Moonfall

Yay! Sci-fi! It’s been a while since I’ve seen a proper sci-fi movie.

But on the other hand, this is Roland Emmerich, so it’s gonna suck. But I’m fine with that.

It was so much work watching this movie. It’s a 4K movie using Dolby Vision, which my mpv didn’t support. But! The mpv people have written support for the format over the last few months in the form of a new library called libplacebo. But getting that to compile required upgrading my OS… a lot… which then broke some of my obscure peripherals (like the DisplayLink monitor that I use to display some info).

But! It was probably the least breakey ~5 year upgrade I’ve ever done? It’s surely the Year Of Linux On The Media PC now.

I kinda liked the first scene here, but then this movie takes a nose dive in interest?

There’s nothing really bad about these scenes… sure, they’re a bit boring, but not massively so?

It’s kinda by the numbers? But I’m not annoyed.

Nice matte painting! I mean CGI.

Emmerich gets more out of CGI artists than most directors these days. It actually looks kinda scary and pretty and awesome.

But I can see why everybody hates this movie: The mood is a bit… down? This isn’t quite what people need this week?

It’s him! Heh heh.

Oh, Emmerich has done a whole lot fewer movies than I thought he had. I’ve only seen a handful? Less than a handful. I was thinking this was Michael Bay.

It’s been like an hour of… nothing? I mean, character building. Nobody has actually used the phrase “you’re not my father! you weren’t there when I grew up!” but you can see that the characters are thinking about saying it.

Hopefully something will happen in the second hour.

But people love this sort of stuff! I’m not quite sure why people hate it in this movie…

This is a really cheesy movie. In a good way.

But I guess it has some issues with tone and pacing. If it had been zanier, it’d be easier to read, but it started off like it was, like, A Serious Sci Fi Movie. But it’s not really — it’s nice and goofy.

It’s the Moon! Run away!

Oh, now I get what this movie reminds me of! It’s totally like one of those 50s sci-fi movies where they have to send out a team of scrappy people into space to tackle some threat. But updated with better graphics.

This is totally MST3K fodder. In a good way.

Yeah! Laser cannons!

Yee haw! They did that scene! Classic.

I had so low expectations of this movie, but I really should have guessed that the amount of stick this movie was getting had to mean that it’s a quite nice movie. And it is. It’s a quite nice, goofy movie.

Googling a bit of reactions to it, I see nerds complaining about how stupid and unlikely it is… which is a bit like complaining about James Bond movies not being accurate.

Now, this isn’t a perfect movie. The first hour is inexplicably flabby. There’s about 90 minutes of material here, but padded out. So:

Moonfall. Roland Emmerich. 2022.

Edit: I’m now watching:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yaILVoXZTqU]

And it’s… the worst. I mean, I like Red Letter Media, but this one just the most boring ever. Moonfall is 10x more entertaining than that episode, because they basically just retells the plot (as if that’s interesting?) and then complains that the plot isn’t quite realistic in some bits?

It’s so weird and lazy.

Spider-Man: No Way Home

Oh noes!

Yes, I’m watching a super-hero movie again.

Wow! It’s I Zimbra on the soundtrack!

And now it’s… Liquid Liquid!? I’m so aboard with these New York Downtown music choices.

I’m enjoying this movie so far, but it’s like… it should look better than it does? It’s so… digital. It just looks so digital. From 2002. You can’t actually see the pixels, but it feels like you should. I’m guessing the shot above is mostly rendered? For no particular reason? If it’s not, they’ve managed to make real shots look really fake.

This is quite amusing.

OK, it’s a bit slow now, but amiable.

Now it’s kinda boring?

Spoilers!

There’s now been an hour (at least) of “character development”. I’ve never been so bored in my life.

I mean, I do like some bits of this. And it’s really a perfect fan service movie — people nostalgic for … well, everything… are getting what they want.

But… there’s like nothing interesting in the plot? It’s like they forgot to write a plot? And there’s so many boring scenes inbetween the fun ones? It’s like… if they had written a proper movie, and had the Spider-Men fun stuff be like a third of that proper movie, then it would have been awesome. Instead it’s just like those fan service bits, and not much else.

Spider-Man: No Way Home. Jon Watts. 2021.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Whatever studio Disney’s using for the special effects and compositing… It just looks so cheap and weird all the time. I mean, even in simple shots where this guy is supposed to be standing in front of some trees.

It’s very 2020.

Did they really have to spend ten minutes introducing his parents’ backstory? Seems weird.

Weird colour grading. Everything is desaturated except the reds.

Oh! He’s Chinese! Red! Such symbolic!

OK, that was a fun fight scene. Marvel fight scenes are usually so … bad … just uncoordinated people posing, but that was pretty exciting.

But it wasn’t over!

That was definitely the best action scene of any Marvel movie! Wheee!

OK, I’m resetting my expectations. Perhaps this is a really cool movie? I like the actors, too…

This is a lot of fun. All the flashbacks are holding back the narrative, though. And none of the flashbacks really seem … necessary?

OK, not this movie is really really boring.

So much exposition. That doesn’t really seem necessary at all.

It’s a schizophrenic movie. There’s a bunch of scenes that are really fun — the action scenes are on a totally different level from other Marvel movies (which are mostly about actors striking awkward poses and waiting for somebody to CGI in some energy bursts, or striking awkward poses waiting for the director to tell them to make a “I’m totally hitting this CGI monster now” pose).

The action scenes here are really fun.

But then there’s the other stuff, which is pretty dire.

Hey, isn’t that… I think it is?

OK, I’ve lost all interest in this movie now. There was like several hours of training? And character building? I don’t know; I zoned out.

I’m just disappointed. It started off so well — funny and exciting and interesting. But then the last nine hours (training camp and boss fight) were brutally tedious.

Without that bus and scaffolding scenes I would have given this a , but:

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Destin Daniel Cretton. 2021.