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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Battle Los Angeles: I Finally Saw It!

Yep, I finally saw Battle Los Angeles last night and felt liked I needed to share my opinion. I know, I can hear all the comments right now."It's about time, Mel. Jeez you're only a million years behind the rest of the planet. What kind of film blogger are you?" All right already, here we go...

I liked this. The dialogue was certainly cheestastic and oh hell yeah some of the situations were totally cliche to the core. I mean seriously, how many times have we seen the background guy pull a rifle at the last second and shoot the enemy/monster only to be fatally wounded? About a billion. And how many times have we seen the hero no one trusts have the troops go into hell with him at the last because he's finally earned their respect? So many times it could be a drinking game. But it worked here for me. Maybe I was feeling a little nostalgic for ID4, my favorite alien invasion movie of all time, but this was a fun ride from start to finish.

The movie opens kind of slow with trying to fit in a brief background of as many characters as possible. I've always wondered why directors are allowed to do this in movies. I mean, I've always been told as a writer that the background story stays out of the book unless it's germane to the plot. It's not important here either. I really didn't need to know that this guy's wife is pregnant and that guy's getting married and blah, blah,blah...Just get to the fucking aliens.

Once the invasion commences the ride begins. I love how they all came crashing down in big ships that looked like meteors. The battle sequences with the extraterrestrial forces were pretty cool. The shaky camera work made me think of Saving Private Ryan. I felt like I was right there fighting with those soldiers. The impact of the rapid fire shots and explosions went right through me. Even the scenes where the troops are readying for battle are pretty cool.

One of my very favorite things about this movie is Michelle Rodriguez. She is a total badass, rockin' the fatigues and rifle. I loved her character. I found her smart, tough and completely believable. And there was no overt sexual tension with the other guys. Thank God. Roles like this are what young girls need to see. Her fellow soldiers here were all kind of cliched, but they managed to balance out those cliches with some unexpected reactions. No one was a complete dick, no one was a complete frightened rabbit.

Then there's Aaron Eckhart. His character was a bit stock, but he pulled it off. He was good at not just saying "Fuck it!" then taking over like some John Wayne asshole. He was very conscious of the chain of command and the importance of having one leader on the field. I found myself a bit frustrated that he didn't just haul off and bitch slap the panicking lieutenant. But that's just me.

And, and...I am so goddamned happy the civilians to be rescued were not too-stupid-to-live party girls and frat rats like those vapid morons in Cloverfield. These people were kids, kind of cliche, but okay, a vet and a young father. They reacted like normal people under attack, but they did not freak out and do something stupid to endanger the lives of everyone else. Bonus.

Yeah, I wish I could have known more about the aliens and the script had a few plot holes that needed tweaking. Plus, I wish they would have had a more concrete ending. I want to know that we win for sure, I need closure. I mean I never get it in real life so why can't I have it in my movies? Overall I had a hellagood time and if you want a great popcorn flick for a weekend this is it.


  1. Sounds like an all right flick if there's nothing better to watch. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hey, you're not alone! I've yet to see this too. Haha! :P

    Thanks for the share, maybe I could try this on DVD! :)

  3. @Jeffrey It's a great flick for those nights when you want to turn off your brain for a bit and enjoy the hell out of something. If you ever get a chance, see it.

    @J-Son Yay! I'm so glad you haven't seen yet. I don't feel so alone. :) Try this some night, it's great flick that's not very deep and a good thrill ride.

  4. i thought it was a good flick too. Not great and full of cliches but I don't think it ever tried to act like it was anything else but a mindless action movie. Fun.


  5. I haven't seen it either :) It's not my cup of tea with all the American soldiers and guns in it ...
    But I'm glad to hear that you've spent joyful two hours in the cinema, Melsy!

  6. Been waiting to hear what you would say about this movie. Thanks for sharing, still not sure though if I want to see it. Maybe a DVD :)

  7. I thoroughly enjoyed it! Nothing really original, but ten times better than Skyline. Action scenes were great, although at times, it was almost too much go-go-go. Hard to catch your breath in that movie. I did appreciate how they portrayed the soldiers as intelligent and dedicated. Our military consisists of hard-working, sharp people and deserve some positive press now and then.

  8. I've never even heard of this! Sounds like a good film, though.

  9. I haven't seen this, so I guess that means I've been hanging out with the Ancient Greeks a little too freely. Ha, just kidding.

    Great review! I'll definitely give Battle LA a chance on a rainy day. As an unabashed movie lover, I'm a believer in solid entertainment. Given that parameter, it seems from your review, Battle LA qualifies.

  10. Glad to hear you finally have a hellagood time with this movie, Mel.
    I agree on your last point about the cause and the result. But if an alien invasion really happened today, no one would also know the reason for it, well the majority of us anyway :)
    I also hated the fact that the origins of the monsters in Cloverfield was never explained.

    PS: I can't agree more with your comment about Michael Bay in my Transformers 3 review :)

  11. I understand people who like it, but to me it was one of the most disappointing in-theater-experiences of my entire life.
    My goodness, I hated that movie. And I still hate it

  12. So glad you enjoyed this one, Mel. I thought it was quite decent and pretty entertaining, even though I wasn't fully satisfied. –źnyway, you've read my review, so you already know how I feel about this movie. Awesome review as always, and, hey, better late than never, right? :)

  13. @mood You're right, it was exactly waht it was supposed to be. A good, entertaining adrenaline rush.

    @Dez I wish I'd seen this in the theater, but I saw it my friend's HD tv which made for a great viewing experience. I enjoyed myself immensely, too. ;)

    @Siv I'm glad you liked the review. Definitely a DVD movie and one I'm glad I did not pay to see in the theater. It's a great rental, though.

  14. @Alex Oh heck yeah was it better than Skyline. I think the go-go-go was a little too much at times as well, but I think that made it seem more like combat. They did have some excellent portrayals of soldiers in here.

    @Talli You should check this out when you have a chance. It's great fun for a weekend.

  15. @Matt I'm glad you enjoyed my review, I almost didn't write one because I figured it had been too long since it's release.

    I think you'll like this. It's an action filled, turn-off-your-brain-and-just-go-with-it film that makes for great entertainment.

    @Jaccstev You know, the lack of origin of the monster in Cloverfield was one of the many reasons that movie bugged me.

    LOL I'm so glad you agree with my Michael Bay comment.

  16. @Maynard I would have been very disappointed like you if I had paid to this in a theater. It sure wasn't a stellar blockbuster, but as a weeknight filler, it was lots of fun.

    @Nebular Thanks!And you're right, better late than never. You had a fantastic review as well. I think we were of a similar mind with this.

  17. You know, I was surprised, but I liked this film as well. It got bad reviews, but I had a great time. I consider films like this to be popcorn flicks--to be enjoyed, not savored.

  18. I saw the hokey Syfy version. The part where Nia Peeples took out a spaceship with a sword was great. I laughed for quite awhile.

    I'll have to see this version then.


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