I just saw the movie here is my review
The marquee read "battlefield Earth Screwed, GP"
It turned out there was also a movie playing called 'screwed' and the titles got ran together. But I dont think it was a total mistake.
I give it a 1 out of 4 stars... Not a total disaster though, but at the low end of mediocre... not as bad a planet of the apes.
If it had a key flaw it was its total lack of charisma, no life, and very little spirit in evidence...no heroism of any magnitude, it reflected the cult in that aspect I believe... all the things that make a really good movie were TOTALLY missing. A "B" movie in that respect.
It will not help or hurt Travolta's career imho.... it will go down in history I believe as just another schlocky movie... there will be no academy award nominations... it will do under 30 million at the box office imho, probably under 20 million. The Terl dolls will not sell at all... zero, no kid will want a Terl doll.
The video will bomb. It will have a mediocre run in the $1.00 theatres. There was just no life in the movie. Very little art at all, no grace, no power... no drama.
I think the situation is that the budget was a lot less than anounced. Perhaps a 1/3 of the anounced amount. The story was compressed eliminating almost all of the character development that was in the book, and that just ruined the story line in the last half.... Id say 80% of the story line and character development were cut.... scenes that should have taken an hour to develop were cut to one or two minutes.
Maybe those parts were cut after LW mentioned subliminals, and the cult had to take them out.... there was a LOT missing in the last half of the movie. Hard to believe the screen play was written that way.... but it could have been compressed to get even half the book into one movie.
To cut costs on filming imho, virtually all of the movie was shot in the dark, with a lense that blurred the background so costs for props was minimimal, one close up of a prop communication device was obviously a cardboard box with printed on graphics... really cheezy...I saw no reason for that close up either. Maybe it got spliced in by an editor to show the world how cheap the production had gotten, I imagine that pissed a lot of the pro types off.....all to cut costs no doubt.
ALso the movie seemed to lack the usual multiple camera's and switching between camera's as most good films do..... Id say this film had way less than half as many camera's shooting each scene as a regular movie... that would have cut production costs a lot too.
A few props were the real thing, the bazooka etc.. some of the filming was high budget, but Id say only 2% of the film was high budget... 98% was obviously filmed to cut costs, quick, blury, in low light. ... one never got a close look or walk though of any expensive sets.... the extras were almost to the man blurry... there was very little interaction of the characters with the set.... it was almost all close ups of travolta, Whitaker, and the Johnny Goodboy Tyler guy.... a very very thin cast.
The movie was also totally short on babes... no babes, not much personality at all.
the group of psychlo's in one case were all just pasted in stills, it was pretty obvious, costs were being cut to the bone....one set had non moving smoke after an attack... obviously a painted prop...
add in the dimmness and viola, an 'expensive' movie made cheaply. It was imho not a situation of lack of director talent etc for the most part. I think someone came in and cheezed big time on the budget. It does not speak well for the cults finanical condition. .. the movie will do the cult no good at all.
Comparing it to star wars graphics, sets and vidiography Id say on a scale of 1-10 star wars gets a 10, and this movie gets a one. But it does get a real one.... not a zero. Compared to star trek the acting, sets, plot and character development get a 1 where star trek in my book gets 7 or 8 most of the time a 9 sometimes...
To me it was clear in the book, and in the movie to a much lesser extent, that the story line is about the cults tactics, and also govt tactics, the "leverage" and blackmail thing is exactly what the cult is up to... the ethics are about the same too.... I would say in present time that the movie is about the cult (as psychlo's) as we see it today. Except that DM probably sees himself as Johnny Goodboy Tyler for some reason that would be hard to fathom.
The first 10 minutes had some good vidiography of the scenery and womanhood on a horse. the last few scenes had a bit of fair, but not superb videography.... maybe 2 minutes worth.
I went to a saturday matinee in Novato Calif area (30 miles north of san francisco on hwy 101. The remote suburbs. The theatre was about 20% full, perhaps 40 people attending, a very unusual number of middle aged people for a movie of that type, Id guess 20 to 40% were curious ex cult members over 40, only 20% kids... It had to be mostly ex culties or curiosity seekers more than film buffs imho.
The theater was silent, no applause, cheering or boos.... nothing. Thrills were almost non existant, one developed little or no emphathy for any of the characters.
. I asked two 12 year old type kids how they liked it and they liked it. Id say most people thought is was passable but I dont expect anyone will recommend it.