DVD/Blu-ray Review: Colin and Greg Strause's Skyline, starring Eric Balfour, Scottie Thompson, Donald Faison and David Zayas (with trailer video)

The rest of the group quickly realize that Los Angeles is under attack by some kind of alien creatures, and they have to make a decision whether to stay in the penthouse or try to make a run for it out of the city.

There are some plotlines in Skyline that don't matter much and never really progress. Sometimes it feels like the film as a whole is just going through the motions of being a movie, without focusing on doing any one thing well. With a script featuring lines like “They try that light stuff, we got each other’s back,” “I hate L.A.,” and lots of painful screaming by Donald Faizon, there is not really much here that can be given credit. However, in a movie like this, I don’t go in expecting intellectual dialogue.

The actors do a better job of acting when they’re not speaking, which is actually not a total knock. The cast — namely Balfour and Brittany Daniel — display some good facial expressions and emotions, which go a long way in an alien invasion flick.

There's some really nice use of POV in the film, but aside from that, the cinematography and blocking are very questionable, lending to that low-grade TV movie quality. The CGI in the film can be excellent from afar, but is susceptible to looking hokey for close-up shots. (Even the higher-quality CGI has its moments of fakery.) I should warn you now: There are a few scenes in Skyline that I found to be appalling, and as disgusting as they were unnecessary — and this warning is coming from a guy who can handle movies like Hostel and Saw without wincing.

What rating a film like Skyline boils down to are whether or not the movie is intriguing and entertaining. It certainly has an intriguing premise with some fresh ideas, and at times I found it entertaining. The problem is that aside from maybe one character, you really couldn’t care less if these people live or die. And then there’s my whole point about it being close to a bad made-for-cable movie. Oh yeah, that minor detail.

That said, I liked the Blu-Ray Hi-Def edition I previewed — though that was probably because this was the first film I’ve watched since getting a television that allows for the Blu-Ray features to take full effect. Picture quality absolutely matters in a movie where the CGI does the heavy lifting, and Skyline's visuals were crisp from beginning to end. The special features, on the other hand, are nothing more than what you’d usually get from a DVD. Still, it's always interesting to see some of the work that went into making the movie. Also, you can get more features (trailers, movie info, etc.) if your Blu-Ray player has Internet capabilities.

Directed by sibling duo Colin and Greg Strause, Skyline isn't all bad, but it's just a few steps away from being a low-grade, made-for-TV science fiction flick. The only differences between this movie and something you would see go straight to DVD or on cable in the wee hours of the night are some solid special effects and a cast of actors we’ve maybe, sort of seen before.

The movie follows Jarrod (Eric Balfour), who brings his girlfriend (Scottie Thompson) along on a trip to Los Angeles. Their business there is pleasure, as they are meeting up with Jarrod’s long-time buddy, Terry (Donald Faison). The style of the opening scenes in South L.A. and the musical choices almost feel like something out of a teenage television soap opera like The OC or Gossip Girl.

Following a party at Terry’s penthouse (he is filthy rich), the group of people who are spending the night are awoken by a powerful blue light coming from outside. One party member stares a little too long into that light, and gets sucked right in.

Seriously, do not go toward the light.

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