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Skyline - Blu-Ray Review

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Title: Skyline
Starring: Eric Balfour, Scottie Thompson, Brittany Daniel, Crystal Reed, Neil Hopkins, David Zayas, Donald Faison
Directed by: Colin Strause, Greg Strause
Written by: Joshua Cordes, Liam O'Donnell
Studio: Universal
Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 94 Minutes
Release Date: 03/15/2011

Movie: :2stars:
Video: :4stars:
Audio: :4.5stars:
Extras: :2stars:
Overall: :3stars:

Jarrod (Balfour) and Elaine (Thompson) have just arrived in Los Angeles to celebrate the birthday of Jarrod’s oldest and best friend Terry (Faison). After a night of celebrating Terry's big day, the remaining party goers are awakened by a brilliant blue light emanating from behind the blackout curtains in Terry's penthouse. When the curtains are opened, the view reveals giant blue orbs all across the city that seem to infect and possess whoever meets it’s gaze pulling them toward it. Now under attack from this alien force that is quickly exterminating mankind, these survivors must stay hidden hidden to avoid the alien invaders if they are going to survive this invasion.
[img] http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=6185[/img]

I had high hopes for Skyline as the theatrical trailers started to show up a few months back. The previews looked very intriguing and seemed to have several of my favorite genres into one however; those hopes were soon dashed by a close friend of mine that compared watching Skyline to “having his eyes torn open with rusty forks”, thanks Ronnie! Personally I did not find Skyline to quite fit that description however; I will say that it was only marginally better than that classic sci-fi movie from 2000 that we all know and love, Battlefield Earth: A Saga from the Year 3000.

There are several problems with Skyline that keep it from reaching even mediocre status. First is the plot, or lack thereof, which is basically what I described in the first paragraph. The biggest problem I had with the plot is that the implied reason that the these alien invaders are attacking the planet is so incredibly absurd and ridiculously stupid, I actually wondered whether or not the person that approved this production still has a job.

The second problem is the lack of any character development whatsoever, which inevitably leads to the viewer just not caring in the least what happens to the any of the characters. Additionally, the acting in Skyline is monumentally bad which I found surprising considering that some of the actors, such as Balfour and David Zayas, are normally pretty good. Bad script, bad acting, horrendous plot and irrelevant sub-plots make the premise of this movie something that the viewer ends up enduring rather than enjoying.

All hope is not lost however; the special effects are very good a majority of the time and the sound design is extremely entertaining however; these tricks of the trade do little do deter the viewer from the mind numbingly stupid plot. Skyline is actually more of a mesh of several genres. Its part alien invasion, part military action and part giant monster movie and this does provide some level of distraction as the action sequences are fairly well executed MOST of the time even if they do feel a bit uninspired.

Updated 3/27/2011
I thought I would make an update based on a couple of things so I can put this all in perspective. First, since originally viewing the movie, I have watched Skyline (by request) three more times and will say that it was not as bad as my initial viewing however; it is harder to be let down a second time by something you already felt was bad. Second, I think it is important to emphasize that this movie was shot for $10 million dollars and most of it was filmed at one of the directors apartment to keep costs low. Lastly, I think if one applies the "Godzilla Factor" and realizes that Skyline is just an average SyFy channel story with upgraded effects, then they will probably be fine as the sound and video are very well done as I pointed out in the A/V section of the review. -Dale

Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence, some language, and brief sexual content.

Video: :4stars:
Skyline’s 1080P AVC transfer is a very clean looking transfer with a limited color palette that relies on mostly blues, grays and blacks with occasional highlights of reds and earth tones. It works for the look of the film and never comes off too washed out or muted. There is some light crushing with regards to black levels and shadow delineation is not as well defined as I would have liked it during the scenes with huge dust clouds and destruction. Flesh tones appear natural even during the scenes with the brilliant blue light emanating from the alien vehicles. I did feel that the filmmakers over saturated some of the CGI alien vehicles with an exhaust effect that came off as if they were trying to hide something, but other than that the rest of the CGI effects looked extremely pleasing to the eye. The biggest negative I would have to point out with regards to the transfer is the occasional lack of clarity with the resolution, that’s not to say it was unintentional either as the scenes I had problems with were all the before mentioned CGI scenes, overall though, I just felt that the resolution lacked clarity in several spots throughout

Audio: :4.5stars:
The DTS-HD-MA in Skyline is a welcome distraction from the rest of the film. There is plenty to hear in Skyline across every frequency. There is enough LFE to tame the most bass addicted audiophiles and there is a generous amount of surround activity with all out action as well as ambient noise. The score is sort of a mixed bag relying too heavily on suspenseful compositions that the scenes just can’t deliver on. The voices are clear and dialogue can be heard through the most ferocious action sequences, even if the dialogue itself is somewhat dim. All in all I was very satisfied with the audio presentation and it made for enough of a distraction to get me through the movie. Imaging was excellent as the vast and wide soundstage often lends itself to an all out assault on the ears and the bass mix is extremely aggressive and downright intrusive and rude at times.

