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    Battleship (Movie Review)

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    mindspike
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    Battleship (Movie Review)

    Post  mindspike on May 19th 2012, 2:10 am

    Review of Battleship the movie for The Spirit Blade Underground
    by Winston Crutchfield

    The best thing about making a movie inspired by a turn-based naval warfare board game is that there are very few demands on the IP. The only baggage carried by the intellectual property is the design of the playing field and the memorable tagline, “You sank my battleship!” Nonetheless, someone has hacked together a story involving an alien invasion and the emergency recommissioning of the USS Missouri, a museum ship stationed in Hawaii. This is vital to the title of the film, as the US Navy has not used battleships as a mainstay of naval power since the Battle of Surigao Strait in 1944, where Pacific Theatre operations conclusively proved that warfare had shifted to favor the mobility of an air force, and that the destructive ability of modern weaponry had far outstripped the protective capability of modern armor. This at least is preserved in the film, as the aliens go on randomly destructive rampages solely for the purpose of demonstrating their fire superiority. This is so demoralizing that it leads the Secretary of Defense (or one of those blurry people) to pronounce the five alien ships “an extinction-level event.” Topping it all off is the repeated application of cringe-worthy science that can only be found in Hollywood – including dropping an anchor to slough a battleship to the side in order to bring a broadside to bear.

    Taylor Kitsch carried the film as Lt Alex Hopper, and the audience gets to follow his growth from slacker to commander, and the reluctant maturity that increasing responsibility forces upon him. Kitsch, and all the actors in this film, play to type – and stereotypes abound. We have the pop-star turned actress, the funny guy, the solid guy, the damaged veteran, the steadfast and doomed role model.... The list goes on, but that’s okay. No one expected this movies strong suit to be either the story or the characters. This film is about big guns, wicked advanced tech, and battles that devastate whole continental shelfs. No, wait, that’s the trailer for G.I. Joe: Retaliation.

    To be honest, the movie crawls through completely unneeded character setup and an exposition of how the aliens chose us as the target for their invasion. After the action starts, things hot up into a series of naval and armored engagements that would have been absolutely riveting, if we could see them. The whole film is shot on a hand-held shaky cam set to extreme close-up. Every now and then, it pulls back to let the audience see what’s going on in the movie, but most of the time the director seems to think that people want to be in the confusing thick of battle surrounded by 70s era rockabilly instead of watching breathtaking explosions from a safe distance to the pounding rhythm of heavy metal.

    Somewhere in all this mess are a few random statements about the Art of War that are almost completely non-sequitor, the lesson that old people and disabled people still have value, and let’s not forget the comparison of the aliens to the murdering Conquistadors and that evil opportunist Columbus, with the sole difference that unlike the innocent indigenous tribes of North and South America, we’ve got this coming to us. This statement is made no less than three times in the film, in a very pointed way.

    All in all, I found the movie not only unsatisfying for not delivering a naval warfare or even an alien warfare spectacle, but made nearly unwatchable by the poor cinematography and ludicrous treatment of elementary physics. This film doesn’t leave the audience with anything meaningful in the way of discussion topics, or even any desire to gush about the visceral viewing experience this movie clearly isn’t. After watching Battleship, all I really want to do is forget the movie, break out my red and blue plastic cases, and erase the experience of the film with a satisfying, “B-12.” “You sank my Battleship!” while John Wayne guns down Imperialist Japanese aggressors in the background.

    Battleship is rated PG-13 for elements of sci-fi violence and some harsh language.
    I give it a Quality rating of 6.5, and a Relevance of 6.0.

    Read Winston’s five-point review of Battleship and other media at Critical Press Media.


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    Re: Battleship (Movie Review)

    Post  Paeter on May 20th 2012, 12:27 am

    Thanks again, Winston! I loved using it on the show this weekend! And once I'm back from my trip I'll post your review on the official blog and SBU archives.


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    WhiteBoy
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    Re: Battleship (Movie Review)

    Post  WhiteBoy on May 20th 2012, 2:45 am

    Thanks for taking one for the team Mindspike. Smile


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    Re: Battleship (Movie Review)

    Post  Nathan James Norman on May 20th 2012, 7:46 pm

    So I want to know . . . how many people were in the theater? I love being in a movie theater with just my friends . . . and giving it the Mystery Science Theater treatment.

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    Re: Battleship (Movie Review)

    Post  DNArington on May 21st 2012, 12:33 am

    Too bad, I was hoping for Transformers style effects only with a (slightly) better story. Sad

    Here is a link I found funny on this topic:

    Five boardgames that would have made better movies than Battleship: http://moviepilot.com/398309-5-board-games-that-would-make-better-movies-than-battleship?stream=latest

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    Re: Battleship (Movie Review)

    Post  Rickster on May 21st 2012, 1:57 am

    The movie flopped so I'm curious how/if it will affect the monopoly movie that is being

    mindspike
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    Re: Battleship (Movie Review)

    Post  mindspike on May 21st 2012, 4:50 pm

    Nathan James Norman wrote:So I want to know . . . how many people were in the theater? I love being in a movie theater with just my friends . . . and giving it the Mystery Science Theater treatment.
    That would have been fairly awesome. There were less than a dozen people in the theater, but that's probably because I went to the 10am showing.


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    Re: Battleship (Movie Review)

    Post  cleireac on May 22nd 2012, 4:51 pm

    Wait...I'm a little confused. Did anyone say the line "You sank my battleship!" anywhere in the film? 'Cause unless they did, it ain't Battleship.

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    Re: Battleship (Movie Review)

    Post  mindspike on May 22nd 2012, 10:10 pm

    The famous tagline, "You sank my battleship!" was never uttered in the movie. Nor was anything resembling uttered. At the climactic moment of the movie, when they prepare to blast the alien command ship with those legendary 16 inch guns, the order given is not even "Fire for effect!", but instead "Take that you motherf----!"

    Get your hands on a copy of American Warships by the Asylum. It is superior in every way.


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    Re: Battleship (Movie Review)

    Post  Paeter on June 4th 2012, 5:09 pm

    Bummer. So I'm guessing no one ever targeted their enemy for attack by listing a letter followed by a number.


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