Thursday, July 28, 2011

Battleship: The Trailer

I think my question for this new trailer is roughly the same as everybody else's:  "why?"  Actually, "why" isn't quite strong enough, it needs to be in all caps, bold, and filled with exclamation marks.  Like so:  "WHYYYYYYYYY??!!!!!!!!!"

I've decided to start a brand-new feature here at Planet Blue, trailer deconstruction.  This is when I post a link to a trailer, you watch it, then I either complain about it, or tell you how much its going to be awesome.  "Battleship", being one of my favorite board games as a kid, is a trailer that hurts with particular feeling because its really the worst idea for a movie ever.

What happens in a game of Battleship?  Two players trade shots until one guy loses all of his ships.  It isn't as deep as, say Chess*.  Battleship is a game of hide and seek really, competitive guessing.  The only tension comes from where the enemy is hiding (which leads to believe that the game should be called "Submarine").  Battleship is so simple that basically every game is exactly the same, thus showing why nobody over the age of seven ever plays this game.  So I guess the best way to make a Battleship movie is to have two admirals fight each other while trying to find where the other guy is hiding.  Kind of a double thriller where two masters continuously outsmart their rival.

Well, "Battleship:  The Movie" didn't even try that hard.  Instead its simply the US Navy fighting aliens.  Which leads me to this question:  why?

Battleship really has none of that depth.  Which is why I'm not surprised that a film adaptation of it has come out to be so utterly awful-looking.  And I mean that literally, the movie looks awful.  Watch the trailer and count the colors you see.  In most shots, the only two colors are a garish ugly mixture of blue and orange.  I don't fully understand why so many movies today want to limit the wonderful natural pallet of the world to only blue and orange.  I don't even begin to know what they are thinking.  Blue and orange can be a lovely mixture of colors, but modern films so overuse it to the point that I actually get nauseated when I see a blue and orange contrast.  What's wrong with green, yellow, brown, red, grey, and purple?  If you don't believe me, just read this blog post.  You'll never be able to watch "Transformers" the same way again.  Years from now people are going to stand back and wonder what the Hell was wrong with the early 2010s and why we watched movies with such muted colors.  And they'll wonder why all our movies exist in a hellish universe of perpetual twilight.

"Battleship" at least has the dignity of throwing in some color in the flags, because sadly the American flag just isn't Blue, Orange, and White like Hollywood dreams.  There is a lone shot of a green lawn and tree, but its a muted unearthly green that perfectly encapsulates the lifelessness of the Blue and Orange contrast.  This trailer is so Blue and Orange that the expository text at 0:36 is written in orange!

Well, I'll try to find a positive in this "Battleship" trailer.  Um... there's Liam Neeson.  He's properly chewing out the lame Hollywood Hero Guy (played by a nobody model dude).  Nobody Model Dude is dating Liam Neeson's Nobody Model Girl of a daughter, and if Liam Neeson doesn't like him, I don't like him either.  I'm with Liam Neeson here, he has plenty of naval experience due to his stint in the Soviet Navy in "K-19: The Widowmaker".  Also Eric from "True Blood" is around for some reason.

Then the aliens attack.  Some guy who may or may not be John Cena makes first contact in the navy's hugely technical process of:  go out on a boat and touch the spaceship with your bare hand.  Then a force field covers all of Hawaii, I guess in an attempt to create a cloud of war so that the navy has to shoot randomly.  And even though I would have loved this trailer for it, at no point does Liam Neeson ever say "F7, FIRE!"  Nobody ever says "You sunk my Battleship!" either.  By the way, does the navy even still have battleships?  That kind of ship has been obsolete since WWII, and I'm pretty sure that the only ones left in the water are museums.

"Prepare to fire" says Admiral Neeson.  "Sir, which weapons?"  "...All of them."  "Um.. sir, what?"

This movie is stupid.

* At least Chess has lots of characters, the Queen, the Knight, the Rook, and after awhile pieces - to me at least - take on minds of their own.  Chess is filled with its own unique visual style, so a character that acts as the Rook would immediately be known as the Rook.  Its also got its own quirks, like how the lone female unit, the Queen is the most badass of them all, while her King is basically a Henry VI, a meek little unit that mostly avoids open battle.  Let the wife do the fighting, I'll find a nice corner to hide in.  Knights I always found to be ruthless manipulative characters, true sadists forcing an army to choose between a Rook or a King.  Rook are heavy monsters, waiting until the late game to finally blast through the enemy lines.  Bishops are just as deadly, but less direct in their attacks, more of a support unit than anything else.  And pawns are the adorable children doing their best and holding wild dreams of one day reaching the end of the board and becoming Queen.


  1. When I saw the submerged alien craft, my first thought was: "Oh crap, it's R'lyeh."

  2. Oh my god, they should totally make a chess movie based on those characters you just listed.
    And it will have the proper medieval/fantasy setting and everything. I'd rather watch that.

  3. What the hell is with the aliens, really? Whats next, a movie based on Ring Toss??!! This looks horrible!!!!

  4. how about a movie about monopoly ?