Blu-ray Review “Battleship”

Directed by: Peter Berg
Starring: Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgård, Brooklyn Decker, Liam Neeson, Tadanobu Asano, Hamish Linklater
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Distributed by: Universal Home Entertainment
Release Date: August 28, 2012
Running Time: 131 minutes

Film: 1 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars

When the reviews and bad press came out surrounding this film, I thought to myself…could it really be that bad? Holy Shit! Yes it was. I am a guy and not even the action in the film could keep my interest. I found myself literally laughing out loud at some (if not all) of the dialogue. I have no idea how they thought that they had a decent movie here at all. Liam Neeson pops in and out every 30-40 minutes and is basically misused, as is Brooklyn Decker who they push to the side. Alexander Skarsgård also let’s just say has a “small” appearance in the film. Taylor Kitsch doesn’t know whether he wants to play the role seriously or comedically. I would normally say if you are looking for a fun time check it out, but I honestly can’t say that about this film. Did I also mention it is almost 2 1/2 hours?

Universal’s Blu-ray on the other hand doesn’t disappoint at all. The film cost well over $200 million dollars, so the special effects and CG work is just fantastic. Even though the “aliens” look like retarded cavemen. The 1080p video presentation looks close to amazing. It is also packed with a surround sound breaking DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 audio track. I have to admit the one thing I loved in this film was the bass-filled noise when the aliens are showcased, that sounds amazing on the surround track. The release itself is combo pack with the Blu-ray, a DVD disc, a digital copy and also a Ultraviolet digital streaming copy (which I will NOT be adding to my Flixster account). The film is also jam-packed with actual decent special features, which end up being quite more entertaining than the film itself.

The first extra we have is “All Access with Director Peter Berg”, which is a hosted Picture-in-Picture video commentary with interviews, behind-the-scenes featurettes, etc. As much as I am not a fan of Berg, this was decent. There is an interactive “Second Screen Experience” available via your tablet or PC. If you thought the original theatrical ending was bad, the “Alternate Ending Previsualization” is honestly worse. “USS Missouri VIP Tour” is an overview of the actual ships history. “Preparing for Battle” is a cross-over from the game to the film. “All Hands on Deck: The Cast” features Berg talking about the film’s cast. “Engage in Battle” including two location shooting featurettes: “Shooting at Sea” and “All Aboard the Fleet”. “Commander Pete” focusing on the directing style of the genius (sarcasm!) Berg. Lastly, “The Visual Effects” is one of the best features, though sadly it also the shortest.

Film Review “Battleship”

Starring: Taylor Kitsch, Brooklyn Decker and Liam Neeson
Directed by: Peter Berg
PG 13
Running time: 2 hrs 21 mins

Our Score: 2 out of 5 stars

“H-7. Hit. B-7. Miss. H-8. Hit. You sunk my Battleship!”

If you grew up in the 1970s you remember the television commercial about the two old men playing “Battleship” while attending the opera. I certainly played it enough in my time (though I will admit here that I often cheated, stating “Miss” when in reality my mine sweeper should have been heading to the bottom of the ocean). Now, from Hasbro, the toy company that gave you such films as “Transformers” and “G.I. Joe” (as well as their sequels), comes “Battleship.”

2005. A planet almost identical in location from its sun as Earth is discovered in a far away galaxy. Hoping to learn more about it, our government builds a transmission station and the next year sends a radio beacon into space, hoping to reach the planet. The project is called, simply, the Beacon Project. As the beam heads skyward, we are introduced to Alex Hopper (Kitsch), a slacker in every sense of the word. Alex currently lives on the couch in the home owned by his brother Stone (Alexander Skarsgard), a commander in the U.S. Navy. Another of his apparently frequent run-ins with the law cause Stone to lay the law down, demanding Alex make something of his life by joining him in the Navy. Aye-aye, sir!

Over the top in every way, “Battleship” is two-plus hours of explosions in what is really a mash-up of “Independence Day,” “Transformers,” “Signs” and “Power Rangers.” But, not necessarily in a good way. The film starts off promisingly, with Alex going above and beyond to obtain a snack for the pretty daughter (Decker) of a Navy admiral (Neeson). But then things begin to unravel. In what seems like a day (no transitional scenes) Alex is now a naval officer stationed in Hawaii. He is also part of a soccer team that plays the sailors of the Japanese navy who are visiting Pearl Harbor to take part in a training exercise and attend a dedication to the battleship U.S.S. Missouri. Good point? I’m going to say “no.” Because I know that if I were a naval veteran at Pearl Harbor the last thing I want to see is the Japanese navy! Anyway, during the game Alex gets in an altercation with a Japanese player. Apparently that’s a bad thing because, as Alex heads out to sea on his training exercise he’s informed that “JAG” is probably going to kick him out of the Navy. Really? Without a trial? Is Alex in the RUSSIAN navy?

On the slight “plus” side of the film, the special effects are first rate though, like “Transformers 2,” they are eventually almost a blur because of the films’ dependence on them. The cast does its best with what it was given. Kitsch is a likable actor who’s two biggest roles (here and this past spring entry “John Carter”) have pitted him against special effects. He needs to find a role that lets him achieve the performances he reached on “Friday Night Lights.” And hopefully avoid his agent’s phone call when the ultimate Hasbro movie, “Lincoln Logs vs Tinkertoys,” is being cast!

New Trailer & Poster for “Battleship”

This summer, the battle for Earth begins at sea.

On behalf of Universal Pictures, we are excited to announce that iTunes Trailers has just premiered the epic *NEW* trailer, one-sheet and images for the highly anticipated action-adventure film BATTLESHIP! Watch the new trailer and embed on your site via the new iTunes embed code below!

Peter Berg (Hancock) produces and directs Battleship, the epic-scaled action-adventure that unfolds across the seas, in the skies and over land as our planet fights for survival against a superior force. Inspired by Hasbro’s classic naval combat game and starring Taylor Kitsch, Brooklyn Decker, Alexander Skarsgård, Rihanna, Asano Tadanobu, and Liam Neeson, Battleship hits theaters on May 18, 2012.