From the Editor

Movie Review Archive

Thank you for checking out my movie review archive. I'm in the process of transitioning to something else, so I will no longer post new reviews to this blog. In the meantime, I will keep these reviews archived; these are from the fall of 2008 to April 2011. Please watch this blog for more info and keep in touch (you can still find me on Facebook and Twitter). Here's to more great movies!

Wes Singleton

North Texas Film Critics Association

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Skyline - D

Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence, some language, and brief sexual content, 90 minutes

Visual effects only thing memorable about the banal “Skyline”

If you’ve seen the trailers for the new sci-fi film “Skyline” then it’s evident that the visual effects are impressive, first-rate and exciting. After you see the film you won’t remember anything else. In other words, the movie itself sucks and you get a few eye-popping CG special-effects here and there that were obviously added in post-production. The notes for the film indicate the physical production cost around $500,000, while the visual effects around $10 million. That’s never more evident since the film seems to have been shot in one location, a high-rise apartment; you’re also in trouble if the cast is headlined by the third lead from the TV-show “Scrubs.”

After a night of partying, a group of friends, including Jarrod (Eric Balfour) and his new pregnant girlfriend Elaine (Scottie Thompson) and their friend, rap star Terry (Donald Faison of “Scrubs”) are distracted when beams of light awaken everyone in Los Angeles, that then attract every person like a moth to a flame. As the night progresses, they soon discover that once exposed to the light, they vanish into thin air, caused by extraterrestrial forces that later threaten to swallow the entire human species.

“Skyline” is the worst film to feature the best special-effects since the last “Transformers” film; the special-effects are the film, which isn’t a surprise given the film was made by the Brother Strause, Greg and Colin Strause, special-effects guru’s who’ve worked on many films, from “Avatar,” “Wolverine,” “2012” and “The Book of Eli.” The energetic, impressive special-effects are terrific; they literally come out of the sky and those mysterious terrestrial lights start grabbing hold of everyone in the film. Too bad the same thing couldn’t be said for the film, with the worst acting and writing this side of the latest Keanu Reeves and Megan Fox film, whose salaries alone would eclipse the budget of this film.

It’s evident the money for “Skyline” was spent in post-production, adding all those space-ships and lights that come down from the sky, supposedly over 800 visual effects shots were added. The cheap feel of the production is evident given the vantage point is essentially from one luxurious high-rise apartment building in L.A. (the apartment building of one of the film’s directors).

It’s admirable that the Brothers Strause completely filmed the physical production without the assistance of the major studios. It’s unfortunate that “Skyline” is largely a waste of time without those special-effects, which doesn’t make the film that special at all. If you’ve seen the trailers for the film, then you’ve seen the film, don’t bother.