Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Recommended Website:
Battlefield Earth

Movie Review
Battlefield Earth (2000) DVD ~ John Travolta
This movie is really very fun. It's a classic sort of story, in that the bad guys are really bad, and the good guys are really good. This handling of good versus evil reminded me of really old stories which I have read, such as The Odyssey. There is no question about who the bad guy is. He's wearing the black hat. It's unusual, I think, in modern stories, but I found it satisfying.

The visuals are very comic-book like, and quite compelling. Dark and dreary, reminiscent of The Matrix, but not quite as stark. It starts of with a very dead sort of feel to it, but becomes more lively throughout the film. The odd camera angles continue throughout the entire film. During the commentary, the director explains that they had some scenes not filmed at unusual angles, but they ended up cutting them all. The effect was great. The story is about a skewed bad guy with skewed thoughts, and so the scenery, the music, everything is a bit skewed.

The music was great - it supported the film but did not overwhelm it. At times the music seemed to be laughing along with the audience, a sort of "Ha Ha" when the bad guy got hurt or something went wrong for him. I thought it was great, and it really appealed to my kids.

The acting was top notch. Ker was so loveable and fallable and "human" (for a Psychlo, that is). Terl was really hysterically bad. There was a subtle sort of sneering insidious element to him that was played, I thought, exceptionally well by Travolta. I can honestly say that this was a unique character... I never saw any character even remotely like Terl in any movie before.

I have seen plenty of DVD's with commentary, but this one was different in that every scene was commented on, scene by scene, throughout the whole movie. It was really fun to be "watching the movie with the director" as he explained the various challenges and what went on behind the scenes.

One unique positive point about this movie is that, although it is an action movie with plenty of violence, there is no gore. No one is shown dying or dead. There isn't any profanity, unless you count the word "Crap" which is only uttered by the Bad Guy. No sex, no nudity, nothing along those lines at all. As a parent, these points are a definite plus.

The kids gave this one 5 stars, by the way. They've watched the DVD several times now.

Highly recommended to all science fiction/ action fans.