If you have two hours to spare, its more useful and entertaining to watch paint dry. Or to watch the mating rituals of a common housefly.
A vapid, empty slog of a movie from a director who has been drinking the cool-aid of unwarranted fan adoraton for far too long.
Here's the full breakdown of Rebel Moon:
1 hour 20 minutes of heavy-handed exposition, replete with flashbacks
20 minutes of gratuitous slow motion
20 minutes of plot
5 minutes of establishing shots
The plot, whatever plot there is, goes as follows: our heroine is a fugitive in a tiny remote village on a remote planet. She witnesses an imperial admiral of an unassailable imperial frigate personally come down and shakedown the village for grain. Then she saves a local girl by growing a consciousness and revealing she is a formidable assassin in the process, decides to recruit rebels to their cause despite having no money or resources, randomly finds a convenient guy who knows all the best fighters, goes on a few sidequests, recruits those fighters, then recruites half of rebels, and then gets most of them killed. The end.
It takes the movie a full hour to get to "goes on sidequests". Yes, a full hour is spent in the remote village being shaken down by the evil imperial admiral who is an evil admiral at the head of evil imperial soldiers. Who are evil.
I want to say that the rest of the movie is crammed into the remaining hour. But, despite the seemingly many things that are happening, the remaining movie crawls along with all the grace and agility of a senile arthritic snail.
Ed Skrein is trying his best to act through the lines written by a fifth-grader for the clinically inept. The rest of the cast is only there to collect their paychecks and go home.
Ed Skrein as an imperial admiral on a mission to take down a dangerous rebel faction personally shaking down a village for some grain. Yes, it is as stupid as it sounds
Charlie Hunnam asking where the exit is
The characters... I couldn't tell you what the characters are, what their motivations are, or why we should care for them for more than a nanosecond even if my life depended on it.
Even though the characters are narrating their own expositions for about an hour of total runtime, the only one that has any actual character to them is an android. The androids entire storyline? About 5 minutes sometime at the 30 minute mark. 5 minutes of exposition, mind you. Total relevance of the android to the plot? Zero.
He sure made it into trailers though. This entire shot is about 5 seconds at the end of the movie. Looks like for Sir Anthony Hopkins (who voices the android) 20 dollars is 20 dollars.
Note how almost nothing is in focus in this 100% digital image? I'll talk about it shortly.
Visually this could be a very striking movie. However, Zack Snyder seems to be unable to pass an oportunity to turn everything into his own branded version of the intangible sludge.
Is this a flashback to an imperial palace, a flashback to an imperial military vessel, a scene in the village, a scene on an industrial world, or a scene in a port?
The answer is yes.
That said, Zack Snyder remains one of the few modern directors who manage to light a dark room so that you see every character, every face, and every emotion of that face (most of the time, and however little emotion there is).
And then there's Zack Snyder's signature camerawork with the extremely ultra shallow depth of field. This scene is a great example. Two unmoving static characters are standing in the same plane and talking to each other. One of them is 100% CGI:
Let's zoom in on this $166 million-dollar movie:
And this happens all. the. time.
All in all, Rebel Moon. Part 1: A Child of Fire is an utter waste of everyone's time. Given that this was an idea 30 years in the thinking and 10 years in the making that is supposedly lifted directly from Seven Samurai, this only serves as further proof that people should stop giving Znack Snyder money for his vanity projects. After all, Tommy Wiseau financed The Room. Zack Snyder should finance his own ineptitude, too.
An absolute blast. As perfect as it gets. Only positive emotions. It's really hard to convey the feeling of happiness you get from them. If you like the covers they post on their Youtube channel, live concert is several orders of magnitude better.
This was the encore song of the evening after a two-hour long concert:
A 2001 edition, updated in 2016, is a full volume containing three prefaces, 10 separate essays and articles on various topics from crypto anarchy to cyber security, and only then the novella itself.
And god is it boring.
In 1981 it was undoubtedly mind-blowing to most people at the time, but it's not good as a story. It's not even good as a vision of the future. The novella feels like an idea that struck the author at three in the morning, he jotted it down, and then sent off to the presses without fleshing it out.
As with many such books which are "visionary at the time", True Names is a historical curiosity, but is no longer worth reading.
On our final day we had some time to kill in Bucharest before we headed back home.
The Palace of the Parliament, or The People's House, formerly House of the Republic. The second largest administrative building in the world. Ordered by Nicolae Ceaușescu, it still sits mostly empty despite housing two chambers of Parliament, three museums, and a conference center.
The historical center is small, mostly devoid of character:
Valea Zimbrilor(The Valley of Bison) is a small private zoo/animal reservation in Vama Buzăului. It's small, and the animals might not be too keen to come close and show themselves, but it's your problem, not the animals' :)
We still liked it, and if you're ever in the vicinity, do visit.
Gradina cu struți Argeș
A small ostrich farm with lots of ostriches in Bălilești. Great owners and ostriches trying to eat everything in sight.
Being at the crossroads of nations and civilisations, this region was always under threat. Solution? Fortified churches that are small citadels were people could hide during wars, raids, skirmishes, attacks, and other vagaries of the age.
Well, it's sort of howling. And it only looks big in the pictures.
It's quite easy to reach even though the first 1/3 of the way can be quite steep. When you reach it, it's a small unassuming waterfall that doesn't deserve its name. But if you visit in autumn, the walk through the mountains is worth it alone.
When you just take a picture of the waterfall:
When you take a picture of the waterfall to put up on your travel blog:
We didn't take the ride because it was insanely costly for whatever promise of views it had:
Sibiu's historical center is great, and there's a lot of it. Looking back at the photos I realise that I don't have many good ones because it was enough to just walk around and enjoy it. Definitely worth a visit, more than once.
Brașov narrowest street, "Strada Sforii", The Rope Street. The tourist legend tells of a girl whose father wouldn't let her marry anyone without a useful skill, so her over wove a rope as long as the street. For some reason, the girl is still standing there, waiting :)