Gemini Man Review

Was that it?

“From the visionary mind of Ang Lee” screamed the trailer to which I wonder if the Oxford English dictionary would like a word because whilst Ang Lee might be a visionary (and I can see plenty of arguments either way) I don’t think he had much to do with this.

Written by the hack behind X-Men Origins: Wolverine might be a better idea.

A film that was supposed to be released in 1997 starring Clint Eastwood which proves Daniels third law of film criticism- If a film has been in development hell for more than ten years just put it out of my misery – would be so much better.

A dark look into cinemas future would be perfect.

Because plot wise there’s nothing here that you haven’t seen before before and done better. You want an over the hill assassin being targeted by a younger assassin? Assassins was released in 1995 and got star Sylvester Stallone nominated for an award. I mean it was a Razzie but an awards an award.

Or, if you would like a film about an agent being relentlessly pursued by their own  Government then I can recommend the Bourne franchise as well as a good anti-migraine medication.

But I get away from myself. Gemini Man- which has nothing to do with the American action-adventure drama series that aired on NBC in 1976. Instead it is about, as you’ve probably guessed by this point about Will Smiths retiring hit-man being pursued by a younger hit-man who turns out to be his clone and trained to be his superior in every way.

Now, there’s a lot here that you could work with- nature versus nurture, the morality of breeding clones purely for combat, possibly sparing ‘real’ humans from life changing physical and mental images, to never again have a mother bury a child, or even the hypothetical of what would you say to a decades younger you?

Sadly there’s not really that much debate in this film, I wasn’t exactly expecting Matrix levels of dialogue and debate but some sort of debate about the morals and ethics would be nice.

And whilst i’m working on my wish list to Santa, I would also like some character development, a slightly more original plot, some decent stuntwork, a slightly more original plot and would it be too much to ask for a slightly original plot?

I mean yes, this is still a passable film- Will Smiths boundless charisma can (and indeed has) carried far worse than this but if you look beyond the fact that your getting two Smiths for the price of one and instead realize that much like this years utterly ghastly Lion King remake that this is not really a film in and of itself but a tech demo disguised as a 138 million dollar film.

I mean the drokking thing was filmed at an extra-high frame rate of 120 fps, modified for 3D, neither of which were in my screening but even so, I’ve always found that this technique makes films look cheap and after a while just made me feel weird.

But the main draw of this film is its facial technology which means that not only can aging film stars now by grafted pretty well onto younger bodies (oh, I did try to find out who was playing young Wills body but I just could’t. Which does not bode well for the future of film.) I mean with this kind of tech, death doesn’t mean that actors stop working. Or action stars don’t get too old to do action films. The possibilities for this tech (once perfected, there were still a few uncanny valleyesque shots here and there.) Are boundless and incredibly morally dubious.

But back to Gemini man and we find that it’s best action scene- a highly inventive motorcycle chase goes on that touch too long and brought out at least two unintended chuckles from me. Other than that, theirs just nothing really here.

As a film Gemini man is generic and highly predictable. It has bits of cardboard that spout exposition as opposed to secondary characters and slightly thicker bits of cardboard posing as our leads. It has no intention of taking part in the debates that it could (and indeed should provoke) and highly generic action scenes which you’ve seen done before and better.

But this isn’t a film, it’s a glimpse of our highly tedious, deathproof future of cinema.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

My Score- Skip It

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Joker Film Review

So… I’ve been putting off off reviewing this for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, I was trying to track down Werewolf – An awesome sounding Polish film whereupon a group of children liberated from a Nazi concentration camp have to overcome hunger, thirst and vicious dogs in an abandoned mansion surrounded by the forest. Which sounded fascinating. And- shockingly for 2019 appeared not to be based off of a comic book.

But I wasn’t able to find  screening that worked so I found myself staring down the barrel of a screening of Joker, the 832nd comic book film that I think I’ve seen this year. It’s directed by the guy who also directed the Hangover trilogy and it’s gotten so much  more attention and think pieces than it deserves.

I mean, for all the people complaining about having the Joker without Batman, you do remember that Gotham has only just finished being a thing, right? That was literally a whole TV show about Batman’s villain but without Batman. Besides, the Waynes get shoehorned in anyway when they could and indeed should have been off-screen characters.

