Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Movie Review and Play-by-Play

For those of you who remember my Play-by-Play of Sharktopus, you are in for a treat!

We were unfortunate enough to have TWO Battle: LA movies this past weekend. I’m such a trooper, I decided to invest time into both flicks.

Battle: Los Angeles - in theaters now

Critics came down hard on this film and I’m not sure why. It’s not ID4, but it was worth the price of a movie ticket. It follows a platoon of marines during an alien invasion as they try to rescue civilians caught behind enemy lines in LA. It’s not terribly original, but the special effects and storyline are good. The action is rapid fire, gritty, and realistic. However, this is nearly its downfall, as there are few breathing moments, and filmed in shaky-cam, it’s exhausting. One aspect I particularly enjoyed was its respect for our servicemen and women. They are portrayed as smart. well-trained, heroic people who will die to defend our country. It won’t stay with you for long, but it’s far better than Skyline, and certainly better than this next film…


Battle of Los Angeles



A SyFy original! You know what that means – it’s time for a play-by-play:


9:01 Yes folks, that’s none other than 80’s star, Nia Peeples!

9:03 No character development or anything - LA is immediately attacked by a Juice Master. I wonder if that’s a hint for me to go make a mixed drink.

9:04 I think the F-16 pilot is talking to OnStar

9:08 Apparently the military base outside of LA is in worse shape than a third world country.

9:11 Could they have at least cleared the weeds and slapped on a coat of paint? At this point, they’re not even trying…

9:13 Apparently our military consists of eight guys. And the actors are creating their own sound effects.

9:14 It’s an alien invasion AND a time travel film. Two craptastic movies in one.

9:20 Someone references not being caught with their pants down. If only this WERE a porn film…

9:30 Apparently LA consists of seven houses in the desert. Who knew?

9:35 Is that an alien or a Hoover upright?

9:41 It’s painfully obvious the SyFy channel hates us.

9:43 Special effects courtesy of Atari Defender. (The original of course.)

9:49 Nia Peeples – Space Ninja.

That’s all I can take! Captain Ninja Alex must now become the night and make all of those responsible for this travesty suffer. Or at least apologize profusely…

71 comments:

Sheila Siler said...

But I LOVE Nia Peeples!

Matthew MacNish said...

You've got to thank SyFy for one thing: it makes for a very entertaining review!

Kari Marie said...

SyFy Channel. You gotta love their enthusiasm. Or not.

Heather M. Gardner said...

Your review F'N ROCKS! I laughed my ass off! Thanks so much for the morning humor, I really needed it on this rainy Wednesday.

I'm saving my quarters for Your Highness.
http://www.yourhighnessmovie.net/

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

SyFy originals! Love your review...so funny. We know we could write SO much better than that...they should hire us!

Kristin said...

The morning show I listen to on the way to work were commenting on all three of those movies today. They said the same basic thing. LOL!

welcome to my world of poetry said...

I wish I understood scifi more than I do.

Thanks for coming by I appreciated the comment.

Yvonne.

Carol Kilgore said...

I'm glad Battle: Los Angeles shows respect for service personnel. So often it's lacking. Thanks for the reviews.

Ciara said...

I have such high hopes someday it will work. I love sci-fi, I want more of it, just better. :)

Nebular said...

Yeah, the critics were so hard on Battle LA. I can't tell why, since I still haven't watched it, but according to your review, it's been a worthy experience. It will be released next week in my country, and I'm really looking forward to it.

This play-by-play thing is hilarious! :) I bet the SyFy cloning of Battle LA's been dreadful.

Charles Gramlich said...

Glad you mentioned that Battle LA is in shaky cam. I just can't do that. It's so unrealistic; it throws me completely out of the storyline every time.

Melissa said...

Hahaha oh man! Thank you captain ninja alex for a laugh!

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

We saw Battle and enjoyed it. Well my parents thought the dialogue was too sappy, but i didn't overly notice.
The shaky cam made me motion sick about 30 min in, but then it seemed to get better and i was fine for the rest of the movie.
Also, can any movie be worse than skyline?
Methinks not.

Jules said...

I love your play by play's :) I'm beginning to rename the Sci-Fi channel and affectionately call it, "The B Channel." :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Jamie Burch said...

Thanks for the reviews! I was wondering about Battle: Los Angeles.

Oh, man. I'm usually disappointed by SyFy channel movies.

Budd said...

Thanks for the review, now I have to see Battle of Los Angeles to witness how bad it is.

Jemi Fraser said...

Glad I missed the 2nd one :)

Summer Ross said...

LOL- loved the play by play. The review of the movie was good- though I don't think it would be my kind of movie- but when you reference movies I tell my Manly Man about them :) Thanks for the reviews

mshatch said...

my son and I noticed this on scifi channel the other night and laughed our butts off, wondering how many people they snookered into watching.

iZombie said...

who doesn't love a space ninja.. be careful what you say, they are standing behind you...

