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[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=6831[/img]

Title: Battle: Los Angeles
Starring: Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodriguez, Ramon Rodriguez and Bridget Moynahan
Directed by: Jonathan Liebesman
Written by: Christopher Bertolini
Studio: Sony
Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 116 Minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: 6/14/2011


Movie: :4stars:
Video: :5stars:
Audio: :5stars:
Extras: :3stars:
Overall: :5stars:


Synopsis:
Marine Staff Sergeant Michael Nantz (Eckhart) has been called back into action just hours after turning in his resignation. His assignment is to serve as platoon Sergeant to Lt. William Martinez (R. Rodriguez), a rookie Lieutenant fresh out of officer training. The mission was initially to co-ordinate a mass evacuation of Los Angeles from the impending fallout of a meteor storm however; things take a different turn when the meteors slow down as they impact off the coast of major cities around the world and an alien army emerges from the ocean decimating everything in their path. Now it is up to a group of Marines to rescue a group of stranded civilians and get them outside of the blast radius of the military’s planned strike on the city of angels in an effort to turn the tide in the alien’s colonization of our planet.

I loved Battle: Los Angeles. I found it very entertaining and exciting. I have read several reviews that have panned this alien invasion action movie and to those I simply say; grow up. Battle: Los Angeles is a science fiction/military action movie on the grandest scale. The battles in the movie are epic, the firefights are realistic and the action is full throttle. This is an A/V fanatic’s purpose for living and a bass heads dream come true! An ear and eye candy extravaganza that will is unapologetic and everything that the trailers promise to be.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=6832[/img]


The story isn’t complicated and works perfectly for what the filmmakers were trying to achieve. In my opinion this is by far the best action oriented alien invasion movie I have EVER seen and many factors aided me in my conclusion. First and foremost, the military in this movie isn't weak. One of the things I have a problem with in movies such as ‘Independence Day’ and ‘Stargate’ is that the military often comes off as being wimpy and unable to combat the alien foe in an intergalactic fisticuffs however; this one plays out much more like the Marines in ‘Aliens’. The Marines are tough as nails and failure is not an option. Second, the battle scenes give a sense that the entire planet is truly in peril and while the focus is on this group of Marines running through the streets of Los Angeles, they are not alone in their fight for survival. Lastly, you will find no MACBook Pro interfacing with an alien craft here. While the movie’s plot is pure fantasy, the response to the threat seems plausible and other than the before mentioned plot factor, Battle: Los Angeles doesn’t require an incredible amount of suspending disbelief in order to make the battle scenarios work.

[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=6833[/img]
The alien design in the movie initially seemed a little generic, but the more I looked at the design I noticed that the armor resembles that of a Nazi storm trooper and that the generic look is actually more from them all looking the same , i.e. in uniform, which is what one would actually expect from an invading army. The structural design of the alien command center borrows from the mother ship from District 9 however; that is about the only commonality that these movies share. Battle: Los Angeles has far more in common with Black Hawk Down than it does your typical alien invasion movie and for me was a welcomed change to the regurgitated movies that have been coming out lately.

This new Battle: Los Angeles Bluray is easily at the top of my “go to” list from now on and is a very entertaining and fun movie to watch. The special effects and cinematography in Battle: Los Angeles absolutely needs to be seen to be appreciated. The filmmakers did an absolutely phenomenal job of creating a realistic looking planetary invasion in the middle of Los Angeles. The scenes are so accurately represented that I would caution against letting anyone under the age of 13 watching because of the surreal and frightening images of an alien race trying to colonize the Earth.



Rating:
Rated PG-13 for sustained and intense sequences of war violence and destruction, and for language

Video: :5stars:
What is there to say but BRAVO! The 1080P AVC-1 transfer for Battle Los Angeles is in every way a reference level presentation. The resolution is not only razor sharp with an indescribable amount of detail, but it is hands down the finest live action Bluray presentation I have seen since Avatar. Sony knocked it out of the park, the city, the state and into the stratosphere with this one. Black levels are infinite and inky with striking shadow delineation that gives the transfer flawless depth. Color reproduction is a bit tricky because the general destruction of a city leads to more earth tones due to the amount of dust and rubble than it does to a broad or vibrant color palette. I could not spot an iota of digital artifacting, noise or anything with this presentation that appeared to be out of place; this transfer is flawless!





Audio: :5stars:
But it doesn’t stop with the video kiddos! The DTS-HD-MA is equally impressive and is every bit the reference level quality as the video. This is an extremely dynamic audio presentation… If you love bass! The LFE is insane and my partner in crime (Mr. Upton) and I agree that there is some 10Hz stuff going on here! I am sure I will get some flak for this, but I enjoyed the overall audio presentation on Battle: Los Angeles more than I did for Tron. The surround channels are assaulted by a visceral onslaught of gunfire, explosions and sheer chaos that envelopes just about every scene of this movie. The amount of detail that can be heard throughout the mix is overwhelming and the imaging that is produced by the shifting sound stage has few rivals. In my opinion, the audio for Battle: Los Angeles is the perfect action demo material. Dialogue reproduction is perfectly balanced throughout the scores of battle scenes and did not once get lost in the pandemonium.



