Tag Archives: Battleship

“Battleship” box office bomb baffles Berg

In “No shizz, Sherlock” news today comes “Battleship” director Peter Berg‘s assertion that his film flopped so that “The Avengers” could soar at the box office, like Tony Stark carting Hawkeye up to a better vantage point.  Or something.

“The reviews! They burn!”

Citing the unprecedented success of the Marvel Studios superhero epic having a knock-on effect on other would-be summer blockbuster fare in the marketplace, Berg still holds out hope for a sequel based on decent international business – the film’s US performance makes for less hopeful reading to anybody but the terminally optimistic.

Well, you can’t argue against a US box office take of $600 million but to cite “The Avengers” as the sole reason for your film under-performing is to ignore the rather more accurate idea that “Battleship” is so asinine, noisy and dim-witted that it makes your average Joel Schumacher/Rob Cohen/Michael Bay popcorn flick look like a Ken Loach film and reduces the IQ of anybody unlucky enough to be exposed to it for more than two minutes.

I like stupid, undemanding, glitzy genre crap – see my Resident Evil/“Underworld” fandom for ample evidence of that – and even I couldn’t drag myself to a cineplex to behold the spectacle of Rihanna pretending to be a naval officer and various aliens mocking our Earth Physics in the name of entertainment.

Once it comes to DVD and Blu-Ray, I might give the film a go but I don’t expect it to be anything more than shrill and silly, uber-patriotic fluff.  Weirdly, Peter Berg seems to believe that he’s made an important film.  One of us is right, and I don’t think that it’s him…


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“G.I. Joe” – Evacuation!

What if you made a summer movie and nobody went?


NOT coming soon to a theatre near you…

This appears to be the line of thought over at Paramount, where their imminent blockbuster-in-waiting, the sequel “G.I. Joe – Retaliation” has suddenly been yanked from its June 25th release date and given a March 2013 release.

Officially, this is due to a need to bolt-on a 3D conversion to the film, as Paramount’s press release would have us believe that the delay is necessary to do the job properly and so take advantage of the foreign box office’s insatiable desire for 3D Sci-Fi Action flicks.

Unofficially, having seen Universal’s “Battleship” take a beating at the hands of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Paramount didn’t fancy having their summer flick get a one-two drubbing from The Amazing Spider-Man and The Dark Knight Rises” and ran scared to a far less busy, free of superheroes weekend in 2013.

What do we really think caused this abrupt decision?  Probably a bit from column A and a bit from column B – If the other super-flicks of this summer have half the appeal of “The Avengers”, Paramount are going to look very smart and have protected their considerable investment by tailoring it to where the global film market is going.

China and Russia love their 3D action and are accounting for an ever-larger slice of box office takings – if you could get a chunk of that cash, wouldn’t you make an effort?  Even if, you know, it involved taking your 2-D flick and daubing the equivalent of a virtual moustache on it.

Who knows, by this point in 2013 the post-conversion technology may have improved to such a point that the words “Post-Converted 3D” won’t fill discerning nerds with uncommon dread…

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“Battleship” movie reviews are in – it’s great!



The review embargo seems to have expired for Universal‘s would-be blockbusterBattleship“, which is being unleashed on an unwitting Europe a month or so ahead of its Stateside release. Surprisingly, for a film based on a board game, the critical word is…not kind.  Go figure?

Empire’s two-star evisceration is typical of many reactions – “An event movie so lunk-headed – both in concept and execution  – that it’s hard not to suspect director Peter Berg of pulling a prank”.  

And SFX fairly damn it with distinctly faint praise by concluding “If you love military hardware, it’s a great naval gazing exercise. But as a blockbuster it’s all a bit half-mast.”  Hmm…I do see what they did there.

The kindest review that I’ve found is from my nerdy soul-mates at Den of Geek, who have at least found some modest, geeky thrills from a film which looks like some kind of meta-tribute to Michael Bay‘s recent, Hasbro inspired oeuvre.

Den of Geek’s viewBattleship eventually delivers the requisite salty charm and occasional ripples of excitement you’d expect from an expensive summer blockbuster”.

How bad can a movie based on a board game starring a pop star-turned-actress and a model really be?  Ahem…


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“Avengers” Super Bowl teaser – assembled.

Hyped yet? Me, too.

It turns out that sport is good for something after all – who knew?

This Sunday’s Super Bowl featured many well-paid, overly padded men hitting one another (one word, boys – ‘rugby’) and much fuss and consternation about professional controversalist MIA shocking America by flipping the bird during Madonna’s half-time show (did anybody honestly not expect her to try to be the centre of attention?).

