Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Project Asylum: American Warships

The only thing scarier than the fact The Asylum continues to make films is a lawsuit.  Today's film is American Warships, a film struck by just that.  Originally titled American Battleship, the film was struck by a lawsuit and forced to change title.  Why it was important to pluralize the title too is beyond me.  The irony is that The Asylum built a movie to fit the title American Battleship and then had to change it to this one.  It makes no sense with the story they filmed.  Oh, the delicious irony.  So what is the actual film about?  Well, aliens- a few, anyways- attack and take out our greatest technological weapons with ease.  With our fancy toys broken, only an old, Warship can save the day.  It features a slew of Actors that I kind of like, which makes it both good and terrible for me.  Sorry, Peebles.  Sorry, Action Jackson.  A lot of The Asylum's tropes are here.  Silly CG- check.  Hammy/over-dramatic acting- check.  A plot that fails several Sanity Checks- BIG check.  To find out how silly this whole thing is (and to enjoy the illegal artwork), read on...
The World is under assault by mysterious enemies that attack our advanced technology.  Damn Gremlins.
On an old Bat...Warship being sent to a base to become a Museum, the Captain (Peebles) struggles with the idea of retirement.

Yes, they did steal the entire plot idea from Battlestar: Galactica.  Real subtle, huh?
When the attack comes, he uses his minimal resources to help turn the tide.  It's man vs. alien (although they don't reveal that for over half of the film).

This does raise a question: why bother with the suspense?  We had to know that they would be aliens, since they were in Battleship!
Carl Weathers is in this movie.  His job is to sit in a Board Room and react to bad news.

On the plus side, he probably filmed this whole role in a day.  Way to work the system, Carl!
Did they use Black Thunder footage in this movie too?  Not that I could tell, but I wouldn't put it past them.
In a really silly bit, they send out a SEAL Team to infiltrate the alien ship, even though it's cloaked.  When in doubt, build a scene around your shitty Green Screen Effects!
On the alien's ship, our heroes find out the truth: the enemy is a bunch of shitty CG aliens.

Seriously, these slightly-better Langoliers are our villains.  Fear them!
The whole film builds up to a big battle with old Warships and new joining forces...since it was in the Battleship trailer.  I won't SPOIL all of the results, however...
The film ends with the longest, most boring series of text explanations ever.  We get the point right they throw about a dozen more at you.  Enough!  The End.
Fear the aliens...but fear the Lawyers more.  Getting past the whole title situation, this movie...could have been pretty good.  The premise: old technology being forced to battle advanced technology had potential.  It's not a bad story.  That said, the sub-par Acting, Writing and Production Values drag the whole thing down.  The whole thing just looks and feels cheap.  Now cheap isn't always bad...but it is here.  All of the shots that look like they were really done on the USS Iowa are done when the ship never moves.  It looks like they just filmed for some amount of days on the ship while it was in dock, but just always pointed the camera out to sea.  If the film was more interesting, I would be too distracted to notice this.  It's not and I did.  Other than just being kind of dull and cheap-looking, there's nothing really terrible about it.  Well, except for the CGI, of course.  Seriously, I know that you don't have $100 Million to tweak the effects...but don't make shots like this then...
Next up, a 2006 Asylum film based on a Horror Remake.  The scary part: the return of Sarah Lieving!  Stay tuned...

1 comment:

  1. Well, it was actually the USS North Carolina they shot on, right here in my hometown - and that sucker is drydocked on a river and there's no ocean in sight - so they must have done some fairly fancy digital replacement of the city on one side of the ship and the highways and forests on the other side. They came and went before I ever knew they were here or I would have tried another set invasion...nice review!