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An average movie

Posted : 5 years, 8 months ago on 5 January 2013 11:08

I remember, when I saw the trailer, I seriously thought it could be pretty badass but then I heard only bad things about this flick so I wasn't that enthusiast anymore. Well, it must have been one of the most misleading trailer I have ever seen. I mean, there were a few nice action scenes but nothing remotely badass like I saw in this trailer. Basically, it was some kind of mix between 'Black Hawk Down' and 'War of the World'. The big difference is that Jonathan Liebesman definitely doesn't play in the same league as Ridley Scott and Steven Spielberg, that's for sure. I mean, you could argue that the story was pretty weak concerning 'War of the World' but, at least, Spielberg knew how to create some excitement from this story. Here, you just have a bunch of faceless soldiers going from one point to another without much coherence and, somehow, miraculously, they manage to save the city. I still believe that the concept had some potential but the whole thing was just terribly underwhelming. On the positive side, Aaron Eckhart remains a very dependable actor, probably one of the most underrated actors at work nowadays, and he did what he could with this thankless job (Apparently, he said he never had so much fun in a movie before and he would love to return for a sequel. What a terrible idea...). To conclude, it was yet another piece of evidence that you should never judge a movie by its trailer, it was just a very weak SF feature and it is not really worth a look, even if you love the genre.

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Battle Los Angeles review

Posted : 6 years, 3 months ago on 4 June 2012 07:17

Plot a little holeyand predictable and sort of fizzled out at the end - ok watch on a wet afternoon even if just for a few of the special effects.

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Battle Los Angeles review

Posted : 7 years ago on 31 August 2011 12:12

It is really worthy for the special effects, the non-stop action and the idea is that as cliché. A super blockbuster! The sameness may be present in the roadmap showing every soldier, his bravery and patriotism, as always ... blah blah blah but you know what? It never hurts to watch! It is the vision of the director on YOUR choice to show some LA soldiers before a battle towards ET's. Or you guys were expecting a 10 hour film which show various views the world and your soldiers? The scenes, photographs, takes, these have a lot of CG is visually amazing! Brilliant! The Americans know how to show patriotism, unity, emotion, technology, performance and special effects. Great actors and a good choice to end. My "Four Thumbs Ups" by the art of the blockbuster film! Pure fun and wonder!

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Battle Los Angeles review

Posted : 7 years, 1 month ago on 6 August 2011 09:32

Was a good war movie that just happened to involve battling aliens. Didn't overly focus on the aliens and had no lame, tacked-on love-story. Highly enjoyed watching this one.

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Battle Los Angeles review

Posted : 7 years, 4 months ago on 9 May 2011 02:17

I just can't believe they still make these kind of films.

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As generic as its title...

Posted : 7 years, 4 months ago on 6 May 2011 12:46

"At fourteen forty six pacific standard time, twelve different locations across the globe were breached in what appears to have been a coordinated attack by an unknown enemy. This is a textbook military invasion. We are the last offensive force on the west coast. We cannot lose Los Angeles."

A more suitable title for Battle: Los Angeles would be Battle to Stay Awake. A meandering, often tedious instance of blockbuster filmmaking, Battle: Los Angeles appears to have been designed as either a military recruitment video or the ultimate home theatre system "demo disc" (or both). At its most basic level, this is a wearying display of shaky-cam mayhem featuring a cast of cardboard cut-outs; a film eager to go wild with money shots but is negligent in terms of providing a reason to care. Roger Ebert said it best in his hilarious review: "Young men: If you attend this crap with friends who admire it, tactfully inform them they are idiots. Young women: If your date likes this movie, tell him you've been thinking it over, and you think you should consider spending some time apart."

Adhering faithfully to formula, the film commences as cities around the globe become inundated by meteor showers. The meteors are not regular meteors, however, but alien machinery. It isn't long before spacecrafts and aliens begin obliterating global cities with the palpable goal in mind of exterminating human life and colonising the planet. With the invasion intensifying, a Marine squad heads into Santa Monica to evacuate the city before blasting it to oblivion in an attempt to halt the advancing alien activity. Leading the charge is Staff Sergeant Michael Nantz (Eckhart), who is called back into duty after a harrowing tour of Afghanistan. Storming the city with all guns blazing, Nantz's platoon encounters numerous alien warriors and aircrafts armed with superior firepower. Raising the stakes is their discovery of a group of civilians, whom they vow to protect and lead to safety.