Bossy Betty said...

But I was enjoying myself!!!

N. R. Williams said...

I shudder to think what SyFy would do to my book. Ugh!
Nancy
N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium, Special .99 through April 30

Old Kitty said...

Nia Peeples is my other wife.

Take care
x

Hannah Kincade said...

Man, I love SyFy originals. Cheesy scifi/fantasy and horror movies are the BEST! THE. BEST! final answer.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Matthew, that's true, but I bet even the boys from MST3K would struggle with this one.

Heather, I am here for your amusement!

Elizabeth, those writers should give EVERYONE hope!

Kristin, good to know my opinion was not off-center.

Carol, that was one of the reviewer's complaints. What, you want our service people to look like idiots???

Nebular, it was worse than Sharktopus because it wasn't even fun.

Charles, they did it to put viewers in the action, which works - but I was a little queasy when it finished.

Melissa, you are welcome!

Sarah, it got to me as well.

Jules, this one would be an F...

Jamie, the first one is good. The second - not so much.

Budd, you've been warned!

Summer, Battle: LA is definitely a dude movie!

MsHatch, I tried to stick it out like I did with Sharktopus, but it was TOO bad.

Betty, feel free to watch the rest on your own.

Nancy, that is my biggest fear - PLEASE don't let the SyFy channel buy movie rights to CassaStar!!!!

Kitty, you are always good for a laugh!

Hannah, this was their worst effort yet.

Holly Ruggiero said...

So you enjoyed Battle of Los Angeles then? How did I ever miss this little gem? How I love a good awful movie.

Lindsay said...

Ah how i do like to chuckle at the cheesy SyFy originals.

Melissa Bradley said...

Love the play by play Captain Ninja Alex! LMAO You gotta love SyFy, at least they keep the has been employed. And where would we be without our cheese fests, I ask you.

Clarissa Draper said...

I love your play-by-play! That's so funny. Yes, the first movie does look better than the second, although watching the first might make me sick.

Nahno McLein said...

First one yes, second one no, I guess.
Thanks.
Nahno

Arlee Bird said...

I'm disapointed that the shakey cam technique is used in Battle L.A. I hate that technique--too distracting for me. New filmmakers need to go back and watch older films that didn't use that. I don't know of anyone who likes the shakey cam.

I'll skip the second one.

Lee
Tossing It Out

M Pax said...

You weren't the least bit amused when Nia took out an alien ship with a sword?

Yes, when Husband and I both said - isn't he dead yet? - some scenes ran way too long.

And the second 1/2 had so many logic holes.

The Happy Whisk said...

Pretty good, Alex.

Donea Lee said...

Hilarious!! I need to watch more SyFy originals...especially when I feel a little lacking in that smart-a** side of my personality. Looks like watching Battle of Los Angeles could give me a boost? :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Holly, Battle for LA was awaful. Trust me.

Melissa, wish they'd hire some of us up-and-coming writers! We couldn't possibly suck that bad.

Lee, it worked, although it made me a little woozy.

MPax, my hats off to you! I couldn't make it that far.

ali said...

I *loved* Battle: LA!!!

I agree the non-stop pop-pop-pop of adrenaline coupled with the "reality cam" made for a VERY intense movie, but I thought it was a really excellent action film. And I couldn't agree more about the way they treated the servicemen. It seems there's been a plethora of movies that tried to make political statements regarding the military ~ this one was a good old fashioned WE'RE AMERICAN SOLDIERS AND WE'RE GONNA KICK YOUR BUTT awesome.

Loved it!

Lynda R Young said...

HAHAHAHAHA I loved your blow-by-blow account of the SyFy movie. The actors created their own sound effects? Makes me wonder how...did they shout BANG! when they fired their guns...or did someone break wind? lol

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Amen, Ali!!

Lynda, for the machine guns, it was probably the latter...

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

SyFy channel provides some of the best entertainment for Saturday night. I usually like their creature features best. They had a few real sabretooth movies with the worst special effects, plots and actors in history. We made a family night of it.

Chuck said...

Is it sad that your second review actually makes me want to watch this movie?? I howled at Sharktopus and loved your review of it. The first I am for sure watching...the second I will watch just to try and convince SyFy to return to SciFi.

Monti said...

What a fun play-by-play! You make me want to see the movie that inspired it!

Monti
NotesAlongTheWay

The Words Crafter said...

By 9:20, I was laughing out loud!!!! You get a purple star for managing to watch that much of it.

As for the real movie, I'm glad it has positive elements. I may still go see it....

Hope the rest of your week is great and syfy free!

Helen Ginger said...

You so know how to make me laugh.

Ella said...

Battle one sounds good; My nephew just graduated from bootcamp. He is now a Marine and he loves Alien flicks. I do, too~ I will have to pass this one.

