Aquaman

From the desk of The Movie Snob.

Aquaman (D).  Nicole Kidman (The Killing of a Sacred Deer) stars in a beautiful romance about two star-crossed lovers.  She’s royalty from the undersea kingdom of Atlantis; he’s a humble lighthouse keeper in Maine.  One stormy night in 1985 he finds her on the shore, badly wounded in the course of escaping from an arranged marriage to some king or other.  He nurses her back to health, she eats one of his goldfish, they fall in love, and a baby boy is born.  But alas!  The Atlanteans catch up with her, and to protect her husband and her son she must return to the ocean and become a fugitive.  But, she tells her husband, if she ever finds a way to return to him, she will appear at the end of their dock at sunrise.  She swims away.  The end.

Ha!  If only!  Unfortunately the director spends only about ten minutes on the Kidman love story and then assaults us with over two hours of sublimely ridiculous blather about the superhero Aquaman (Jason Momoa, TV’s Baywatch: Hawaii) and his quest to recover the super-duper magic trident of Old King Blizz Blazz, take his rightful place as king of Atlantis (which involves one-on-one combat strongly reminiscent of Black Panther), and stop an all-out war between the Atlanteans and the human race.  On the plus side, Aquaman does have a gorgeous sidekick in the person of Princess Mera (Amber Heard, The Rum Diary).  On the minus side, there is everything else.  And, by the way, Princess Mera seems every bit as competent as fishboy.  Why can’t she grab the golden trident and take care of everything?  Is it just because she’s a girl?  For all their awesome technology, the Atlanteans sure aren’t very woke.

P.S.  If this movie means that Nicole Kidman is going to start appearing at comic cons, I take it all back.

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Apollo 11

A new review from The Movie Snob.

Apollo 11 (A).  Longtime readers of this blog know The Movie Snob doesn’t hand out the “A” very often.  This new documentary was a solid “A.”  It consists almost entirely of film footage and a few photographs from the first moon landing back in 1969.  The first 20 minutes of the film’s efficient 93-minute run time lead up to lift-off.  We briefly meet the astronauts and get lots of footage of the rocket, the control room, and the many, many ordinary folks who camped out to watch the historic event.  Did you know there were a couple of pre-lift-off alarms about a leaky valve?  Neither did I!  But the countdown continues, and then we’re off and running.  Even though we all know what happened, I was on the edge of my seat for every key moment of the mission–the rocket burns, the spaceship separations and dockings, and of course the landing of the moon lander itself.  And there’s no contemporary voiceover; just a couple of snippets of Walter Cronkite’s reporting.  It’s like a time capsule from 50 years ago.  Check it out.