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RE: Battle: Los Angeles

 
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RE: Battle: Los Angeles - 12/3/2011 10:22:17 AM   
captainrentboy

 

Posts: 685
Joined: 16/3/2008
From: South Wales
Bollocks!
I really wanted to like this film, but sadly it turned out pretty bloody awful. Newman's two stars is about right, infact, I think I actually got more enjoyment out of Skyline
The two biggest problems (There were a lot more) for me were.
- Characters I really really couldn't care less about. They were all having these big ole dramatic death sequences, followed by the necessary reflective and 'tear jerking' speech by another, and throughout each one I couldn't shake the feeling of ''Don't care, Don't care, who exactly was that guy? Wait, I still don't care.''
And I guess I didn't care because the script was absolutely friggin atrocious, and all each character had was a particular stereotype to adhere to, nothing more.

- Fooking shaky cam.
Why is this still being done? What genius sits there and says ''Right we've got some great action sequences lined up and what I want you to do is, shoot each one of them blindfolded, hanging the camera around your neck with some string, whilst running about on broken glass with no shoes on, got that?''
I understand that if used effectively and sparingly, it could give a relevant scene a sense of urgency or panic, but when two guys are sitting in an office passing paperwork to eachother, I don't need the camera to be continuously shaking around, there's just no need. Just like it didn't need to be used on every single action beat in the film, yes it would've worked on the first ambush sequence, but leave it at that. Show the audience what's actually going on.

So yeah, pretty terrible. The few positives that led to two stars were,
Aaron Eckhart was alright, he did what he could with his stinking lines and made them sound slightly passable.
There were a few moments where the camera settled down and allowed a brief wide shot of the devestation, these were well done and looked great, but probably took up 60 seconds of screentime.
The sound was very immersive and LOUD, so it sure did sound like I was in the middle of a battle, I just couldn't see fuck all.
The shoot out on the freeway was pretty good.
The special effects were above average.
That's it.

Bloody poor start to this year's blockbusters.
Sucker Punch had better not be such a dissapointment.

< Message edited by captainrentboy -- 12/3/2011 10:23:55 AM >

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Post #: 61
Battle - 12/3/2011 11:01:04 AM   
durelius


Posts: 260
Joined: 30/9/2005
I thought this was great, much better than Skyline which I also enjoyed. Liked the aliens part organic part machine and the sheer ferocity of their weapons and destructive intent. Certainly has alot of similarities to other films of this kind, like Skyline showed heavy alien attack pretty much straight away just to then rewind 24 hrs to get some character development, Independence Day still influences these types of films. Aaron Ekchart was good and dependable Michelle Rodriguez and Micheal Pena as just a scared civilian wanting to protect his son.

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Post #: 62
RE: Battle: Los Angeles - 12/3/2011 11:02:47 AM   
superdan


Posts: 8255
Joined: 31/7/2008
quote:

ORIGINAL: captainrentboy
I think I actually got more enjoyment out of Skyline


There is no way it is that bad. BLA has its faults, but Skyline is beyond abysmal.

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Post #: 63
RE: Battle: Los Angeles - 12/3/2011 11:53:01 AM   
stethomo

 

Posts: 11
Joined: 5/7/2009
Went to see Battle:LA yesterday which i thoroughly enjoyed. I came out of the cinema with all my expectations fullfilled. I knew this film wasnt going to change the face of cinema or be awarded a load of awards but it has got to be appauled for what its.....an exciting popcorn scifi flick.
I feel the comparison with the amazin Black Hawk Down is warranted due to the urban battle which rages through about 90% of the film. The premise is original in many aspects and so is some of the writing. But my main enjoyment was found in the quite outstanding action scenes. At first it took me a while to get used to the hand held camera direction whichwas overdone in the early scenes. This minor problem is soon forgotten about when the action builds up and we go from battle to glorious battle. The scene on the highway and the final battle are great to watch and our veiwpoint puts us right in the middle of the action. To see a sci-fi flick from the marines pont if veiw is orginal and I thought it was a breath of fresh air after the horsesh*t that was Skyline. Its disgraceful script and awful acting surrounded by decent action and the normal high end CGI. The latter being the only liking to Battle:LA. Also the comparable acting in this was of a good standard obviously the heart and soul of this belongs to Mr.TwoFace. I thought he was on brilliant form throughout especially when dealing little marine Hector and his father.
The design of the aliens was nothing we havent seen before but the 'drone' ships were something new which was good to see.   
I read the review Kim Newman posted and to give this 2 stars is not just lacking in judgement but also in class. The fact that Sh*iteline sorry Skyline got three stars shows thats this reveiw is to be taken with a pinch of salt and nothing else.
If you want popcorn sci-fi action with an orginal premise and oustanding CGI give this is a shot. 

