Battlefield Earth -- Go See Itgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread
The establishment has a "hard-on" for "Battlefield Earth", the new sci-fi film with John Travolta. (That is, the establishment really, really doesn't want you to see it.) Why? As near as I can figure, it's because the film is based on a book by L. Ron Hubbard, the dead founder of Scientology. The establishment hates Scientology, and the feeling is vice-versa.
Whether or not you know anything, or like or not, about Scientology, I don't see any "proselytizing" in the film. It's just good old swashbuckling science fiction.
The establishment reviews are universally "thumbs down". But all they can come up with are "The opening titles are lame." "The camera angles tilt sometimes." "They use an 'old-fashioned' fade between scenes." "There are plot holes (e.g. fuel, electricity, and maintenance for the airplanes the rebels use)." (Name me any science fiction film that doesn't stretch plot consistency.) "The sound track is loud." (No more than any other.)
My opinion, FWIW, is that this is worth your while to see if you are a sci-fi fan. I think it is as good or better than "Star Wars". Much better than hokey "E.T." Better than "Mission to Mars" (which should have been better). Much better than the doofus "Killer Asteroids from Space" genre (Bruce Willis, et al).
Go see it.
-- A (A@AisA.com), May 18, 2000
Blech! I took my kids to see it on Monday. They (being 8 and 10) liked it but I did not. I'm a pretty big Sci-Fi fan who'll watch just about anything but this had the look and feel of a made for TV movie. Plot was weak, costumes/makeup/set were all poor, and the special effects were nothing special. One of the few Sci-Fi flicks I've seen that I wish I'd waited to see on cable...
-- TECH32 (TECH32@NOMAIL.CON), May 18, 2000.
Roger Ebert's review
"Battlefield Earth" is like taking a bus trip with someone who has needed a bath for a long time. It's not merely bad; it's unpleasant in a hostile way. The visuals are grubby and drab. The characters are unkempt and have rotten teeth. Breathing tubes hang from their noses like ropes of snot. The soundtrack sounds like the boom mike is being slammed against the inside of a 55-gallon drum. The plot. . .
"Battlefield Earth" was written in 1980 by L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology. The film contains no evidence of Scientology or any other system of thought; it is shapeless and senseless, without a compelling plot or characters we care for in the slightest...
I watched it in mounting gloom, realizing I was witnessing something historic, a film that for decades to come will be the punch line of jokes about bad movies.
-- CD (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 18, 2000.
Sorry, A, but this movie is dreck. I'm a huge scifi fan, especially movies, and this one can already claim the title as worst of the century -- and we still got 99 years to go! No plot, no characters worth caring for, dialogue off the back of a cereal box. I've seen better special effects in an episode of Xena. It's not even campy. In the annals of movie productions that mix religion and acting, this ranks right down there with the Moonie ode to Douglas MacArthur that came out 10 or 15 years ago. With any luck, it will disappear just as quickly.
-- Cash (email@example.com), May 18, 2000.
I liked Battlefield Earth..it was an interesting story to me. I liked the evil greedy tricky Travolta and his cohorts. It was very very contrived and very very cheesy, but hey, it was fun. Liked it better than Mission to Mars, definately.
I also liked that the hero was someone I'd never seen before. He was unusual looking, not some Hollywood Movie boy. (at least, I dont think he is..I'm pretty sure I know them all)
I also enjoyed the cinematography, I found it kept my interest visually throughout. And the film ends with humor and irony. It's no academy award winner..and I dont think it was trying to be. It's just brain candy entertainment.
-- kritter (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 18, 2000.
I wish I could go back in time to the moment when Travolta walked in for his "Free Personality Test" and showed him that movie first. Would have saved me eight bucks, and possibly saved him a huge festering career mistake.
When I go to a sci-fi film I'm always ready for a temporary suspension of belief, but **cave people** with no concept of technology teaching themselves to pilot Harrier jets in 7 days?? Sheesh - only Y2K Doomers would believe this mush...
-- Y2K Pro (email@example.com), May 18, 2000.
Looks like John Travolta finally lived out his "up your nose with a rubber hose" fanatsy from his Welcome Cotter Days.
-- (Ladylogic@...), May 18, 2000.
I also disliked this movie. John Travolta proved a long time ago that he couldn't dance, sing, or act in a string of highly forgetable movies. The only one I remember was "Saturday Night Fever," which doesn't hold a candle to "Flashdance" (Watch the latter in the dark and FAST FORWARD thorough any parts with dialogue).
