"Skyline""

Orionblamblam

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Maybe belongs in the Bar, dunno...

Just saw the sci-fi movie "Skyline." There is an aerial battle most of the way through the movie; most of the planes are hard to see, but an A-10 is in evidence, along with jet-propelled Predators, a tailless F-22-like fighter, and several Northrop X-47B's, including one which turns out to be a plucky little hero of a plane. The X-47B turns out to be a remarkably (and unrealistically) damage-tolerant missile platform.

As for Skyline: for a modern movie with a budget of only $10 million, it looked pretty good. The aliens, sadly, seemed to have a pretty dumb reason for coming to Earth and causing a ruckus, and the ending is wholly unsatisfying (basically it's a cliffhanger, with claims of a forthcoming sequel).
 

Michel Van

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for those in Europe, here trailer
http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/universal/skyline/
take trailer 2 you see some glimpse of X-47B with too many missiles
let see if those movies will give us better expectations ?

Monsters (NASA probe crash in Mexico, bring alien life on Earth and hell the minx like to life here)
http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/independent/monsters/
and
Battel:Los Angeles (US military in Desert equipment fight against Invasion Of LA by goddam Osama ben Laden ehh Alien )
http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/sony_pictures/battlelosangeles/
 

Orionblamblam

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"Mosters" was one I wanted to see, but it never opened anywhere nearby. Not surprising, since the total budget for the movie was something like five hundred THOUSAND dollars. Have to wait for the DVD, I guess.

"Battle of Los Angeles" is the big budget movie due out next year. Interestingly, the people behind "Battle" are suing the people behind "Skyline," because the "Battle" people hired the "Skyline" people to do the special effects for "Battle," and the "Skyline" people decided to take what they'd learned and developed on "Battle" and make their own movie, "Skyline."

For the most part, "human military" vs "alien invaders" is a plotline sure to be jam-packed with ridiculousness, since realistically there'd be no contest. Of course, "alien invader" is a plotline that largely isn't going to make any sense anyway, since there are virtually no good reasons for it.

Still, I always get a kick out of dumb ol' human tech delivering a beatdown to alien invaders. I never laughed so hard as when the AC-130 opened up a can of 155-mm whoopass on Scorponok in "Transformers." Warmed the heart.

Of course it's hard to say exactly how such a battle would go in real life. Maybe the aliens will have force fields like those in "Independence Day," and our weapons will be worthless. Or maybe they won't, and their vehicles will be made out of materials we can comprehend. In which case, a 30mm armor piercing round out of an A-10 will cut through it like a 30 caliber round out of a WWI-era biplane cutting through a 2010 Gulfstream.
 

Michel Van

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the people behind "Battle" are suing the people behind "Skyline,"
...Hollywood is far more stranger as a alien planet ::)

I never laughed so hard as when the AC-130 opened up a can of 155-mm whoopass on Scorponok in "Transformers."
me too and also about the heavy use of USAF F-35 ups i mean Starscream...
also on heavy use of Lockheed-Martin in IRONMAN 1&2

on Alien with far beyond human technology invade Earth
there nasty littel short story "Vilcabamba" by Harry Turtledove
it on-line http://www.tor.com/stories/2010/02/vilcabamba

we got always SF Movies were Alien Invade Earth, nuke city's and kill every human on sight,
Except very good "District 9" ( no i explane not why, see this Movie )
with hype on Invasion genre
I wonder wen Larry "Hustler" Flint start to produce this movie: Battle: LAXXX
were Alien whorehouse spaceship lands in LA and US soldiers "engage" invasion of alien prostitute ;D
 

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Looking forward to Battle LA and The Thing prequel (which hopefully won't suck). Another one to check out is Seres: Genesis

http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/independent/seresgenesis/
 

flateric

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In spite of all these FXs, Skyline plotline, storyline logic and dialogs are sucks. Mix ID4/WoW/Monstro/Matrix and voila.
Worst may be just Predators.
Oh, where all that good sci-fi movies gone...just David Zayas (Batista from 'Dexter') was something nice to see.
The only hero I was (shortly) felt with wasn't a man at all - it was heroic X-47B with damaged wing trying to breach aliens defense and launch nuke in mothership.
 

quellish

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Orionblamblam said:
"Mosters" was one I wanted to see, but it never opened anywhere nearby. Not surprising, since the total budget for the movie was something like five hundred THOUSAND dollars. Have to wait for the DVD, I guess.

Monsters went straight to online distribution, it's on the iTunes store and elsewhere (as a $10 rental!). From what I understand it did not live up to expectations at all.

