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battlefield earth is the worst film of 2000 , and i guarantee you that nothing else this year will even come close .
in fact , i'll be surprised if i see anything this bad in the next ten years .
based on the novel by scientology guru l . ron hubbard , battlefield earth begins and we immediately find out two pieces of key information .
it's the year 3000 , and an alien race called the psychlos ( which sounds like a tag team of mexican wrestlers ) conquered our planet in nine minutes .
ok , we are all of 10 seconds in and i have a zillion questions racing through my mind .
when were we conquered ?
the audience is led to believe that this happened about 1 , 000 years earlier , and if that is the case then we're going to get into a whole bunch of problems later ( trust me . . .
keep reading ) .
also , why don't we get to see earth get conquered ?
how the hell do you make a popcorn sci-fi flick and not deliver the goods on the one event that sets up the film ?
humans now live as cavemen or slave labor , and for the film's first act we focus on one particular cavemen group outside of denver , colorado .
they grunt and groan and babble about monsters .
so , when the psychlos conquered earth , were the only humans not captured a herd of newborn babies that crawled their way to safety in the hills ?
none of these characters have any knowledge of the planet being conquered ( whenever that was ) .
this is definitely not the way to start an action/sci-fi film .
one of the humans wanders out into the wilderness and stumbles across what he thinks is a monster , and he begins to fight it .
the " monster " turns out to be a dinosaur from an old miniature golf course .
he turns around and sees all sorts of other characters from the golf course , with some shrubs growing over them .
so , in 1 , 000 years this stupid little golf course has stood the test of time , with only a few weeds growing over it ?
anyway , some of the humans are captured by the psychlos led by terl ( john travolta ) a smarmy and opportunistic alien planning on stealing a recently discovered gold deposit .
the cavemen ( led by barry pepper ) are forced to do their bidding or whatever , but eventually they gain the upper hand and reclaim the planet , or something .
so these cavemen are able to do what earth failed to do 1 , 000 years earlier ?
and , we're supposed to believe that earth was conquered in nine minutes by a group of buffoonish aliens who can't even handle a few cavemen ?
one of the ways the humans reclaim the planet is by taking control of abandoned air force jets and using them to fight the psychlos .
so jets left unattended for 1 , 000 years are still able to fly ?
please , if i leave my car unattended for two weeks i have to replace every fluid and hose under the hood .
why did the psychlos leave jets around anyway ?
shouldn't they have destroyed military installations during their massive nine minute campaign against us ?
the psychlos refer to humans as " man animals " but yet dogs are still " dogs " .
why aren't they " dog animals " ?
the psychlos are after mining earth's precious resources , but for 1 , 000 years are unaware of fort knox ?
why do i even care at this point ?
i'm a fan of travolta's and i'm glad to see he's back on the a-list in hollywood ( despite the fact that he occasionally puts out crowd pleasing dreck like michael and phenomenon ) .
but how did he possibly think this was a good movie ?
and how did he think he was giving a good performance here ?
he's more than capable of making a menacing villain ( see broken arrow and face/off ) but whenever his character came on screen i couldn't hold back my laughter .
now despite the different facial features members of this alien race seem to have , travolta just looks like travolta .
all of the other aliens have weird foreheads or other pointy bones on their face , but travolta just has a goatee .
also , travolta's acts with a sort of phony upper-class snooty accent and constantly whines about bureaucratic nonsense back on his home world .
ooooo , scary villain .
as a producer he should know better and as an actor he should definitely know better .
you can make a dumb but good sci-fi film ( i love independence day for example ) , but there is absolutely nothing entertaining about battlefield earth .
i did everything i possibly could to stay awake during the screening . . .
i cleaned my glasses , walked around the theater , made a grocery list , chose my lottery numbers for the week , replayed super bowl xxv in my head ( with commercials ) . . .
and still was compelled to scrutinize the insides of my eyelids .
by the time we actually reach the year 3000 , people should still be avoiding this film .
folks , save your cash . .
don't go see it , don't rent it , and don't buy it .
you'd be more entertained by taking the money you'd use for this movie and just throwing it into the wind , watching it sail away ( hell , send it to us here at the jacksonville film journal . . .
we'll entertain you plenty with that kind of money ) .
unless of course you're just captivated by countless slow motion shots of barry pepper running , which is just about all you'll come away with from this movie .
that , and a headache .
[editor's note : for some reason though , the day after my screening i converted to scientology .
i'm not sure why . . .
something just made me feel compelled make the choice . ]
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