Ad Astra review “I feel like I’ve seen this before”

Ad Astra posterAbout half way through director James Gray’s sixth feature film Ad Astra, I began to find myself thinking, ‘hang on, haven’t I seen this bit before?’ ‘In that other film about space?’ ‘And haven’t I heard this voice over before?’ In that film by Terence Malick about the tree?’

This feeling of déjà vu never quite left me as I ploughed my way through Gray’s self-indulgent space epic/Brad Pitt Oscar vehicle, bitterly disappointed as the film revealed itself to be no more than a style-over-substance space odyssey full of threadbare cliches.

Ad Astra is a film of two halves. One is a visually breath-taking science fiction adventure brimming with seamless visual effects, The other is a tepid father/son melodrama that tries it’s damnedest to drag the rest of the film down to it’s yawn-inducing level. Ad Astra looks poised to kick-start the age old debate of substance over style, and I imagine audiences watching the film will find that which camp they fall in will determine how much they agree with critical opinion. Continue reading

Extinction review “A B-movie with blockbuster arrogance”

Extinction movie posterScience fiction movies have often toyed with the idea of the decimation of the human race. Whether it be through an alien invasion, robots or through our own doing – there is no denying that it makes great entertainment. Netflix’s latest release, Extinction, ticks all the boxes of your usual science fiction movie: is it, however, worth a watch?

Extinction follows Peter (Michael Peña), who keeps having recurring dreams regarding the mass murder of his people. His wife, Alice (Lizzy Caplan), believes he is going crazy, until the events in real life line up with events in his dreams. Together, Peter and Alice try to save their two daughters from being killed, as well as saving their own skins. Continue reading