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die hard is a xmas movie | 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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