I judge films by how I feel after the experience. My love of most sci-fi probably clouded my opinion buts it has been a while since a movie of this genre had an orginal way of being told and its all thanks to my favourite ever military based movie the timeless the epic BLACKHAWK DOWN.     

4 outa 5 stars.   

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Post #: 64
RE: Battle: Los Angeles - 12/3/2011 12:23:49 PM   
captainrentboy

 

Posts: 685
Joined: 16/3/2008
From: South Wales
quote:

ORIGINAL: superdan

quote:

ORIGINAL: captainrentboy
I think I actually got more enjoyment out of Skyline


There is no way it is that bad. BLA has its faults, but Skyline is beyond abysmal.


I'm actually being genuine, rather than just making the comment for trolling sakes.
I appreciate that BLA is the all round 'better made' film. But I had below zero expectations for Skyline, and yes it was silly shite, but I found some of it at least a little bit fun, in a daft B movie way.
Whereas I went into BLA wanting to enjoy it, especially as I found the trailers really effective, with their sombre moods and eerie soundtrack.
But watching the actual film, I basically got more and more dissapointed as it went along. And towards the end, I just really wanted it to finish, as I was sick of all the macho shouting, crappy camerawork and things going 'boom' repeatedly.
I guess it's alright for action junkies, but it kind of reminded me of the last 40 minutes of Transformers 2, it turns out ( fort me anyway) there is such a thing as 'too much action' in a film, especially when you don't care what the outcome for the characters will be.

< Message edited by captainrentboy -- 12/3/2011 12:24:26 PM >

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Post #: 65
RE: Battle: Los Angeles - 12/3/2011 1:46:19 PM   
kenada_woo


Posts: 1668
Joined: 30/9/2005
Enjoyed this last night. While never being anything mind-blowing or special, it moves at a good pace, looks great with some superb FX and well put together set pieces.

Ekchart has a good screen presence and carries the film well and Michelle Rodriguez, funny enough, just about plays against type as a techy grunt who bumps into Ekchart's squad as the shit hits the fan. The aliens dont look too great, very much like a gun-toting Alfa 5 from the Power Rangers - but the design of the ships make up for the goofy looking bad-guys.

The film is basically Black Hawk Down meets and Alien Invasion movie and comes complete with faceless fodder characters, mass confusion over who anyone is during the action scenes, and chock full of the typically cheesey "We're getting you back to your wife Marine!" stuff. Whether you get offended by those type of cliches the film is full of, it might just affect your enjoyment of it. There's also a real lack of any surprises with the plot and its just a matter of time where the people you know are going to die, generally do.

Overall, good action and design with a strong performance from Ekchart. It moves at a good pace and is bombastic 2hours with its explosions every 20 seconds. However, poorly designed Alien-grunts, faceless fodder characters, and cliche ridden dialogue inside a very generic and surprise-less plot the film plays it safe and ticks the boxes of this type of film which my lower your enjoyment of it.

***/*****

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Post #: 66
What do people expect from this? - 12/3/2011 2:37:04 PM   
Kev2012


Posts: 48
Joined: 10/4/2006
I went into Battle : Los Angeles expecting a war film with aliens. That's exactly what I got. Yes the characters and script are all cliches, and some of the dialogue is terrible, but had this been a film set in say WWII, or Vietnam, or Afghanistan for example would the characters or script been that much better? I though the action was pretty impressive (the battle on the freeway being the standout), and the use of CGI was pretty good indeed. Yes it's never going to be regarded as a classic, but it is a pretty good action film.

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RE: Battle: Los Angeles - 12/3/2011 2:40:30 PM   
Deviation


Posts: 27284
Joined: 2/6/2006
From: Enemies of Film HQ
quote:

ORIGINAL: superdan

quote:

ORIGINAL: captainrentboy
I think I actually got more enjoyment out of Skyline


There is no way it is that bad. BLA has its faults, but Skyline is beyond abysmal.


