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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THE BIG STICK IS UNDER WAY
This film is an Asylum mock-buster of the film "Battleship" and addresses some of the issues of that film, such as how does a Battleship welded to a pier suddenly has fuel and weapons? In this film the Enterprise (and task force) is up against an enemy with a cloaking device and the enemy has to become visible to fire its weapons. Where have we seen this before...
Published on May 27, 2012 by The Movie Guy

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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars You Sunk My Battleship: Another Asylum Knock-Off Only For Lovers Of Bad Movie Mayhem
3 1/2 stars for Asylum (or bad SyFy) Fans
1 1/2 stars: Everyone Else

I have to credit the cheapie studio The Asylum for creating an entirely new movie term (or at least beating it into mainstream consciousness). They have created the Mockbuster. Every year, the studio seems to look at the upcoming summer movie releases and then tries to replicate the...
Published on May 18, 2012 by K. Harris


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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars You Sunk My Battleship: Another Asylum Knock-Off Only For Lovers Of Bad Movie Mayhem, May 18, 2012
This review is from: American Warships [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
3 1/2 stars for Asylum (or bad SyFy) Fans
1 1/2 stars: Everyone Else

I have to credit the cheapie studio The Asylum for creating an entirely new movie term (or at least beating it into mainstream consciousness). They have created the Mockbuster. Every year, the studio seems to look at the upcoming summer movie releases and then tries to replicate the larger studio offerings. The SyFy network will then broadcast these low budget endeavors on the same weekend that the original flicks hit the theater. It's actually pretty funny. However, last year, things struck a little too close as Asylum released "Battle of Los Angeles" as "Battle: Los Angeles" was in theaters and a confusion in the DVD market upset a number of consumers. Maybe that's why this year Asylum found itself in a legal battle with Universal Studios over this particular movie. As "Battleship" opens wide in movie houses, Asylum had readied "American Battleship" for the SyFy crowd on the same weekend. But with an impending lawsuit, the title has recently morphed into "American Warships" even as the movie remains a blatant copy of its more extravagant cousin.

I never expect much from an Asylum film, most are shot in a few days with a couple of nickels as the budget. But sometimes bad movie magic strikes. Some of the endeavors have been brilliantly bad (I mean that as a compliment) while others have just been bad bad. "American Warships" is actually a movie that benefits from lowered expectations because, by Asylum standards, it seems much more accomplished than some of their other offerings. Sure it's still silly, but it's a fun and entertaining silliness. The CGI effects are better than anticipated (once again, by Asylum standards, not feature film). But what takes this a step up from the ordinary are the committed performances. Note, I didn't say good--I said committed. It's so over-the-top delightful. For a bad movie to work, the actors have to convince you (often with limited resources and extreme line readings) that the fate of the world rests in their hands. I believed it here even when it was wooden and painfully overwrought.

Mario Van Peebles finds himself the captain of a battleship when a strange attack by alien forces seem to have crippled our ordinary defenses. As circumstances grow more dire, some hard decisions need to be made. As the attacks continue, the only option available may be a nuclear one. Of course, the implications of this aren't very pleasant but may be inevitable. Helping with these hard decisions, the cast also boasts an appearance by Carl Weathers as a General and Johanna Watts (surprisingly likable) as a lieutenant. Can the invasion be stopped? Will our heroic troops survive?

I truly struggle when reviewing bad movies. Why? Because for me, there is a difference between watching something for free and paying to own it on DVD. To be fair, many of these SyFy movies are rated by viewers that saw them on TV for free. I could watch nonsense non-stop at home on SyFy and be happy enough. Most of what I watch, however, I would not pay for or recommend to someone else for purchase. So my honest suggestion with "American Warships" is to catch it for free before deciding whether to invest. It's not something that I would choose to revisit anytime soon, but I've seen much worse from Asylum. And I had a fair share of laughs with this one. KGHarris, 5/12.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars You Sunk My Battleship: Another Asylum Knock-Off Only For Lovers Of Bad Movie Mayhem, May 18, 2012
3 1/2 stars for Asylum (or bad SyFy) Fans
1 1/2 stars: Everyone Else

I have to credit the cheapie studio The Asylum for creating an entirely new movie term (or at least beating it into mainstream consciousness). They have created the Mockbuster. Every year, the studio seems to look at the upcoming summer movie releases and then tries to replicate the larger studio offerings. The SyFy network will then broadcast these low budget endeavors on the same weekend that the original flicks hit the theater. It's actually pretty funny. However, last year, things struck a little too close as Asylum released "Battle of Los Angeles" as "Battle: Los Angeles" was in theaters and a confusion in the DVD market upset a number of consumers. Maybe that's why this year Asylum found itself in a legal battle with Universal Studios over this particular movie. As "Battleship" opens wide in movie houses, Asylum had readied "American Battleship" for the SyFy crowd on the same weekend. But with an impending lawsuit, the title has recently morphed into "American Warships" even as the movie remains a blatant copy of its more extravagant cousin.

