Darren Mooney Profile picture
Member of @ofcs. Co-host of @thetwofifty. Author of books. https://t.co/Wdf5cs0CvD. Columnist at @EscapistMag. Darren "Movie" Mooney on @Q102FeelGood. He/Him.
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Jun 17 6 tweets 3 min read
We have reached the point in the "Top Gun" discourse where the "Top Gun" discourse consists of debates over whether there should be "Top Gun" discourse. To be fair, "Maverick" gets away with what it does by (a.) being less jingoistic than "Top Gun" and (b.) being more open in its jingoism than most of its competitors.

You go into "Maverick" knowing you're getting a recruitment film. That's not true of "Captain Marvel", say.
Jun 16 17 tweets 7 min read
This week, I discuss at @EscapistMag about how #StrangeNewWorlds demonstrates the limits of allegory.

In its eagerness to retreat to the nostalgia of nineties "Star Trek", "Strange New World" eagerly shoves Spock back in the celluloid closet.

escapistmagazine.com/star-trek-stra… This week's episode of #StrangeNewWorlds is about how gender non-conforming individuals lie about their identities to trick people.

And the humanitarian crisis at the border is a ruse orchestrated by criminal gangs to infiltrate/invade.

It's not good.

May 21 5 tweets 2 min read
An interesting aspect of the "Mission: Impossible" franchise compared to other big franchises is that it's not really about fighting advancing impersonal technology, which is even there in "Top Gun: Maverick."

It's very literally an old-school action hero fighting postmodernism. Obviously that theme is the subtext of the modern "James Bond" franchise, but it's couched metaphors about drone warfare that makes Bond outdated - until he's not!

I love that the later "Mission: Impossible" movies are like, "Ethan is fighting the very idea of moral ambiguity."
May 19 5 tweets 2 min read
I am quite enjoying Christopher Cantwell and Cafu’s “Iron Man” run, in large part because it feels like a very clever exploration of what superheroes should be, as fictional archetypes.

(Iron Man #1.) Image There’s a sense that this version of Tony Stark is quite exhausted by the sort of genre shifts that have taken root in American comics in the past few decades, where these characters are effectively demi-gods, and so wants to get back to basics.

(Iron Man #1.) Image
May 19 4 tweets 2 min read
“A Good Man Goes to War” is very much about the idea that the Doctor probably shouldn’t be (or at least shouldn’t primarily be) an unstoppable universal force like “the Oncoming Storm.”

It’s something of a deconstruction of Davies’ post-Time War characterisation of the Doctor. It’s very much a deconstruction of the angsty “darker and edgier” version of “Doctor Who” that could be seen to extend from having a protagonist who committed multiple premeditated genocides.

It drops him into a rape revenge narrative, and points out how that just doesn’t work.
Jul 8, 2021 32 tweets 12 min read
“You’re running out of time.”

#NowWatching “Minority Report”

Apparently I’m on an accidental Steven Spielberg binge.

This is my first time rewatching this in decades. I last saw it as a teenager, and I didn’t love it.

I thought it was too cynical. I was so young. “Most of our scrambIes are fIash events. We rareIy see premeditation anymore.”
“PeopIe have gotten the message.”

It’s hard to believe, but “Minority Report” was written and shot before 9/11.

Which odd, because it feels like a quintessential War on Terror film.
Jul 7, 2021 5 tweets 3 min read
Not that he needs me to say it, but @SiddhantAdlakha is a gentleman and a scholar, and one of the finest critics to write about the Marvel Cinematic Universe from a place of knowledge and insight. Also, it is frankly terrifying that @ign would consider replacing him as a reviewer on #Loki because he gave an opinion on the show that rabid Marvel fans didn’t like.

It’s a potentially chilling critical precedent. “Validate fans’ opinions, or else…!”
Mar 26, 2021 32 tweets 12 min read
#NowWatching "Suicide Squad" (2016)

I have a reason, I promise. "Floyd, step up to the door."

One of the most interesting things about "Suicide Squad" is the weird middle-ground that it occupies in terms of production.

It's a Marvel-style IP-driven project, but it was clearly designed as a Warner Bros. talent-drive production.
Mar 19, 2021 15 tweets 6 min read
Just following on from that discussion of Zack Snyder’s “Justice League”, some thoughts that were too nerdy and esoteric for the article.

In terms of positioning “Justice League” as a reconstruction, it’s obvious even looking at the comics from which it draws. Image “Batman v. Superman” drew very heavily from two of the biggest “dark age of comics” stories, and hinted at a third.

A lot of the Old Batman Versus Institutionally Challenged Superman stuff comes from Frank Miller’s “The Dark Knight Returns”, which ushered in “the dark age.” Image
Mar 19, 2021 4 tweets 3 min read
Okay, so the big movie release of the week is #ZackSnydersJusticeLeague.