It is directed by the guy who made Darkness Falls and Texas Chansaw Massacre: The Beginning, two films that are as bad as AvP:R, so I think there might be the possibility.


_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Dpp1978
There are certainly times where calling a person a cunt is not only reasonable, it is a gross understatement.

quote:


ORIGINAL: elab49
I really wish I could go down to see Privates

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RE: Battle: Los Angeles - 12/3/2011 3:04:43 PM   
kenada_woo


Posts: 1668
Joined: 30/9/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation

quote:

ORIGINAL: superdan

quote:

ORIGINAL: captainrentboy
I think I actually got more enjoyment out of Skyline


There is no way it is that bad. BLA has its faults, but Skyline is beyond abysmal.


It is directed by the guy who made Darkness Falls and Texas Chansaw Massacre: The Beginning, two films that are as bad as AvP:R, so I think there might be the possibility.



TCM was alright to be honest....and Darkness Fall's was taken off him by the studio and re-cut to which he dis-owned....so compared to AvP-R he made a steller award winning movie hehe

_____________________________

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"You bailed out a Jamaican street named Monkey the other day, I want him. This other piece of shit, Screwface, I want him. I know you're a scumbag and a puke, I don't mind that, but give me what I need and I'll leave here a nice guy. If you don't, I'm gonna fuck you up. "

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Post #: 69
2 STARS - 12/3/2011 4:21:39 PM   
chrisdagnall

 

Posts: 89
Joined: 10/9/2008
AVERAGE IN EVERY WAY, WITH SOME VERY HAMMY DIALOGUE......QUALITY FX THOUGH...

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Post #: 70
RE: Battle LA - 12/3/2011 4:30:39 PM   
stemonty


Posts: 2
Joined: 12/11/2010
I've just watched this movie and honestly i enjoyed it. It's no award winner but it didn't do what Independance Day done and treat the audience like idiots , they took a more adult approach by going the Blackhawk down route and it pays off. Personally i would of liked it to have been a more adult approach , meaning with a 15 or 18 rating, not more blood and guts but letting Marines Speak like Marines who are under attack by Aliens. There definitely would be a lot more expletives, that's my only gripe. I ignored Empires review , i remembered believing i was going to see something half decent after reading there Skyline review (never falling for that again).
The fact that they went for a realistic feel to this worked for me, when i was watching Independance Day i lost interest the Moment Wil Smith knocked an Alien out with one dig , it was ridiculous and just ruined the tone of the film in m view , but Battle LA made me wonder if it might possibly be a little like this if an Alien invasion were to happen. I cant wait for this to come out on Blu-ray now .

< Message edited by stemonty -- 12/3/2011 4:45:21 PM >

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RE: Battle: Los Angeles - 12/3/2011 6:34:25 PM   
Tech_Noir

 

Posts: 20199
Joined: 12/10/2005
LOVED the first half, I really thought this was gonna be one of those underrated gems that people would appreciate in years to come, but then it all went downhill, pretty much as soon as we saw the aliens properly.

And the ending....


SPOILERS

A complete rip off of Black Hawk Down.

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Post #: 72
RE: Battle: Los Angeles - 13/3/2011 11:16:06 AM   
Gazz


Posts: 873
Joined: 30/9/2005
After I had seen the first trailer (featuring some great music from Johann Johannsson) I'd been looking forward to seeing the film but acknowledged that it probably wouldn't live up to the expectations the trailer set. And I was pretty much right in the that regards. Despite a strong opening it plays out like a clichéd mash-up of several different alien-invasion movies and offers very little in the way of original content. By all accounts I should have hated it just as much as I did Skyline (read here)

And yet I still found it to be an entertaining sci-fi romp largely thanks to some solid direction from unlikely source Jonathan Liebesman (of Darkness Falls, Texas Chainsaw prequel fame) and a good turn from Aaron Eckhart. Liebesman made a couple of key decisions that really just about kept the film on track. I really appreciated that the film kept at ground level, following our marine protagonists from start to finish without jump cutting away to a sweeping aerial shot or command center. And though we never truly get a detailed look at the alien threat there were elements to suggest they had their own tactics and levels of command. The action was also competently handled and although never truly breath-taking it certainly provided enough in the way of spectacle.

Unfortunately the positives aren't enough to out-weigh the negatives entirely. Though some actors work hard with the material they have the dialogue and characters just simply aren't up to scratch and the story doesn't tread any new ground. It's a film that is truly let down by a hack script.

