Skyline

Drinking Games

Were Los Angeles attacked by aliens, would you rather be saved by the Marines or a pack of television actors playing a rapper’s posse? If you said the Marines, then take your sorry butt down to your local cineplex and spend the money to see Battle: Los Angeles on the big screen. If you went for the TV actors, then get your sorry butt to your local video store of your choice and pick up a copy of Skyline. Either case, you might want to pick up a bottle of your drink of choice along the way.

read more...

This Week in DVD

Last week saw a bump in the road for our DVD column as festivals got in the way of DVD watching, but this week we’re back on track with a vengeance! Or something equally dramatic sounding. But sadly, our triumphant return is greeted by a week with no DVD releases worth buying. There are a few worth adding to the ol’ Netflix queue or heading down to your local Redbox for though, including the latest Roger Corman double feature from Shout! Factory, the sequel to Alien you never knew existed, an indie comedy about a promiscuous Asian woman, and more. How Do You Know A young woman (Reese Witherspoon) finds herself in a romantic triangle with a sports star (Owen Wilson) and a businessman (Paul Rudd) on the brink of ruin. James L. Brooks’s latest film tanked at the box office this past winter, and while some folks pointed at the title’s lack of punctuation as the cause others pointed at the ridiculous budget of $100m+. In reality it simply didn’t connect with audiences, and while that’s too bad it still leaves the opportunity for people to discover it on DVD/Blu-ray. The three leads are all on top of their game here and give strong and fun performances built from Brooks’s witty and warm script. It’s no Broadcast News, but it does feature more laughs and romance than most rom-coms manage these days.

read more...

This Week in Blu-ray

I will forgo the usual intro after a two-week hiatus from writing this column and simply apologize. Beside last week being the week of SXSW, I don’t have a very good reason why this is the first Blu-ray column of March. Well, there was a general malaise about the titles being released in the month’s first few weeks, but we all know that’s no good reason to shirk my duties as chief high definition prognosticator. So we’re back this week with a few really great releases, including March’s best release as Pick of the Week, a spectacular entry into the Criterion Collection and a few really bad movies that I loved. Take that, common sense! Four Lions Any release calendar junkies among you may be quick to cite the fact that Four Lions streeted on March 8, two weeks prior to the writing of this column. You’d be right — it’s not one of this week’s release. But with a dearth of great titles hitting shelves this Tuesday, combined with my absence from this column’s helm for the past two weeks, I thought it to be more than appropriate to celebrate one of last year’s finest comedies. Terrorism. It’s funny when you look at it through the lens of director Chris Morris. It’s hilarious when you strap explosives to crows and dress up in Ninja Turtles costumes lined with C4. It’s enthralling and insightful when it wants to be, as well. It’s the rare kind of flick that has something […]

read more...

If you’ve ever wondered about the intimate hell of finding financing for an independent film, Edward Epstein has written a strongly worded, easy to understand primer on the subject that should be required reading for anyone even remotely interested in making their own film through traditional channels. As a (frustrating) standard, his essay is incredibly compelling, but even though his points are all correct, his ultimate conclusions about the possible negative fate of indie movies is slightly off. It’s not independent movies that are endangered. It’s the corporately-sponsored brand most have gotten used to that’s really in trouble.

read more...

Every week, Landon Palmer and Cole Abaius log on to their favorite chat client of 1996 as NoWaveSurfer and KeatonRox2738 in order to discuss some topical topic of interest. This week, the purported death of indie films that’s reported upon faithfully every year (at least 4 times a year). In the face of the Independent Film’s best friend festival beginning this weekend, we tackle the real question: Indie films can’t actually be dead, can they?

read more...

It was the banner that no one understood at Comic Con 2010. Amidst the massive advertisements for Scott Pilgrim and RED was a building-sized image for Skyline – a movie that no one had ever heard of before. The reason for that lack of knowledge was simple. The film was an independent feature built under the radar and far under the normal budget of a film of its kind. Now with Universal distributing it, the press was on to make Skyline a household name. Greg and Colin Strause have directed an indie that doesn’t see a lot of people talking to each other about life and love in the middle class or how difficult it is to be a 20-something. They’ve made an alien invasion movie with over 1,000 effects shots, and they’ve done it without the help (or hindrance) of a studio. The Brothers Strause were gracious enough to speak with me about this new world of independent filmmaking, the problems with the studio system, and the need to shake things up.

read more...

Boiling Point

Skyline seems to be the word on the tip of a lot of tongues this weekend. A pretty big majority of people are describing it as being painfully bad, competing for the dubious title of worst film of the year with The Last Airbender – available on Tuesday! There is a much smaller subset of people and critics who were pleased with the film, finding it to be a fun B-movie. Beyond the quality issue, there are a few reasons to talk about Skyline. First there is the obvious comparison to 2011’s Battle: Los Angeles, a much bigger budget film that looks like it’s going to kick all kinds of ass. When discussing the two, you could either bring up the fact that it seems like an obvious entry into the Duo Flicks category – like when we had both Deep Impact and Armageddon come out very close together or when both Dante’s Peak and Volcano exploded onto screens at the same time. Beyond that there is the potentially shady legal issue which has Sony accusing the Strause brothers of some bad dealings involving the project and technology surrounding it, considering that Hydraulx (owned by the Strauses) did some work on B:LA and all the work on Skyline. That seems like it could be a perfectly normal vehicle for discussion, but that’s not what most people are talking about. No, what they’re talking about seems to betray a lack of understanding of exactly what Skyline is.

read more...