I know that "Battlefield Earth" was supposed to be a "concept" movie, but if there was one, it was too subtle for me.
-- (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 18, 2000.
Thanks for the tip all, I probably won't see it.
Personally though, my taste in movies tends to run towards Bruce Campbell films.
-- Someone (ChimingIn@twocents.cam), May 18, 2000.
Ebert's review was one of the reviews I had in mind about the establishment reviews.
Kritter's review, above, is right on.
-- A (A@AisA.com), May 18, 2000.
To those of you who didn't like it: Do you mean it's as bad as "Plan 9 From Outer Space"?
To those of you who liked it: Do you mean it's as good as "Plan 9 From Outer Space"?
-- I'm Here, I'm There (I'm Everywhere@so.beware), May 18, 2000.
I have a time tested rating procedure for movies that Ive seenwould I go back and willingly see it again? Ive seen Gladiators twice and would see it again. I saw American Beauty 4 times, with different people. I would not see Battlefield Earth again.
-- Willy (from@old.Philly), May 18, 2000.
Cool Willy, I'm "glad" you liked Gladiator. Am heading out to see it this weekend with my brother, as Mrs D will not go with me. She and my brother's wife will see some sappy assed shit about a baby born in Wal-Mart or some crap like that, while the boys see blood and guts in the next theater over. What a system, huh?
I think I'll wait for AisAisA's pick until it comes out on video, too many bad reviews.
-- Uncle Deedah (email@example.com), May 18, 2000.
I'm no longer in Philly Unk or I'd fire you a 'cheesy' UPS Red. Miss the food not the City.
-- Willy (from@old.Philly), May 18, 2000.
To "I'm Here, I'm There": Yes :-)
Many of the reviewers didn't like the costuming. The bad guys were gross, they complain. YES! That was by design. The humans, enslaved and on the run, were grungy, but they had to be better looking and more clean cut than the aliens. That's the way it is. The breathing tubes perhaps were DESIGNED to look like snot. The bad teeth were ON PURPOSE. In old westerns, the good guy wore the white hat, and the bad guy the black hat. This movie just extends the concept (visual signal).
Many of the reviewers didn't like the dark, dank atmosphere of much of the movie. This was by design. The bad guys are slobs, LOVING dankness and noxious air. Under their dome, they have the atmosphere they are suited to. They CANNOT SURVIVE on clean earth air -- that's why the breathing tubes when outside. And why the humans have to wear them in the dome.
That's another aspect of the "good guy/bad guy" portrayal. This is space opera, remember, not what the so-called intelligensia regard as meaningful.
Maybe one could regard the clean air/dirty air dichotomy as an ecological message. The shots of the human free camps were in pristine valleys, with clear running streams, and snow capped mountains in the background. The shots of the dome and alien home planet were dank, dark, noxious. And BTW, that noxious atmosphere is what made the rebels able to blow up the home planet (Yes, farfecthed, but so what, so is all sci-fi).
Here's some other reasons the establishment has a hard-on for the film.
The aliens are a supposedly capitalist society where capitalism has run rampant, and corporate states rule. Picture Billy Gates (Microsucks) multiplied in connivance and ruthlessness times ten. Or the New World Order/World Trade Organization/NAFTA. Hey, maybe this is IT: IN THE FILM, THE BAD GUYS ARE LIKE OUR RULERS. Maybe that's the "scientology" message that so upsets our captive major media and their lackeys.
But there is more: The picture is about rebellion from slavery, RISING UP AGAINST ONE'S RULERS. And killing them. It's not conventional cops and robbers/"bad boys" where the cops are (supposedly) the good guys.
It is also about the value of FREEDOM. At least a couple of times, the rebels make it quite clear that FREEDOM is worth fighting (and perhaps/likely dying) for. Clearly stated is that living as slaves is not a worthwhile life. And also, perpetually living on the run from their (would be) masters is also not a worthwhile life. WHAT A SUBVERSIVE CONCEPT. No wonder the establishment is upset; can't have YOU questioning your wage-slave/tax-slave/consumer mentality.
I also picked up one sort of "biblical" reference. The Battlefield Earth aliens were here for gold. Shades of the Annunaki/Elohim ("Those who came down to Earth from the heavens" -- called gods (PLURAL), and in the Hebrew/Christian religion changed to one god (singular)). The Annnunaki were here for gold also, according to biblical/sumerian scholar Zecharia Sitchin ("The Earth Chronicles").
