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I just watched 'Battlefield Earth'........... YOWZA!!!!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Paul_D, Apr 15, 2002.

  1. Joe Fisher

    Joe Fisher Screenwriter

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    Joseph E Fisher
    I watched this about 7 months ago and lived to tell about it(the thought of jumping out a window did occur to me that night).......have been in intense therapy since then.......might sue video store for mental abuse
     
  2. Terrell

    Terrell Producer

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    Neil, it's been so long since I've seen Wrath of Kahn I don't remember much about it. Other than Ricardo Mantalban and his fight against Kirk.
     
  3. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

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    Great thread! You guys just gave me the opportunity to re-print my original review! Hope you like it.
    Battlefield Earth
    A movie that will overpower you...like the smell of fresh urine does.
    OK, we all know how historically bad this movie is reputed to be. And since this stinky little nugget has hit the home-video market, I've noticed a strange contigent of people speaking up; those who feel that this movie is somehow underrated, that the critics were gunning for Travolta and that the uptight & nasty old film critics always bash sci-fi movies anyway. To these people, I say SHUT UP! If you somehow happened to enjoy (or -god forbid - recommend) this unendurable stinkhole of a movie, your best bet is to just to keep it to yourself.
    While I agree that the horror/sci-fi genre has often been dealt a raw deal by most media outlets, that's mainly because "Sci-Fi" is where a lot of the cheapest (and lamest) movies come from. (How many different versions of Alien must we sit through before we get angry?) Personally, I love science fiction, but that wouldn't force me to rate a sci-fi film higher than it deserves solely because of its genre.
    Case in point - Battlefield Earth
    I rented the DVD with an open mind and well aware of the critical lambasting it earned. Throughout the film, I was consistently aware of the shortcomings that other critics complained about, and I was particularly annoyed by the atrocious performances by the three leading men. While I've certainly seen WORSE movies (The Haunting, Showgirls, Sphere, Ringmaster), I can safely say that Battlefield Earth earns a place right beside those films.
    Maybe an example just had to be made, and Battlefield Earth just happened to be the wrong turkey at the wrong time.
    As an educated film fanatic who would violently contend that Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, Dark City, Blade Runner, Close Encounters, Planet of the Apes, The Time Machine, The Incredible Shrinking Man, Metropolis, Aliens and Alien are true cinematic classics that transcend their genre, I gotta also say this:
    Battlefield Earth is easily one of the most amateurish, ponderously directed, poorly paced, atrociously written and all-around annoying Star-Driven Ego Project movies ever made, notable only for its particularly terrible acting performances and its overall reek of awfulness. My original sense of begrudging charity sank to mild annoyance before settling down to awestruck disgust, and that's the stink I sat in for the next 100 minutes.
    Based on the waaaaay too lengthy novel by now-dead Scientology Creator (and gigantic scam artist) L. Ron Hubbard, the movie version tells the story of Earth, one thousand years in the future. An evil horde of aliens (known ridiculously as Psyclos) is using our planet as a mining operation, while the few remaining humans live up in the mountains, hiding from the legendary 'monsters'. When one smelly human grows weary of this existence, he sets out for...well, it's never made really clear what he sets out for, but he leaves home all dramatic-like.
    Travolta plays the Snidley Whiplash-esque Terl, head of Psyclo Security. (Hell, Travolta's old enough now to register himself for Psyclo Security! [​IMG] ) Terl captures Johnny and a handful of other smelly humans and what follows is basically the Special Olympics of Bad Filmmaking.
    This festering trash heap has a strong foundation - yet a screenplay that simply defies intellect at every turn. In the interest of retaining my sanity, I'll spare you the myriad plot twists that will have you slapping your forehead for two hours, and just leave you with this thought: I've honestly seen episodes of Gilligan's Island that were more intelligently written than this movie.
    John Travolta gives such a uniquely and consistently atrocious performance, you'll start to wonder if maybe he has some mild brain damage. I'm not trying to be merely hurtful here, but as the film goes on it's readily apparent that the man is just clueless. In several scenes, his 'evil alien' character comes dangerously close to sounding (and behaving) exactly like Dr. Evil!
    No better is Barry Pepper as the feral Johnny. If this guy is meant to represent the one true hope for mankind, I'd gladly vote for slowly trudging back into the primordial ooze. To say that Pepper has no screen presence is like saying that ice gives off no heat. In other words, he's a gaping vacuum in the center of this movie.
    If you're curious to see it just to see how awful Battlefied Earth is (as I was), just save yourself the 4 bucks. Yes, this movie is that bad, and discovering this news for yourself is simply a futile waste of life hours that would be better spent even if you were just sitting in a cold, dark room alone - staring at your fingers.
    ---
    I should have been a bit nastier! [​IMG]
     
