Movie Monday: Skyline

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Skyline is an Alien Invasion movie set in Los Angeles and follows a small group of people who are trying to avoiding being sucked up into the alien ships by a big blue light.

If you have been reading this blog for a while you will know that I’ve ranted about this movie before. It has so much potential and its all thrown away. It is full of clichés, Pregnant women, stuck up girlfriend whose boyfriend is sleeping with his assistant, aliens with superior weapons. The dialogue is quite ropy and shallow as well.

I try not to be too negative in general but sometimes it cannot be avoided. I wont criticize the performance of the actors who I would imagine if you watch TV series Like Scrubs and 24 you will at least recognise two of the male characters. When I’ve seen these actors in other things they hold their own quite well, but I believe that stronger actors were needed, someone who could take hold of the scenes and make you care for them. In the credits Jared Leto gets a special thank you mention, Why could he have not been in it? Or Karl Urban or, hell there are many actors who could capture the viewer’s attention which is what the movie needed. As viewers we need to care for the characters and here I did not in any way, shape or form. The tension that is created never quite filtered through to me. A lot seemed to be manufactured tension between the characters and not natural.

The actors were not just to blame though. The script could have been much stronger, giving the characters a little more for the actors to work with would make a good start (Some more back story would have been nice). If I remember correctly this is the second film that the directors made, the other being the second Alien vs Predator movie, Requiem I think it was called. I was not especially impressed with that one either. So I think maybe a little lack of experience played a big part here.

Good points? The visuals are generally breathtaking! I believe that the directors are CGI people and if the rumours are true then they spent a lot of money on the CGI. The aliens and their spacecraft are really easy on the eye. They make the aliens look very real and some of the camera placement is spot on (When two characters are on the roof of the apartment block and the alien ship comes out of a cloud, that is a perfect camera shot in my opinion).

I’ve heard two different rumours about the budget that the movie had. One is that the CGI cost 10 million dollars and the live action sequences cost 500,000 dollars. The other rumour is that the CGI cost 20 million dollars and the live action sequences cost 500,000 dollars. Either way, too little was spent on the live sequences. A lot of the film was apparently shot in the directors apartment, and the surrounding complex by the looks of it. That, in my opinion, is the movies biggest failing. There was too much emphases on the computer generated stuff and not enough on the live scenes. A little more time spent on the script would have been nice too. It is very rare that a movie which depends on the CGI works (Avatar is one of the exceptions, although the plot could have been stronger there too).

This is the movie with a Hollywood budget, but with a B-List mentality.

I have had the odd rant here and there about this movie before, but that is because I really wanted this movie to fulfill its potential. It could have been a great, but it fell flat.

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