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Turk February Witnesses BATTLE: LOS ANGELES!! A Report From A Very, Very Early Test Screening...

Merrick here...
A reader called Turk February sent in some thoughts on a recent super-early screening of BATTLE: LOS ANGELES, which stars Aaron Eckhart and Michelle Rodriguez in a "realistic"/shakey-cam/CLOVERFIELDian chronicling of an extra-terrestrial invasion of The City of Angels. PLEASE NOTE: the review below pertains to a recent, but extremely early, screening of a film that isn't supposed to hit theaters until early next year. As such, much about the picture could change between the version seen by Turk and the final product we'll eventually see released to screens (much of the effects work may not be finished, final sound mixes are not laid in, there's probably color work and editorial tweaking to be finalized, etc.) As such, consider this write-up a glimpse into where the project is at this point in time only...it's way too early to be rendering final verdicts. This said, I've been really, really curious about this movie for some time - especially after reading composer Brian Tyler's enthusiastic response to the project's developmental material, so I'm a teeny bit jealous that Turk got a look at it at (even in this stage of its development).
Here's what he/she had to say...
Just got back from an advance screening of Battle Los Angeles in Roseville, CA tonight and thought I would drop a line or two about my thoughts on the film. Going into the screening I knew little about Battle Los Angeles other than it was another alien invasion movie starring Aaron Eckhart and Michelle Rodriguez and was described by wikipedia as Black Hawk Down meets Independence Day. That description, which I assume is how a producer pitched it to the studio, sounded apt going in but it after seeing BLA it falls more on the Black Hawk Down -lite, meets Halo/Call of Duty than ID4 (thankfully) My expectations for this movie weren't set high because at this point what more can you do in the mankind vs. hostile alien realm? Not much and BLA proves this but thats not to say that BLA is a bad movie or not well made but it offers nothing necessarily new. I guess the main selling point to separate BLA from other alien invasion films would be that where the alien invasion in ID4 was over the top, impersonal and grand in scale the action in BLA was gritty and obviuosly meant to echo the firefights in BHD. The movie begins with the news flashing the date April 12, 2011 and news reports from around the world show that meteors, undetected until reaching earths atmosphere, are crashing into coasts along major cities all around the world. As this is happening we are introduced to Eckharts Staff Sargeant Nantz who on the day of the invasion is signing his discharge papers from the marine corp. When signing his papers we are treated to some not so subtle exposition between Eckhart and a fellow marine that he's too old for this shit (perhaps Comrade Glover is in fact now too old for this shit), he's highly decorated, has the medals to prove it but that last tour was tough and he lost a lot of good men (very Ted Striker vibe here) We are also introduced to the rest of the marines in Sgt Nantz' company all of them who are cliches we've seen in every other war movie out there - the young hotshot, the soldier suffering from PTSD, the rookie, the marine getting married, one with a pregnant wife, etc. Most of these characters are poorly fleshed out and only introduced to have us give a "oh that was that guy/I'm supposed to care he about him" when they die in battle throughout the movie. As we are meeting all of the marines we have intercutting scenes of the alien invasion played out on news reports on tv, most of the scenes very Cloverfield/District 9-esque. We don't get a good look at the alien invaders, just quick cuts, silhouettes and yes shaky cam footage of the aliens upon the initial invasion. The marines are mobilized and dropped into battle...Los Angeles. As soon as Nantz' company lands we learn that their orders are to evacuate any survivors that they can and to get out of Los Angeles within three hours before airstrikes are called in to level the city. From there on out its a lot of Call of Duty move from point A to point B objectives with firefights with the aliens along the way. Along the way we lose several of the marines we were introduced to in the beginning but because there were so many of them we met and none of them really stand out beyond their seen=it-before characters we don't really care when we lose them and the film just keeps chugging along until the next action scene. The Bad - If it sounds like I am hung up on all the cliche characters I could get past it if the team behind the movie didn't feel the need to bludgeon you over the head with them. Other minor issues I had with the film - the over reliance on pop/rap music in the beginning - "Hey look the marines are hanging out and playing on their down time - throw the new Eminem song on in the background", "When we show pre-invasion LA lets put on "California Love (get it?)" Also I realize the score was probably temporary or unfinished but when ever things were tense during the battle scenes I could've swore it was music I had heard playing Halo almost in the exact same scenarios. Some of the CGI looked unpolished but I am guessing, hoping, this is because the film is unfinished. Like I said earlier the filmmakers aren't ones to favor subtlety this carried over into scenes towards the end where Eckhart's character gives a rally the troops speech that while it doesn't reach ID4 level cheese, it is a bit over the top for the BHD vibe they were trying to create. Also a death scene of a background character towards the end of the mvoie carries too much weight for someone who previously received 2 minutes (if that) screen time. The Good - The acting. yes I harped on the underdeveloped characters but I blame this on the bare bones screenplay. Everyone does what they can with what they are given. The action -none of the scenes are going to blow your mind but they are solid, tense when needed, though if you are averse to shakey cam you probably won't like it. While the shaky cam doesn't reach Greengrass levels its there and shot to make you feel like you are there in the shit with Eckhart's company. The action was reminiscent of the Halo shorts Neil Blompkampf shot before making District 9 (which was pretty much his Halo movie) The Meh - The aliens - once we finally get a good look at the aliens they are a bland amalgumation of aliens we've seen before like a mixture of the tentacled tripods in Speilbergs War of the Worlds, meets District 9 bugs, meet the Flood from Halo. They are not particularly menacing, just very generic looking. There was also not very much dimension given to the aliens as to their history, where they were from or why they were invading other than they were here for our water but no reason was given as to why. Michelle Rodriguez - once her air force/pilot character shows up midway through the film the audience let out a collective groan as if to say "oh her again, doing her tough chick" routine yet again. She doesn't get a ton of screen time and she isn't necessarily bad but does she have any range? Bridget Moynahan - her character, a civilian, was an afterthought, there only to nod and say "ok" when instructed by Eckhart. Sewer scenes - the tone tried to shift to an Alien, horror type vibe for these scenes but could only employ weak crutch jump scare tactics. The End - a bit anti-climatic but expected for a modest budgeted, non-summer tentpole sci fi movie. It felt a little too video game blow up objective/boss battle. The audience I saw BLA with certainly enjoyed it and I did as well. By no means will this be a sci fi classic along the lines of District 9 but if the filmmakers aim was to make a Black Hawk Down alien invasion movie they met that goal. I would only recommend toning back the schmaltz of the death and speech scenes and ditching the pop music. Overall I was entertained and would recommend this to sci fi/disaster movie fans. I hate to evoke the CoD/Halo themes again but fans of those games, male teens - 30's will enjoy BLA but probably forget about it soon thereafter. If you use this call me Turk February
We'll likely be receiving a few more write-ups in the near future - we'll be sure to pass them along should they come in.
--- Follow Merrick on Twitter! ---

