Author Topic: Battle:LA - Off the chain!!!  (Read 9169 times)

Offline The Evasive 1

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Battle:LA - Off the chain!!!
« on: March 14, 2011, 02:08:39 pm »
This movie was full of cliche and the script wasn't too original and almost came across as a Marine Corps enlistment video, but other than that, this movie rocked! Think of Independence Day meets Black Hawk Down with a touch of Private Ryan. Some say it was like District 9, but I disagree other than the sci-fi look was similar. I was really surprised that the movie was good. The critics trashed it, which only continues to confirm my belief that you should never listen to the professional movie critics. Seems like all the normal reviews from average movie goers was positive about the flick. This movie probably should have been a summer blockbuster with regards to all the action. Pretty much non-stop from the opening scene on. Of course,  you had your little emotional moments through out, but none of them were very long. The movie wasn't overly cerebral either, but how many action movies nowadays are? I like Aron Eckart's role and I'm glad he got a strong lead role to follow up his performance as Two Face from the Dark Knight. He played the part well. The other stars like Neyo and Michelle Rodriguez were alright, but overall I wasn't disappointed. The movie, of course sets up for a possible sequel, but the question is would it be Batle:LA 2 or Battle: New York or Battle: somewhere else based on the synopsis of the film. You have to go see it to understand.

If you like big action movies, sci-fi flicks or "band of brothers" type movies, this one's for you. Ignore the critics like Ebert and the other knuckleheads who talked bad about the film in the papers and such. Listen to the regular folks who actually went to see it. You won't be disappointed.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2011, 02:10:47 pm by Evasive_1 »

Offline Emperorjones

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Re: Battle:LA - Off the chain!!!
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2011, 04:41:06 pm »
I enjoyed it. It was like a big video game. I didn't care for the design of the aliens or ships, but I thought the action was fast, hard hitting, and the Marines were likable enough.

In comparison to some similar films, I don't think B:LA is as good as Independence Day, which was more epic and had a larger, universal message. ID4 showed how we were all in this together. B: LA was more narrowily focused, for good or ill. I think the film was trying to give you that bird's eye view of what the Marines were facing, going into combat with this unknown, lethal enemy. I did think B:LA was better than Cruise's War of the Worlds, though I really liked the WotW aliens better too.

Despite my issues with District 9 over their depiction of Nigerians, D9 was a far superior film. Outside them both being sci-fi films, there isn't much comparison. D9 was more social commentary than slam bang action thriller. The D9 characters had far more depth and I think the alien design/ship design was much better.

If you want to turn off your brain, grab some popcorn, and watch Marines and aliens duke it out, this is the film for you. I couldn't help thinking I wish the B:LA guys had been working the Aliens versus Predator films as I was watching the movie.


Offline The Evasive 1

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Re: Battle:LA - Off the chain!!!
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2011, 03:08:11 pm »
I kind of agree with what you said. I actually can't say whether I liked Independence Day more or less. I feel like both movies were kinda of different. I agree ID4 gave a "all of us in this together" feel, but so did Battle:LA from a "band of brothers" standpoint, in my opinion. Also the narrow focus of watching the battle unfold only with those marines, even though you know the entire world was under attack, is similar to what you saw in Signs. In each movie, though you are mainly focused on a small family or group, you are continuously bombarded with news reports of other countries and cities under siege. However, unlike Signs or ID4, B:LA it was messed up that everything seemed to go wrong at every turn until the final fight and even at the end of the flick there is hope, but you don't really know how the story is going to end. Probably a writers trick to help pull off a sequel. It makes you need more if not at least wanting more just to see how it all ends.

