Travel: Our Macau/Hong Kong Getaway (6D/6N)!

Follow our 6 day, 6 night adventure in these lands of amazing food, awesome culture and astounding sights. See how we ate, shopped and laughed our way through Macau and Hong Kong! :)

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Movie Review: World Invasion: Battle Los Angeles (2011)

World Invasion: Battle Los Angeles

So Dad managed to scrounge 2 free tickets from somewhere (I never ask him where he gets such things; the answer is always "from a friend") and gave them to me over the weekend. Of course the natural thing now is to ask Wendy to go, even though I know she won't exactly be jumping over the moon at the thought of watching a movie about guns and fighting and shooting and aliens.Good thing the tickets were free, or else I don't think I could have convinced her to watch it! It was a Monday night movie, and the tickets said free seating. Actually there were seat numbers but we weren't aware of it until other people started asking how come we were in their seats. Lucky thing we realized the problem early and I could solve it before the movie started, or else it would have been a real pain.

Before I start the review though, here's a quick compliment to the seats in Cineleisure at E@Curve. Even though we got bumped to 2 rows from the screen, it was actually fine, if not better, than the original top row seats that we had. Compare that to the front row seats we had at GSC Tropicana City Mall last Friday, where we nearly broke our necks trying to watch The Adjustment Bureau; I will NEVER recommend anyone to sit front row at that cinema. Better to save your money for another movie / day.

The movie is based loosely around a group of Marines sent to Los Angeles with the task of helping in the evacuation of residents after unidentified meteors start landing all over the world. Mankind quickly realizes that they are no ordinary meteors however when alien troops begin to descend from the so-called meteors and attack the city. This becomes an unexpected twist in the mission of the Marines as they prepare to carry out their mission. Thus the movie follows the Marines as they fight to save the lives of a handful of civilians which they managed to find.

Lots of impressive sky shots.

Of course, there are mini back-stories between members of the Marine team which slowly come to light as the movie progresses. The show stars Aaron Eckhart (Who also did 2-Face in Dark Knight), Michelle Rodriguez (Who has done plenty other crash-slam-bang-bang movies in the past! Avatar! SWAT! Fast & Furious!) and Ne-Yo! (Who is admittedly more famous for singing than acting..=p)

Michelle Rodriguez, who seems to be the only capable female of kicking-butt in Hollywood.

Ain't no R&B in this movie. Ne-Yo takes on a geeky Marine who was on the verge of marriage.

In my opinion, end-of-the-world movies always follow a similar pattern: 1) a short introduction of the different characters portraying them going about their everyday lives, 2) an unexpected event occurs that breaks the ordinary routine, 3) mass panic becomes to ensue, 4) people die, bodies fly, but our heroes somehow manage to survive against all odds and emerge victorious, with various heart-breaking scenes when some important cast members are killed off along the way.

Battle Los Angeles is no different from the 4 steps just described. However the fighting scenes are not done in an overly dramatic way; ala Rambo style where everyone dies but somehow the heroes can dodge bullets. Nor are the emo scenes too cliched or cheesy, where even the tears look so fake and the desperate attempt to achieve some emotional attachment with the characters leaves viewers sniggering in their seats. No, Battle Los Angeles has actually managed to carve out a nice mix of action and drama, which can leave you on the edge of your seats at times, and also holding back a tear from rolling down your cheek at others.

Aaron Eckhart seems to be one of the few who can flit easily from genre to genre.

The mini back-stories, although predictable and nothing new, do help to give more depth to the characters, especially the male lead played by Eckhart. He does a good job portraying a gritty veteran with that been-there-done-that experience which he tries to use to help his Marines under him, who are just seeing combat for the first time. Although Eckhart's character is the oldest with the most experience, he has the rank of staff sergeant, or second-in-command to the lieutenant in the movie. This creates an interesting balance as on one hand he tries to keep the grunts in line while at the same time giving advise and encouragement to his superior who is fresh out of officer school.

Los Angeles in ruins.

If I had to pick the things I liked most about the show, it would have to be the never-say-die attitude of the Marines as they fight their way across the town. The teamwork and camaraderie amongst them is also a heartwarming feeling against a backdrop of chaos and violence. But what I found most enjoyable was the discipline that the lead character displayed, reminding his charges to always remember their training, while putting into practice what he had been taught as well. It's lessons like that which are also applicable in real life scenarios that really score points for me in a movie, and this one has done it very well.

That's some scary shit right there.

So to sum it up, it's not hard to see why Battle LA is at the number 1 spot on the US movie charts. We've been lacking a good war-and-chaos movie for awhile now, but the wait is finally over. The fact that aliens are the invading force just makes it even better because it's more unpredictable! Overall I give this a 4/5, and I recommend all of you to watch it too!

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