Overall I feel like Battle: Los Angeles would have made a great Call of Duty game (the film even has the obligatory on-the-rails vehicle shooter level) but as a movie it scrapes a pass. I'm sure any action fan will have fun with it just as I did, but you wont find anything new

3/5

< Message edited by Gazz -- 13/3/2011 11:17:01 AM >

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critics expect to much - 13/3/2011 3:13:26 PM   
bubbagump9


Posts: 18
Joined: 13/3/2011
this film is fun, entertaining, doesn't take it self to seriously which is good, its full of cliches but thats exactly what i expected when i went to see

< Message edited by bubbagump9 -- 13/3/2011 3:15:08 PM >

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RE: critics expect to much - 13/3/2011 4:57:01 PM   
dj vivace


Posts: 5991
Joined: 28/7/2006
From: plymouth
BATTLE L.A

“Bunch of slack jawed fagots around here!”. Those words uttered by Jesse Ventura in the helicopter in Predator as a group of mercenaries prepare to enter the jungle on a deadly mission, only to find themselves hunted by a vicious alien. Those words were highly amusing because Jesse Ventura said it with so much meaning and intent, almost hate (but in a nice way) towards his fellow comrades. It was funny because looking around the helicopter you see a group of tough men, guys you wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley, guys you’d feel safe with if they were rescuing you, guys you know would fight to the death. Hell, even the geeky looking one with glasses reading a comic looks like he could snap your neck with his little finger. The Army, military, mercenaries or whatever you wanna call them have their moments in film, but sadly they often come across as nothing more than weak target practise for the enemy. There are a few exceptions to the rule, Saving Private Ryan, The Thin Red Line hell even Eastwood’s Flag of Our Fathers, but what I find most irritating these days with the way the American military are portrayed in films is that they all have to abide by some stupid patriotic rule and become less human and more a Hollywood gung-ho, hands in the air machine. If Jesse Ventura turned to these guys in Battle LA and called them a bunch of slack jawed faggots, you wouldn’t laugh as you did in Predator, you’d believe him and think “damn he’s right”

Welcome to Battle LA, a movie about an alien invasion that ticks all the boxes for a major Hollywood blockbuster and does EXACTLY what you’d expect it to do. Granted there are some superb special effects and the odd scene that you really weren’t expecting, but over-all it’s a run of the mill actioner about the good old U S of A battling a threat to their beloved nation. We briefly meet the military guys, and almost as fast as we meet them we forget them and when they are all together in combat they all merge into great big military group that all pretty much look and act the same, all the characterisation is quickly lost and any feelings you have for any of them has disappeared. From what I remember we have a guy getting married in a few days and some odd jokes about smelling flowers in the florist and how he will punch his army friend if he continues to wind him up, or something like that. We have another guy with some sort of mental issues as he is seeing a shrink, someone else who was desperate to sign up and enrolled as soon as he was old enough. The poor little fella is the youngest and needs to be looked after by his peers and can’t handle his drink. Another guy is an expected virgin, and another lost his brother in combat whilst under the leadership skills of Staff Sergeant Michael Nantz (Aaron Eckhart, the films saving grace). Are we getting the picture here?

Plot wise the film is incredibly thin, and apart from the alien invasion and the “mission” the only real story of note is that of Eckhart’s Staff Sergeant Nantz. He lost “good men” on his last mission, one of them being the brother of one of the platoon he commands here. You can write where this part of the script goes with your eyes closed. However, Nantz is the only character in the film you will actually give a shit about, and Eckhart works wonders in a blitz of gun battles, explosions and big action set-pieces to give his character depth and a personality, something which the rest are lacking. Nantz wants out of the forces, and just as he “hangs up his spurs” or however the saying goes, those blasted aliens arrive and ruin his plans of retirement! 2nd Lieutenant William Martinez (Ramon Rodriguez) is taking out his first ever platoon, and is nervous as hell and with Nantz as his second in command he turns to him for guidance which is met with endless cheeseiness such as “you’re in command here, son”, or “this is YOUR platoon”. Get your sick bags ready dear readers as you just might need some!                               

