Skyline Discussion

Not since Catwoman has a genre film received this much publicity and this many poor reviews at the same time. Since we can’t be convinced to see it and no one issued us passes, we’re going to open the discussion with quotations from name reviewers:

“…the cinematic equivalent of root canal.”
–Rob Vaux, Mania

“It’s finally here: The most boring alien-invasion movie ever.”
–Joe Neumaier, The New York Daily News

“The film starts out pretty poorly and goes downhill….”
–Jim Mourgos, MovieWeb

“If all you want is a combination of some slightly above-average special effects and the worst screenplay not credited to Akiva Goldsman, you’ll adore Skyline. In the realm of wars of the worlds titles, it barely bests Plan 9 from Outer Space. As slick, computer generated eye candy, it more or less passes the test. But since the spectacle is interrupted by scene after scene of community college level acting and grade school plotting, the ‘wow’ factor can’t win us over.”
–Bill Gibron,

“Typically, the creatures hypnotize people with the pretty blue Christmas lights they have hanging on their bodies, and then hoover them into their gnarly clam-shell of a space ship.…Occasionally, they’ll even go zombie – sneaking up from behind their victims and sucking out their brains, though from what we see of the humans in the film, it would be a poor source of nourishment.”
–Liam Lacey, The Globe and Mail

“It’s terrible. Actually, many of the FX scenes are terrible as well – the FX looks great, but everything happening on screen around the FX is bone headed or moronic or poorly shot. And that’s pretty much the film in a nutshell: bone headed, moronic and poorly shot. And terribly acted as well, just for good measure. There’s not a single believable moment in Skyline, and I don’t mean that I couldn’t believe in an alien invasion. I mean that not one human being in the film comes across like a human being of any sort, that none of the dialog rings true or is delivered well and that some of the actors can’t even exit an airplane convincingly.
-Devin Faraci, Badass Reviews

Let’s get one thing clear right from the off: Skyline is a terrible, terrible movie. The dialogue is abysmal… the acting is even worse… and the plot makes absolutely no sense.
–Tom Huddleston, Time Out London

Eventually it turns out that all the running and hiding and chopping (there’s an ax) was beside the point, which is the sort of thing that can make you angry if you care about the characters, but in this case is kind of a relief.
–Mike Hale, The New York Times

“Were we meant to laugh out loud?”
–Liz Braun, Sun Media.

12 replies on “Skyline Discussion”

  1. Here’s the funny thing. According to rottentomatoes, the critics hate it, with only 10% giving good reviews. But something like 70% of the opening weekend audiences liked it.

    Are the critics out of touch, or did it just find an audience that doesn’t care about the movie, as long as it has FX?

    • Every minor release with a major distributor starts out with huge IMDB and RottenTomatoes numbers, as studios openly admit to having people on staff who give titles the highest possible ratings for their product. The big releases come out in the middle, while the home studio boosts the score, competing studios hire people to tank the score, and actual human voting becomes a higher proportion. That’s one of the reasons I prefer the IMDB reporting; one click and you can see the actual histograms with full demographic information. The actual trends become much easier to read.

  2. I saw it Friday. It wasn’t quite root canal bad, neither was I on the edge of my seat. The critters were gorgeous, the premise itself was relatively acceptable.

    The plot was insipid, but where the film reall missed its turn and tumbled off a cliff onto the rocks was the dialogue. The dialogue was so horrible that even the most gifted actors couldn’t have rescued it. Couple the horrible dialogue with mediocre actors, and there you have the fundamental flaw of the movie. At fifteen minutes I had to fight the urge to look at my watch. At thirty minutes I finally gave in and despaired that I had an hour to go.

    Oh, best acting in this movie goes to the empty chairs in the news broadcast studios. :) Those brief scenes had more impact for me than the scenes with moving bodies. :)

    My friend who treated me to the film seemed to really enjoy it though, so for his sake I put on a brave face.

