Battle For Terra

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +2

Content: +1

Luke Wilson, Amanda Peet, Dennis Quaid, James Garner, Evan Rachel Wood. Written & directed by Aristomenis Tsirbas (II).

FILM SYNOPSIS: The film tells the story of Senn (Justin Long) and Mala (Evan Rachel Wood), two rebellious tadpole-looking alien teens living on the beautiful planet Terra, a place that promotes peace and tolerance, having long ago rejected war and weapons of mass destruction. †But when Terra is invaded by human beings fleeing a civil war and environmental catastrophe, the planet is plunged into chaos. †During the upheaval, Mala befriends an injured human pilot (Luke Wilson) and each learns that two races are not so different from one another. †Together they must face the terrifying realization that in a world of limited resources, only one of their races is likely to survive.

PREVIEW REVIEW: I donít think Iíve ever seen an anti-war movie that wasnít filled to capacity with battle sequences. Usually the more strident the message, the more alluring the screen carnage. Battle For Terra sticks to that assessment, but its makers go a step further. Itís the first man vs. aliens film I can remember since The Day The Earth Stood Still where the earthlings are the bad guys. Here, some are simply misguided, but the military in general is portrayed as bloodthirsty and uncaring space invaders. Maybe itís true, but it didnít sit right with me.

I keep thinking of the sacrifice of countless soldiers in reality who gave their all so that we could remain free and so other countries could get a chance at equal opportunity. Donít get me wrong, our artists need to point out political and military wrongdoing and anyone who cheerleads either side of the political aisle is just begging for disappointment. Painting the entire military as boobs and thugs, however, is misleading and destructive. You want to do away with military, then donít make these propaganda movies just for America. See to it that those who cut off heads are saturated with films dominated by ďGive Peace a ChanceĒ slogans.

Sorry, I only get political when the movie insists on indoctrinating moviegoers with hidden agendas. Iím not sure little ones, or even their older siblings will catch on to the subtle social commentary, but some of the heavy-handed statements were met with groans even from my more liberal colleagues. The film is anti-war, anti-military and anti-human. Thatís too anti for me.

DVD Alternatives: The Iron Giant. Animated kids adventure about an imaginative little boy who befriends a giant robot who doesn't seem to know how he came to be (something we never learn, although it appears in the beginning that he came from space). Highly entertaining, with humor aimed both at kids and adults. Set in the '50s, it's a little hard on the military and government secret agencies, but it also deals with spiritual issues, stating, "Souls don't die, they go on forever." Suggesting both filmmatic and thematic ideas from The Day The Earth Stood Still and King Kong, The Iron Giant is smart, funny, and exciting. However, parents should view with little ones, both to reassure and to explain certain messages.

The Incredibles. This hilarious, action-packed, animated adventure has a put-upon superhero family now denying their superpowers and living under a government protection plan. Taking on grownup themes such as the suspicion of infidelity and a barrage of violent do-or-die histrionics, Pixar Animation Studios and filmmaker Brad Bird (The Iron Giant) incorporate cartoonish slapstick with thoughtful PG-rated wit.

War of the Worlds. Nothing man can do seems to stop a Martian invasion. Ah, but God in His infinite wisdomÖBased on a story by H. G. Wells, this superior sci-fi actioneer is eerie and frightening, but it also contains a positive message. Donít miss the ending narration by Sir Cedric Hardwicke. Not to be mistaken with the newer one with Tom Cruise as an anti-hero with a dysfunctional family. The 1953 version with Gene Barry is eerie and mesmerizing.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: A couple of minor expletives, but I caught no harsh language.

Profanity: None

Violence: Comic book-like action throughout, with Star Wars spaceship battles; for a movie with a presumed peace at any cost theme, there sure is a lot of warfare going on; individual characters are deprived of air, then the earthlings suck out all the substance the aliens need to breath on their planet; we see the aliens about to die before an earth soldier turns on his own commanders and blows up the air-sucking machine; near the opening of the film we see Earth being destroyed by its own inhabitants after they have used up all of Earthís resources.

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: None

Other: The film pictures Earthlings willing to destroy other civilizations in order to survive.

Running Time: 86 minutes
Intended Audience: Family

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