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If You Like Sci-Fi, Can "SKYLINE" (Friday, Nov 12 Release) Satisfy?

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Bloviating Zeppelin: If You Like Sci-Fi, Can "SKYLINE" (Friday, Nov 12 Release) Satisfy?

Bloviating Zeppelin

(in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

If You Like Sci-Fi, Can "SKYLINE" (Friday, Nov 12 Release) Satisfy?

What I've seen, so far, of the various trailers for the upcoming movie "Skyline," is hugely beguiling.

Of course, though, as we know, sometimes the trailers themselves are the "high points" of their advertised films.

Some recent sci-fi films have left me completely disappointed; the most trashy and obvious is "The Day The Earth Stood Still." It was a complete travesty and massively unworthy of the film title. It is to be avoided at all costs. The original, in comparison, requires its own shrine.

However, District 9 was admirable, as was Splice and the impressive Pandorum (just you wait until the final frames!).

I am a colossal fan of both written and filmed science fiction. When it warrants admiration.

Will Skyline satisfy?

It "looks" great. But there is also story and acting and FX -- but again -- story.

Story rules all.



Blogger Christopher - Conservative Perspective said...

As to 'Skyline' we will see but on
'The Day The Earth Stood Still' redo I beg to differ.

As I loved the original I thought the redo was right on target with an updated look. Now I must admit they should have had a different lead actor, but I thought it well done and with giving the original complete respect.

Sun Nov 07, 07:50:00 AM PST  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

The Day the Earth Stood Still, the original, was the first sci-fi movie I ever saw.

Mr. AOW and I are thinking about going out to the movies now that he is somewhat better and much stronger. Maybe we'll check out Skyline.

Sun Nov 07, 08:12:00 AM PST  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Christopher, here is where you and I disagree; clearly, there is NO argument that the original movie's technology, whilst surprising for the day, is NOTHING compared to current VFX technology. If you look closely at a replay of the original, you can easily see what I would consider three "cheesy" FX moments:

1. When Gort "carries" Patricia Neal, in one shot the actor, 7'7" Lock Martin -- a former doorman for Graumann's Chinese Theatre in Hollyweird -- is carrying a dummy; you can see the light, flopping legs.

2. In another scene, when Gort carried Neal inside the ship -- and it is clear this is the actress -- you can see wires holding her up.

3. In the final scene with Klatuu, Gort stands "still" as Klatuu addresses the leaders of the planet. Lock Martin, having had to stand for so long in one place, fidgets with his hands and sways slightly.

However, the scene in which the saucer lands in the DC park has the shadow underneath follow the craft elegantly and believably. This was a great effect for the time. It "sold" the entire scene.

Also, as you can see in the clip, when Gort stands on the ground in front of the ship, the ramp slides back precisely into the ship. The seams of the ramp can barely be seen. This kind of precision is remarkable, then, for a physical effect.

Perhaps I am jaded, but when movies still come up with physical effects I much prefer them to CGI. Gort as a CGI placement was just so wrong and cheap. I am really tiring of CGI existing in movies just to exist. And the entire premise of Klatuu landing just to "save the planet" made me want to gag with a woodchuck. Trite. Overused. Move on. Nothing to see here. Literally.


Sun Nov 07, 08:37:00 AM PST  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

AOW: that is GREAT news that he is stronger!

If you're interested and don't want to waste the time or money, I'll probably be "reviewing" the film next weekend after I see it that Saturday night.


Sun Nov 07, 08:39:00 AM PST  
Blogger Tom's Place said...

Klaatu barada nikto...

One of the classics of Sci-Fi

Sun Nov 07, 09:21:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Skyline's 'Grade B' class of actors tells me it will bomb.

Sun Nov 07, 01:37:00 PM PST  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

I'll check your review before heading to the theater. I've learned the hard way that I can't trust the WaPo's reviews.

Sun Nov 07, 01:52:00 PM PST  
Blogger cj said...

Well, I love Eric Balfour in Haven so that might be enough to get me to go see Skyline... if I went to movies any more. Too expensive and usually not worth the price of admission.

I totally agree with you on The Day The Earth Stood Still but because they completely changed the intent of the original - Klaatu came to warn us not to take our petty aggressions in to space. He didn't come to destroy us or claim the planet wasn't ours.

I love the original, btw, but haven't seen any of the others you mentioned. Maybe I'll see about renting them.


Sun Nov 07, 02:21:00 PM PST  
Blogger Justin said...

Are you into steampunk? You seem like the perfect person to really get creative with it!

Sun Nov 07, 04:50:00 PM PST  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Justin: I'm not sure I can quite identify "steampunk." I think the closest I came is purchasing a bargain DVD of "Mutant Chronicles" which I haven't watched yet. Any recommendations?


Sun Nov 07, 08:00:00 PM PST  
Blogger A Jacksonian said...

Haven't seen a film in months... possibly longer. It takes a lot to make me budge from home to bother to see a film in the local plex-o-plex.

I'll do some personal fanfic writing so at least I can get a story I enjoy, minus the big budget, actors and the rest of the plex-o-plex atmosphere and just use my imagination. Possibly queue up the next in the 1632 series in a bit, watch some of the Flash and Sledge Hammer! on disc. Perhaps transfer my old Prisoner tapes to DVD or just break down and buy them...

Mon Nov 08, 07:44:00 AM PST  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Oooo, The Prisoner, very nice!


Mon Nov 08, 11:59:00 AM PST  
Blogger Justin said...

Great steampunk movies:
1. The Prestige
2. The Golden Compass
3. Van Helsing
4. 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea
5. Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events
6. Hellboy
7. The League Of Extraodinary Gentlemen
8. The Time Machine
9. Sleepy Hollow
10. The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen
I could see you being into those kind of SF movies

Mon Nov 08, 02:02:00 PM PST  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...


Thank you sir. I think I see the trend. Would I be correct in summarizing Steampunk as something akin to Victorian Retro in concert with some type of unmatching future technology?


Mon Nov 08, 04:58:00 PM PST  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

But further, in that considered vein, might one not make an argument that the original "steampunk" movie could be the 1984 David Lynch rendering of "Dune"?

And, BTW, is everyone aware that "Dune" is about to be re-made and released in 2012?


Mon Nov 08, 05:16:00 PM PST  
Blogger Justin said...

Yes, Dune would be an example of the genre. Thanks for the heads up on the remake. BTW, good definition of steampunk.

Mon Nov 08, 07:33:00 PM PST  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Justin, thank you.


Tue Nov 09, 05:59:00 PM PST  

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