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BATTLE: LOS ANGELES (vt WORLD INVASION: BATTLE LA and INVASION DEL MUNDO: BATALLA LOS ÁNGELES), Jonathan Liebesman, dir. Christopher Bertolini, script. USA: Columbia, Relativity Media, Original Film, Legion Entertainment (prod.) / Columbia, Sony et al. (dist.), 2011 [see IMDb for "et al."]. Peter Wenham, Production Design.

We rarely push esthetic judgments — but don't spend money to see this movie. Like INDEPENDENCE DAY, however, B:LA is of interest as one of the answers, so to speak, to "alien-symp" movies like E.T. and CLOSE ENCOUNTERS (in the case of INDEPENDENCE DAY) and, visually, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS in the case of this film, where encounters with the alien menace should be limited to shooting them, blowing them up, or torturing one to discover his/her/its vital organ(s). The highly positive Mother Ship of CLOSE ENCOUNTERS is paralleled in B:LA with a command-and-control vessel that is a cyberpunk-ified, "Industrialized" variation on the theme of big-Mother Ship.

(Erlich will allow that the film is superficially anti-imperialist and recognizes water as a vital resource [but doesn't differentiate between freshwater and salt, which is a significant issue in California].)

5. DRAMA, RDE, 22/III/11