Sunday, January 30, 2011

Battlefield Earth

2.4 out of 10, #84 on the Bottom 100 ( 2% Certified Rotten ( 9 out of 100 (
                Nominated for 8 and won 7 Golden Raspberry Awards in 2001, taking home the trophies for Worst Picture, Worst Director, Worst Screenplay, Worst Actor (John Travolta), Worst Supporting Actor (Barry Pepper), Worst Supporting Actress (Kelly Preston) and Worst On-Screen Couple (Travolta and anyone sharing the screen with him). Won the Razzie for Worst Drama of Our First 25 Years in 2005 and the Razzie for Worst Picture of the Decade in 2010. Travolta was nominated for Worst Actor of the Decade for his performance in the film, but did not win.
                               Battlefield Earth is “a cross between Star Wars and the smell of ass.” Jon Stewart, The Daily Show 

                In the year 3000, Earth has been conquered by a dreadlocked alien species that is sadly not the same dreadlocked alien species which once did battle with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Whereas that species liked cloaking devices and wrist-mounted atomic weapons, this one prefers to constantly bicker amongst themselves and erode their power by randomly backstabbing each other. It’s up to one man to pull humanity back from the brink of extinction and lead the charge against their other worldly oppressors. Or he could just sit back and finish letting them self-destruct on their own.

                I went into Battlefield Earth a very content and jovial young man. My spirits were high. Not only because of the fact that, in a few short hours, I would be basking in the glow of the very best the NHL has to offer. Not just that. You see, last night I got to bask in the glow of the very best that the chain- restaurant world. That’s right, last night i partook of the wonderful Buffalo Chicken Fajitas from Chili’s. If you’ve never experienced this delight, I urge you to indulge. Little bits of bacon on top of a breaded chicken breast, smothered in buffalo sauce served with fajita shells. It’s as if Mr. Winfred Q. Chili himself used his psychic powers to peek inside my mind for the perfect food.
I don’t even remember what I was supposed to be talking about.
Oh right, Battlefield Earth. At first, I was concerned that my pleasant mood might skewer my ratings, but thankfully this movie is so god-awful that it wasn’t an issue. Too poorly acted, poorly written and directed to be called a good movie and too long, plodding and boring to be enjoyed on a campy level, Battlefield Earth literally has nothing going for it.
Travolta hams it up, decked out in a ridiculous wig, silly makeup and pair of platform boots that would make his Saturday Night Fever self green with envy. Normally, Travolta’s overacting would be more than enough to at least make a movie entertaining, but even that isn’t enough to rescue the meandering script, cheesy-but-not-in-a-fun-way special effects and lame supporting cast.
Battlefield Earth allegedly cost $73 million to produce, some of which came out of Travolta’s own pocket as the noted Scientologist sought to bring the novel by the religion’s founder, L. Ron Hubbard, to life. Where the money went, is hard to determine. I would guess that roughly half went to the wig budget. The rest of it was either burned or spent on Buffalo Chicken Fajitas for the cast and crew. It certainly wasn’t used for the film’s effects or editing, which both seem to have been done by an eighth grader on Windows Movie Maker. Seriously, how does a $73 million Hollywood movie have jump cuts in it? I made (internet) movies with zero dollar budgets that didn’t have jump cuts!
The movie runs slightly less than two hours, but it only feels like a lifetime. Sometime during the second act, you will start counting down the minutes until it mercifully, thankfully ends. Well before that time, you will also likely wonder just how the malevolent aliens, called Psychlos, were able to conquer Earth in nine minutes and hold on to it for a thousand years. They all seem to hate each other and the only time any of them really interact at all is when they are betraying one and other. How could these clowns possibly coordinate a full scale planetary invasion?
Really? It's the year 3000 and horses are STILL carrying humans around. Looks like those horse rights groups aren't doing their job.
It's Viggo Mortensen's half brother, Mortimer Mortensen!
I'm confused. Are they supposed to be walking down hill? Why is the camera tilted? 
Hey look Amy Winehouse is in this movie!
:25- Going to hell? Really? Aliens believe in hell, huh? That’s disappointing.
Yes even fearsome alien warlords will resort to prat falls.
Oh great, a lock of Barry Pepper's hair, just what I've always wanted.
1:18- Big fan of the word “smelt.” More words need an “s” at the front of them. Or should I say, at the sfront of them?
1:20- Wait, what happened to their heavy set companion from earlier? Viggo’s half brother Mortimer survives, but that other guy up and disappears?
1:27- This guy is going to fire his wives? Aliens can do that? Not too shabby.
1:35- Apparently all it takes to mold what is essentially a caveman into a world class fighter pilot is a week in a simulator.
1:44- Is it bad that I had no idea what this dome thing that everyone kept talking about was until they actually blew it up?
Geez, for a guy who just had his arm blown off, Travolta is pretty calm.
 1:47- Ah yes, our heroes just blew up the Psychlo home planet, killing innocent alien men, alien women, alien children, alien peace-loving hippies, who are ironically the only ones on the planet without dread locks. Good message sent there Hubbard. If some are evil, blow up the whole group.
Wow, it's like the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark, if that movie had sucked...
So there it is… Battlefield Earth.
Bumblebee tuna.     

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