Sign in using your account with
Battleship: Humans Vs Aliens Action Flick
Summer is all but here and we have been blessed with another alien-action blockbuster based on a toy and no, this time around it’s not Transformers, though by the way this film’s been marketed, you’d think Battleship was an extension of the Transformers franchise; ‘Transformers at Sea’ if you will. And while the two films have several things in common, they’re also quite distinct. For one Transformers focuses on the robots - and truth be told, they’re pretty damn impressive - while on the other hand, Battleship, surprisingly, focuses more on the human characters. Neither of the films managed to combine the two - interesting robots/aliens and compelling humans that is- but the human element in Battleship makes it easier to get caught up and emotionally involved in the film.
NASA discovers a planet in a different solar system that has very similar conditions to Earth, conditions conducive to life, and promptly builds a satellite station in Hawaii to try and establish contact with any forms of extraterrestrial life that may be out there. The scientists discover the success of their experiment when five huge unidentified objects hurtle into our atmosphere. One takes out a huge chunk of Hong Kong while the rest crash land in the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Hawaii, in the middle of a bunch of international navy fleets that have gathered for an exercise. A massive battle takes place between the aliens and the navy as the humans try and thwart the aliens’ attempts to communicate with their home base and send for reinforcements.
Since Battleship is being marketed towards the same demographic that made Transformers such a cash cow, you’d think they’d have put a bit more effort into their alien design. Firstly, their spaceships look like metal cubes, kind of like a rectangular version of the AllSpark cube in Transformers, and secondly, the aliens themselves look like tall, metal Power Rangers. Another thing is that it’s never really explained why the aliens come to Earth in the first place. All we get is the hypothesis that when the humans managed to establish contact, a few aliens decided to mosey on over here to check out our planet.. Thankfully, and this may be a product of entering the film with zero expectations, the humans mostly make up for the aliens and the general lacklustre visuals.
Kitsch plays Alex, a smart slacker with attitude issues who’s forced by his older brother, Stone (Skarsgard), to join him in the US Navy as a way of getting his life on track. Decker plays Samantha, Alex’s girlfriend, who’s a physical therapist and the daughter of the fleet’s captain. Thanks to the fact that the film clearly emphasizes Alex’s potential, his transformation from immature slacker to a bona fide leader is actually believable while Samantha, thankfully, gets to be more than just the token girlfriend and plays a large part in saving the planet as well. Rihanna makes her acting debut as a badass Navy officer named Raikes while Linklater plays Cal, a wimpy, nervous scientist and the source of most of the film’s comic relief.
The film as a whole takes a while to settle into its groove, but when it does it becomes quite engaging. By the final third, when the war reaches its peak, you’re actively rooting for the Navy and restraining yourself from cheering out loud and singing along to AC/DC. The film as a whole is far from perfect and is actually too uneven to be called good, but the final half hour is wall-to-wall fun, ending the film on a pretty high note.
If you are in the mood for an uncomplicated, lighthearted and a feel-good romantic-comedy viewing, then Nancy Meyers is the one to turn to for help. Known for movies such as Private Benjamin, Something’s Gotta Give and The Holiday, the 65 year-old writer-director – who is often referred to as the female version of Woody Allen – always delivers and she does so again with The Intern: a likable cross-generation comedy that is kept afloat by a dependably engaging script and a couple of amiable lead performances.
Set in New York City, The Intern is centered on Ben Whittaker (De Niro); a 70-year-old widower who has become frustrated with the retirement lifestyle and is desperate for something to fill that ‘hole’ in his now, mundane and predictable everyday existence. Luckily, his prayers are soon answered, when he comes across an advertisement for a senior internship program at an online fashion company, founded by the high-strung CEO, Jules Ostin (Hathaway).
Ben applies and is soon accepted, ultimately landing a spot as Jules very own personal assistant. However, Jules is not so keen on the idea and doesn’t really know how to deal with the unusually well-mannered senior, deciding its best to keep him at an arm’s length. Nevertheless, Ben – an extremely patient man who may not be particularly tech savvy but knows a thing or two about life– soon finds a way to get closer to his boss and offer her the much-needed support, just in time when her career and position of power is at stake.
There is something awfully comforting about watching a Nancy Meyers film, as not only are her movies pleasing to the eye –her movie sets have ended up wondering onto the pages of numerous decorating catalogues over the years – but there is also something terribly gratifying in knowing how her stories will turn out in the end. Straightforward and extremely likable, the same goes for her latest directorial effort, a movie which may not be on the same creative level as Something’s Gotta Give perhaps, but still has plenty of its own harmless charms – no matter how far-fetched they may seem – to earn a warm viewing recommendation; a stamp of approval aimed mainly at a slightly older audience.
Stuck somewhere between a buddy-comedy and a romantic drama, The Intern is not entirely flawless and Meyers seems to have had a little trouble in setting out an even tone throughout; additionally, the subplot involving Rene Russo – who plays the company masseuse– is never really looked into or explored. However, it’s the two leads that keep The Intern from falling apart as both De Niro and Hathaway bring so much heart and chemistry to their respective roles that it makes it awfully difficult not to be drawn into their white-collar world.
Easygoing, likeable and perhaps a little too safe, The Intern is not Meyers’ best work to date but, it’s reliable and entertaining. What more do you need?
Based on the real-life events of an infamous 1996 Mount Everest expedition, Everest - directed by the 2 Guns director, Baltasar Kormakur - is a beautifully captured tale of bravery, human spirit and a battle for survival set against a gorgeous yet a merciless backdrop of the tallest mountain in the world.
The story begins with Rob Hall (Clarke); the guide and the owner of a New Zealand-based company called Adventure Consultants who have become famous for their tours of Mount Everest. Leaving his pregnant wife, Jan (Knightley), behind, Rob is preparing for a new expedition and soon sets out to meet his new group of climbers including guide and a friend, Guy Cotter (Worthington), journalist Jon Krakauer (Kelly), postman-turned-explorer Doug Hansen (Hawkes), rowdy Texan pathologist, Beck Weathers (Brolin) and Yasuko Namba (Mori); a renowned Japanese climber looking to complete all Seven Summits.
After helping his climbers with the basics of mountaineering, Rob and his team soon arrive at Everest where the rising popularity and commercialisation of guided climbs has led to crowding on the mountain. Trying to maintain a steady pace, the group – who were first forced to acclimatise to their new surroundings – begin their ascent. Fighting the harsh weather conditions – and a few moments of sheer terror - the unit is determined to make it to the top, however, disaster soon strikes and the climbers are forced to make life-or-death decisions and give it their all in their fight against Mother Nature herself.
Scripted by William Nicholson and Simon Beaufoy, Everest is told with a great deal of freshness and even if viewers are already familiar with the outcome of the story, it still manages to keep you thoroughly involved. The swooping and sometimes vertigo-inducing shots of the beautiful but deadly rocky terrain are mesmerizing and Kormakur’s recreation of the infamous mountain is truly an accomplishment. The sheer intensity of the situations that befell this particularly unlucky group of climbers is almost palpable and there are a few truly intense and terrorising moments that will leave viewers at the edge of their seats.
However, the film’s major flaw comes in the form of character-detachment – not to mention a particularly chaotic third-act – and apart from Jason Clark, whose character and overall performance is truly compelling throughout, most of the other characters, although all genuinely invested in their respective roles, are never fully explored, leaving us a little apathetic to their fates.
Overall, Everest is an immersing tale of heroism and it celebrates the human spirit when faced with the kind of gruelling challenges that only Mother Nature can. Beautifully shot, it’s a visual stunner, though at times its technical achievements aren’t matched by its less involving dramatic peaks.