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It`s not you, it`s...me?

In my neverending quest to catch up on this year`s summer flicks, I watched Battleship last night.

And, um, I`m beginning to wonder if it`s me growing out of "those kind of movies" or if they have simply changed too much. Because the thing is, I like mindless popcorn entertainment. I like Alien invasion flicks, don`t mind paper-thin stories, clichés and the inevitable amount of hooray-patriotism they have. For god`s sakes, I adore Independence Day, it has all those flaws but still it has some charme and fun.

The effect-parts of Battleship seemed to be right out of Transformers - another of those popcorn flicks I should like but was bored to tears throughout
it. The entire beginning of the movie made no sense whatsoever concerning the character Taylor Kitsch played.

But the absolute worst part was the entire military`s reaction in their first encounter with the alien crafts. Yeah, lets jump on it and randomely push buttons. And lets keep firing when they appear non-hostile if not engaged. *headdesk*

The kicker was, normally such stories are set up so that alien tech, including weaponry, far exceeds ours. Not so this time, their missiles were more than strong enough to take out the alien ships when timed right. So, if they had been just a little bit smarter and more strategic, they could have won with minimal damage to them.
So while the second half of the movie, when they HAD to be smarter and more strategic was actually fine, it was hard to really root for those people anymore considering how massively, massively stupid they had been in the beginning. It was almost like they changed script-writers half-way through. Weird.

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( 12 have dazzled me — Dazzle me )
legoline
Sep. 15th, 2012 09:42 am (UTC)
I wonder if I would still like ID4 as much if I saw it for the first time now. I think perhaps I wouldn't.
astri13
Sep. 15th, 2012 09:49 am (UTC)
I don`t know, hard to say because now it has that air of nostalgic fondness whenever I watch it. But I`d still posit that it some heart and goofy charme. And the characters made sense to me, even if they themselves were clichés.

And it`s not like there aren`t any popcorn blockbusters these days I like. I loved Avengers for example.

It`s just that Battleship is so close in theme to ID4, you can`t help but compare. And in reverse, I`m not sure I`d have loved Battleship if I had watched it as a teen/early twen. Maybe I would have liked it a little bit better.
legoline
Sep. 15th, 2012 10:02 am (UTC)
I haven't watched ID4 in years because at some point I realised how utterly bad Bill Pullman's speech about the Independence Day really was and somehow I've never managed to get past that again. I agree about the characters, though. At least they made sense :-)

And it`s not like there aren`t any popcorn blockbusters these days I like. I loved Avengers for example.
I didn't say there weren't. Even though it seems like that programming slot has been occupied by comic adaptations. (Not that I'm complaining given my recent love for comic books and super heroes)

I think one of the most obvious gaps is between the Terminator movies. I love the first one, the second one is just gold, I haven't actually seen the third one but I remember watching the fourth one thinking, "WHAT ON EARTH IS THIS?" There was no plot, no believable characters, nothing. Where the second film was utterly terrifying because you had the feeling like even though the Terminator moved slowly as Hell there was just no escape, the fourth installment was just one big mess of oversized robots manifesting out of nowhere, blowing stuff to pieces in every single scene.

I guess since CGI has become so good (and probably more affordable) producers and directors have decided that there doesn't have to be plot. Explosions will do. (I don't know. Maybe back then films had more plot and character moments because special effects were expensive and tricky to do?)
astri13
Sep. 15th, 2012 10:27 am (UTC)
I haven't watched ID4 in years because at some point I realised how utterly bad Bill Pullman's speech about the Independence Day really was

Aww, I still like it. :) Sure, it`s really silly and you might as well have Homer Simpson going "USA USA" in the background but I think they really tried. One of the sweetest images in it to me is when you see the forces in other parts of the world and you`re in the Sinai dessert, panning over Israeli, Muslim and British forces standing united for once. It`s just a camera pan and it`s still somewhat naive but hopeful nonetheless. I can`t help it, sometimes I`m really a sentimental marchmallow. *g*

I didn't say there weren't. Even though it seems like that programming slot has been occupied by comic adaptations. (Not that I'm complaining given my recent love for comic books and super heroes)

Oh, I`m not complaining either. I love Comic book movies as well though I`d feel too overwhelmed by the sheer wealth of material to really go into Comics now. It feels like getting started on a book cycle that is already 10.0000 volumes in. :D

I think one of the most obvious gaps is between the Terminator movies. I love the first one, the second one is just gold, I haven't actually seen the third one but I remember watching the fourth one thinking, "WHAT ON EARTH IS THIS?"

