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Ad Astra

Ad Astra, a 2019 science fiction drama movie directed by James Grey and starring Brad Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Liv Tylor, Donald Sutherland among others. It is more of a psychological drama movie rather than pure technology although there is a lot of science frontiers being broken down as shown in the movie, for eg. colonies in moon, Mars and space travel to Saturn, Jupiter & Neptune. Brad Pitt (Roy McBride) is the son of Clifford McBride (Tommy Lee Jones) who has gone away to space for 30 years in search of intelligent life on the universe, in the process he has travelled to Saturn, Jupiter and now stationed near Neptune. His space station has created some cosmic ray disturbances which has affected Earth also, so the son sets out to locate his dad in the vast universe, which takes 79 days from Mars itself. Lot of emotional tug of war between father and the son later, earth is safe from the cosmic disturbances and the power surges. The movie drags a bit in the middle especially when Brad is about to reach Neptune to find his dad after 3 decades. There is no emotional re-union sort of, the Dad has more or less lost his contact and interest in Earth. The movie was nominated to the Oscars in the sound mixing category. The special effects in the movie is quite extraordinary, it is in the human connect that the movie finds its weak spot. 

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Once upon a time in Hollywood

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Watched this movie yesterday, its a contextual movie in the sense that it relates to a gruesome incident that actually happened on 8th August, 1969 viz. the gruesome killings by Charles Manson and his cult members. Much like Inglorious Basterds, Quentin Tarantino directs his angst at violence with his own band of violence, as if saying this is what should have happened, this is how Hitler should have been killed, this is how the Manson killers should have been done away with. In a way it is Quentin’s silent ode to Sharon Tate who was so badly killed on that fateful night. Sharon who was a newbie actor and who could have gone on to attain some stardom had her life not been snuffed out that night. Brad Pitt as the stuntman plays his part to perfection and the violence at the end is stunning to say the least. Leonardo di Caprio is the over the hill actor so unsure of himself, but frankly i thought he need not have been nominated for best actor part in the Oscars. Best film, yeah, best direction, certainly, Quentin is at his brilliant best. Probably this movie should have been released three to four years ago, when Charles Manson was still alive in jail. Quentin’s contempt for the cultists comes out strongly in the brutality of their death and the fact that Charles does not appear even once in the film.

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