The family layout in Ad Astra of “To the Stars” is more reminiscent of another Christopher Nolan film – “Inception” with its Fishers. And this does not exhaust the parallels – in addition to associations, which are still subjective, there is an objective filming and group fact: the novelty was filmed by Nolan’s director of photography Hoyte van Hoytem. Therefore, the visual range is in complete order: the film does not lag behind other modern science fiction, it works well with camera angles and close-ups.
However, director James Gray thought it was not enough to be no worse than others – he set out to shoot the most realistic cinematic image of space travel and described “To the Stars” as a mix of “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “Apocalypse Now.” Alas, he is still not Stanley Kubrick or Francis Ford Coppola, and the film lacks inclusiveness. “To the Stars” is a family drama movie of cosmic proportions, but its layouts and themes are not universal. For example, the final conclusion may cause rejection; the film says that it is important to look not only upwards, but also around the sides; but it presents it as if “upward” is generally from the evil one.
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Perhaps the sagging finale, like the director’s ambitious statements; is associate with the difficult process of attaching the project to some studio (which took more than one year); and bringing it to wide distribution (the first test screenings were unsuccessful, reshoots were require; which increase the budget from eighty million dollars to more than a hundred). It seems like even at the stage of the development of the film; its ending was tailored to the requirements of the producers. In general, it often looks like a small arthouse, bloated to a blockbuster. And no wonder: if space art houses are not inflated; then it turns out, for example, “High Society” – a film, maybe a good one, but who saw it?
If we take an example from Gray and describe his brainchild through other films, then in addition to the anti-Interstellar with notes of Inception and the reboot Star Trek, it resembles Gravity, Solaris and, oddly enough, Through the Horizon … Yes, there are suspense moments on the verge of horror here. Plus a dynamic action game with gunfights and stunts. And also a constant countdown (before takeoffs, before the explosion) and completely unscientific-fiction episodes such as flying with a shield.
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