Readers Talkback
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  • July 8, 2010, 2:37 p.m. CST

    Woo hoo

    by SoylentMean

    Wait, what is this?

  • July 8, 2010, 2:40 p.m. CST

    I was hoping this was a period piece

    by SoylentMean

    for the real Battle of Los Angeles that happened during WWII. Oh well.

  • July 8, 2010, 2:42 p.m. CST

    Michelle, please stop playing the pug face

    by BP_drills_america_a_new_asshole

    tough military chick. Enough is enough. Go play a Latina hooker or something, show us your range.

  • July 8, 2010, 2:42 p.m. CST

    Temp track provided by Rage Against The Machine

    by Julius Dithers

    Tom Morello should score films.

  • July 8, 2010, 2:44 p.m. CST

    Where are the Predators reviews?

    by SoylentMean

    So far what I've read has been pretty positive. I would think AICN would have an inside track with the Rodriguez connection.

  • July 8, 2010, 2:48 p.m. CST

    Yeah, I'm sure Tom Morello . . .

    by Nice Marmot

    . . . would love to join forces with Hollywood.

  • July 8, 2010, 2:50 p.m. CST

    Nice Marmot

    by Julius Dithers

    Fine. He can score Mumblecore films. Happy?

  • July 8, 2010, 2:52 p.m. CST

    Brian Tyler is a hack...

    by Emit Brown

    See if you can recall a single theme from a movie he has scored. Try to hum it? Impossible, right? That's cause he is a hack that can't write a memorable note to save his life unless he is asked to reuse themes written by Goldsmith.

  • July 8, 2010, 2:53 p.m. CST

    I had to kill Michelle because she made a mistake...

    by DickJones

    ...of playing the same character over and over again.

  • July 8, 2010, 2:56 p.m. CST

    Will AICN have a LeBron talkback?

    by Jay_Lenos_Ugly_Wife

    I think it deserves one because it's so important.

  • July 8, 2010, 3:10 p.m. CST

    Eckhart broke his arm...

    by Barrock

    Filming this. True story.

  • July 8, 2010, 3:15 p.m. CST

    I'll wait for the bigger badder sequel...

    by gingerella

    Battle: Boise

  • July 8, 2010, 3:18 p.m. CST

    these test screenings are worthless...

    by emeraldboy

    I went to one in 1990s in los angeles. cant remember the name of the film but I think Rosie Perez was in it with Harvey Keitel. I never saw the finished film. and I dont know if it ever saw the light of day. news just in Mel Gibson has been arrested for possible domestic violence. his career is as good has dead and buried and he will never work in the motion picture business again.

  • July 8, 2010, 3:20 p.m. CST

    Emit Brown....

    by Cinemanimetal

    To answer your question: Bubba Ho-Tep. GREAT soundtrack and I am humming it right now!

  • July 8, 2010, 3:20 p.m. CST

    Michelle Rodriguez should stop playing closet lesbians

    by Dapper Swindler

    Unless, of course, the film contains a lesbian sex scene in a closet.

  • July 8, 2010, 3:29 p.m. CST

    Someone should cast Michelle Rodriguez in a comedy.

    by RedEgiraahgnal

    And not as the evil girl, but as the light hearted heroine. Ever since I saw her in a late night show, being charming, laughing having a good time, I wish she could escape her typecasting.

  • July 8, 2010, 3:30 p.m. CST

    Yes. Have a LeBron talkback.

    by F-18

    In which people can express the opinion that he is an egotistical douchebag who should never, ever win a championship. <p> Brett Favre is less of an attention whore. But only because he hasn't(as of yet) requested a 1 hour ESPN special to announce his plans.