Battle: Los Angeles's script was credited to Christopher Bertolini, but it is unclear what exactly he was responsible for. The film is literally two hours of interchangeable, forgettable faces shouting at each other, shooting things, blowing shit up and getting killed. The dialogue is almost entirely made up of people shouting "Watch out!", "Get down!", "Move!", "Fire!", and the derivatives of these screams. The soldiers are one-dimensional stereotypes, and the civilians are bland. The only thing telling us we should care when a character dies is the overbearing music. Once the titular battle gets underway, the soldiers are reduced to random, indecipherable figures without defining characteristics who shoot guns and wear battle fatigues (except Eckhart and Michelle Rodriguez, but only because they are recognisable stars). For fuck's sake, when it came time to assemble a cast list for this review, I did not know who to bill first beyond Eckhart and Rodriguez! All the best action/war movies develop their characters in the heat of battle. Take Black Hawk Down, for instance. Nobody behind Battle: Los Angeles was talented enough to pull this off. Though, credit where credit is due, the actors do seem to try to do something substantive with their underwritten roles, rather than sleepwalking their way through the film for the sake of their paycheques.

There are very few L.A. landmarks to be seen throughout the film, reducing Battle: Los Angeles to a repetitive barrage of sequences depicting soldiers firing weapons in nondescript streets and walking around dank, desolate buildings. Unfortunately, the cinematography is frequently shaky to the point of nauseating - it's as if the cameraman is always wandering around bumping into things. Sure, director Jonathan Liebesman at times delivers in terms of action, and there are a few spectacular money shots thanks to some solid special effects. But there's never any awe to the apocalyptic events - the film feels like a pedestrian video game rather than a harrowing war film. Furthermore, armed with the studio-favourite PG-13 rating, the film fails to deliver on a visceral level. People and aliens are killed, but there is no blood. Hardcore soldiers are thrown into harsh conditions, but never swear. The whole project feels gutless due to this. Worse, Battle: Los Angeles is the kind of action movie which ends with the heroes defeating the enemy by blowing up one magical thing. The climax feels tacked-on and forced, as if the writer realised the film needed to end very soon and sought a fast, easy way out. This denotes another problem - the script rushes from plot point to plot point, making every narrative twist and turn seem convenient and contrived.

I love a good action movie as much as the next guy, and I acknowledge that not every action film needs to have well-developed characters. However, Battle: Los Angeles is an incessant sensory assault which becomes tiresome due to a distinct lack of humanity, personality, variety and humour. It has its moments and the production values are faultless, but these qualities are wasted on a film not worth caring about. Battle: Los Angeles is an alien invasion picture as generic as its title, flaunting a bunch of generic actors playing generic roles fighting generic aliens in generic settings in generic ways. If you want to see an alien invasion story with more interest in humanity, see Spielberg's War of the Worlds. If you're seeking an invasion story executed with personality and inventiveness, watch District 9. The existence of these well-known blockbusters renders such a standard film as Battle: Los Angeles rather obsolete.


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Battle Los Angeles review

Posted : 7 years, 5 months ago on 4 April 2011 06:30

A cada ano, pelo menos um filme de "Fim do Mundo" os EUA têm que lançar. Repleto de efeitos especiais de primeira como qualquer dinheiro pode comprar, Batalha de Los Angeles tenta desviar com pirotecnia o seu fraco roteiro. Com incessantes demonstrações de heroísmo, sequências de bom mocismo e pseudo atitude se seguem em uma quantidade de dar náuseas. Bem ao estilo daquele aluno que levanta na sala de aula e o resto o segue fazendo o mesmo. Filme vagabundo, fraco e concedendo alguma indulgência para os latinos que cruzam suas fronteiras tentando demonstrar uma falsa união. A cena em que o SSgt. Nantz fala para Hector, filho de Martinez (nada mais previsível que Carlos, Hernandez, Rodrigues, e outros "irez" que são usados)em que ele fala "Você é o maior fuzileiro que já conheci!". Dor hepática na hora! A única coisa que o moleque faz no filme é chorar! Vem século, passa século, e os Blockbusters não cansam da mesma fórmula enjoada e sem graça.

