Space

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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Life (2017)

Anyone who’s ever seen one of those movies – or, for that matter, anyone who’s ever tried to kill a big spider, only to miss and have it seemingly vanish after it scurries behind or under a piece of furniture – will therefore no doubt be familiar with the underlying sense of panic and dread …

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Gravity

Gravity is basically a 90 minute thrill-ride. The audience lives vicariously through astronaut Sandra Bullock’s point of view as, almost immediately, a space walk goes very very wrong. The Space Shuttle Explorer, which is minding its own business in orbit with a full crew, is alarmed to find out that a big, fresh cloud of …

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Ender’s Game

I want to start this review with that famous trailer voice-over, “In a world where…” Ender’s Game is one of those films that presents a perhaps not-so-far-off future, in a world where our planet has been invaded by hostile, unprovoked aliens bent on taking our world. But luckily during that invasion, all was not lost …

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Sunshine

Everyone knows that solar rays can be damaging, but the extent of the damage varies according to proximity, as the crew of Icarus II begins to realize during a deep-space mission to “reignite” the sun, which is slowly dying and threatening life on Earth as a result. Directed by Danny Boyle, the nicely atmospheric but …

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