  • July 8, 2010, 3:46 p.m. CST

    matthooper

    by MandrakeRoot

    I agree. Especially on this site, the overuse of 'meh' is ridiculous. Nerds think they're cool and indifferent when they use it, but really they always just come off looking like assholes. <p> As for this movie, I don't know if it's based on something else, but the title is just so fucking cheesy. It makes it sound like this will be the next Dragon Wars or some shit. And props to Cameron for making Michelle Rodriguez mildly likable in a movie, and not just her typical rage-fueled bitch, which is sure to be on full display in this movie.

  • July 8, 2010, 4:12 p.m. CST

    All this LeBron James hype lately is just PR & Sports Agent

    by uknow5

    bullshit because star athletes franchise players lost a ton of money thanks to Tiger Woods because he has a tendency to fuck white women.

  • July 8, 2010, 4:22 p.m. CST

    "The Meh"?

    by slone13

    What a fucking idiot.

  • July 8, 2010, 4:35 p.m. CST

    Cinemanimetal...

    by Emit Brown

    Name a movie we've actually seen. BUBBA-HO-TEP suuuuuucks.

  • July 8, 2010, 4:39 p.m. CST

    aliens attack lebron

    by slickerynodes

    in Battle:Miami. with Nicholas Turturro as the nodding civilian

  • July 8, 2010, 4:49 p.m. CST

    judging by that review

    by D o o d

    it's not about the effects or sound, but it seems they've successfully managed to create yet another vacuous alien invasion farce.

  • July 8, 2010, 4:56 p.m. CST

    Are they going to post-convert this to 3D?

    by Tarijeno

    If so, I'm so not there.

  • July 8, 2010, 5:04 p.m. CST

    IF IT AIN'T IN 3D THEN I AIN'T WATCHING IT

    by RICHARD_GERE_RAPED_MY_GERBIL

    All movies must now be in 3D. Any movies NOT in 3D are automatically dull and lifeless. Screw you Citizen Kane!<p>3D<p>I$<p>THE<p>FUTURE

  • July 8, 2010, 5:11 p.m. CST

    Buba Ho-Tep ST

    by DeweyOxburger

    Daaaaammmnnn Right, Sucka...

  • July 8, 2010, 5:12 p.m. CST

    *Booba

    by DeweyOxburger

  • July 8, 2010, 5:24 p.m. CST

    A movie with Michelle Rodriguez as the female lead?!

    by HollywoodHellraiser

    Couldn't they find anyone better?

  • July 8, 2010, 5:40 p.m. CST

    nothing wrong with "meh"

    by MC-909

    sometimes it's a very fitting description. It only takes three letters to convey exactly what the reviewer felt.

  • July 8, 2010, 5:53 p.m. CST

    ID4 2?

    by DigitalBeachWar

    What... is... this.... blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah

  • July 8, 2010, 6 p.m. CST

    Never too early to render a final judgement!

    by TedKordLives

    At least, not here in the talkbacks. <P> Nolan's follow-up to THE DARK KNIGHT is a total piece of shit!

  • July 8, 2010, 6:17 p.m. CST

    Really Looking Forward To This

    by Unlabled

    Since it was greenlit it is something I want to watch

  • July 8, 2010, 6:30 p.m. CST

    by Father

  • July 8, 2010, 6:31 p.m. CST

    Yeah, high hopes for this just being decent.

    by TedKordLives

    You mean it's not based on anything?<P> That's crazy talk in H-Town these days. Just for that I hope it's actually good and does well.

  • July 8, 2010, 6:47 p.m. CST

    This reads like a game review.

    by OutlawsDelejos

    Maybe that's indicative of the tone of the movie, or maybe the reviewer plays more games than watches movies. Anyway, it's to early to tell, and this doesn't say much.

  • July 8, 2010, 6:49 p.m. CST

    This is still directed by Jonathan Liebesman yeah?

    by OutlawsDelejos

    Made no mention of it anywhere.

  • July 8, 2010, 6:53 p.m. CST

    MC-909, I wholeheartedly disagree

    by slone13

    It just makes the person using it sound like some whiny little shit who couldn't be bothered, and most likely doesn't even have the intelligence required, to string together a couple of simple, coherent sentences to express their opinion. Kinda makes em look like a lazy bitch, too.

  • July 8, 2010, 7:23 p.m. CST

    Sounds like a disappointment to me

    by D.Vader

    Another case of a movie not living up to its potential.

  • July 8, 2010, 7:25 p.m. CST

    Sounds fun.

    by DiscoGodfather

    I'd catch the $4.50 matinee.

  • July 8, 2010, 7:30 p.m. CST

    Never show the Aliens

    by BruceBurger

    Hollywood should learn this lesson - showing the aliens is almost always a let down. The imagination is always scarier. Thats why Signs was a good movie until the CGI cheese monster at the end.

  • July 8, 2010, 7:49 p.m. CST

    As soon as someone uses a video game as a reference, I'M done

    by terry1978

    That is a red flag for me, and I'm a fucking gamer myself.