One thing about Battle:LA that I liked was that for a movie low on cerebal dialogue, the science of the flick actually wasn't too far off. I expected to see like there would be alot of plot inconsistencies from a science point of view, but surprisingly there weren't alot. Also, nobody really panicked over meteor showers until they realized the meteors were slowing down before impact and landing off the coast of major cities. The military probably didn't flip out because the aliens were pretty much using standard invasion tactics to colonize. The tech of the aliens was more advanced than ours but not too far. We could go toe toe with their ground force, it was just hard to kill them. If fact, I actually like how the marines actually had to figure out how to kill the aliens because they were getting wiped out so badly. The premise of why the aliens were attacking us also made sense when it was explained by the scientist on the news. I think maybe the writers didn't go too much into the aliens culture or other stuff probably to avoid getting tied up in that or at least because they probably didn't have time. If they did you would have to sat in the theater for more than the 2 hours. Not that I'm complaining about the time. Sitting in a movie that made you feel like you were actually in the middle of a warzone with explosions going off around you and bullets (lasers, rail gun munitions, whatever the aliens were using for ammo) shooting by you is cool. Yeah, it was just like a video game.

In fact, there's one out based on the movie already, surprise, surprise. Comes with all the cliche dialogue that was in the movie too:
http://ps3.gamespy.com/playstation-3/battle-los-angeles/1153606p1.html
Looks like Call of Duty mixed with a little HALO. Also, did you happen to catch the "cookie" that was thrown in to the movie. A certain video game got a notable mention in one scene if you looked closely. Kind of how I am Legend gave a"cookie" about a Batman/Superman movie.  ;)


« Last Edit: March 18, 2011, 03:09:55 am by Evasive_1 »

Offline Emperorjones

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Re: Battle:LA - Off the chain!!!
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2011, 03:44:11 pm »
I'm not sure that the motives of the aliens' made all that much sense. When I was looking at other reaction to B:LA and perhaps some article or something, it was pointed out that other planets, even in our solar system, have water. If the aliens can develop the tech to travel to Earth it seems like they could have tech that could melt the frozen water on other planets without the need for bloodshed.

Also, why are aliens using 'standard' invasion procedures? They are only standard to humans, and even that is in error. It hasn't been a completely standard practice to annihilate indigenous populations for the resources beneath their feet. Sometimes that has happened, but its not standard procedure even among humans. If anything, slavery and colonization are far more standard.

Personally I don't care. The motivation given in the movie is as a good as any. It was simple to understand, which fit right in with the simplistic message of this film. B: LA is not about thinking, its about feeling.

I agree with you regarding Signs, though I think B: LA was a better movie.

Offline The Evasive 1

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Re: Battle:LA - Off the chain!!!
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2011, 03:06:04 am »
I'm not sure that the motives of the aliens' made all that much sense. When I was looking at other reaction to B:LA and perhaps some article or something, it was pointed out that other planets, even in our solar system, have water. If the aliens can develop the tech to travel to Earth it seems like they could have tech that could melt the frozen water on other planets without the need for bloodshed.

Also, why are aliens using 'standard' invasion procedures? They are only standard to humans, and even that is in error. It hasn't been a completely standard practice to annihilate indigenous populations for the resources beneath their feet. Sometimes that has happened, but its not standard procedure even among humans. If anything, slavery and colonization are far more standard.

Personally I don't care. The motivation given in the movie is as a good as any. It was simple to understand, which fit right in with the simplistic message of this film. B: LA is not about thinking, its about feeling.

I agree with you regarding Signs, though I think B: LA was a better movie.
Actually it made perfect sense, if you look at the aliens as some hostile group (which they were) coming in to take what another, possibly weaker group has. If you were an aggressive group and you could get a valuable resource via dropping on to a spot and scooping it up while wiping out the indigenous population because you could, as oppose to drilling, melting or whatever process is needed wouldn't you do that? Besides the water was what they were using for fuel so that made it pretty easy and more advantageous for them in battle. It makes sense. Also, I'm surprise you said there hasn't been a standard procedure to wipe out indigenous populations for their resources. Humans have done this in history before and have done it up to today in some forms, unfortunately. Corporations and governments have come in and removed or killed off tribes or other groups of people because they wanted to deforest certain areas or get to minerals on native land, etc. Genocide still happens today. Mostly over religious or cultural reasons but resources sometimes play part in that too. Though I agree that if slavery was one of goals they didn't wipe the natives out because the workforce was needed. With colonization, I agree you wouldn't necessarily have to wipe out the natives either, but it's plausible if the colonies are being set up primarily or exclusively for the invading people. The natives aren't needed anymore. However, this debate point actually is muddled because we really didn't get to delve (which you rightly pointed out earlier) into the aliens culture in this movie so how can we be sure what their idea of colonization is anyway. We only had the scientist that theorized (and they actually made that clarification if you didn't miss when they said it) why the aliens were colonizing or stealing water in the movie.

