Battlefield Earth, A Defense

Seeing this is the stinker thread got me to give it a whirl, the legendary bad movie of all time…

Meh that wasn’t so bad, mediocre and badly paced and executed. The set design and special effects were good to passable, one big problem was the costuming and makeup which just looked stupid. The base plot is pretty much a staple of pulp scifi, I liked the idea that the only reason the humans have a hope is that the aliens are engaged in petty backstabbing office politics and embezzlement and shit gets WAY out of hand before any of them stop covering their own asses long enough to notice.

The worst part of the movie is that certain parts feel way too rushed, other parts pointless, but even that I have seen WAY worse.

Have you read the book? Or are you judging the movie on its own (meager) merits?

I couldn’t help but try to compare it.

Never read the book, judging the movie by itself.

I have read the book, and seen the movie.

If you cut about half the book, it would be much better than it was. Many parts of it drag on.

I can see Our Protagonist doing the typical - off exploring where he discovers an old city. Then he gets captured by the Evil Aliens - again typical. He gets educated by the aliens to be slave labor - again, pretty typical. Of course they use his knowledge to take down the aliens.

Now it bogs down - they get jets to operate, and find nukes to use. Enforced with modern weapons they kill off the aliens all throughout the universe by sending a radioactive element throughout the teleport system which explodes all the special alien atmosphere leacing our indomidable nomadic schlubs as the owners of the whole alien shebang. :dubious::rolleyes::smack: They call all the aliens subservient races and whomever else they can drag in to a peace conference where they basically end up owning the universe :rolleyes:

If he had kept it to where they just managed to kill off the aliens on earth, and point out to the alien high command that they know how to kill them now, it would be fine. I could see fairly large chunks of exposition and useless crud that could be cut out to tighten up the action, and I think that expanding their conquest to the reat of the universe is sort of silly. [though it is mainly the psychlo’s gold that lets them end up ruling the universe.]

That’s the first thing I HATED about the movie.

Spoiler, I guess:

The jets…in the book, the BIG find wasn’t jets; it was a stash of freaking Tommy guns.

Nitpick:(I might be wrong) I believe there was something strange about the alien atmosphere which made their world go ka-blewy with one nuke sent through the teleporter. AND presumably their homeworld was the only location of something so advanced as a teleporter, so with it gone any stragglers were cut off and would have to find earth the hard way. In fact the film ends with Travolta in a cage, kept as a source of information with the threat that if he doesn’t help the humans if any colonies make it back to earth they will hand him over with the evidence that his greed brought down their homeworld. I honestly didn’t catch that the humans now control the universe(that does seem stupid beyond the normal sci fi stupid like fighter jets working after a millenia on the runway).

There is no defense.

I haven’t read the book since I was a kid, but wasn’t it more of a galactic financial conference than a peace conference? (That makes it even more silly, IMO.)

If the book had been released in the 40s, it might be considered a classic nowadays. Now, it only shows how out of touch with reality Hubbard was. Come on, the psychlos have evolved from viruses :confused::confused:. And his attitude towards women… It’s a good thing the movie bombed, otherwise Travolta might have found financing to film the second half of the book (BTW, I used to live next door to were some of the movie was filmed).

You want a detailed dissection of why the film is so awful?

No, it’s not The Woorst Film Ever Made. I could name plemnty that are worse. But – to quote Opus – “Lord knows, it wasn’t good.”

That dissection lost me when he started picking not just on the cliches in the film, but elements present in ALL sci fi movies

Something in a sci fi movie not explained by modern science?!? OUTRAGEOUS!

Oh shit, do you think he figured out yet he is watching “actors”? :wink:

I also found that it wasn’t so bad … yes it was a little long, the pacing could have been improved. It is definitely a “warehouse” sci-fi picture – the set design and special effects are done on a lower budget than other more epic sci-fi. IIRC, Travolta had to bankroll much of this himself.

What I’d read on Wikipedia was, in the book, Psyclos are 11 ft tall, so to do this the film makes heavy use of “dutch shots” and these were poorly executed, and vertigo inducing in the theater. When on TV, the pan and scan may remove the problem. Note: Peter Jackson didn’t have that problem making hobbits look short using the same sorts of tricks. Anyway, yeah, not a bad film, on TV, on a boring day. But not a great motion picture.

I tried reading the book…funny, for a guy who claimed to be a nuclear physicist, Hubbard wasn’t very scientifically savvy. The book reads like pulp 1930’s science fiction…but its a “best seller” (because of the COS).

The biggest problem was that the movie was so tedious. It dragged from start to finish.

There also was the problem of Travolta’s overacting. He made Terl into a Batman villain (Adam West vintage). That works if you were going for comedy, but this was supposed to be an adventure film. His portrayal made Ming the Merciless from the 30s seem like a exercise in restraint. Only Sid Haig from Jason of Star Command chewed the scenery more – and that was a show for children.

The plot was unbelievable at every level. People learning to fly jets by themselves? The instructions they needed just happening to be on the projector when they turned it on (and it still had power after a thousand years?)? A planet whose atmosphere explodes when exposed to radiation? Improbable coincidences as the only plot device?

It didn’t help that Barry Pepper had less presence than a ghost and no actual acting ability. Or that the director tried to shoot every shot at a tilt, a gimmick that grew tiresome very fast.