The Reject Report

The missile the size of the Chrysler Building did all it could, but, in the end, it was a chrome-domed reject from the Blue Man Group that won out the weekend for a second time in a row. Despite Unstoppable‘s early weekend victory coming in first place on Friday, it didn’t hold a candle to what Megamind was able to pull in on Saturday and Sunday. In the end, the race wasn’t a shut-out, but Megamind, with less than a 35% drop from last weekend, came out in the #1 spot.

read more...

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr is like a runaway train filled with toxic chemicals. He could derail and explode at any moment. And it’s a good thing Tony Scott isn’t making a movie of his life because there aren’t enough whip pans and helicopter shots to capture his awesomeness. While he raps Scott’s knuckles with a railroad tie, he also gets giddy over the beautiful Rachel McAdams and gives some props to the Brothers Strause for the effects in Skyline. And then he explodes, and all the toxic chemicals threaten to wipe out a small town in Pennsylvania.

read more...

There’s a rarely talked about scourge worming its way through the studio system and reaching beyond it. It’s the comic book movie – in all of its harmless glory, the beauty of its spectacle, and the incredible nature of its dominance over other sub-genres. The truth is, no single comic book movie can do direct harm to an audience (except maybe Jonah Hex). The sub-genre has been incredibly helpful not only in bringing about a large amount of joy to the lives of billions but also in helping to usher in other “geek” properties to the mainstream. But we’re not talking about direct damage here. The insidious problem that comic book movies cause comes from their own popularity. Executives in the major studios and even those in the indie world are passing over original ideas simply because they aren’t comic books, and that’s a problem.

read more...

One of the benefits of making an indie film is that you can repeat the process and keep the ball rolling if you want. There’s freedom there. Most indie flicks don’t exactly lend themselves to sequels, though, because they hardly ever involve aliens blowing Los Angeles to Hell and back. I just spoke with Colin and Greg Strause, the co-directors of Skyline, and they mentioned another thing you’re not beholden to: the box office. They’re looking for a strong return, but even if it doesn’t garner huge numbers, the pair have already got 45 pages of a treatment for the next installment on paper. It’s not a guaranteed personal green light, but the Brothers point out that they only need to make “a tenth” of what normal event movies make in order to be successful financially, so there’s a good chance that they’ll start on page 46 after the film hits theaters the weekend of November 12th.

read more...

The variable that no one had heard of at Comic-Con was Skyline. Its footage and panel was a bit bland, but the special effects are the real stand outs. For a shoestring budget, the film has created some indelible images of women’s faces being lased, giant alien ships landing in brilliant blue down to city blocks, and millions of frail little human bodies being pulled up into the air to face what is probably the universe’s worst probing. Now, the teaser trailer has finally hit for the eyeballs of the masses. Check it out for yourself:

read more...

The San Diego Comic-Con is a strange thing. Leading up to it there’s anticipation, fear, excitement. Many of these emotions survive the first few days and you might even add a few: joy, rage, disappointment, wonderment. By the time you’re ready to leave, your body is aching and all you want to do is punch Jack Giroux in the face and sleep for 14 hours on the biggest, softest bed you can find. This year was no different. Going into Comic-Con there were certain things I was looking forward to – some of them hit the spot, others fell flat, one or two didn’t even end up being there. While I would classify the trip as a success that isn’t to say that each day didn’t bring a fair share of rage with it. So, I’ll cut to the chase and reveal the 10 Things I Liked about SDCC 2010, and 5 Things that left me cold.

read more...

If you want to talk about a movie that went from 0 to 99 on the recognition meter, you want to talk about the Colin and Greg Strause film Skyline. I’m not sure anyone really knew what the film was, or even what it was about, unless they were on the inside or had done some serious research. There’s a very good reason why none of us had heard of the film until this point – while a normal movie production employs hundreds (if not thousands) of people, Skyline employed about 20. Once the footage is released, you’ll see that this is very impressive. The Strause Brothers talked about the gestation of the idea that started with something along the lines of “if Paranormal Activity can be made on the cheap in someones house, why can’t we do that?” Hearing those words, one may have expected a movie set completely in an apartment, and one would have been wrong. Skyline is a massive alien invasion epic, or at least that’s what it looks like so far. Check after the jump for more info on this surprising science fiction flick…

read more...

A giant banner stretches across one of the waterfront hotels here in San Diego that advertises a film that no one’s ever heard of before. This isn’t the intentional mystery of J.J. Abrams or a struggling project trying to get some recognition. It’s somewhere in between.  From the towering advertisement, you wouldn’t be able to tell much about it except that it looks digitally animated, has two figures looking dangerously upward, and it’s called Skyline.  So what is it? 

read more...
Twitter button
Facebook button
Google+ button
RSS feed

published: 12.23.2014
B+
published: 12.22.2014
C-
published: 12.19.2014
A-


Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
Fantastic Fest 2014
6 Filmmaking Tips: James Gunn
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3