Three overlooked films get a second chance on the small screen this week, including Brad Pitt’s head-scratching space movie AD ASTRA, Kristen Stewart’s Hollywood biopic SEBERG and a new outing for a new Wimpy Kid. Enjoy!
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Like your science fiction on the moody side? Then AD ASTRA (from the Latin meaning ‘to the stars’) is definitely for you. Set in the near future and telling the story of melancholy astronaut Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) and his mission to Neptune to track down his long lost father, this is a space movie that plays wonderfully with your head. As Roy journeys further and further into deep space, encountering several strange phenomena along the way, his repressed daddy issues become magnified and Roy fears for his own sanity. Star Trek this ain’t.
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AD ASTRA is undeniably languid but it looks so gorgeous it’s easy to forget that leisurely pace. The lighting, the sets, the music - here’s a movie to enjoy on as big a screen as possible. Brad’s relentless voiceover might not be everyone’s cup of tea admittedly (and hints at the editing troubles the film had behind-the-scenes) but if you’ve been awestruck by the likes of Interstellar, First Man or 2001: A Space Odyssey, then AD ASTRA is a welcome - and frequently wonderful - addition to the genre of Slow Space Movies.
You can watch AD ASTRA  with a Now TV Cinema Pass from 17 July
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DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: THE LONG HAUL
Even the magic of movies can’t stop the original child stars from the first three Wimpy Kid films getting older so for this fourth outing we get an all new Heffley family, including Jason Drucker as the title character and Clueless star Alicia Silverstone as his toilworn mother. One thing stays the same though and that’s charm. What made Jeff Kinney’s Wimpy Kid books so successful was their humour, warmth and understanding of a twelve-year-old’s mind and the films have been no different. THE LONG HAUL is a must for any child who’s been stuck in a car with their family on a seemingly never-ending road trip.
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While the new cast takes a bit of getting used to, with Kinney on board as writer and producer, THE LONG HAUL otherwise continues the saga of nerdy Greg and his eccentric relatives pretty seamlessly. Their cross country journey to visit Greg’s gran - with a cheeky stop at a video game convention along the way - is packed with crazy characters and sticky situations, not a million miles away from eighties classic National Lampoon’s Vacation. It’s fun but ultimately heartfelt. In other words, ideal summer holiday viewing.
You can watch THE LONG HAUL [U] on Disney+ from the 17 July
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Get ready for a fascinating slice of movie history as Kristen Stewart plays real-life starlet Jean Seberg - ice cool in the iconic sixties French film Breathless - in this gripping tale of politics, paranoia and tragedy. After success in Europe, the twenty-something Seberg went back to Hollywood and soon became involved with civil rights groups frowned upon by the US government. Hence the rest of her short life she found herself a target for the FBI: spied upon, harassed and a career on the rocks.
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SEBERG tells a jaw-dropping story and Stewart’s the ideal actor to mix Jean’s chic style with the fragility of a woman constantly worried about who’s watching her. As with most biopics, elements have been tweaked or left out to serve the story but the main point remains impossible to ignore: Jean struggled to be herself - a young, politically charged woman - in a world dominated by men who wanted to control her. No wonder Kristen Stewart took the role. Heartbreaking stuff.
You can stream SEBERG  on Amazon Prime or buy on DVD
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