Rebel Moon - Part One: A Child of Fire (2023)
December 23, 2023 3:32 PM - Subscribe

When a peaceful settlement on the edge of a distant moon finds itself threatened by the armies of a tyrannical ruling force, a mysterious stranger living among its villagers becomes their best hope for survival.

The project began development as a Star Wars film that Snyder had pitched to Lucasfilm, shortly after the sale of Lucasfilm to The Walt Disney Company in 2012. This pitch was to be a more mature take on the Star Wars universe. Snyder also pitched the idea as both a video game and a film to Warner Bros. Pictures "a couple of times".
posted by Just this guy, y'know (23 comments total)
I went to see this in the cinema at the end of a day full of watching TV being filmed (Taskmaster Junior) and a couple of stand up shows. It fit into the schedule relatively well, so I thought it was worth a punt.

It is, tbh, exactly what you might expect from a Zack Snyder take on a Stars War.

Unfortunately I am not a fan of really anything Zack Snyder has made, but if you are, you'd probably enjoy it.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 3:34 PM on December 23, 2023

Visuals are fantastic, love the costume design, but it's a struggle to care about any of the characters (except Doona Bae, who will always have my heart).

Also: At the very end, someone mentions at "an Imperial dreadnought". Is that a survivor from when the script was a Star Wars script? These bad guys all serve a King (and/or King Regent), not an Emperor.
posted by Mogur at 6:27 PM on December 23, 2023 [2 favorites]

I watched this last night and was ... bored. I liked the aesthetic of it, and it is visually interesting, but man does nothing of consequence actually happen. I think it was over stuffed with characters and there just wasn't enough time to get to know any of them, and so it was difficult to care. The acting was This is a movie in which the actors got paid. That's all they wanted, and all we should expect from them.

I didn't know, until I read this post, that this was kicked around as a Star Wars project, but that tracks: it really does have a knock-off Star Wars vibe. I was wondering, while watching it, if it was based on a SFF series that I hadn't read. The pacing of it is odd and it introduces characters as if I should already know who they are, it felt like a bad book adaptation (where sometimes all the exposition gets cut out and only people who have read the books know what is going on).
posted by selenized at 7:19 PM on December 23, 2023

I am reminded of a bit from 1995's _Restoration_ in which Downey Jr is evaluating a friend's painting and says simply "It is an excrescence." Or it was his painting. The important thing is the excrescence.

Visuals are fantastic

I can't even give Snyder that. There was a lot of pretty underwhelming green screen + cgi. And a lot of how I managed to hatewatch most of it was just looking for the better movies he was plagiarizing shots from. Oh look it's the speeder chase from Serenity. Oh look it's the ship portal from Jupiter Ascending except now it's a vagina.

We already did _Seven Samurai_ in space and it was called _Battle Beyond the Stars_. How the hell did this get greenlit? "Let's spend hundreds of millions redoing a Roger Corman movie!" God, movie/media executives are just the dumbest fuckwits. I "eagerly" await the Snyder version of _Big Bad Mama_ that costs 2.3 billion dollars.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 5:32 AM on December 24, 2023 [5 favorites]

Part of me wants to see this, but (a) three hours is a lot of Zack Snyder movie, and (b) Netflix doesn't give a shit why you watch something, just that you do, and I am not sure I want to be responsible for more creative choices like this movie.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:57 AM on December 24, 2023 [1 favorite]

The visual effects are in fact very good. The sad Anthony Hopkins robot looks great. The big spaceships look great. The sweeping shots of the idyllic village even look good. The CGI artists have done a very good job. The bits that look terrible are the action sequences.

I was under the impression that Snyder had a reputation for good action sequences. This doesn't hold up at all.
The action sequences don't serve to develop character or plot, just to have seemingly look cool, which apart from anything else, they don't.

There is a point where a samurai woman is fighting a Drider (A Centaur but made of a spider and a woman). She is fighting with swords that light up. Not light sabers, nobody said lightsabers. They're real swords that just happen to be able to glow. During this fight the main character stands by the door and watches. Even when it seems that the sword woman is going to lose the main character doesn't at any point use her gun to shoot the big spider. I'm assuming it's because the controls are locked out for the cut scene.
It's the most video game cutscene thing I've ever seen, including all video game cutscenes.
By the way, the conclusion of all this is that sword woman joins the crew, and then hangs around in the background of all the future shots. No further use is made of the character.

The action sequences are pretty much the worst thing about this movie. Which given how bad the plot and characters and whatnot are is a real achievement.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 2:53 PM on December 24, 2023 [3 favorites]

It's trash, and sort of a mashup of Battle Beyond the Stars and, I dunno, maybe Clash of the Titans. But I knew it would be trash going in, so I had a good time. It's fun to pick apart the pacing issues. Like in the big fight scene at the end, when the rebel guy nobody cares about slo-mo suicide leaps onto the gunship, full rule of cool, and then there's an unnecessary scene where they sort of awkwardly fumble around for a bit before the rebel guy kills his target and dies. Better to have his first attack kill the guy, IMO, and I'm sure most of the movie could be nitpicked like that.

It would probably be more fun it was slightly hornier.
posted by surlyben at 4:42 PM on December 24, 2023

I really wanted to like this piece of shit. :-(
posted by The Monster at the End of this Thread at 6:29 PM on December 24, 2023 [3 favorites]

It was crap, but my wife and I enjoyed watching it.

