Friday, March 11, 2011

Battle: Los Angeles-He said/She said

Battle: Los Angeles
Directed by: Johnathan Liesbeman
Written by: Cristopher Bertolini
Starring: Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodriguez, Ramon Rodriguez, and Bridget Moynahan
Synopsis: When meteors filled with invading alien forces fall to Earth, a combat unit is tasked with rescuing civilians behind enemy lines.

Jonesy: Over all I liked the action, and I liked the way that it was choreographed. It was very intense and fast paced.  The dialogue was rather chest.  For example, Lieutenant Martinez (Ramon Rodriguez) talking to his troops before battle was very cheesy.

Javi: I didn't have a problem with it because we’ve never been in an alien invasion; I wonder if that would be what you would need to rally the troops?

Jonesy: Yea but in times of war, I hear it’s very gritty and fast-paced, and I wonder how many times people actually make those speeches.  There were some cliché scenes.  There’s a scene between the Lieutenant and Staff Sergaent Nantz (Eckhart) that was more in the middle movie was cheesy, and you know where it’s going quickly.  It’s not one of the best, and its not the worst action movie; it’s very middle of the road.  I can see why they wouldn’t release it in the summer; it wouldn’t do well with all of the popcorn movies coming out.  It’s a nice break from the lull from the beginning of the year.

Javi: You can make the argument that they succeed in trying to make BLACK HAWK DOWN and INDEPENDENCE DAY all in the same movie, with the gritty documentary style with a grand mission like ID4.  I like how the movie’s scope goes from intimate to broad and then back to intimate again.  I will say that the middle part of the movie really dragged on,  and if they cut out 10 minutes, it would’ve been so much better.  Another complaint is the opening almost be exactly the same as SKYLINE.  But the way the movie starts with the action going on and then flashing back 24 hours prior to the invasion works better here.  It gave me enough to make me want to care about the characters, and apart from the one time that I thought one dude had died when he hadn’t, I pretty much did. In my defense, when they add new members to the rank in the middle of the movie, it confused me.  I actually felt very tense whenever they were in danger, which was a big part of the first third and final third of the movie.

Jonesy: Would you have cared if there wasn’t a back-story?

Javi: Yes, because I felt I had a stake in the marines dying.  By the time they went all out war, you cold see the aliens more and you didn’t have a lot of sneaking around.  And that’s where the movie really works is building suspense. It’s not bad that they revealed the aliens.

Jonesy: I cold totally see random people having a problem with how the aliens look because they think that it doesn’t look like this or that.  I think people need to get over it.

Javi:  I thought it looked damn good.  For me, the standard in terms of CGI is DISTRICT 9 and TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN, and I feel this movie was a bit short of both but not overly noticeable.  By the time they get to the fact they have ships, they really look real.

Jonesy: One thing that they make a big part of in the movie is the fact that the aliens don’t have ships.  This isn’t a spoiler because they’re in the trailers and in the posters.  Its just weird to believe that any part of the military would not consider the fact that they have ships, which is the spring board of the whole first half.

Javi: I’ll have to disagree with that, but put it in the way that the scientist saw this in the first part of the movie: they’re big meteors that come out of the sky and release the alien troops.  Why wouldn’t they think that the meteor is their mode of transportation?

Jonesy: But they said that the "meteors" were slowing down, so it’s obviously controllable so it cold be a ship.

Javi: But to me it seemed like what they were doing was an intergalactic parachute.  That’s the only reason why I would think that the intelligence wouldn’t think that the aliens had ships.  They’re were the first wave badass reconnaissance team. It felt like the good pats of Michael Bay without all of the bad humor. 

Jonesy: I will say that the music that they play when they’re showing the back story of the troops sounded like the soundtrack for FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS. It was an interesting way to establish the mood for me.  I also enjoyed that the marines who had a significant other never brought them up during battle.  None of that personal stuff is added.  On another note, it really bothered me how conveniently and consistently the televisions kept on working whenever a plot point needed to be explained, especially because they made a big deal of the danger of radio waves, it was very distracting. 

Javi: I think it’s because TV nowadays works in a different spectrum than radio or cell phones.

Jonesy: The frequency explanation makes sense.  Final thoughts for me: I think this movie is worth the student price.

Javi: For me, I enjoyed it for the ambition that it had.  It sometimes didn’t execute it well, but it was a more original story that kind of turned some of the conventional science fiction plot points.

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