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It was supposed to be a simple birthday weekend in Southern California. But when sunrise arrives two hours early in the form of a haunting light from an unknown source, a group of friends watch in terror as people across the city are drawn outside and swept into massive alien ships that have blotted out the L.A. skyline. From tankers to drones and hydra-like extraterrestrials, the aliens are inescapable and seemingly indestructible. Now, it will take every survival instinct the group has to elude capture in this riveting, action-packed sci-fi adventure starring Eric Balfour (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), Donald Faison ("Scrubs") and Scottie Thompson (Star Trek).
Skyline, an effects-laden thriller from directors Colin and Greg Strause, wears its various influences--films like Alien, District 9, Independence Day, and War of the Worlds--on its sleeve, but even if it doesn't measure up to those predecessors, the film offers enough thrills and action to keep sci-fi fans interested. The Brothers Strause, as they call themselves, have done visual-effects work on blockbusters like Avatar, Titanic, and 300, and the effects are by far the best part of this tale (scripted by Joshua Cordes and Liam O'Donnell) about an armada of giant spaceships that suddenly appear in the skies over Los Angeles and immediately set about their business--namely, shooting down immense blue columns of light that hoover every human in sight up into the ships, where aliens will do nasty things to them. Observing this horror from a posh Marina Del Rey penthouse are a group of gorgeous, strikingly solipsistic young people in skimpy clothes, including Jarrod and Elaine (Eric Balfour and Scottie Thompson), a couple visiting from New York. A few action sequences find them trying to escape (bad idea, as the mother ships disgorge an endless supply of smaller, tentacled craft and troops of gross, city-stomping monsters to seek and destroy any luckless fool they encounter). But for the most part they huddle inside, watching the action, screaming hysterically, and uttering dialogue that's either cliché ridden ("What are those things?" "Does it even matter?!") or merely inane (mid-attack, Elaine, who's just learned that she's pregnant, complains when someone lights up a cigarette; you'd think she'd have more pressing concerns). And therein lies the problem, as some cool images and jolting moments are mitigated by Skyline's lame script and below-average acting. --Sam Graham
- Aspect Ratio : 2.40:1
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- MPAA rating : s_medPG13 PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
- Product Dimensions : 7.5 x 5.35 x 0.55 inches; 3.2 Ounces
- Item model number : 611059555
- Director : Greg Strause, Colin Strause
- Media Format : Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
- Run time : 1 hour and 34 minutes
- Release date : March 22, 2011
- Actors : Eric Balfour, Donald Faison
- Dubbed: : French, Spanish
- Subtitles: : French, English, Spanish
- Language : English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French Canadian (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
- Studio : Universal Studios
- ASIN : B003Y5H5GK
- Number of discs : 1
Best Sellers Rank:
#66,707 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- #2,608 in Horror (Movies & TV)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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These aliens are really well done and all the special effects are fantastic. If you like alien and alien invasion films this satisfies big time. Great otherworldly science fiction. Highly recommended.
Top reviews from other countries
It’s about a load of alien spaceships that rock up over Earth one day (yes, let’s skip why no radar system actually detected their approach) and starts abducting the world’s population en masse. Now, this is bad news for the average man on the street and even worse news if you’re residing in a Los Angeles skyscraper, for this is where our plucky group of heroes is going to make their last stand.
Okay, so they can hardly fight off a seemingly infinite number of spaceships, but they can possibly survive the destruction of mankind there. It’s kind of a ‘siege movie’ where they play cat and mouse with one alien incursion after the next. And it’s not that bad – well, not unless ask anyone apart from me apparently.
Most people agree that the special effects are pretty impressive and the destruction is well done. I guess most people get annoyed by the characters. They do tend to do one very silly thing after the next and there are a couple of bits in the movie (no spoilers here) that don’t really make that much sense if you think too hard about them.
What you have here is a movie that feels like a particularly high-budget made-for-TV movie. If you think of it like that then you may just get something out of it. Perhaps the reason I like it is because I was aware of the general hatred of if before I sat down to watch it, therefore my expectations were suitably lowered.
