Bluray review: Battleship

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Director: Peter Berg
Starring: Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgard, Rihanna, Brooklyn Decker, Liam Neeson

The best review I've read of Battleship, a review written by Nick De Semlyen back in April and appearing in Empire Magazine, consisted of just one word: "Miss." Hey, I'm a sucker for predictable jokes.

Yet, despite the abundance of negative reviews which poked holes in the flimsiness of the idea at the centre of the film - based on the classic board game, aliens attack during an international naval exercise, which leads to a tense stand-off in which the few remaining earth-based forces map out a grid and systematically try to find the alien forces - I found myself a little baffled by the fact that so many critics picked on Battleship as an idea.

Don't get me wrong: this is a pretty bad film. For a start, Taylor Kitsch just doesn't have the charisma or on-screen presence to carry a film like this and the supporting cast makes the ensemble on Glee look like a bevy of Oscar winners, stacked full of actors picked for their looks (Decker, Rihanna) than for any semblance of talent.

The execution of the story is bland too, coming off like an impersonation of a Michael Bay film in both style and visual effects. Director Berg should have marketed this as a Transformers prequel.

But while the execution is bad, the idea is fine. This is a summer blockbuster after all - well, a winter blockbuster in our part of the world.

Stupid ideas, used merely as an excuse to blow things up in new and inventive ways and (hopefully) make a ton of money at the box office, are par for the course.

Battleship is no sillier an idea than Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter or The Watch, or half the fare released from April to September.

Technically, Battleship is presented in 1080p high-definition widescreen video, at a 2.40:1 aspect ratio, and looks stunning - the colouring is spot on and clarity is almost unparalleled; this is as pretty a bluray experience as you'll find.

The audio is presented as DTS-HD 5.1 and sounds lovely, with really good usage of the surround speakers. The bluray package comes as a triple-play, with DVD and digital copies included.

Battleship is passable as a popcorn flick and features a few solid action sequences, and is an incredibly gorgeous looking film, but don't go into this film expecting to have your mind blown - you'll be bitterly disappointed.

Special Features: USS Missouri VIP Tour with director Peter Berg, Alternate Ending Pre-visualisation featurette, Preparing for Battle featurette, All Hands On Deck: The Cast, Engage In Battle featurette, Commander Pete featurette, The Visual Effects Of Battleship featurette