I rated Ad Astra 5/10

www.imdb.com/title/tt2935510

Slightly guilty at giving this 5/10. It has some really good high-concept sci-fi stuff, a sterling performance from Brad Pitt, and some persuasive effects. Why 5/10? Well, the backstory: dad’s missing/out of touch on Neptune; 16 years ago; drones haven’t found him but sending his son on a jaunt out there will? Mmm. Plus, moon-pirates in moon-buggies? Really? And a variety of nonsense scattered about. Brad’s dad is played hilariously by tommy lee Jones. Maybe being out at the edge has broken him, but his character doesn’t really work for me. The ending is also a bit of a non-event. Resolution, but not very…dramatic.

My enjoyment was also marred by a man-child in the front row who kept checking his huge, super-bright iPhone every few minutes, taking time to read and update his social circle. Well, that was when he wasn’t checking his super-bright Apple Watch. 🙄

Joker 8/10

www.imdb.com/title/tt7286456

Wow. No superheroes. No video game-like CGI. And wonderfully misleading at times.

A great Joker origin story that sits in a grim Gotham not far from Frank Miller’s Dark Knight.

Really compelling character arc that brought me along with it and left me feeing admiration and disgust.

You really have to see this.