* it with these obsession/toxic masculinity movies. Great supporting turns across the board, great score. In a just world, the Oscars are all over this movie (though I doubt Disney campaigns it).

For beer lovers: http://thebeertravelguide.com
For movie lovers: http://russellhainline.com

  

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mrshow
Charter member
12561 posts
Tue Sep-24-19 02:03 AM

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10. "Great James Gray New Yorker Profile"
In response to Reply # 0


          

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/09/16/james-grays-journey-from-the-outer-boroughs-to-outer-space

  

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Nodima
Member since Jul 30th 2008
13978 posts
Tue Sep-24-19 06:39 AM

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11. "He did an awesome appearance on The Ringer too"
In response to Reply # 10


  

          

https://www.theringer.com/2019/9/19/20875212/ad-astra-is-a-masterpiece-and-brad-pitt-has-won-2019-plus-james-gray-on-making-his-space-epic

I'd never heard the guy at length before, it's wild how often he references painters.

This post made me think of that interview partially because he spends a few minutes talking about how uncomfortable he is about that New Yorker piece. The most interesting bit for me is when he gets into why he thinks European general audiences appreciate his movies more than American audiences.

~~~~~~~~~
"This is the streets, and I am the trap." � Jay Bilas
http://www.popmatters.com/pm/archive/contributor/517
Hip Hop Handbook: http://tinyurl.com/ll4kzz

  

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benny
Member since Jan 15th 2003
7591 posts
Mon Sep-30-19 04:29 PM

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12. "a visual and aural triumph"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

really interesting how much the movie manages to mix in thrilling action to what is essentially a soulful reflection on searching within yourself, without overwhelming it at any point. The lunar rover chase in particular is stunning, going instantly into the pantheon of sci-fi scenes.

------------------------------
For the record, my teams:
MLB: Mets / Soccer: PSG
NCAA BB: Arizona / NCAA FB: Michigan
NBA: Spurs / NFL: Jets
===
"Si la meuf est bien physiquement, je ne refuserai pas grand chose"

  

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dba_BAD
Charter member
14872 posts
Thu Oct-03-19 07:42 PM

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13. "Great fi weak sci"
In response to Reply # 0


          

imo

__

fairweather

  

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ternary_star
Charter member
15119 posts
Tue Oct-08-19 06:48 PM

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14. "all over the place. horrifically bad voice over."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

did it want to be a somber dissection of a broken relationship or a pulpy sci-fi action romp? realistic depiction of near-future space travel or Michael Bay-level stupid space opera? a handful of great moments ruined by a over-the-top obvious and unnecessary voice over that explains every minor bit of subtext.

  

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Reeq
Member since Mar 11th 2013
7644 posts
Sun Oct-13-19 10:33 PM

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15. "family this was not good. we dont have to lie to ourselves about that."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

------

  

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Walleye
Charter member
14567 posts
Tue Oct-15-19 07:23 AM

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16. "I saw it with my dad, which was weird"
In response to Reply # 0


          

It's pretty on the nose, so I wish I'd investigated a bit further than noting that people had called it a movie about fathers and sons. Because if I'd read more than a paragraph of any review, I think the central metaphor of "guy travels to Neptune to have a conversation with his dad" would have smacked me in the face in print just as thoroughly as it did on screen and we could have seen something that didn't result in such an awkward conversation afterward.

I really enjoyed it though. It was kind of thrilling to watch them pull off something close and emotionally intimate in the furthest reaches of space. Any complaint I had while watching it was kind of turned upside-down throughout. Seemed like the emotional backstory was a bit underwritten at times, but that meant leaning on some really good actors *and* letting my imagination freight the story with some additional metaphors. Not just fathers and sons, but Boomer fathers and Gen-X sons. Not just Boomer fathers and Gen-X sons, but the grand world-building experiment of post-war liberalism and the ultimate emptiness of trying to, uh, transcend the idea of transcendence. And a truly Augustinian antagonist who needs to die alone before he ever gets to his "late have I loved you" moment.

Anyhow, it was brave to let a dummy viewer like me stuff all of that into the story, because outside of the fucked up father/son narrative all you've really got to go on is Brad Pitt's marvelously flat evaluations of his interior state and Tommy Lee Jones working the shit out of the lines on his face. That's some generous movie making.

Could have used more Ruth Negga. I mean, not really because they almost should have made this with only two characters. But that's my permanent reaction to seeing her on screen because she's wonderful so I'm going to stick to it whether it makes sense here or not.

______________________________

"Walleye, a lot of things are going to go wrong in your life that technically aren't your fault. Always remember that this doesn't make you any less of an idiot"

--Walleye's Dad

  

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