13 November 2010


** (2 stars)

Thursday night my friend Jennie and I went to a screening of "Skyline". I really like these late night shows (it was slated to start at 10 PM) because they give me a chance to unwind from the day and make dinner instead of stuffing my gourde with nachos.

There is nothing new about "Skyline". Aliens have descended on Los Angeles and begin collecting people and destroying buildings. A group of douche bag survivors are holed up in their penthouse trying to figure out a way to escape (my apologize to the director, I understand it's his house) . Did I mention the aliens produce this blue light that apparently boils your blood causing your veins to pop to the surface of your skin and mesmerizes you into coming closer to them so they can eat you? No?

Directed by The Brothers Strauss (Collin and Greg) and starring Eric Balfour ("Haven", "Six Feet Under"), Donald Faison ("scrubs"), Brittany Daniel (I always think of her from "Sweet Valley High"), David Zayas ("Dexter"), and Scottie Thompson (mostly TV guest spots but she was Nero's wife in "Star Trek"). This is The Brothers sophomore effort after directing "Alien vs Predator- Requiem". They got their start doing Special FX and own their own company, Hydraulx. You may have seen some of their work in a little movie called "Avatar", as well as "2012", "X-Men Origins: Wolverine", "Fantastic Four", and "Titanic".

It's this background that provides the only good thing in the movie. The FX are dazzling. In particular, the veins that appear on the characters faces when the look into the blue light (have they been watching "The Vampire Diaries"? Very similar). The aliens interact well with the actors and the destruction is sure enough. The scene hinted at in the trailer that takes place in a parking garage is really good and the only bit of fright in the whole pic. I gave the movie an extra star for that sequence alone.

The biggest flaw with the movie is the script. Written by FX guys (and Hydraulx employees) Joshua Cordes and Liam O'Donnell, it's clear these guys have never written anything before. I would be surprised if they've even read a good script, and no; I'm not counting Scriptwriting for Dummies. The dialogue that comes out of the actors mouths is unintentionally hilarious. In particular, David Zayas' super is a mash up of discarded one liners from "Miami Vice" or "NYPD Blues". I'm not sure why he only talks in cop speak, but it's really distracting. Why is he so angry? Who put him in charge? What a douche! I expected very little from our female leads and was not let down, but Balfour was a real disappointment. I've really enjoyed him on the Syfy original series "Haven" (helps to have awesome writers) and hope that this lifts the curse he seems to have over the fate of TV shows. It seems like every show he stars in gets cancelled or ends it's run. I hope this is not the case with "Haven". The first season was so good and there are so many unanswered questions! But I'm distracted, where was I? Oh yes, the acting is horrible. Hideous may be a better word.

I laughed several times during the movie, sometimes when I was supposed to, but I didn't jump once. Shouldn't a horror movie be scary? The ending is so ridiculous I'm tempted to blow it for you here but I won't. Let's just say it's what happens when a novice writer gets stuck in his own work. It makes no sense and the whole film should have ended 5 minutes earlier. However, the movie is only 93 minutes, so that's another plus.

I would wait and rent this movie if you're really interested in it, but I would not pay $10.

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