Astonishing just how much was stolen from other well-known sci-fi and western and fantasy stories/films. It's not worth paying big money to go see, but it was a fun popcorn flick with some cool monsters. It barely has a script. It's bad, but we thought it was fun.
posted by SoberHighland at 8:03 AM on December 25, 2023

I thought it was funny that both actors who played Daario Naharis in Game of Thrones are in this.
posted by supermedusa at 9:29 AM on December 25, 2023 [4 favorites]

I was entertained, therefore it is good.
posted by yonega at 10:30 AM on December 25, 2023

it's a struggle to care about any of the characters

Although I will pour one out for Kai, the bounty hunter who used one of his targets to grab three of his other targets and lead him to the fifth one, then got the five of them to carry their own prisoner transport units out onto the dock (both saving him some effort and ensuring they'd be standing right next to the units as they were activated). I weep for the lost brainpower, as his death sharply reduces the average IQ of the film.
posted by Mogur at 11:32 AM on December 25, 2023 [2 favorites]

Zac Snyder must be stopped.

If I'd done a shot for every pointless slow-mo sequence, I'd have been dead before the second act had limped to a close.
posted by wakannai at 11:53 AM on December 26, 2023 [2 favorites]

This was a chore.

I would say Snyder's become a self parody, but I happened to see a few scenes of Watchmen on a hotel tv the other day, and no, he's always been this way.

(I never realized Corey Stoll's arms were so big. Nice to see him in a different kind of role.)

They sure took a long time to establish several characters who ended up contributing nothing of value to the action that couldn't have been contributed by a faceless extra.

In Nemesis's spider fight I was rooting for the spider.

Takar's speech to the griffin was laughably stupid. Just embarrassingly bad writing.

Poor Djimon Hounsou. He got washed. That's it. We need to cast Djimon Hounsou so we can see him getting washed, and... that's it.

This was like listening to Colin Robinson recounting the plot of Jupiter Ascending for hours, but getting confused and merging it with The Chronicles of Riddick in his memory.

Zack Snyder's got a good movie in him, unfortunately he spread it out over 10 or 11 films so there's not much to go around. His best movie remains Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 1:04 PM on December 26, 2023

I just wanted to have fun, and I did. Sorry, apparently.
posted by Stanczyk at 3:48 PM on December 26, 2023 [1 favorite]

Made it 40 minutes and gave up before Doona Bae even showed her face. Glad folks like Snyder keep getting to make absolute garbage while decent women directors can't get a break to save their lives. /s
posted by kokaku at 4:18 PM on December 26, 2023

Seriously, if you had fun with this, go and watch _Battle Beyond the Stars_. It's good fun. It's got John Boy and John Saxon and George Peppard and Sybil Danning and so many other actual actors! One of the spaceships is alive! And busty!
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 7:18 PM on December 26, 2023 [1 favorite]

About 100 minutes into the 135 minute runtime, the villain gives us a rundown of who everyone is and why they are enemies of the Empir... sorry, Regency. The only reason he can spend this much time talking is because the characters have been immobilised and disarmed.

This used to be how my GM would deliver exposition to my kill-happy DnD group.
posted by Molesome at 3:35 PM on December 27, 2023 [2 favorites]

Battle beyond the Stars makes more sense. What's the point of recruiting a small team of foot soldiers when the opposition have a fleet which can raise a fixed planetary target (eg like a village). Snyder even goes to the trouble of showing they can raise an entire planetary surface.
posted by biffa at 6:56 AM on January 3 [1 favorite]

posted by biffa at 9:53 AM on January 7

Finally caught up with this and have to agree with the comments so far: dumb and mostly boring. The writing is terrible, the acting is bad, and the plot is just so lazy. There are too many examples to count, but right at the start, the soldiers left behind in the village by Admiral Noble (really?) are so laughably eeeeeevil it's just embarrassing. They're only there to convince Kora to come out of hiding, but they are so cartoonishly evil they almost murder one of their own dudes. And what happens to that guy anyway, who helps out Kora in rescuing the water girl from horrible rape (also, ew; talk about tired tropes that need to die)? He just disappears from the movie.

As mentioned, the action scenes aren't even good and serve no purpose other than showing the characters are super cool and great fighters but they don't even show that off. In the cantina scene, such as it is, Snyder had a great opportunity for a "Han shot first" take, but instead it takes Kora absolutely ages to gun down a bunch of back-country goons, and she still needs help to avoid getting shot.

And visually it's not as interesting as some other Snyder stuff I've watched either. He thinks a lot of these shots are cool, but most of them are not. I really thought I had lowered my expectations far enough to enjoy this as a silly dumb distraction, but sadly not. Oh well.
posted by dellsolace at 10:24 AM on February 20

I have come here among you to praise the beard of Balisarius, King of the Universe, which appears mainly in the last few minutes of the movie.

The beard of Balisarius, King of the Universe, which has chosen to be borne by That Guy from Hawkeye, a thousand blessings on his name.

The beard of Balisarius, King of the Universe, clearly plucked in a last-minute frenzy from the face of a child playing a Wise Man in a third-grade nativity play down the block.

The beard of Balisarius, King of the Universe, which conveys wisdom and gravity and power through a magnificent assemblage of grey felt, dipped in glue and dragged through barbershop floor-leavings.

The beard of Balisarius, King of the Universe, which in a movie groaning with CGI is the greatest practical effect since Ray Harryhausen gazed upon the script for Clash of the Titans and smiled.

The beard of Balisarius, King of the Universe, conveying the glories of a man who has awakes from his hammock nap to discover that three to five grey squirrels have mated in a frenzied orgy on his face, and died.

The beard of Balisarius, King of the Universe, a beard which shall be known through all of space and time as the beard against which all beards must be judged.

Hail the beard of Balisarius, King of the Universe, beard of my dreams, king of my heart.

Hail! Hail! Hail!
posted by Shepherd at 4:58 PM on April 4 [3 favorites]

In good news, now Rebel Moon 2 has been released this is no longer Snyder's worst film.
posted by biffa at 5:08 AM on May 9

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