Yet the most interesting things to me about the Super Bowl are the absurdly expensive and deliberately positioned teaser trailers for summer blockbusters – this year saw 30 second spots advertising Disney’s “John Carter”, Universal’s “Battleship” and Relativity‘s awful looking actioner, “Act of Valor”, whose sole selling point appears to be that it stars real Navy SEAL members.   Yep, that’s one film which will definitely do well outside the US.

The fraught task of single-handedly erasing the bad after-taste of the latter trailer, then, fell to Marvel’s “The Avengers”.

Imagine if Richard Branson had one of these suits - we'd never see the end of it.

It was, quite predictably, a riot of colour, crashes, bangs and mayhem – a paroxysm of superheroic shenanigans and one-liners (“We have a Hulk”), cities in fire and iconic Avengers united on-screen for the first time.

Now, this is how you do patriotic action...

I can understand that a lot of fans of Thor, Captain America and Iron Man have felt that their individual movies didn’t serve their characters well and acted as feature-length trailers for a team-up project which didn’t have the same value for them as a solo outing for Tony Stark or Steve Rogers would have done.   I can appreciate that this would be irksome but the seven-year old nerd in me looks at this trailer and can’t wait for the end of April to roll around (May 4th in the US per this trailer).

Joss Whedon? Likes his hero shots? Surely some mistake?



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Trailered – “Battleship”

Intent, 'looking at something on monitor' acting for the win!

After a less-than-enthusiastically received teaser trailer in the Summer, Universal and Hasbro’s franchise-in-waiting “Battleship” has posted a second trailer and we’ve now got a better idea of what this film will be like.

And what it will be like is the wildly successful “Transformers”  series, oddly enough.  It’s as though Hasbro and their film-making partners are working to a template or something.

In case you thought that you were watching the new Lars Von Trier movie...

From the beginning of the trailer, we’ve got mysterious goings-on under the Ocean – lots of murky malevolence and things half-glimpsed which ain’t quite human – and the now-obligatory, post “Inception” low-frequency ‘Honk!‘ on the soundtrack.

I still have my heart set on 'Ker-Plunk! - the Movie'...

In short order, we get the regulation helicopter shots of the fleet at sea, sailors in dress whites, the young and attractive leads …

Young white kids in love - it's a cinematic revolution...

When the deep-sea alien shizzle hits the fan, you’ll be stunned to learn that a Dubstep track also begins to kick in and the edits get so quick that you may think that you’re having an auditory hallucination with a sweet Skrillex soundtrack.  Is Dubstep becoming as generic a choice on action trailers as Adele is on a “Greys Anatomy” advert?


Depending on your point of view, Universal, director Peter Berg and Hasbro have neatly side-stepped the essentially absurd notion of making a narrative film out of a board game by making this an out-and-out genre film which eschews the concerns of the real world and avoids any concerns that potential audience members might have about supporting yet another action movie which seems to have a hawkish, ‘might is right’, US-centric world view which is at odds with their own.

That doesn't look too friendly...

Your mileage may vary, of course.  For ‘alien’, some may read ‘foreign’ and there’s more than enough essays available on the internet which will tell you that films like this prime their young and impressionable audiences to accept military aggression in real life by depicting those forces in fiction as sexy, young, heroic, technologically advanced and capable or usurping enemies in double-quick time and with perfectly timed quips to boot.

That's a terrorist ship, I'm telling you! It could even be European....

I’m just going to assume that this a stupid action movie and not expect it to convert me to any cause.  And I say this as somebody who was able to enjoy Roland Emmerich’s “Independence Day” back in the 90’s despite feeling as though my brains were slowly dribbling out of my ears as I watched the heroic Labrador outrunning the fireball, Will Smith punching out a downed alien and the universal, Mac-based operating system employed by Alien mother ships.

Yep, that's a big old Alien interloper, all right.

In fact, if you’re not getting an Emmerich vibe from this new movie from the trailer, you might have clicked on a link to the last Woody Allen film by mistake.  Not that you would be doing anything wrong by watching that film, just saying…

A quiet, reflective scene from the trailer for "Battleship"...

It all looks reasonably entertaining, but if you weren’t able to get through any of Michael Bay’s “Transformers” flicks without feeling an uncontrollable urge to switch the movie off, destroy the disc and generally do something more positive with your brief time on earth, I get the sense that you should probably skip this one when it opens next Summer.

Yep, no echoes of Emmerich's action blockbusters here, then...


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