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RPP Flicks

‘Battle: Los Angeles’ not classic, but mindless fun
By Ezra Mann (Editor in Spoof)

Maybe it’s something borne out of a twisted love for failure, but we as humans certainly seem obsessed with science fiction stories where we have to dig ourselves out of being conquered by a more powerful invading force. Whether it be battleship cruising aliens with a chip on their shoulder or robots we made just a bit too smart, there will always be some part of the audience drawn toward having to avoid inevitable doom. This foray into surviving total extermination is not all that different from many run of the mill entries, but it is far from the agony of those being eliminated. “Battle: Los Angeles” is simply a fun trip to the theater with expectations left out in the lobby.

The story itself is a blend of extreme military mission meets not quite diplomatic extra terrestrials, minus comic relief. After watching this it actually felt a lot like a more serious version of “Independence Day” or a “War of the Worlds” where you actually beat the bad mothers instead of letting them catch a cold.

Anyhoo, the inserted hero of this adventure is Staff Sergeant Michael Nantz, a career man who is on his way to retirement when those darn outerspace bastards decide to interrupt any chance of that. His role among the men he serves with becomes increasingly important toward the end and whether humanity has a chance seems to hang on being able to establish a strong enough unity. Throw in Michelle Rodriguez, who is the stereotypical army gal for political correctness sake and you’ve pretty much got the gist of what’s going on.

I actually like the alien baddies in this flick, who are an interesting blend of cyborgs and emotionless killing machines. Sure, this is about as good versus evil as you are going to get, but I find it important to get my occasional dose of recycled cheese.

It’s probably a bit too violent for the youngest audiences and at times I have to salute them for not watering down things so people aren’t offended with real twists. In the end, I probably won’t ever own it, but if I need a good testosterone night out with the guys, I wouldn’t rule out watching it again. In the end, I’d say “Battle: Los Angeles” earns a missile launching three out of five victories.

‘The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu’ a bad movie gone right
By Ezra Mann (Editor in Spoof)

The stigma of bad film making does not necessarily have to mean the end of all enjoyment of a flick, it can actually be beneficial in the right hands. The problems that haunt many box office bombs is that when a studio or group of people take what is a terrible idea in the beginning and try to pass it off as if it deserves to sit among the best in the business.

This offering makes no attempt to escape it’s place among B-Movie Cheese and instead embraces the honor with its bizarre sense of humor. Of course, they actually take the time to make sure the product is at least somewhat watchable instead of just another disaster of editing rush job. “The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu” is guaranteed to make you shake your head and groan, but the potential for a happy audience somehow crawls in by the end credits.

The story is somewhat based on the mythos of H.P. Lovecraft’s writings, though I’m sure some hardcore fans will still get their panties in a wad like other fanboys who want everything directly translated from books to film. Basically it follows the life of a guy named Jeff Phillips (Kyle Davis), who has a pretty boring existence, but just happens to somehow be the last living relative of the writer.

He later finds out through a bizarre upheaval of stability in his world that all that stuff in the books isn’t so much fiction after all and he must find a way to prevent Armageddon through protecting part of a key to the underworld. However, his journey will not be made alone and though the odds of evil are stacked against him, he will have the support of kooky characters like extreme geek Paul Reemer (Barak Hardley), a jerk of a best friend Charlie Russel (Devin McGinn) and a sea captain named Captain Olaf (Greg Lawrence). I found myself laughing more often than not and those who like movies like Zombieland should enjoy this as well.

In the end, it’s worth at least a one time rental if you can take something made goofy on purpose. It’s not really a family movie so try and avoid having the kids see this, though even the most offensive stuff is actually pretty tame (plenty of gore, but not as much as some of the other stuff like it).

Like any film, it’s probably open enough for a sequel, but this is one of those instances where it might not be too terrible if the story continued. The final product is something you can tell the people involved spent time to make it flow and certainly would gain considerations for their future work. For a couple of hours I don’t regret spending in front of the TV, “The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu” earns three out of five elders.

Previous Entertainment: I sell the dead and Woke up Dead.

1031 B.C. - 2010 A.D., Really Pathetic, LLC.