Astronaut (2019)

Angus (Richard Dreyfuss) is an old man who lives with his daughter’s family and is a widower. Angus has had a lifelong dream of one day becoming an astronaut and going into space. But unfortunately for Angus, this never happened in his life. However, Angus soon discovers that a billionaire is running a new competition that will allow one lucky winner to go into space. Angus decides to enter the competition, but in order to qualify, he lies about his age. Soon it is announced across the world that Angus is now a runner up and it’s up to the world to vote who gets to be the winner.
 
Astronaut is a drama film but thankfully there are many heartfelt moments that I feel many movie fans will find appealing. It’s also a nice feeling to see actor Richard Dreyfuss as a leading character in a film again. His performance here is very satisfying. However, Angus as a character is somewhat vague, particularly at the start of this film. As an audience, it is unfortunate that at first, we don’t quite understand all of Angus’s reasons and desires for wanting to go into space. While answers are given and explained later in the film, it’s revealed at an unusual moment in the film and feels like it would have been more suited to come earlier.
 
As an overall film, I will confess that I personally really wrestled with this film back and forth. While I can say the story is a heartfelt one and the performance by Richard Dreyfuss is positive, I felt there are a few minor elements that really held this movie back. 
 

Some of these elements include how the film is loaded with many coincidences. For example, every time a TV or radio is turned on it talks about the space competition. Side characters with side stories develop but never feel like anything gets properly resolved, instead the film’s prime focus going back to Angus. But for a good portion of this film, I struggled to develop feelings or a connection.  

Overall, it’s welcoming to see actor Richard Dreyfuss take a lead in this heartfelt drama. Performances from the leading actor are positive and the story here is truly a great concept. Unfortunately, as a film, there were moments where I didn’t feel the emotions the film intended for me to feel. There are multiple reasons as to why I feel this way and I truly wrestled with my score on this film. Thankfully, there were many moments that movie lovers will enjoy as we witness a man trying to fulfil a long life dream.

5.6/10

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Celie (Judy Reyes) is a single mother who works full-time as a nurse. At the same hospital is Dr. Rose Casper (Marin Ireland), a morgue technician who is working in the field of pathology. Even though they work at the same hospital, Celie and Dr. Rose Casper are...

Interview: Simon Emmett / Welcome to the Darkness (2023)

Walkden Entertainment (aka Peter Walkden) had the honour and pleasure of chatting with Simon Emmett, director of Welcome to the Darkness (2023), available on Digital from January 24th, thanks to Lightbulb Film Distribution. Have you been a long-term fan of The...

Anatomy of a Fall (2023)

Over the last year, a family of three consisting of Samuel (Samuel Theis), Sandra (Sandra Hüller), and their vision-impaired son, Daniel (Milo Machado Graner), have been living in an isolated location in the mountains. The film opens with Sandra attempting to share a...

Interview: Josh Forbes / Destroy All Neighbors (2024)

Walkden Entertainment (aka Peter Walkden) enjoyed chatting with Josh Forbes, director of Destroy All Neighbors (2024), Now Available Exclusively on Shudder. How did you become connected with Destroy All Neighbors, and what was the biggest attraction to working on...

Welcome to the Darkness (2023)

It's incredible to think of it now, but in 2002, The Darkness was an unsigned band. By 2004, its key members- Justin Hawkins, his brother Dan Hawkins, Frankie Poullain and the original drummer Ed Graham- had sold over a million records. But in 2006, something...

The Iron Claw (2023)

Based on a true story set in the early 1980s, The Iron Claw follows the Von Erich brothers and their journey within the world of professional wrestling. Firstly, we are taken back in time to glimpse wrestling icon Fritz Von Erich (Holt McCallany), delivering a final...

The Jungle Bunch: World Tour (2023)

The Jungle Bunch is a group of animals who, when called upon, will help and save the day. Whether it's another animal in need of urgent help or an area in the jungle that requires their attention, their goal and desire is to help maintain peace and harmony. When one...

