Ad Astra (James Gray, 2019)

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domino harvey
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Re: Ad Astra (James Gray, 2019)

#76 Post by domino harvey » Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:18 pm

I loved that scene, and the shock and sheer WTF of it was fantastic-- I think it's intended to disorient and it does, in a fresh and novel way

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Re: Ad Astra (James Gray, 2019)

#77 Post by therewillbeblus » Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:23 pm

It was by far my favorite scene in the film, which admittedly I didn't love, but it was inspired and bizarre in all the right ways

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Re: Ad Astra (James Gray, 2019)

#78 Post by knives » Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:42 pm

Mr Sausage wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:58 pm
knives wrote:What was up with that ape? The only part of the movie I wouldn't defend. Even on the thematic level it's a bit mush.
No doubt a reference to the apes we sent to die in space as a test for whether humanity could cross that barrier and survive. Past sins taking a sudden and angry revenge. Before heading out into the cosmos, Pitt has to deal with a brutal, oft-forgotten part of our legacy of space travel.

Not sure why everyone's down on this scene just because it's hard to interpret. That's what make it interesting.
I don't think it was hard to interpret (though Dom's additional commentary does make me appreciate it more). I just don't it was well integrated into the narrative which on first viewing threw me off a lot.

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Re: Ad Astra (James Gray, 2019)

#79 Post by Roger Ryan » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:48 am

I found Ad Astra to suffer from some of the same issues as 1917 in that there are too many big action set-pieces that, ultimately, distract from the drama of the basic premise. In Gray's film, any one of these scenes works well enough on its own, but the cumulative effect is that the film is trying, unsuccessfully, to be two things at once. For me, the sequence that broke the camel's back was...
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...the contrivance of McBride sneaking onto the spacecraft just prior to launch which results in the entire crew killing themselves accidentally in their attempt to eliminate his "threat".
As noted above, Ad Astra appears to be closely modeled on Apocalypse Now. Both films use an episodic structure to tell the story of a damaged soul sent on a mission to terminate the command of a formerly well-respected leader whose descent into madness has made him dangerous. The tone of Pitt's voice-overs is nearly identical to what's heard in Coppola's film, and there are a few moments that feel like direct lifts ("My mission instructs me to proceed without delay." "You're just a passenger on my ship. I'm the captain, and if I say 'we stop', we'll stop.") The difference between the two films is that the numerous episodes in Coppola's film, by and large, support the theme of the overall story (surrealistically showing how Kurtz's madness is mirrored by the supposedly sane participants of an insane war) whereas, in Ad Astra, these episodes along the way feel shoehorned in; their occurrence too coincidental to feel like an organic part of the plot.

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Re: Ad Astra (James Gray, 2019)

#80 Post by jazzo » Thu Feb 13, 2020 11:57 am

I think Roger and I are of the same mind. I wish I liked this film more than I did, because certain sequences and set pieces are just breathtaking. I like Gray's eye and his thematic obsessions, and the intimate nature of most of his pictures. But in the end, I found that too much of the speculative fiction in the film - the internal logic behind the space travel, when this film is supposed to be taking place in terms of our history, and the technologies involved - a little naive and too riddled with clichés, much like Gray's We Own the Night and The Yards, both of which had beautiful sequences peppered throughout tired genre tropes. They seemed to be there simply because they needed to get the job done.

I also found
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the emotional change in McBride towards the mid-section of the film oddly disjointed with whom Gray had established his character as being, and therefore unearned. Perhaps the journey itself contributed to this transformation, but it never came across as organic, at least to me.


So, in the end, I'm glad I watched it. I just don't love it anywhere near as much as Little Odessa and most particularly, Two Lovers, or like it as much as The Immigrant and Lost City of Z. But I hope he keeps getting opportunities to make movies.