  4. Terrell

    Terrell Producer

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  5. Paul_D

    Paul_D Cinematographer

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    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] Great review Scott! I think I'll check out some of your others. [​IMG]
     
  6. Butch C

    Butch C Second Unit

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  7. Vickie_M

    Vickie_M Producer

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    Scott, you're my hero! That was classic, definitely on par with Ebert's review, which is the funniest review I've ever read.
    To be honest, I haven't seen the film because I've not wanted to pay out a dime for it. The one time I had a chance to see it free, a midnight showing at a World Con in Chicago, I passed because I feared that the theater would be filled with a bunch of adoring scienos who wouldn't appreciate it if I accidentally let loose with braying laughter. One of these days, on cable, by myself...maybe.
    I followed this film in development (out of a morbid curiosity, as an anti-scientologist) and read "behind-the-scenes" reports from scieno spies. Everyone involved was really really REALLY serious about this movie. This was a movie based on one of the Grand Poobah's brilliant creations! It was going to explode into the popular culture and change everything! This was going to put Hubbard's name on the lips of every movie-goer in the universe! It was going to break all box-office records and win Academy Awards up the ying yang! Words cannot express how SERIOUS and seriously excited the scientologists were about this film and how it would expand the scientology movement!
    Which made the critical and box office reception all the more delicious. [​IMG]
    It was hilarious to see the backpedaling too, when it came to what the movie was supposed to be. Before release, it was supposed to be a serious scifi film that would take its place next to 2001 and Blade Runner. After release and reception, it was, of COURSE, *supposed* to be a fun, campy romp, nothing more! It seems no one could make up their minds.
    And there's actually been talk of a sequel! I can't wait!
    Vickie (aka 'Xenu's Sister')
    (loved the "scam artist" bit, Scott. You're my kinda guy!)
     
  8. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

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    Vickie and Paul:
    :b
    Thanks very much. If you chuckled once or twice while reading it, my job is done.
    Terrell:
    Never underestimate the power of the word "urine". [​IMG]
     
  9. Jim_C

    Jim_C Cinematographer

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    You know, I liked the book. It was fun up until the home planet was destroyed. From that point until the end of the book our caveman turned Hero ends up saving/controlling the universe. Really.

    Anyway, when I first heard that they were making a movie I was happy. Then the pre-release negative buzz started and it kept getting worse and worse and worse. I didn't watch it and I never will.

    Great review Scott!
     
  10. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    Jim, you owe yourself ONE viewing
    Just to watch your love of the book go down in flames [​IMG]
     
  11. Paul_D

    Paul_D Cinematographer

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    A segment from Ebert's review:
     
  12. Jim_C

    Jim_C Cinematographer

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    >>Jim, you owe yourself ONE viewing
     
  13. LennyP

    LennyP Supporting Actor

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    Aaaaalright, ok, blah blah blah, bad movie, right.

    Anyway, I liked, yes. But what I wanted to note is that the US DVD release deleted 3 fun scenes and I was wondering if Lars Larsen that obviously has one of R2 releases could clear up for me if he's got the Theatrical cut or not, it should have the following 3 scenes:

     
  14. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Scott Weinberg, you're the man. Do you have a bunch of reviews archived somewhere on the net?
     
  15. Timothy Alexander

    Timothy Alexander Second Unit

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    Clicking on his sig leads to a bunch of his great reviews.
    Read his Jaws: The Revenge review if you're looking for another good laugh. [​IMG]
     
  16. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

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    I won't even rent it. Don't want the rental revenue to even suggest that I like it.
     
  17. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    If a friend will bring his or her copy to my home theater, along with two bottles of strong tequila and any other mood enhancers available, I might consider looking at it. But the mood enhancers need to be really, really good.
     
  18. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Producer

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    I guess it is true that every film, no matter how craptastic it might be, has fans. Scroll down and checkout the current user comment on the top page of the IMDB's entry for Battlefield Earth.
    - Walter.

    Edit: Or was he trying for irony?
     
  19. Bruce Hedtke

    Bruce Hedtke Cinematographer

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  20. stevewayne0101

    stevewayne0101 Auditioning

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    The movie is bad.. Better read the book instead.
     

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