My girlfriend described it as ‘Jurassic Park with aliens’ – okay, there are some scenes where I can see where she’s coming from. But I defy anyone to not find the scene with the Stealth bomber exhilarating!
Probably more 3.5 out of 5 stars, but I fear no one will ever speak to me again if I did that!
Neither one came sealed and were listed as used however, both discs and cases were mint condition. I don't think either had been used or even watched at all.
I've not seen a UK version Skyline steelbook for sale either, these were from Germany or Switzerland, somewhere like that, can't remember.
As it is clear from the first seconds of the movie, this is a story about an alien invasion as seen by a group of people in Los Angeles. Immediately in the first minutes it becomes evident that this is a very VERY serious matter. Aliens in this movie clearly did invade some other worlds before, and when doing that they learned the hard way that there is no free lunch and for that reason when targeting Earth they came loaded for bear. The way they proceed has nothing to do with the ridiculous invasion in "Independence Day" - those guys mean business! Their skill and aggressiveness are a very strong point of this movie.
Another good point is that aliens in "Skyline" are not invulnerable and indestructible - a laser guided 2000 lbs bomb, a "Hellfire" anti tank missile, an AT-4 shoulder launched 84 mm antitank rocket and even a 0.50 caliber anti-armor bullet shot by a human sniper, they all do damage when they touch (and when the nukes get involved, they do a LOT of damage). But those aliens are also VERY GOOD at survivability, damage control and quick repairs. They obviously heavily invested in bio-cybernetics and ended by hitting the pay dirt. The result on the screen is very pleasant and I am certain that any SF enthusiast will appreciate it.
The design of alien ships and war machines is EXCELLENT! They all look REALLY alien - do not expect any kind of flying saucers or anything even remotely similar to present day human war machines. If anything, alien machinery looks rather like inspired by H.P. Lovecraft books, or H.R. Giger surrealistic paintings (yes, you are right, he is the guy who designed the creature from "Alien"). And we are finally left very much in doubt how exactly the REAL invaders look - until the very end I couldn't make my mind as to who exactly are the real crews of the spaceships and who are the bio-robots send to fight the war and harvest the resources... that is another strong point of the movie.
As the previous reviewer already noticed there is a little similarity with "Cloverfield" - this movie also shows a group of (very) ordinary people faced suddenly by a cataclysmic life threatening event. The camera perspective of "Cloverfield" was not however used in "Skyline" and I think it is a good thing because in this way we can see more of the invasion and human counteroffensive - and believe me, it is worth watching. It is also a good thing that the cast did not include any major stars, because in this way we absolutely do not know who will make it until the end credits...
The characters however are not very interesting - this is probably the second less satisfying thing in this movie. There is only seven people in the group we follow in "Skyline", with half a dozen of other people making shorter but significant appearances. Terry (Donald Faison) is a successful musician, who lives with his mistress Candice (Brittany Daniel). The night when everything begins, there are also some guests in his appartment: his assistant Denise (Crystal Reed), his collaborator Ray (Neil Hopkins), his best friend Jarrod (Eric Balfour) and Jarrod's girlfriend Elaine (played by Scottie Thompson, who is a VERY attractive young actress). A little later they are joined by the building manager Oliver (David Zayas). With the exception of Elaine, I really couldn't find ANYBODY I could care for - and for some characters I actually secretely hoped they would not make it...
There is one scene in this movie that I count as one of the GREATEST war scenes I ever saw - it includes a swarm of unmanned combat air vehicles (UCAVs), mostly Predators armed with Hellfire missiles but also three Boeing Phantom Ray drones armed with nukes. In the real world those last UCAVs are not yet in service, but they should start flying in 2011. (UPDATE: the Phantom Ray prototype flew for the first time in April 2011). That is an extraordinary battle scene! Another air battle, later in the movie, when the real planes, mostly F-22 Raptors, enter the fight, is quite interesting too.
To conclude, I think that notwithstanding the pale characters, I would be tempted to give four stars to this movie - but the last three minutes are a DEADLY SIN sin which can not be forgiven! For that reason I give it only three stars and I really hope that whoever thought the ending of "Skyline" will spend years in the place in purgatory reserved to the greatest über morons from our little planet...