XIXAX Film Forum

Ad Astra (James Gray, 2019) Plot Details

jacques100 · 20 · 4526

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Reply #15 on: October 11, 2019, 02:11:47 AM
Currently in my top 5 for the year. Pretty masterful and thoughtful film.

James Gray doesn't make commercial films, and he is one of the best American filmmakers working today.


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Reply #16 on: October 11, 2019, 02:19:14 AM
it doesn’t disrobe your compliment, but this is an explicit commercial film within the intentions of Gray. call it like it is

Something Spanish

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Reply #17 on: October 31, 2019, 04:37:14 PM
There's still an avalanche of great movies coming out in the next two months, still hard to imagine Ad Astra being displaced from my top five this year. Gray is another one of those directors who has yet to fuck up, delving into defining humanity's purpose in a magnified manner that has blown me away every time since WOtN. Yes, its through-line is umbilically attached to Apocalypse Now, but its rumination on mankind and familial psychological influence shuttles into fascinating spaces. Pitt kills it. Gray kills it. An incredibly moving outer space adventure drama.

Jeremy Blackman

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Reply #18 on: December 30, 2019, 12:00:28 AM
This is an excellent companion piece to Rise of Skywalker — a few great scenes in a bad movie.

Light spoilers: The ultimate destination, and what the film intends to do with that destination, is heavily telegraphed throughout. I was hoping and praying that it would swerve and surprise me. Somehow the third act is even more dull and pedestrian than I could have imagined.

The scene-to-scene writing is flat-out bad, complete with a voiceover to provide steady doses of cringe. The story and concept are uninspired. It's a crime to use a script like this one when you clearly have very talented people working on the movie.

Spoiler: ShowHide
In the way that Gravity was basically just a very expensive therapy session for Sandra Bullock's character, this is about a father-son relationship. The big dumb metaphor was truly breathtaking—"You need to let go, son... let go of MEEEE." Good lord that was so awful.

I'm frankly tired of below-average family dramas masquerading as science fiction.

If you're insistent on making your sci-fi film about family, you can actually do both and pull it off if you take the science fiction seriously — the way Interstellar does, in my opinion.

Don't worry though, we included a philosophical question about being alone in the universe. (Apparently those astronauts were able to defy science and prove the absence of something.) Humans need to let go of God and aliens the way Brad Pitt let go of his dad. So really all we've got is each other. But we also need to learn to let go... of... each other... sometimes? So dumb.
"Hunger is the purest sin"


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Reply #19 on: December 30, 2019, 12:11:53 AM
Again, I need proof that Gray's writing has ever been anything more than average at best. It's what will always hold him back and why he'll never truly break through to the upper echelons of directors.