Saturday, April 9, 2011

Attack of the disaster movies!!!

Every year there's a new set of disaster movies, and they always seem to have the same theme, remember the year of volcano movies? How about the year of asteroids headed toward earth. There's always a good high budget one, and a not so good lower budget one, and maybe a couple more tossed in for spice.

This year, we've made a full circle from whatever year Independance day came out in, back to alien invasion movies. This year we've got Skyline and Battlefield Los Angelos.

I liked one, and I hated the other.

First was Skyline, using a line by Stephen Hawking as the central sell point of the entire movie. Now, in the preview they showed news people talking about this statement by Hawking, but it did not appear anywhere in the actual movie, nor was there any part of the movie where it could have fit in. Which means that they used the conveniant quote at the time it was uttered as a means to sell their crappy movie after they'd already finished filming and editing it. To me, this screams douchebaggery.

This movie was beyond awful. less than a minute into it I already hated all off the characters except Turk from Scrubs, and was praying that they would die horribly. Luckily, most of them did. There were gigantic plot holes such as this bunch of retardedness: The alien technology is powered by human brains. So... how did they develop this technology when they'd never been to earth before? How did they power their ships to come here? Where did the burnt out brains they were discarding come from if they only just arrived and began harvesting brains? This doesn't even begin to make sense!

One of the characters, the one that annoyed me the most, was a dickhead that was the "suspicious guy" from the horror movie genre, you know, the one guy in the group that starts accusing everyone else of being the killer? Ok... so... seriously? You're putting one of THOSE guys in an alien invasion movie? How does that make sense? How could any of the other characters be the "killer" when all you have to do is look outside and SEE that it's invading aliens? F U movie! You suck and you don't make sense at all, and half your characters are acting like they're in another movie entirely and didn't get the memo that they'd changed to an alien movie instead of a psycho killer movie.


The other alien invasion movie this year was Battlefield LA. And I really enjoyed this one. Despite the fact that this movie is a little generic, they did a lot of things right to make it enjoyable.

First of all they got Aaron Eckhart to be the lead. I've always liked him, except in The Core, but then again, neither did anyone else, INCLUDING Aaron Eckheart. Second is that they didn't rely heavily on CG effects. You might think that such a thing is impossible in a movie like this, but they did it in a really smart way, by showing as little of the actual aliens as possible. Now, that may seem boring and retarded to you, but it adds a suspense factor that you jsut don't get when you've got the camera on the aliens through the entire movie. Most of the shots of the aliens are either of shadows, broken up news recording, or quick flashes. There are a few parts where they do show them for extended periods of time near the end, but up until then they did a lot of making you wonder, and they did a really good job of it. And the best thing that they did right is that they didn't take themselves too sreiously. They knew they were making a cheesy, cliche movie and they had fun with it. They crammed in so many cliche military characters that they couldn't kill them all off. The token black guy actually managed to survive, because they had so many other cliches to kill off before they got to him that his number didn't quite come up. Guessing at which ones were going to die was part of the fun of watching it.

This movie had a message, unlike Skyline, and they did a great job of getting it across, helped along by Aaron Eckheart's awesomeness. There was great music, the special effects were really good without a heavy reliance on CG, they had a great cast, and the acting was a lot better than you might expect in an alien invasion movie. They also managed to remember, unlike most military movies, that the marines are part of the navy. It was just fun to watch, despite being cheesy and cliche.

So, in short, avoid Skyline like the plague, and definitely see Battlefield Los Angelos, and if it doesn't grab you at first, give it a chance, it'll get better.

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