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Movie Review - Battle : Los Angeles

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  • Movie Review - Battle : Los Angeles

    Kinda surprised we dont have a movie review section stickyed to the top in here.

    Went to see Battle: Los Angeles this weekend. Really enjoyed it. Think Independance Day but done in the style of Blackhawk Down.

    Now I believe teh "Critics" are not impressed, but that doesnt surpirse me as it show the US Military in a positive light. The young Marines are portrayed VERY well, and overall an effort has been made to get military details right. Obviously not perfect, but good enough.

    Its a bit "Cliched" but again I can live with thats as thats what its trying for. It even pokes fun of itself a little I think with the LT describing teh Platoon Sgts actions as "John Wayne".

    And a special treat for us redlegs is the fact that the enemy control ship is taken out by Arty using copperheads :). Now they dont portray that entirely acurately, but they call in a fire mission and lase the target plus they refer to the "missiles" as copperheads, so as far as I am concerned Arty saves the day.


    "Admit nothing, deny everything, make counter-accusations".- Motto of the Gun Crew who have just done something incredibly stupid!!!!

  • #2
    I only skimmed your post (i have not seen the movie yet and am afraid of spoilers), but could you answer me one question?

    It won't turn out in the end that there was no Alien invasion at all and that everyone was just firing pointlessly in the air..will it?


    • #3
      Arty ALWAYS saves the day...especially in my dreams.
      "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
      "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool." Lester Bangs


      • #4
        I guess that wasn't the sci-fi Battle for Los Angeles movie I watched last night (March 12) on TV. I believe that was USMC Gunnery Sgt R. Lee Ermey shooting down a flying saucer with a Single Action Colt .45.

        That was the only enjoyable part. The rest was stupid, stupid, stupid. Although I liked the looks of that F-4U Corsair.
        Able to leap tall tales in a single groan.


        • #5
          Originally posted by RustyBattleship View Post
          I guess that wasn't the sci-fi Battle for Los Angeles movie I watched last night (March 12) on TV. I believe that was USMC Gunnery Sgt R. Lee Ermey shooting down a flying saucer with a Single Action Colt .45.

          That was the only enjoyable part. The rest was stupid, stupid, stupid. Although I liked the looks of that F-4U Corsair.
          Sounds like you watched the Asylum version. Asylum is a movie studio that makes so called "mockbusters". Whenever a big Movie comes out they make an own version of it which are famous for being cheap & horrible.They release them at the same time of the real movie hoping that people will confuse the two and spend money on the "wrong" one (though some people have start watching those movies simply because they are sometimes that bad, that they are good again)


          • #6
            It's Raining Aliens

            I'm a big fan of Battle Los Angeles - Television Tropes & Idioms
            so I knew their review would be fun to read:
            Battle Los Angeles provides examples of:

            * Action Film Quiet Drama Scene: Several.
            * Actor Allusion: This isn't the first time Noel Fisher (Lenihan) has played a nervous young Marine who gets killed. To say nothing of Michelle Rodriguez, who plays her usual Badass Spaniard fare but doesn't get herself killed.
            * Alien Invasion: Of the "All-Out Attack" variety. All major cities near a coast are being attacked.

            o A scientist seen on TV during the movie theorize that the aliens are there to colonize Earth, which explains them shooting anything that moves instead of just concentrating on military targets like they would if they had any other plans.

