Sunday, March 13, 2011

"Battle LA": not as effective as "Skyline" but similar premise

As “Battle LA” (aka “Battle: Los Angeles”) opens, Columbia Pictures shows its Statute of Liberty lady, not to its grand trademarked music, but to sound bites from media coverage of alien invasions of numerous coastal cities. It besmirches the studio.

Fortunately, the script takes us back 24 hours (pub), to the media coverage of simultaneous media showers at selected coastal cities all over the world. It doesn’t take long for people, including the marine Corps unit at Camp Pendleton, commanded by an aging Aaron Eckhart (who seemingly hasn’t been able to keep the hair on his legs – thank you for smoking) to figure out what they won’t say, we aren’t alone.

The aliens are a bit like those of District 19, but have weaponry surgically implanted (that would mean shaving). The weapons gear, modular and capable of self-assembly and spawning, looks like it was made from parts in a junkyard of landfill (or at least the used car lot).

The premise resembles that of a smaller film. “Skyline”, reviewed here November 14. That film’s beginning was much more chilling, and treated us to seeing what happens to the abductees. But “Battle LA” tries to reproduce the intensity of “Hurt Locker” and becomes trite and tiresome.  As for organized invasion, the premise of  NBC’s “Event” is much more interesting.

True, the aliens want our water. Maybe the ocean levels need to be taken down to counteract global warming. But the film is wrong; there are probably dozens of planets within 30 light years with surface water and oceans.  

The trailers for the film (like “The Event”) mention the 1940’s UFO sightings, especially on the West Coast, that allegedly affected the defense effort in 1942, but the film doesn’t go into it.  

If aliens really wanted to colonize us, take our resources or take us out, they’d probably detonate high altitude nu clear weapons for global EMP effect  (electromagnetic pulse wiping out most electronics and power grids).  And there is nothing we could do to stop it (maybe learn how to harden everything with Faraday cages).  How’s that for a movie premise.  (Maybe “The Road”?)  Ask “The Washington Times.”

The film is directed by Jonathan Liebesman.   Here’s the official site

Wikipedia attribution link for drawing of Gliese 581 c  

Bonus: identify the extraterrestrial(s) and angel(s) in this disco picture:   Not at LA's Studio 1. But they're better looking than movie aliens or grays.
Update: 6/30/2011: see Movies blog on this date for review of similar "Transformers: Dark of the Moon". 

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