Skyline

Buy this Blu-ray at Amazon.com

Rating: PG-13

Starring:
Eric Balfour as Jarrod
Scottie Thompson as Elaine
Brittany Daniel as Candice
Crystal Reed as Denise
Neil Hopkins as Ray
David Zayas as Oliver
Donald Faison as Terry
Robin Gammell as Walt
Tanya Newbould as Jen
J. Paul Boehmer as Colin

Directed by Greg and Colin Strause

Special Features:
Feature Commentary: Directors Greg and Colin Strause
Feature Commentary: Co-Writer/Producer Liam O’Donnell and Co-Writer Joshua Cordes
Deleted and Extended Scenes
Alternate Scenes
Animation Pre-Visualization
Theatrical Trailers
BD-Live
Pocket BLU

Other Info:
Widescreen (2.40:1)
DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 Sound
Spanish and French Languages
Spanish and French Subtitles
Running Time: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

The Details:
The following is the official description of the film:

“It was supposed to be a simple birthday weekend in Southern California. But when sunrise arrives two hours early in the form of a haunting light from an unknown source, a group of friends watch in terror as people across the city are drawn outside and swept into massive alien ships that have blotted out the L.A. skyline. From tankers to drones and hydra-like extraterrestrials, the aliens are inescapable and seemingly indestructible. Now, it will take every survival instinct the group has to elude capture in this riveting, action-packed sci-fi adventure starring Eric Balfour (‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’), Donald Faison (‘Scrubs’) and Scottie Thompson (‘Star Trek’).”

“Skyline” is rated PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence, some language, and brief sexual content.

Mini-Review:
“Skyline” is kind of a mixed bag. There are some things it does amazingly well. There are other things that it utterly fails at. Some of those flaws are a lot easier to take if you know the context in which the film was made. Directors Greg and Colin Strause filmed this movie completely on their own with an extremely low budget. Only later were the impressive special effects added. So if you look at this as an independent film with a big effects budget, you start to understand why the creators did what they did.

For example, the movie is entirely set within an LA condominium. This hurts the movie because, rather than being out in the world and facing the horrors of a global alien invasion, the main characters are hiding out within this one building. You get a real sense that all of the interesting stuff is happening elsewhere off screen. So though you would like to see more of the invasion, you understand the movie is entirely set within the director’s condo for budget reasons. It’s a little easier to take.

However, the logic of the movie starts to fall apart because of this confined location. Let’s say you’re an alien invasion force that has traveled across the galaxy to enslave and/or destroy the human race. You capture much of the population of one of the world’s largest cities, but some stragglers get away. In a city of millions, would you devote an alien ship, an alien giant monster, and an alien warrior towards searching one lone condominium for half a dozen humans? It’s doesn’t make sense in a movie that operates under a certain degree of logic, even for an alien invasion film. These aliens go to absurd lengths just to capture our heroes and it just doesn’t make sense.

What “Skyline” does really well is the visual effects. The aliens, ships, and fight scenes are quite spectacular. If you’re going to watch this movie at all, it should be for the alien scenes. In fact, I would recommend fast-forwarding through all the non-alien moments because the dialogue, acting, and story are all pretty hard to get through. Some of it is just downright absurd.

The ending of “Skyline” actually has a game-changing twist. When it happens, it totally shifts the tone and plot of the film. It goes from a hide-and-seek movie featuring aliens chasing humans in a condo to something entirely different. It’s at this point that the film actually gets quite interesting. Unfortunately, it’s also the point where the movie ends. It’s a good policy to always leave the audience wanting more, but the ending leaves you thinking, “Now why didn’t they make the whole movie like the ending?” I suppose we’ll have to see if “Skyline” gets a sequel before we can find out how this cliffhanger is resolved.

If you like alien invasion movies then I’d recommend “Skyline,” but only watch it for the visual effects. I’d also recommend it to independent filmmakers because it’s an interesting lesson on how to get the most out of your budget and onto the screen.

The Blu-ray is pretty light on bonus features. There are a handful of deleted scenes and they’re all from the less exciting moments of the film. It’s just more character bits and pieces. Also included are a brief animatic scene and two commentaries. Unfortunately, there’s no ‘making of’ featurette, no interviews with the cast and crew, or any other bonus feature staples.

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