Btw, I should have been a little clearer earlier. When I originally stated "standard procedure" of invasion I meant standard military procedure for an invasion. This was the reason the military realized what was up with the meteorite shower and that this was not some friendly encounter with ET. The enemy came in off the coast, set up a beach head and then systematically moved inland to conquer. They had air support, C&C centers, officers commanding troops, unmanned drones, anti-artillery and anti-tank weapons. They even performed certain military operations similar to the humans (ie overwatch). Again, this was mentioned throughout the movie. Like I said before, this is why you could essentially remove the aliens from the film and just put in some human adversary and you still got pretty much the same movie. It is the idea of putting a large scale battle on familiar soil (Los Angeles) that really makes it "alien". Some scenes in that movie were like watching news footage of Afghanistan. Except it was happening off of Venice and Washington Blvd with civilians and marines lying dead everywhere with the Santa Monica Pier on fire.

It was a sci-fi/war movie with more stress on the "war" part.  Critic and audience reaction to the movie would probably have been the same.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2011, 03:17:11 am by Evasive_1 »

Offline Emperorjones

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Re: Battle:LA - Off the chain!!!
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2011, 09:16:29 am »
^
Of course you're assuming that the aliens are innately hostile, but the truth is the movie didn't really give us much to go on about the aliens, their culture, or their motivation. It is true they could be a warrior culture that gets off on combat, but until we know for certain, I think it is more logical to just find planets with frozen water and extract that without the fight, the loss of lives, the possibility even of defeat.


Offline The Evasive 1

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Re: Battle:LA - Off the chain!!!
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2011, 01:44:21 pm »
^
Of course you're assuming that the aliens are innately hostile, but the truth is the movie didn't really give us much to go on about the aliens, their culture, or their motivation. It is true they could be a warrior culture that gets off on combat, but until we know for certain, I think it is more logical to just find planets with frozen water and extract that without the fight, the loss of lives, the possibility even of defeat.


True. But I guess the fact that the aliens fused weapons to their bodies and showed no desire to communicate or take prisoners and even were reported to have lined up civilians and shot them in the head (again that was one of those news reports you heard in the movie) it pretty much gave me the idea that they were, or at least have, a "warlike" trait to the culture. To be honest, not much different then we humans do. I guess I don't find it all that illogical for coming and taking a resource that is just sitting there as opposed to doing more difficult work to mine it. Again, humans themselves, have done the same thing throughout history.

Oh well, unless a sequel comes out to possibly dwell more on the aliens themselves we probably won't ever know what really drives them.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2011, 01:48:17 pm by Evasive_1 »

Offline Battle

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Re: Battle:LA - Off the chain!!!
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2011, 02:51:06 pm »
Ahh-h-h, now I can read this thread!
After reading a few lines of  Evasive_1's post, I decided to take my lil' bro out to see Battle: LA with me and you're right...   the movie does strike me as a really long Marine Corp enlistment video replete with EXTRA shaky cam thrown in for good measure! ;)   ...and it isn't until tough-as-nails, Ms. Michelle Rodriquez pops into a scene that you remember this is just a war movie, not an enlistment video.  

Battle: LA  also falls into those modern disaster genre movies like Armageddon,  Deep Impact, and War of the Worlds, where the future is bleak, dark and hopeless.  However, this time around the world is bombarded with meteors AND being invaded by strange aliens!!!   Right in southern California but thank goodness the Marines are there to save the day!