The Canterville Ghost (2023)

In the late 1800s, there's a wild storm during the night right at bedtime for Lord Monroe (Bill Lobley), the proud owner of a stunningly large manor house in Canterville Chase, England. However, before going to bed with his teddy bear, Lord Monroe encounters something...

Career Opportunities (1991)

Jim (Frank Whaley) isn't the brightest bloke in the community. He struggles to hold a job, still lives with his parents, continually lies to everyone around him, and has failed to discover his true purpose as an adult. When Jim loses his job at an animal shelter, his...

Destroy All Neighbors (2024)

William Brown (Jonah Ray) is a passionate rock musician and composer with one major issue: he's unable to create the perfect song to take him further. When William isn't working on his music or spending time with his partner, he works at a recording studio as an...

The Holdovers (2023)

Paul Hunham (Paul Giamatti) is a teacher at a prep school located in New England during the 1970s. Paul is a firm, strict, and extremely cranky teacher and is disliked by students and co-workers alike. As school breaks up for another year over Christmas, many students...

Stargate (1994)

In 1928 Giza, Egypt, an incredible, large artifact is discovered by a group of archaeologists. We then jump to the present day and are introduced to Dr. Daniel Jackson (James Spader), an archaeologist knowledgeable about ancient Egypt, including translating the...

The Man in Half Moon Street (1945)

Who was Julian Karell, and where did he come from? What manner of man was he? For some, he was a fine, incredibly courageous scientist who lost track of truth. Another man claims that Karell was a cold-blooded murderer and a remarkable criminal. Lastly, we hear from a...

Kane (2023)

The film opens with a game of chess being played by two mysterious men and a voiceover letting us know who they are: Abe (Jeremy Lindsay Taylor) and Frankie (Nathan Phillips). Abe is an old-school gangster who has dissociative identity disorder, meaning there are...

Top Rated Films of 2023

You can agree that 2023 was another outstanding year for cinema. Below is a list of my favourites and, once again, my top ten titles. Trust me when I say it: it was a challenge to narrow it down to number one. On behalf of my family and myself, I would like to take...

Anyone But You (2023)

It all begins when Bea (Sydney Sweeney) rushes into a local cafe, hoping to use the toilet. The cafe staff are not helpful, but Bea is rescued by a nearby knight in shining armour, Ben (Glen Powell). Regardless of a few funny and awkward moments between Bea and Ben,...

Ferrari (2023)

Set in 1957, Enzo Ferrari (Adam Driver) is an ex-race car driver and the current owner of a well-known Italian car company. However, Ferrari is currently in hot water due to the lack of sales. Enzo's wife, Laura (Penélope Cruz), also works with him as a business...

Dream Scenario (2023)

Paul (Nicolas Cage) is a biology professor with a wife and two teenage daughters. There are multiple challenges for Paul, including trying to fulfil his long-term dreams of writing and publishing a book. Many around Paul live a life of success and wealth, but for...

The Shift (2023)

While sitting at a bar and drinking alone, Kevin (Kristoffer Polaha) meets his true love, Molly (Elizabeth Tabish). Instantly, Kevin is smitten by her to the point he is willing to make significant changes in his life, such as taking a deeper step into church and...

The Boys in the Boat (2023)

In the 1930s, Joe (Callum Turner) is studying to become an engineer at university. Financially, he is struggling to make ends meet as he pays off school fees. Unsuccessful at finding a job, he is sleeping in his car each night. Joe hears of a paying job for the...

Coup de Chance (2023)

When Fanny (Lou de Laâge) walks along a busy street, she soon hears her name being called out from afar. A man approaches her, claiming to know her from high school. At first, Fanny is surprised but soon learns the man is Alain (Niels Schneider). Once upon a time,...

Wonka (2023)

After seven years of living on the ocean, Willy Wonka (Timothée Chalamet) has decided to say farewell to the sea and start afresh in a city over the horizon. Willy Wonka is a skilled magician and chocolate maker with determined dreams of opening a brand-new chocolate...

