It’s hard to say exactly at what point Battle: Los Angeles got the better of your fearless leader, but I do know the following for sure:
The adrenaline was pumping even before a very brave @BeachBetty1 of our North Carolina brigade agreed to accompany me to the theater (and hopefully prevent me from having a heart attack). Loyal ZSC warrior that she is, BeachBetty1 was terribly kind about the popcorn I threw all over her lap …repeatedly. I screamed, all-but-shredded the popcorn container with just one hand and even swore once or twice.
Early reports from the field had me worried. I was late to the mission because of a recruiting operation at Monster Mania so intense my field report had to be broken into two parts (part one here, and two, here). Orange Brigade Commander RC Murphy penned this initial report on Battle: Los Angeles.
By the time the credits rolled on Battle: Los Angeles (and no, we’re still not going to spill the details for those of you who have not seen it yet) Command was pretty determined to keep the contest prize to ourselves as payment for the extensive emotional distress caused by the film. Fortunately for our winner, LK, RC and Jinxie talked some sense into your fearless leader.
The ZSC cadres showed great love and devotion to Neil with some truly amusing, and quite a few lovely, entries into the contest. It’s almost painful that only one of you will receive_________ from Neil.
Yep, you read it right – we’re not revealing the prize. Only the winner.
What would happen if an alien force invaded Earth? If Battle: Los Angeles is even 75% correct, put me out of my misery before they get further than the beach.
As far as film openings go, typically war footage gets some yawns and expectant foot tapping. However, given the conflicts and recent disasters the audience was rapt. Silent. Dare I even say, thoughtful? This film comes about at a very strange time in the world’s history and hands us a look at war on the home front.
Right away, we’re driven to like the platoon of marines. They are funny, and I’m not saying this because ZSC’s own Neil Brown Jr. delivered some of the most amusing lines. The cast they put together for the film is astounding. Their performances make Battle: Los Angeles work. Without an emotional connection to the characters it’s just another alien shoot-em-up movie.
The most difficult parts of the film aren’t scenes where they show civilian casualties, though they are striking. No, what caught me was moments where, alongside the marines, we see the full scope of the damage to the city unfold. It became a macabre beauty of sorts painted in fire and smoke. Landscapes most city dwellers take for granted are leveled in no time at all.
During combat scenes the audience is put in the middle of the action. They’re “grab you by the gonads” intense, but a little confusing. The pacing of the movie hits hard then backs off to allow us to regroup and figure out what the heck just happened. It literally became an edge of your seat watch for us.
Battle: Los Angeles works hard to show how combat can mess with a person’s head. There are moments when we forgot the aliens outside because the marines dive so deep into their own issues. Only once did I feel the attention to their mental plight took from the movie itself. However, with the way the film is shot the audience gets a really good grasp of what happens to people during war. It’s not all physical damage out on the battlefield.
Holy S#!% moments that ZSC members should look out for in order to learn new battle techniques? How to quickly discover the enemy’s weakness. A unique way to dispatch a rather large enemy combatant. (A technique this commander will utilize should I ever be surrounded by zombies) Oh and what happens when a tough as nails female is injured.
The Zombie Survival Crew is all about supporting our fellow members. First Lieutenant Neil Brown Jr. has been waving the ZSC flag with pride since being brought on to the crew. And wouldn’t you know it, our katana-wielding friend has a new movie coming out on 3-11-2011.
From Sony Pictures:
For years, there have been documented cases of UFO sightings around the world – Buenos Aires, Seoul, France, Germany, China. But in 2011, what were once just sightings will become a terrifying reality when Earth is attacked by unknown forces. As people everywhere watch the world’s great cities fall, Los Angeles becomes the last stand for mankind in a battle no one expected. It’s up to a Marine staff sergeant (Aaron Eckhart) and his new platoon to draw a line in the sand as they take on an enemy unlike any they’ve ever encountered before.
To celebrate the release of Battle: Los Angeles,
we’re offering ZSC members a way to not only show support for one of ours, but win a little swag as well.
A picture of yourself with a Battle: Los Angeles ticket stub in hand at your local movie theater.
Call to Action: Zombie Survival Crew First LieutenantNeil Brown Jr. – Guillermo from the Vatos episode of The Walking Dead – talks survival and what he learned during Battle: Los Angeles.
Sometimes the fiction I portray helps me to understand real-life truths. Working on Battle: Los Angeles gave me some insights I thought wise to share with my Zombie Survival Crew brigades ahead of the film’s 3-11-11 release.
Battle: Los Angeles asks the broader questions about survival during a cataclysmic global event as major U.S. cities are attacked and marines are sent into Los Angeles to evacuate civilians before the government launches a massive counter-offensive. Sure, we’re battling aliens, not zombies, but many of the same rules apply.
Lesson 1: Stealth Tactics
Filming took us through some real Marine training and as much as I’d like to say the weapons work was the most valuable, the truth is how many of us are going to encounter military-grade weapons right off the bat during a zombie infestation? (Unless you have them already…)
No. The most valuable lessons were in learning how to really take cover during a firefight and how to conceal your presence. Tactics like the following:
– Don’t leave evidence of your presence. Pick up empty shell casings, cigarette butts, etc, etc.
– People do what you see in movies when a firefight breaks out. Big mistake.
– Process: Get low. Find solid cover. Identify source of fire or danger. Examine your environment.
– A car door will not protect you from bullets. The only safe places to take cover around a vehicle are behind the engine block or axles.
– In a house dry wall will not protect you. Get into the residence and take cover behind additional items such as a bookcase or table.
Lesson 2: Teamwork
As a cataclysmic event unfolds it is time to put aside differences and work together. This is about humanity, about survival. Everyone has something to offer.
If we are to survive, we have to band together as I learned filming both The Walking Dead and Battle: Los Angeles. Understand the enemy – how they operate; what they want; the best ways to defeat them. It cannot be done alone.
Lesson 3: Strategic Choices
Every person has something to offer towards common survival in the case of a cataclysmic global event but having a good command team in place is essential. From my Battle: Los Angeles cast mates I’d offer up the following as top recruits.
Cory Hardrict – He’s the type of guy who will receive the phone call, look at the bottom line, come up with a plan and execute it. No questions. No doubts. But he’s also a team player.
Michelle Rodriguez – She’s kind of a nerd but down to fight to the death for anyone on her team. She’s gritty and grindy, and something to watch in a battle.
Will Rothhaar – This kid is young, ready for anything and fast. He’s a team player unafraid of a dangerous assignment.