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Movie of the Day – Battle: Los Angeles

Posted on the 16 May 2012 by Plotdevice39 @PlotDevices

In a few short hours, I will be watching Battleship.  Before you ask why, let me direct your attention to the Summer Movie post I put out that indicates my general wanting to see this cinematic masterpiece.  I know it will be entertaining, explosions and gratuitous special effects can do that to a general audience.  Heck even The Avengers was a visual eye candy film and that one will be no different.  My expectations are low, low enough that I will enjoy it a base level as I will not care for the characters they are trying to make me care for.  With that said, I wanted to pick a film today that represents the sort of action film that Battleship will be, one of cliches and familiar territory, while pumping you full of action to keep you entertained.  And when you think about, that’s all you can ask in an action film.

Movie of the Day – Battle: Los Angeles

A Marine platoon fights to prevent the city of Los Angeles from being overtaken by a race of highly advanced alien invaders in this epic sci-fi action thriller from director Jonathan Liebesman (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning) and producer Neal H. Moritz (I Am Legend, Fast & Furious). After decades of speculation about life on other planets, the people of Earth discover that extraterrestrials really do exist when destruction rains down from the stars on cities all across the globe. When the alien warships descend upon Los Angeles, however, the ferocious invaders discover that humankind won’t go down without a fight as a gruff Marine staff sergeant (Aaron Eckhart) and his fearless troop of jarheads point their weapons skyward and make one last stand for the entire human race.  (source)

Alright, aliens come to Earth, aliens overwhelm Earth’s forces, marines say “Hoo-rah” and then they defeat the aliens.  Just sprinkle in some military speeches, throw as many faceless grunts in our way, make them interact and then find weakness to exploit the hostile force.  It is a by the numbers film that does really add anything to the overall military/sci-fi genre, but I enjoyed it for what it is.  It’s a familiar film, one that we have probably seen a variation on before, but it’s popcorn enjoyment at best.  It’s meant for the video game crowd of movie goers who spend their time shooting aliens, only this time we spectate rather than engage.  But the film has a “bad that it’s good” quality to it that is best enjoyed with a beer in one hand and food in the other.

Movie of the Day – Battle: Los Angeles

The film has a lot of “fucking kidding me” moments that I revel in when they show up.  The stirring speeches that try to mimic Patton like quality to the chest thumping return to battle.  It takes all those war movies and combine into a film that is a bit jumbled by exude fun quality to it all.  It’s frantic filmmaking, substituting tightly framed action shots for shaky cam.  The fighting is intense and leads to some satisfying gun battles and the one more positive thing I will say about the film, the aliens looked interesting.  Sort of this interesting blending of mechanical and fluid, aquatic humanoids.  Not awe inspiring, but cool to look at.

I will usually lean back on this film for it’s WTF moments as one scene in particular makes me laugh over and over.  In the midst of the invasion, Aaron Eckhart’s character gets a SitRep from the command post, indicating the current situation of the battle.  It is stressed, at full volume, that the enemy has no air support and the Airforce is ruling the sky.  I literally started laughing in the theater, the inter-galactic, space faring military who traveled light years from who the fuck knows where, doesn’t have any Airforce to speak of.  Are you fucking kidding me?  They could have said they don’t yet have any air support and I would have been OK with that, but the fact is they said they have nothing.  It’s so bad it’s good folks.

*images via RottenTomatoes

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