James Helsby

LRE #44: Skyline

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Little Red Envelope

In my mailbox this week:

Release Year: 2010

Staring: Donald Faison, Eric Balfour, Scottie Thompson

Damn it. Here I was, expecting Skyline to be the next big cult hit. No way in hell that will happen.

With all honesty, my wife put it best in her comments about the show when we discussed after having just finished watching it.

They couldn’t think of anything better than glowing, brain-powered, vacuum cleaner space vagina’s?

And unfortunately, as it seems. No, they couldn’t. It was almost like another one of those horribly awkward Hollywood pitches.

Pitch-man: I have a great idea for a movie!
Hollywood Exec: Let’s hear it, but I am supposed to be on-set with Charlie Sheen to smoke some crack in 5 minutes, so make it quick.
Pitch-man: It’s like The Matrix!
Hollywood Exec: Sold. Here is a million.
Pitch-man: Wait, there is more! Instead of robots, it’s Aliens!
Hollywood Exec: I already said yes! What more do you want?
Pitch-man: AND, instead of the human body, they just want you brains! They are space-zombies!
Hollywood Exec: uh.
Pitch-man: AND, they use magical blue light! And once you look at it, you can’t look away! It’s like a “Computer Virus”!
Hollywood Exec: uh….. your kinda losing me.
Pitch-man: AND, the aliens walk around using the blue light, to suck them up in their ship!
Hollywood Exec: uh… like a vacuum cleaner?
Pitch-man: AND they look like giant bugs, with lots of little eyes.
Hollywood Exec: Can you make them look like vagina’s? People like vagina’s
Pitch-man: It will cost twice as much.

Considering just how much of the plot I just gave away, consider yourself spoiled. If you take anything from this article as to the quality of Skyline, and skip watching it, then we will call it an even draw. While I would love to rave about the special effects…. Special effects, a movie does not make. This is perhaps the best example of what happens with to much vision, and not enough writing.

The plot is the largest down fall for the entire film, and I do mean the entire film. For some utterly strange reason, we open up the film with a pretty cool scene. Where we see the giant blue balls of light come crashing down from up-on-high. Elaine (Scottie Thompson) wakes up thinking that it is morning, and immediately rushes to the bathroom to vomit. Coming back to bed, the room starts to shake, and Jarrod (Eric Balfour) wakes up. He starts to look out the window, when a scream comes from the next room, where Denise (Crystal Reed) is screaming that some douche just got sucked out the window.

Jarrod looks at the blue light, and starts to walk towards the window himself. A patchwork of black weaving interlacing itself over his face and arms. And then we cut to some 20 hours earlier, to find them sitting on a plane, on their way to visit their friend Terry out in LA. Terry is now a successful Hip Hop Artist, or movie star, or something which is not explained, that involves him working with an on screen robot, but listens to music that succicintly describes what he is doing at that particular moment (driving a ferrari).

Terry’s has a party. We watch the party. There is drama. They go to bed. AND THEN WE WATCH THE OPENING SCENE AGAIN. Seriously, when was the last time that you intentionally watched the same scene in a movie. It just didn’t make sense, and comes across as filler. But just as Jarrod is about to jump! Terry (Donald Faison aka ‘black scrubs’ [RLR86]) comes running in, and stops him from ‘heading for the light.’ The black marks immediately start to fade.

Then we start learning that aliens are taking over the planet. In a city of millions, the aliens very specifically want this group of 5 people. Seriously, the aliens keep specifically targeting their building, their room, and their actions. WTF.

Oh, and then the space vagina’s start attacking. Oh, and then we find out that now Jarrod has kept some of the ‘power’ that affected him earlier, and pulls some BS ‘you wouldn’t like me when I am angry’ hulk crap. Ergg, the film was just infuriating. It was like they were expecting these ‘amazing’ special effects to pull them through. When the truth of it is that the effects were themselves out of place. Sure they looked good, but they were over-done. Considering just how crap-tastic the acting, writing, plot and story were, it would be like remaking the original never ending story (with the same live action sequences) and spending a billion dollars to give Falcor life-like animated hair. We could have just as easily accepted cell animation, where we could see the outside edges of the cell where it was laid down on top of the film frame. (think Poochie going to his home planet in the Simpson’s)

It was bad. Really bad, and not in that ‘so bad it’s good’ kind of way. Just bad. I actually turned to my wife as soon as it was done, and said… I am sorry. Want to watch something else now? (it was almost 2 in the morning.) Skip Skyline. If you must watch it, just pour yourself a very stiff drink, and take a sip each time that the blue light sort-of-but-doesn’t-quite capture a person. Oh, and the actual ending? That was perhaps the worst most disjointed and non-sensical ending to a film I have seen

How painful was it: To think of the waste of CPU power that went into the rendering of the CGI. Many rain forests died to bring you this crap.

Rating: 2/10. pass. Multi-pass.

The Wife’s Retort: From earlier: They couldn’t think of anything better than glowing, brain-powered, vacuum cleaner space vagina’s?

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