Skyline (film)

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Skyline
Two people stand below an alien space craft and a blue beam of light
Theatrical release poster
Directed by The Brothers Strause
Produced by
  • The Brothers Strause
  • Kristian Andresen
  • Liam O'Donnell
Written by
  • Joshua Cordes
  • Liam O'Donnell
Starring
Music by Matthew Margeson
Cinematography Michael Watson
Edited by Nicholas Wayman-Harris
Production
company
Distributed by Universal Pictures
IM Global (UK)
Release dates
  • November 11, 2010 (2010-11-11) (Australia)
  • November 12, 2010 (2010-11-12) (United States)
Running time 94 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $10–20 million[1][2]
Box office $78,693,371[3]

Skyline is a 2010 alien invasion science fiction thriller film produced and directed by Brothers Strause, directors of Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem.[4] The film was released on November 12, 2010. It stars Eric Balfour, Scottie Thompson, Brittany Daniel, Crystal Reed, David Zayas and Donald Faison.[5] Skyline was a box office success, grossing nearly $79 million worldwide against its $10–20 million budget, despite extremely negative reviews. The brothers stated before the film's release that they were already working on a sequel.[6]

Plot[edit]

Jarrod and his girlfriend Elaine have flown to Los Angeles for Jarrod's best friend Terry's birthday party. They celebrate with Terry's wife, Candice, and his assistant, Denise. During the party, one of Terry's employees, Ray, welcomes Jarrod to L.A., thinking he has moved there to join Terry's special effects company. During a private argument about whether or not they should move, Elaine reveals she is pregnant.

The next morning, blue lights descend from the sky, hypnotizing anyone who looks at them. The light affects them physically, causing them to become zombie-like. Any immobilized humans are collected by the light machines. Ray is taken, but Jarrod is saved when Terry tackles him, and he slowly returns to normal. He and Terry go to the apartment roof to investigate the lights. They see alien ships descending through the clouds and vacuuming up thousands of screaming people. They are attacked by one of the aliens and forced to retreat from the roof. As they attempt to open the door before the alien can get them, Elaine quickly opens it from the other side and accidentally looks directly into the aliens light. The alien hypnotizes Elaine but Jarrod and Terry are able to save her and close the door.

Back in the apartment, Jarrod believes the open water would be a safer place, since there are no machines over the sea. They attempt to reach the marina by car, splitting into two cars: Terry and Denise in the first, followed by everyone else in the other. They encounter a couple, Colin and Jen, also getting ready to flee the building. As Terry's car exits the garage it is flattened by a massive alien. Denise is killed but Terry escapes. As he begins to run he is abducted. The others run back into the garage, where they encounter another lifeform that takes Colin. It corners the rest of the group before the building's concierge, Oliver, slams into it with an SUV. They find Colin is still alive inside the creature. As they try to free him, the machine comes to life, sucking out Colin's brain and regaining its energy. As they run back into the building, Jen is abducted.

The next day, the United States Air Force launches an attack against the alien spaceships and flying alien drones using stealth unmanned combat aerial vehicles and conventional drone aircraft armed with air-to-air missiles. Only one stealth plane (an X-47B) gets through the carnage and just before it gets destroyed it fires a nuclear missile, hitting the mothership. The huge detonation blows the ship apart, but as the mushroom cloud clears, the ship rises back into the air and begins to slowly repair itself. After Jarrod tells Elaine that the alien light made him feel powerful, he is adamant that safety must be found outside. Oliver wants to stay inside and tries restraining him. Jarrod physically starts changing as he lifts Oliver off the floor and vows that he will protect his family.

Helicopters arrive, inserting squads of soldiers. Jarrod and Elaine go to the roof hoping to catch a ride to safety. Oliver and Candice stay in the penthouse, but are found. Candice is hypnotized by the blue light and is abducted; Oliver attempts to kill a tanker alien by turning on a gas stove and igniting a lighter, causing the room to explode. The soldiers are thrown off the roof by the aliens and a squid alien attacks Jarrod and Elaine. They kill it, but with Jarrod badly hurt. They are surrounded by the aliens, so resigned to their fate, they look into the blue light, embrace and are sucked up into the mother ship as it slowly flies over the building.

A brief montage shows that cities all over the world have been overrun by the aliens.

Inside the alien spacecraft, Elaine wakes up on a pile of human corpses. Tubes are sucking human brains into machines; probes go through the pile looking for what they can find. Elaine sees Jarrod in the pile but has to watch helplessly as his brain is removed. She is probed, but left alone since she is pregnant. Elaine is transported to another chamber where other pregnant women have been sent. Meanwhile, Jarrod's brain, glowing red instead of the usual aliens' blue, is inserted into a new alien body.

