Watch free Battle: Los Angeles (2011) movie stream online.
Jonathan Liebesman intended the film to be a realistic depiction of an alien invasion in the style of a war film, taking inspiration from the films Black Hawk Down, Saving Private Ryan, and United 93 for his documentary style of filming. Liebesman also drew inspiration from YouTube videos of marines fighting in Fallujah for the look of the film. As a result the film was not shot in 3D as the director felt that combined with the handheld camera style of shooting would make the audience "throw up in two minutes." Instead standard film was used, intercutting footage from three different cameras. The filmmakers tested shooting the film digitally on a Red camera, but found the camera could not capture the same quality image as standard film. The film was shot for a PG-13 rating, as the director felt making the film overly gory did not suit the more suspenseful tone they were trying to achieve.
The events of the film are inspired by the Battle of Los Angeles, a falsely suspected air raid of Los Angeles that took place during World War II. The filmmakers chose to use this event as the basis for the film in an attempt to help ground the film in reality. The plot of the film suggests the unidentified aircraft were actually alien UFO's on a reconnaissance mission, scouting the Earth to prepare for an eventual attack, which was then covered up by the government, though the filmmakers have stated they do not actually believe this is what happened in real life. Screenwriter Chris Bertolini tried to include humour and suspense as well as action, which he felt were important elements to help draw the audience into the drama. Aaron Eckhart said that the objective of the film was to make as realistic an alien invasion movie as possible; "The goal was: this is a war movie, a documentary style war movie—with aliens in it." The actors went through three weeks of boot camp, in order to learn how to realistically operate as a marine platoon. In addition, Eckhart had done training with the Marines for a few months beforehand in weapons training and drills. On set, military advisors worked with the actors to ensure they gave a realistic performance. Eckhart broke his upper arm when he fell off a ledge during an action sequence, but continued to work for the remainder of the film without having it put in a cast.
While the director tried to use practical effects whenever possible, such as for explosions, most of the aliens in the film are computer generated, as the director felt they would be too difficult to achieve practically. Only 10% of the aliens in the film were achieved practically. The invaders were designed by Paul Gerrard, who made them to appear "very alien", neither arthropod nor vertebrate, while Liebesman described them as "genocidal Nazis... They look at us like we look at ants." Liebesman wanted the aliens to appear to function as a real army, complete with medics and different ranking officers, and using tactics such as taking cover to protect themselves. Liebesman also confirmed that the aliens are invading for the Earth's natural resources, specifically because the Earth is 70% covered with water.
Filming took place from September 2009 through December 2009 in Shreveport and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Louisiana was chosen instead of Los Angeles mainly due to financial advantages. Principal photography began in the second week of September in Shreveport with scenes depicting a destroyed interstate filled with cars, an overturned tanker truck, and a crashed helicopter. Post-production lasted throughout 2010 and into 2011. Special effects used in the principal photography included pyrotechnics. The most climactic of all was a large fireball-producing explosion which was said to have alarmed some residents and passers-by. Film crews implemented use of a large "green-screen" billboard at the base (end) of the "destroyed" interstate to use later for inserting CGI images of Los Angeles.
There was military support for filming, including some scenes filmed at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in California. Numerous Marine units assisted in filming, including infantry from 2nd Battalion 1st Marines, MV-22 Ospreys from VMMT-204 (based at Marine Corps Air Station New River in North Carolina), CH-46 Sea Knights from HMM-268 and HMM-774 (based in Camp Pendleton and Naval Station Norfolk, respectively), and reservists from 3rd Battalion 23rd Marines based in Belle Chasse, Louisiana.
Sony Pictures Entertainment investigated the possibility of legal action against the filmmakers Greg and Colin Strause, who were hired to do visual effects work on Battle: Los Angeles through their special effects company Hydraulx. Sony Pictures suspected the Strause brothers had created their own Los Angeles-based alien invasion film Skyline, which would compete with the Battle: Los Angeles release, by using resources they had gained while working on Battle: Los Angeles without the consent of Sony Pictures. A spokesman for the Strauses responded by saying, "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."
As of 2011, a first-person shooter video game developed by Saber Interactive and published by Konami has been released on Xbox Live Arcade on March 11 and will be released for PlayStation Network on March 22. The game will be playable in 3D, for those with the right TV and glasses, and Steam following soon after. Aaron Eckhart will reprise his role for the game. Players assume the role of Corporal Lee Imlay throughout the game.
The soundtrack for the film was released on March 8, 2011.
The song used in the trailer is "The Sun's Gone Dim and the Sky's Turned Black" by Jóhann Jóhannsson.
The film received mostly negative professional reviews, with a 32% rating by aggregate score film site Rotten Tomatoes. The Rotten Tomatoes "Audience" rating stands at 67%; the "Top Critics" section stands at 22%.
Noted film critic Roger Ebert panned Battle: Los Angeles in a lengthy review, calling the movie "noisy, violent, ugly and stupid." Ebert gave the film a mere half star rating, and heavily criticized its writing, effects designs, camerawork and editing. He closed his review with a warning, saying, "Young men: If you attend this crap with friends who admire it, tactfully inform them they are idiots. Young women: If your date likes this movie, tell him you've been thinking it over, and you think you should consider spending some time apart."
Battle: Los Angeles was given poor reviews by the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, and Variety. Kim Newman of Empire rated the film 2 stars out of 5 and criticized its lack of originality. Nigel Floyd of Time Out rated the film 2 stars saying that it "..lumbers the flat military characters with hackneyed dialogue and corny sentimentality".
Neil Smith of Total Film magazine rated the film as 3 stars out of 5 and summarized, "Imagine Black Hawk Down with ET's instead of Somalis and you'll have the measure of an explosive if functional actioner that will do while we're waiting for summer's big guns to arrive". Both the Radio Times and the Chicago Tribune also rated the film 3 out of 5. IGN rated the film 3 out of 5, stating that the film has spectacular visuals and intense action packed scenes.