It’s... fine. Big, messy, sprawling, sweeping, exposition-laden, indulgent, mythic. I reviewed it here for @EscapistMag.

WATCH: As #ZackSnydersJusticeLeague is a four-hour film, and because I am somebody who has lots of thoughts about regular-length movies anyway, I wrote more about it.

Notably, however you feel about Snyder, the restoration of his vision should be celebrated.

Mar 19, 2021 4 tweets 2 min read



11. JUSTICE LEAGUE (Whedon) Still, none of the modern wave of DC movies are as good as the “Dark Knight” trilogy, “Mask of the Phantasm”, “Batman Returns” or even “Batman ‘66.”

But who knows, I freely admit that they might when given time to settle. I’m a firm believer in the idea of letting things settle.
Mar 15, 2021 22 tweets 9 min read
#NowWatching “Batman v. Superman.”

Which is a film I’ve always admired in its complete and unequivocal commitment to what it’s doing. As with a lot of Snyder’s films, “Batman v. Superman” is surprisingly nuanced in its study of fragile and dangerous masculinity.

Notably, in Snyder’s movies, whenever men try to solve anything, it inevitably gets bloodier and messier than it needs to be.
Mar 11, 2021 54 tweets 22 min read
#NowWatching “Man of Steel”

Considering a Twitter Thread where I tick everybody off by neither loving nor hating it enough. I have never really loved “Man of Steel”, even though I admire a lot of what it’s attempting.

I’d describe it as Snyder’s weakest film, but really I don’t want to get into the “Suckerpunch” discourse.
Mar 11, 2021 4 tweets 2 min read
This is a very *revealing* conversation, and illustrates how insidious fandom racism is.

It’s well worth reading in its entirety.

buzzfeed.com/larryfitzmauri… The victims of racism don’t owe the public the performance of their trauma. Anyone who has been bullied knows the impulse not to show a bully your tears.

But anybody who has discussed, say, the racist abuse of Kelly Marie Tran has inevitably seen her silence used as validation.
Dec 24, 2020 54 tweets 21 min read
It has been a very long year, in terms of “Star Wars” content.

So #NowWatching “The Last Jedi.”

Here I joke, and suggest it’s a real shame they haven’t made any “Star Wars” since, as there’s a real gap in the market. “You did it, Poe. Now get your squad back here so we can get out of this place.”
“No, General... We can do this.”

I can’t imagine how this story about a hotshot arrogant roguish pilot who needs to learn to listen to women - a recurring motif in the film - could ruffle feathers.
Dec 23, 2020 4 tweets 2 min read
I have thought about this a lot.

So much of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is largely just trivia sheets of “things that happen”, with plots designed to avoid agency.

(Think about how “Civil War” or “Infinity War” are designed to prevent characters making choices.) To get a sense of why so many blockbuster movies are structured like that, look at how fans react to a blockbuster with actual characterisation.

Compare the reaction to the use of Luke Skywalker as a person in “The Last Jedi” to his use as a plot function in “The Mandalorian.”
Dec 22, 2020 4 tweets 2 min read
#NowWatching “The Martian.”

It feels like a very 2020 film. I’ve said it before, but I think that “The Martian” is probably the closest that we’ve had to a traditional “Star Trek: The Next Generation” feature film in a while.

I love “First Contact”, but “The Martian” is close to the spirit of the show than any of the films with the cast.
Jun 28, 2020 32 tweets 12 min read
#NowWatching “Batman Forever.” “Batman Forever” is ground zero for what happens when you let angry, shouty people set the direction of your multi-million dollar franchise.

It’s the ultimate work of creative compromise, which exists almost entirely in response to a bold and uncomfortable creative vision.
Nov 2, 2019 34 tweets 13 min read
#NowWatching “The Phantom Menace.”

Because I figure I should watch all the “Star Wars” films again before “The Rise of Skywalker.” Hey kids, it’s Branagh Gallagher.
Oct 18, 2019 45 tweets 18 min read
#NowWatching Zack Snyder’s “Watchmen: The Ultimate Cut.”

Which is about half the length of the television series starting this weekend. Snyder’s “Watchmen” has some very serious flaws; some of which are baked into the idea of adapting the comic, and some are down to Snyder’s aesthetic.

But it is a staggering accomplishment of production. It looks beautiful, the result of a lot of care and attention.
Oct 16, 2019 71 tweets 29 min read
#NowReading “Watchmen” is rightfully regarded as a classic of the medium and a meticulously structured masterpiece.

However, I’ve always loved Moore’s pitch black sense of humour and grim juxtapositions.

It’s a darkly funny comic book.

(Watchmen #1.)