I never expect much from an Asylum film, most are shot in a few days with a couple of nickels as the budget. But sometimes bad movie magic strikes. Some of the endeavors have been brilliantly bad (I mean that as a compliment) while others have just been bad bad. "American Warships" is actually a movie that benefits from lowered expectations because, by Asylum standards, it seems much more accomplished than some of their other offerings. Sure it's still silly, but it's a fun and entertaining silliness. The CGI effects are better than anticipated (once again, by Asylum standards, not feature film). But what takes this a step up from the ordinary are the committed performances. Note, I didn't say good--I said committed. It's so over-the-top delightful. For a bad movie to work, the actors have to convince you (often with limited resources and extreme line readings) that the fate of the world rests in their hands. I believed it here even when it was wooden and painfully overwrought.

Mario Van Peebles finds himself the captain of a battleship when a strange attack by alien forces seem to have crippled our ordinary defenses. As circumstances grow more dire, some hard decisions need to be made. As the attacks continue, the only option available may be a nuclear one. Of course, the implications of this aren't very pleasant but may be inevitable. Helping with these hard decisions, the cast also boasts an appearance by Carl Weathers as a General and Johanna Watts (surprisingly likable) as a lieutenant. Can the invasion be stopped? Will our heroic troops survive?

I truly struggle when reviewing bad movies. Why? Because for me, there is a difference between watching something for free and paying to own it on DVD. To be fair, many of these SyFy movies are rated by viewers that saw them on TV for free. I could watch nonsense non-stop at home on SyFy and be happy enough. Most of what I watch, however, I would not pay for or recommend to someone else for purchase. So my honest suggestion with "American Warships" is to catch it for free before deciding whether to invest. It's not something that I would choose to revisit anytime soon, but I've seen much worse from Asylum. And I had a fair share of laughs with this one. KGHarris, 5/12.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THE BIG STICK IS UNDER WAY, May 27, 2012
This review is from: American Warships (DVD)
This film is an Asylum mock-buster of the film "Battleship" and addresses some of the issues of that film, such as how does a Battleship welded to a pier suddenly has fuel and weapons? In this film the Enterprise (and task force) is up against an enemy with a cloaking device and the enemy has to become visible to fire its weapons. Where have we seen this before? We suspect the Chinese are involved. Now as any Trekkie knows the Romulans (not to be confused with Romney supporters) had such a device. Trekkies also know that the Romulans represented the Chinese. I love these movie tie-ins. Plus 1 star for a Star Trek tie-in.

What this film lacks, that "Battleship" possessed is a killer sound track, witty dialouge, and likeable characters. The USS Iowa is undergoing a world tour as a museum piece when the attacks occur. All solid state electronics are fried, so it is up to old technology and SEAL Team 6, who happens to be on board to save the planet. Mario Van Peebles is the captain of The Big Stick and has a love interest in Lt. Caroline Bradley (Johanna Watts) which is not fully developed. Carl Weathers (Apollo Creed) has a small role as General McKraken. David Polinsky starts out the film as a 4 star admiral and by the end of the film he is a three star admiral. Asylum normally confounds their naval ranking insignias. Not as good as "Battleship." The special CG effects are still Asylum grade, especially the fake looking fire on the deck of the ship.

No f-bombs, sex, or nudity. Kid safe. 4 stars on the Asylum scale.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars WOW! and I thought Battleship was bad..., May 27, 2012
By 
001 (sanfrancisco, ca United States) - See all my reviews
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This movie (if it can be called that), is absolutely terrible... even with the foreknowledge that it is an intentionally cheap rip-off of the big budget movie 'Battleship' which is failing in American theaters as I write this.

I thought I might enjoy American Warship as a low budget comical contrast to the awful very-nearly un-watchable $200 million utter-nonsense that Hasbro's Battleship turned out to be, and then was surprised that this film was so much worse, SO much worse, that I regret the time I spent in viewing it.

American Warship's story is slightly different, but exactly as bad as Battleship the movie IMO, so I can't really fault it in that department -- I got what I expected.

But the acting and writing/dialogue was orders of magnitude worse than it's big budget counterpart to the point that I was cringing through most scenes and felt sorry for the actors who were forced to say terrible lines.

The effects were HORRENDOUSLY bad, and inexplicably inconsistent as the FX companies who worked on this obviously had access to the correct CGI models to use, but got the planes mixed up from shot to shot. Sometimes there were air force planes on the carrier instead of navy planes. Sometimes in aerial combat a two engine plane would switch to a single engine and then back from shot to shot as if nobody would notice.

