Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Brain Candy


Skyline, written by Joshua Cordes and Liam O'Donnell, directed by The Strause Brothers, starring Eric Balfour (Jarrod), Scottie Thompson (Elaine) and David Zayas (Oliver) (2010): I guess the directors of this film were originally visual effects guys, and the selling point of this movie was that it was made for the princely sum of $10 million despite having something on the order of 800 visual effects shots in it. Huzzah! Too bad about the writing.

Unlikeable couple Jarrod and Elaine visit friends in Los Angeles. The morning after a drunken party, aliens invade and start vacuuming people up into their garbage-pile-shaped ships. The aliens' primary abduct-humans machine is a hypnotic light that makes people develop black veins where there were no veins before just prior to their abduction. Various shenanigans ensue.

Did I mention that our unlikeable protagonists are in a high-rise apartment building so they can watch the invasion as it unfolds? Did I also mention that there's a hilarious anti-smoking scene at a point where only an idiot would be worried about somebody smoking? Or that nuking a large portion of Los Angeles doesn't result in clouds blocking out the sun?

Why are the aliens here? Well, based on what I can piece together from the movie, these aliens don't actually have their own brains. They steal them from other species. I'd love to know what ingenious alien genetic engineer thought that was a good idea. Even though the aliens we see only make 'gronking' sounds and various hisses and wheezes, they're apparently an advanced star-faring civilization. Either that or they stole a lot of spaceships and then got really lucky.

In any event, people do really stupid things and then either die or get vacuumed up. The aliens aren't much better, coming as they do from a civilization that's impervious to nuclear explosions but susceptible to fire, rocks, axes, car crashes and gunfire. One group of alien harvesters looks like the robot-squids from the Matrix movies; the other is essentially the StayPuft Marshmallow Man with a spider grafted to his face. To up the creative ante, the movie ends on a cliffhanger. Then you think the story's going to end in the series of stills played with the end credits. But it doesn't. That ends on a cliffhanger too. Yay! Maybe a Skyline 2 will come out! Recommended only for hilarity at the general ineptitude.

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