  • July 8, 2010, 7:56 p.m. CST

    SoylentMean

    by VitaminZ

    Yeah, a period piece movie would have been great -- either something based strictly on the accepted facts of what happened (a mystery?), or a fictional imagining of what *really* happened. Both could work. Oh well, this still sounds moderately cool.

  • July 8, 2010, 8:06 p.m. CST

    Newest Predators Red Band Trailer just out!

    by Stunt Vocalist 709

    http://tinyurl.com/26fc96a

  • July 8, 2010, 8:07 p.m. CST

    Looking forward to it

    by Kammich

    I'm a shameless sucker for alien/monster invasion movies... like "Cloverfield," I doubt it will carry much weight but I'm sure it'll be pretty thrilling. I also think Liebesman is a fairly talented director that can elevate mediocre material into something solid. "Darkness Falls" was a thinly-written PG-13 cash-grab in theory but he actually delivered some tension from it. And his Texas Chainsaw was actually a fairly brutal and fun romp. so yeah, I am actually looking forward to this.

  • July 8, 2010, 8:38 p.m. CST

    "realistic"/shakey-cam/CLOVERFIELDian

    by MJs_Cold_Dead_Pale_Corpse

    Already sounds like headache inducing monkey garbage.

  • July 8, 2010, 9:03 p.m. CST

    Here for our water? Here for our water?!

    by Ingeld

    What a stupid idea. The most abundant element out in the universe is hydrogen. An extremely abundant element is oxygen. Any race of beings that can conquer space travel should be able to manufacture water rather easily. How about collect comets if you don't wish to make water? Nah, let's kill people on this planet. It's a much better use of our resources and intelligence.

  • July 8, 2010, 9:56 p.m. CST

    ugh, my brain is bleeding

    by BadMrWonka

    "Not much and BLA proves this but thats not to say that BLA is a bad movie or not well made but it offers nothing necessarily new."<p>jesus christ. at least use a condom if you're going to rape the English language that badly.

  • July 8, 2010, 10:01 p.m. CST

    A word from the reviewer

    by Lando Griffin

    I wrote the review late last night before I went to bed. I absolutely knew I was going to catch shit for the use of "meh" from typical "arbiters of cool" talbackers but honestly I am too old to care and retired from such talkback nonsense long ago. However it may please you to know that I did consult the Whats Still Hip On the Web dictionary/thesaurus for "Meh" synonyms and "So-So" "Ok" and "Shoulder shrug" just didn't feel apt or wouldn't come across in the written medium. You don't have to like it but "meh" is what I felt the medium of the good and bad in this film to be. If I offended any of you militant talkbacker hipsters out there I sincerely apologize, I don't think you guys forward the daily Whats Still Cool/Allowable/Acceptable memos to us assholes over 30. Couple my don’t give a shit about pleasing cunt talkbackers with my laziness and “Meh” is what I landed on. The entertaining but mediocre Battle Los Angeles did not inspire me to fashion a new term to replace meh. Context people, context.</p> For those that have issue with the way I described certain elements of the film to be reminiscent of video games like CoD and Halo –beyond the obvious Black Hawk Down comparison - those were my reference points. I am sure once others see the film they are likely to make the same comparisons. Couple that with the fact that this is likely to be a PG-13 sci-fi/action movie marketed to males teenage – 30’s I am betting that was an element the filmakers are going for. Again I emphasize context. </p> Yes Liebesman is the director. I knew this but didn’t bring it up because honestly it didn’t make a difference. I have seen Darkness Falls (bland) and Texas Chainsaw the Beginning (unnecessary and bland) and nothing in those films, or this one, make me think he’s anything more than a hired gun. Its like the studios told him make us a PG-13 Ring/Grudge horror movie and we get Darkness Falls. Make us another Leatherface movie and ape Nispels look of the previous installment, but make it an origin prequel with new but interchangablke characters – we get TCM:TB. Make us a BHD alien invasion movie – we get B:LA.

  • July 8, 2010, 10:31 p.m. CST

    @matthooper

    by Lando Griffin

    RE: your Meh = EVOO statement doesn't quite hold up. That shit used to bug my wife and I too but we found out that its a branding thing with Rachel Ray. Go to the grocery store and you'll see Ray's EVOO labeled as such and about $5 more than reg'lar ol' Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

  • July 8, 2010, 10:53 p.m. CST

    District 9 was stinker-poopies

    by Missing Dink

    Please don't refer to District 9 as a classic. It's fine but it ain't THAT good.

  • July 8, 2010, 11:02 p.m. CST

    @BadMrWonka

    by Lando Griffin

    Be careful your grammar policing in substitution for actually having an opinion to counter my review ranks a few notches lower than my use of Meh on the overused/uncool/unacceptable internet phrases, terms and their usage policy articles. Seriously though you've been roaming the talkbacks for years, aren't you tired yet of living out the Comic Book Guy routine? If not, you'll mature and get there soon.</p> Seriously though the sentence you are quoting makes sense when coupled with the preceding sentence. Maybe it was a bit run on but certainly was not indecipherable. Fire off a few more synapse little fella, I'm sure you can get it. In all seriousness though take your red pen and correct it for me. But keep in mind I was writing a casual review, for a film thats likely to be forgotten after its first weekend, for a bunch of know it all talkback bitches. Like I said earlier I wrote the review late last night, I gave it a quick but not thorough proof, nothing more than you typical talkback douches deserve. When I write my Harvard thesis on how idiot fanboys assume to rule but ruin the internet and usually uniformly suck at life I will certainly consult you.

