Geostorm: A disappointing Shitstorm

Image result for Geostorm poster

Me and disaster movies do not mix well generally. There is more emphasis on special effects than on characters. Therefore, most disaster movies are meant to look awesome than give off a sense of danger and urgency. The problem is, most disaster movies have laughable special effects too.

I broke a cardinal rule that I placed upon myself. That rule being watching the trailer and I swear to you, with the laughable and over-exaggerated special effects that the trailer seems to give off, I expected a shitstorm. There was a moment in the trailer where a tornado caused a high-rise building to topple over into other high rise buildings, creating a domino effect.

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This reminds me or Man of Steel: Skyscrapers being toppled with zero impact.

I was expecting the next Sharknado. I was banking that the only chance Geostorm is a figurative (and near-literal) shitstorm that I would be able to laugh ironically at. I hoped that was the movie’s intention

But as most blockbuster movies, Geostrom seems unwilling to commit to a crazy idea. It was not funny-bad, it was generically bad. It is taking itself seriously with some of the most tedious drama possible with bad scriptwriting and some wooden acting. Having said that, this is the best film, Gerard Butler has been in for the past two years I have been reviewing movies.

You see, Geostorm is not only generically bad, it is also inconsistently bad, meaning that I found aspects of it that are actually good. Geostorm is a movie where Gerard Butler is sent to space to fix the satellite spaceship that he created that controls the weather. Butler himself was fine. He did not make me want to mentally check out like I normally would. The special effects in space were also fine. It’s not Interstellar or Gravity levels or greatness, but it is good enough to easily suspend disbelief.

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Based on the trailer, I was actually confused that Geodtorm had decent special effects in space. It’s like asking for top notch CGI in Sharknado or Kung Fury.

The problem comes when the plot has to kick in and Geostom cannot juggle the disaster and human elements right, nor could they make either of them work separately. The relationships between Butler’s character, his brother (Jim Sturgess) and his daughter (Talitha Bateman) feels forced and inauthentic. There was a point early on in the movie where the daughter says to Butler’s character that she resents him for abandoning her and then in the same scene says that she loves him. I groaned with how rushed this movie was going to be.

The time when the special effects are terrible occurs when the disaster scenes happen. There were shot for shot comparisons with The Day After Tomorrow where I could tell that Geostorm wanted to top it by being bigger and deadlier but not having the budget to make these special effects look more convincing. It was not TV movie level bad but not much better. But since the main conflict in the story involves someone controlling the satellite and thus the weather, you see all sorts or major disasters with sizes of sheer magnitude and I did not give a shit.

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Mind blowing special effects. I feel like I’m there 🙃

There was a corrupt energy company called Enron who postulated that they could commoditize the weather and thus control and trade it. Obviously, this did not come to fruition, but it makes me wonder if Geostorm foreshadows a future of sheer brutality if a corrupt man could control the weather. I know this movie was not meant to be of that high-concept.

But I do hope there is a good man who could control the weather and blow this movie away ⭐1/2

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Blade Runner 2049

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*Note, when I am referring to “the original” Blade Runner I am referring to the directors cut, as that is the only version of Blade Runner I have seen*

Blade Runner 2049 was a surprising entity for me. Like the original, it was more story-centric than the marketing department would leave you to believe, which is a good decision from director Dennis Villeneuve and combined with fantastic sets and visuals, it did keep me invested for the 161-minute running time and that is worth a lot of praise.

However, even describing a brief synopsis for Blade Runner 2049 is both complex and constitutes spoiler territory so I will only say two things about it 1. Ryan Gosling is a Blade Runner and 2. Harrison Ford is in it. I would say that watching the original Blade Runner will help the viewer to understand the world it occupies and why you need to be emotionally invested in Harrison Ford’s character because Blade Runner 2049 draw so many parallels to the original that it is not funny.

Literally, from the first shot, Blade Runner 2049 pays homage to the original Blade Runner. There were so many moments and scenes that aim to replicate the original that I can make direct comparisons. I have concluded that the even though the original was a stronger film, it was only stronger by a whisker. That is because Blade Runner 2049 has many twists and turn to not only the story, but to the themes that the original evokes such as what humans perceive as love, identity, and existence.

My favorite scene involves Harrison Ford’s and Jared Leto’s characters meeting the first time and what the scene develops into. That scene does expand the notion of the perception of love itself from the original movie.

There were also many other scenes that differed from the original that worked in their own right but the movie always lost me slightly when they did all the callbacks as I was thinking “The original movie did it slightly better” I don’t want to be reminded of that in any movie I see, I want a movie to earn it’s own stripes or and stand on its own accord. This is especially frustrating when a movie like Blade Runner 2049 was hitting a home run anyway.

The visuals and set pieces were the best things in the movie. In terms of cinematography, a lot of it looks like a digitized version of sepia tone, which gave off a warm absorbing effect, yet gave off the scene of dread. It was unique, simple and effective. It may rival Dunkirk so far for the best cinematography of 2017. For the set designs, it is like going into a candy shop if you have seen the original Blade Runner. That is because you know where the characters are heading and it’s intriguing. The set designs give off the right mindset of understanding of the world geographically.

I cannot deny that Blade Runner 2049 is an absorbing movie that kept my attention for a long period of time. I did not reach the level of emotional brevity that this film tries hard to do (admittedly, that is not even a negative critique as that is a massive undertaking) but I was in it with the story and characters the whole way with plenty of visual delight and ideas that make it a worthy candidate next to the original ⭐⭐⭐⭐1/4