Monday, March 14, 2011

I Saw Battle:LA and I Liked it

I have to admit, I'm a sucker for monster movies and I'm particularly fond of alien invasion movies. It doesn't matter how bad the movie looks, I just have to watch it. That doesn't mean I like them all, but I at least give it a chance. (Case in point, last night there was a movie called Battle for Los Angeles starring Kel Mitchell of Kenan and Kel fame that was just awful, but I had to see it. PS it was awful.)

Lately the alien invasion genre has been severely lacking. Skyline, which premiered in November, was one of the worst movies I have ever laid eyes on. It was basically a showcase for a 3D production company, but after 3 minutes of aliens there was nothing else to behold. The Day the Earth Stood Still was longer than it's name and not very interesting from a demolition standpoint (nor on the story end, but I don't care for that, I want human decimation). Transformers is technically alien invasion, and while the first movie wasn't terrible it wasn't good either and the sequel could have been one of the most confusing movies of recent memory.

It's obvious I've been waiting for something in this genre and I think I have been slightly appeased for now. The last monster movie I have enjoyed was Cloverfield and this is a little like it except we get to see more of the monster. In this we get to see lots of the monster, but there is a significant human side of this as well. I was surprised by how much I actually liked the human element since usually I am only interested in watching the utter destruction of the human race.

I think the special effects are top notch and creative. I also think that this movie has paid attention to blunders in the field from the past. The aliens invade for intelligent reasons and they behave like an advanced race should, for the most part. The story seemed to be more about the brotherhood of the Marines in the face of adversity, than an alien invasion. That was just the draw and the setting. With that said, I actually thought it was well told. The movie initially had a good bit of tension making the finale an enjoyable celebration.

If I have any complaints it is because of the shaky cam the director decided to employ. I don't understand why movies have to be shot this way. It doesn't add any realism and actually only induces nausea and confusion as to what is going on onscreen. It is so not realistic that modern camcorders have shake reduction features to make our home movies look more like real movies. If Hollywood dictates the market, they are going to start adding "shake" features to our camera for added "realism!"

I also would have wanted more alien attacks (they opted to show only the invasion of LA with references to events happening around the world) and less human caring. But I think the story shook out just fine so I can live with it. I also don't like movies that are longer than an hour and a half unless they need to be (Inception, no not Avatar) and this ran to two hours, but I never got uncomfortable and it didn't feel that long, so I guess no harm no foul.

The biggest complaints I've read about in reviews were that it felt like watching someone play a video game, except that I think it was more like watching the cutscenes while playing a video game. I think everyone also was looking for a mindless action popcorn flick and since it amounted to more many were disappointed. Others were hoping for something deep that presented an allegory to the current economic system (my assumption) and they were disappointed that it wasn't that either, which I think is just silly. This movie isn't very deep and shouldn't be considered as such. Not every person has to have a compelling story, and this movie is such the case. It is just the tale of a band of troops that have to come together to overcome and they do and so they did.

If you want to see this movie, then ignore the reviews and spend the $10 a ticket. I think it is definitely an enjoyable movie and think you might enjoy it too.


iZombie said...

thank you for the solid! i am interested.

Marissa said...

honestly hadn't planned on watching this, but maybe i'll check it out.

Marissa said...

honestly hadn't planned on watching this, but maybe i'll check it out.

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