  • July 8, 2010, 11:15 p.m. CST

    Halo is overrated

    by Ozman X

    Stop talking about it in your review.

  • July 8, 2010, 11:21 p.m. CST

    slone13

    by MC-909

    Maybe it's my age (33) but the best, most concise way I could sum up nearly every film in the last ten years or so is simply "meh". They are all forgettable. I don't care about most of them one way or another. Why should someone, in this case a reviewer, drone on about irrelevant/ineffective stuff when they could simply say "meh" and get their point across that much more efficiently? <p> I personally love "meh" for its ability to say so much with so little. Sure it might be a lazy expression, but it's powerful and easily understood.

  • July 8, 2010, 11:21 p.m. CST

    @Missing Dink

    by Lando Griffin

    In my opinion I hold District 9 to be a modern sci-fi classic. The acting, writing, directing, action, comedy, emotion, special effects of the film were all excellent. All of it came out of nowhere to me and was certainly better than a lot of what Hollywood has been trying to pass off to us over recent years. Yes the apartheid angle was obvious but as a viewer I didn't feel bludgeoned over the head with it like I would if it was written, produced and approved by a bunch of suits. If you disagree with my opinion thats fine. I'm sure we'll both continue to live.

  • July 8, 2010, 11:26 p.m. CST

    @slone13

    by Lando Griffin

    You summed up perfectly my feelings on "meh" and its usage. I'm about to turn 32 so perhaps its an age thing?

  • July 8, 2010, 11:45 p.m. CST

    @Ozman

    by Lando Griffin

    For fucks sake man - Halo was mentioned two or three times in my initial review and it was mentioned because certain scenese in the FUCKING REMINDED ME OF HALO! Like I said before I am sure when the film is released others will make the same comparison. The aliens looked like Flood. I didn't mention it but there were drone ships that looked like Covenant sniper towers, ghosts and banshees. Firefights looked like they were lifted from the Blomkampf Halo shorts and when coupled with the (temporary?) score reminded me of gameplay straight from the game (and I honestly haven't played Halo in years) If this is what I was reminded of and thought it to be a fitting description to relay to readers of the review what should I have compared it to?

  • July 8, 2010, 11:49 p.m. CST

    Lando Griffin

    by BadMrWonka

    sorry to not fit the stereotype, but I'm far from a kiddo (about to turn 31). I also studied at Oxford and, last time I checked, I'm not in my parent's basement. not everyone that posts here is the comic book guy. I know it's the go-to insult, but it's older (and more boring) than dirt for those of us who have been here since the beginning and have heard it ad nauseam.<p> and man, don't get so worked up! just throw a few periods in the middle there, that's all I'm asking for! I didn't offer "an opinion to counter your review" because I haven't seen the movie. so what is there to counter? it's just your opinion, and I had no issue with it. why would I manufacture some phony indignation about the content if all I had a problem with was your writing? get over yourself, you wrote a dinky review, you're not defending a thesis here.<p>I'm sorry you're so incensed by someone poking fun at your admittedly poor writing, but there's no cause for going off the deep end and assuming I'm an "idiot fanboy" and all this other nonsense. you're mad at other people complaining about your review? fine, bark at them. I just got a nosebleed from your run-on sentences and poor writing. maybe it's a flashback from teaching English for four years, who knows? but since you seem to be a monumental dick, I'll err on the side of it being your fault more than mine. <p>just read what you wrote in response to my 2-line tongue-in-cheek joke about a sentence in your review. seriously, read it and look at how many ridiculous assumptions you made, and how angry it is. calm the hell down, man...you're gonna burst a blood vessel.<p>and on a side note? I couldn't POSSIBLY care less if anyone uses the word "meh". <p>oh, and the first sentence in your response/hate-rant to me is also supremely terrible. maybe you found a dozen different ways to imply that I'm a stupid teenager because you're embarrassed you still write like one.

  • July 9, 2010, 12:24 a.m. CST

    Wonka

    by Lando Griffin

    When did the talkbacks become so formal? As I already said the sentence you took issue with may have been a bit run on but if you are as old and well read as you say you are I'm sure you figured out what I was saying. Look man I don't know you personally, you say you're not a Comic Book Guy, fine I'll take your word for it but you've certanly used typical CBG/talkbacker tactics. Grammar policing? Fucks sake man thats amateur. Shall I dissect your lack of capitalization in your post as an indictment of your intelligence or just assume we're keeping the talkbacks light and informal? </p> My issue is not with you or even the the other talkbackers disagreeing with my review. I don't personally know you people, you don't know me, so I don't give a fuck what you think. My issue is the dog pile talkbacker mentality. "He said 'meh', he's retarded", "The grammar in that one sentence was sketchy - he's stupid and thus this discounts anything he has to say". The talkbacker mentality compels geeks to find a "weakness", no matter how minor, "exploit" it and pile on. I've been a reader at this site for years and know how this works, was expecting a snarky comment or two but for fucks sake man at the end of the day I am just a fellow geek sharing my opinion on a movie. I've never characterized myself to be naive but shouldn't the talkbacks strive to evolve and become more than a bunch of snarky, asshole talkbackers dogpiling on just because they can?

