Friday, November 12, 2010

RftP: Skyline

Normally I do a weekend roundup, but lets get this slug out of the way.

Ahhhh, Skyline. From the looks of things you didn't deem yourself worthy of preview copies for the reviewers. That means you don't get "no detail" immunity from me; a benefit I generally give because I get annoyed at reviewers who run down the entire script over the course of their article. Which is good, because you deserve to be SPOILED for the good of humanity.

Skyline's premise is outlined in the original trailer by the newscasters:

Yeah, aliens come. They kick our ass. We don't win. The President doesn't lead a victory squadron to everyone's rescue while Aerosmith blares. The rest is essentially Cloverfield without the shaky-cam. The number of people who left the theatre angry at this reality was amusingly large given the trailer was pretty honest about what was coming here but only topped by those annoyed when the movie tried to have it both ways in the last 5 minutes by breaking out the subplot in the dumbest possible way. We'll get back to this in a second.

Skyline was apparently an experiment by a CGI house to see if they could make a "Blockbuster" alien film for $10M*. The answer to that is a qualitative yes; as long as you accept shitty plotting, greyscale CGI with some occasional pixelation - especially in "bad blue light" scenes - and your film is a bottle show. Essentially The entire movie takes place in the LA apartment/condo building of the best friend of the male lead and focuses on the efforts of our lead, his buddy, their respective wives/girlfriends, and various building people to try and get the hell out while, for some reason, the Aliens seemingly focus on their lone building out of all of LA.

Think about that for a second. Aliens that can hoover up people by the 1000's are sitting on 5 people in a high rise.

Yeah. The rest of the film is similarly dumb and written in such a way as to basically ensure that our cast stays in its bottle while our aliens chase them for their brains; which are apparently a powersource/internal component of some sort. In the background is the subplot that, for some reason, when our male lead is exposed to the "bad blue light" early in the film he becomes "infected" by it: gaining increased strength when he gets angry enough to pull it out. Sooooo, you're sitting there waiting for him to Hulk out on an Alien but it never really comes.

we get an epilogue to the world being conquered and everyone being captured where our lead's GF wakes up in the spaceship just in time to see him get harvested for his brain and for her to get hauled off to what passes for an alien birthing room because she's pregnant. Except her BF's brain isn't blue like all the good ones: it's blazing red, angry, and implanted into an alien battle brute who proceeds to beat the shit out of the others, kill the alien attempting to harvest the kid from his wife, and scoop her up to try and flee.


Which just goes to show that movie studios aren't the only ones who could use much better quality control systems. Wait for this one to show up on a Sci-Fi channel.

* The official budget is said to be $20 Million, 10 of that is stated to be paying for those posters you see all over the place.

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