Saturday, July 09, 2005

'Battlefield Earth' ...

What with all the Tom Cruise-ness going on these days, I finally broke down and Netflixed "Battlefield Earth" for some Scientology insight.

I'd heard it was a bad movie.

I heard correctly. It was bad. Really bad. Exhaustingly bad. Halfway through it, I had to take a nap. Bad. Yet educational. For example, I learned:

-- That to play Terl, John Travolta approached the character as a cross between Bette Davis and the Lucky Charms leprechaun.

-- That fashion is indeed cyclical. One thousand years hence, male humans will once again dress as cavemen. Females will all dress as Barbarella.

-- That Psychlos get wasted on Mountain Dew.

-- That the filmmakers decided to use PowerPoint wipes instead of real transitions between scenes.

-- That we present-day humans are making life easier for future generations by clearly labeling explosives as "EXPLOSIVES" and fuel as "FUEL."

-- That a gold brick apparently only weighs as much as a Wonka bar.

-- That Psychlos, even with their nifty vaporizing guns, are all shitty shots and can't hit a single moving target. Maybe they were distracted by the overwrought film score, or maybe they were thrown off because Jonnie Goodboy Tyler, the leader of the human rebellion and the worst-named character in the history of cinema, was running in slow motion.

Having watched it, I am no closer to understanding Tom Cruise and his brainwashing of Katie Holmes, nor how John Travolta has managed to have a career after this laughingstock.

Roger Ebert gave this movie a half a star and said, "It's not merely bad; it's unpleasant in a hostile way." Or, as Tom Maurstad of the Dallas Morning news put it, more succinctly, "Battlefield Earth is dumb."

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