Monday, April 19, 2010

Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000

I know, I wasn't aware this movie had a subtitle either, especially one so horrendously bad.

Battlefield Earth is a movie widly viewed as the worse ever made. I haven't seen this movie since a couple years after it came out, which was ten years ago now. I remember watching it and liking it, but this was also during a time period when I was on a lot of vicodin due to a recent surgery. Besides watching Battlefield Earth and thinking it was awesome, I also played Animal Crossing for a month straight and cried while watching Joe Dirt over and over again. I also apparently slept sitting up while talking, the memory of which still gives my mom the creeps. The point is, I was a little messed up, so perhaps I am offering that up as an excuse as to why I liked a movie so many others absolutely hate. I am actually a little worried that I might still like it, and that scares me the most. Besides land sharks.

117 minutes later:
Yeah...maybe it's not so awesome.

The plot goes as follows: In the year 3000, man is an endangered species. What is left of the population have all reverted back to a caveman like state. The people are all dirty and have long hair, and use phrases like "Piece of cake", which is odd to me, because according to this movie cake is probably even more endangered than man, so the chances of anyone even knowing what cake is anymore is beyond me. Anyway, the people are all cavemen, and are convinced the stars are gods watching them, and they turned every human into statues. Then some monsters show up who are aliens, and they all laugh in a very snarky way. The aliens enslave the humans, and eventually let a particularily brave human played by Barry Pepper, who was the fucking sweet-ass sniper from Saving Private Ryan, learn their ways. He finds out the aliens kicked the humans' asses a long time ago, and he also finds out about the aliens themselves and figures out a way to beat them. The humans all stage a riot, and figure out a way to destroy the aliens' home planet and save their own.

It's weird, I almost want to thank the makers of this movie for making it 117 minutes long. But that's because if it wasn't shot so bad, it would have been a whole lot fucking longer than that. There is no concept of time in this movie. There is a part where Barry Pepper is trying to rally his fellow knuckle draggers and teach them the ways of war. In only seven goddamn days, he teaches them algebra, how to operate complex mining equipment to be used in alternative ways, and oh yeah, not to mention he teaches a whole gang of cavemen how to fly fucking Harrier Jets. No goddamn way. They flew them really well too, reminded me of Independence Day. Welcome to Earf, indeed.

Another thing that boggles the mind is John Travolta in this movie. This is his movie, he wanted to make it and be the star and what have you, but he is easily the worst part of the movie. He overacts, sometimes has a weird British accent thing going on, and substitutes other opportunities to act with bouts of maniacal laughter. Yeah cool dude, you want to play the villian, but you need to at least make your character likable, even if it's in the character you love to hate kind of way. He just plays the biggest douche, and it's hard to care about anything he is doing.

One bright spot for me was motherfucking Ghost Dog himself, Forest Whitaker. While he didn't really get a chance to add much substance to the film, he did manage to really look like Chewbacca in his make-up, and that made me smile.

During the end credits, I discovered that the movie is based on an L. Ron Hubbard novel. Hubbard is the shithead behind Scientology, and finding out this was based on his book brought the movie down an additional couple of notches too. I should have known though, damn Travolta and Tom Cruise always trying to get people to like Scientology.

From what I remember, Battlefield Earth was supposed to be an incredibly expensive movie, and after watching it, I gotta wonder where all the money went to. None of the costumes are that impressive, half the movie is filmed in locations like dairy barns and factories, and all the major battles are done using miniature models of buildings and super crappy CGI airplane battles. It looked less like a big budget movie and more like an episode of Stargate.

The last thing that I am having trouble with is the way they portrayed human civilization in the future. When you think of how far the human race came in 1000 years, to think that Aliens attacking us now, and as a result in 1000 years we will all regress to a primitive state, that just doesn't sound believable.

In conclusion, after viewing this movie again for the first time in about 8 years, I can't say that I hate it. The premise of the movie, although paced badly and ridiculous, was pretty cool. It was just the acting, the plot, and the special effects that make me say Fuck This Movie.

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