Ad Astra

Rated Greg’s Top 5 Movie Dads

  1. Nicolas Cage (Raising Arizona)
  2. Alec Baldwin (Outside Providence)
  3. Sean Connery (Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade)
  4. Gary Cole (Talladega Nights)
  5. Bruce Willis (Armageddon)

Last week a friend was going on a movie date and asked me whether they should see Joker or Ad Astra.  I told her neither and to go see Hustlers.  My oh so stubborn friend, let’s just call her “Deesh”, disregarded my advice, chose Ad Astra, and then had THE AUDACITY to give me shit when she hated the movie.  I’m sorry, what?  She yelled at me for liking Ad Astra and giving it a B+, which is a grade I stand by, but I also knew two things.  1.  I knew this particular friend wouldn’t like Ad Astra.  It’s just not her type of movie.  2.  Even if she was someone that I would recommend Ad Astra to, it is a TERRIBLE choice for a date movie!  And so is Joker!  Joker and Ad Astra are honestly probably tied for the second worst date movie of the year, with Midsommer for sure being number one in that category.  You know what is a fun date movie though?  Fucking Hustlers is, that’s what (A+ btw). 

So Ad Astra.  It’s not just that jerk Deesh, I wouldn’t recommend Ad Astra to the majority of my friends.  Believe it or not the Brad Pitt space epic is not meant for the general public, despite the studio including two pretty cool action sequences for trailer purposes.  First off this film is just much more likely to resonate with men more than women (Sure, women will enjoy looking at hot Brad Pitt, but unlike Once Upon A Time in Hollywood he does not take his shirt off).  Not only that, but it will only be particularly affecting for men from a certain age that are sentimental about their fathers.   Ad Astra is introspection about a man dedicating his life to a career that would make his father proud, to the detriment of developing any substantial connection with another person.  It’s a mostly quiet, fairly artsy film that asks the question whether human beings might be better off living a lifestyle devoid of any real emotional capital invested in another.  There is an answer to that question at the end, but obviously you can discover that for yourself. 

One more thing.  I didn’t know Brad Pitt had this in him.  Obviously he’s great at playing weirdos (Snatch, Fight Club), great at comic roles (Burn After Reading, Inglorious Basterds), and great at being the coolest motherfucker in the room (Oceans 11, Once Upon A Time in Hollywood), but he’s never stirred up emotions quite like this in a dramatic role.  He’s clearly poured himself into his craft after a tumultuous period in his personal life and it shows.  Grade: B+

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