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.

Eternals

Sure sure.

Ooo. That’s a nice green.

Cersi?

Man, London is very green.

Uhm. Is this copy wrong? I think it might be?

THAT”S LESS GREEN

Is that Jon Snow?

Oh yeah, monsters.

But I like these scenes. It really looks like it’s on location, and not a green screen extravaganza.

Yeah sure.

Man, this is kinda boring? I mean, every scene is just … some info dump and then “character building”, but we don’t care about these characters (yet), so it’s just not that fascinating.

Yeah sure

Have they gotten the same video game designers to do all of these?

Cosmic!

That’s some nice matte painting I mean computer rendering.

I realise that this is supposed to be all “heh, this sure is amusing! I am most amused!” but it’s just please no.

You read so much about Evil Movie Studios getting all up in movies and making horrible edits… but watching this, it’s like… Studios don’t care any more? If this had been in the 80s, they’d have cut an hour and it still wouldn’t have been any good.

Like… it seems like they’re fighting some random monsters? In a forest? For half an hour? And I don’t even know why? And that doesn’t make them seem very Eternal? Like what? What’s that all about?

Except having half an hour in a dark woods so that the CGI would be cheaper?

Perhaps the thing Disney learned from the Star Wars movies was — let the directors do what they want? At least Disney won’t be blamed for anything, and anyway there’s no way to save a movie?

Because this is the stereotypical movie that would have been re-edited down to half an hour, and then Alan Smithee would film 60 minutes more to splice it into the movie, and it would still bomb.

I mean, even skimming the script, it had to be clear that this movie didn’t really work. On any level.

Teh movie biz is weird.

But there are some nice visuals in here. So it’s got that.

Eternals. Chloé Zhao. 2021.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife

That’s a lot of CGI. The first five minutes were, like, a CGI car running through a CGI fence and then into a CGI corn field… it’s a bit like watching a youtube of somebody playing a dull video game?

Now there’s humans, at least, but all playing against greenscreen.

Such real.

Such actual.

Is this Sanctuary? Didn’t CGI get any better in the decade(s) since Sanctuary? Did this thing have a budget?

OK, so this wasn’t a no budget movie…

Man, the corny lines…

This is brutal.

Ah! Paul Rudd! That’s where the budget went!

OK, I laughed out loud at that obtuse joke. And now I’m kinda enjoying myself.

This is really… amiable now. They’ve got some good actors here — they’re pulling this off?

I love how they finally tied this into the original Ghostbusters movie(s).

I thought I was getting used to the Sanctuary aesthetics (i.e., all people filmed on greenscreen and then backgrounds composited into the shots), because basically all the shots are that way. But then it gets too crude (like here) and I’m back to eeek

This movie feels like it’s a condensed TV series season? It’s got TV aesthetic and pacing, but instead of having to watch six hours of stuff, we’re just getting two hours. So it’s great that way.

But as a movie? Hm…

They couldn’t even film in a real store? Man, that’s lazy CGI.

That’s a good 80s movie ending. I really enjoyed that. So — it’s like… that’s a good way to make a sequel/homage? And the kids were really great. But this movie is really at least half an hour too long — just scenes and scenes of things that are without interest.

I mean, it’s really a movie, but let’s go with:

Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Jason Reitman. 2021.