Monday, March 14, 2011

Battle Los Angeles: I saw it

Remove the first reel from the movie, and Battle LA was just like Tron Legacy: It's a freakin awesome spectacle that falls apart the moment you start to think about it. My solution: Don't think about it.

Full disclosure: I went in expecting to completely hate it based on everything I read elsewhere. On top of which, I'm a cynical bastard, and even the slightest thing can have me turn against a movie (slightly out of focus, framed too high/low, off sound mix). So when the awful shaky cam began, and inexplicably continued through the god-awful expository opening scenes, I was prepared to dismiss it, but give the guy who cut the trailer an Academy Award for tricking me so well.

Then reel 2 began, and that's when they should have just started the movie. I don't need or want to know anything about these stock characters. I still don't know anything about the characters, except there were three black guys and one had glasses, one had an accent, and one was angry, but he sort of disappears and I thought he was dead until his convenient "Arc" has to be resolved.

See what I mean about thinking about it too much?

Anyway, point is, that stretch from the Police Station to the Military base is damn exciting and intense filmmaking that miraculously managed to hook me in and turn my opinion of the film around. Yes, it's stupid, one-note, jingoistic as hell, and I'm probably a little dumber having seen it, but I still enjoyed myself and can't understand the extreme vitriol the film is receiving. Especially when a film like Drive Angry (shot in 3D!) exists, one of the worst movies I've ever seen unleashed to the public in a long time.

And you know what? Kudos to the filmmakers for not making this in 3D! That alone should garner half a star. Of course, were it in 3D, the nausea levels would be astronomical.

People in my audience were getting up and leaving, jag offs were checking their iPhones through the whole thing (seriously, people, knock that shit off. Screens are bright in a dark place, how can you not realize this, and why do you need to hold the screen right in front of you?), and there were people next to me who fell asleep (when the lights came up, I found piles of Pixie sticks layin on the ground, which would explain that part, but being they were late 20 yr old dudes, actually just raises more questions). My favorite reaction, though, was the woman behind me, who kept freaking out because the "locations" were a mile away from where we were watching it. ("That's the Overland exit!")

PS- I enjoyed that they keep calling it Battle LA, but didn't realize until the end credits that the LA stands for Louisiana. Despite what the woman behind me believes.

1 comment:

R.BillMountain said...

It's a vicious cycle. The worse filmgoing manners get, the more smart filmgoers will decide to stay home and watch Netflix or On Demand, leaving only the rude and chronically distractable patrons in the cinemas, which drives even more quiet and attentive people out. I know I only go the the theatre when my ticket's free, so I don't feel like I'm wasting money as I get kicked/deal with food noise/see phone glow/ am annoyed by chatter and snoring. Therefore, I don't bring in any income for exhibitors, so why should they care what I think? Damn. How do we stop it?