LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — It's a heavy week at the box office as one film travels through the vast void that is in space and another that brings back Rambo for one last bloody battle from Sylvester Stallone.
Ad Astra is a lonely film. Let's get that out of the way.
Starring Brad Pitt as Roy McBride, Ad Astra takes place in the near future and McBride is tasked with talking to his father Clifford McBride (Tommy Lee Jones) after power surges continue to hit Earth that seem to come from his father's last known location near Neptune.
The film is a beautiful portrayal of the emptiness of space and through Roy's journey the audience is left to wonder if Earth truly is the only home for intelligent life.
What director James Gray does best with Ad Astra is that he lets everything breathe. That openness in the film's structure allows Pitt to turn the contemplative nature of dealing with an absentee father to become so much more.
Ad Astra is jam packed with great, subtle acting from Ruth Negga, Tommy Lee Jones, Liv Tyler and Donald Sutherland, but it is Pitt who delivers the performance of a lifetime. He is stoic but emotional in a way that Pitt rarely allows beyond his usual cool gaze. This year truly is the year of Pitt.
It is not a movie that is meant for a relaxing watch. It is meant for you to ponder life's greatest question; Are we truly alone in the universe? - Michael Buckner
Rambo: Last Blood
Rambo: Last Blood is quite possibly the worst way to (allegedly) send off a franchise.
The 5th movie in the Rambo franchise, Sylvester Stallone continues to play John Rambo with more grunts than a boot camp. Instead of sending him to an exotic location to shoot a bunch of soldiers, this time he goes to Mexico to save his niece from cartel bad guys.
Obviously, Rambo has never been one to have a good plot, it's here to make explosions look cool. Sadly, Sly Stallone doesn't give us satisfying action until the climax of the movie, it makes us trudge through a soap opera B-plot story relying on racial stereotypes and xenophobia.
And by the time it does get to the climax, you don't even care about what happens, because the stakes are gone. Just do yourself a favor and re-watch the insane Rambo 3 if you need Stallone blowing stuff up. - Zach Keast