Between District 9 and War of the Worlds

Lately, film theaters have provided little in terms of solid sci-fi entertainment. But do not fret! With an up-and-coming mass hysteria regarding the 2012, supposed end of Mayan calendar, and inspiration for such intellectually stimulating productions, such as “2012”…wait, is it time to say NOT already?…and the sudden realization that yes, we still want science-fiction-action combos, there is a new parade of films heading our way.

I know, Tron will be amazing. Or at least it better be. But meanwhile, I introduce to you the unholy offspring of “District 9,” “War of the Worlds,” and money.

Let us begin:

The first hails straight from book of Independence Day fandom, and yes, you got it, War of the Worlds. Titled Skyline, it has that not-so-unique combination of CG with some more CG. In fact, looking at the trailer, you might be entirely blown away by the vast quantities of…you guessed it – CG:

(for those unable to view embedded video, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QSymCekdLk)

Directed by the Strause duo, Greg and Colin, responsible for such hits as The Nutty Professor and endless Nickleback videos (hrmph, there is no amount of throat clearing that will help that statement), I am struck with lowered expectations. I am sure that the premise of aliens in LA who mesmerize humans just to “suck them in” and take them to who-knows-where, will be so lackluster that we’ll collectively experience more rage than over war in Iraq and Afghanistan combined.

There are some saving graces – the screenplay is penned by Liam O’Donnell and Joshua Cordes. Cordes previously got behind some mass-market materials including: Avatar, The Day After Tomorrow, and 300. So, yes, expect the script to make little sense, but there will be big CG explosions of unexplained technologies.

The other saving grace is the casting of delightful Eric Balfour, whose presence is a surprise, and a welcome respite from the usual fair of protagonists.

The next in-betweener, is Battle: Los Angeles (do note, also set in LA). Directed by South African, Jonathan Liebesman, is kind of the very same film, except from military perspective. A Black-Hawk Down version of Skyline, if you may.

(for those unable to view embedded video, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-CRTqkDDf4)

Liebesman has made his mark with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, and then The Killing Room, so I expect a lot of scenes covered in meat.

The film does carry heavyweights, including Aaron Eckhart, and Michelle Rodriguez. And the trailer does show some flexing of dramatic skills amongst all that meat and bullets.

The last to complete this unholy trinity is Seres: Genesis. Directed by Angel Mario Huerta, who fathered El Cine Regio, will give you all that but at a smaller budget, in a story surrounding Owal Tec who investigates paranormal activities that are taking place around Mexico.

This South American twist has an inferior music score, but as trailer suggests, also offers a richer cinematographic experience. Its premise also, however, relies on extinction of humanity by some not-so-benevolent alien presence. Enjoy!

(for those unable to view embedded video, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsghoA0E0qM)