All the CGI was terribly lit and textured anyway, the CGI particle splash and explosion effects were awful and also heavily reused so you'd see the same bad splash effect over and over as you watched the movie. Since probably little to no money was spent on these effects, one wonders why not make a few more different versions for use in the film.
The CWIZ Gatling guns had fake looking flames composited over the barrels while the barrels did not spin, to pretend they were shooting.
All the debris was painted sheets of Styrofoam, and when they fell on the actors and they had to pretend to be trapped under it... just so hard to watch. This is just a sampling of how bad both the CGI and practical effects were.

I was expecting a bad film, prepared to enjoy a cheezy bad film, but was shocked at how much worse it actually was to the point of not being able to enjoy it.

There are no redeeming qualities to this film, watch it at your own peril and loss of an hour and a half of your life when you could have been watching something else.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars American Warships, May 21, 2012
This review is from: American Warships (DVD)
This isn't too terrible of a movie. The graphics were not too bad. There were a lot of old cliches in the movie though. Overall not too bad.
I did record this movie on SyFy channel Saturday night.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great For Navy Veterans, June 3, 2014
My dad has dementia and one of the few pleasures in life are for him to watch military movies with great footage of naval ships. This movie was a 5 star in that regard. There were also historical facts portrayed in the movie: the ship is now a museum, the 16 inch turret did blow up during an exercise in the 80's and according to a story my dad told my brother, during the Korean War, one of the ships did lose complete power from an unknown source and this fact was kept under wraps by the Navy. Yes, a bad movie in regards to acting, special effects, soundtrack, etc., but great footage of the reason why this ship was called "the big stick."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars About as Good as "Battleship" Maybe Even Better, July 7, 2012
By 
fredtownward "The Analytical Mind; Have Brain... (Mocksville, North Carolina, United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: American Warships (DVD)
Nothing could have surprised me more than coming to this conclusion, especially after having sat through nearly a dozen trailers for other The Asylum movies I'd never want to watch even if someone paid me to do so, but just this one time it appears the mockbuster beats the blockbuster: Battleship...

or at least wrestles it to a draw.

Of course the victory doesn't come through special effects, soundtrack, or star power, as plenty of other reviewers have noted, but rather in the area of acting and plot.

Though it might be stretching things to use the term "plausible" when talking about battleship versus space aliens, the plot of American Warships (according to the "making of" featurette originally titled "American Battleship", presumably changed under threat of lawsuit) struck me as by far the more plausible:

SPOILER ALERT!

Sneaky space aliens equipped with EMP weapons and cloaking devices attempt to trick USA and China into World War III by launching attacks against both sides beginning in the area of the Korean Theater but are foiled by USS Iowa's pre-integrated-circuits systems, her captain's (Mario Van Peebles') dogged, The Enemy Below like pursuit of an enemy he can neither see nor otherwise detect except by wake or physical touch, and the stubborn, relentless determination of her outmatched but unwilling to admit it crew, including a Seal Team OTHER THAN 6 with something to prove and a surprisingly enthusiastic (and very helpful) civilian volunteer.

END SPOILER ALERT!

Second, a couple of thoroughly professional veteran actors, Mario Van Peebles and Carl Weathers, anchor a cast of less-well-knowns, with solid, somewhat underacted performances that precisely for that reason are more realistic than the histrionics Hollywood usually prefers in military servicemen roles.

In short, if you find the question of just how one would deal with such a problem intriguing, chances are you will find this the more interesting film. Have the filmmakers swiped some ideas from old Star Trek episodes? Almost certainly, but that turns out to be a better place to steal movie ideas from than a militarily unrealistic if strategic thinking teaching and downright fun old classic of a board game: Battleship.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The concept of the movie is interesting., September 9, 2013
By 
Silence "I want no part of this." (those who need to know already do.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: American Warships (DVD)
I had only seen the movie once. I was impressed by the handling of the opposition set up by the invaders of the one earthly faction against the other.
This theme being as long established as its appearance in the book "1984".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AMERICAN WARSHIPS ON DVD, September 23, 2013
By 
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This review is from: American Warships [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
THIS MOVIE HAD MANY HARSH REVIEWS. BUT I AND MY COMPANY THOROUGHLY ENJOYED IT. DIDN'T THINK LESS OF IT BECAUSE OF THE BATTLESHIP MOVIE COMING OUT AT ABOUT THE SAME TIME. THE MORE THE MERRIER WHEN IT COMES TO ACTION WW2 MOVIES!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you love science fiction and special effects this will do., December 19, 2013
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This review is from: American Warships (DVD)
In the 50's and 60's there were B Movies by small studios and independent company. This feels like one. Cast of lesser known actors with special effects. Combine with the scenes of a real battleship and this works.
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American Warships [Blu-ray]
American Warships [Blu-ray] by Thunder Levin (Blu-ray - 2012)
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