Ad Astra: Cor Tenebrae edit

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(Updated: October 02, 2023)
Overall rating
 
10.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
This is a near perfect fix of a movie that I would never have considered re-watching. I found so much of the original to be strange and uncompelling, and I actually wondered if he was autistic rather than abandoned. I mean I suppose it could be both but in this cut his closed off disconnected nature clearly comes from his father's abandonment, as I'm sure it was intended to be.

I have nothing to add regarding the actual editing because it is technically perfect. The only thing I noticed, which I'm not sure if it was in the original, was a reused shot of him kicking his leg floating asleep during the 80-day trip to Neptune.

Putting in the effort to actually go read a book to inform your decisions on the narrative was above and beyond, and it shows. Even your rationalization for keeping the monkey part (a bit which I personally found completely ludicrous) made it somehow valuable to the overall experience. I doubt there would be a way to edit it out anyway given the Captain's fate but somehow it made more sense in your cut.

Also I can't tell you how happy I was to see that you removed the moon pirates. Like come on now, how would they even exist. They just have to wait for a car to come by so they can scavenge air?? Get outta here.

Overall you took a movie that annoyed, bored, and somewhat angered me and you actually made it into something I would watch for a now-third time. Well done!

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Yes
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Digital
J
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Overall rating
 
10.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
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10.0
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10.0
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10.0
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10.0
This was near perfection for me… What an experience the film becomes, with this edit!

Other reviewers have talked here about the plot changes, which definitely worked for me. I’d highlight the removal of the pirate attack (why and how would that even work…), the gun firing (they should know why that’s a bad idea in the first place…) and the rest of the scene around it, because the way it’s edited now changes the character building for the better.
Most importantly, the removal of the “shock wave surfing” at the end, which was baffling for me. I mean, do the original authors even though for 1 second about physics… And the new ending, it really works like this.

The highpoint of the edit is, without a doubt, the score. It reminded me of another fanedit, “Annihilation - Noitalihinna” (by The Scribbling Man) which was also trying to rescore the film to recover the theme of the original story/book.

The audio experience is now, throughout the entire film, haunting, melancholic, evocative, poignant, discomfiting, ethereal… It both elevates and guides the story and the feelings evoked by it.

Let me say it: when I watched the original film before, I decided that I never needed to watch it again, it had too many flaws in-between the good parts. Now, I predict I’ll rewatch this version a number of times, probably after any sci-fi film that tries and fails to do what this fanedit now does: to tell a science fiction story that is more about looking thoughtfully to ourselves than anything else.

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Yes
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Digital
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Overall rating
 
10.0
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10.0
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10.0
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10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
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10.0
Thoroughly enjoyed watching this and transformed this film into one that is more grounded and improved. Many thanks for putting this one together.

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Yes
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L
2 reviews
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Overall rating
 
9.8
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
Total enjoyment!

I liked Ad Astra to begin with. It was not the best sci-fi movie of all time, but never the less a good introvert movie. With some obvious flaws.

Enter this awesome cut! The removal of the voiceovers and the ridiculous ending are the most important and also what makes this so much better. Now you as an audience can think for your self and not be served exposition on a plate.

The moon chase I was initially suspicious of, it was a good scene and I enjoyed it. But without it I must admit it got even better. Now the voyage is more poetic instead of some Hollywood action. Love that change.

I with there was a way of removing The Vesta monkey scenes, but for natural reasons that wouldn't be possible. They're ok I guess, and does not ruin the movie.

Well done on a awesome edit, this I will watch again, thank you!

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Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
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Overall rating
 
9.4
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
First off, thanks to Last Impressions for the work put into this edit and for sharing it. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Overall this edit is a substantial improvement over the official release. While I enjoyed the original theatrical cut, it failed for me once Roy McBride (Brad Pitt's character) is alone on the ship traveling from Mars to Neptune. The director, editor, and sound designers' attempt to manufacture phycological tension here never worked for me. What Last Impressions does to refine this scene is a minor miracle, and the rest of the movie is better for it!

Constructive criticism:
The overall theme/thesis of the film is that what we have: Earth, humanity, our solar system, our relationships are all there is, and we should appreciate them instead of looking for more. I'd like to see Roy starting to appreciate the world around him. The character journey the film wants is the evolution of a man so focused on his work he loses sight, like his father, of all the beauty around him. If his change is more apparent and gradual then Roy verbalizing this realization at the end of his journey will land with greater resonance. The film does a decent job with this already, and Last Impressions improves upon it, but there is room for further refinement.

Example:
When Roy travels across the lunar surface, there could be a few additional or extended moments of wonder. i.e. A CU of the earth when they turn to admire it. Let the moon dust scene last a little longer. Tightening those moments to Roy seeing them.

Another opportunity would be letting there be more space, both time and visually, during the travel from the Moon to Mars; this is also a global note for me. I found that a touch too much 'breathing room' has been cut from the film throughout. We don't get to sit with the aftermath of events as much as I think the character needs. A lot of what is happening in the film is internal to Roy's character, and we need time for him to absorb and slowly change. To me, everything on Mars felt rushed. Roy's change from calm to frazzled overall. Not hearing him trying to communicate with his father multiple times resulted in me not buy Roy going against orders and changing his tactics.

Two cuts that didn't work for me.

One:
The first cut that didn't work for me is from arriving at the rocket to leave the moon to Tomas Pruitt (Donald Sutherland) having a heart attack. I don't immediately have a solution though several thoughts have crossed my mind. On the other hand, going from three rovers to one did work as there felt like a passage of time.

Two:
The second is the shot of Roy giving Donald Stanford (Loren Dean) oxygen on the ship after leaving Mars. (Spoiler) I think simply cutting from the ship taking off and the astronauts slamming into the back of the ship to the ship in space and three dead astronauts being released into it would work a lot better.

I love the ending!

To anyone who reads this, I highly recommend this cut of the film. The plot, character development, pace (for the most part), and score are significantly improved.

Thanks again to Last Impressions for creating this edit. It will be my go-to version of the movie and unlike the original already leaves me with a desire to watch it again!

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