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August 01, 2022

Skyline: Public Service Announcement -- This Is Not a Test!

By Bernie and Sand Pilarski

Bernie said:

Method acting is a technique in which the actors draw upon their own emotions and memories in their portrayals, trying to make their portrayals well up from within. The method actor immerses himself in the role. The classical actor tries to simulate their character's emotions and thoughts through practiced movements and studied intonations of the voice.

In the very first minutes of the movie Skyline, the character Elaine is awakened by the noise and bright lights of an alien invasion (although she doesn't know it's an alien invasion yet), and she immediately runs to the bathroom and barfs in the commode. I believe that this was a bit of method acting. Scottie Thompson, the actress, may well have been shown rushes of the nearly completed movie, images that she called to mind when cued to barf. It works every time. At least if the movie is Skyline.

You know my taste in movies -- if it has CGI in abundance and things blow up, generally speaking I will like it. When Sand and I saw the previews for this movie, I elbowed her in the ribs and indicated that we were going to go see this one on the big screen. I really wasn't expecting a lot, just some pleasant escapism. Heck, I will occasionally sit and watch an original Syfy movie for the fun of it. These are movies that have all the technical finesse and emotional impact of a Ronco Pocket Fisherman commercial, but with less defined plots. So off to the movies I went, dragging Sand behind me.

On the one hand you had anonymous, pointless aliens attacking the Earth for no apparent reason, and on the other hand, you had vacuous, shallow, sniveling, self absorbed, pusillanimous, effete and thoroughly unlikable humans living for no apparent reason in Los Angeles. The plot hinges on the fact that aliens eat brains, and this group of humans doesn't appear to have any, so the aliens are pissed.

The dialogue consists of the characters answering "I don't know" to all of the following questions which were asked over and over again: What was that? What's happening? Are you hurt? Are you all right? What just happened? What do we do now? Is that all you can say? Is that an alien tentacle or are you just glad to see me?

Now there are high points to the movie. I can not describe to the rush I felt when an alien, which incidentally can not be killed by hand guns, automatic weapons fire, close range bazooka shots, strafing from military aircraft or direct hits from nuclear armed rockets, is beaten to death by the main character in a fist fight. Be still, my beating heart.

There is no plot, there is no dialogue, there is no acting, and there is no relief from this movie until the trick ending. Well, trick ending by definition: employing a surprise element or character to resolve the plot. It was stupid. The more surprising trick was how this movie ever got made.

How bad was this movie? On a scale of one to ten, this movie was minus 2013, beating out minus 2012 for the worst movie ever.

Sand said:

Nearly a year ago, I dubbed 2012 the worst movie I had ever seen, and when The Expendables came out this past year, I thought it a close call, but 2012 still won out.

However, 2012, compared to Skyline, is brilliant in plot, action, dialog, acting, and special effects. Please, I don't want there to be any confusion as to how very, very bad this movie was, so let me enumerate:

  1. Aliens did not plot to take over the Earth. There was obviously no plot at all to this movie in any shape or form.
  2. All the women were portrayed as stupid, scantily clad bimbos whose only purpose in life was to be men's sex toys. I just hope the actresses were really acting, although to have taken part in this movie, I seriously doubt it.
  3. All the characters were shallow and vile, and we were rooting for the aliens within the first ten minutes.
  4. All but one of the men were ugly, and the one who wasn't, was a total jerk, so no eye candy for relief.
  5. The only piece of scientific technology the Earthlings used was a telescope, which was so humiliated by its role that it threw itself off the balcony in shame when filming was done.
  6. The finished production was so horrible that the aliens insisted on withholding the name of their race.
  7. Most of the action in the film was spent on the characters running to the ground floor of the high-rise (that being their only hope) and then running back up to the roof (that also being their only hope) then back down, then back up, leaving the audience suspending their disbelief and wondering what the definition of "only" really is.
  8. Almost all the people in the theater emptied their bags of popcorn early on. The distracting sound during the movie was that of holes being torn in the bags for eye holes so that the moviegoers would not be recognized as they left the theater. (Our bag of popcorn had a picture of "Yogi Bear" on it, so Bernie was safely incognito. I had to rely on sunglasses and a big wad of tissues clapped to the lower half of my face.
  9. And absolutely the worst thing about this movie is that they are already making a sequel to it, to be released ... in 2012. With any luck, that old Mayan calendar will be right, and the world will end before Skyline 2 hits the theaters.
Article © Bernie and Sand Pilarski. All rights reserved.
Published on 2010-11-15
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