I thought Alien Nation and District 9 were both interesting, if similar, takes on the genre.
 

flateric

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yes, District 9 was one of the best sci-fi movies of the last years
 

mz

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It's a short list to name nice scifi movies. These have been copied ever since of course.

1. 2001 (one of the crew becomes crazy homicidal)
2. Solaris (you have to encounter yourself)
3. Alien (a shadowy menace)
4. The Thing (who of us is possessed?)

Maybe movie script writers only watch movies. Most of these are based on books and one on an older movie. There are lots of other good books that would deserve movies made of them. Ender's Game, Left Hand of Darkness.

Matrix was in large part a massively dumbed down version of concepts introduced in Lem's Futurological Congress, down to the red/blue pill (which were potions in Lem's book). Lem's Invincible has clearly given material to Abyss. Lem's Fiasco is unlike much of what I've seen on the screen.
 

quellish

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mz said:
3. Alien (a shadowy menace)

Unfortunately none of the Aliens Vs. Predators movies lived up to to their potential. There had been a series of very good graphic novels that unfortunately were not used as material for the movies.

This was better than the graphic novels though:
http://i.imgur.com/qouVw.gif
 

robunos

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Regarding Alien, I've read that it wasn't meant to be a 'Sci-Fi' movie per se, but rather a horror movie set on a spaceship in the future.
I believe the original setting was on board a steamship, some where in the South Seas, sometime in the Victorian/Edwardian era.


cheers,
Robin.
 

flateric

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Sergey Pavlov's series 'Moon Rainbow' may make real nice sci-fi not unlike Blade Runner or Avatar. Mix of detective and hard sci-fi. Not sure if it was ever translated to English.

"astronauts on Oberon become infected with a strange disease that gives them supernatural powers, but which ultimately turns out to be intelligent alien microorganisms from another planetary system.[2] The sequel "Soft Mirrors" (1983) features other Uranus moons as well."
 

Orionblamblam

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No list of "good sci-fi" is complete without Gattaca. It's one of the very, very few *true* science fiction films out there. Most sci-fi is actually some other genre set in space (cop drama, western, horror, etc.).

Of course, the extremely limited "space stuff" in Gattaca was just plain silly and wrong, but that wasn't the point of the excercise.

Oh, and "Inception." I liked "Matrix," it was all kinds of stylish and entertaining... but "Inception" was *intelligent.*

Looking forward to "Tron: Legacy." Geekmode: droool.
 

zen

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Seen the add, might go see the film.

As for reality....why take Earth? Comming down is dangerous work, and getting back up is expensive in fuel. So you'd need a very good reason to want to invade indeed.
When all the materials are more accessible back up on solar orbit and frankly if aliens went for that lot, we'd have no power to prevent them.

My favouret was one Sci Fi book having the aliens needing to reproduce on planet.
 

Abraham Gubler

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Orionblamblam said:
Of course it's hard to say exactly how such a battle would go in real life. Maybe the aliens will have force fields like those in "Independence Day," and our weapons will be worthless. Or maybe they won't, and their vehicles will be made out of materials we can comprehend. In which case, a 30mm armor piercing round out of an A-10 will cut through it like a 30 caliber round out of a WWI-era biplane cutting through a 2010 Gulfstream.

All of these alien invasion stories are just copies of HG Wells’s original: aliens arrive from nowhere, attack everyone, take over and are brought down by some small, unexpected irritant. The only innovator was V that added the Nazi like takeover of society in place of general attack. Since these stories are being written without a concern for the suspension of disbelief of the small slice of the potential audience with a medium or high level of military and scientific knowledge they can be well within the many shades of bullshit and still a success.

From our own human history there aren’t really any examples of first contact being invasion. Animals will invade straight off but not humans. Usually we require some more benign contact before competition for resources leads to conflict. One would assume that any interstellar/interplanetary travel capable species would be just as curious as us so would want to communicate and share before economic pressures lead to armed conflict.

As to military disparity even space aliens need to follow the laws of physics. They may have far more capable weapon systems but release enough heat through chemical or atomic reaction and it will destroy what they have built. For space travel the important technological requirements are thrust and life support. They may not even need the later if they have evolved a hibernation capability. Neither of these requirements naturally suggest highly capable ISR, force protection and lethality.

They may even be inferior in military state of art. In one of his short stories Asimov drew the military comparison between waring Greek city states and the Persian Empire and disunited earthly nations and some space alien empire. A world crossing space alien empire may not be very belligerent because of political unity and a lack of immediate threats.

The most valuable things on earth are biological life and human society. For any invader these interrelated systems are far more important than inanimate natural resources which are freely available in large quantities in space. Human society produces enormous amounts of surplus chemicals, metals, proteins and technological items (etc). Any rational invasion would seek to capture life and society rather than simply eradicate it.

