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SKYLINE (2010 Film)

A 2010 alien invasion film directed by Greg Strause.

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Prepare To be Harvested...Resistance Is Stupid.

  • Nov 12, 2010
Rating:
+2
Alien invasion movies; gosh, these films are a dime-a-dozen. When I saw the trailer for Strause Brothers’ latest alien invasion flick “SKYLINE“, I admit, I was intrigued. I thought perhaps we are finally going to get a flick that can “go there” when it came to the darkness of such a premise. Well, I wasn’t that impressed with “Alien Vs. Predator: Requiem” but hey, I respected it; the Strause brothers displayed their talent in making a low-budget monster feature. I was hoping for something that would abandon the usual staples of such invasion movies. Well, they did try to do something different but along the way, I wonder what happened….

Jarrod and Elaine (Eric Balfour and Scottie Thompson respectively) head out to Los Angeles to visit Terry (Donald Faison) an old friend who had made it big in the Hip Hop world. The two are immediately impressed by their reception and the place that music had built and after a night of partying, Jarrod is offered an opportunity that seemed to complicate Elaine’s apparent pregnancy. The next morning at around 4 am, the group is awakened by strange lights that seem to bathe L.A.; what they find are the advance of an alien invasion. Jarrod and Elaine must do their best to stay alive within the confines of this luxury condominium as they watch the aliens use their ships and intimidating white light to coax their victims into giving in….humans are being harvested and what may wait is something very horrible.

              A scene from the film "Skyline."

             David Zayas as Oliver in "Skyline."

The script by Joshua Cordes and Liam O’Donnell is very flimsy, but it does try to do something different with the alien invasion theme. There is scenes of government and military planning and they keep the confines of the action within the eyes of a small group of people stuck in a building. What results is a more fearful situation that may indeed mimic the qualities of a horror film. The cast sees the event through the use of a telescope as they try to plan their next move. Many would associate the film’s themes to the movie “Cloverfield”, only instead of a monster wreaking havoc, it is a bunch of aliens running around looking for humans to harvest. The direction does keep things tight and quick, to keep the viewer from picking on its plot missteps. These missteps are what brought about the movie’s ruin as devices are introduced and events have transpired without definition, while viewers are left to simply buy into what the film feeds the senses. 

                    Eric Balfour as Jarrod in "Skyline."

                    A scene from "Skyline."

                    A scene from "Skyline."

I guess the main key to the film are the aliens themselves and their characteristics seem to have been inspired by “Independence Day” and Spielberg’s “War of the Worlds”. For some reason the aliens had both sentient-organic and machine-like qualities. Their bodies appear to be organic and enhanced with machinery. The mother ship almost gives off a hint of sentience and even has the capacity to heal itself even after a nuclear attack (the way the film replicates the effects of a nuke is pretty clumsy). It does start off with some feelings of suspense but it later begins to implode as the viewer becomes engulfed in a sea of heavy-handed scenes that were meant to be dramatic but ends up very funny (in a bad way). The characters are pretty stereotypical and I wasn’t exactly looking for anything special as long as I formed an attachment with them; instead the film was filled with cliches and even the female characters were none-essential save for Elaine; I knew it was only a matter of time before they were taken.

                 Crystal Reed as Denise in "Skyline."

                Eric Balfour and Scottie Thompson in "Skyline."

The visual effects are decent and the film does serve up a lot of explosions. There are some elements that I found interesting such as that giant monster and the dogfights were alright while it lasted. There is also a vagina-looking scout ship that I thought was an intended joke about Elaine’s pregnancy. The film is essentially a chase film as the direction seemed to put our characters in danger every 10 minutes or so. So what do these aliens want…they couldn’t have traveled thousands of miles just to drink up on human matter? Well, the film doesn’t exactly fill in that part of its mystery, it did answer that question but by that time, it was too late since no one seemed to care. The final scene was also quite unsatisfactory and attempts to get an exclamation point out of a human spirit.

The film promised an intended sequel as the ending lacked closure, and I guess this was the Strause brothers intentions. “Skyline” is a quick money grab, it wasn’t horrible but it would’ve been better if it had aired on the SY FY channel instead. Ok, Strause brothers, you had your fun. I guess that was part of the joke.

RENTAL for alien invasion fans and a skipper for everybody else. [2 Out of 5 Stars]


Prepare To be Harvested...Resistance Is Stupid.