Then there are the complaints about all the ‘disturbing’ violence. Now, maybe I’ve seen too many over the top films but I found the violence to be pretty tame for what the film could have done and indeed the horrifying violence that The Joker is known for. I mean it isn’t glamorized in any way and it towards the end there’s a   scene that could have been shocking if the film had gone as far as it could and indeed should have. Personally, I was more disturbed by the scene is last years Teen Titans Go To The Movies where our heros go back in time and literally shove the Waynes down Crime Alley to their deaths.

I mean, for a guy who’s only made ‘comedies’ before this is a really good first try at making an adult, serious film of the type that got made in the 80’s before it became impossible to get anything made that isn’t a reboot or based off of a comic book.

Yeah, this isn’t your standard superhero film, it’s slow, showing us how a a man (played  amazingly by an almost certain to be nominated for but not to win an Oscar – Joaquin Phoenix). who looses what little he has, faces dark revelations from his past, gets failed by the mental health system, then accidentally inspires some kind of protest movement against the rich, one of his terrible stand up gigs goes viral (which DID NOT happen in the 80’s) lending him a moment in the spotlight AND he has some sort of relationship trouble with all the women in his life.

Now, if that sounds like a lot to cram in to a film with a 122 minute run-time then you’d be right. It’s also why the film came across to me as simply unfocused. You could have removed any of the plot threads and I think it would have been a better, tighter experience. I love Taxi Driver as much as anyone but you cant just swap out Travis Bickle with a clown and think that you’ve made the modern version of a classic.

Oh, one quick note, a fairly pivotal scene towards the end features a song by Gary Glitter, a convicted pedophile who is currently at Her Majesty’s pleasure and, as a result of this film stands to possibly make hundreds of thousands of pounds which I find completely unforgivable. Two seconds on Google could have prevented this and that’s all i’m going to say on the matter.

Back to Joker and I find that this film looks great, it’s dark and moody and just has this sense of unrelenting misery and pressure as Flecks support network is picked apart piece by piece but to me, after the first violent scene, the film just doesn’t quite seem to know what to do with itself. I mean, Joker has such little faith in itself that our lead at the end delivers a monologue on the ‘moral’ of the film that we just watched as though it’s a damn Saturday morning cartoon, if you have that little faith that your film has gotten it’s point across then just rewrite your film!

Joker is such a disappointment that I barely even know where to start. Yes, Pheonix is amazing, but laving him aside we find a very 2019 film in in 1980’s wrapping, it’s slow and yet overstuffed, it needed streamlining and then to go further with what it had. If you want to make a disturbing film, then make a disturbing film. Don’t just try and remake Taxi Driver because that’s not going to work for you. I don’t have an issue with the pacing or the tone but I would have made it more violent and actually given it something to say. The ingredients are here for something dark and disturbing as an ordinary man, through a run of bad luck turns into one of the most violent villains in comic book history. But that’s not this film. Oh, and get rid of the damn Waynes. No, not like that!

Which is a shame. Now, if you’ll excuse me i’m off to re-imagine other classic films as origin stories.

The Wizard of Doom?

Gone With The Magneto?

Some Like It Dark(Seid)?

My Score- Skip It

 

Hotel Mumbai Review

The 2008 Mumbai attacks (also referred to as 26/11) were a series of terrorist attacks that took place in November 2008, when 10 members of Lashkar-e-Taiba, an Islamic terrorist organisation based in Pakistan, carried out 12 coordinated shooting and bombing attacks lasting four days across Mumbai. The attacks, which drew widespread global condemnation, began on Wednesday 26 November and lasted until Saturday 29 November 2008. At least 174 people died, including 9 attackers, and more than 300 were wounded.

Eight of the attacks occurred in South Mumbai at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Mumbai Chabad House, The Oberoi Trident, The Taj Palace & Tower, Leopold Cafe, Cama Hospital, The Nariman House, the Metro Cinema, and in a lane behind the Times of India building and St. Xavier’s College.

The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel was specifically chosen by Lashkar-e-Taiba, a terror group who attacked multiple targets, for an attack so that it will be “striking a blow against a symbol of Indian wealth and progress”. The hotel was attacked on 26 November 2008, during which material damage occurred, including the destruction of the hotel’s roof in the hours following. Hostages were taken during the attacks, and at least 167 people were killed, including many foreigners. The casualties were mostly Indian citizens, although westerners carrying foreign passports were singled out.

Hotel Mumbai is a dramatic recreation of these events, with the focus mainly on the attacks that happened on The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel (known locally as the “Taj Mahal Hotel” or the “Taj Palace Hotel” or simply “the Taj”. No flashbacks, no scenes showing the mastermind behind the attacks, just the attacks.

