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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

omg: I’m suddenly totally psyched for ‘Battle: Los Angeles’

I hadn’t even heard of Battle: Los Angeles, scheduled for release in March 2011, till this morning, but now I can’t stop salivating at the thought of it.

It’s not because of director Jonathan Liebesman, whose track record — The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, Darkness Falls — does not inspire. Nor is it because of screenwriter Christopher Bertolini, ditto: The General’s Daughter? Squick. It’s not even the cast, thought I loves me Aaron Eckhart and Michelle Rodriguez something fierce. (Oo, and hey: it’s also got Joey King, who totally inhabits Ramona Quimby in Ramona and Beezus, and her onscreen mom there, too, Bridget Moynahan, also pretty awesome in general.)

It’s this, via Don Kaye at Blastr, reporting from San Diego Comic Con:

What is Battle: Los Angeles? It’s a movie starring Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodriguez and a whole bunch of Marines who should be bad-ass but, in the footage shown today, look scared to death. Why? Because L.A. is under attack from a fleet of vicious aliens, who are using everything from low-flying ships to hand-to-hand combat to bring the city to its knees.

That’s right, aliens. But this is not just another alien invasion movie. Director Jonathan Liebesmann said at the panel today that he wanted to make a war movie, and that’s what he’s done—except that the enemy is from outer space. And they are mean as hell.

We see little of the actual aliens, but from a distance they look like kissing cousins to the invaders from Independence Day. In fact, Battle: Los Angeles, with its handheld, documentary style, looks like nothing less than a combination of Black Hawk Down and ID4 or perhaps War of the Worlds. If the movie plays the way we’d like it to play, based on this footage, it could be a really scary experience.

Eckhart says on the panel that he was convinced to do the movie when Liebesmann showed him footage of urban warfare in the streets of Fallujah, Iraq, and said “This is what I want this movie to look like.”

Wow. Yes. Awesome. Sounds a bit like District 9 — and more movies like that one, please! And because war sucks. War is hell, and nothing anyone should ever have to get in the middle of. But if it’s inevitable — and so far, the history of humanity suggests that we are often unable to avoid it — it should be scary when we depict it on film. Because Battle: Los Angeles is also probably going to be pretty exciting at the same time — that’s kinda the point of movies like this, too, to give us a thrill — and we don’t want too many idiots getting the idea that war is fun, like a video game.

We’re smart enough, I figure, that we should be able to hit on a way to soak up all the excess testosterone of humanity in a way that’s productive instead of destructive. (Couldn’t we build stuff aggressively and competitively instead of blowing stuff up like a contest? Race ya to a hundred thousand solar collectors in the desert, dude!) Until we get there, I suppose maybe movies like this can help bleed it off a bit.

Also: Aaron Eckhart is hot. I’ll be in my bunk.

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  • JJoseph

    Ooh, this sounds like it could be great! Here’s hoping…

  • Funwithheadlines

    Plus it’s a war movie people might see, unlike anything with even a hint of Iraq in it. But hey, throw a SF metaphor in there instead and you can war-is-hell your way to big bucks while still making people think.

  • I think I heard about this a while back but it sounded lame… this description sounds fucking awesome. Also, obvious… why hasn’t anybody done this before?

    Thanks for getting me pscyhed up with a whole year left to wait, MaryAnn! ;)

  • Jester

    Hm, even if this sucks, I can still see showings being packed so that people can cheer and hoot in all the right places. Same as they did in ID4 showings. ;-)

  • Lisa

    sounds a bit like those sequences in Children of Men so this could be great

  • Der Bruno Stroszek

    I thought of Children of Men, too. There’s something about seeing your home country turned into a warzone that’s really provocative and riveting.

  • Davis Hunt

    I’d be psyched for this movie if it weren’t for Michelle effing Rodriguez.

  • Rusty Broomhandle

    Ugh, that guy… Jonathan Liebesman is a South African director, and as a fellow Sarfie I am always interested when people from the home team are off doing stuff like making movies.

    But I saw an interview with him after Darkenss Falls, and I’m sad to say I don’t think he’s capable of even recognising a good movie, let along directing one.

  • Rusty Broomhandle

    er, *”let alone”

  • JoshDM

    I’d be psyched for this movie if it weren’t for Michelle effing Rodriguez.

    Maybe she gets killed horribly and that makes the film worth watching? The horrible onscreen torture of poor actors is pretty much the only reason to watch The Human Centipede; the should suffer for what they make the audience endure.

    nb: Yes, I realize the actors (actresses) I’ve cited are all female, but I can’t quick-think of a poor male actor who makes the audience cringe from action, then gets horribly tortured or killed; pick the generic male lead of any SyFy direct-to-tv movie if you must.

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