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Battle: Los Angeles
5 reviews

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Movie Details

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Directed By
Jonathan Liebesman

Written By:
Christopher Bertolini

Aaron Eckhart, Ramon Rodriguez, Cory Hardrict, Gino Anthony Pesi, Ne-Yo, James Hiroyuki Liao, Bridget Moynahan, Noel Fisher, Adetokumboh M'Cormack, Michael Peņa, Michelle Rodriguez, Neil Brown Jr., Taylor Handley, Joey King, Lucas Till, Jadin Gould, Joe Chrest, E. Roger Mitchell, Rus Blackwell, Susie Abromeit, Brandi Coleman, Elizabeth Keener, Jessica Heap, David Jensen, Stacey Turner, Tom Hillmann, Lena Clark, Taryn Southern, James D. Dever, Will Rothhaar, Jim Parrack, Todd Cochran, Bryce Cass, Kenneth Brown Jr., Jamie Norwood, Todd Cochran, Nzinga Blake

Battle: Los Angeles (2011)
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Movie Review by Mike Thomas
March 12th, 2011


Favorite Movie Quote: "I'm not dying here!"

When the first showing of the day of a movie that just opened the day just before is being shown in one of the last theaters in the complex, the ones usually delegated to the movies that are soon to be going out the door, that's never a good sign.

BATTLE: LOS ANGELES tells the story of a day in the life of a platoon of Marines on a rescue mission, and all the wacky misadventures they experience therein. Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight) is Staff Sergeant Michael Nantz, a 20-year career soldier who's put into one last mission before he hangs up his stripes. Earth is being invaded by an alien force, and the Combined Armed Forces are deployed to stop them. Nantz's mission was supposed to be relatively benign, what was called in a previous movie of the same premise a "coffee and cake" run - get in, rescue the civilians, and get out.

If it were that simple, we wouldn't have a movie, now, would we?

Through the trials and tribulations of their journey to rescue civilians trapped in the city, there were some losses, some triumphs, and eventually the Hollywood Ending.

Roll Credits.

I didn't like this movie.

One of the most basic factors in enjoying a movie is that you actually have to be able to SEE it. I don't know what director Jonathan Liebesman was going for, but he was going for an action film shot entirely by a camera crew stricken with Parkinson's, then Mission Accomplished. Trying to go for a DISTRICT 9/SAVING PRIVATE RYAN feel, to make the film look more documentary-like, the jerky camera work made the movie painful to watch. Also, given the fact that you can't really trash Los Angeles, Liebesman relied on extreme facial close ups on obvious studio back lot sets to offset the fact that they couldn't destroy buildings and bridges, we get 116 minutes of reaction shots from the cast and DISTRICT9-like grainy visuals. But, whereas DISTRICT 9's camera work actually lingered on scenes long enough for you to absorb some of the story, the jerky, non-stop action of the movie made it impossible to follow much of anything.

Eckhart takes on the Sandra Bullock role in SPEED 2, where he gets all the juicy action scenes, and where he does , in the words of his commanding officer, Lt. William Martinez (Ramon Rodriguez), "Some crazy John Wayne sh*t." So, Eckhart gets to save the damsels, kill some aliens, and basically be the "go-to" guy to save the day, while most of the other cast members are primarily 'Red Shirts." The only thing missing from his uniform was a cape. I found it to be a very uneven distribution of heroism and survival.

Next, the aliens. For an invading force who traveled across the galaxy to conquer Earth, they definitely did not do their homework. Most of their tactics relied on brute force with very little military planning. I've never served a single minute in the military, and I found gaping holes in their "strategy." Upon entering the Earth's atmosphere, they immediately proceed to attack - surfers, leaving the earby military base untouched until much, much later. They were your standard-issue BEMs (Bug-Eyed Aliens) who had some neat weapons, but with no coherent plan of attack.

Bridget Moynahan and Michelle Rodriguez are on hand as "the girls," a veterinarian and a military intel specialist, respectively, who were there just to fill the movie's gender quota. Their parts could have been filled by pretty much anyone, even males. There were a few back stories, but, again, nothing that made much significance to the threadbare storyline. The climax of the story very much resembles a 1977 George Lucas film, but with more conventional weapons.

On my new rating scale of with 5 being drop everything and see the movie now; if you're female, bear the producers' children and 0 being burn down the theater, murder the movie staff, and violate their dog, this movie rates a pathetic "0.5." The Comic-Con Curse of Movie Disasters continues to dog every movie showcased at the convention. I would have given it the dreaded "zero," except for a few touchy-feely scenes towards the end of the movie, and an uplifting Hollywood Ending, that is basically a PSA for the United States Marines. But, even at that, I cannot recommend this movie to anyone. With it's BLAIR WITCH/CLOVERFIELD camera work, it's nowhere-to-be-seen plot, and Eckhart chewing up scenery so much, that Charlton Heston would be jealous, it's a painful movie to get through. I actually saw people getting up and leaving the theater.

At today's movie prices, that's a powerful statement.

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Mar 19, 2011 3:52 AM
Is this another one from the Asylum guys?
Mike Thomas
Mar 19, 2011 4:54 AM

This is the "good" one!
Mike Thomas
Mar 19, 2011 4:58 AM
THIS is the Asylum one:

I actually went to see the Big Budget Movie in the morning and the Asylum treatment that night!

Gave me wonderful perspective!

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