The film actually opens well, and gradually descends into crappiness the longer it goes on, but for the beginning it’s a solid start. We begin right in the middle of the marine’s on a helicopter heading in to be told their mission, explosions happening all around it looks promising as they fly over L.A’s beaches and witness the chaos and mayhem. This lasts for about a minute and all that excitement stops as we suddenly jolt back to “minus 24 hours before something or other”. Then we have to deal with the embarrassing introductions to our so-called heroes and then, thankfully, we witness the aliens attack. The opening in the middle of everything was a nice touch, it was cool and original-ish and landed the viewer in the thick of the mayhem with no explanation. Your defences weren’t up as you weren’t expecting this and it is exciting. I will admit to feeling slightly let down as I do enjoy watching the actual alien invasion as it happens, I like the build up and suspense of it and thankfully we do get that, although it seemed incredibly brief. It’s all over the news that meteors are heading to Earth but no one really seems to care until they start slowing down on impact and attacking. The military are called in, and our guys see the army on the news and act like children as one calls out “That’s us man, that’s us!!!” Our platoon are given their mission after some hefty stares at Nantz, and their mission is to head into LA and rescue the survivors at a police station and get the hell out of dodge in less than three hours because the military are planning to “level this place!” Off our platoon head and we're barely ten minutes in. Now sit back and enjoy close to two hours of running battles with aliens because, to be honest, that’s what we’ve paid to see...

A cracking scene showing the aliens crash land in the sea just off a beach by a news reporter is great stuff. We witness the aliens appear out of the water and start zapping everyone, and with the use of it being news reporter footage it’s all shaky and grainy and really adds to the sense of panic. Sadly, the aliens are then revealed to our platoon far too soon and the big mystery as to what they look like is over. However, they are pretty impressive aliens, brandishing guns and running round like proper military forces, they are coordinated and clever. In the first of many battles, our platoon has its first gun battle with a group of aliens almost instantly as they head up the deserted streets of LA. It’s an intense battle and is very exciting and not only are the effects damned impressive, the sounds of the guns is exceptional. The excitement of this battle and momentum does keep going for the first hour or so and it’s pretty impressive stuff but sadly it’s the text-book banter between the platoon that first starts to grow tiresome, and then the battles themselves. It’s not that the film runs out of ideas, it’s more that there’s too many of them and no break-up in the relentless pace. You get to a point where you just want it all to stop, just for a second and calm down. No more explosions or gunfights, no more fuckin idiots putting their dog-tags in their boots instead of round their neck “in case his head gets blown off and that way they can still identify him”, no more letters to wives or big moments of realisation. No more big ideas or family friendly chats and speeches. Just be normal for a second, can you do that? No, it’s one great big patriotic moment after another after another. Normally films like this build to an almighty climax with a REALLY big monster or great big action sequence. Battle L.A seems more intent on building up to the next moment of patriotism more than anything and it becomes quit irritating.


There are tense scenes and scenes that will quite literally take your breath away. A scene on a smashed up freeway and the attempt to save the civilians by hanging them off a bridge is awesome; not least because of the fact the aliens introduce a new gun! But everything just seems to blend into one great big action piece; it feels like the whole film is one great big patriotic scene. I daren’t say anything about the end because it would spoil things but you WILL be bringing up that popcorn or hotdog you ate earlier at the level of cheesiness on show. See, with films like District 9 and Aliens, somehow the director strikes the perfect balance between awe inspiring alien movie and not being cheesy and sick inducing. It can be done, just not here. Battle LA is like Independence Day on steroids, and it’s told and filmed from the perspective of the soldiers and makes a sad attempt at them becoming your friends, your comrades. The film fails on all counts and if you found Independence Day annoying then steer well clear of this. The films saving grace is a superb performance by Eckhart and some exceptional sound and special effects. To be fair the action is great fun but it just never lets up and you lose that wow factor once you’ve seen the same scene but in a different context again and again. This is a film solely aimed at the popcorn market and for that it does its job nicely. I can’t see it lasting long at the cinema as word gets round that the great big spectacle we were all hoping for is just another war film with an added twist, here they fight aliens with big guns and brains. Forget plot, forget logic and forget you brain if you plan to see this, that way you just might find some enjoyment out of it.

3.5/10



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RE: critics expect to much - 13/3/2011 6:09:09 PM   
CORLEONE

 

Posts: 4695
Joined: 2/11/2005
From: Nakatomi Plaza
I'm deeply upset that this film isn't fantastic.

