the Movie Club Annals ...

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Battlefield Earth

Reviewed by Carl R.

Be Sure to see Bonus Review by Chris P.!!!

Ok, Rat-Brains.  I must open by acknowledging that I have, on occasion, been accused being cynical every now and then (these accusations are, of course, totally vicious, entirely outlandishly, wholly libelous, and 100% false.) 

HOWEVER, after viewing Battlefield Earth, I willingly confess to the bout of cynicism that this movie managed to lower upon me. In fact,  if EVER in the history of  ManAnimal-Kind has an occasion to be cynical ever been completely warranted, it was during and after the viewing of Battlefield Earth.  

Sighhhhhhhhhhhhh ...  

Now, I do realize that this ground has been covered before, but here it goes again. How - just HOW did a group of cavemen, who just minutes before had been grunting at each other - had spears in their hands - were fighting over scraps of food - were walking into panes of glass - were eating golf balls and cold rats - were afraid of light bulbs - just HOW did they learn to fly the 1000- year-old, fully-fueled military jet fighters (that were somehow still in perfect condition) in combat formation in the span of just a few minutes/hours? (or even days, if we want to be charitable?)  Well, was it the learning machine?  No - it couldn't have been that, because the group of flying cavemen didn't casually stroll out of their locked cages at night and into the top-secret, high-security, Psychlo Learning Machine Room to use the learning machine at will whenever the fancy struck them the way the movie's hero, Jonnie Goodboy Tyler, did whenever the fancy struck him..

Were the cavemen just exceptionally smart?  No need to answer that one. Did we just miss something?  No. Not the Movie Club. Not a chance.  It takes what - six years or so for a fully functioning, highly trained 21st century present day ManAnimal to learn to competently fly a brand-new military combat jet?  Of course, the movie writers did try to get slick with us on this point - they made it feel like six years had gone by between the time the movie started and the time the cavemen were flying the 1000 year-old, fully-fueled military jet fighters (that were somehow still in perfect condition) in combat formation. But that was just a devious ploy that proved to be a very lame attempt to get something by us.  It didn't work.

So now what? Is it even worth discussing the inane noseplugs that were more appropriate for a day at the beach with Frankie and Annette than for protecting ManAnimals from Psychlo air, and Psychlos from ManAnimal air?  Of course it is, but, there is a more important problem at hand .... 

It was explained to us during the movie that the ManAnimals had fled to HIGHLY RADIOACTIVE areas to live in order to keep a safe distance from the dangerous Psychlos after the Pyschlos had taken over the earth. After all, we all know that radioactivity is dangerous to Pyschlos, but completely safe for ManAnimals. Right? For some odd reason, I was under the impression that radioactivity was at least mildly hazardous to the health of ManAnimals, but hey - what do I know? 

And furthermore, the ManAnimals, in order to keep their completely safe, radioactive hiding place a secret from the Psychlos, diligently sent a trumpeter at every sunrise/sunset to the most visible spot on the face of the earth to loudly announce their secrecy in a blaring, musical manner. I suppose I could ask where the cavemen even got the trumpet, or how they knew how to play it, or why they weren't afraid of it, but why bother.     

This movie had many, many, many other improbability, implausibility, continuity, believability "flaws" that could, should, and will be dissected in the future.  But I need time to recover from this one, and the threat of a sequel looms large. Plus, I just still can't get by the caveman-pilot thing.

 C.R.

 

BONUS REVIEW
by Chris P.


Battlefield Earth was a bad movie although I'm not sure that it was the worst movie I ever saw.   OK, it was.   My yardstick in judging bad content, etc., is that if it were on TV how long would I watch continuously before punching channel up.   This movie I give a rating of 3 minutes.  

This is what makes the Movie Club so insidious.   It’s like support group for wannabe masochists:   people getting together to help each other beat themselves up.  They would never do this on their own except for Carl and Jo.  Actually it was fun and the food was good.   Then the movie…

Points:

John Travolta’s voice doesn’t work in the year 3000 or as an alien.   It’s like too high pitched (for the future) or something like that.    And why were they using ‘90’s style lingo.    I thought the future was supposed to be better.

The movie is a ripoff of several of other movies: Blade Runner, Star Wars, Beetlejuice, and Alien 9 (there will be one, rest assured): it had the look and feel of a sequel, cheap and over budget.

And how do you teleport rocks:   we never saw it in the “movie”.   Do bigger rocks require more thought?   Will bigger rocks fit in a worm-hole?   If I can’t teleport rocks how can they expect to in the future?    These questions go unanswered.  

All the angled shots: were they using the camera as a basketball??   “It gave me the urge to slide out of my chair and smash my head on the floor.” 

I am a huge advocate of Science Fiction but not Science Infraction.

I reserve the right to continue the Rant._

C.P.