Where has Nia been?!

Brianna said...

I just don't understand how these SyFy movies keep getting made! Loved your play-by-play.

Lydia K said...

That was a funny play by play! I haven't heard Nia's name in decades. Weird.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

Maybe they should've stopped making movies about LA after LA Story. Did you see that one, Alex? That one - a comedy with Steve Martin and Sarah Jessica Parker - was good.
xoRobyn

Karen Peterson said...

Wow. It must have been beyond awful if you couldn't even make it through the first hour!

Ellie said...

I was 50:50 about seeing the Battle film, but I think I'll go now. Thank you for the review!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Susan, at least it gets the family together for some laughs.

Chuck, they just need to stop doing movies!

Words, I really tried to make it further. Really.

Ella, he would really dig Battle:LA.

Brianna, I don't either!

Robyn, no I haven't.

Karen, it wasn't even bad fun.

Ellie, go enjoy!

Amity said...

HI Alex,

The Professional Absentee is back...after being so frightened with a possible tsunami hit...Thank God He spared our country...

Nice informative review again...but Oh, when can I have the luxury of time to see a movie or two which are from your reviews?

Glynis said...

Passing the info onto DH! :)

Kelly said...

Glad to hear the first one respectfully portrays US servicemen!!!
And the second. I find it funny you didn't even sit through it all! :) Nia Peeples used to be on my soap opera. Now I know why she left - to be a space ninja!

JL Stratton said...

I know I'm a day late ... and probably a dollar short too. I want to thank you for the review. I could tell, by the commercials, the concept of this movie is a little overused and corny. But hey, I like corny as long the special effects are awesome!
And besides, I liked ID4. I cry every time the fake young president gives his completely plagiarized and contrite. Also, it's got Nia Peeples! I'll sit through two hours of poorly conceived movie for Nia Peeples ... wait isn't she old now? Nevermind. Maybe I'll just wait till it's available on Netflix.

Angela Felsted said...

This is funny. But don't you love B movies? Speaking of character development in film. I went to see Beastly this last weekend. You know, that modern take off of Beauty and the Beast. And the main guy character was spying on the main girl character while trying to get up the courage to talk to her. And do you know what this teenage girl was doing? . . . wait for it . . . feeding homeless people!

I had to stop myself from laughing.

Talli Roland said...

Loved this, Alex! Thanks for the giggle...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Amity, glad it was only a scare for you. And you don't want to see the second one, I promise.

Kelly, if only she'd been allowed to take down the writers!

JL, Nia is starting to show her age a bit...

Angela, that's goofy! And this movie wasn't even up to B movie standards.

Ann Best said...

You write great reviews!

I've never read much sci-fi or watched such movies in my life, but as I've said before, I did like your book, probably because it is character driven. I FELT Bassa's and Byron's thoughts and struggles.

And thanks for your comments of sympathy on my post today.

India Drummond said...

LOL.. very funny. This was a bit like MST2K. =)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Ann, thank you - I really appreciate that you took the time to read my book.

India, they had a bit of an influence!

Leovi said...

In my country is not yet in theaters. For me would be an honor if you wrote a science fiction story based on my photos, do not tell me these things I believe.

Copyboy said...

ooo i love play by play. Do it for Runaway rollercaster next time. Plleeaase!!! FYI...Ms. Peeples is on Pretty Little Liars on ABC Family. Not saying how I know that.

Julie Musil said...

That play by play is hilarious! Thanks for taking one for the team, Alex.

My husband and son really want to see the one in theaters now. I'm pleased to hear they portrayed our military in a complimentary light.

The Hurt Locker is on its way to us from Netflix. My son already saw it and loved it.

Cheeseboy said...

Ha ha! Your Atari comment was the best. I kinda wish I could just watch movies with you.

Donna Hole said...

I was bored watching the SciFy version. I'm hoping the other is much more exciting.

........dhole

TerryLynnJohnson said...

I only get one tv channel, so I miss all the good stuff.

Went to see Red Ridinghood yesterday. Enjoyed it somewhat (okay, probably because of the eye candy). Wasn't as bad as the critics say.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Leovi, let me see what I can come up with!

Copyboy, at least she's still acting!

Julie, hope they get to go see it soon.

Cheeseboy, we could do our own MST3K!

Donna, I guarantee it...

Terry, don't worry if you missed this one!

Walter Knight said...

I just watched "Battle: LA" pirated from Russia. Great flick with lots of shooting up of the invading aliens.

Best quote: "Who is John Wayne?" after a marine sergeant all by himself blows up an enemy aircraft.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Walter - I know, sad, but some people have no idea!

rogue evolent said...

"Is that an alien or a Hoover Upright" LOL!
Hilarious review Alex... them thar robot guys (MST-something) got nothing on you mi amigo!
- Jay (r/e)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Rougue, thanks! All my inspiration comes from MST3K.