            * All There In The Manual: There's a site out there called "unidentified enemy" that details a few things about the aliens, their technology and operations. It can be accessed by visiting the American version of the interactive attacks/sightings map and entering 031111 in the "Restricted Access" field.
            * All Your Base Are Belong To Us: The aliens are there to colonize Earth.
            * Anachronic Order: Just a little bit, with the initial jittery helicopter flying into combat scene backtracking to the morning before the day of the alien invasion.
            * Anyone Can Die: Not very many of the Marines make it out of Los Angeles. None of the Army personnel that joined up make it out alive. Michelle Rodriguez, the lone Air Force soldier, however, does.
            * Attack Drone: The aliens make use of "Wedge Ships" that can combine to form FlyingSaucers. The movie's climax, which hinges around the destruction of the drones' Los Angeles control center, means that the drones in Los Angeles are rendered inoperable.
            * Backed By The Pentagon
            * Badass Bystander: Mr. Rincon, who grabs a rifle and kills an alien without hesitation and gets mortally wounded in the process.
            * Badass Spaniard: Santos, Martinez, and even Mr. Rincon (see above).
            * Bittersweet Ending: Sure, the tide seems to be turning against the aliens, but millions of people - if not more - are still dead worldwide, and numerous cities have been completely destroyed. And the Los Angeles command ship may have been destroyed, but there's one in every major coastal city and there's no word on the two attacking the East Coast, or the rest of the world. The humans have won the battle, not the war.
            * Black Dude Dies First: Averted. There are three black protagonists, and they're all still alive at the end.
            * California Doubling: Ironically, most of it was filmed in Louisiana.
            * Car Fu: Aliens, meet a Marine LAV armed with a Bushmaster and a hell of a lot of momentum.
            o The aliens do it effectively during a battle on a freeway, sending rockets to make cars smash some unfortunate Marines.
            * Cat Scare - The first firefight begins with a dog...
            * The Chains Of Commanding: Nantz has to deal with the guilt and memory of several Marines he led to their deaths in Iraq before the alien invasion. Martinez has to deal with the stress of this being his first combat deployment, particularly when the casevac helicopter carrying four of his wounded Marines is shot down.
            * Cliché Storm - A group of Marines, one about to get married, one trying to gain citizenship, one two days from retirement, one with a baby on the way, one a fresh faced rookie, one struggling to cope, and one who lost his brother, use the power of teamwork and More Dakka to defend America! from an Alien Invasion. And it works.
            * Combining Mecha: The aliens have wedge-shaped hovering gunships which can link up to form roughly saucer-shaped aerial battle platforms.
            * Cool Old Guy: Staff Sergeant Nantz. 20 long years in the corps and the first scene we see him in plays up him starting to slow down compared to the young guys. Once the Aliens land in downtown LA, he turns into complete Sergeant Rock
            * Curb Stomp Battle: The initial alien attack only becomes a curb stomp once the Attack Drones show up and steal air superiority from the humans. At the end of the movie, after Nantz's team takes out the drone control center, the battle turns in humanity's favor.
            * The Dead Have Names: Nantz was responsible for the deaths of four marines in Iraq, one of whom was the brother of one of the men under his command. At one of the most quiet and dramatic moments in the movie, he lists off the names, ranks, and serial numbers of each of those men, showing that their deaths still haunt him.
            * Deadline News: A journalist covering the aliens' landing is the unfortunate victim of the first rocket barrage along with her cameraman.
            * Deadly Guest: The aliens' tendency towards water allows them to launch deadly surprise attacks from unexpected directions. One tries it early on in the film, only to get shot up... twice.
            * Dueling Movies: With Skyline. There was a lawsuit over it and everything.
            * Every Bullet Is A Tracer: For the aliens, anyway, since their guns fire incendiaries.
            * Fast Roping - Notably, two children have to do it in order to escape a slowly approaching walking tank.
            o Two of the Marines spotting from the top of a building employ this to get to an evacuation vehicle fast
            * Fantastic Caste System: The aliens have a minor example of this, with several different biological variations on their soldiers depending on roles. You've got your basic soldiers, very tall and gangly leaders, and smaller troops dedicated to operating support weapons and scouting.
            * A Father To His Men: Sgt. Nantz strives to be one.
            * Heroic Sacrifice: After being wounded during the shootout on the freeway, Lieutenant Martinez crawls into a bus and detonates a bag of C4, taking out a group of aliens and their Walking Tank in the process.
            o Hector's father takes a bullet to the gut after picking up an M4 to kill an alien trying to surprise the Marines rappelling down a child to safety.
            * Hopeless War: The war against the aliens appears to be this way, particularly at first.
            * Horde Of Alien Locusts - Experts being interviewed during some news transmission surmise that the aliens are here to steal our resources due to their tactics (complete eradication instead of a proper occupation). Indeed, the water level drops half-way through the film.
            * Hollywood Tactics: Averted. The marines use real tactics. Notably, the alien soldiers also act like, well, soldiers, and use tactics as well, such as hand signals.
            o It's subverted in the beginning - the aliens initially have no air support and the US Military believes they can just bomb them to pieces. WRONG! Say "hi" to UCAVs.
            * Infant Immortality: Played straight. Well, kids probably die somewhere in the attack, but none of the ones we actually meet.
            * Inferred Holocaust: The aliens are launching a worldwide invasion of every major coastal city, and they shoot to kill indiscriminately.
