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Moonfall is a total disaster 

Co-writer/director Roland Emmerich helms this disaster flick about Earth's moon falling out of its orbit and threatening to destroy our planet. Conspiracy theorist and amateur "megastructurist" K.C. Houseman (John Bradley) discovers what's happening but can't get NASA to listen, so he seeks out disgraced former astronaut Brian Harper (Patrick Wilson), who on a space mission a decade ago lost a crew member to what he described as a black swarm. His fellow astronaut Jocinda "Jo" Fowler (Halle Berry) was knocked unconscious during the mission and couldn't back up his account, but now to save the planet and their respective family members, the two estranged former colleagues must set aside their differences, launch into space, and with Houseman's help, find a way to get the moon back in its orbit. (130 min.)

click to enlarge TOO THE MOON, ALICE! K.C. Houseman (John Bradley, left), Brian Harper (Patrick Wilson, center), and Jocinda "Jo" Fowler (Halle Berry, right) launch into space to stop the moon from falling on Earth, in Moonfall, a disaster of a disaster movie. - PHOTO COURTESY OF CENTROPOLIS ENTERTAINMENT AND H BROTHERS
  • Photo Courtesy Of Centropolis Entertainment And H Brothers
  • TOO THE MOON, ALICE! K.C. Houseman (John Bradley, left), Brian Harper (Patrick Wilson, center), and Jocinda "Jo" Fowler (Halle Berry, right) launch into space to stop the moon from falling on Earth, in Moonfall, a disaster of a disaster movie.
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Glen It's official! This is the worst movie I've ever sat all the way through. If we weren't reviewing it, I would have walked out and never given it another thought. Instead, I sat through more than two hours of eye-rollingly bad dialogue, a preposterous plot even by sci-fi standards, alternately wooden or desperately overacted performances, and silly CGI. And it's not even like I went in with high expectations! I know what a hack Emmerich is. Sure, Independence Day (1996) was campy fun, The Patriot (2000) was stirring melodrama, and Stargate (1994) was clever sci-fi, but The Day After Tomorrow (2004), 2012 (2009), and just about any of his other movies are bombastic brain cell killers. Moonfall is Emmerich's dumbest film yet. If I told you the film's big reveal, you'd understand just how terrible this waste of time is. Like a lot of his disaster flicks, there's a desperate but failed attempt to up the emotional ante. Fowler and Harper both have kids and estranged spouses who end up traveling together to get to a military installation, encountering dangers at every turn. As the moon gets closer to Earth, tsunamis strike, gravity goes bonkers, and the atmosphere is sucked away. It's all meant to be very dramatic, and I kept hoping the film might achieve "so bad it's good" status, but nope. This movie stinks.

Anna Hollywood is such a mystery to me sometimes. How this script and film got greenlit is absolute insanity to me—I feel like I lost two-plus hours of my life. I can't imagine how much time (and frankly, life spirit) was lost to those involved in making this monstrosity. It's supposed to feel big and bold; instead, it's garish and boring. These aren't bad actors either, so watching them play out this drivel is painful. Berry won a Razzie for worst actress in 2005 for her role in the notoriously terrible Catwoman, but at least that film gave us something to laugh at. This is taking itself so seriously, clunkily trying to pull out emotions from the audience for characters we've been given absolutely no reason to care about. Sure, I wanted the kids to survive—I'm no monster—but even their storyline is hard to care about. There are three writers listed on IMDB for this film, and honestly, I'm flabbergasted by that. The painfully bad dialogue feels like what happens when you have 18 people badly writing and revising a project that should have been scrapped from the get-go. I literally organized my purse while watching this in the dark theater—sorting through old gum wrappers and receipts felt like a much better use of my time.

Glen You actually can't blame Hollywood for this one. Shot in Montreal, the film's budget was between $138 million to $146 million, making it one of the most expensive independently produced films of all time. Those independent producers—there are 16 listed on imdb.com—must be wringing their hands right now. So far, the film's only grossed a scant $3.4 million. What really blows me away is that audiences have sort of liked it. It's got a 68 percent audience score! Who are these people? I'm actually surprised the critics score is as high as it is at 40 percent! I love a B movie, but this steaming pile of excrement has no redeeming qualities. What a waste of talent! Michael Peña plays car salesman Tom Lopez, who's now married to Harper's ex-wife, Brenda (Carolina Bartzcak). He's supposed to be a shallow jerk, a butt of some of the film's lackluster attempt at humor, but his character arc is to become a hero. It's all so clunky. The great Donald Sutherland is in this, given nothing to do. These actors deserve better, but I cringed watching them gamely deliver the most trite, faux-emotional dialogue ever set on paper. The movie's intellectually offensive. Steer clear.

Anna I really like Peña, and Sutherland is an absolute treasure—both are totally wasted here. Why waste the money and talent if you aren't going to give these people something interesting to do or say? It's maddening. They truly just threw the whole pot of spaghetti at the wall in hopes that something would stick, but it didn't. Save your money and your time on this one. Δ

Senior Staff Writer Glen Starkey and freelancer Anna Starkey write Split Screen. Glen compiles streaming listings. Comment at gstarkey@newtimesslo.com.

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