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Bad Bad Bad - 13/3/2011 11:02:36 PM   
billybloke

 

Posts: 5
Joined: 7/2/2008
*nuff said*

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Post #: 77
Fucking Amaizing - 14/3/2011 9:11:44 AM   
the film man

 

Posts: 605
Joined: 13/10/2010
I thought there was going to be a good reason for giving this film two stars but this is a shit reason. This film is realy entertaining and I really enjoyed it. Critics do expect too much.

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Post #: 78
ABYSMAL - 14/3/2011 11:55:46 AM   
THERAHMAN

 

Posts: 16
Joined: 28/6/2006
One of the worst films I have ever seen. Absolutely pathetic. Anyone who likes this film is a moron. There, I said it.

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Post #: 79
Terrible in every way possible - 14/3/2011 12:58:22 PM   
chris wootton

 

Posts: 477
Joined: 15/9/2006
Quite simply.. One of the worst films of all time. My favourite scene had to be Eckhart trying to find out how to kill the aliens... by punching them in various places.. TO DEATH

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Post #: 80
RE: ABYSMAL - 14/3/2011 7:10:45 PM   
hampstead bandit

 

Posts: 381
Joined: 18/9/2009
quote:

ORIGINAL: THERAHMAN

One of the worst films I have ever seen. Absolutely pathetic. Anyone who likes this film is a moron. There, I said it.


thanks, not that I give a flying fig what you think...


I had no problems with this film, I just got back from seeing it, and it kept me entertained and on the edge of my seat at times

its great fun to watch, gripping in places, emotional in other places, brilliant visual effects with an interesting take on the alien technology

that the film is pretty much shot from the soldiers POV put you right in the action, and the action is very meaty like Black Hawk Down

solid lead actor, and good backup actors

no complaints from me, did what it said on the tin :)

3.5/5

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Post #: 81
Never underestimate the power of a crap director - 14/3/2011 10:57:17 PM   
Blyman

 

Posts: 108
Joined: 11/5/2008
I thought it couldn't possibly be as bad as the critics say, I was wrong. Laugh out loud awful thanks to the music, script, dull dull action and Eckharts vocal Batman impression. Had an actual director been given the gig then maybe it would have worked, how do hacks like Liebesman get these jobs!!

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Post #: 82
RE: Never underestimate the power of a crap director - 15/3/2011 1:21:19 PM   
Wild about Wilder


Posts: 1655
Joined: 9/4/2010
From: Hertfordshire
Had the Director & his cameraman not tried too make me physically ill with there  "LAZY" zooming in & out every 10 seconds I definetly would've enjoyed this far more as the script idea seemed not too bad.
YES WE KNOW CLOVERFIELD TOOK A SHIT LOAD OF MONEY! but you could've come up with something different to the tired old shaky hand held camera work especially at over 110 minutes long.
(6/10 would've been 7 but for the camera work.)

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Post #: 83
This is a 'good' 3 star movie, Empire you were wrong! - 15/3/2011 7:33:16 PM   
Petgood83

 

Posts: 1
Joined: 11/10/2010
From: London
Firstly I would just like to say this is a good solid three star movie. Kim Newman, I have to say although you are a professional and I am just a standard projectionist soon to be made redundant thanks to digital cinema!!! Grrr Your review is wrong. Here is why, Battle: LA shows you a generic alien invasion from the very bottom of the ladder (well one up from civillians) rather than your top govenment officials or scientists. How your everyday soldiers who have to fight an enemy that nobody knows what is capable of, why they are here etc. Also this film was attacked by some critics saying you did not get to know enough about the characters. This film was only two hours long. We knew enough and how much can you really get to know about them when they are at war? Same thing happend with Black Hawk Down. Finally this film is not as patriotic or cheesy as Independence Day. The action is gritty, the acting is simple and the pace is good. Well if that doesnt allow people to step back and think, this movie was not so bad. Then here are a few other reasons Empire should give it another star as you have that power Empire, since you originally gave The Fighter 3 stars, only to put it up another 2 stars when it was released - It is a lot better than Skyline, plus did you not give Terminator Salvation 4 stars? and Battle LA is by far a better movie! Ok I am done. Long live Projectionists! Say no to digital!

