I went into this won with full knowledge of how many people didn't like it and found it more derivative of a Michael Bay film THAN a Michael Bay film. I have a special hatred for his brand of film making that I nurture deep down in the darkest pit of my soul because he has NEVER CHANGED. I can point to many of his films like 'Bad Boys' and the 'Transformer' movies as truly lost hours in my life (and I am not using 'lost' in the good way) but I can never deny how much sheer joy that 'Armageddon' gives me.
So, I watch Battle - Los Angeles.
First of all I HATE the shaky cam. I know it's suppose to put me directly into the action but I am NOT in the action. I am watching a movie with way too many quick cuts that takes me completely out of the action at times.
I like Aaron Eckhart a lot as an actor. He is perfect for any kind of 'authority' or 'leader' role. I just wish the script was up to his talents.
There are also so many coincidences in this movie that it's stopped me from ever believing in coincidence again. But for this kind of movie these convenient connections do move the story along and manipulate me into caring for the characters. Is that a good thing? Read on.
I did enjoy the time they took building the camaraderie between the soldiers in the unit we follow before putting them through hell. You all know my favorite cliche in film is the group of people who go on a dangerous mission where some if not most of them will not be coming home. I will forgive a lot if that concept is executed well.
The plot is simple. The squad we are following has been sent into Santa Monica to rescue of group of cut off civilians. They have three hours before the entire area is saturated with bombs from the air. The clock is ticking. Everything is zoom zoom zoom. I can't tell you how much I like a movie that keeps up with my brain.
Again, I wish they had accomplished that fact without all the shaky camera work and quick cuts. I am a victim of the MTV generation and unfortunately this is the way we process information. Maybe there are no other film techniques possible to create the kind of tension necessary in this kind of movie.
The creators make a good choice in keeping what the aliens look like from us until past the midway point. We share the unknown that the marines are walking into.
Once the soldiers get reduced to a smaller number we add civilians (including children) to our little group of survivors. This changes the dynamic completely. I had to tell myself a few times that the kids aren't really in any danger because it's only a movie. That shows how effective the creation of mood and circumstance were.
That leads me to mention the special effects which were fantastic. You would think from watching the trailer that they are overdone and would overshadow the story but the devastation all around the characters IS the story. It is every changing and only ramps up in intensity as the story moves on. At times, there are only seconds for the characters to react before something new and more deadly shows up. Cool.
All I ever ask of a movie is that it entertains me by keeping my attention and this one did that. It's nothing fresh or new but the familar story is something you will really enjoy on TV a couple of months from now.
Now a message to the extraterrestrials. THAT'S what you get for invading OUR planet you alien freaks.
As I always say, "This movie made me proud to be an American. Even though I am not one."
I forever stand vigilant to protect this planet from the myriad of forces that are always against us. Be it the octopus, zombies, aliens or the robots my team of human agents, and our feline allies, circle the globe in a never ending struggle for human freedom.
I learn all I can on every subject that interests me. I especially enjoy ancient history because in the past there are valuable lessons to be found. Also, if I ever get my time machine to work properly, it would be good to know a bit about possible destinations and what to expect when I get there.
I greatly appreciate beautiful design. Be it manufactured or found naturally I am fascinated by the process of invention. I am attracted to the unique, the strange, the haunted. I like to share what I find on this blog.
And not let us forget the 'Cephalopod Menace' who, if allowed to, would wrap their tentacles around all that is good and pure in this life and crush it until it remained no more. They are creatures of pure spite. Hate is all they know. Death is all they do. They are our most ruthless and determined enemy.
So we fight. Selena has the celebrity contacts, the cat is ruthless and without pity, Roosevelt's ghost has the experience and I do the wetwork.
Fighting for the future of the planet doesn't have to be a chore, however. We can take the time to appreciate all that is cool in this world even as we cut the octopus into bite sized chunks.
This is the reason there has always been and must forever be, a Cave of Cool. Be sure to wipe your feet before you enter.