            o Actual Holocaust in the film. Dead civilians are literally everywhere.
            * It's Raining Aliens: The aliens and their equipment land just offshore after an atmospheric insertion.
            * Kill It With Fire: The aliens favor incendiary rounds in their weapons.
            * The Mothership: According to "Unidentified Enemy", the aliens have a single massive ship that serves as the communications hub and drone control. There's one for each city in the movie proper.
            * Mood Dissonance: Leading up to the character squad's first encounter. There's smoke from weapons fire, abandoned cars, charred corpses, the sounds of distant explosions, not a living being in site. The squad hears something, gets to cover with weapons trained on the direction the sound comes from, waiting for an alien to pop out of the smoke...And up runs someone's pet dog. Cue about half a minute of relieved comments, relaxing, joking about the dog's name (Glenn), soundtrack's calmed down, viewers think it'll be another five or ten minutes of walking to the fight, maybe with an animal sidekick...Explosions, shots raining down from multiple rooftops as well as the direction the dog ran in from, dramatic music and screaming both start up, and one of the Marines gets dragged off into the scenery.
            * More Dakka: If it doesn't have six barrels and can't shoot missiles, it's probably not in the alien armory.
            o The ships seem like this, until you realize those are just lift and stabilization thrusters rather than GUNS POINTING EVERYWHERE AND SHOOTING AT EVERYTHNG.
            * My Greatest Failure: Nantz is still haunted by the loss of his entire squad during a botched mission in Iraq.
            * Not So Different - Discussed in-universe when some Marines spot an alien commander spotting for two alien grunts on top of a roof. One surmises they may be just like them - grunts with families and a home and no idea what's really happening and told to go fight.
            o Possibly displayed as well - several scenes show downed enemy aliens being dragged away back into cover by their squadmates, with the others providing covering fire. Just like what human soldiers do.
            * Planet Looters: Seems like the aliens are out of water.
            * Precision F Strike: Nantz: "Let's show these bastards who they're ****in' with."
            * Pre Mortem One Liner: Not quite one line, but Martinez's last bit of dialogue before his Heroic Sacrifice still qualifies:
            "This is Second Lieutenant William Martinez, US Marine Corps. Ooh-Ra!"
            * Product Placement: Being funded by Sony, the film features a number of Sony products, such as Marines using Sony laptops, and a billboard advertising Resistance 3.
            * Retirony: Nantz is two days from being out of the Marines when the movie starts. Subverted, in that he survives the events of the movie and goes right back into the war without hesitation at the end.
            * Rousing Speech: Nantz gives one to his remaining soldiers at the FOB before their last attempt to escape the city.
            * Scenery Gorn: All over the place... especially the opening.
            * Sci Fi Writers Have No Sense Of Scale: Thoroughly averted. According to the tie-in website, the aliens are bringing a massive invasion force numbering well in excess of thirty million soldiers.
            * Semper Fi: The main characters are Marines. Note that the use of Marines in this movie makes an exceptional amount of sense, as the aliens are apparently aquatic in nature. Troops trained in amphibious operations are the logical soldiers to use on them. Also, Camp Pendleton, one of the main USMC bases, is less than 100 miles away from the city.
            o Some Army members and an Air Force Tech Sergeant join up. All the Army members are killed eventually, but the Tech Sergeant survives.
            * Sergeant Rock: Staff Sergeant Michael Nantz to the extreme.
            * Shown Their Work: The tactics used by both the Marines and the alien invaders are actually quite competent, and this shows in the trailers. The invaders use realistic tactics like area-denial barrages with artillery, and set up a highly-effective ambush by herding the Marines into a boxed-in position between houses where they fire on the human troops from the rooftops, using hand-signals and suppressive fire.
            * Starfish Aliens: The aliens have a very curious biology, with the majority of their vitals concentrated at an unusual part of their body (right of where their heart would be located) and make heavy use of cybernetics. The odd biology makes it difficult for the Marines to hurt them until they figure out where to shoot.
            * Time To Step Up, Commander: Twice.
            * Trailers Always Spoil: In the early parts of the movie, the military believes that the enemy is exclusively ground-based. However, anyone who saw the trailer before coming to see the movie (which is probably everyone), was already well-aware that this belief was going to change in short order. On the other hand, it probably wasn't a major twist as the alien aircraft were shown in the first few seconds of the movie.
            * Twenty Minutes With Jerks: A less typical example, where a couple of Marines are shown partying, getting way too drunk and otherwise playing the trope straight, others are picking out flowers for their wedding, trying to retire with some dignity, or having a quiet goodbye with a loved one at their grave.
            * Urban Warfare: As most of the scenes take place in Los Angeles, this is to be expected.
            * Vasquez Always Dies: Actually, the soldier played by Michelle Rodriguez makes it to the end of the movie, averting this trope, for once.
            * Walking Tank: The aliens have a 7ft-tall walking gun that fires missiles. A lot of them.
            * Weather Of War: The movie begins in a crowded urban area choked by smoke and fog, the worst possible condition for fighting short of everything being on fire. It works both ways for both sides.
            * "World Of Cardboard" Speech: Nantz delivers a powerful one to the remaining Marines under his command when they begin to doubt whether he cares about their safety and survival.
            * Yanks With Tanks: It's a war movie taking place in Los Angeles. You didn't think it'd star Brits With Battleships, did you?
            J'ai en marre.