    Save your money and wait for this flick to finish its express ride to the Wal Mart bargain DVD bin. It’s well on its way.

    Oh, and yes, the ending is wide open for a sequel. A sequel might be a Syfy Channel weekend special, but it won’t be showing up again on a big screen. :)


    • I agree, there was a lot of potential in this movie, but it was all wasted. What REALLY worried me is how the movie started with the invasion and then flashed back 15 hours to do 30 minutes or so of establishing (very poorly) the characters.

      Then they had so many points where the story could have moved along: trying to leave the building, the military taking down the ship, the military team on the roof, but each of these plot pieces lead (literally and figuratively) absolutely NOWHERE.

      The ending was interesting but still so completely hopeless (in fact the whole movie comes across as completely hopeless) that while there’s room for a sequel, and I could already thing of interesting ways to do the sequel, this movie was executed soooo poorly that I believe you’re correct in saying that there’s absolutely no way that sequel will show up anywhere but on syfy, if at all.

      • EXCEEDLINGLY hopeless.

        After 87 minutes of “meh”, the payoff is to have almost all hope smooshed like a fragile butterfly on the front grille of a Porsche.

        I remember thinking to myself “that’s 92 minutes of my life irretrievably gone.” Mind you, I’ll burn 92 minutes sometimes watching totally mindless nature documentaries. For me, to regret 92 minutes of visual valium is something …

        I guess the juxtaposition of an “action sci fi thriller” with “poorly-written teen mentality gross-out flick” fell flat. Any flatter and they’d have needed CPR for half of the audience.

        Hey JWW, what do you think of BSG: Blood, Boobs, and Chrome? :) I think the direct mention of boobs is the only way they could increase the reference to their target demographic. :)


        • I’m kinda cold on all things BSG. I have trouble getting into prequels and Caprica IMHO really fell off after the first few eps and I just stopped watching it all.

          The Walking Dead rules my TV viewing now…

          Oh, and I love the hope smooshed like a butterfly on a Porsche grille metaphor. Perfect description of Skyline.

          • I just got going on “Walking Dead” this weekend when AMC did a recap. Unfortunately my local cable system screwed up the internal DVR schedule so I missed the first twenty minutes of every episode …

            Still, it’s pretty amazing. :)


    • .

      My friend who treated me to the film seemed to really enjoy it though, so for his sake I put on a brave face.

      I had to miss the trip my friends from work made and saw it, but they “red-lined” it. – I’ll explain;

      My friends and I have made a pact; We call it the “Thin Red Line” rule. It came from the time when we went as a group to see the Thin Red Line. After the movie, we all discovered that each of us would have got up and walked out on the movie, but we stayed for everybody else ( who were staying for us…) The TRL-rule states that if we are ever in a movie that we want to leave, we promise to say something to the others who are with us. – If people are enjoying it, then we’ll tough it out; but if everybody feels the same, we’ll save ourselves some of the “92 minutes of my life irretrievably gone.”

      Those of you who may have enjoyed TRL… feel free to rename the idea, but I highly suggest you consider implementing an equivalent. We’ve only red-lined 3 movies since then (this was #4, but I missed it myself), but that’s 5 hours of my life I spend for better use. – AND, just knowing the rule is there makes enjoying movies easier. – No worries about if everybody else is enjoying… They’ve promised to say something if they are not.

      Just my opinion, I could be wrong.

      • This is also referred to as the “Abilene paradox” – The Abilene paradox is a paradox in which a group of people collectively decide on a course of action that is counter to the preferences of any of the individuals in the group. It involves a common breakdown of group communication in which each member mistakenly believes that their own preferences are counter to the group’s and, therefore, does not raise objections. A common phrase relating to the Abilene paradox is a desire to not “rock the boat”.

        (from wikipedia)

  3. Awww damnit. I was hoping to catch this on a Tuesday night special. Guess I’ll save my money for Mr.Potter.

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