Animating the alien body, Jarrod seems to retain control, and comes to the aid of Elaine and their unborn child. A series of still images depict "Jarrod" protecting Elaine and their child from the other aliens.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

The project began filming in Marina Del Rey in February 2010 through March 31.[7] Most of the action was shot in the high-rise condo in which Greg Strause lives.[6]

The physical production only cost $500,000. With all the visual effects the total budget was around $10–20 million.[1][2][8][9]

On November 11, 2010, producer Brett Ratner said on the Opie and Anthony Show that the film cost $10 million to make. The Brothers Strause insist that they will film a sequel with their own money and try to find a distributor to release it.[6]

Legal action from Sony[edit]

In August 2010 it was reported that Sony Pictures Entertainment was contemplating legal action against Greg and Colin Strause, the directors of Skyline and the owners of Hydraulx Filmz. Sony paid Hydraulx to generate visual effects work for Battle: Los Angeles. But Hydraulx never informed Sony the siblings were directing a rival alien invasion feature, similarly driven by special effects, scheduled for release four months prior to Sony's feature. A rep for the Strauses issued a statement: "Any claims of impropriety are completely baseless. This is a blatant attempt by Sony to force these independent filmmakers to move a release date that has long been set by Universal and Relativity and is outside the filmmakers' control".[10]

On March 17, 2011, Sony released a statement dismissing its arbitration against Hydraulx and the Strause Brothers citing that after the discovery phase they were satisfied that none of the Battle: Los Angeles visual effects were used in Skyline. The Strause Brothers stated, “We’re glad to put this behind us. We’ve been honored to work on several wonderful SPE projects in the past and look forward to future collaborations.”[11]

Music[edit]

Composer Matthew Margeson is a colleague of Brian Tyler, who served as one of the film's executive producers.

Skyline: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Film score by Matthew Margeson
Released November 16, 2010
Length 52:26
Label Varèse Sarabande

Track listing[edit]

All music composed by Matthew Margeson.

Skyline: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
No. Title Length
1. "Don't Look Up"   1:40
2. "Abduction"   3:29
3. "The Escape"   3:32
4. "Ship Down"   2:12
5. "Skyline"   2:39
6. "They're Not Dead"   5:02
7. "Make a Run for It"   6:15
8. "The Cavalry"   2:41
9. "Arrival"   3:41
10. "The Resurrection"   2:17
11. "Final Battle"   3:14
12. "Jarrod is Changing"   3:50
13. "Vaya Con Dios"   1:28
14. "Loss of a Friend"   3:58
15. "Inside the Ship"   4:33
16. "Damage Control"   1:55
17. "Iowa" (From the Slipknot album Iowa only used in the trailer) 15:05

Release[edit]

The film was released on November 12, 2010 in North America[12][13] and November 11 in Australia, and is distributed by Universal Pictures.[14] Following the theatrical release, the movie will run on Netflix.[15] A trailer was released August 13 and attached to Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and Devil. The second trailer was released on September 29 and then attached to My Soul to Take on October 15. Another trailer was also attached to Paranormal Activity 2. The trailer has also been attached to Red and Jackass 3D in the United Kingdom and Canada.

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Skyline was not screened for critics prior to its release in the United States; however when it was released, it was panned by critics. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 15% based on 67 reviews, with an average score of 3.5/10.[16] Similarly, Metacritic rated the film with a score of 26 out of 100, based on 18 critics.[17] Writing in Variety, Joe Leydon panned the film: "Imagine a Kmart mash-up of Transformers and Independence Day and you're appropriately primed for Skyline, an underwhelming and derivative sci-fi thriller that's only marginally more impressive than a run-of-the-mill SyFy Channel telepic."[18] Michael Philips of the Chicago Tribune wrote that the "effects are pretty good, on a fairly limited budget. And that's about all you can say for Skyline."[19] Screen Rant's Ben Kendrick wrote that the film "comes across as a big-screen B-movie with a convoluted plot and too limited of a scope to make the audience feel the worldwide alien-apocalypse that’s supposedly unfolding in the film".[20] In the New York Times, Mike Hale concluded, "it turns out that all the running and hiding and chopping (there’s an axe) was beside the point, which is the sort of thing that can make you angry if you care about the characters, but in this case is kind of a relief."[21]

