Starring Eric Balfour, Scottie Thompson, Brittany Daniel, Crystal Reed, Neil Hopkins, David Zayas, Donald Faison
Directed by Colin Strause and Greg Strause
Distributed by Universal Studios Home Entertainment
After the horrid, horrid, horrid experience that was Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, we were hoping that the brothers Strause could come back strong. Or at the very least come back with a lighting rig. Well, we got one of the two.
Skyline tells the tale of a routine birthday visit among friends that culminates into a fight for survival against vicious alien beings hellbent on the decimation of the human race. Yes, the plot is thin, but for your standard “invasion” type film, it doesn’t exactly have to be brimming with intricacies. Just give us mayhem, destruction, and characters whom we can give a shit about; and we are good to go. Somewhere along the line this simple formula got really screwed up.
The Skyline viewing experience is a strange one. It’s like sitting through an infomercial for a mixtape that your alien-obsessed best friend made. There are these huge greatest hits-like setpieces borrowed from here and there that are strung together shallowly and void of any fun. This should have been a blast. A no-brainer. Both Colin and Greg Strause are amazingly talented effects artists. Skyline feels like their masturbatory demo reel. At the very least we can actually see what’s going on this time around, but the question now beckons … do we really want to?
In terms of the Blu-ray and DVD picture and sound quality, it’s no contest … the Blu-ray takes it hands down. The DVD holds its own, but the difference is really apparent between the two. To say the movie looks stunning in high definition is a little bit of an understatement.
The daytime scenes sell like you wouldn’t believe, and the image stays razor-sharp throughout them, but the night scenes? Well, that’s a different story. Simply put, for whatever reason it’s easier to pin out the CGI elements during these darker moments. If you have ever watched an earlier feature possessing heavy CGI, then you know that this technique rarely ages well. Don’t get me wrong; it doesn’t look bad, just noticeable. The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio mix will definitely have your house shaking and complementing the on-screen chaos.
As for the special features both packages share the same goodies with the exception of some Blu-ray exclusive bells and whistles like BD-Live, Mobile-to-Go, etc. Things kick off with two “Job Well Done” commentary tracks, one by the brothers and the other with producer Liam O’Donnell and co-writer Joshua Cordes. Of the two we’d go with the Strauses, if only because their banter about bringing this one to the screen is a bit more lively and informative. From there we get about six-and-a-half minutes of deleted and extended scenes along with two-and-a-half minutes of alternate scenes, all of which are purely expository and flesh out the characters a bit more. Add on a look at the film’s effects and a trailer gallery, and we are done.
With Skyline the Strauses swing for the fences and miss each time. If the effects work didn’t look so damned good, we’d have rated this one much lower. It’s one of those movies you can just put on as background noise while you’re doing something else that you’ll look over to every now and again and think to yourself, “That’s cool”, before moving on to your next task.
Special Features Blu-ray and DVD
2 out of 5
2 1/2 out of 5
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