Thursday, June 30, 2011

Movie Review: "Skyline"

   I have to come up with a generic tagline that explains my love of watching movies. I have said it many times before...and if I don’t come up with a nice tagline, I’ll say it many times again: I am an ardent fan of the cinematic arts. Although I have certain genre preferences, I don’t let that stifle my curiosity and close myself to different flavors of entertainment. That said...I am a huge fan of science fiction movies!
The Cast
   Eric Balfour is a good actor and although he is not a twenty-million-dollar-demanding leading man, he has accumulated a decent body of work and gives a good performance in this movie. The movie, being what it is, was never going to reveal the next Oscar nominee. Donald Faison is also a good actor with a decent body of work representing his career and gives a good performance for the limited material there was to work off of. The female lead in this film was Scottie Thompson and there really wasn’t much for her to do but immerse herself in the role of a screaming woman scared spit-less. With not much of a resume before doing this movie, she nailed the part.
The Plot: 
   Jarrod (Eric Balfour) and his girlfriend Elaine (Scottie Thompson) travel to Los Angeles to meet up with an old and uber successful friend Terry (Donald Faison) for the weekend. Terry has plans of offering Jarrod a position in his company and does so during a wild party he is throwing. Though the job offer is nice, Jarrod has other issues to deal with when he learns that Elaine is pregnant. 
   Scary as that may seem to a young unemployed man, things get progressively worse when an alien invasion begins later that night into early the next morning. As blue lights begin to appear and snatch people away after infecting them through sight, everyone quickly realizes that all their problems are meaningless compared to their present situation. Well...almost everyone...Terry’s wife, Candice, actually manages to stay angry with him for cheating on her the night before.
   As the days pass and increasingly different manifestations of the invaders appear, our heroes, now turned victims, hatch plan after plan trying to survive the ordeal...even as it becomes increasingly evident that humanity has nothing in the way of technology or weaponry that is little more than a minor inconvenience to the alien invaders.
The Verdict: 
   This movie is not what I expected while being exactly what I expected at the same time. I have seen many movies that depict a doomed humanity struggling to survive against a superior alien invader, but I have never seen it done quite this way before. 
   I have seen similar material in such movies as Battle Los Angeles, Independence Day, and War of the Worlds but none of these prepared me for the twist and turns this movie delivered. The one element all the aforementioned movies shared was resoundingly absent in this film leaving me speechless, dejected and in an utter state of shock.
   This movie was unique and a refreshing departure from the norm I’ve come to expect from movies similar to this one. Even after the end credits started rolling, I was still sitting dumbfounded trying to process everything I had seen. This reaction alone is enough for me to recommend this film. I very much enjoy science fiction films...I like them even more when they leave me feeling as though I need to reevaluate myself and my perceptual process. 
    This movie started out as something familiar, then took on a flavor all its own, earning three and a half cinnamon sticks, out of five, in my cup.

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