Falling Skies [Blu-Ray]

Falling Skies [Blu-Ray]
A premise that combines elements of The Walking Dead with War of the Worlds is an appealing proposition to fans of post-apocalyptic survivor drama and alien invasion action alike. Unfortunately, Falling Skies lands on the side of executive producer Steven Spielberg's cloying take on the H.G. Wells classic. His saccharine, populist fingerprints can be seen all over the story of a group of patriotic citizens and the last remnants of the American military banding together to resist the Earth's new alien overlords, but lacking the invigorating dynamics of the Hollywood titan's visual sensibilities. Noah Wyle (ER) stars as history professor and father of three turned military leader Tom Mason. He's the humanizing foil to Will Patton's zealous bastion of government authority, Captain Weaver. The internal drama of the Second Massachusetts, as the regiment is called, is driven by the conflicting objectives of these two men: Mason wants to rescue captured children, including one of his sons, while Weaver just wants to blow those four-legged alien suckers the heck off our planet. Obscured by mediocre performances, aside from the seasoned principles, generic dialogue and bland, predictable episode arcs are some genuinely interesting ideas that suggest the intentions of the aggressors may be a little less black and white than typically imagined. If the second season gives these seeds room to take root amidst all the soapy partisan bravado, Falling Skies might approach something resembling a compelling viewing experience. Tellingly, the only special feature of any substance comes from the team behind the Dark Horse Comics tie-in. None of the five commentary tracks are especially informative, nor is a Q&A panel from San Diego Comic-Con 2011, and the two "Behind the Scenes" featurettes are nothing more than superfluous network promo pieces. "Animating a Skitter," which gives a thorough technical breakdown of the creature effects process, is amusing at least, if only to see the former Dr. John Carter fighting something that looks like a half-rendered monster from an early Resident Evil game. (Warner)
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