  • July 9, 2010, 12:36 a.m. CST

    i smell an Oscar!

    by DioxholsterReturns

    btw wheres the trailers??

  • July 9, 2010, 12:47 a.m. CST

    I think this guy...

    by Bootskin

    ....likes playing Halo.

  • July 9, 2010, 12:52 a.m. CST

    Michelle deserves to be boned up the ass for boring acting....

    by JonChambers

  • July 9, 2010, 12:53 a.m. CST

    THIS SOUNDS LIKE A RENTAL, GUYS.

    by JonChambers

  • July 9, 2010, 1:06 a.m. CST

    I think Bootskin

    by Lando Griffin

    needs to read the subsequent posts regarding Halo </p> @JonChambers - my pay for a matinee is usually equivalent to most peoples wait for dvd approach (but I enjoy going to see things on a big screen even though I have to put up with rude, inconsiderate assholes at the theater)

  • July 9, 2010, 1:11 a.m. CST

    @@@@@@Whoa there, Lando

    by Riff_Randell

    Take it easy buddy, you sound full of rage.

  • July 9, 2010, 1:33 a.m. CST

    Lando Griffin

    by BadMrWonka

    I don't care about typos, informal words, etc. etc. but when the writing interferes with the ability of the reader to comprehend what's being conveyed, it's a problem, and it's certainly worthy of a little fun poking. the sentence sucked, I made fun of it. that's it.<p>all the rest of this story that you're creating, that has nothing to do with me, man. you want to be the Rosa Parks of the AICN talkbacks, have at it. but do me a favor, and leave me out of it.

  • July 9, 2010, 2:36 a.m. CST

    HALO was meant to be a PC game milestone...

    by Motoko Kusanagi

    Instead it turned out to be only a very good shooter for the Xbox...<p>Bummer!

  • July 9, 2010, 2:38 a.m. CST

    I review battle of the review of the batte of L.A

    by JohnWayneWasGay

    I find this Talk back to be shoddy ,full of grammatical mistakes and poorly constructed bitching.I hope that you will all pull your socks up and come back in six mouths when the movies finished.

  • July 9, 2010, 4:08 a.m. CST

    Michelle Rodriguez is actually a very pretty young woman

    by AsimovLives

    Can somebody please stop giving her roles where she plays butch? Can anybody allow her to play a recognizable member of the female gender for once?

  • July 9, 2010, 4:21 a.m. CST

    For a moment i though it a movie about the Zoot Suit Riots

    by AsimovLives

  • July 9, 2010, 4:26 a.m. CST

    Meh(Rebranded)

    by RomeroZombie

    Maybe instead of using the word meh..we can use whoopdie-doo™...just putting up a trial balloon!

  • July 9, 2010, 4:34 a.m. CST

    A 50s setting alien invasion movie...

    by AsimovLives

    ... made with today's SFX technology would be sweet, specialyl if made with a retro look and style. Imagine that! Though i suspect such a movie would had a limited audience.

  • July 9, 2010, 4:46 a.m. CST

    Lando Griffin

    by AsimovLives

    Yo could had gone literatti and instead of invoking HALO or COD you could had gone to the grand-daddy of all realistic war movies: Gillo Pontecorvo's THE BATTLE OF ALGIERS. I'm kidding, of course. Really, your review was pretty servicable, it conveyed what you felt nicely, and it made me feel very "meh" about this movie. Which i think it was the point you wanted to make. Sucess then. Good job, friend.

  • July 9, 2010, 4:50 a.m. CST

    From the director of DARKNESS FALLS??

    by AsimovLives

    God, that movie was pure fail! It was not scary, i couldn't follow up on it's own premise in any intresting way, and worst of all, for a movie in which darkness itself was the real motive for the scares and terrorl it wasn't dark at all. Most overlit night scene sin the history of cinema. It was a fucking joke! Lameness ,thy name is DARKNESS FALLS.<br><br>Seems like most movies made in Holywood this days are directed by peopel who shouldn't had graduated from second-unit directors. While i'm sure there are plenty of talented directors-to-be who linger as second-unit directors becaue they lack the ability to kiss the right asses without feeling like soul selling whores.

  • July 9, 2010, 6:05 a.m. CST

    ALIEN INVASIONS!!!

    by colonel foster

    Lots happening on the invasion front.... BLA, Cowboys Versus Aliens, Battleship...er aliens v battleships[actually looking forward to that one!] BUT THE ONE I WANT TO SEE IN 2011 IS.....UFO! New Deal start filming in November and locations include England and Costa Rica... UFO is a fantastic TV series and the Director, Matthew Gratzner seems to have nailed his vision of how the film will flow. Yes, 2011 appears AlIEN INVASION YEAR...again.

