Monday, January 30, 2012
Skyline (2010) Dir. by The Brothers Strause
arrod and his pregnant girlfriend Elaine travel to Los Angeles to meet his old friend and successful entrepreneur Terry, and his wife Candice. Terry gives a party in his apartment for Jarrod and offers a job position to him in LA. Terry's assistant and lover Denise (Crystal Reed) and his friend Ray (Neil Hopkins) sleep on the couch in the living room, but in the dawn of the next morning, the group is awakened by mysterious beams of blue light. Ray stares at the light and is taken by the mysterious force. The group of friends try to escape from the alien invaders. Written by Claudio Carvalho, RIo de Janeiro, Brazil on IMDB.com
It should be no shock to many that read this that Colin and Greg Strause are young yet special effects legends. Their work can be seen in such films as Battle LA (reviewed a few days ago), The Book of Eli, Avatar, The Incredible Hulk, and the list could go on and on and on, they do amazing work. That being said, this is only their second feature film from the director's chair. Although it is extremely ridiculed, Aliens Vs. Predator: Requiem was (in my mind) insanely fun, yet lacked really strong story writing. I was hoping they would have learned from that when going to make Skyline... but... that just wasn't the case. Don't get me wrong... Skyline is full of insanely good special effects, but the bad writing REALLY comes through when you have such bad acting.
Since I mentioned acting, let's get in to the actors. I love Eric Balfour, and he is awesome on Haven, but let's get one thing across. He is NOT a good actor by any means, and when he is on for the entire length of a film it is really difficult for him to hide from the camera. Donald Faison... I'm sorry dude, but you may never be anything other than Turk. I know that isn't what you want to hear, but it happens a lot, and you are not a great actor. Brittany Daniel is looking more like her age every day and still tries to play a young girl... just not working. Scottie Thompson... yes you are terribly attractive, and I loved you on NCIS, but you also cannot act. In fact, the only person that I could stand on the screen for this film was David Zayas and that is probably because I kept thinking of him as Detective Batista. Just bad acting all around and it didn't help the already extremely small story this film had going for it.
Sometimes films do an extremely good job without having to change location at all (Bug, Saw, etc...) but it kills this film. The aliens were super cool, and the effects, as I said before, are awesome, but the writing is atrocious. I look forward to seeing what the brothers come out with next, but this was a step back from AVP:R, so I hope next time they take a step forward.
Entertainment value: 4/10 Glowing lights
Cinematic Value: 5/10 Glowing lights