If I tell you now that the 4th one is still better than the 3rd, does that help? *g* But I agree. Somehow, the last two were completely lacking the spirit of the first two. My fave is the first one, though, despite acknowledging the second is technically the better movie. I just find the story of out-of-her-depth-waitress Sarah and Kyle Reese really moving. "Come with me if you want to live" still makes me squee. Even in parodies, like Community :D

Maybe back then films had more plot and character moments because special effects were expensive and tricky to do?)

I think that is a very good argument. Back then the effects department probably told the producer/director "okay, you can have x amount of explosions for your buck"
so they were literally forced to fill most of the movie with at least likeable characters in a rudimentary story. Nowadays, they can fill 90 % of the movie with shit blowing up.

Of course, I don`t understand why budgets have to regularly go 200 Million and beyond for bigger movies these days. I realize the costs have gone up but I still think you can make a perfectly fine blockbuster for anything in the range of 80 to 150 Million. And it will most likely be a much better movie, too.




legoline
Sep. 15th, 2012 11:15 am (UTC)
One of the sweetest images in it to me is when you see the forces in other parts of the world and you`re in the Sinai dessert, panning over Israeli, Muslim and British forces standing united for once.
I don't know--the last time I watched that film the scene suddenly felt like, "And now EVERYBODY celebrates the US's AWESOME ID4 together". I can't help it, even if they eant it differently. One thing I always loved about the film though was that even the dog made it :D

It feels like getting started on a book cycle that is already 10.0000 volumes in. :D
Ehhh, it does. Trust me. I stayed away from comics for years even though I really wanted to read them, but it all just seemed so daunting. Someone finally urged me to just dive in somewhere and I'm glad I did. Sure it's pretty overwhelming but...it's just so fascinating. They're like the mother of crossovers and AU's; so even when you start out with, say, Spider-man you're technically reading the entire universe because of all the references and guest stars. My fave so far is Brubaker's "Captain America" series which has the Winter Soldier storyline. THE ANGST. Steve has FEELS. And he angsts over Bucky like an angsting thing; it's awesome. *is puddle of glee*

"Come with me if you want to live" still makes me squee. Even in parodies, like Community :D

Hell, yeah. Besides, Community REALLY nailed that parody :D Maybe that's why I loved TSCC so much. They brought back that spirit. The understated score; they made machines scary again. (I still have to finish season two. No spoilers, I'm begging you! :D )

I realize the costs have gone up but I still think you can make a perfectly fine blockbuster for anything in the range of 80 to 150 Million. And it will most likely be a much better movie, too.

I don't know. Maybe the studios have bred themselves an audience that expects lots and lots of action? I've read so many comments about how the new Spider-man film ( or the original Batman movies) was so BOOOOORING and I just kept shaking my head thinking, "The point of the film, I think you didn't get it."
astri13
Sep. 15th, 2012 11:25 am (UTC)
One thing I always loved about the film though was that even the dog made it :D

Oh yes, I`m always really upset when the animals in movies are killed. :/ Sometimes more than the human characters. Ahem.

Maybe that's why I loved TSCC so much. They brought back that spirit. The understated score; they made machines scary again. (I still have to finish season two. No spoilers, I'm begging you! :D )

Okay. But do finish it. Bip bip. *g*

I don't know. Maybe the studios have bred themselves an audience that expects lots and lots of action? I've read so many comments about how the new Spider-man film ( or the original Batman movies) was so BOOOOORING and I just kept shaking my head thinking, "The point of the film, I think you didn't get it."

Granted, I think you have a certain degree of expectancy now for lots and lots of fancy shit. But on the other hand, with movies where I think "okay, you didn`t even try" in terms of script, they often crash at the box office. And okay, some movies I really loved could have done better but they are not doing abysmally bad either. So I don`t think I`m totally out of tune with the masses.