In Battlefield Earth, the major mistake the chief bad guy (Travolta) made was "elevating" or "illuminating" the human hero. (Zapping the hero with a learning machine. Thus (biblically) eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge.
The reason Travolta did that is he needed smarter slaves to mine gold. Just as the Annunaki found it too expensive in Annunaki labor to mine gold themselves, so die the Battlefield Earth aliens. So, similarly as the Annunaki created "the Adam" by genetic manipulation of apes and Annunaki genes to create a worker (slave) for their gold mining and other tasks, the movie villain thought he would be creating a more useful slave.
But then the slaves revolted -- against the corporate state rulers and their corporate religions (revolt against the gods). Now we see why the universal establishment attempt to dissuade people from seeing Battlefield Earth.
-- A (A@AisA.com), May 18, 2000.
Rent "Zardoz" sometime. Slaves in the future revolt against their brutal masters and so forth. Sean Connery in a bad sci-fi film is still more watchable than 90% of what passes for filmmaking nowadays.
And if you have to explain a movie as much as you did "Battlefield Earth", it's got serious narrative problems. Movies like "Battlefield Earth" should keep it simple, but should not insult people's intelligence. Hubbard had some truly awful dialogue in his books and it's a shame that someone didn't do some script doctoring. Compare the wit and light touch of "The Fifth Element" (which also had narrative problems) with the almost completely humorless and leaden writing in "Battlefield Earth". Both films are unlikely to make anyone's Top Ten (or even Top Fifty), but at least "The Fifth Element" didn't take itself too seriously and featured Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman, and Milla Jovovich all having a great time.
The actor is Barry Pepper. Played Private Jackson (the Southern sharpshooter) in "Saving Private Ryan".
-- DeeEmBee (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 19, 2000.
"The establishment hates Scientology, and the feeling is vice-versa."
Don't bother debating with A. His is probably a Scientologist and was forced to see it. Among other things, the CoS forces it's members to only use their internet software, to buy multiple copies of Dianetics and other of L. Ron Hubbard's remarkably awful works, and to spend their time promoting Scientology through deception and lies.
Anyone who's thought about this dog of a movie as much as A has was probably forced.
-- Anonymous (email@example.com), May 19, 2000.
Terrible Movie. The Scientologists must have blackmailed Travolta into starring in it. I almost walked out and that doesn't happen very often. Do not waste your money!!
-- greg (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 19, 2000.
Y2Kpro: Your message brought back memories of the time I was walking down a street in London (this was years and years ago) and a friendly guy walked up to me offering me a "Personality Test". Next thing I knew I was holding two "tin can-shaped" objects with a wire in the middle. Boy did I make tracks out of there in a hurry! :-)
-- (email@example.com), May 19, 2000.
Greg, if you had walked out, you wouldn't have been alone. The showing I went to, the theater was less than half full at the start and the only ones left by the time I walked out was a small group from the local Scientology center sitting together front and center. I had to wait in the lobby for my kids to get out of another movie in the cineplex. When BE ended, the Scientology group came out, got in line and bought more tickets to the next BE showing, then left.
-- Cash (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 19, 2000.
PLENTY of movies of all genres have had anti-establishment messages while getting high praise from establishment critics. "Silkwood", "Full Metal Jacket", "Norma Rae", "The Matrix", "Malcolm X", "Easy Rider", "2001", "MASH" "Gattaca" and "Erin Brokovitch" all come immediately to my seriously cafffeine- deficent mind.
Sometimes movies just suck, A.
-- Tarzan the Ape Man (email@example.com), May 19, 2000.
You make a great point A, and what do the "sheeple" do? Criticize.
Will you do me up the hershey highway like last time? Luv your "hole" attitude! ;-)
"cum" by and visit will you?
[imposter from 188.8.131.52 OTFR]
-- Diane J. Squire (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 19, 2000.
I think the "Diane" in the post immediately above is not the real deal. I never had the pleasure of the Hershey Highway with her -- or the spoofer.
I'm not a scientologist. Closeset I ever got was halfway through the book "Dianetics" years ago, and one of their "personality tests."
I never said the movie (BE) was great. I repeat, it was "OK". Not great, not a turkey. As good or better than many other of the genre. The vociferousness of the slams indicates to me that there must be some message in the movie, which I missed, which punches a lot of people's buttons -- especially establisment lackeys and worshippers.