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Re: Ad Astra (James Gray, 2019)

#81 Post by tenia » Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:22 pm

It's not a bad movie, but its narrative choices make it very strange, and not in a good way.
Some of the set pieces are indeed tremendous, and its sound design is quite something, but while I found the overall character arc pretty interesting to follow, the movie also goes a long way being very stupid at times. It's making then hard to understand what's the movie really aiming at : is this a serious one, or just one in which whole crews are arbitrarily decimated in the most laughable ways ?
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Oh, and do all martian spaceships have a special trap door near its fuel tanks through you can giddily climb at the last minute ?
It's unfortunate, because what it's otherwise trying to do seemed genuinely interesting and touching to me, but it was also hard to overlook some of the obvious clichés the movie goes through. It's not bad though, and I probably liked it more than I should, but too many things indeed felt shoehorned in

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Re: Ad Astra (James Gray, 2019)

#82 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:19 pm

Roger Ryan wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:48 am
As noted above, Ad Astra appears to be closely modeled on Apocalypse Now. Both films use an episodic structure to tell the story of a damaged soul sent on a mission to terminate the command of a formerly well-respected leader whose descent into madness has made him dangerous. The tone of Pitt's voice-overs is nearly identical to what's heard in Coppola's film, and there are a few moments that feel like direct lifts ("My mission instructs me to proceed without delay." "You're just a passenger on my ship. I'm the captain, and if I say 'we stop', we'll stop.") The difference between the two films is that the numerous episodes in Coppola's film, by and large, support the theme of the overall story (surrealistically showing how Kurtz's madness is mirrored by the supposedly sane participants of an insane war) whereas, in Ad Astra, these episodes along the way feel shoehorned in; their occurrence too coincidental to feel like an organic part of the plot.
While you can't blame a film of this scale for making many an homage to 2001: A Space Odyssey (anymore than you could something with less critical ambivalence like parts of episode 8 of Twin Peaks: The Return), I'm surprised nobody ever made an attempt at making something akin to Hearts of Darkness in space. Furthermore, that the degenerative mental and emotional effects of space travel were largely untouched until this (and by an even larger measure, the dubious Lucy In The Sky).

I agree as far as some of the shoe-horning those plot points, but Pitt's demeanor helps soften the rougher edges and makes it a little more believable to me. Frankly I thought he was way more interesting in this than in OUATIH, where he coasts along brilliantly on his natural charm and movie-star wattage. You see the gears shift in Roy a little more clearly, despite the emotional barriers. You see them erode as the story moves on, especially as he struggles with what turns out to be the true nature of his mission.
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The film does kind of lose me by making Tommy Lee Jones' character the father. Not to say that I didn't respond a little more than personally to Roy's complex reactions to finding out his dad is alive, but making that the guy who is supposed to be the Col. Kurtz of this Apocalypse Now homage was a little hard to swallow, but not enough to take me out of it entirely,

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Re: Ad Astra (James Gray, 2019)

#83 Post by jazzo » Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:22 pm

flyonthewall2983 wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:19 pm
Roger Ryan wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:48 am
As noted above, Ad Astra appears to be closely modeled on Apocalypse Now. Both films use an episodic structure to tell the story of a damaged soul sent on a mission to terminate the command of a formerly well-respected leader whose descent into madness has made him dangerous. The tone of Pitt's voice-overs is nearly identical to what's heard in Coppola's film, and there are a few moments that feel like direct lifts ("My mission instructs me to proceed without delay." "You're just a passenger on my ship. I'm the captain, and if I say 'we stop', we'll stop.") The difference between the two films is that the numerous episodes in Coppola's film, by and large, support the theme of the overall story (surrealistically showing how Kurtz's madness is mirrored by the supposedly sane participants of an insane war) whereas, in Ad Astra, these episodes along the way feel shoehorned in; their occurrence too coincidental to feel like an organic part of the plot.
While you can't blame a film of this scale for making many an homage to 2001: A Space Odyssey (anymore than you could something with less critical ambivalence like parts of episode 8 of Twin Peaks: The Return), I'm surprised nobody ever made an attempt at making something akin to Hearts of Darkness in space. Furthermore, that the degenerative mental and emotional effects of space travel were largely untouched until this (and by an even larger measure, the dubious Lucy In The Sky).

