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Home / Entertainment / Criticism: "Ad Astra" is beautiful, cerebral science-fiction at its best

Criticism: "Ad Astra" is beautiful, cerebral science-fiction at its best



SPACE – The movie front has been quiet lately. We have come to the point where the summer blockbusters have closed for the season and just before the winners open their doors.

In the meantime, we usually get some B-movie action movies and a few lowbrow comedies, but a movie decided to resist the trend and start the award season ahead of time.

"Ad Astra" is now in the cinema and the science fiction film has aroused great interest. But how is it? This is a great question, considering that the trailers probably confused and fascinated you.

I think "Ad Astra" is an incredibly beautiful and well constructed movie. And while some will agree with me and leave the theater full of joy, it can frustrate many viewers. I'll explain below why I liked it so much, but I'll also tell you why this movie might not be one of your favorite movies.

"Ad Astra" is absolutely stunning in terms of graphics. It could only have been two hours of pictures and I would have paid the ticket price. Director James Gray and cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema have captured something truly special through the lens, and we are the lucky ones to experience it.

The scenes on Earth, the scenes in space, the scenes on other planets, and the moon are all expertly crafted and executed, and they are all a feast for the eyes. It's impossible to capture everything on screen, but it's a lot of fun to try, while the visualizations lock you in and take you into another world.

Brad Pitt is a good actor and has delivered some truly wonderful performances, including his As Cliff Booth's turn on "Once upon a time … in Hollywood" earlier this summer. But his role as Roy McBride in "Ad Astra" is perhaps the best he has ever done.

When Pitt turns into McBride, one forgets his other roles and focuses on this brilliant, tortured and struggling astronaut whom he portrays. McBride is an interesting character living in the shadow of a legend, learning facts he never wanted to learn, and venturing out on missions he does not understand the purpose. Pitt manages to do all this through his performance. His looks, reactions, tone, bravery, and suffering are obvious and real-to the point of forgetting that you are seeing a movie star, not a real person, who is experiencing these emotions.

Pitts appearance radiates a calm brilliance 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-packed. "Ad Astra" is the former with references to the latter.

When things get intense, the action is pushed to a 10, and your blood pressure rises. If you do not feel your heart pumping out of the chest during the opening sequence, you might want to check your pulse because something is wrong.

The movie is not just about having your heart racing. Rather, your head is spinning. The movie is cerebral, but not complicated. It is thought-provoking but not preaching. The film goes a fine line and it works fine.

The slow burning time of the film kept me busy as I wondered where we were going, what the next curtain would pull and how Roy McBride would do it. Respond to this new obstacle or overcome it.

Slow-burning science-fiction is not easy to perform and still entertaining, but "Ad Astra" is as successful as few other science-fiction movies.

While I found the slowness of "Ad Astra" captivating and engaging, there are many who will not do this – a firefight on the moon and a fall from a tower piercing the stratosphere are exciting points in the film, but rarely occur. Do not go into this movie and expect an action-oriented science-fiction epic full of space pirates and fistuffs, because this is not this movie.

"Ad Astra" is mindful of its speed and the contrast to the big superhero blockbusters that filled the summer movie series 2019. So if you expect action movies, you'll be disappointed. I think the marketing for "Ad Astra" was a bit misleading, and I want you to know what you're getting into.

During "Ad Astra" Nothing beats a Marvel movie or an exciting ride titled "Mission: Impossible". It's a beautiful science fiction drama full of emotions and minds. The movie is truly breathtaking in its cinematography and optics, but it will not be for everyone due to its slow burning time.

See a content guide for parents on film at KSL.com tomorrow. "Ad Astra is considered a PG-13 for some violent and bloody images as well as a short, strong language.


  John Clyde

About the author: John Clyde

John grew up with movies and annoys friends and family with his facts and knowledge. He also has a passion for sports and pretty much everything fantastic, and it just so happens that these are the three things he's writing about. Contact him on Twitter at @johnnypclyde.

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