On-Line Review by Christian Leopold Shea:

Battlefield Earth

© 2000 by Christian Leopold Shea. All rights reserved.

THE REVIEW GOES HERE -- most of it deleted 5 June 2000 -- someone please fire somebody!

Battlefield Earth is rip-roaring 1950s-style science fiction (author Hubbard did flourish as a science fiction novelist in "the golden age," after all!) mixed with the classic science fiction theme of humanity oppressed by . . . others (the Morlocks of The Time Machine by H. G. Wells, Pierre Boulle's Apes in The Planet of the Apes, and so on). What makes the Psychlos of Battlefield Earth seem so creepy, however, is that unlike Wells's Morlocks and Boulle's Apes, they are not native to earth, yet they are clearly more human-like than those other races who have ruled docile humans in other science fiction stories. Flourishing as a science fiction writer shortly before Dwight D. Eisenhower gave his celebrated warning about the dangers of "the military-industrial complex," Hubbard gave us in Battlefield Earth villains who were extensions of the corporate drones of Eisenhower-era America, who have since flourished and become mighty. The Psychlos seem less alien (and hence more frightening to us moderns) than the Morlock-sprung humans because they are recognizably . . . us. Hubbard's aliens are walking among us in the streets of New York, Washington, Tokyo, Shanghai, Sydney, and Berlin today. They don't need spacecraft or teleporters -- they are here already!

Never one to slight favorite supporting players, permit me to draw the viewer's attention to Christian Tessier, who plays the heroic Mickey. For some years a staple of teen-oriented science fiction adventures and smaller films, Tessier here enters the cinematic big leagues. The trouble was: finding him! The Psychlo enclave of Denver is domed and suitably gloomy, so spotting him among the hundreds of other ragamuffin "man-animals" was no easy task. When Terl's schemes finally reach the point where he can bring some of his human slaves out into the wilderness and we finally see them in full sunlight -- BAM! -- the glow off of Tessier's red-gold hair leaps off of the screen. If the brutish-looking humans all look alike to you, keep an eye open for that one -- he turns out to be a major player in the war against the Psychlos.

With the rise in theater ticket prices and the growing international audience of our page, our old NW2: Not Worth $2 (U. S. dollars) to W8: Worth $8 rating scale has become less useful than previously, so, in line with the scale used by the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) we have adopted a scale of 1 star to 10 stars, with "1 Star" being a VERY bad movie, and "10 Stars" being a movie classic. Our On-Line Reviewer, however, has gone where IMDb has never gone before: he has added a score of Zero for those movies which are so bad that they are not even good "camp" -- movies so bad that not even "Mystery Science Theater 3000" could could make them worth watching.

On this scale, anything rated "7 Stars" or above is definitely worth the cost of a theater ticket, "8 Stars" is worth standing in line to buy a ticket, "9 Stars" is worth standing in line in a driving rain rainstorm or severe heatwave or moderate windstorm to buy a ticket, and "10 Stars" is a movie worth driving hundreds of miles to go see -- at least in Dr. Shea's own opinion. Accordingly,

Battlefield Earth is a 6 Star movie.

Go see it!

WE'RE #29!

We've mentioned previously that we have an international audience. Now EuroSeek™ has made it official. After only being listed with Euroseek™ since 10 April 1999, we have received amore than 94,000 "hits," so that . . .


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