Saturday, December 10, 2011

REVIEW: Skyline (2010)

Co-written with Tzeentch and Sol.

Since this movie was released, it has garnered seemingly nothing but vitriolic hatred. Being a curious nonbiased party, I decided to check it out and see what all the hate was about. And here is what resulted:

Director: The Brothers Strause
Starring: Eric Balfour, Scottie Thompson, David Zayas

The film starts off appropriately enough with a chick getting out of bed and vomiting into a toilet, which is the feeling we’ll all probably have after this is over. Notice that she’s vomiting, which means she’ll be our main character – as opposed to taking a shower, which would have simply meant she was gonna die first. It being a horror flick, and all.

Then we get her boyfriend looking into some blue lights and getting veins all over his face, a phenomenon which will surely not get him into the Fashion Club for Men, despite the fact that otherwise, he looks like a model. Because this whole scene made so much sense, the movie decides to pull us back ’15 hours earlier,’ when people could still ride in planes!

Ah the good old days *sniff*

They talk about some stupid shit and then we see that they’re arriving to party with people in bathing suits, as they meet Jarrod’s friend Terry – who I’m pretty sure is actually his secret gay lover. I mean, these two putzes act completely all over each other the entire flick. It’s borderline parody. Not to mention they both look like they could be on the cover of this month’s issue of a gay pride magazine. Add that to the fact that they pay more attention to each other than to their girlfriends and you have a silly, poorly written cast of characters.

Friends or more than friends? YOU DECIDE!

So it’s set up that Terry wants Jarrod to come work with him at…unspecified business…in LA. But Jarrod doesn’t want to, because his life back home sucks, and what would he do about his girlfriend? Uh…well, gee, you blithering idiot, how about MOVE TO LA AND TAKE THE DAMN JOB. YOU’LL MAKE MORE MONEY AND HAVE A BETTER LIFE. Why would you EVER choose living in a crappy, barely-getting-by lifestyle at home over a unique opportunity like this?! I mean…how can I spell this out any clearer??? Take the job!

But it’s OK, because this plot thread will never be brought up again. No, seriously. Oh well. Might as well just keep watching the half-assed 90210 rip-offs this movie seems to be addicted to.

Woohoo, partying and bikinis! Fun in real life. Not so much to watch in a supposed thriller.

So then Jarrod’s girlfriend reveals that she is pregnant, and they both partake in some boring dialogue that could have very well been an ad for contraceptives. Because…that’s what I want to see in a horror movie.

After that they all just kind of pass out, until they wake up to the blue lights, and the first scene is repeated all over again. Joy! Because the terrible acting, TV-movie picture quality and lack of tension works SO WELL when you just repeat the same damn scene twice in 20 minutes! This time we do get to see what happens afterwards, though, as Jarrod’s veiny eye thing is cured in a matter of seconds and he gets back to normal again. Then we get to see truly heartbreaking problems like Terry’s girlfriend finding out that he’s cheating on her! Gasp! Stop the alien invasions, WE CAN’T HAVE ANYONE CHEATING ON THEIR GIRLFRIENDS!

Oh man, look at those epic lights and those ominous dark clouds...this is some really serious stuff! Let's---wait, wait, wait...hold on...
HE WAS CHEATING ON HER? Well screw the aliens, THIS is clearly where we should be focusing our movie-watching.

So they all decide to make a break for it and run outside. Terry and the chick he was cheating with get into one car because Terry’s girlfriend won’t let them into hers…seriously, does this chick KNOW what’s going on? Does she even pay attention? YOUR LIVES ARE AT STAKE, YOU STUPID…ugh, forget it. Luckily Terry and the chick he was cheating with both get killed seconds later, so the whole plot thread was pointless. Yay!

I mean…uh…yeah, it was stupid. This movie is messing with my brain.

Also I give this movie the award for the quickest sub-plot ever introduced and subsequently dropped. They meet this other random couple in the parking lot who argue about whether or not to go with them. The guy doesn’t want to, and so the main characters move on without them. Five minutes later he gets eaten, and so the girl teams up with them…only for HER to get eaten too, once they’re outside! God. This movie is about as coherent as a splatter painting by the 8-armed goddess Shiva.

Then they meet Detective Angel Batista from Dexter, because lord knows HE didn’t have anything better to be doing at the time…must have been during Dexter’s off-season.

"Where's my dignity?!"

He plays the very important function of ‘guy to foil Jarrod’s idiotic plans for the rest of the movie, because none of the other idiots could do that even with this movie’s poor, flimsy writing. And once they get back to the hotel, they pretty much just go back to exactly what they were doing before they left – arguing, whining and moping, with the occasional break for looking out the window at the blue alien light thingys. Woohoo?

So yeah, most of the rest of the movie is literally just these morons arguing about whether or not to go outside. I’m not even exaggerating, that’s pretty much all you get. It’s pretty much like this:

JERROD: Oh, I think we should go back outside, because even though like 3 people died last time, things CAN’T POSSIBLY go wrong again! This time we’ll…uh…well, just listen to me!

BATISTA: No, and you will listen to my raspy Spanish accent!

Oh, except when we get shots of the worst CGI since the Langoliers with the movie’s aliens:

Yeah, I really don't believe that's actually "there." Sorry movie.

So yeah, the military comes in and bombs the hell out of the alien ships, which does nothing, basically. But then later on when the humans confront them, the aliens are defeated with bricks and the humans’ own fists. This may seem like stupid writing, but…no, I got nothing. It is stupid writing.

The movie ends with humanity enslaved inside the alien ship and Jarrod becoming one of them, although betraying them to save his girlfriend and her baby. It’s very confusing, not explained much at all and mostly comes off as silly with horrible special effects…but thank God it’s over!

I hate to go along with everyone else’s opinion BUUUUT this movie just sucks. The characters are crap, the story is confusing and poorly explained, the special effects are awful and you just never buy it. You never really believe there’s any alien abduction happening; it’s just sloppy. The whole thing just feels like one of those SyFy channel original movies most of the time. But hey, what are we supposed to expect when the movie is directed by people known for special effects wizardry (as the Brothers Strause are mostly known for the effects of movies like Avatar and 300)? This is crap. If you have a chance to see it, don't, and that's really all there is to it.