However, there were positive reviews, including Matthew Sorrento's at Film Threat, who commented, "Skyline, if not always successful, refashions the modern alien invasion motif as the hopeless siege that it should be."[22] Kim Newman from Empire Magazine also endorsed the film, writing, "... delivers all the Saturday night whiz-bang and Sunday morning brain-ripping you could want."[23] The Sun's Alex Zane stated that "while it starts out as just a Cloverfield/Independence Day pastiche, this turns into something almost brilliant."[24]

Box office[edit]

Skyline opened on November 12, 2010 and grossed $4,737,555 on its opening day from 2,880 theaters for a 1-day average of $1,645 per theater.[25] It grossed a total of $11,692,415 over its opening weekend from 2,880 theaters for a 3-day average of $4,060 per theater, and ranking #4 for the weekend behind Megamind at #1, Unstoppable at #2, and Due Date at #3.[26] As of January 2013, the film has made $21,416,355 in the United States and $57,277,016 internationally for a worldwide total of $78,693,371.[27]

Home media[edit]

Skyline was released on Blu-ray and DVD on March 22, 2011.[28]

Sequel[edit]

In May 2014 at the annual Cannes Film Festival, it was revealed that a sequel titled Beyond Skyline was planned to go into production, but without The Brothers Strause as the writers and directors. Instead, Skyline producer and co-writer Liam O'Donnell has been brought on board, marking his directorial debut. No details on the plot have yet been released, but a sales poster which appeared at the Cannes Film Market has been shared on Facebook and other Internet sites.[29]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Walkuski, Eric (October 29, 2010). "EXCLUSIVE: Greg Strause talks Skyline 2, says treatment already written". JoBlo. Retrieved November 1, 2010. O'Donnell: "We've got a ten million dollar budget, I mean do the math." 
  2. ^ a b Waxman, Sharon; Lang, Brent (August 16, 2010). "Sony Accuses 'Skyline' of... Making a Low-Budget Blockbuster". The Wrap. Retrieved November 1, 2010. Skyline is a $20 million film directed by Greg and Colin Strause, who also worked on the special effects for “Avatar.” 
  3. ^ "Skyline". Retrieved October 4, 2014. 
  4. ^ "'Aliens vs Predator' Directors Reteam for 'Skyline'". 
  5. ^ "The Brothers Strause on Sci-Fi Thriller Skyline". 
  6. ^ a b c "Hydras, Drones and Tankers: The inside scoop on Skyline's alien shock troops". 
  7. ^ "First Look Behind-the-Scenes of 'Skyline'!". 
  8. ^ Eric Walkuski. "Greg Strause Talks Skyline 2". 
  9. ^ "Welcome to Twitter - Login or Sign up". Retrieved October 4, 2014. 
  10. ^ Flemming, Mike (August 16, 2010). "Battle Over L.A. Alien Invasion Films". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2010-11-10. 
  11. ^ Flemming, Mike (March 17, 2011). "Sony Buries Hatchet with Hydraulx over Dueling Alien Pics Skyline and Battle Los Angeles". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2011-03-21. 
  12. ^ "Things Get Dark in First Image From the Strause Brothers' Skyline". 
  13. ^ "Skyline Trailer: Another Alien Invasion Flick". 
  14. ^ Mike Fleming. "CANNES: Relativity Acquires Scifi 'Skyline'". 
  15. ^ "Season of the Witch and Skyline Head to Netflix After Theatre Run". 
  16. ^ "Skyline Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 2010-11-15. 
  17. ^ "Skyline Movie Reviews". Metacritic. 
  18. ^ Joe Leydon (November 12, 2010). "Skyline review in Variety". Variety. 
  19. ^ Critic, Movie (November 12, 2010). "Skyline Review by Michael Phillips". Chicago Tribune. 
  20. ^ Kendrick, Ben (November 12, 2010). "Skyline Review". Screen Rant. Retrieved 2010-11-25. 
  21. ^ Mike Hale (November 12, 2010). "For Dinner Tonight: Los Angeles". New York Times. 
  22. ^ Matthew Sorrento (November 26, 2010). "Skyline". Film Threat. 
  23. ^ Kim Newman (November 12, 2010). "Skyline". Empire Online. 
  24. ^ Alex Zane (November 12, 2010). "Deja-vu-for-alien-invasion". London: Sun Online. 
  25. ^ "Skyline (2010) – Daily Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. November 15, 2010. Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
  26. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for November 12–14, 2010". Box Office Mojo. November 15, 2010. Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
  27. ^ [1]. The Numbers. Retrieved 2011-01-22.
  28. ^ Skyline Coming Home to Blu-ray and DVD. DreadCentral.com. Retrieved 2011-01-22.
  29. ^ "Skyline Sequel Moving Ahead, But Without The Brothers Strause". Retrieved October 4, 2014. 

External links[edit]