My speculations, above, about possible messages was not to "explain" the movie to the public; it doesn't need to be "explained" to the public any more than any other movie. My speculations were an attempt to discover/reveal the motives of the critics.
-- A (A@AisA.com), May 19, 2000.
Travolta makes a *great* bad guy in this flick. But there is no story line. None. And the end is just too much, puhleeze...!
-- Not now, not like this (AgentSmith1001@aol.com), May 19, 2000.
Not Now: No story line? Maybe, as debated above, the story DOES have to be explained to the public. And the ending -- that was explained in the middle of the movie, but maybe your attention span is too short to recall? (Now I'm not saying the way the planet was blown was great science -- far from it -- but no more preposterous than all the other sci-fi potboilers which have not been trashed to the extent this movie has. As I suspect, the trashing is due to knee-jerk reaction to the association with L.Ron Hubbard. Travolta's scientology ties are accepted as long as not too blatant, but his making a movie based on a bbok by the founder obviously triggered peoples' knee jerks.
-- A (A@AisA.com), May 19, 2000.
Several people I know that were not going to see BE because of the trashing by the critics are now going to see it due to my cluing them in on why the trashing.
The trashing basically boils down to two reasons.
1) Some people saw it and didn't get it. 2) Other people saw it and DID get it, and don't want other people to see it for fear they (the other people) MIGHT get it.
-- A (A@AisA.com), May 21, 2000.
Question for A:
If "they" are so afraid people will see Battelfield Earth and "get it", why weren't "they" also afraid people would see such movies as "Silkwood" "MASH" "Shawshank Redemption" "Catch 22" "Platoon" "The Matrix" and "Working Girl"? All of these movies are harshly critical of the status quo, and at least one, "Silkwood", is a true story. All of these movies have the same "subversive subtext" which you ascribe to Battlefield Earth, and all are also damn good movies. Many of them were nominated for academy awards by "them", certainly a strange thing for the frightened "them" to do.
Battlefield Earth sucks, plain and simple. If you want to see an example of a truly subversive GOOD movie that's currently in the theater, check out Erin Brokovitch. It's a true story of a paralegal who took on PG&E (a major California utility) and won an enormous judgement. The message here is the same as that which A ascribes to Battlefield Earth, i.e., under capitalism run wild, the little guy frequently has to fight against corporate and government bureacracy and against overwhelming odds, but s/he can win and frequently does. Plus Julia Roberts is a lot easier on the eyes than either John Travolta or Forrest Whittaker.
-- Tarzan the Ape Man (email@example.com), May 21, 2000.
Yes, ApeMan, lots of movies attacking one company or industry. Not many challenging the establishment in general, in the basics. Lots of movies promoting the corrupt legal system for remedy (for which Erin is the successful exception, and so gets noticed) instead of attacking it with force (revolution/rebellion). Lots of movies have rebels/terrorists, but they are usually beaten back by the so-called "good guys" establishment. The ones where the rebels win are rare. The only similar ones are like "Star Wars", which is more fanciful. BE actually has more of an air of realism. And, despite all the hurrah about Star Wars, it (they) are no better than BE. Maybe, just maybe, Star Wars has better whiz-bang effects to hide the story holes, but that's it.
-- A (A@AisA.com), May 21, 2000.
For movie info and message board
for movie info (story, background, and pictures)
-- A (A@AisA.com), May 21, 2000.
"Yes, ApeMan, lots of movies attacking one company or industry. Not many challenging the establishment in general, in the basics."
Huh. I guess you don't watch many movies, like "The Matrix", "Mission Impossible", "To Kill a Mockingbird", "Tank", "Falling Down", "Easy Rider" or even the notably crappy "Billy Jack" movies.
"Lots of movies have rebels/terrorists, but they are usually beaten back by the so-called "good guys" establishment. The ones where the rebels win are rare. The only similar ones are like "Star Wars", which is more fanciful. BE actually has more of an air of realism."
Not to be pedantic or anything, but those movies question "the establishment" directly, without using any BS allegories. In "Battlefield Earth", the establishment which is being challenged is alien in nature. In "The Matrix", the very reality of modern life is question. In "Mission Impossible" the loyalty of the American government is challenged. In "Falling Down" the fabric of American society is shown to be backwards and hostile.