In a way, I was reminded of the migraine maestro himself- Paul Greengrass’s  masterpiece of the 9/11 attacks United 93. (That’s the one without Matt Damon) There as well, we had the gritty camerawork, the complete lack of John Mcclane style heroics (as such actions will just instantly get you and everyone around you killed) insane levels of getting everything right- I mean a significant amount of actual dialogue in the film was repeated verbatim being taken from original transcripts of actual intercepted mobile (cell) phone calls during the 2008 siege, including calls between the ten terrorists and their handlers!

Sadly though, one thing United 93 has that Hotel Mumbai doesn’t is that the cast was a bunch of nobodies which meant that you were able to deeply immerse yourself into the story and feel the terror that our mostly unnamed characters were feeling. Except in Hotel Mumbai, we find enough star power to light up both Holly and Bollywood. I mean there’s no plot armor here but given that most of the characters are flatter than a jelly baby that’s just had a disagreement with a steamroller it distracts from the sheer terror of the situation.

Now, that’s not to say that there aren’t scenes in here that aren’t terrifying- there are, scenes showing people trying to hide from the terrorists desperately trying to keep a screaming baby quiet whilst a man with a gun is but a few millimeters away.

But not all of our characters are flatter than some tracing paper that had a run in with Godzilla, we find our films center in Dev Patel’s Arjun, a devoted family man who works in shoes that are too small and giving himself countless blisters in the process because he has no other choice and Patel gifts him with effortless likability but again, maybe that’s because he’s the only character who gets any real development. I mean, what was the point of casting Jason Issacs enjoys as a misogynistic Russian? Comic relief? Ham fisted arc? Or did Dolph Lundgren just not get back to you in time?

Look, I don’t want to take away from Hotel Mumbai, I get why these characters are thin, in life and death situations you aren’t going to be telling complete strangers your life story, are you? I liked how the terrorists went from joking kids to merciless killers in the blink of an eye, I loved the complete lack of flashbacks and the fact that the violence isn’t glamourised or dramtised, instead it’s just shown as horrific. I loved the way that the terrified survivors are always on the verge of turning on each other or how we see the police trying desperately to get a handle on the situation.

All I would ask to make this film better would be to remove the stars- he stories contained within are strong enough on their own and develop it’s characters a bit more. Aside from that I defiantly think that you should

My Score- See It Now

Ready Or Not Review

Ah weddings, the smile on the bride and grooms faces, the amazing food, trying to keep ‘that uncle’ under supervision whilst trying not to drop the bride during the first dance and then of course accepting the different traditions of each family with one side offering up something old something new, something borrowed and something blue (apparently a toy TARDIS is not acceptable) and the other side hunting the bride like an animal on her wedding night.

Wait, what?

Yeah, that’s the plot to Ready or Not – a 95 minute gore fest that is such a wonderful surprise at this time of year. I mean it’s such a simple idea and it’s just done so well.

Starring Samara Weaving (You can probably guess her uncle) stars in my notes as ‘probably not Margot Robbie’ but in the film as a lovely young woman called Grace. Who, upon marrying into the horrifyingly rich Le Domas family finds herself asked, on her wedding night to play a seemingly innocent game of hide and seek only to quickly discovers that if her new family find her before dawn then she’s seen defiantly her last sunrise.

I was halfway surprised to see that this wasn’t a Blumhouse (all praise them) offering as this is about as Blumhouse as a film can get.  Low budget, horror, cast of really good actors, loads of blood and gore and plenty of black humor.

There’s loads of other stuff to like here, pretty much the entire film is set in one giant wooden mansion which, lit mostly by candlelight looks really creepy and intimidating.

And then you get to our villains who… well, their just a riot! there’s just so much to unpack with them because on one level their your standard level of film super rich with pitch perfect casting with the overbearing parents, alcoholic son, drug taking daughter, her whiny husband and… their amazing.

Because their all in over their head! I mean, these people are using antique weapons that their not trained on, they keep attacking the wrong people, they can’t quite seem to decide if actually want to kill, help or just hinder poor Grace (real subtle name choice by the way) it honestly wouldn’t take much to see them turned into a slapstick, pantomime family. Instead, their just a riot.

Naturally they have a dedicated butler and several maids who don’t seem to mind that their now cleaning up blood and limbs as well as dusting.

Lots of blood.

Which also adds to the tension that this film is so good at. Will this member help or hinder Grace? Are thy dedicated to the kill or doing as little as they can? It’s such a good twist on what could be yet another story of rich family decides to kill poor/working class person. Weirdly though, with none of the controversies the accompanied The Hunt which, when it leaks online I will review.

