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BATTLE: LOS ANGELES ($35) is a solid piece of mindless, popcorn chewing entertainment. Tossing standard battle scene clichés from any number of war movies, BATTLE: LOS ANGELES marries intense action sequences to an alien invasion premise. What I liked about BATTLE: LOS ANGELES is the fact that it is more of a war movie that it is a standard science fiction movie. The alien invaders are of a fairly generic sort and only appear as targets to be shot at during the film’s action/battle sequences.

BATTLE: LOS ANGELES stars Aaron Eckhart Staff Sargent Michael Nantz, a twenty-year veteran, who decides to retire after having lost his squad during his last deployment in Iraq. However, just as he signs his retirement papers meteorites begin crashing into Earth's oceans near numerous major cities across the globe. Unfortunately, the meteorites turn out to be something more sinister- the leading edge of an alien invasion force that begins attacking said major cities, as a precursor to colonization and wiping out the human race. Of course, the situation puts Nantz’s retirement plans on hold, as he finds himself redeployed as platoon sergeant for a company of marines heading into battle in Los Angeles. As expected, gunfire, explosions, pyrotechnics, chaos, mayhem and bloodshed all ensue. The cast of BATTLE: LOS ANGELES also features Ramon Rodriguez, Will Rothhaar, Cory Hardrict, Jim Parrack, Gino Anthony Pesi, Ne-Yo, James Hiroyuki Liao, Noel Fisher, Bridget Moynahan, Adetokumboh M'Cormack, Bryce Cass, Michael Peña, Joey King and Michelle Rodriguez.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has made BATTLE: LOS ANGELES available on Blu-ray Disc in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. Although BATTLE: LOS ANGELES strives for a war torn look, with the cityscape in the midst of being ravaged, the 1080p presentation is amazingly good. Almost always, the image appears very sharp, highly defined and quite dimensional. Texturing is excellent, as is the level of fine detail. Colors are subdued with all the appropriate bleakness of a dusty battleground city. Some moments offer stronger hues, but the image always produces realistic flesh tones. Blacks are inky, while the whites are clean and crisp. Contrast and shadow detail are pretty terrific. The elements from which BATTLE: LOS ANGELES has been mastered are virtually perfect. Grain/noise is apparent in the image, which gives the presentation an organic quality.

BATTLE: LOS ANGELES is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. No question here, this is a demo quality soundtrack. The sound design is highly aggressive throughout the film’s battle/action sequences, which constitute most of the film’s running time. All of the discrete channels engage fully for sound effects placement, plus gunfire, missiles, helicopters and alien ships all zip around the sound field effortlessly. Fidelity is pretty marvelous, producing wholly believable, pulse pounding sound effects. The bass channel track adds plenty of percussion and ground shaking explosive rumble. Voices are cleanly reproduced and the film’s dialogue is always completely understandable. French and Portuguese 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks are also encoded onto the disc, as is a Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 channel track and an English descriptive track. Subtitles are available in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the disc's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as the supplements. Starting things off is the Command Control interactive viewing mode that offers storyboard comparisons, and other programs in a picture-in-picture window (requires a Profile 1.1 player). Programs from the Command Control interactive viewing mode are also available to view independently. Featurettes and other programs include the following: Behind The Battle (seven minutes), Aliens In L.A. (eighteen minutes), Preparing For Battle (five minutes), Boot Camp (ten minutes), Creating L.A. In LA (six minutes), Directing The Battle (seven minutes) and The Freeway Battle (five minutes). Bonus Trailers and a Battle: Los Angeles Ps3 Wallpaper are also provided. BATTLE: LOS ANGELES is also BD-Live enabled (requires a Profile 2.0 player). Sony’s MovieIQ feature is available through BD-Live, which provides the viewer access to a continuously updated database of additional information about the film, its cast, crew and soundtrack, as well as other trivia.

Big, loud and action packed, BATTLE: LOS ANGELES is pure popcorn entertainment. The Blu-ray presentation is terrific. Recommended to action junkies.



Battle: Los Angeles [Blu-ray]


DVD & Blu-ray Disc reviews are Copyright © 2011 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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