Merry Little Batman (2023)

It's the Christmas season in Wayne Manor, and the only thing that six-year-old Damian Wayne (Yonas Kibreab) wants is to fight crime with his father, Batman, aka Bruce Wayne (Luke Wilson). On Christmas Eve, Bruce decides to give Damian his present early. Damian eagerly...

Wish (2023)

When he and his family are attacked, Magnifico (Chris Pine) decides to start afresh somewhere safe. Travelling far, far away, Magnifico and his wife find an island where they can begin a new life, welcoming others to join them and live in harmony. In time, a new...

Time Addicts (2023)

Denise (Freya Tingley) and Johnny (Charles Grounds) are a pair of good mates who are lovers of all things drug-related. Both Denise and Johnny are eager to get some more drugs, having recently run out and needing a quick fix. However, when it comes to finances,...

Master Gardener (2022)

Narvel (Joel Edgerton) cares for the garden at the luxury home of Mrs Haverhill (Sigourney Weaver). During his preparations of the garden for the Spring Charity Auction, word is received that Mrs. Haverhill would like to speak privately with Narvel. Upon their...

Candy Cane Lane (2023)

It's Christmas time, which means a critical thing for family man Chris (Eddie Murphy): the opportunity to enter one of the most exciting contests of the year. Chris will again compete with his fellow neighbours, all of whom will decorate their homes to the best of...

Silent Night (2023)

After witnessing the brutal murder of his son during a drive-by shooting, Brian (Joel Kinnaman) instantly chases after the men involved. However, during a showdown, Brian is gunned down and badly wounded. The results of the chase and his wounds leave Brian recovering...

Slotherhouse (2023)

Emily (Lisa Ambalavanar) is a young student in a sorority house who lacks the confidence to raise her hand in the upcoming election for sorority president. While shopping at her local mall, an incident occurs, and she meets a stranger who has animals for sale,...

It’s a Wonderful Knife (2023)

It's Christmas Eve in the small town of Angel Falls. Winnie’s (Jane Widdop) Christmas holidays are less than pleasing. The city is dramatically changing due to the town's mayor, Henry Waters (Justin Long), who is continually forcing people out of their homes due to...

Trolls Band Together (2023)

Long before Branch (Justin Timberlake) ever met Poppy (Anna Kendrick), Branch was a member of the famous pop band "BroZone". Made up of Branch and his brothers, the band was doing well until they had a disagreement before a massive performance. The arguments and...

The Old Oak (2023)

TJ Ballantyne (Dave Turner) owns “The Old Oak”, a pub in a village north of England. The pub has seen better days and relies on a small group of regular customers who visit often. It's also evident that the community members have never recovered from the loss of the...

The Skeleton Key (2005)

Caroline (Kate Hudson) is a skilled nurse, continually exhausted from witnessing facilities and workers treat patients as disposable. Seeking a healthier environment, Caroline quits her current position and seeks alternative employment. After perusing the ads in the...

Uproar (2023)

In the early '80s, Josh (Julian Dennison) is a seventeen-year-old high school student. Each day at school, Josh does his best to keep to himself, keeping his head down to avoid conflict with fellow students. Life for Josh has its challenges. Not only is he constantly...

Christmess (2023)

Chris (Steve Le Marquand) was once a famous actor, featuring in many hit films. However, a growing addiction to alcohol changed everything for the worse. Not only did Chris find himself in rehab, but over the years, he has become highly distant from his only daughter,...

The Royal Hotel (2023)

Two backpackers and good friends, Hanna (Julia Garner) and Liv (Jessica Henwick), are having the time of their lives as the cruise ship they are currently travelling on enters Sydney, Australia. However, their wild times of travelling and partying halt when Liv...

Thanksgiving (2023)

It was supposed to be just another Black Friday sale in a large retail store located in Plymouth, Massachusetts. However, the actions of several people from the community led to something terrible occurring during the opening of the retailer, ending with tragedy,...

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes (2023)

Sixty-four years before Katniss’ The Hunger Games (2012), young Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth) is attempting to earn a scholarship with great rewards. On the day Coriolanus expects to receive the prize for all his strenuous efforts, unexpected changes are made to the...