Trial by Fire
The film plods at points, trudging along, and there are a few misguided narrative "devices" tacked on, but still, "Trial by Fire" bristles with anger.
From Richard R. Warner of Tillamook, Oregon
I like alien invasion movies. I like Aaron Eckhart. I grew up in Los Angeles, and I like watching movies filmed there with locations recognizable from my childhood.
I will be going to see this movie this weekend. I imagine it will probably only be marginally better than Skyline, which had a few good moments but by and large was a steaming pile. I will pay my ten bucks, settle in with my beverage and my nachos, and turn off my brain. I may think it sucks, and even if I enjoy it my memory of the film will probably evaporate in the sunshine before I get to my car. But here's a philosophical question for you...if I never were to actually see the film, but would have "admired" it if I had, am I still an idiot?
I am a funeral director and embalmer and I go to the movies for many reasons - to be inspired, to cry, to gaze in wide wonder at the impossible beauty of Emily Blunt, to escape. Mostly to escape, as I get older and the weight of the reality that is my career bears down on my optimism and unfettered enjoyment of simple pleasures. When I go to see a film like "No Country for Old Men" or the latest from Mike Leigh, I have different expectations and watch the movie differently than something like this film, or "The Run Down," or hell, I don't know, "Mamma Mia!" It seems to me that denigrating someone for taking pleasure in whatever it was onscreen that brought them out of the world for two hours (although you hedged your bets a little by using the word admire) is a bit like calling someone shallow based solely on one or two records in their collection that don't meet your own standards of artistic excellence.
Ebert: I wrote Mr. Warner asking, "So...how did you like it?" He wrote back:
"I thought it was more than a bit crap.MTV-style technique was apparently implemented to make up for any number of other cinematic elements, although oddly enough I thought the second act was the strongest. The problem with most of these 'worldwide alien invasion seen through the eyes of a small group of plucky humans' films is that at the point when the valiant citizens of earth stumble upon the aliens' weakness, I would have to think the invading horde would just cut bait, take the (literal) nuclear option, and bugger off home. Hard to see it as anything other than a distracting bit of propaganda, but it was a not-entirely unenjoyable diversion, and Aaron Eckhart gave all."
This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...