So any alien invader would face the same complexities the west has in trying to civilise Iraq/Afghanistan. There is no Conquistador ‘capture the god-king’ manoeuvre you can pull on earth as a whole. You would have to go street by street and island by island. Fighting humanity would not be a very pleasant experience because our military potential is so widely proliferated.
 

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There was a good novel out about 30 years ago, called Invader or Invasion. It was about an alien invasion where the alien technology was not that much more advanced than ours. IIRC, their planhet was dying, and they attempted migration in a last desparate throw of the dice.
 

Orionblamblam

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IMO, the three best alien invasion novels were Wells' "WotW," Niven/Pournelle's "Footfall" and Turtledove's "WorldWar" series. In "Footfall," for those of you who have led such dire, empty lives that you have not yet read this, Earth is set upon by aliens who are not really that much more advanced than us... having been kicked out of *their* solar system by having lost a civil war. The last fifty pages of that book are the most enthralling 50 pages in all of human literature.

"WorldWar" is a series of books set in an alternate history: it's 1942, humans are merrily blasting the crap out of each other, and the aliens show up spoiling for a fight.

In both "Footfall" and "WorldWar," the aliens use tech we can understand... not artificial gravity, no faster than light travel, none of that stuff. The "WorldWar" aliens turn out to have some cultural issues that make them almost wholly incapable of dealing with humanity.

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n10122.jpg

n5519.jpg
 

flateric

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http://www.up-ship.com/apr/michael.htm
 

Abraham Gubler

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Orionblamblam said:
Turtledove's "WorldWar" series.

Can’t say I was a big fan of ‘WorldWar’ in the main because you’ve read one Turtledove novel you’ve read them all. At least unlike much of his alternate history books it wasn’t just a case of transferring historical events from the real world to an alternate world with the various nations and people involved changed in name only.

For alien contact I liked ‘Close Encounters of a Third Kind’, at least until ‘Overly French Guy’ pulled out his electric piano. I liked it because you didn’t know what was going on. Was this aliens, ghosts, government experimentation, descent into delusional hallucination? Space aliens are going to be pretty strange to us if we actually meet them. Not actually recognising them for space aliens is highly possible.
 

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Abraham Gubler said:
I liked it because you didn’t know what was going on. Was this aliens, ghosts, government experimentation, descent into delusional hallucination? Space aliens are going to be pretty strange to us if we actually meet them.

Somewhat like "Knowing," a movie that I liked a lot more than the critics told me I should've.
 

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Abraham Gubler said:
All of these alien invasion stories are just copies of HG Wells’s original: aliens arrive from nowhere, attack everyone, take over and are brought down by some small, unexpected irritant.

If you want to get real technical, War of the Worlds was a derivative of the "invasion literature" genre that swept Europe from 1871's "Battle of Dorking" up until 1914, with the foreign invader replaced by an alien one. Not to say that it isn't a good book - it is.
 

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overscan said:
If you want to get real technical, War of the Worlds was a derivative of the "invasion literature" genre that swept Europe from 1871's "Battle of Dorking" up until 1914, with the foreign invader replaced by an alien one.

Interesting, because films like Skyline, ID4, etc are all part of the contemporary world ending, disaster genre (Armageddon, Day After Tomorrow, etc). I guess humans love imagining our collective destruction. Explains the Greens movement.

overscan said:
Not to say that it isn't a good book - it is.

And a much better rock opera!

"There lay Thunder Child..." *

* I was very upset that the recent remake with Tom Cruise did not feature a warship taking on the tripods as the ferries tried to cross the river.
 

Orionblamblam

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Abraham Gubler said:
* I was very upset that the recent remake with Tom Cruise did not feature a warship taking on the tripods as the ferries tried to cross the river.

Something that has happened in all the remakes of WotW since the actual novel is that the Martians have gotten relatively far more powerful. In the original, the Brits were able to take out I think three or four tripods... one lucky artillery shot, the Thunder Child nailed one with its cannons and plowed into another by ramming (IIRC). The only thing that made the tripods *almost* invulnerable was that they moved fast (making them difficult to hit with the cannon of the day) and they had some pretty good offensive weapons. But since the novel, the tripods have gained force fields and the ability to shrug off nukes. We've gone from being over-matched to being incapable of scratching them.

Of course, if the novel-era Martians were to land in Britain today, a couple squads of SAS would have the tripods taken down and the Martians locked up in zoos before they even got the sniffles.

And in "Night of the Cooters," some Texas townfolk take down a tripod with an over-powered Civil War era cannon, and blast the crap out of the rest with dynamite before they leave the cylinder. Of course, that's non-canon use of cannon.
 