I agree as far as some of the shoe-horning those plot points, but Pitt's demeanor helps soften the rougher edges and makes it a little more believable to me. Frankly I thought he was way more interesting in this than in OUATIH, where he coasts along brilliantly on his natural charm and movie-star wattage. You see the gears shift in Roy a little more clearly, despite the emotional barriers. You see them erode as the story moves on, especially as he struggles with what turns out to be the true nature of his mission.
SpoilerShow
The film does kind of lose me by making Tommy Lee Jones' character the father. Not to say that I didn't respond a little more than personally to Roy's complex reactions to finding out his dad is alive, but making that the guy who is supposed to be the Col. Kurtz of this Apocalypse Now homage was a little hard to swallow, but not enough to take me out of it entirely,
Maybe that was my problem with it. The film's internal universe, while obviously having technology beyond our current capabilities, also seemed oddly grounded, if not in present day, then perhaps some time fifty or sixty years from now. And I know that things have evolved quickly over the last sixty years, but if Blade Runner has taught me anything, it's that flying cars are a lot further away than eleven year-old jazzo was originally led to believe back in 1982.

But in Ad Astra, Mcbride is sent off to Neptune. And to properly see the degenerative effects space-travel would have on an individual requires time, and no matter how many interesting little moments the film plunks in, I never got a sense of the immense amount of time such a journey would take
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there and back.
It just seemed like, without really explaining how the tech in the film accomplished it
SpoilerShow
one moment McBride is here, the next moment, he's there, and then he's back again.
The film never feels exhausting. And unless some undisclosed breakthrough in light speed space travel has occurred, it never feels like two decades have passed for McBride either, which is pretty much how long it would take. So the realities of character (and specifically, McBride's psychological journey) never really align with the physical world the film is attempting to create.

And yet, Soderbergh's beautiful elliptical version of Solaris completely aligns. At least for me.

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Re: Ad Astra (James Gray, 2019)

#84 Post by DarkImbecile » Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:18 pm

jazzo wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:22 pm
The film never feels exhausting. And unless some undisclosed breakthrough in light speed space travel has occurred, it never feels like two decades have passed for McBride either, which is pretty much how long it would take.
Not to be pedantic — I get your (perfectly valid) point about how long the film does or doesn't make long-distance space travel feel — but I wanted to check those numbers purely out of curiosity. Light speed travel from Earth to Neptune would take something like 4-6 hours; manned Apollo missions fifty years ago were capable of traveling through space at something close to 25,000 miles per hour, and even conservatively assuming that speed could be only be doubled sixty to eighty years from now, it would only take something like 6 years to go from earth to Neptune. If we assume that he's traveling at something more like 100,000 miles per hour (still several orders of magnitude short of light speed and only 4x late 1960s space travel), a 5ish year round trip seems about right to me in the context of the film.

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Ad Astra (James Gray, 2019)

#85 Post by Mr Sausage » Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:34 pm

