Monday, March 14, 2011

Video Game Movie

I didn't know much about Battle:Los Angeles when I went to see it yesterday, but I already knew something I didn't like about it. This is a mild slight, but any movie that takes place in LA automatically gets me thinking that it's primary mission is navel gazing by the movie's makers. I can almost see a guy on the set telling a post production person to make sure that his apartment shows up in the intro sequence. It almost has a wiff of laziness to it, which would be forgivable if the rest of the film is good

Unfortunately though, the movie was a bit of a bore, kind of like watching someone play a video game that features long, unskippable cut scenes. It had great set piece action sequences, with lots of first person camera views, interspersed with eye rolling dialog breaks delivered by one dimensional characters ('dead meat', 'virgin', 'grizzled commander', etc). Adding to the video game motif, in the confrontation with the final boss, the characters had to defend their 'rally point' for a set amount of time, and Kid Sandmich said that I unconsciously chuckled a bit during the movie when I later related to him that I expected a red countdown timer to appear in the upper right corner to let the player movie goer know how long to keep the defense up.

It doesn't help that the movie's plot is fairly similar to the Resistance series of games. Interestingly, although the game wasn't even announced at the time, a real billboard ad for Resistance 3 was put up strictly so that it could appear in the movie. It goes without saying that the PS3 exclusive Resistance is made by a Sony owned video game developer (Insomniac) and the movie studio that made Battle:Los Angeles (Columbia) is also Sony owned.

It's enough to make me think that someone pitched a Resistance:Fall of Man movie, but the producers wisely chose not to make it strictly a 'video game movie', so they took drastic action and changed the words before and after the colon.

(My buddy related that the movie has a good vibe due to the favorable portrayal of the U.S. Marines in the movie, a rare event for Hollywood. You'll note though that I didn't say 'U.S. military' as the politicians in Washington are doing their best to destroy the military and are largely succeeding. It's sad that it's turning into a group of worthless job classes (like the nutritionist I saw on TV), lesbians, diversacrats and those aspiring to be pensioners living on disability, but it wouldn't shock me that much if such a group had trouble defending the coastlines of our nation from even a mediocre alien invasion. After all, they can't even defeat a bunch of African hillbillies in canoes on the coast of Somalia.)

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