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Moonfall (Lionsgate) UHD/Blu-ray Review

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    Ian Jane
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  • Moonfall (Lionsgate) UHD/Blu-ray Review

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    Released by: Lionsgate
    Released on: April 26th, 2022.
    Director: Roland Emmerich
    Cast: Halle Berry, Patrick Wilson, John Bradley
    Year: 2022
    Purchase From Amazon

    Moonfall – Movie Review:

    Directed and co-written by Roland Emmerich, 2022’s Moonfall opens with a dramatic sequence that takes place in 2011 where a team of astronauts - Brian Harper (Patrick Wilson), Jocinda Fowler (Halle Berry) and some third guy – are in the outer reaches of space on a mission to repair a satellite. It ends poorly and the third guy winds up dead when he and Harper are attacked by a black blob.

    When they make it back to Earth, Harper tries to warn everyone about what happened, that an alien force of some sort attacked him, but Fowler doesn’t back him on this. Time passes and everyone thinks he’s nuts as his life with ex-wife Brenda (Carolina Bartczak) and their son Sonny (Charlie Plummer) – seriously, they named their son Sonny! – starts to crumble. Meanwhile Jocinda’s relationship with her ex, Davidson (Eme Ikwuakor), also takes some odd twists and turns. Anyway, all that drama aside, something winds up knocking the Moon off of its orbit around the Earth, which threatens to destroy our planet and everything on it.

    In a race against time, Fowler, now a high ranking NASA person, figures she knows what is really going on here and just so happens to know the one man who can help her save the planet… Brian Harper. The only one who believes them is K.C. Houseman (John Bradley), a tinfoil hat-wearing conspiracy theorist who is absolutely convinced that the Moon is, in fact, alien technology. With time quickly running out, the three decide to head into space on their own to confront the reality of the situation and risk their lives to save the planet, while Sonny has to gather up various family members and bit part players and get them to a secure bunker in hopes that, if our heroes fail, they might still survive.

    Moonfall is seriously goofy stuff, hampered by loads of overwritten dialogue, predictable plot points and miles and miles of bad movie clichés that stretch for as far as the eye can see, but it’s also perfectly palatable mindless entertainment, the kind that Emmerich has made a name for himself with over the years. It isn’t especially good but it does give you pretty much what you’d expect from the director at this point in his career, and that’s ‘big’ CGI set pieces of some pretty epic destruction.

    The acting is okay. Patrick Wilson is his typically likeable self, he plays his character well and he handles the material without any troubles. Halle Berry is about on par with Wilson with her performance, she’s decent here and like Wilson handles some fairly ridiculous material well enough. John Bradley chews through the scenery and looks like he’s having a blast doing it. His performance isn’t necessarily what the movie should have gone for, but full credit, he’s fun to watch here. Oh, and Donald Sutherland shows up in a bit part, so it’s got that going for it as well.

    Production values are fine. The vast majority of the effects work is digital but more often than not it is at least well done. The score does what it should, helping to build a bit of suspense and tugging at your heart strings during some of the more dramatic moments strategically placed throughout the movie in an attempt to give an otherwise very superficial exercise in effects work some depth.

    Moonfall – UHD Review:

    Moonfall comes to UHD in an HEVC encoded 2160p 4k transfer with HDR10 and Dolby Vision enhancement framed at 2.39.1 and it looks excellent. This was shot digitally so there are no problems to note with grain or print damage, the image is literally spotless. Detail looks fantastic, it’s impressive in pretty much every frame of the movie and often hits reference quality levels. We get great depth and texture throughout as well, while color reproduction and black levels are pretty much perfect. Compression is a non-issue and there are no problems with any visible crush, which is a big deal here as much of the film takes place in dark interiors or in the case of the opening scene, the darkness of space itself.

    The UHD offers both Dolby Atmos and Dolby TrueHD 7.1 options as well as French and Spanish language Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound tracks. Removable subtitles are provided in English, English SDH, French and Spanish. The Atmos mix sounds fantastic, it’s very engaging and enveloping, doing an excellent job of putting you in the middle of the action and with plenty of impressive surround usage noticeable throughout. Bass response is very strong as well, your subwoofer will get a bit of a work out in a few scenes, but it never buries the dialogue.

    An audio commentary by writer/director Roland Emmerich and writer/producer/composer Harald Kloser kicks off the supplements.

    From there, we move on to the featurettes, starting with the fifty-nine minute Against Impossible Odds: Making Moonfall which is comprised of some interesting cast and crew interviews as well as a wealth of behind the scenes footage that goes into quite a bit of detail about the origins of the project, the various phases of production and getting the final film put together.

    Exploring The Moon: Past, Present And Future is a twenty-six minute piece that interviews various NASA employees about the origins of mankind’s exploration of the moon through to present day efforts and then speculation on what the future could hold.

    Last but not least is Dr. K.C. Houseman Speaks The Truth!, a selection of eight minutes’ worth of video posts made by Houseman where he rants about his different theories. Obviously it’s all fake, but it actually does tie into the movie itself in some amusing ways.

    The UHD is accompanied by a Blu-ray disc, both of which fit inside a black keepcase that comes with a slipcover and an insert card containing a code that can be redeemed for a digital HD version of the movie.

    Moonfall - The Final Word:

    Moonfall isn’t deep but it gives you want you expect from an Emmerich film, offering up scenes of epic destruction and plenty of on screen effects work. The film benefits from a pretty decent cast as well, making it easy to overlook the fact that aspects of the storyline are pretty goofy. Lionsgate’s UHD release is excellent, it looks and sounds fantastic and contains some pretty solid supplement as well, making this a nice package for anyone considering adding the film to their collection.


    Click on the images below, or right click and open in a new window, for full sized Moonfall Blu-ray screen caps!

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