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Post #: 84
RE: This is a 'good' 3 star movie, Empire you were wrong! - 15/3/2011 8:07:26 PM   
Scruffybobby

 

Posts: 4328
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: My House
As a grunt's eye view of an invasion by extra terrestrial nasties Battle: L.A. is quite effective. The action is well handled and goes some way to living up to its billing as Black Hawk Down with aliens. Where it falls down though is in a lack of relatable characters and it's rather unbelievable grunts save the world plot.

It starts off really well throwing us straight into the action, before cutting back to 24 hours before the invasion. It's a bold move and I wonder if it wouldn't have been better had we just gone from there. The film is technically really well put together, with great effects some exciting set pieces and a believably ruined cityscape. The main problem is that it's really hard to care about anyone, only Aaron Eckhardt gets any kind of real character to play, and he's someone we've seen plenty of times before. Bridget Monyahan is largely wasted and surely Michelle Rodriguez is a bored of playing the tough girl as we are of seeing her in the role. She's a good actress - can't she be a doctor or a lawyer or florist once in a while?

The other main problem here is that the film has to have our small band find the key to saving the world by working out how to take down the command centre. In keeping with the Black Hawk Down approach wouldn't it have been enough for them just to get their civvie charges out alive?

Still it's a fun couple of hours and a good enough early entry into the blockbuster season. just nothing more.


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"You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it." - Robin Williams

(in reply to Petgood83)
Post #: 85
RE: This is a 'good' 3 star movie, Empire you were wrong! - 16/3/2011 5:19:10 PM   
Beno


Posts: 8131
Joined: 15/2/2007
From: Sheffield

quote:

ORIGINAL: Scruffybobby

As a grunt's eye view of an invasion by extra terrestrial nasties Battle: L.A. is quite effective. The action is well handled and goes some way to living up to its billing as Black Hawk Down with aliens. Where it falls down though is in a lack of relatable characters and it's rather unbelievable grunts save the world plot.

It starts off really well throwing us straight into the action, before cutting back to 24 hours before the invasion. It's a bold move and I wonder if it wouldn't have been better had we just gone from there. The film is technically really well put together, with great effects some exciting set pieces and a believably ruined cityscape. The main problem is that it's really hard to care about anyone, only Aaron Eckhardt gets any kind of real character to play, and he's someone we've seen plenty of times before. Bridget Monyahan is largely wasted and surely Michelle Rodriguez is a bored of playing the tough girl as we are of seeing her in the role. She's a good actress - can't she be a doctor or a lawyer or florist once in a while?

The other main problem here is that the film has to have our small band find the key to saving the world by working out how to take down the command centre. In keeping with the Black Hawk Down approach wouldn't it have been enough for them just to get their civvie charges out alive?

Still it's a fun couple of hours and a good enough early entry into the blockbuster season. just nothing more.





HOORAHHH




_____________________________

"The one about the space hairdresser and the cowboy. He's got a tinfoil pal and a pedalbin. His Father's a robot and he's fucking fucked his Sister. Lego ... They're all made of fucking Lego!!"

(in reply to Scruffybobby)
Post #: 86
"Hold On, Guys, I'm Gonna Cry..." - 16/3/2011 8:09:16 PM   
BenTramer

 

Posts: 938
Joined: 18/3/2009
The manly, tearful dialogue is some of the worst i've heard since Top Gun but it was an agreeable enough time-waster. It ripped off other movies like Independence Day (itself a rip-off of V) and Aliens (Marines Vs Aliens). And Michelle Rodriguez needs to stop herself being lazily typecast as a Vasquez from Aliens rip-off tough latina chick (see also Resident Evil and Avatar). Think Kim is getting a little cranky in his old age, it wasn't that bad, buddy.

(in reply to Empire Admin)
Post #: 87
"Hold On, Guys, I'm Gonna Cry..." - 16/3/2011 8:09:20 PM   
BenTramer

 

Posts: 938
Joined: 18/3/2009
The manly, tearful dialogue is some of the worst i've heard since Top Gun but it was an agreeable enough time-waster. It ripped off other movies like Independence Day (itself a rip-off of V) and Aliens (Marines Vs Aliens). And Michelle Rodriguez needs to stop herself being lazily typecast as a Vasquez from Aliens rip-off tough latina chick (see also Resident Evil and Avatar). Think Kim is getting a little cranky in his old age, it wasn't that bad, buddy.

