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Breaking Bad is Vince Gilligan. Vince Gilligan is Breaking Bad. There's just no other way to put it. And anyone who knows George Vincent Gilligan Jr. also knows that he'll produce pure brilliance regarding anything and everything to which he sets his brilliant mind.
Breaking Bad the television show is often mentioned as being one of the greatest series of all time. Breaking Bad the movie should now be discussed in terms of being one of the greatest television-to-movie continuations of all time.
Nobody should be surprised. Gilligan wrote, directed, and produced 'El Camino.' Throughout the film's masterful puppetry of drama, humor, and violence, we know it's Gilligan who is lording over it all, deftly manipulating the marionette strings.
He's the reason why the show-and now the movie-exists as a tragicomedy that pirouettes at both ends of the tragedy-comedy spectrum. The same goes for David Chase's 'The Sopranos,' a show that similarly has its place on the Mount Rushmore of television. Perhaps Gilligan learned from Chase that humor makes the violence palatable and violence makes the humor essential.
Regardless, Gilligan put his legacy on the line by endeavoring to make 'El Camino.' In doing so, Gilligan doubled down, wagering everything on himself. The result? Gilligan won. Again.
"Below the surface, there was nothing."
This quote from the movie pretty much sums it all up. To say that 'Ad Astra' failed to meet our astronomically high expectations would be a cosmically vast understatement. We'll get to that in a minute, but first we need to address the issue of the human buffalo sitting to our right who at first served as an annoyance, but as the movie painfully played on, became a welcomed distraction.
We've never seen a fellow patron shamelessly double-fisting popcorn into their mouth before, much less grunting it all down like some wild bison inhaling a pile of feed out on the plains. His form was both well-practiced and impressive.
In addition to the popcorn, he also ordered a personal thin crust sausage pizza. When it arrived, he whispered something to the runner. Much to our surprise, it was a request for a salt shaker. Because everyone knows that if there's one thing a sausage pizza doesn't have enough of, it's salt!
The application of the salt was quite liberal, of course. Not just a sprinkling over the entirety of the pie before eating it, mind you, but applying it to each individual slice before they were to be consumed for that extra bit o' salty goodness. And if you think we're exaggerating how much salt this human-bovine hybrid consumed, after the pizza was eaten, he literally swirled his index finger through the greasy salt streaks that remained on the tray and licked it. Mmm-tastes like an early onset heart attack!
Now back to the actual film review. Let's put it this way: you know there's a massive problem with the film when serious action sequences are drawing laughter from the audience. We couldn't laugh. We were too offended by the ridiculousness of it all.
To put it plainly, 'Ad Astra' has some of the most absurdly unrealistic scenes of any space movie we've seen. If you know anything about physics, botany, nutrition, astronomy, or just about any other branch of science, 'Ad Astra' will make your brain hurt.
Add to this the fact that the plot, production design, and cinematography are all quite horrid, and we've got ourselves a classic Razzie situation on our hands, people. Oh, and just one more thing: several media outlets have labelled the film "one of the best space movies in years." Saying as much is a gross injustice to last years criminally underrated 'First Man' and anyone who echoes this sentiment should be banished to the dark side of the moon (where apparently there are space pirates with Star Wars blasters roaming around)!
'It: Chapter Two' is a classic sophomore slump. Not only does the film fail to fully differentiate itself from the first installment, but it is overly long with a bloated three hour runtime. And as Alfred Hitchcock once said: "The length of a film should be directly related to endurance of the human bladder."