Dallas Movie Screening

Dallas Movie Screenings started out as a mailing list on Yahoo Groups to facilitate finding free screening passes in the DFW area. When Yahoo Groups shut down, we are now posting screenings on our Facebook page at http://www..facebook.com/groups/dallasmoviescreenings
Earlier Reesa's Reviews can also be found at:http://www.moviegeekfeed.com

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Website and Group Contact: dalscreenings@gmail.com

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Ad Astra

Movies about space is usually a hit or miss venture. The science is usually more fiction than fact filled with aliens and space cowboys. This film directed by James Gray and co-wrote with Ethan Gross centers more on the inner space of the lead character Major Roy McBride (Brad Pitt). The voice over narrative may seem annoying at first, but it fills in the blanks as McBride is a somewhat terse and contemplative character. As an astronaut he is tight control of his inner self especially with the dangers of his job.

Set in the near future, there are settlements by various countries on the Moon and Mars. A series of power surges coming from Neptune is threatening life on earth and the planets. McBride is chosen for a secret mission to discover if this is related to his father Clifford McBride (Tommy Lee Jones) who had disappeared some 16 years previously in the rings of Neptune. They need Roy to go to Mars and hopefully communicate with the missing ship. Before boarding a commercial transport to the moon, he has to spend a month in quarantine to make sure no weird germs will be shared there. On the way to the connecting ship to Mars they are attacked by pirates who chase their rovers. The Cepheus has 3 crew members. They are given mood stabilizers for the 19 day trip, but Roy doesn't take them. A mayday message from a space station turns out to be a bad idea and they lose the captain. Roy ends up taking control of the ship when the co-captain is unable to land the Cepheus manually.

The scripted messages the Roy is supposed to send to his father doesn't get a response until Roy goes off script. Then they tell him that he can go back to earth now. With the help of the Mars station manager (Ruth Negga), he breaks into the Cepheus who are charged with nuking the Lima Project ship. The once friendly crew tries to take out Roy. Needless to say, Roy ends up having to do the trip on his own.

The various hit and miss action sequences help to convey the dangers of space travel. But the story itself is mostly about the the father and son relationship as Roy has to come to terms with being abandoned when he was six years old. They assumed his father was dead when the Lima Project disappeared. Roy facing his daddy issues can hopefully mend his personal relationship with his wife Eve (Liv Tyler). People in the future are constantly being monitored with psychological, pulse and blood pressure testing while answering a series in innocuous questions. Roy is always cool as a cucumber.

Cinematography by Hoyte van Hoytema who also did Intersteller and Dunkirk is outstanding. It's worth seeing this on the IMAX screen. Brad Pitt's performance is one of his best. While everyone enjoys watching fun sci-fi fantasy adventures, it's also important to explore what are current technology can do for us in our near future. Hopefully while we are still around to enjoy it.
(Review by reesa)

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