But back to Ready or Not and… it’s the perfect modern B Movie for you and a couple of mates to enjoy with a few beers as Grace gets hold of a shotgun and shells at the midpoint and then smiles at how ridiculous this all is.

It is as good as a film of this type could ever hope to be. It just doesn’t put a foot wrong, with perfect casting, run-time, tone, lines, humor, a slight supernatural edge and a perfect mixture of creeping horror and black humor.

Look out Blumhouse, there’s a new horror studio in town, Fox searchlight studios…. Which is owned by Disney,  and this film is… distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

Wait, what!?!!?

This is a ~£%£ Disney film!?!?

Low budget horror is where I flee to to get way from the house of mouses’s relentless devouring of cinema. What, were your tedious CGI overloaded blockbusters delivering almost all of the money in the world not good enough? You had to go after the crumbs as well?

No wonder this films like it was almost a family film with terrifying villains forced to rough it with bumbling henchmen, with 100% less blood and a few songs this could have been a mainstream Disney film.

But it isn’t, it’s an amazing bloody little B Movie that you should really check out with/after a few beers.

Even if it is part of Disneys plan to devour cinema whole- I just cant wait to see these characters appear at Disneyland.

My Score- See It Now

Wolf Review

Soldiers versus werewolves. It’s a very simple premise that is basis of my very favorite film of all time- Dog Soldiers. So, when I find out that a low budget film is being released with this very premise I immediately leap into action and make sure that this film who’s budget is so low that it thanks AirBnB at the end of the credits and hasn’t released a single poster gets it’s moment in the spotlight!

Or…. I had some time to kill before my Screening of Ad Astra.

That works as well.

By the way, given this film has no Wikipedia entry, and barely anything on IMDB I feel like this is truly above and beyond. But, I swore to fly the flag for low budget filmaking and that’s what I’m going to do.

I just wish there was something about Wolf to be worth all the effort that I went to. I mean an 85 minute runtime? Including credits? Different seasons allegedly within a few days if not hours of previous scenes? And I know that this film could have been longer because… I’ll get to that.

Anyway, our brave soldiers are in Scotland and are holding to Dog Soldiers rule of  not breaking radio silence just cos’ they got spooked by dead flying fucking cows. Actually they don’t make any radio broadcasts because it’s 150AD and radios wont be invented until 1895.

Yes dunkers Wolf isn’t just Soldiers versus Werewolves, it’s Roman Soldiers versus Werewolves. No gunpowder, radios, vehicles or anything else that we take for granted. Also, since pretty much then entire film is set outside our troops are insanely vulnerable.

Not that they know it. Our troops are full of bravado, bravery and terrible dialogue until all three start to drain away as they begin to realize that their enemy is not just the locals and running out of wine.

Now, there were some good things about this film- the werewolves are kept off-screen for the vast majority of the film which works because when we do finally see them I promptly burst out laughing. If your budget was that tight then just turn the werewolves into zombies like happened in 1964’s War of the Zombies. It would fit better with the films tone and I mean Colin taught us that you can literally make zombie films for £45. And get that film to Cannes. And a two-disc Special Edition DVD release in the colonies.

But back to our roaming Roman Redshirts we find… not much really. You’ll have sussed out all of their arcs in the first ten minutes and look, when your probably paying scale I get that your probably not going to have a huge pool of actors to draw from but could you at least not hire someone who looks like they learned their German accents from old, slightly dodgy recordings of Allo Allo? Also, i’m pretty sure that the Scots didn’t have French accents from that same episode of Allo Allo.

But maybe my hearing was playing up because some mad genius has created a musical instrument which sounds worse than the love child of an accordion and a set of bagpipes. I mean, I’m sure that it’s historically accurate – half the credits were historical society’s and creator of Horrible Histories Terry Deary was mentioned at least four times in the credits, it also looked amazing, with the finest drone that you can order off of Amazon and the Blair Witch showed that it doesn’t take much to make some poorly lit woods scary.

I have an issue with the fact that most of the separating of Roman from Roman intestines happened off screen and that with the amount of blood and gore that we actually saw on screen I could easily turn this into an episode of Doctor Who. The rules for the werewolves keep hanging as well, sometimes they are too fast to see, always attack in darkness and near impossible to injure… until the last 5 minutes whereupon they decide that it really is time they died and de-power themselves, as well as attacking in daylight (which I’ve seen in no werewolf film ever), being unsure of if they want to kill all the squishy humans, bite them so that they turn into werewolves or turn them into modern art. Did one of our Romans bring the virus from France or was it just a coincidence?

