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Thread: New Sci-Fi movies.

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveC426913 View Post
    Ad astra angered me.

    Its plot made no sense - a full-on MacGuffin. Never explained, never resolved. So much wrong.
    Well, the plot wasn't about a trip across the solar system at all.
    The whole thing was a metaphor, the MacGuffin especially. (I actually wondered how much of it was happening in the protagonist's head.)
    I thought it was well done, at that level, though there were strange plot elements that looked like a longer sequence had been edited down, to its detriment.

    Unfortunately, the trailer looks like it's going to be a SF action movie, so I can understand the annoyance of people who find themselves sitting through two hours of psychodrama instead.

    Grant Hutchison

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJSF View Post
    Maybe more to the point for this forum is that Ad Astra is not a "science fiction" movie at all, it just takes place in space. The entirety of the plot could have taken place on Earth with just as much (if not more) impact or effect.
    Of course, the "long and gruelling journey in search of closure with a father-figure" thing has been a recurring them in fiction, in all sorts of settings. But I think setting this one in space gave the narrative advantage that "repressed and controlled astronaut" is a trope-du-jour, so very little work had to be done on establishing Pitt's character and the nature of his problem.
    As usual, I didn't read reviews before watching it, and (since I aim to watch it again soon) I haven't done my usual post-viewing survey. But I guess I'm not the only person to feel that pretty much the whole movie, after the opening sequence, occurs in the protagonist's head. It would be nice to think that we got back to the real world with the closing scene, but I have a bleak feeling that we didn't.

    Grant Hutchison

  3. #33
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    Yes.

  4. #34
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    As for Ad Astra, My wife and I watched it about a month ago, she fell asleep on it. Yesterday she was watching it again when I walked into the room and scolded her for watching it without me. I had forgotten that I had already seen it, ha.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gorn View Post
    Yes.
    Yes, what? Are you replying to grant's 5 month old post or something else up thread?

    CJSF
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  6. #36
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    It's a great movie!!😁🤣

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    As usual, I didn't read reviews before watching it, and (since I aim to watch it again soon) I haven't done my usual post-viewing survey. But I guess I'm not the only person to feel that pretty much the whole movie, after the opening sequence, occurs in the protagonist's head. It would be nice to think that we got back to the real world with the closing scene, but I have a bleak feeling that we didn't.
    I’m watching Ad Astra now and remembered there was a thread with some comments on it. It would make more sense as a dream or something similar. It certainly makes no sense otherwise. Anti-matter doing WHAT now? Going around the Moon in upscaled Apollo rovers? A rocket that takes 20 days to get to Mars and just pauses on its way at an asteroid? He has to travel to Mars to send a signal to the outer solar system? What?

    But if they never explain this is a dream and given how bad Hollywood is with SF, I’ll have to assume it was intended to be taken seriously.

    Also, I’m pretty bored with it, mostly watching for the visuals.

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  8. #38
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    Space Solar Power would make for a nice series, maybe a rectenna at an old radio telescope site?

  9. #39
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    I saw an article on Vulture with James Gray explaining some points about his movie, and he talked about technical assistance. From some of his comments I had the impression he really just doesn’t get the technical details at all. For instance he talked about why he thinks you would launch from the Moon to go to Mars and mentioned lower gravity than Earth. He claimed he got mixed up about launching from lunar orbit vs the lunar surface.

    Of course there is no reason to take a detour to either lunar orbit or surface to launch a spacecraft to Mars unless you build and/or fuel it there. And besides, his rockets had some kind of advanced space drive that could cross the solar system rapidly, so they weren’t limited by chemical rockets. I assumed it was just because he wanted to force a little action into the movie with the Moon pirates, and hang the logic of it.

    Anyway I finished the movie, and my conclusion is that it was just a sad mess. Oh, here is the Vulture article:

    https://www.vulture.com/2019/09/ad-a...his-movie.html

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  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by publiusr View Post
    Space Solar Power would make for a nice series, maybe a rectenna at an old radio telescope site?
    I could picture something like the old Space Doctor novel, a construction crew at Geosynch with their attendant drama. Trouble is, such construction of SSP in any foreseeable scenario is almost certain to be done by robots. Which lessens the audience's ability to identify with characters.

    Ice miners on the Moon or Mercury? Asteroid prospectors? Europa deep (deep, deep) sea divers?
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    I could picture something like the old Space Doctor novel, a construction crew at Geosynch with their attendant drama.
    Ha, when I saw that, I remembered that G. Harry Stine had written a novel with that topic so looked up his novels . . . and saw it really was titled “Space Doctor.” It wasn’t just *a* space doctor book (James White and Alan E. Nourse also wrote space doctor books). Oh, and Stine wrote it under his “Lee Correy” pseudonym. So I remembered it but walked right past the title. Funny how memory works.

    Trouble is, such construction of SSP in any foreseeable scenario is almost certain to be done by robots. Which lessens the audience's ability to identify with characters.
    Or even self assemble. One concept is to use thousands of identical wafers with PV panels on one side and a transmitter on the other that can operate as part of a phased array, with control thrusters to maintain position (or move it away if it at end of life).

    But movies or TV shows usually find reasons to put people in the picture. Goodness knows it doesn’t have to be entirely realistic. I mean, I applaud the Planettes series as having about the most realistic depiction of near term space operations as I’ve seen in any series or movie, but they put people where there would almost certainly be robotic systems and had other issues. I’m not going to complain over the minor stuff and most people won’t realize even if there are major blunders.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

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  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    Anyway I finished the movie, and my conclusion is that it was just a sad mess.
    Which, of course, is the psychological state of the protagonist.
    I've watched it twice since I last posted about it. I think there are significant flaws in the narrative (the baboon sequence still feels like it should be part of something larger), but I love this film. One of the best things I've seen in a long time, and about as much science fiction as Silent Running or Solaris were--it's just using the furniture of science fiction as an effective way of telling a different story. (I'm a rare fan of Soderbergh's Solaris, too.)

    I'd contrast it with Cuarón's Gravity, which was also a sad mess in terms of realism, and also attempted to send its protagonist on a transformative and allegorical journey, but (in my view) made a mess of the psychological aspect too.

    Grant Hutchison
    Last edited by grant hutchison; 2020-Nov-30 at 11:58 AM.

  13. #43
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    More an astronautics film than a science fiction film, but I very much enjoyed Proxima. Something of an antidote to the toxic masculinity of The Right Stuff. The protagonist's actions at the end didn't ring true to me, but they were a necessary part of the story and I was happy to accept them as part of the narrative arc.

    Grant Hutchison

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