Tag Archives: Eric Balfour

Movies on TV…Skyline (Channel 4)

10 Mar

I think I get Skyline. Whenever there is a movie about  a massive alien invasion of earth you expect two things. Firstly you expect the aliens to arrive with overwhelming force battering mankind to the point where they are just one hero, or one stroke of good luck, away from defeat (Independence Day, War of the Worlds,  or even Mars Attacks)

Invariably the plot gets to a point where just when it seems all is lost the tide turns, mankind triumphs and we are reminded of the human ability to survive adversities of all kinds as misty eyed survivors gather and celebrate the indomitable human spirit.

Skyline does not buy into this, well they buy into the first part about aliens battering mankind close to submission, but not the part of  turning the tide. In Skyline when the aliens go on a rampage, they really go on a rampage.  Earth is totally beaten.

In some ways Skyline is arguably a dose of realism, well as real as you can get when you are talking about  aliens and flying saucers.

We as human race have pretty much scanned the all the planets close by and quite a few not so close and not found any signs of life. If aliens do invade they would be in all likelihood be coming from some seriously far-flung star system and would be equipped with technology far in advance of anything we have.

The chances are that the battles would be one-sided and that was what we get in Skyline.  An alien race with the ability to hover vast number of humans into their space ships to satisfy their taste for human brains and equipped with an unstoppable war machine to do this. In the process they defied the best the US Army and Airforce could throw at them including nuclear bombs.

The plot centered around 6 main characters Terry  played by Daniel Faison (Turk for Scrubs aficionados), Jarrod (Eric Balfour), Elaine (Scottie Thompson), Candice (Brittany Daniels), Denise (Crystal Reed) and Oliver (David Zayas).

Terry is a wealthy LA entrepreneur who is living the LA dream with  Candice his girlfriend. Terry invites old school buddy Jarrod over to LA from New York for hedonistic weekend to celebrate his birthday, but also plans to ask him to join his business. Jarrod comes along with his pregnant girlfriend Elaine. Joining the couples for a weekend of fun is Terry’s assistant Denise with whom he is having an affair. Added to the mix later on is David the building manager of the penthouse where Terry lives.

After Terry and his guests indulge in some serious pool and penthouse partying their well-earned late morning lie-in is interrupted by strange goings-on. The aliens have landed and from their we are pulled into a claustrophobic thriller as the party goers later joined by Oliver the building manager struggle to evade the alien brain snatchers.

For a film that depicts a world-wide invasion of earth the concentration on the such a limited number of characters and staging the bulk of the plot  in a single building may have been great for the budget, but was pretty poor for creating a sense of scale. It was like Attack on Precinct 13 but with slimy aliens as the bad guys.

I also never worked out why it took the US Airforce a whole day to respond to the wholesale alien invasion of Los Angeles. When they did respond we were treated to a some very good air battles cumulating in the detonation of the mother ship with a thermo nuclear device in Los Angeles.

I am not an expert  on nuclear war, but I would assume the White House in authorising that attack had pretty much had accepted that the casualties from the radiation fallout were justified in attempt to save earth.  The attack was unsuccessful in stopping the aliens because the mother ship seemed to have some ability to self-heal, but the radiation fallout so close to ground zero of the explosion seemed to have no effect on our cast of 6.

The nuclear bomb and radiation fallout might not have done them in but one by one they were picked up by the Aliens till were left with Jarrod and Elaine and this was with a couple of minutes left in the movie and then it clicked. Isn’t there going to be a twist, will the aliens suddenly realise they are vulnerable to the common cold, will a brave pilot fly into the middle of the mother ship on Kamikaze style and bring it down or will we find that country music played on loud speakers is there kryptonite.

The answer was none of the above, Jarrods brain was sucked out and Elaine was swept away into slimy, grimy alien incubator for pregnant women. Aliens 1 Mankind 0.