jazzo wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 11:57 am
I also found
SpoilerShow
the emotional change in McBride towards the mid-section of the film oddly disjointed with whom Gray had established his character as being, and therefore unearned. Perhaps the journey itself contributed to this transformation, but it never came across as organic, at least to me.
SpoilerShow
The movie's clear about McBride's "emotional change". An attentive viewer sees it coming the moment those generals in the briefing room mention McBride's inhuman emotional control. We all know at that point where the plot's going, and our suspicions about McBride turn out to be the case: McBride's lack of emotion is not his natural temperament, it's a defensive strategy. He's cutting himself off from his emotions to avoid dealing with his pain, anger, and frustration. He's avoidant. The viewer expects, and has it later confirmed, that as the plot increasingly forces McBride to face the origin of his pain, the thing he'd spent a lifetime avoiding, his control will break down and he will have to confront his emotions. It's far from unexpected that the first crack is also the first contact with his father, followed by a larger crack when his trauma is reenacted: for reasons he is not privvy to and cannot comprehend, he is being denied contact with his father. The Ruth Negga scene is key at this point, because it helps him transition from an immediate rush of powerful emotion, a child's reaction, to the more considered, wiser, complicated emotions of an adult. So McBride, until that point shuttled around by others, makes a crucial decision to choose his own trajectory and confront his father and the pain he caused, leaving behind the legacy of avoidance of which his father is the crowning example. One of the reasons those astronauts have to die is that McBride's journey has to be alone and done under his own agency.

The film is upfront about this. It's just that its approach to characterization is not internal; its not exploring a subjectivity. Everything is communicated structurally, through the movement of the characters within the plot. So long as you see that, everything fits together.
tenia wrote:
SpoilerShow
Oh, and do all martian spaceships have a special trap door near its fuel tanks through you can giddily climb at the last minute ?
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Oh, come on tenia, of course a ship has access routes to the fuel tanks both from within and without. You don't suppose flight craft just wall everything off, do you? Or that maintenance crews are big fans of having exactly one way in and out of the fuel compartment: climb all the way up through the entire vehicle to exit out the passenger doors, and vice versa? Even planes have fuel tank access doors (small, but then the tanks are much smaller).

Also, I loved how dangerous space travel was portrayed. So many space battles, and this was the first one I've seen it be a real hazard to have any physical conflicts during flight.

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Re: Ad Astra (James Gray, 2019)

#86 Post by zedz » Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:29 pm

Further to Sausage's final point, I was also very pleasantly surprised that:
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the final confrontation between father and son wasn't a fist fight.

In space, nobody can hear you bitchslap your dad.

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Ad Astra (James Gray, 2019)

#87 Post by therewillbeblus » Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:16 pm

Mr Sausage wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:34 pm
jazzo wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 11:57 am
I also found
SpoilerShow
the emotional change in McBride towards the mid-section of the film oddly disjointed with whom Gray had established his character as being, and therefore unearned. Perhaps the journey itself contributed to this transformation, but it never came across as organic, at least to me.
SpoilerShow
The movie's clear about McBride's "emotional change". An attentive viewer sees it coming the moment those generals in the briefing room mention McBride's inhuman emotional control. We all know at that point where the plot's going, and our suspicions about McBride turn out to be the case: McBride's lack of emotion is not his natural temperament, it's a defensive strategy. He's cutting himself off from his emotions to avoid dealing with his pain, anger, and frustration. He's avoidant. The viewer expects, and has it later confirmed, that as the plot increasingly forces McBride to face the origin of his pain, the thing he'd spent a lifetime avoiding, his control will break down and he will have to confront his emotions. It's far from unexpected that the first crack is also the first contact with his father, followed by a larger crack when his trauma is reenacted: for reasons he is not privvy to and cannot comprehend, he is being denied contact with his father. The Ruth Negga scene is key at this point, because it helps him transition from an immediate rush of powerful emotion, a child's reaction, to the more considered, wiser, complicated emotions of an adult. So McBride, until that point shuttled around by others, makes a crucial decision to choose his own trajectory and confront his father and the pain he caused, leaving behind the legacy of avoidance of which his father is the crowning example. One of the reasons those astronauts have to die is that McBride's journey has to be alone and done under his own agency.