By your logic, "establishment" critics should be embracing "Battlefield Earth" because it's humans vs. aliens story line has aspects of a one world philosophy of all humanity coming together without regard to religious or political distinction to fight a common enemy, and it is our common humanity which defeats the evil capitalist Psychlos. This movie seems almost tailor made to support the NWO outlook. By your logic, "the establishment" should be rallying to the support of Battlefield Earth and be scared to death of movies like "Erin Brokovich", which show how the government can be in cahoots with a state utility to cover up evidence of child poisonings via pollution. After all, which is more likely to get people up in arms, 9-foot tall fictional villans set 1,000 years in the future, or real corporate villans killing kids in the here and now?
-- Tarzan the Ape Man (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 21, 2000.
Here's my review of "Battlefield Earth". WARNING! This review contains spoilers. Please, I implore you, read them instead of seeing the movie. You'll thank me.
"Battlefield Earth" is not so much a movie as it is a random assemblage of images, pasted together without even basic skill or talent. I have not seen such a poorly written/acted/filmed movie in a long time. Where should we begin to dismantle this film? Let's start with the alien villains, the "Psychlos". The Psychlos are, without a doubt, the most inept and blundering aliens ever. They make the aliens in "Spaced Invaders" look calm, cool and collected by comparison. They invade the Earth, conquer humanity in nine minutes, but then it takes them a thousand years to get around to looking for gold. They have built a big 'ol dome over the poorly drawn ruins of "Denver", so they must realize that things like cities and cars exist, but apparently don't realize that the enslaved "man-animals" originally made them. They have been watching humans for a millennium, but think that their favorite food is rat. They have a perfectly good prison, complete with cells and everything, where they wash off the humans, but then they actually store them in an abandoned and easily escapable Zoo. And, wait a minute, why did they bother to wash the humans in the first place? They just get dirty again instantly.
The lead Psychlo is Terl, a mid-level bureaucrat played, tragically, by John Travolta. Terl is the head of Earth Security, and has been hoping for a transfer to someplace with better set design. Unfortunately, as he is dumber than a sack of man-animal feed, he is doomed by an executive from the "Home Office" (in Sioux City, Iowa, presumably) to stay on Earth indefinitely. This makes Terl mad, and his two volt brain comes up with a cunning scheme. He will mine a bunch of gold and bribe his way back home! Terl decides to use man- animals to mine his gold, and he chooses feisty and grungy Johnny Goodboy to lead the work detail. Terl zaps Johnny with a few volts from his learning machine, and teaches him Psychlo language and other things that are equally stupid teach to slaves, especially slaves that have already outsmarted you six or seven times, as Johnny has. But, as I have noted, Terl is not the swiftest Psychlo around. Actually, as it is mentioned several times that Terl graduated at the top of his class at the Academy, maybe he *is* the swiftest Psychlo around, and that makes me wonder further how the Psychlos even managed to invent the rubber band, not to mention conquering planets and teleportation. Maybe they bought their technology second hand from the Klingons, along with their makeup.
OK, so where were we? Oh, yes. Gold. Terl sends Johnny and his comrades into the Rockies to mine for gold. But Johnny has a better plan. You see, in a brilliant scheme to convince Johnny that resistance is futile, Terl has taken him to the ruins of the "Denver" public library, and lets him look at the dusty books, thus instilling in him the realization that the Psychlos are the superior species. But Johnny instead reads the Declaration of Independence and other patriotic documents, and his rebellious resolve is solidified. Of course, as the humans of the future don't seem to have a written language, and the Psychlos don't know English either, so they couldn't have taught it to him, you have to wonder how, exactly, Johnny understood the books he read. Oh, well. Maybe he was inspired by the nice penmanship. At the Library Johnny finds out about Fort Knox, so he and the other miners fly there and take that gold and give it to Terl instead and.and.Ahhhhhh!
I'm sorry. At this point the movie completely collapses into a babbling nonsensical cesspool. Ok, it collapses further. I can't even bring myself to describe the details of the finale. With good reason: It is so poorly edited and shot that it makes no sense whatsoever. I think the humans won, but I may be wrong. The Psychlos home planet gets blowed up real good, but Terl survives. The end.
