Jan 31, 2011

[Movies] Skyline (2010)

Skyline (2010)Movie genres are hard to figure out some times since like other creative works, it's rarely a case of black and white. I'm sure in the beginning we had romances clearly separate from comedies and those apart from dramas. But then we started to develop romantic comedies and black comedies and other variations and combinations of genres. So who's to say one is absolutely this or that, yes?

This was a movie that certainly had a bit of an indentity crisis. When the trailers first came out, there were different glimpses of what it could be. Perhaps it was meant as a Cloverfield style account with horror movie leanings? Or maybe it was just another big budget science fiction action movie like Independence Day. Or maybe it was something completely different, like how District 9 was so different from other alien movies but in this case with a cheesy cast who run about like headless chickens.

Whatever the reason, the trailers did not do the movie justice at all since the final production was far, far worse. And it's only because of morbid curiosity that my partner and I decided to watch a downloaded copy of the movie (given we never would have paid the ticket price for it).

Skyline is...well...a movie with aliens and a science fiction premise. And with the sort of vibe you get from man-on-the-ground perspectives of monster movies. And with a slight dash of horror movie pacing. However you decide to classify this movie, we have the strange minds of the Brothers Strause (Greg and Colin) to blame for the final outcome.

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 09:  Actor David Za...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeThe movie starts with a group of friends who have gone down to Los Angeles (since Vegas would be cliche) for a friend's birthday. There's some other back story stuff revealed about these characters but in classic horror movie style, you know most of them don't really matter. What's sort of relevant is the fact that Elaine (Scottie Thompson) takes this opportunity to tell her boyfriend Jarrod (Eric Balfour) that she's pregnant. End filler material.

Early next morning, strange blue lights start to appear in the sky and whoever looks at the light falls into some odd hypnotic trance. The person/s "caught" by the light eventually get sucked into it somehow, this making the whole abduction process amazingly simple for the alien invaders. Jarrod almost gets caught, but of course his friends save him since the plot insists that he's important. Thus the remaining friends spend the rest of the movie trying to either (1) rant and rave about what they should do next and (2) run away from the aliens every time their new plan turns out to be a dud.

I could warn you about potential spoilers in the rest of this review, but then a movie this bad can't be spoiled! It's already far too rotten for that.

I could first start by talking about how bad the acting was by everyone in the movie, but that would seem like overly stating the obvious. Just look at the casting and you'll understand why. Then if you want, you can watch the movie and see how bad it was for yourself. The whole time you can't help but wish that they just embraced how campy everything was and go full tilt. Once you break the camp barrier, then the fact that the movie is so bad becomes one of its more endearing qualities.

A lot of it doesn't make sense. So the aliens can abduct people using light, but then they still have gigantic constructs walking and flying around. They need human brains to sort of power or become the computer processors of the rest of their army although you think that aliens with that level of biotechnology would have a better solution to that particular problem. And they have these amazing people-vacuuming lights but their troops have to resort to tentacles and blunt force assaults in order to acquire new captives.

And I don't see why we had to be forced to follow the merry band of idiots around. They have no redeeming qualities and there was little to no effort to give us members of the audience reasons to like them. But we had no choice - we just had to follow the idiots around and every abduction or subsequent death had no real emotional impact. Or was this all budget thing where all the money went to special effects, thus leaving us with actors of lesser worth and the ridiculous plot twists that force the cast to stay pretty much in the same building all the time. This was like a 94 minute long bottle episode of an already bad show or something.

And the ending - OH MY GOD. Jarrod has to be some sort of special human being since he can control the alien construct and thus spend the rest of his new alien-ish life defending his girlfriend? Oh, and aliens don't kill girls who are pregnant, obviously. They're so going to wait for the mothers to give birth first to add additional brains to their ever-dwindling supplies. Oh man, who came up with this plot? Were they drunk on battery acid while huffing cocaine-laced pot at the time? I can't come up with a good reason why things turned out the way they did.

Skyline is just a BAD movie with a above average special effects budget, which makes sense since the directors main path in entertainment history is their special effects work. It gets 1 lame ass in-credits montage hoping to trigger a sequel out of a possible 5. You can pre-order this movie on DVD or Blu-ray should that strike your fancy.



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