There are flashbacks when we don’t need any, what action there is, is truly shocking and, there is one other BIG thing but it’s truly spoiler territory.

My Score – Fire

*SPOILER WARNING*

This film has the worst ending I’ve ever seen.  In fact, the end credits came up so abruptly that at the end of the credits I was expecting to see a Marvel style post-credits scene with the actual ending in but there was just nothing.

We end with our obligatory ‘kill me before I turn’ scene whereupon our last male character is killed and then all of our female characters decide that women can’t become werewolves out of filming nowhere then decide to head to Hadrian’s Wall to warn the Roman Empire about the werewolves and then the film just ends. With our main female characters (half of whom had very little to no screen time and one who had just shown up in the last ten minutes) deciding that all the werewolves were dead and that getting to the wall was easy peasy dear God what were you smoking lemon squeazy. And that’s the end of the film. With our leads just deciding to walk to the wall. In the middle of enemy territory. With possibly more werewolves out there. And no resources. Because that’s not something that I want to see- Charlies Angels BC with a 15 rating. Yeah, definaltly no audience interest in that.

Wolf is the worst werewolf film I’ve ever seen. No, it’s the worst Horror film I’ve ever seen. It squanders it’s interesting premise and somewhat fun characters, with appalling action, dialogue, accents and the worst ending I’ve seen in any film. Ever.

Now, if you’ll excuse me I’m off to watch Dog Soldiers again. It’s not perfect but it’s got some cracking dialogue and Werewolves that don’t look like they’ve just escaped from a not very good joke shop.

The Kitchen Review

Well that sucked.

Sorry, I normally do more of a lead in than that.

Well, that really sucked.

I mean the signs weren’t good – very little advertising, it had been out for three days before I even noticed, no-one online was talking about it, oh and it was released in the colonies 6 weeks ago but at least were getting it before Spain who get to ignore it on the 25th of October!

Seriously. Global. Release. Dates. Now.

Anyway, the kitchen is the directorial debut of Andrea Berloff based off of the Vertigo comic book miniseries of the same name by Ollie Masters and Ming Doyle. Whereupon Three wives of New York gangsters in Hell’s Kitchen in the 1970s continue to operate their husbands’ rackets after they’re locked up in prison. It stars loads of talented people and…

I just hope the graphic novel was better.

I mean, I was tricked by this film into thinking it was all-right until I woke up this morning and started typing before I realized just how much I didn’t like this film.

I mean, it was nice nice for my local Cineworld to put on a private screening just for me but there was no real need for it- I don’t yet mind mixing with the masses…

Oh, it wasn’t  private screening? I was the only person in the whole of London who could be bothered to go to that particular screening?

Sounds about right.

Back to the film and we find ourselves in a world that looks and sounds great. Awesome soundtrack and visuals, an inventive idea, some creative and interesting characters… all of which are completely wasted in this film. I mean, where to start? This film feels like it’s been edited to hell and back again with seemingly no regard for the content of the film. Whatever we know about our main characters in the first maybe three minutes, is all we ever know about them. I’m prepared to swear on oath that  McCarthy’s father and two children had no names and everyone else was just sort of… there.

I genuinely had no idea what this film is supposed to be about as it felt like all the scenes that develop character or tension or even showing the effects of the women’s actions had been cut out. There didn’t even seem to be anyone for the main trio to oppose in any serious way. Anybody that could pose a threat or impediment in any way shape or form is simply dealt with. Some before I even realized that they were supposed to be a threat.

A few… I think they were supposed to be twists at the end provoked less of an ‘Of Course’ moment in me and more of a huh?

I mean, I know that in Hollywood the mantra is allegedly ‘If you can’t make it entertaining make it short.’ But you didn’t have to make it so obvious!

I had no idea what each of the main characters were doing beyond walking the pavement so much that I began to wonder if this film had a phobia of indoor scenes. And the waste in this film. Just to give you an example of what this film could be, let me tell you just a few things of the so, so many things that this film wasted. A mother in law high up in the mafia who despises one of our leads for the colour of her skin, a corrupt cop keeping the feds at bay, various other gangs trying to cut deals with our leads all the while their incarcerated husbands watch on in bemusement and annoyance at what their wives are doing as the clock ticks ever down to their release when they can hopefully put things back to the way it was and should be.