There are fleeting images here and there of the aliens which is played to great effect because you don't really need to see them to witness the level of  damage they inflict to let you know they are out there but  after playing a lot of Starcraft II online, I can honestly say that the aliens in Battle: LA reminds me of the protoss and the marines remind me of... well, the marines!  Badass and full o' hubris, those marines!   That's really what this movie is all about...   The marines!


Out of 5,  I give Battle: LA  2 bullets!
« Last Edit: March 21, 2011, 08:57:59 am by Battle »

Offline The Evasive 1

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Re: Battle:LA - Off the chain!!!
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2011, 04:03:39 am »
I gave it one more bullet (and a 1/4) than you did, even with the the negatives mentioned. But hey, I like these kinds of movies. :)  I really wasn't bothered by the shaky camera. In fact, I didn't really notice it that much. Now, if it had been as bad as what they did in Cloverfield, then I would have been annoyed.

However, your spot on with the Starcraft comparison. I lost count of how many sci-f films and video games use the same old "aliens vs marine" formula.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2011, 04:07:22 am by Evasive_1 »

Offline Vic Vega

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Re: Battle:LA - Off the chain!!!
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2011, 07:51:15 pm »
Just finished seeing this. Thought it was alright. I like Eckhart and I still enjoy M. Rod's tough Latina act so it could have been worse.

But I thought it was as by the numbers as you can get. I wasnt impressed with design of the aliens or thier tech, which is kind of a draw with this stuff.

I also noticed they left  no cliche unused. I will say that by making the new jack who cant handle combat the same guy who has a pregnant wife at home, they saved the producers some money on an extra actor.

This was just OK but nowhere near as good as District 9, which was actually about something.






Offline BlackRodimus

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Re: Battle:LA - Off the chain!!!
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2011, 01:36:27 pm »
I saw it last night. To add to the previous posts, isn't it possible that the reason they aliens came to Earth for water was because they had already depleted water on the other neighboring planets? Not much info was given on the aliens, so for all we know were dead last on their lists of planets to get water from after running through the other planets on the list.


I like that they kept the aliens vague, too. And how they were defeated seemed plausible. Really it felt like a better version of Independence Day. And TWO black guys survive to the end? That really impressed me right there. The only [minor] complaint I have was Ne-Yo could have MENTIONED his fiancee at the end. "Gee, I wonder if she's alive?"
"don't fight the power, be the power" - Reginald Hudlin

Offline Reginald Hudlin

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Re: Battle:LA - Off the chain!!!
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2011, 09:47:46 pm »
To second the earlier comment, glad I can finally read this thread.

My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed the film.  In fact, wifey called someone who called the movie "aiight" to complain they undersold it.

Most of the criticisms folks posted are there, but bottom line I was more than ready for a movie like this and it delivered the most I was looking for. 

Offline BlackRodimus

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Re: Battle:LA - Off the chain!!!
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2011, 01:53:53 pm »
Let me amend THREE black guys survived to the end, I think that's a cinematic first. I was counting Ne-Yo and the African doctor, I forgot to count Cory Hardrict, the guy who played the character mad at Harvey Dent for getting his brother killed.
"don't fight the power, be the power" - Reginald Hudlin

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Re: Battle:LA - Off the chain!!!
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2011, 06:50:00 pm »
To second the earlier comment, glad I can finally read this thread.

My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed the film.  In fact, wifey called someone who called the movie "aiight" to complain they undersold it.

Most of the criticisms folks posted are there, but bottom line I was more than ready for a movie like this and it delivered the most I was looking for. 

Wow, maybe I will try to see it on the big screen then.  If not, as a rental for sure.

Besides, I've gotta admit that I find Michelle Rodriguez to be totally cool in the movies I've seen her in. Remember the end of Machete?!!! I was cracking up.

Offline Magic Wand

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Re: Battle:LA - Off the chain!!!
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2011, 07:54:02 am »
Ugh!
Finally saw this.
What a snooze!
Glad I waited fro the dollar fifty show.
:-\
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