Movie Review: Ad Astra (2019)

Space, the final frontie- Hold on, this isn’t “Star Trek”. This is something else… so let’s talk about it.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Ad Astra”.

Astronaut Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) must go on a potentially dangerous mission across the stars to try to uncover the truth behind what happened to his space-traveling father many years ago. And before you get too many assumptions, I have to tell you that this isn’t really that kind of space adventure. Don’t expect “Star Wars”. This is a slowly burning character study that will test the patience of some viewers. That’s not to say that there aren’t exciting bits in this movie, there are. But the more action-packed stuff is less of a priority here, making way for the slow burn drama. And I found it quite engaging. It’s not my favorite space drama, that crown still goes to “Moon”, but I still thought the plot of “Ad Astra” was very good.

There’s really only one character worth talking about here, and that is Roy McBride, played by Brad Pitt. He’s shut off his emotional as a response of something that happened in his past. Which makes him a very reserved individual, not letting a lot of people in. And he goes through quite an interesting arc in this movie, making him quite a nuanced character. And Pitt is fantastic in the role. Yes, it’s a very subdued performance, but you can read so much just from eyes. And there are some damn solid supporting players here too.

The score for the movie was composed by Max Richter, and my god, it was fantastic. It often has a very dreamlike quality that perfectly complements Roy’s personal solitude, in combination with the desolation that we call space. Synths, strings, some piano, these are just some of the elements that get blended quite wonderfully to create the mesmerizing score.

“Ad Astra” was written by James Gray and Ethan Gross, with Gray handling direction. Gray’s direction manages to be both sweeping and intimate, really giving us some impressive vistas in combination with the tightness to Pitt’s McBride. His direction manages to generate a decent bit of emotion, making me care. Then it also builds some pretty good suspense in parts. And let’s talk about Hoyte van Hoytema’s cinematography, which is some of the most stunning I have ever seen, taking my breath away at many points. Seriously, the craft in this movie is meticulous.

This movie just came out, so scores may change. But so far it has been quite well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 81% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 80/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,3/10.

“Ad Astra” isn’t for everyone… but I thought it was great. It has a really good plot, a really good central character, great performances, fantastic music, and great writing/directing/cinematography. Time for my final score.¬†*AHEM*. My final score for “Ad Astra” is a 9,62/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Ad Astra” is now completed.

Ad Astra is about Brad Astra seeking his Dad Astra. The movie’s not Bad Astra, in fact it’s quite Rad Astra, which makes me very Glad Astra.¬†

Movie Review: The Incredible Hulk (2008)

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We all love Marvel, that is a fact. Sure, everyone got different favorites, but we all love Marvel in general. You can (for the most part) never fault them for making something¬†horrendous that no one will like. And I also think we can all agree there has never been a proper Hulk movie. I mean, how do you make a movie about a green raging goliath but keep it interesting? Well the movies from the 70’s and 80’s are not really what we are looking for at least. And the Ang Lee directed movie from 2003 was just kinda boring (Even though the comic book based on it was amazing). But that movie did not do too well with critic and stuff, so of course people thought something in the vein of “Making a good Hulk movie is impossible… we will never get one”. Then five years later comes a new Hulk movie that gets people thinking “Hmm… maybe there’s hope after all!”. And that movie is the one we’re talking about today!

Hulks and She-Hulks… “The Incredible Hulk”!

Anyone who knows about the backstories of the biggest Marvel characters of course know the story of the Hulk. Scientist Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) tries some weird experiment on himself to find a cure for gamma radiation but it goes a bit wrong and he gets a power which turns him into a giant green rage monster whenever he gets angry (Or as this movie makes it seem; When his pulse goes over 200). He also has a loved one named Betty (Liv Tyler). So after Betty’s father the General (William Hurt) finds out about Banner and his powers, Banner runs off. And that is basically what we get from the backstory that is featured in the opening credits of this movie. But the actual movie is set after that. Bruce is in hiding in Brazil where he works at a soda factory. One day the U.S. soldiers who have been looking for him for a few years finds him, led by Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth), Bruce has to escape back to the U.S. to find help and a potential cure for his Hulk powers. And that is basically the main story(ish). And while it may not sound interesting coming from me, it is actually very well done with a few twists and a good execution. I especially like how they went with the thing of Bruce learning to kind of control his anger and heart rate with the help of meditation and breathing exercises, it gives a lot more depth to the character. I also like the whole sort of “On the run, hiding from the army who wants to weaponize my ultra dangerous powers” story. I don’t know why, but it makes the whole thing moe interesting to me. And I gotta admit, there was a part of the story which I will not spoil that I was not particularly interested in. I am just gonna say it involves one of the characters who’s name is on the poster. And no, it is not Bruce.

The characters were okay I guess. They were not bad, they just didn’t interest me that much. Sure, Bruce Banner is one of the most complex characters ever and I did enjoy him in the movie… with a little help from him being played by Edward Norton. But I didn’t feel too invested in the other characters. Sure, Emil Blonsky was pretty cool, but that was mainly because he got a fair amount of screen time and I like Tim Roth as an actor. Overall… the characters were okay.

The music… epic orchestral pieces. For the battle and chase parts, indeed. But then we had some strangely suspenseful tracks for when Bruce was trying to stay hidden and run away from the soldiers who were chasing him. So yeah, I really liked the music.

I have to admit, the camera work in this movie was pretty damn good. There were a few cool landscape shots that looked really good and the rest of the camera work was pretty good. I also have to point out that the CGI wasn’t too shabby either! There isn’t too much more to say either than there are no less than THREE cameos in this movie that were pretty cool to have. Sure, one of them was the obvious Stan Lee cameo that every Marvel movie has, but there are two more that were really cool and pretty surprising. I’ll give you a clure to one of them… the original Hulk. The other one you will see for yourselves why it is so cool.

Time for the more than average reception for “The Incredible Hulk”. On Rotten Tomatoes we have a 67% score. On Metacritic we have a score of 61/100. Roger Ebert gave this movie 2,5/4 stars. On imdb.com this movie has a score of 6,9/10.

I would honestly like to say that this movie is the optimal Hulk solo movie. I am not kidding about that, the chance of making a Hulk solo movie that is better than this is incredibly slim. So now… time for the final score! My final score for “The Incredible Hulk” is an 8,72/10 and a recommendation to buy this movie. While it is not perfect and could definitely be better it is still a movie with a good story, good performances, good special effects and Edward fucking Norton!

“The Incredible Hulk” is now reviewed.

I honestly think that Edward Norton is the best Bruce Banner ever. Sure, I really liked Mark Ruffalo in “The Avengers” as well, but I think Norton fit a little better for the character.