The ones that totally lost me were, like I said, Transformers, Avatar (I liked it but didn`t see what was so ZOMG-fantastic about it, certainly nothing that deserve Nr.1 movie of all times) and oddly enough, Inception - I was so, so, so bored by it.

And Hunger Games was a huge success this year, even on a relatively modest budget for a movie like this.
legoline
Sep. 15th, 2012 11:59 am (UTC)
Oh yes, I`m always really upset when the animals in movies are killed. :/
I'm still traumatised by "Der Schut", really.

I will finish it! :D

I absolutely loved Inception. At one point I seriously considered leaving the theatre because I felt like I couldn't take the suspense anymore. I was so, so sure that Arthur wasn't gonna make it. On the other hand, while I like them well enough I don't get all the praise for Nolan's Batman movies. The olnly one I really enjoyed was the last one, mostly for the bits that weren't Batman related.

And Hunger Games was a huge success this year, even on a relatively modest budget for a movie like this.
True, but don't forget that it was already an established franchise with a huge fanbase. I'm not sure it would have been such a success without that, to be honest. For comparison: City of Ember is pretty much a flawless action movie for teenagers/YA; it has really good writing and camera work, it has flawless actors and a great story (also about rebelling against the establishment), but it totally tanked at the theatres a few years ago. Maybe because the books it is based on aren't quite as popular as The Hunger Games.

Edited at 2012-09-15 11:59 am (UTC)
gypsy_atavari
Sep. 15th, 2012 03:04 pm (UTC)
Funny, we just watched Battleship recently and was also comparing it to ID4. One of the things we thought that ID4 did better was that the cast probably had a little more charm than this one. You kinda want to watch them and root for them - in Battleship, they were caricaturish more than anything and unfortunately Taylor Kitsch couldn't really the film.

I enjoy popcorn flicks as well which is why I kinda sorta forgave many of the plotholes and obvious devices but yeah, it wasn't a yay, fun movie that I would have expected/wanted.
astri13
Sep. 15th, 2012 04:16 pm (UTC)
One of the things we thought that ID4 did better was that the cast probably had a little more charm than this one. You kinda want to watch them and root for them - in Battleship, they were caricaturish more than anything and unfortunately Taylor Kitsch couldn't really the film.

I completely agree. I mean, on ID4 you had your clichéd characters, too. Jeff Goldblum was the disenchanted geek, Will Smith the brash young Pilot and Bill Pullmann the overwhelmed President who was at home most in the cockpit as a fighter Pilot himself. It`s not like those types were terribly original but the characters weren`t too overdrawn to be cool for coolness sake. And the actors seemed to be having fun.

On Battleship, it seemed like the motto was "be kewl". And I like Taylor Kitsch fine. Just the introduction of the character was so wonky and disjointed, it really made no sense. At the beginning of the movie he was supposed to be a jobless, hotheaded screw-up? whose older brother protected him at every turn. Then brother says "okay, you`ll join me in the Navy now". And bam, the very.next.scene has him obviously having risen through the ranks in the Navy, happily dating the Admiral`s daughter. Not even a "five years after" or so. But wait, apparently he is STILL a hotheaded screw-up whose older brother protects him at every turn. WTF?

They should have started the movie with him already being in the Service but having trouble because of his brashness and picking fights all the time. Then things would have flown at lot smoother.

On ID4 Jeff Goldblum`s character was a scientist and stayed one. He didn`t for some odd reason become a fighter Pilot during the movie and joined the big ending battle.

I enjoy popcorn flicks as well which is why I kinda sorta forgave many of the plotholes and obvious devices but yeah, it wasn't a yay, fun movie that I would have expected/wanted.

That`s where I am, I expected some CGI-ed up version of ID4 but the movie had no real heart.
leelust
Sep. 15th, 2012 06:06 pm (UTC)
Hehe, i actually thought that battleship was a good comedy. Very predictable though. But only if you watch it as comedy and with friends and you predict what move they'll make next before they make it.
astri13
Sep. 15th, 2012 06:39 pm (UTC)
Heh, okay. Maybe I should have tried that. :D
matchboximpala
Sep. 19th, 2012 03:46 am (UTC)
It's hard to find it engaging when you don't give a crap about any of the characters.
( 12 have dazzled me — Dazzle me )