That's the plot. But the plot is only one of the movies problems. Second is the acting, which is uniformly dreadful. Trying to compare the John Travolta in "Pulp Fiction" to Terl is impossible. Travolta plays the extraterrestrial imbecile like a whiny, petulant eight year old. He is, I guess, supposed to menacing, but he ends up just being annoying. The humans are all dull, and Forrest Whittaker, as Terl's clerk/dogs body Ker is completely wasted. The acting is not helped by the direction. Roger Christian, the auteur who gave us "Masterminds", has no idea about how to frame shots, or transition between scenes. There about 1500 wipes in "Battlefield Earth", which makes it look like an old "Commando Cody" short, only less skillfully executed. Christian has also observed that sometimes, in good movies, the camera is tilted. So he tries to imitate this by randomly tilting the camera, regardless of the action of the scene. The whole film looks as though it was filmed in the Jokers Lair. To top off the hideous direction and lifeless acting, the movie also appears to have been edited by untrained tube worms.
In conclusion, avoid "Battlefield Earth" at all costs. Do not think that it is a so-bad-its-good kind of movie. It's not. Its so bad its unwatchable. If you want one of the former genre, rent any Ed Wood film, all of which are more enjoyable. On a scale of 1 to 10, this piece of cinematic sputum gets a.5.
PS. "Battlefield Earth" contains what is meant by the filmmakers to be an homage to "2001", by having two of the characters be named "Floyd" and "Heywood". Under these circumstances, it is much more of an insult than compliment. If they liked "2001" so much, maybe they should have paid more attention to how it was made. It might have helped.
But I doubt it.
-- H. Bosch (email@example.com), May 21, 2000.
Let's all remember, just to keep "A" honest, that while the Scientologists may be pushing this movie and touting it to high heaven, that their dead god, El Ron Tubbard, actually FORBADE them from EVER seeing "2001: A Space Odyssey," on the grounds that it would cause "painful restimulation" (i.e. it was a SIN).
The real sin here is this piece of celluloid refuse that they're trying to defend as being great entertainment and an outstanding piece of filmmaking. The next time a Scientologist (like maybe "A"?) tells you how great BE was, ask them what they thought about "2001." Then when they tell you they haven't seen it, wonder out loud just exactly what their qualifications for judging great science fiction ARE.
-- Davey Poodleboy (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 22, 2000.
"The trashing basically boils down to two reasons."
"1) Some people saw it and didn't get it. 2) Other people saw it and DID get it, and don't want other people to see it for fear they (the other people) MIGHT get it."
Actually, A, there's a third reason.
3) Still other people saw it, got it, didn't fear it and still managed to realize that it sucked. Not wanting to see other people waste their precious time and hard-earned money, they're warning others off this dog.
One of the central tenets of Scientology is "do not tell harmful lies," but HELPFUL lies, so long as they are lies for the Crutch of $cientology, well, those are just fine, aren't they, A?
-- Tied up in NOTS (email@example.com), May 22, 2000.
You would think that after reading countless negative reviews on a movie that one would avoid paying to see it. Well, I read, I went, Im sorry!
-- Ra (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 22, 2000.
Well, there's no accounting for taste: A lot of people liked "E.T."
All I can say is, it wasn't great, but 2.5 stars out of four. It doesn't deserve the trashing. Anyone can write a snide review of any movie (like Ebert and the wannabe Ebert above), and pick nits.
If you want an entertaining and engrossing movie, see it. If you want something supposedly "significant" and "memorable", watch public television (PBS).
-- A (A@AisA.com), May 23, 2000.
Many of us have admitted to liking some pretty flaky SciFi movies. I already mentioned The Fifth Element and heck, I also enjoyed Independence Day, which has plot holes you could drive an alien mothership through. Both movies make up for their flaws by showing some visual style, wit, and humor. BE does not.
Not looking for "Masterpiece Theatre", but also not willing to put up with bad writing, directing, acting, or editing.
-- DeeEmBee (email@example.com), May 23, 2000.
"The establishment has a "hard-on" for "Battlefield Earth", the new sci-fi film with John Travolta."
Oh, I wouldn't say that. The establishment has pretty much dismissed this particular flick. Word has it that BE is in the early running for next year's Razzies, and voting on IMDB has BE coming in as being significantly worse than "Howard the Duck." That's AUDIENCES coming down on your pet flick, A, not the establishment.
"(That is, the establishment really, really doesn't want you to see it.)"
What makes you think that? You have utterly failed to substantiate this statement. But then again, that's how a Scientologist argues, by ignoring the points made against him/her.