            • #7
              Originally posted by RustyBattleship View Post
              I guess that wasn't the sci-fi Battle for Los Angeles movie I watched last night (March 12) on TV. I believe that was USMC Gunnery Sgt R. Lee Ermey shooting down a flying saucer with a Single Action Colt .45.

              That was the only enjoyable part. The rest was stupid, stupid, stupid. Although I liked the looks of that F-4U Corsair.
              Sir I saw that on syfy too. Well, "saw" is a strong word. My TV was on in the background while I browsed the internet and played Counter Strike.
              "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.


              • #8
                Originally posted by ArtyEngineer View Post
                Kinda surprised we dont have a movie review section stickyed to the top in here.


                Yes, that would be a great idea. Maybe a sub-forum in the pub for movie reviews.
                "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.


                • #9
                  Saw some previews and read the plot line. For a spieces that can travel across stars and yet somehow missed the concept of orbital bombardment.


                  • #10
                    of course any species that can travel across stars should bloody well be able to melt water off the millions of asteroids out there...
                    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov


                    • #11
                      And what happens to nukes? A spieces that wants water would not care about radiated water.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
                        And what happens to nukes? A spieces that wants water would not care about radiated water.
                        Good thing the Col isn't heading up any alien invasions or all of our cities would be buried under 100s of meters of ground up asteroid dust dumped from orbit by gigantic space bulldozers, which will then resurface the topside into ample parking spaces and intergalactic grade golf courses for the enjoyment of follow-on forces.