  • July 9, 2010, 6:38 a.m. CST

    Lando Griffin (Turk February), thanks for...

    by Cervantes

    ...going to the effort to give us a preview of this. Personally, I've been interested in how this movie would pan out, and your in-depth discription really gave me a good idea of what's good and what's bad. I guess I'll have to imagine that the aliens are after SALTY water, which might not be so readily available, but am worried that our astronomers don't notice the 'meteors' until they REACH our atmosphere!!<P>I know it's far from finished, but I now have a real idea of the 'tone' to expect. You've managed to confirm that while it will probably end up a diverting enough watch, that I shouldn't expect too much, and will likely be 'MEH-ED' by a lot of it.<P>You've given me enough detail to know that my brat will lap it up though, so ignore the 'grammar'-Nazis, and thanks for giving us an early 'heads-up'!

  • July 9, 2010, 11:32 a.m. CST

    What is the opposite of meh?

    by bobbofatz

    How about hem? It sounds like hmm, but the "E" adds an extra curious, excited and inquisitive lift. Try it out next time an idea sounds above average. Like how would you like a foursome with the Kardashian sisters minus Khloe and add Vanessa Hudgens.

  • July 9, 2010, 11:32 a.m. CST

    Wonka

    by Lando Griffin

    I'm not trying to be a fucking martyr. I know trying to change the talkback culture is an unwinnable battle but if you are as old and educated as you say, doesn't the immaturity of the negativity for negativity's sake that pollutes the talkbacks ever get old? Look I don't have a general rainbows and puppy dogs outlook on things but I don't think when Harry started AICN and talkbacks he envisioned a community of assholes nitpicking the smallest details as justification as calling someone else a cunt rather than discussing the topic at hand, as these things always seem to boil down to. I’m not a believer in “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it” (especially if it’s funny) but apparently talkback culture dictates you say shit just to say it. “Look at me! I have something to say. It’s not particularly funny or insightful but I have a voice and can type it out nonetheless!” That’s stupid. I’d like to think a certain minority here in the talkbacks are smarter and can move past it but maybe I am being too optimistic. You want to stay behind and roll around in the same talkback shit routine that’s your prerogative.</p> One last thing on the subject of formal writing and AICN. I write formal letters and emails, on behalf of a state agency, to businesses and individuals across the globe on a daily basis. Forgive me if I save proper grammar for those. I still contend that the sentence in question and review in general was not as incomprehensible as you claim. Besides the lump I took for my use of “meh” you’re the only one making that assertion. So maybe you’re just not as smart as you think you are.</p> Cervantes, Asimov – glad my review could be helpful. I wasn’t looking for kudos, like I said before I knew general talkback rules dictate I catch some shit over the most trivial detail but it’s good to know that courteous human beings still find their way in here. This was the first test screening I had seen in many years and I thought it would be cool to share with a place I visit on a daily basis, especially since it’s a geek aimed film. My oldest son wanted to go with me but the minimum age demo requirement was 15 so I told him I’d take him to see it when it’s released. Its right up his alley. If you have a teenage boy he’ll eat this shit up. It’s a movie I’d see upon initial release too but will be anxious to see what, if any, changes they make. Again, it’s not a bad movie. I think it achieves the goals the filmmakers set out for it. I believe its set out for a March release so it will perform as expected as the smaller genre movies tend to do in those release windows but won’t necessarily be memorable. A couple minor things did stand out though – when Eckhart gets stern with a subordinate he channels the Two Face voice. The climax has the soldiers encountering what looks like a giant probe droid from Empire.

  • July 9, 2010, 1:43 p.m. CST

    I can't be the only horror fan...

    by Kammich

    ...that enjoyed Liebesman's TCM better than Nispel's. The script, acting and art direction are much stronger in Nispel's, but Liebesman delivered a lot more in the brutality and scares department. The entire opening sequence in "Beginning" with Leatherface butchering his boss at the slaughterhouse, finding the chainsaw, and then lumbering down the street in broad daylight... creepy stuff. As was Ermey's shootout in the middle of the road. And weren't there reports at the time of its release that the TCM remake was directed quite a bit by credited producer Michael Bay, and not as much by Nispel? I can't verify that now, but if anyone knows anything about that, let me know.

  • July 9, 2010, 2:01 p.m. CST

    Lando Griffin

    by AsimovLives

    I donpt think there is much negativity for negativity sakwe in here. Yes, there's some, but it's easy to detect, those who do that only post some quick posts and are never seen again. No, most of what happens here is genuinine skepticism and disenchantment. Somehere in the life of most of us, we have experienced some movie or movies which make a joke out of our favorite movie franchise, fucked up a promising idea, or it's jsut the sheer accumulation of dumb stupid movies made one after the other at the expense of smart intelligently made proper entertaiment (that would be my case). It's easy for those with a more sunny disposition to claim that we are all a bunch of depressed geeks moanign about everything, but the thing is, we have good cause to complain and be depressed because the vast majority of themovies released for mass consuption are shit, and the good ones are hard to get by or even impossible. It's the weight of crushed dreams for the most base of reasons. So, spare a though for us, hem, friend? We do have raons to be negative about the state of affairs. Sometime sthere is a silver lining shinning through, like the soon to be released INCEPTION. Sometime,s live can be good when you are a movie geek. Most of the time, however, isn't.

  • July 9, 2010, 2:02 p.m. CST

    Kammich

    by AsimovLives

    Dude, just admit it, it was Jordana Brewster, wasn't it? Admit it.

