Hustlers. Surprisingly solid if unremarkable.
Downton Abbey. Never watched the show. Only tried this because I liked Gosford Park. It is twee and silly. Glorified Emmerdale at most.
Ad Astra. I'm not sure what to think of this film. I don't want to be too negative because there are quite a few things that I liked about it. It was bit different and understated which is a good thing. Sort of cast in the sane mould as First Man with Ryan Gosling from last year. The main characters in these two films almost feel like the same person and both their stories serve as introspective journey inwards. Brad Pitt is really good in this - his acting is so subdued but through it he manages to reveal quite a lot about his character. I liked the general concept and how it's put together but the film as a whole doesn't quite work. There are a couple of action sequences in there and I wasn't quite sure why they're even in the film. They felt like some producer wanted to have them in there because the rest is so depressing and they need to sell it to the large audience somehow. A lot of beats and characters that don't seem to add all that much to the story. They serve to set up the world and sometimes deliver exposition but don't do much beyond that (Donald Sutherland, anyone?). I also wish they managed to find a more subtle way of portraying the themes other than a voiceovers. It always feels bit lazy to me. Still, I'm glad real s-f films like this are being made. There were quite a few in the past decade and that is a good thing. This genre is a perfect vehicle for almost anything, no matter how big or small, and "daddy issues" is a subject as good as any. I get all of that...but it sure isn't Tarkovsky in its introspective philosophical contemplation. For all its emotional baggage, it felt oddly hollow.