The film is upfront about this. It's just that its approach to characterization is not internal; its not exploring a subjectivity. Everything is communicated structurally, through the movement of the characters within the plot. So long as you see that, everything fits together.
This is very much how I read the film though more of an allegory with structure servicing that existential growth through physical movement and grand setpieces. I like the depth of your reading on his avoidance, which - while I'm not particularly interested in diagnosing Pitt's character- would place him in more of an Avoidant Personality category than the autistic one people were pathologizing him with prior to the film's release. I think that's more fitting and interesting and viewed that way makes the film infinitely better. I'm excited to see this again with fresh eyes as I don't think I was able to bring myself onto its level on a first watch and I enjoy Gray's work primarily for how it takes these seemingly upfront concepts and provides them for the viewer through means that aren't as clear in their accessibility as they may appear.

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Re: Ad Astra (James Gray, 2019)

#88 Post by jazzo » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:54 pm

DarkImbecile wrote:
jazzo wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:22 pm
The film never feels exhausting. And unless some undisclosed breakthrough in light speed space travel has occurred, it never feels like two decades have passed for McBride either, which is pretty much how long it would take.
Not to be pedantic — I get your (perfectly valid) point about how long the film does or doesn't make long-distance space travel feel — but I wanted to check those numbers purely out of curiosity. Light speed travel from Earth to Neptune would take something like 4-6 hours; manned Apollo missions fifty years ago were capable of traveling through space at something close to 25,000 miles per hour, and even conservatively assuming that speed could be only be doubled sixty to eighty years from now, it would only take something like 6 years to go from earth to Neptune. If we assume that he's traveling at something more like 100,000 miles per hour (still several orders of magnitude short of light speed and only 4x late 1960s space travel), a 5ish year round trip seems about right to me in the context of the film.
You looked into it far deeper than I did, DI. My research consisted of a two minute google search.

You’re quite right, although I still feel like the film doesn’t convey even that shorter length of time properly.

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Re: Ad Astra (James Gray, 2019)

#89 Post by jazzo » Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:18 am

An interesting read, Mr.Sausage, and I'll definitively try to rewatch it under that lens in the near future. I'm not sure that will smooth out the tired genre cliches that mar much of the film for me, but at least it will add nuance to Pitt's character that I didn't see the first time through.

Gray's films are never a waste of time, even when I have issues with them, so I'm happy to give it another shot.

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Re: Ad Astra (James Gray, 2019)

#90 Post by tenia » Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:50 pm

About that spoilery answer : I understand your point, but it felt unneccesary rushed in the movie, which is why I felt it was some kind of easy hack that would have been better at home in Armageddon than in a movie that tries quite hard to be serious.

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Re: Ad Astra (James Gray, 2019)

#91 Post by nitin » Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:33 pm

I always get the feeling that James Gray would make a better movie if he didn’t write it. The Immigrant is the only one that works for me as a whole, the rest all have a mixture of great scenes and some very poor narrative writing (We Own the Night being a prime example).

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Re: Ad Astra (James Gray, 2019)

#92 Post by Mr Sausage » Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:02 pm

tenia wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:50 pm
About that spoilery answer : I understand your point, but it felt unneccesary rushed in the movie, which is why I felt it was some kind of easy hack that would have been better at home in Armageddon than in a movie that tries quite hard to be serious.
They're not breaking into a bank. It's a crew member sneaking another crew member on board a ship. How hard is it supposed to be? How much longer should it take? And how should he have gotten on the ship, exactly? Through the front door? Like, I literally have no idea how you arrived at your oddly specific idea of how stowing away on a space ship shouldn't happen.

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Re: Ad Astra (James Gray, 2019)

#93 Post by tenia » Sat Feb 15, 2020 3:58 am

I don't know. It just felt rushed. And laughable. I can't fully explain it. I guess it's because even though it's in the future, it's still a spaceship he's sneaking into, not simply the back of a car. So actually, yeah, I kind of expected it not to be that easy. Or maybe it's the last-minute-thing, with the imminent liftoff, that makes it too over-the-top for me.

But I guess there's much worse in this regards later in the movie anyway.

