"When faced with a problem you do not understand,
do any part of it you do understand; then look at it again."
~(Robert A. Heinlein - "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress")

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Thursday, May 17, 2012


- "a quick raid, usually for the purpose of taking plunder."

My previous post, Treasure Island, began ...
 On Saturday night, 05 May 2012, the SYFY Channel made a foray there.

That post was prompted by the SYFY Channel showing their version of the story. While I spent a few paragraphs on it, I mostly wrote about the 22-year-old TNT Channel Charlton Heston version that I found to be far superior.

I used that word "foray" because I had heard it before and liked the sound of it. In my usual nit-picking after-the-fact analysis I often conduct on things, I later looked it up to see if it was a good choice. It was purest accident that it turned out to be perfect in that context.

Well, yet another foray appears about to occur.

Tomorrow (Friday, 18 May 2012), "Battleship" hits the big screens.  Based on the Hasbro board game (of which I know absolutely nothing; Hasbro was also responsible for "Transformers"), it sounds like the kind of put-brain-in-neutral-and-enjoy type of special effects extravaganza I will almost certainly check out.  All about the US Navy (including that Battleship) taking on hostile alien spaceships.

So, what do I find in the TV Guide for the very next evening (Saturday, 19 May 2012); on the SYFY Channel?

"American Battleship (2012) - The Crew of the USS Iowa take on a fleet of hostile alien spaceships."

I could spend weeks of research and probably never find a better example of what the SYFY Channel is apparently about.  Sure, other networks are also guilty of this, but I cannot think of any that are so blatant about it. They don't even pretend to be not ripping off other works.

They are truly unmatched for audacity.
First Update - Fri, 18 May 2012 - Saw "Battleship" .
Bottom Line:  Save your money. Dumb doesn't even begin to describe it.

I wrote this post, not as a review, but as a comment on the SCFY Channel's policy of latching on to the latest potential hit out of Hollywood in an attempt to rake in a bit for themselves by ripping it off.

Now, I'm wondering if I'll wind up enjoying their version more. That would be truly ironic. I'll know more tomorrow evening.

This will be a long night;  in a little bit, I'm going to a midnight showing, at the River Oaks theater, of a 2000 Japanese gore-fest called "Battle Royale" (sort of "The Hunger Games" on steroids). Thank God I don't have to work tomorrow. :-)

Second Update - Sat, 19 May 2012 - Up above, I seem to have committed myself to checking the SYFY Channel offering.  So, I did.
Bottom Line on That: Could have been worse.

The most damning thing about "Battleship" is that is the best thing that could be said about it.

"American Battleship" (as it's called in TV Guide; "American Warships" is its actual title) can be described as "not too bad", and is a surprise by not being from Romania or Bulgaria as so many made for SYFY Channel movies have been.

If you didn't catch it, you really haven't missed anything. Nothing left to say.

Update Tue, 05 Jun 2012 - I found this photo of the USS Iowa delivering a broadside, and the kid in me (which is the dominant part of my nature :-) reacted with "Cool!!!".
An overhead view of the battleship USS IOWA (BB-61) firing all 15 of its guns
(nine 16-inch and six 5-inch) during a 1984 target exercise near Vieques Island.  

What made me go for this one over the many other photos available was the concussive effects on the water of the gun's firing. That bowl-like depression in the water is about a city block and a half across.

In the SYFY Channel movie, the Iowa is on its last voyage, on its way to becoming a floating museum when hostile alien spaceships attack with EMP weapons that fry and make useless all the solid-state gadgetry of modern vessels.  As this antique has old fashion stuff immune to such attacks, all of a sudden it comes in pretty handy.

On Anthony Watt's Watts Up With That? site, I found Memorial Day tribute – USS Iowa final voyage this weekend , from whence the photo came. That final voyage was the ship on its way to becoming a floating museum. So far, no mention of spaceships.

As it turns out, the photo is on topic here; neither the movie "Battleship" nor the SYFY version having any scene to hold a candle to that photo.

But even if this blog was devoted exclusively to needlepoint, I'd have found some justification for putting it here. Some photos justify themselves. 

(I guess I had a bit more to say after all. :-)


Foxfier said...

It's on more than steroids!

Paul Gordon said...

Oh, I knew what to expect.

I've had a DVD of the extended cut for several years now (having found it on line).

My biggest surprise was that the theater had a film version.

The theater used to be part of the old Interstate chain and originally had one big auditorium with a balcony.

Later, they walled up the balcony and divided it into two small auditoriums.

Having found some movies no longer available on film (some films, such as John Carpenter's "Big Trouble In Little China" apparently no longer even have existing film copies(), they showed some that were on Blu-Ray, in those upper auditoriums.

As "Battle Royale" was recently released on Blu-Ray, that's what I thought I would be seeing.

Instead, they had a print of the original theatrical release that was maybe ten minutes shorter.

I couldn't recall anything missing, so the extended version was likely just more of the same.

I was curious about seeing it with an audience; which went quite well.

Glad I went.

Foxfier said...

In the SYFY Channel movie, the Iowa is on its last voyage, on its way to becoming a floating museum when hostile alien spaceships attack with EMP weapons that fry and make useless all the soilid-state gadgetry of modern vessels. As this antique has old fashion stuff immune to such attacks, all of a sudden it comes in pretty handy.

Which is BS. Cool, and plausible, but BS.

Paul Gordon said...

Which is BS. Cool, and plausible, but BS

And you would expect otherwise from the SYFY Channel? :-)

Actually, for that venue it would be above average.

Anyways, this post gave me a good place to park that picture. :-)


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