  • July 9, 2010, 2:25 p.m. CST

    Lando Griffin

    by BadMrWonka

    MAN, you are a self-important windbag. YOU WROTE A STUPID SENTENCE AND I POKED FUN AT IT. get over yourself, jesus.<p>and here's a tip: if you ever have to preface anything with, "I'm not trying to be a martyr," then you're trying to be a martyr. it's like saying, "No offense," right before you say something offensive.<p>defending your mediocre review of a mediocre movie against a few talkback trolls and one guy making fun of a poorly written sentence does not make you fucking Gandhi. <p>

  • July 9, 2010, 3:29 p.m. CST

    Asimov

    by Kammich

    there were an abundance of tight shots of Jordana Brewster's ass in those little jean shorts... that was a tremendous creative decision by Liebesman, you're absolutely right

  • July 9, 2010, 4:14 p.m. CST

    Wonka, I'm not trying to be a martyr

    by Lando Griffin

    but I fucked your mom anyways. No offense. When in Rome...</p> I'll admit that I'm now guilty of being long winded. I should know that trying to have an intelligent discussion with a talkback troll is unwinnable but I tried anyway. Now you admit that you're an unfunny douche with apparently minimal reading comprehension skills.</p> Kammich - I didn't have TCM:TB but it really was almost the exact same template as its predecessor just with an origin and interchangable characters thrown in. If its on cable I'll watch it especially for the Jordana Brewster and Diora Baird factor.

  • July 9, 2010, 5:15 p.m. CST

    well that's a first

    by BadMrWonka

    being called unfunny by a guy that just dropped a mom joke. you can't make this shit up.

  • July 9, 2010, 8:05 p.m. CST

    I want to see a scientifically-correct alien invasion movie.

    by Ironhelix

    You know, one where they address things like the aliens dealing with our different gravity, atmosphere, and light spectrum. I want to see them use technology that makes sense for a civilization that can travel between stars (in other words, more advanced than guns that shoot fancy-colored rays). I think this would make for a very different kind of alien invasion movie, and something we haven't seen before.

  • July 10, 2010, 12:17 a.m. CST

    Handbags(Coach l v f e n d i d&g) $30

    by 2jordanercom

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  • July 10, 2010, 10:05 a.m. CST

    I couldn't tell if you liked it or not

    by liljuniorbrown

    Thats my only complaint. The concept is a great one....a movie where aliens invade and bad ass marines blow shit up. But studio's fuck everything up (just read up on the Marvel/Hulk casting) even when it is bare bones simple. One last note,it's just an opinion and we all have our own,but when some one uses phrases like MEH or EPIC FAIL, it sounds kind of douchey. The worst is ME THINKS! Makes a person sound like they are into D&D or LARP and just can't break loose from that world.

  • July 11, 2010, 6:56 a.m. CST

    Air jordan(1-24)shoes $30

    by jordanercominc

    -------------- http://www.jordaner.com ----------- a leading worldwide w holesaler company (or ucan say organization). We supply more than 100 thousand high-quality merchandise and famous brand name products all at wholesale prices.

  • July 11, 2010, 7:36 p.m. CST

    FFS..........

    by blackflowerX

    Why can't they just make some big budget ,interesting grown up sci fi horror shit like the 80's?... Hope they do something with this because it sounds like the same old shit.

  • July 11, 2010, 7:41 p.m. CST

    liljuniorbrown

    by blackflowerX

    LOL....Totally agree, (I've been guilty of writing like that too lol) . Although not exactly the same as what your saying, the one I REALLY fucking hate is "Anyhoo"....

  • July 11, 2010, 10:19 p.m. CST

    test screening

    by michaelsm

    I went to a test screening of this movie in vegas and really enjoyed it- cant wait to see the finished product. Incredible acting & some very unexpected hilarious dialogue. It's just entertainment people! Enjoy it.

  • July 11, 2010, 10:26 p.m. CST

    P.S. "Emit Brown"

    by michaelsm

    Huh? Calling Tyler's music unmemorable kind of makes you look like a huge novice. Anyone who's seen Greatest Game or any of the Fast & Furious that he scored will know what I mean. As for Bubba Ho-tep, doesn't matter if you haven't seen the film- the music speaks for itself. So infuriating seeing people write rubbish like that. Some of my favorite scores have come from unknown films- that MAY make the music less well-known but it doesn't make it less memorable!

  • July 12, 2010, 12:06 a.m. CST

    ATTN: EMIT BROWN!!!!

    by cbarrywdwcm11

    i think form now on you need to think before you type. you obviously have no sense of taste or appreciation for music in films. Brian Tyler is a good friend of mine and I love his music. I plan to work with him some day. That is how much I love his work. I can hum several of his themes from films he has scored over the years. I have also actually seen several of his movies. Please try to refrain from insulting or posting harsh comments like that on the web, composers have feelings too. being a composer is a lot of hard work and it is not easy. Brian Tyler is a very talented composer, even john williams likes his music, he even volunteered BRian for a scoring gig a while back. He has even been called a young jerry goldmsith. So please watch what you say, that is all I am going to say to you. brian Tyler is not only a good composer and does a great job, but he is a friend and terrific young man with a good heart and mind. Good Day.....