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May 18, 2011
Im suprised you could find so many decent things to say about this movie cuz personally i think i just wasted an hr and a half of my life lol
May 18, 2011
really? I thought I was a little harsh to it. I dunno I tend to look for the positives to any film so that the negatives will eventually reveal themselves. LOL!
May 18, 2011
Oh believe me this one wears its negatives on its sleeve
May 18, 2011
yeah I know. This would've made my WORST of 2010 list if I made one....but you know I try to see things from all angles. Hey, some of my friends liked it...believe it or not LOL!
May 19, 2011
Yea well you know some people like a rash....
May 19, 2011
LOL! you are funny.
 
November 18, 2010
Glad you warned us Woo, cause my hubby would have wanted to rent this when it comes out on DVD; I'll make sure I'm busy with something else when he does.
February 12, 2011
where are you, Brenda?
 
November 16, 2010
Ya know I had a feeling they were going to somehow some way screw this up but I'm sure you weren't surprised lol. count_orlok_22 said this rips off district 9 but it seems this takes from war of the worlds too. and it looks like they really lacked a big time actor or actress. great review pakman as always and I am certainly gonna listen to this warning
November 16, 2010
Hey, thanks for the vote of confidence and your trust, Keith. If you do feel that you want to see it, just rent it. I was so peeved that I needed to see another movie after I saw this one--Unstoppable was better, formulaic but better indeed.
November 25, 2010
HAPPY THANKSGIVING, Keith!!
 
November 15, 2010
Is it just me, or all alien movies becoming exactly the same (ie, rip-offs of "District 9")?
November 15, 2010
Yeah, it seems like it. There's also another one coming next year. What do you think of the upcoming TRON remake?
November 15, 2010
I think it's a sequel or a reboot, but I'm not sure which. Either way, it looks lame. I never liked the original though, so I'm probably not the best person to ask. LOL!
November 15, 2010
Yeah. Me neither and this one's made by Disney....so it is more worrisome.
November 15, 2010
The original was Disney too.
November 15, 2010
really? oh well....it wasn't my thing either but whatever....I'll review ROBO-GEISHA instead LOL!
November 15, 2010
LOL! Great title. She serves tea, but drinks oil.
 
November 13, 2010
I have to say, when I saw the trailer for this on TV my first thought was "Well look at that. An updated Independence Day." I never have cared for alien films of any kind. Back in the day I did enjoy Independence Day, but probably just because I've been a fan of Will Smith since I was a teenager. Anyway, I think I'll pass. It seems like it's all about the FX these days and never about a good story.
November 13, 2010
I was never a fan of Independence Day but it was alright at that time. This movie makes that movie seem real good. You're making a good decision in passing on this one--see UNSTOPPABLE this weekend if you feel that you have the urge to see a movie in theaters... :)
November 25, 2010
Happy Thanksgiving, Stephanie!
November 25, 2010
Happy Thanksgiving to you too William! =)
 
November 13, 2010
"vagina-looking scout ship", oh man that almost makes me want to go see it now. Still I'll wait for a rental I guess, thanks for the warning.
November 13, 2010
It was one of the few things that made it worhtwhile and tolerable LOL!
 
November 13, 2010
Aww man I'm disappointed but I can't say I'm overly surprised. What little I caught in the trailers did seem heavy handed and little more than just enough story to string together the visuals. I had a feeling this would find itself somewhere between "Independence Day" and "Colverfield" but it sounds pretty poor. I'll wait till Netflix gets this one. Thanks for the review man!
November 13, 2010
You're welcome, bro. I had a day off and thought I'd see some movies. This really disappointed me and I had to see a 2nd film after. Good thing Unstoppable was pretty good.
November 13, 2010
I'm surprised you didn't see my 'vagina-looking' scout ship remark---Alex caught it in a second LOL!
November 13, 2010
Oh man the clutch must be slipping over here. lol I read it, laughed, planned to comment on it then got to the end of the review so discouraged with the product that I forgot all about it. In fact I dug through my collection immediately after to discover that while I do have War of the Worlds and The Day the Earth Stood Still, Colverfield is absent. Looks like another I have to order! Great work again though, you've saved many of us a lot of money and grief.
November 13, 2010
LOL! maybe the real Jason got taken by the aliens ;). I tried to be nice to this flick and I thought maybe it wasn't meant to be taken seriously, but then if I take that into account, then there's a huge tonal mismatch. Would you believe that there was a supposedly dramatic scene and I began laughing?! I guess the Strause's just couldn't pull it off.

You're better off watching those other movies, but truthfully I am not exactly fond of Cloverfield. Check out my old review here. Admittedly that movie was the first time I saw Odette Yustman, so it did have its use. 
 