Extras: :3stars:
  • Behind the scenes
  • Aliens in L.A.
  • Preparing for Battle
  • Creating L.A. in L.A.
  • Directing the Battle
  • Boot Camp
  • The Freeway Battle
  • Command Control
  • BD Live
Overall: :5stars:
My biggest fear about writing this review is that I have hyped it too much. Battle: Los Angeles was panned by critics, but loved by audiences and I think it is a fine example of a great pop-corn movie that is loads of fun with tons of action and excitement and doesn’t require much attention to be paid to be enjoyed. I will admit that the extras are a bit light, but even though the copy we received was void of any extra DVD or digital copy, I would have easily paid $30 for this Bluray; it’s that good. The A/V for this Bluray is absolutely off the chart and should not be missed and I can’t help but say that out of all the discs I have reviewed thus far in my time as a reviewer here at HTS, this is by far my favorite.

Recommendation: Buy It!

 

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Great review Dale!

I watched this the night it arrived before handing it off to Dale the next morning. This is easily the best example of proper LFE and VLF incorporation into atmospheric sound design. I can't wait to watch it again!
 

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Great review, Thanks. I think I just put this on my buy list. :T
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks guys, I just got through watching it again with a friend of mine and he was blown away. I'm having a group of buddies over on Sunday to watch it yet again and actually can't wait because I get to hear them all "ooh and agh" over my system. I really appreciate the comments, I hope it works for all of you.
 

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Great review. I wasn't going to rent this movie but based on your review I am now excited to see it.
 

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Despite the numerous negative reviews (at least for the film itself) I will still be blind-buying this one tomorrow. I guess I am a sucker for Alien movies. I'm very hopeful that I like this one.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Critics spend too much time taking movies apart based on what they learned at film school and often forget to sit back and try to enjoy a movie. I liken Battle: L.A.'s bad reviews to the same kind of negative reviews The Expendables got. Check the brain and enjoy the ride!
 

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Everyones a critic in their own way.

I loved this movie. From the intial confrontation, right down to the way it ends. Its one of the best alien action movies bar none. I didn't really give it justice, i did watch it on a 720p tv, with a 2 channel audio system. It wasn't lacking in bass, but from what i'm hearing, you need a sub, and a true surround setup to really enjoy this movie. I'm definitely willing to watch it again. So i will :)
 

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Critics spend too much time taking movies apart based on what they learned at film school and often forget to sit back and try to enjoy a movie. I liken Battle: L.A.'s bad reviews to the same kind of negative reviews The Expendables got. Check the brain and enjoy the ride!
I just finished watching this movie 5 minutes and figured I should post my thoughts on it. it is absolutely the best alien movie I have ever seen. Dale you are spot on. As much I enjoyed the movie TRON and specifically the audio, Battle LA is superior IMHO. My surrounds got a workout and the LFE is first rate. I will watch it again at next weeks movie night I am hosting.
 

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I don't understand what the critics had to complain about and quite frankly don't care. I rented the BD. I will buy this tomorrow.

Cheers
 

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You won't regret it Sonnie
 

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Great review. I know what I'm doing this weekend (if I can wait that long).

On a side note... you really make a good point about the suspension of disbelief issue with fantasy movies. Most Hollywood storytellers can't maintain a consistent frame of reference because they are either uncreative in solving the situation they established for their protagonist, or they are simply ignoring its importance. The Independence Day example is a great one. Unfortunately, many people have this "it's already make believe so why is THAT so hard to swallow" mentality so the filmmakers are not likely to change anytime soon. That, to me, is a big difference between The Matrix (which I love) and Matrix Revolutions (which I find barely watchable). They just ran out of ideas and had to go full-ridiculous to wrap everything up.

Regards,
sga2
 

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I just re-watched this will the full surround sound system and a couple of the guys over. Not television speakers this time.

One word.

WOW!

When the coast gets attacked and the helicopter is being shot at in the sky, i felt the room move with the AA fire. The couch lifted as if the impact of the shot was so close it felt like my room was the chopper. It was like a wave of pure pressure. This is definitely a new reference Low bass movie for myself and my friends. Another thing i noted was careful details in the sound, such as 3 bullets shot, 3 shells fall. No canned explosion sounds or gunshots. The surrounds got a really nice workout too, very fluid in the firefights, when the camera shifts, the sound shifts, it puts you right into the action.

Having seen the movie before, I was able to focus on all the nitty-gritty details. There were a couple of speech errors. like when the tech sergeant gets called staff sergeant, and when one of the soldiers says "extra-territorial" <- seriously??

Video: A
Sound: A+
Overall: A

Once again, I love this movie.
 

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Another one that I really wanted to like much more than I did.
As a popcorn flick it was fun and entertaining, though as a Marine I could pick nits all day. As a way to showcase your home theater it was great. I don't have a problem with the fantasy or suspension of disbelief... my biggest issue with the film is that I just don't care about the people in it. Pretty much my same complaint with True Grit, there was just nothing in either film to get me engaged with any of the characters.
 
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