(in reply to Empire Admin)
Post #: 88
RE: "Hold On, Guys, I'm Gonna Cry..." - 16/3/2011 9:10:29 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 3970
Joined: 19/10/2005
BATTLE:LOS ANGELES

The idea of an alien invasion is an absolutely terrifying prospect , but it's my feeling that it's never been done totally right on film [except for perhaps the first two versions of Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, and they are almost separate as they feature an especially subtle form of invasion].  There's been some fine films, from both versions of The War Of The Worlds to Mars Attacks, and I'm especially fond of the original V and the Japanese Battle In Outer Space, but I don't think filmmakers have ever really exploited the fear, the terror, that would arise, and really use their imagination.  Battle:Los Angeles certainly doesn't.  The fact that it was originally called Battlefield Earth:Los Angeles ought to give you an idea that it's not very good, although I wouldn't say it's quite a turkey.  Think of Black Hawk Down meets Independence Day, and you basically have it, with all the good and bad points that would come with such a combination.

After a quick Starship Troopers style opening in mid invasion, we flash back twenty four hours, and have to endure being introduced to our set of heroes.  There's a virgin, a guy getting married, and Michelle Rodriguez doing her usual tough woman thingie, but all of this is pointless because most of this information is never referred to again.  They would have been better off not bothering at all with this.  There's a fairly good build up of panic, something Independence Day also did well, with a fantastic news report bit of people on a beach being zapped and just a brief glimpse of alien things appearing in the water.  Then we get on our mission, and the rest of the movie is basically a series of skirmishes.   Now these are vivid and often exciting, but are partially undone by the dreaded shakycam. I have moaned about it before, but hey, I'm going to moan about it again.  Even though amazingly I don't like getting sore eyes and feeling sick whilst watching a film, and like to see what's going on in a film, I actually don't mind it in 'found footage' films like Cloverfield, even if quite often those films seem stupid to me.  The people filming stuff seem to be having epileptic fits!  I could just about put up with it in the Bourne films even ,but otherwise I find it incredibly annoying.  In Battle:Los Angeles, even the dialogue scenes have the camera unable to stay still for a few seconds, and it really gives the impression of bad film making and even took me out of the film.

Nonetheless things are just about watchble until about two thirds in when the dialogue, which was poor to begin with, starts to partially turn into really cheesy patriotic speeches, usually when somebody is dying.  Now, I enjoy a bit of cheese every now and again, and don't object to patriotism, but this movie becomes overloaded with it and goes beyond Independence Day. There's one hilarious bit though when Aaron Eckhart, who poor guy is given the lion's share of this stuff, goes on for five minutes psyching up his team and telling a young boy who's lost his dad that he is now a Marine, than says "but none of that's important right now”.  Did writer Christopher Berkolini  never see Airplane?  Unless of course this was meant as a jokey reference but in that case it's  really out of place.  The script is full of holes and odd things, such as why do the aliens decide to land on water?  As for the aliens, their ships are quite interesting looking but themselves just look like bad CG versions of the typical machine/humanoid thingie, and I think I noticed some machines from the Speilberg The War Of The Worlds in the distance!  There are some shockingly poor CG helicopters and explosions too, though to compensate they are some great aerial shots of the war above the city [saying that though, you keep hearing about the airforce, but you never see them except a few helicopters!].  The use of sound is also good, with really effective employing of silence at times.

Eckhart actually does the best he can with his poorly written character, while everyone else fares okayish but not enough to rise above the general mediocirity.  Jonathon Leiberman, whose Texas Chainsaw Massacre:The Beginning I really liked though few else did, is pretty good at pacing but doesn't seem to really have a grip on the film.  The incredibly untalented Brian Tyler was responsible for the score, with its tedious droning where a loud synthesiser is played over a small orchestra [something which I never see the point of].  This composer seems to almost entirely copy other composers[ [i.e.Watchmen], and here just imitates  Hans Zimmer.  Overall Battle:Los Angeles is just about enjoyable if you switch your brain off, but it really does have a great many things wrong with it and for much of its duration all I could think of is "what a missed opportunity”.
4.5/10


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(in reply to BenTramer)
Post #: 89
Decent film - 16/3/2011 10:34:01 PM   
mickyc

 

Posts: 10
Joined: 5/10/2005
I went into this film with very low expectation and I have to say i found it entertaining, back hawk down meets ID4 Yes there are some cheesy bits in the final quarter but the first 3/4 are pretty intense.

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Post #: 90
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