Extras: :2stars:
  • Deleted scenes with optional commentary
  • Alternate scenes with optional commentary
  • Previsualization with optional commentary
  • Teaser/Theatrical trailers with optional commentary
  • Feature commentary with Liam O’Donnell and Joshua Cordes
  • Feature commentary with Greg and Colin Strause
  • My Scenes bookmark feature
  • D-Box Motion Code enabled
  • Pocket BLU App

Overall: :3stars:
In the end, I can not recommend Skyline as a buy for anyone; I can however recommend the Bluray as a rental for anyone looking to give their audio system a workout. The plot lines are abysmal and the overall storyline is incoherent leading to an almost laughable finale. I have a pretty high tolerance for plot holes and bad story lines and always enjoy a good old mindless monster/sci-fi/alien invasion action flick; after all, I even liked 1998’s Godzilla enough to buy the Bluray version, but Skyline falls far short of even this mostly detested reboot and in the end I cannot recommend anyone to sit through it solely for the purpose of watching the story unfold. On the other hand, it is better than Battlefield Earth, Uwe Boll movies in general and any made for Sy-Fy channel movie on a Saturday evening. Hopefully I have at least talked it down enough that Skyline couldn't possibly be as bad as I have described to anyone that still feels compelled to watch it. Until next time campers, have a good day and in case I don't see ya later, a good afternoon, a good evening, and a good night! :wave:

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I just watched this. Please allow me to vent a little something about the 2 weeks of reviews I read prior to watching this, and even this review:

Man, come on people, for once we have a film that aims to just be an action sci-fi and leave it at that. Whats with all the obsession with plot, depth and the Hollywood ending. Raaaahhhhhhhhhhhh.

OK, phew. There is nothing wrong with this film. Its not trying to be anything special, its not trying to be clever or identify with current world issues, it justs want to be a fun movie.

You know what, I liked the fact the first scene throws you into events without a prelude or build up. There is no explanation as whats going on, and really, would alien invaders send us the script on upcoming events. Tihs is a plain simple sci-fi action film that delivers action and sci-fi in plentiful amounts. The effects are pretty decent, the acting is good enough, and if you need this plot explaining, here's a rock, go bang your head on it for a while a figure some stuff out.

All in all, I liked the plot, or lack of. I liked the ending, I liked the start, and for once I liked the fact I didnt need to think from start to finish. When films like 2012 and Independence day can get ok reviews, it pains me when something like this get panned because it doesnt simply follow in the foot steps of everything else.

If you dont like this, I dont care. Its an easy watch, its fun, the sound is good and the video is pretty good all the way through (apart from some decidedly computer-y effects that are just good enough to forgive. I even forgave the effect around some of the craft and dismissed it as some kind of anti grav device effect :D) and the ending doesnt concern itself with ideals. If you like sci-fi, and you want to watch something brainless for an hour and a half, you can do a lot worse than this.

Oh, and I love swimming upstream and skiing uphill :R
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I bought this movie just recently..I wanted to add some older sci-fi movies to my collection and this one seemed that it might be alright..
I've seen a variety of reviews on it ranging form "loved it" to "hated it", but it was out cheap so I thought it might worth a look..

For me it was a good movie but not brilliant..mainly because of the cast.. and I didn't like the lead actor..The rest of the cast was unknown to me..
I think if they had used well known actors..and did something different at the ending, it could have been a brilliant movie..

BUT the LFE blew me away!! It was incredible!!..Right from the opening production logos the bass was exceptional..IMO even better than "Pacific Rim"!!..Very deep extended bass and not just thumps..although with the bass thump in the nightclub scene I had my fingers crossed that it wouldn't blow my horn sub! :yikes:
Just about through the whole movie, I was on the edge of my seat hoping that the sub wouldn't destroy itself!!

If you want to give your sub a real workout or demo what powerful bass sounds like, then this is a good one to show off your system..
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