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SKYLINE (2010)

>> Friday, November 26, 2010

Has anybody ever told you that your eyes light up a room?

The thing that got me excited to see Skyline was the relatively original imagery I'd seen in the trailer. It had a distinct and original look to it. More specifically the image of thousands of people flying through the air, being sucked up into a giant alien spacecraft seemed wholly entertaining. Now, that's what got me to see the movie, it's not what made me dislike it.

Skyline focuses on a group of people in Los Angeles who wake up early one morning to discover that aliens have invaded their fair city - and yes, I'm aware I could insert an immigrant joke here, but I won't because I have tact, even if Skyline doesn't. Glowing blue lights that shoot out from the ships have the hypnotic power of drawing people towards the light, making them oblivious to the fact they're about to get Hoovered. Thousands fall victim to this ploy, minus a few who realize what's going on and look the other way.

If there's one thing to be said about Skyline's alien species, it's that they're quick and efficient. If you succeed in hiding from them the first time around, another one will be back later on to find you. Whether or not it's the giant kind that stands five stories tall or the smaller ones that fly, it seems you're doomed. Of the few that realize something is going on as events unfold, is a small group of friends (which includes The Texas Chainsaw Massacre's (2003) Eric Balfour) who are stuck on the top floor of an LA high rise apartment building. That apartment building, by the way, is the biggest problem Skyline has. Well, one of the biggest problems.

Now, I don't hate the idea that an entire movie may take place in an apartment building. Quarantine (2008) did well with a similar premise, and I really liked it. What I don't like with Skyline (aside from the shotty acting and poorly written scenes) is the fact that this movie spends far too much time sitting around trying to avoid spending it's $10 million budget in five minutes. To do that, it gives us lame arguments between Balfour's character, Jared, and his girl, Elaine (Scottie Thompson). We also get another weak back story for Jared - this time with his best friend Terry (Scrubs' Donald Faison). In fact, the only redeeming quality about Skyline is the last five minutes. It's the only part of the film I actually enjoyed as it introduced an intriguing and relatively original idea. I won't say how it ends here as even though the movie was bad, I hate spoilers.

I'm giving Skyline a closed door. If it's lucky enough to get a sequel (which I highly doubt) then maybe check it out. Even on DVD though this won't be a very good watch. The first hour and half should have been five minutes long and the last five minutes should have been an hour and a half long. While I'll recognize the fact that the special effects are actually pretty good, a movie comprised of a few cool shots that doesn't have a good story to back it up - is still a bad movie.

*Stills courtesy of Black Monday Film Services

3 comments:

Alex Chandler November 28, 2010 at 6:53 PM  

Really? I wanted to see it cause the previews looked really good! But yeah, I heard it was near completely made by special effects people...

Would you say the from an editors point of view it would be worth seeing? You know, like, was there enough effects shown to movie that it was nice. Or what was your thought on the editing?

Usually I find that I can enjoy a movie with a bad plot... Though that one movie that was a play on little red riding hood, based in the present time, I think it was called "Highway", that was terrible almost all around. Can't believe we had to watch that in my film class! haha ...I don't know if you've ever seen it but I wouldn't advise it

Angry Charlie November 29, 2010 at 10:59 AM  

I haven't seen Highway, lol. And now, I never will. Thanks!

As far as special effects and editing go, I'd say they did their job. There wasn't any time where I thought it looked fake or didn't fit in. There were numerous shots in Skyline that could have all been taken to use as the poster.

While I don't have any issues with films that are aestehtically pleasing, I feel it becomes an insult to the great job the effects people did when the dialogue and storyline fall short, as with this film. See it on Blu-Ray or DVD, but avoid paying the cash to check it out in anything but a cheapy theatre.

Thanks for the feedback, PS! I certainly appreciate it!

Alex Chandler December 1, 2010 at 9:49 PM  

I was just looking through my notes... the movie is called Freeway... Just thought I'd let you know

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