HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Starring: Taylor Kitsch, Liam Neeson, Alexander Skarsgard, Rihanna
Directed by: Peter Berg
Written by: John and Erich Hoeber
Studio: Universal Pictures
Runtime: 131 minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: August 28st, 2012
HTS Overall Score:92
I need to get this off my chest first and foremost. Whoever cast Rihanna needs to be fired. I haven’t seen horrible, overacting like that in ages. Usually singers just mumble their way through their lines, but this was painful on a whole nother level. She actually acts WORSE than she sings (and I didn’t think that humanly possible). Ok, now that’s out of the way I can get on to the rest of the review.
Battleship, from all the trailers, looked to be dumb, stupid and a higher budgeted relative to the late night Sy-fy channel movies. Luckily for me I was surprised. Battleship may be big and dumb, but no bigger, and no dumber than any of the “Transformer” films which it strives to emulate. Explosions are enormous, Alien spacecraft amazingly cgi’d (and well done CGI at that) and a soundtrack that will give you structural damage.
The film starts with Alex (Taylor Kitsch) and Commander Stone Hopper (Alexander Skarsgard) celebrating Alex’s birthday at a bar. Stone is the older and wiser brother giving his younger brother some sage wisdom, but Alex is having none of that. Ignoring every piece of advice his brother gives him, Alex goes off chasing the skirt of the movies stereotypical hot blonde. In order to impress said girl he ends up stealing a chicken burrito for her so he can go on a date with her. This girl, named Sam (Brooklyn Decker) ends up being not only a gorgeous girl but the daughter of Admiral Shane, the direct commander of Stone Hopper. Due to his brush with thievery Stone pretty much forces Alex into the Navy in order to put some discipline in him. Unfortunately that plan backfires. Alex gets the rank of Lieutenant, but is still that same delinquent that he was outside of the military, just with a uniform now.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=9192[/img]Going out from Hawaii to participate in a Navy battle simulation Alex finds out from Stone that he is going to be booted out of the Navy when he returns, however An alien scout fleet happens to crash land in the waters near where the fleet is practicing their maneuvers covering the small islands with a gigantic force field and trapping 3 destroyers on the inside with the Alien ships while keeping the rest of the fleet on the outside with no way in.
As shocking as it seems these Aliens are a hostile scouting party looking to pillage, destroy and otherwise cause irreparable harm to good ole earth. That leaves our ragtag band of misfits under the command of Alex Hopper who must rally himself and his troops to save the day against the alien invaders. The irony is not lost on me that an alien race that has traveled hundreds of light years from a planet just like ours can be taken out with a destroyer’s main cannons and can crash land on earth by nicking one of our satellites orbiting the planet. You think they’d actually make them a TAD tougher than that. Not only that we seem to have a hodgepodge of borrowed ideas here. The Aliens are allergic to sunlight, ala a “War of the Worlds” style of taking them out, as well as giant robotic machines that auto target hostile targets and take them out at the behest of their alien masters (a good bit “Transormerish”). I DID however enjoy the battle scenes where the ships radar is down and they have to use a grid of wave buoys to pinpoint the alien space craft and take them out. A LITERAL in movie game of battleship so to speak. Also I noticed that the mortars fired from the alien space ships looked exactly like the pegs in the battleship game itself, a fun little nod to its roots right there.
While not a perfect movie by any means it’s a big, dumb, summer blockbuster and should be treated as such. No brains + Explosions worthy of Michael bay + some more explosions and a group of wise cracking heroes = a big grin over my face for 90% of the movie. If treated as how it’s meant to be taken you’re in for a good time. Come in expecting “Citizen Kane” and you’ll be disappointed
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence, action and destruction, and for language
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=9190[/img]Universal Pictures has given us a FLAWLESS 2.35:1 1080p AVC transfer for “Battleship. I don’t given out 5 star scores for picture lightly either. I’ve only done it on two movies so far and this will be the third. Whether you love or hate “Battleship” you have to admit that it is one stunning image. Colors are bright and bold, whether it be the rich blue of the ocean or the rich green foliage of Hawaii, the colors are amazing. Contrast is right on target and blacks are DEEP and inky. I didn’t notice any black crush, even in the dark interior of an alien spacecraft. Detail is absolutely amazing. Close ups are by far one of the best I’ve seen in ages, you can see every pore, every hair, every freckle on the faces of every navy actor down to the pimples on Liam Neeson’s face. I looked for flaws in this picture and I don’t believe I could find a single one. Being that this is Universal I was worried about edge enhancement and banding but there was none to be found. By far one of the best transfers I’ve seen Universal, let alone any other studio, pull off in a long time.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=9189[/img]Not to be left out the audio engineers decided go toe to toe with the video engineers. “Battleship” is loud, aggressive and in your face, while at the same time being accurate and balanced. The vocals were clean and centered like they should be while the sound effects rock all the other speakers as hard as the AC/DC infused metal track did to your parents back in the 80s. Surrounds are used exquisitely with exploding shells blasting through from one speaker to the next, Alien spacecraft shifting positions in film actually feels like they’re shifting positions IN your living room. While it’s in your face, everything is perfectly balanced, Dynamic range is wide and long with a whispered command being heard clearly and a sonic explosion making your own ears feel like they are gonna pop. Now the LFE…Oh….sweet…mother..of…pearl. I have 2 THT 15 inch subwoofers and I’ve heard those puppies light up before, but this time I swear I did structural damage. LFE is intense and deep, without feeling bloated or overpowering. Bass rippled through the metal soundtrack and transfused itself into just about EVERYTHING, Gunshots, explosions, spacecraft lifting off you name it, it was there. This my friends easily rivals the Transformers 3 soundtrack that is so highly praised in the review community.
• All Access with Director Peter Berg
• Second Screen Experience
• Alternate Ending Previsualization
• USS Missouri VIP Tour
• Preparing for Battle
• All Hands on Deck: The Cast
• Engage in Battle
• Commander Pete
• The Visual Effects
“Battleship” didn’t do too hot at the box office being that it was almost a 200 million dollar movie, The marketing was horrible, the trailers made the film look like a low budget Sy-fy channel movie, and the only reputable actor in the lineup was Liam Neeson. It almost reminds me of the situation with “John Carter”, poor marketing mis represented a movie enough to keep it from succeeding. As much as I’d like to blame it all on marketing I can’t, the film isn’t exactly revolutionary, it’s been done before and almost seems like a clone of the transformers series in some aspects. HOWEVER, if you turn your brain off and go in expecting a big dumb action movie with AMAZING special effects, then I think you’ll have a good time. Mix that in with it's demo worthy audio and video and you have a mixture for a great popcorn night with the guys (or gals as it may be). I give it a solid thumbs up for being a cheesy blast from start to finish
Recommendation: Watch It!