Battlefield Earth (2000)

I chose John Travolta as a subject of interest in this quest for the best bad movie ever made because he has the kind of camp value I would expect from the star of a good shitty movie.   This may only be my fourth Travolta post, but over the past four weeks I have watched many, many more that I didn’t even bother to rate on our handy shit-scale.  I’ve come to realize that this man has done a lot of mediocre crap, and while there have been some fun moments I have to conclude that John Travolta is probably not in the best shitty movie of all time.   I only wish I’d figured that out BEFORE I watched  Look Who’s Talking Too.

Battlefield Earth definitely falls into the category of mediocre crap, which is really too bad because I was excited about this one.  Apocalypse-themed stories always have potential, and having seen Travolta’s silly flowing alien dread locks in pictures, it seemed like a guaranteed good time.  Unfortunately the movie wasn’t quite bad enough to be good, and it most certainly wasn’t for-real good.

PLOT:

An aggressive alien race of lumbering meat heads called the Psyclos conquered Earth a thousand years ago.  Now the few humans left live primitively in the deserts while the Psyclos mine the planet for sparkly gold and other precious ores.  But, predictably, there is one young upstart human with a huge chip on his shoulder who won’t settle for life lived as an endangered species.  Against the equally predictable admonitions of his tribe’s wise man leader ( you know, the old guy draped in dead bunnies), this young whipper snapper takes off on his horse, armed with rocks and sticks, on a mission to seek out the “demons” his people fear (the Psyclos) and destroy them.  He’s quickly captured but due to his high level of moxie the lead Psyclo (Travolta) decides to hook him up to a “knowledge machine” and see what happens.  Guess what happens.  Come on, guess.  If you guessed that his brain turns to jelly and life goes on unmolested for the Psyclos, you need to watch more shitty movies.

AMBITION: 3

This is Scientology recycling an old L. Ron Hubbard sci-fi novel tp further it’s purpose, most likely.  Of course, most of us regular people will never know what that purpose is or how Battlefield Earth furthered it until it’s too late, so who cares?

PRESENTABILITY: 5

Sure, you could make your friends watch this.  You could also fart in their face and call it a chicken salad.  Both actions would have similar consequences: your friends will probably forgive you but they’ll also respect you a little less.

SEX/VIOLENCE: 2

Every time I give a low score in this category I have to wonder how the in hell anybody can make a 2 hour piece of crap like this without showing any interesting sex or violence.  Was everything included in the movie so vital they couldn’t spare a few measly minutes for some weird alien sex or a nice bloody explosion?  Please.

PERFORMANCE: 5

Travolta is very smug and hammy, which works for the movie but doesn’t necessarily translate to a high score on this scale.
Forest Whitaker is the second-in-command Psyclo.  It’s always fun to see an oscar winner dressed up all silly and playing the vapid sidekick.
The man-animals give it their scowly best.

DATABILITY: 5

Battlefield Earth has that epic movie feel that is coming to be associated with the time period.  It’s one of those turn of the century movies that wants to blow your mind AND your eardrums, and then make you cry and pee your pants for good measure.  Kind of like my old baby sitter.

SCRIPT: 3

Travolta shakes a rat in the man-animal’s face and screams, “DO YOU WANT LUNCH!?!?”  The line is totally dependent on the action that accompanies it and still it’s the best quote I can take from this movie.

RELEVANCE: 5

It’s somewhat relevant if only for the Scientology thing.  It also champions the freedom-loving human spirit or whatever, but that’s old hat.

ORIGINALITY: 1

The main story is a million years old and a million times told.  The “contemporary” updates can be traced back to old episodes of Star Trek.

CINEMATOGRAPHY: 8

I found the excessive use of “dynamic” camera angles outrageously funny.  I don’t think there was a single scene that wasn’t tilted at least 15 degrees.  Slow motion and monochrome were also overused but to a less hilarious extent.

PRODUCTION DESIGN: 5

Again, I have to reference Star Trek.  Visually, the Psychlos were exactly what you’d get if a Klingon mated with a Romulan.
The filmmakers’ vision of Earth in a thousand years was pretty drab.  The ruins of all the familiar American cities was pretty much exactly like Logan’s Run.  This movie ripped off SO MANY THINGS!!!

TOTAL: 42

Watching this movie was like using a public restroom that’s been without running water for a thousand years.

REALITY COMICS PRESENTS:

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~ by mgjk on September 27, 2010.

One Response to “Battlefield Earth (2000)”

  1. Battlefield Earth (2000)…

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