Ad Astra

There is an outstanding opening sequence that has astronaut/space-antenna worker Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) tumbling ass-over-teakettle from tens of thousands of feet above the earth as the antenna explodes in a catastrophic accident. Turns out the antenna wasn’t the only thing that suddenly failed; mysterious pulses from outer space have wreaked havoc across the globe, …

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Ad Astra

Brad Pitt and his perpetually twitchy emotional-barometer lower lip (wanna know how he’s feeling or thinking? just watch the lip!) star as even-keeled Roy McBride, an astronaut whose most impressive skill seems to be keeping his pulse in check. Professionally revered, Roy struggles in his personal life – or so it’s implied, thanks to a …

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First Man

The thrilling and teeth-rattling opening sequence of First Man shows a test pilot in 1961 as he flies up to 140,000 feet, then almost doesn’t make it back. No, his plane doesn’t explode at that altitude, it just threatens to “bounce off the atmosphere”, hurling him out to space. Yikes! This scene viscerally and effectively introduces …

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Hidden Figures

Set in the early 1960s, the film follows a trio of black women working in NASA’s computing division. Or, more accurately, as NASA computing division (back before machines did all the thinking, people did the computing and were called “computers). Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson) is a mathematical genius, whose cat-eye glasses and anxious demeanor …

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The Martian

If you ever thought that after high school there was no practical use for algebra, like EVER… well, just be glad that you aren’t stuck on Mars without a ride home! Matt Damon, aka astronaut Mark Watney, is in just such a situation. And he is a BOTANIST, fer cryin’ out loud. I’ll bet he …

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It is established immediately that in the world of Interstellar, Earth has gone to hell in a hand basket. Evoking the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, we meet an America maybe a few decades into the future. There are no flying cars or cleaning-lady robots. There are just a bunch of tired, good people, choking …

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