Battleship (2012)

battleship-pic-1Roze-Rating: 3.5 / 5

Based on the board game, Battleship explores the concept of the game while adding an extraterrestrial edge. Alex Hopper (Taylor Kitsch) is your stereotypical screw up who doesn’t take any responsibility, until an incident involving a chicken Burrito and an exceptionally attractive girl forces his brother to push him into the Navy. Despite seemingly finding his niche, his careless ways hold him back from excelling in his field of work. It takes the threat of an Alien attack on earth to reassess his ways and work at his full potential to save the world.

I can totally understand why this would be hated by a lot of critics and people who like films with a bit more substance because there is a lot wrong with this film. Despite the problems it actually ended up surprising me a lot in terms of its concept and premise. When I heard that it was based on the board game I instantly thought “bull sh*t”, I didn’t see how the Alien apocalypse genre would be able to incorporate the board game. But after watching it, I am not ashamed to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. Of course that is probably largely due to the low expectations I had of it. Granted if I had went in expecting a lot out of it I would probably be smashing the film.

The film started off with the right intentions, purposely trying to be fun and light hearted, which is what this film is all about. The characters they introduced were likeable and set up favorable characters for us to root for. The premise is also quite smart, they could have easily tried to use the board game idea with a less thrilling idea, but that being said the execution is what made the difference between an awesome film and a so so film. The main character driving the film is Alex Hopper played by Taylor Kitsch, a well written character with relatable characteristics. It would be quite hard too hate the guy, unless your driven to jealousy after seeing Brooklyn Decker doing her thing. Ultimately the plot of Battleship is commendable since everyone likes an Alien invasion and the way they used the Battleship board game concept ended up being quite smart and believable.

Something that let the film down a lot was the acting, I didn’t understand some of the castings especially for such a big budget film, you’d think they’d go all out. For example Gregory D. Gadson, I understand that he’s never had experience and he’s a Former US Army soldier but he just didn’t suit the character at all. One specific scene at the end is just ridiculous especially in the condition and shape he was in, it went over the line of acceptable. Rihanna was also slightly miscast, I thought her role was slightly too big for a person lacking acting experience, which was evident in some scenes, but that being said, she was surprisingly good. Despite from a couple of let downs in that department, I thought Taylor Kitsch was freaking bad ass, he’s obviously extremely talented because he was amazing in all his films this year. Hopefully he moves on to films with better scripts. Brooklyn Decker was also pretty good, she’s come a long way since Just Go With It, and showed some grit.

Lastly the effects used throughout this film are exceptional at most, but you could quite easily tell they got lazy with some parts. I think with the budget they had, they should really try make the most of every resource properly, and half assing some scenes wont make this a hit like they wanted it to be. There are also some scenes which logically don’t make sense, for example a scene where two characters seem to unnecessarily walk to the top of a sinking ship to jump off. The action was still pretty thrilling, especially the parts where the Board Game stuff comes to use, and a shoot-out at the end. If they would have kept to that standard of action then it would have been a perfectly epic action flick, but there isn’t enough adrenaline pumping scenes to reach that accolade.

Total Recall (2012)

colin-farrell-total-recallRoze-Rating: 3.5 / 5

This film is a remake of the same titled 1990 version starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, which achieved raving reviews. I haven’t seen the original version but from research the remake covers most of the events which take place in the original, except for a significant mars scene. The remake also focuses more on the political side of the story. It takes place at the end of the 21st century after a nuclear war had broken out affecting almost the whole earth, leaving only “The United Federation of Britain (UFB)” and “The Colony”. This nuclear outbreak prompted the governments to build a gravitational elevator which transports people from one side of the earth to the other, so that workers can be used within the UFB. One worker Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell), is extremely unhappy with his life, despite having a loving wife, he still seeks a way to escape his lifestyle and live his dreams, motivating himself even more to visit “Rekall”; a solution for his problem. The procedure goes terribly wrong and Quaid finds himself in a world that he may regret wishing for.

This film suffers from being a remake, which explains a lot of the negativity surrounding it. If its predecessor never existed then this would be a pretty solid but regular blockbuster film, which is why I have rated it “3.5 / 5″, which could rightly be a lot different had I watched the original. That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed a few aspects of the film, which I can safely assume improved upon the original, such as the special effects, action and filming.

The special effects helped create a whole new world which was quite frankly awesome to look at, it truly looked like a post apocalyptic world, with seemingly floating buildings and magnetic cars moving with no wheels. The fact that they could create the look of this fictional setting with a genuine slum tone and a coherent style was magic to my eyes. This aspect of the film, ultimately sets up the rest of the film in terms of action sequences and atmosphere.

The action was easily the best part of this film, making it a lot of fun to watch since it wasn’t your typical gun fight, fist fight or human fight. The war zones were infested with robot killers and people dressed in robot looking gear which you could instantly tell was going to be unique compared to your average blockbuster. The best scene will have to be the elevator scene, giving it a real comic sensation, where your getting main characters switching from elevator to elevator trying not to get crushed. The main cast were exceptional with their action sequences, especially Kate Beckinsale, who has proved time and time again that she can take on gritty action chick characters from her roles in “Underworld”.

Aiding the relentless action was the sharp camera work and it’s movement, which gave it a futuristic look. This was appropriate since the contraption Quain used seemed very video game like, and that’s exactly how the film felt. For instance the way the camera would quickly sway from one kill to the other and the zero gravity action scenes. It made the sequences a lot more exciting and engaging to watch.

The plot is very complex and it leaves a lot of room for an elaborate psychological game to inhabit the film and it’s characters as well as the audience. The reason for this is because I found that I was constantly second-guessing myself after a certain event would take place, and I went from one opinion to another then back again. If done correctly this would have been a pretty great film, but they were extremely safe with it. The dialogue was too literal, and you found yourself listening to a character practically explaining every single significant occurrence which affected the storyline. This made it a lot easier to understand, but it wasn’t subtle or mysterious and took away a lot of the fun that could have come with it. It also felt unrealistic as characters would spend quite awhile just explaining. A clear example of this would be at the start with Kate Beckinsale’s character, when she confronts Quiad, which didn’t make sense anyway.

A lot of potential was lost with that one little lost opportunity, but other than that better than average blockbuster Sci-Fi flick, with top quality action. Popcorn stuff.