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Re: Ad Astra (James Gray, 2019)

#94 Post by Mr Sausage » Sat Feb 15, 2020 6:43 am

It's one of the virtues of the movie that it demystifies the magic of space travel. Spaceships are, after all, just large physical contraptions standing there on wide open empty ground. In fact it ought to be easy for the head of a remote outpost to help someone sneak aboard one of the ships docked there, especially once the ground has been cleared for blast off. Assuming otherwise is falling prey to the grand, mystical idea of space travel and missing the prosaic reality of flying in machines. Some big to-do would've been inappropriate, not just at that moment, but for the style and themes of the film. A difficult, complicated scene of needless suspense where a heavily secured, furturistic space machine is craftily broken into is precisely the Michael Bay style, ie. something fake and cinematic. What you found laughable was the film's decision to hew less closely to the conventions of adventure cinema. After all, the problem is not stowing away (people do that all the time); it's what you do once you've stowed away that's tricky.

The problem isn't the film, it's the presumptions you brought to it. After all, 'unexplainable feelings' is another term for whatever just happens to pop into one's head at a moment. Better to go with reasons and thoughts. Solider ground.

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Re: Ad Astra (James Gray, 2019)

#95 Post by tenia » Sat Feb 15, 2020 9:07 am

Mr Sausage wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 6:43 am
The problem isn't the film, it's the presumptions you brought to it.
I'm willing to imagine I might have not adjusted to it properly, but dismissing this that way feels very simplistic. This scene arrives after 68 minutes so the movie had plenty of time to influence my expectations and "tell" me what to expect or not. It's not as if it was an early scene and I didn't have prior concrete elements to justify it diegetically. I had plenty of time to do so with what the info the movie gave me during its first half.
Mr Sausage wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 6:43 am
After all, 'unexplainable feelings' is another term for whatever just happens to pop into one's head at a moment. Better to go with reasons and thoughts. Solider ground.
You wrote the film hews less closely to the conventions of adventure cinema, but, does it really in this scene ? It might be shorter and simpler, but it isn't very different from so many movies where the hero manages to pull off a very dangerous stunt at the very last second but in a very casual fashion (I re-checked : the entering in the spaceship spans 3 minutes total). Which is, precisely, inappropriate with the style and themes of the movie : suddenly, it's a humpteenth sci-fi adventure stunt that does feel artificially cinematic (especially, again, feeling exaggerately dramatic by making it happening 3 seconds before liftoff).

My "unexplainable feelings" thus aren't unexplainable because I can't give reasons for them, but because the reasons are multiple and I don't know which one bothers me most : the content of the scene itself (sneaking in so easily 3 seconds before liftoff through the fuel door), how it's cinematically done (shot, edited, integrated, etc), or the larger context of the movie's atmosphere and style in which it happens (the scene itself, to me, clashing with what the movie showed so far and its overall style as a whole).

It's most likely is a combination of all of those, because that's usually the case : it might make rationale sense, it might be explainable within the movie somehow, but something diegetically doesn't fit and the scene feels standing out in a wrong way.
I guess that's also what happened with the spatial jumps later, which also made me chuckle a bit.

Anyway, I'll stop there, since it looks like a conversation that's much more complicated to do properly by writing than what it would be otherwise.

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Re: Ad Astra (James Gray, 2019)

#96 Post by Mr Sausage » Sat Feb 15, 2020 12:36 pm

tenia wrote:I'm willing to imagine I might have not adjusted to it properly, but dismissing this that way feels very simplistic. This scene arrives after 68 minutes so the movie had plenty of time to influence my expectations and "tell" me what to expect or not. It's not as if it was an early scene and I didn't have prior concrete elements to justify it diegetically. I had plenty of time to do so with what the info the movie gave me during its first half.
And, what, the film was telling you there was going to be a long, complicated scene of Brad Pitt breaking into a space craft? The film gave you your idea that futuristic spacecraft parked in a remote outpost on mars are hard to board? If there was "info" within the film telling you the scene could not have gone the way it did, count me among the many who missed it.

