Saturday, May 26, 2012

'Battleship' Reviewed


Okay, who the hell out there actually expects Academy Award winning performances off of a film that owes it's existence to a TOY game for goodness sake? No disrespect to the toy industry intended! With that out of the way let me tell you that the new film 'Battleship' was awfully entertaining. WORTH the price of admission, AND contained attempts at actual story / script quality. Admittedly I went into this film with very low expectations story-wise but was surprised at the aforementioned attempts at creating some type of characters to populate this special effects driven modern SFX "masterpiece" of sorts. But in hindsight this is also an indication of the low expectations that so many bad stories from the Hollywood film machine create inside the viewers of their films. We feel glad at even the most meager attempts at quality storytelling in an H-wood movie. That's so damn pathetic. So let me suddenly change the direction of this review, away from the meager story to the most important element ("actor") employed by today's storyless Hollywood industry. We're gonna talk about the amazing special effects and why you should be blowing your hard earned money on films that only want you to see them for their amazing special effects (whew!). Special effects "driven" films are films that are seen for the -duh -SPECIAL EFFECTS ONLY. Now, there's something inherently wrong about this, and any experienced story teller's bones will feel a shiver down the side of them when he hears the words, 'SPECIAL EFFECTS DRIVEN' film. For story quality is king and always will be. But movie going is more than just going somewhere to watch / hear a story being told. It's also just a reason to get out of the house, to be entertained. And sometimes mindless entertainment may be just what the doctor ordered. Sometimes you've been hard at though all day and all night and the last thing you want to feel is the tension and detail overloading of a good quality film (gulp! I can't believe I just wrote that!) But mindless entertainment does has it's place and that place is contrary to quality entertainment. Nothing is absolute and therefore everything will not be of quality. So a person can make use of this and make the crappy films out there serve as a type of psychological getaway of sorts. Well, 'Battleship' certainly fits that bill. You go into this film already armed with the knowledge to not expect anything special or deep. It's 'Snakes On A Plane' but there on a boat this time AND they come from another planet. Hahahaha.

 Like I said, this examination of 'Battleship' is about the special effects only. And boy do they lay it on. I'm telling you there's a scene in this film that mimics to a certain degree the sinking of James Cameron's Titanic but it's done to the teeth with stuff exploding, falling, etc. from the upturned ship (as two heroes climb to the front -bow? -of the ship like the lovers Kate Winslet and Leonarda DeCaprio did). In addition to the chaos added to this concept, the camera angle is done in one continuous shot (!). It skims around the ship as it's turning upward, moves past people and things falling into the ocean far, far below, to come up and into the faces of the two Navy heroes who've climbed to the peek of this ship turned into a mountain. Then the camera continues it's "tour of duty" by climbing high above the desperate but determined to survive heroes as they leap down into the ocean far, far below. It's fucking awesome and has to be seen to be believed. So there you go. Battleship isn't the best in visual storytelling but it's not the worst either. It makes you glad (and proud) to be a member of the human race because of these advanced special effects. We are certainly privileged to experience such realistic special effects because just over 40 years ago nothing like this was even conceivable. Rent 'Battleship' for the SFX and have a good time just turning your brain off and taking it all in.

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