"Why? As near as I can figure, it's because the film is based on a book by L. Ron Hubbard, the dead founder of Scientology."
Well, maybe you missed the substance of all those negative reviews, which boils down to "it sucks out loud, so don't bother." I don't see a lot of complaining about Hubbard or his book in the reviews -- I see complaining about lousy acting, weak sets and plot, and an overbearing soundtrack.
"The establishment hates Scientology, and the feeling is vice-versa."
No. The establishment IGNORES Scientology. Scientology PREYS on the public.
"Whether or not you know anything, or like or not, about Scientology, I don't see any "proselytizing" in the film."
I don't think any "establishment" reviewer thus far has suggested that there WAS any proselytizing in the film. So you've pretty much set up a straw man here, haven't you?
"It's just good old swashbuckling science fiction."
Nope. It's a poorly-made film, based on a poorly-written science fiction novel. Scientologists make much of how many sales Hubbard's books have racked up, but they never seem to mention that Hubbard NEVER won a single writing award from the science- fiction "establishment," even though he was on friendly terms with many classic sci-fi authors. I think it's pretty obvious that though the sci-fi community may possibly have liked Hubbard as a person, they didn't care much for his work. That's very telling.
"The establishment reviews are universally "thumbs down". But all they can come up with are "The opening titles are lame." "The camera angles tilt sometimes." "They use an 'old-fashioned' fade between scenes." "There are plot holes (e.g. fuel, electricity, and maintenance for the airplanes the rebels use)." (Name me any science fiction film that doesn't stretch plot consistency.) "The sound track is loud." (No more than any other.) "
All those are valid points, yet you ignore them. Perhaps you could name for us a classic science fiction film that stretches plot consistency MORE than BE does. Perhaps you could name a classic sci- fi film with a louder and more discordant soundtrack than BE. Perhaps you can explain the outdated wipe techniques and inexplicable Dutch tilts. This film exhibits numerous either immature or unskilled techniques, but you're apparently willing to accept them.
"My opinion, FWIW, is that this is worth your while to see if you are a sci-fi fan. I think it is as good or better than "Star Wars"."
I am in complete and total disagreement. People can certainly see whatever film they want, but to misrepresent this film as being "as good or better than Star Wars" is completely incorrect. Most sci-fi fans don't even bother to READ Hubbard's work, so why would they want to see it made into a movie, other than to save time?
"Much better than hokey "E.T." Better than "Mission to Mars" (which should have been better). Much better than the doofus "Killer Asteroids from Space" genre (Bruce Willis, et al)."
Well, you can say what you like about other sci-fi films. And I can say what I like about BE. And I suggest that folks wait for this one to appear on network TV, so they don't have to waste money on cable or video rental fees.
"Go see it."
"Well, there's no accounting for taste: A lot of people liked "E.T." All I can say is, it wasn't great, but 2.5 stars out of four."
BE is struggling to come up with even one star from critics and audiences alike. If you like it, then enjoy it. You've made your opinion clear, but there's not much point in defending it here any longer, is there?
"It doesn't deserve the trashing."
Yes, it does. It does deserve the trashing. And it is getting the trashing from all sides.
"Anyone can write a snide review of any movie (like Ebert and the wannabe Ebert above), and pick nits."
Anyone can write a crap screenplay from a crap book. If Ebert had something good to say about BE, you'd be holding it high, though, wouldn't you?
"If you want an entertaining and engrossing movie, see it."
Better yet, walk into the theatre NEXT DOOR to whichever theatre is showing Battlefield Earth, and see whatever happens to be playing on THAT screen.
"If you want something supposedly "significant" and "memorable", watch public television (PBS)."
Because you won't find anything significant or memorable about BE, unless you're looking for something significantly bad or memorably poor.
-- L. Ron Hubbard (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 23, 2000.
AisA: My attention span is not too short to notice that there was/is no story here. To have a story you *must* have a beginning, a middle and an end. The only thing here was *the end.*
The beginning would answer: Why did these cave people not know the history of humans? Didn't the elders pass the stories down verbally? They really thought "gods" built the "big steel buildings..." and all their other ridiculous beliefs...
The Middle: How did the cave people not get caught? How did they manage to hide safely for 1000 years? Where along the line did they lose the abilty to read and write?
So as you can plainly see...No Story.
-- Not now, not like this (AgentSmith0110@aol.com), May 23, 2000.