RP1

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But since the novel, the tripods have gained force fields and the ability to shrug off nukes. We've gone from being over-matched to being incapable of scratching them.

I have always put this down to Wells having some understanding that war is not one sided, even when one side has a great technological advantage. He also shows the Martians changing their tactics (they take losses from land and naval artillery and mines, so begin preemptively destroying cover and deploying the Black Smoke). Hollywood screenwriters seem to miss these concepts.

That being said, an alien invasion needs to have some way of avoiding widespread use of nuclear weapons or the film rapidly becomes "The Day After" - rapid movement and a short timescale or alternatively keeping the action in cities to make using such weapons undesirable...

RP1
 

Orionblamblam

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RP1 said:
That being said, an alien invasion needs to have some way of avoiding widespread use of nuclear weapons or the film rapidly becomes "The Day After" - rapid movement and a short timescale or alternatively keeping the action in cities to make using such weapons undesirable...

Oh, I dunno. In one recent movie (nameless so's to not be a spoiler), nukes bring down an alien mothership. Much celebrating... but then the mothership starts fixing itself, eventually getting back into the fight. Proper human strategy here would be to NUKE IT AGAIN. As with so many things in life, President Of Earth Richard M. Nixon has the right idea: "That's my style. I like to kick 'em when they're down."

People tend to over-estimate the unpleasantness of nuclear war while being exterminated by aliens. If the aliens are killing all humans in a city but leaving the infrastructure more or less intact... then to hell with the nice apartment buildings and bridges and roads. A city stripped of humans has no reason to stand any longer, so nuke the bejesus out of it if that'll kill the mothership and save *other* cities. Humans have popped off more than a thousand above-ground nukes without trashing the environment; doing so again to save the species from extermination would seem a pretty fair idea.
 

RP1

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People tend to over-estimate the unpleasantness of nuclear war while being exterminated by aliens. If the aliens are killing all humans in a city but leaving the infrastructure more or less intact...

True, but I was thinking of a more restrained invasion - if it comes down to hoovering up humans with a giant Dyson then yes, it's going to be nukes-a-go-go.

Humans have popped off more than a thousand above-ground nukes without trashing the environment

I thought is was closer to 500 above ground? Still, it's more than a few, something most people don't realise.

RP1
 

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I must admit a certain fondness for John Ringo and the 'Legacy of the Alldenata' series, starting with "Gust Front". Much prefer him over Turtledove.

Comments?
 

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IIRC, Ringo devised those centauroid's weapons & tactics as an updated version of foot-soldiers & charioteers. Also, their improbable resistance to disease, poison etc was intended to avoid the WOTW fix. They had to be taken down the hard way...

FWIW, several of the complete books and significant portions of others are freely available to read on-line at Baen.

Just remember to avoid the Baen forum's flame-wars, where-in several posters' manners make PLUTO look like a railway flare-- And they follow you 'home', as TBO members discovered when their site suffered a major spam attack...
 

mz

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Orionblamblam said:
mz said:
2. Solaris (you have to encounter yourself)

Ugh. Boring as hell. Same with "Moon," neat idea, but a yawn to watch.

Also forgot Blade Runner. I think many of these films think themselves as much more serious than "mainstream", and as a result they have some overlong scenes. And if it's Soviet, they don't care about box office hits at all!

I think it's a trade I'm willing to make. These probably just aren't produced as much, but are closer to the director's (or special effect guys' or writers') vision and it might not exactly always be smooth sailing.

Same reason why I rarely listen to the radio. I like rough diamonds rather than polished tur... glass pearls.
 

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If you want to get real technical, War of the Worlds was a derivative of the "invasion literature" genre that swept Europe from 1871's "Battle of Dorking" up until 1914, with the foreign invader replaced by an alien one. Not to say that it isn't a good book - it is.

I take guilty pleasure in re-reading "Sixth Column" by Robert Anson Heinlein. It's an invasion or post-invasion novel taking place right after "Pan-Asians" have conquered USA. (It was published almost right after Pearl Harbour). It's not *as* racist as it first seems though. The super-science will make you laugh, cry or ticked off though, courtesy of editor John Wood Campbell Jr.

I've also read War of the Worlds, Footfall, Heinlein's The Puppet Masters, Jack Finney's The Invasion of the Body Snatchers, John Wyndham's The Day of the Triffids and The Kraken Wakes by the same author. I recommend them all.

BTW, if you want to read a really old "future war" novel, I recommend Jules Verne's Facing the Flag; it has submarines, pirates, a (literally) mad scientist/inventor and his inventions (a VERY powerful explosive and a guided missile system).
 

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