Part of the reason I'm harping on this is because I'm really at a loss here. I don't understand where you're getting these ideas from or why you'd even want to hold on to them, beyond sheer bloodymindedness, I guess. If you think you know better than the film how its world ought to be, fine, but you can't just declare it without reason.
tenia wrote:You wrote the film hews less closely to the conventions of adventure cinema, but, does it really in this scene ? It might be shorter and simpler, but it isn't very different from so many movies where the hero manages to pull off a very dangerous stunt at the very last second but in a very casual fashion (I re-checked : the entering in the spaceship spans 3 minutes total). Which is, precisely, inappropriate with the style and themes of the movie : suddenly, it's a humpteenth sci-fi adventure stunt that does feel artificially cinematic (especially, again, feeling exaggerately dramatic by making it happening 3 seconds before liftoff).
First the film is laughable for not having a complicated action adventure scenario, now it's laughable to having too much of one? Which is it?

Also, the film is full of Brad Pitt doing precisely these last minute maneuvers. The movie opened with one. Hell, the trailer opened with one. And while the time frame is quick, it's not frantic; it maintains the same intense but even-keel style in this as in every other scene. After all, at the end of the day, we're just watching a dude climb a ladder. Oddly, what wouldn't fit is what you earlier said you'd expected, a long break-in sequence. That would really be out of keeping with the style and themes. Are you sure your feelings aren't leading you astray?
tenia wrote:My "unexplainable feelings" thus aren't unexplainable because I can't give reasons for them, but because the reasons are multiple and I don't know which one bothers me most : the content of the scene itself (sneaking in so easily 3 seconds before liftoff through the fuel door), how it's cinematically done (shot, edited, integrated, etc), or the larger context of the movie's atmosphere and style in which it happens (the scene itself, to me, clashing with what the movie showed so far and its overall style as a whole).
I'd be lying if I didn't admit it seems less like the reasons are multiple than that they don't matter. If one isn't working, another will do just fine. But no doubt I'm being uncharitable. I'm no doubt an idiot as well for trying to argue someone out of their vague feelings as if feelings can or ought to be be held accountable in that way.

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Re: Ad Astra (James Gray, 2019)

#97 Post by tenia » Sat Feb 15, 2020 2:44 pm

You're certainly not an idiot for taking the time trying rationally to convince me I'm wrong about this, and I'm quite certain I haven't written anything pointing in this direction.

I'm just saying I'm unsure if I can properly conveying why I felt this way, since this exchange has gone much longer than it should have for what simply seemed to me a scene with slightly over-the-top details.

I also dont think a longer break in would have been better. Actually, just have Pitt climbing in a few minutes before the rockets ignite would have removed what seemed to me the superfluous obstacle that most bothered me.
It could be as simple as that.

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Mr Sausage
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Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:02 pm
Location: Canada

Re: Ad Astra (James Gray, 2019)

#98 Post by Mr Sausage » Sat Feb 15, 2020 4:12 pm

No tenia, you haven’t written anything indicating I was an idiot. No worries. I certainly wasn’t trying to say that.

Anyway, thanks for putting up my with overlong interrogation of this minor point.

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DarkImbecile
Ask me about my visible cat breasts
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:24 pm
Location: Albuquerque, NM

Re: Ad Astra (James Gray, 2019)

#99 Post by DarkImbecile » Sat Feb 15, 2020 4:27 pm

An Overlong Interrogation of a Minor Point: The CriterionForum.org Story

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Mr Sausage
Not PETA approved
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:02 pm
Location: Canada

Re: Ad Astra (James Gray, 2019)

#100 Post by Mr Sausage » Sat Feb 15, 2020 4:46 pm

DarkImbecile wrote:An Overlong Interrogation of a Minor Point: The CriterionForum.org Story
Pretty sure I’m one of the lead authors of that tract.

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