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My expectations were met

Posted : 7 years, 6 months ago on 19 March 2011 02:31

If you were to ask me for a quick movie comparison for Battle: Los Angeles I would say Black Hawk Down + Independence Day. It has the frenetic combat scenes from Black Hawk Down as well as the alien invasion angle (and cheese) of Independence Day.

Battle: LA is an earnest, realistic look at combat during an alien invasion that is anchored by the performance of Aaron Eckhart.

The special effects were outstanding and very realistic and the shaky camera fits in with the tone and look of the movie so it isn't bothersome. Even the basic plot of a team of Marines trying to get a group of civilians to safety is a solid one.

Even though the movie is able to create real tension with the urban combat - you really feel like you're in the thick of things - the main problem is that it telegraphs a number of important scenes. You see them coming a mile away and when the important scene does happen, it feels forced. If the dialogue had been stronger this film would have been much better off for it.

Also, aside from Aaron Eckhart's character, there really isn't much character development - the Marines and civilians are just there to move the plot forward, so it's difficult to care when something bad happens to one of them.

I've been seeing a number of complaints about the same-ness of the battle scenes but come on! The Marines are going through a couple of mile stretch in an urban setting - how "unique" can you make various battle scenes? I thought there were enough differences between each fight to make them stand out from one another.

What makes Battle: Los Angeles work over a movie like Skyline is that even though it has a small focus - this group of Marines are just one part of the actual fighting force - it is able to bring in information that the characters of Skyline wouldn't have available to them and the movie makes sense.

Is Battle: LA going to be an all-time favorite? Probably not but it was still a thrilling movie to watch.

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Battle: LA = Battle: Lame

Posted : 7 years, 6 months ago on 14 March 2011 05:18

Reading a review is hardly necessary for a film of this nature. Let's face it, if you were able to watch the trailer for 2 hours, then you would have had the same experience as seeing the whole movie. There are random gunfights and explosions, dramatic news footage from various televisions, and soldiers you will never bother to care about.

The plot is simple and familiar. Aliens invade earth's major coastal cities, and as you would expect, the Marines are immediately sent to fight them. These armor plated aliens have about the same weapons as humans, so its possible for the Marines to escape an ambush, or to have a fair firefight with the creatures. Luckily for our Marines, the aliens have apparently spent all their scientific resources inventing space travel and never bothered with nukes or any weapon stronger than a grenade. And you thought the Nazis were stupid for invading Russia without winter clothes! Basically these beings just walk around with giant missile launchers that can blow up cars, instead of wiping out entire cities with their UFOs like in "Independence Day".

Oddly, with such a bunch of weak invaders, the earth still gets beaten down severely until our hero, "Sarge" Aaron Eckhart, gets into the melee. The reluctant leader of the soldiers we follow throughout the film, Eckhart plays the quiet "lead by example" veteran. His performance is decent enough, but he is handicapped by the dialog, which is mainly rah rah military gibberish straight out of "300". The other actors are just anonymous cannon fodder, not much different from the aliens themselves. You will hardly care who survives or who dies.

The directing is extremely weak. The "shaky cam" is overused and sabotages any hope of decent cinematography by making everything blurry and incomprehensible. Seriously, Cloverfield looks like an Ozu film compared to this! I doubt that doing about 10 shots of tequila and then being caught in an actual ambush by mysterious aliens with unknown weapons is even as confusing as watching this movie. Having said that, the special effects do look convincing in this kind of drunken haze.

Overall this isn't even a real narrative film, but rather a series of military battles much like a typical war video game, except with dizzy toddlers controlling the cameras. Between the messy battles there is a lot of military babble and rah rah speeches. The biggest thing missing from this film is fun. There is no humor at all, and everyone is stoic and resolute the whole time. Thus without any sense of fun, this film even fails as spectacle.

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