1
More Skyline (2010 movie) reviews
review by . January 17, 2011
Nowhere to run!
      Look at the light and it controls you. The city is under attack by aliens. And it is GROSS! You’ve a replay of the ALIEN except that they now “reside” in the city and swallow up any human in their paths! Slimy king kongs, that’s what they are.        It’s a movie that shows human misplaced trust in the unknown until they are proved otherwise. When under attack, the occupants in an L.A. apartment have only one choice, …
review by . June 09, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Half a star out of ****     "Skyline" is what a casual movie-going audience would want to see out of an alien invasion flick, although it falls just a little bit short of the average film (of the like). However, with that being said, this means that it's hard to imagine that even the mindless monkeys who munch on this crap daily will be particularly impressed, and that's saying something. However, if you're a real movie-goer who doesn't want explosions and CGI in the place of …
review by . January 03, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
   Being one of those conspiracy guys who likes to look up at the night sky and wonder when the hell we're going to have an alien invasion, or at least be paid a visit, (we've been around for quite a while now, where's the planet warming present?) so this type of film would usually be right up my street. Naturally, the concept of a film crossing Independence Day with Cloverfield would be a good one, as we frequently get alien invasion films set on a larger scale, so the impact …
review by . June 06, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
visually stimulating otherwise a total flop
Its very rare for me to write a negative review usually i only feel its worth my time to review if i liked it and think others will enjoy it to, this however is an exception. After being told by several reliable sources that i would like this movie i watched it, it left me wondering where i go to file a petition to get the wasted time back. This movie stars off confusing and rushed from the start when are leading happy couple make a trip to LA to celebrate the birthday of a friend who has made it …
review by . March 14, 2011
   There is something about films that just suck the life right out of you.  No I do not mean that because I went to an 11pm screening, I mean it literally sucked the life out of me.  The monster child of Colin and Greg Strause takes all that was great about Independence Day, Cloverfield, and District 9 and gives you a crack baby called Skyline.  I'm sure they will make their money many times over since this film was shot on the "measly" budget of $1m, but …
review by . April 19, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: One or two alien ideas; the movie's trailer.     Cons: Pretty much everything else     The Bottom Line: Let's face it - the trailer for this movie was better than the movie itself. Hey, at least it's only an hour and thirty minutes.     I do give away just a few things, so if you want to go into this movie blind, read someone else's review.    So I just finished watching Skyline.  My reaction?  I just …
review by . November 13, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
You no longer need a screenplay to make an alien invasion movie. All you need is a special effects studio, a lot of computers, and creature designers that go for all the reliable hallmarks, like flailing tentacles. You also need plenty of death and destruction, and it must all be contained within the borders of a major city - say Los Angeles or New York, because God knows an alien species prefers them to cities like Pittsburg or Chicago or Seattle or Cleveland. Scenes like that serve as a nice counterpoint …
review by . December 04, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
      There is no way on earth, a movie could fail in presentation like Skyline does. Originality is not even worth talking about since Independence Day or War of the Worlds are one of the many films this movie tried to copy. What the director did not understood is that you cannot steal ideas, concepts and give orders within the total chaos you have just created. This so-called "science-fiction" movie has no character development, matter of fact, it has no characters …
Quick Tip by . November 04, 2010
Caption
This movie appear to promise to be what the dumb film "Independence Day" should/could have been. The trailer promises earth-shattering battles and Greg Strause does know how to shoot battle scenes. It is his lack of stroytelling skills that worries me...I'll have to check this out to judge for myself.      Added: I managed to see it and posted this review. Better as a rental.
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About this movie

Wiki

  • Opens November 12, 2010
  • PG-13
    For sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence, some language and brief sexual content
  • Strange lights over Los Angeles herald the arrival of a malevolent alien force that threatens to swallow up all of humanity.
  • Cast: Donald Faison, Eric Balfour, David Zayas, Scottie Thompson, Brittany Daniel
  • Director: Greg Strause
  • Genres: Alien FilmScience Fiction
  • A series of blindingly bright lights appear all over Los Angeles, mesmerizing the citizens of the city while luring them to an uncertain fate in this sci-fi thriller from sibling filmmakers Greg and Colin Strause. As speculation regarding the origin of the mysterious lights runs rampant, a Los Angeles entrepreneur (Donald Faison), his best friend, Jarrod (Eric Balfour), and Jarrod's frightened girlfriend (Scottie Thompson) struggle to resist temptation as they seek out the source of the luminous threat. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
  • Poster art for "Skyline"
     
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    Details

    Director: Greg Strause
    Genre: Fantasy, Sci-Fi
    Release Date: November 12, 2010
    MPAA Rating: PG-13
    Runtime: 92 minutes
    Studio: Universal Studios
    First to Review
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