Named characters die and it ha nowhere near the effect id should do, what scenes there are drag on too long when most of them needed a good few seconds shaved off as well.

The Kitchen has a good idea, possibly good characters, interesting themes and ideas that could have worked but not on the silver screen, this needed to be on the small screen. Developed over seasons, this could have been must see television, as three women fight against every obstacle that the current order can throw at them could be must see TV.

But in the cinema? It just doesn’t work. You can have all the glossy songs and locations that you like but if all you have is window dressing then that’s just not good enough. Especially given that there has been next to no advertising for this thing. It’s as if the studio went ‘we made it, it’s here now lets just get it out there for us to use as a tax write off.’

There’s nothing here to sink your teeth into, I mean, if you want a good female gangster film than check out Widows! Either the film or TV show that it was based off of. I mean at least in Widows you SAW things. Here, it feels like a video game movie where you see all the cut scenes edited together so you see the before and after effects of things but anything that is handled in game-play has been removed. Meaning it’s dull to watch.

The Kitchen needs to be a TV show. To develop it’s characters beyond the tracing paper thin offerings were presented with. Stretch out the run-time by at least another 40 minutes and use that to show me something worth watching, some depth to the window dressing, someone or something for them to oppose and this could have been could have been good. I mean there’s enough talent here to make almost anything work but their given to work off of here.

It tanked in the US and it’s going to tank here.

Good.

My Score- Skip It 

Ad Astra Review

Ad Astra is this years Interstellar. After a sense. I mean the soundtrack wasn’t made by recording someone who had fallen asleep on their organ, the dialogue sounds like it was written by someone who has actually conversed with what we in the trade call a ‘human being.’ As well as some characters featuring actual emotions. Limited emotions to be sure but they are there!

Also, the whole thing doesn’t have the air of a pulpy Sci-fi adventure being written by a slightly dull geogeraphy teacher.

Ad Astra (Which of course you all know comes from the Latin tag “per ardua ad astra” or “through struggle to the stars”)  has the air of a pulpy Sci-Fi adventure written by a slightly dull (and occasionally distracted) philosophy and ethics teacher.

I mean the plots straight out of an episode of an episode of Flash Gordon- As astronaut Roy McBride undertakes a mission across an unforgiving solar system to uncover the truth about his missing father and his doomed expedition that now, 30 years later, threatens the universe!!!

Space 2001 has also been thrown in the blender and one other which defiantly falls into spoiler territory in a review but you’ll suss out about twenty minutes in if your a fan of classic films. Or if you’ve ever been an errand boy sent by grocery clerks to collect a bill.

But away from INCREDIBLY SUBTLE HINTS we find an insane amount to love about this film. I mean it just looks amazing. I wasn’t able to catch an IMAX screening and I seriously feel like I missed out. Because as a result I wasn’t blown away by the visuals of outer space or simply by Brad Pitts acting. Seriously, if he doesn’t get something for this role than cinema really has no sense of justice.

And this film has stunning things to look at in abundance. Whether it’s the amazing opening scene, a tense- probably superfluous scene about half way thorough which, whilst tenser and more effective than some horror films didn’t really need to be there, did it film? Also it included pretty much the films only misstep with it’s visuals. Otherwise this film rarely puts a foot wrong.

Although I don’t think it’s going to make classic status- it falls just a hairs breadth of that. And in a film this good it’s only the little things that I can pick up on. There’s a fine line between satirizing product placement and just featuring product placement. I was never quite sure why… One main character did what they did and I was expecting some more debate about some of the films themes. Brads character is, for the first half of the film pretty passive and are you really going to hire Liv Tyler and give her literally nothing to do?

There’s a sense of inevitability about the whole thing which lends the film a dreamlike quality, I mean visually it is up there with Blade Runner 2049 (named after the number of people who actually saw the thing.)But there was just something holding this film back from greatness. Which is a shame as at one level it’s this epic – but realistic space opera and another it’s about what it means to be human and the bonds we have with each other.

Ad Astra is the most visually stunning film I’ve seen all year, it’s incredibly acted, shot, lit and should be seen on the biggest screen you can find it on. It’s vast in scale and yet intimate, all centered by career best work from Pitt. It’s exciting at times, thought provoking in others but there was just… something that stopped it from reaching the heights it should have and allowed me to love it in the way that I want to.

Maybe they should have gotten the soundtrack from recoding someone asleep on their organ after all.

My Score- (A Very Reluctant) See It