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Issue:- 17 March 2010

Film Review:- "Battle - Los Angeles"
Review by Dariya Ibrayeva

A small group of Marines recaptured Los Angeles from an entire alien race.. hmmm... so what can I say?  A typical American blockbuster which tries to maintain the spirit of the American nation patriots.

Battle - Los Angeles is one of those popcorn flicks, when, watching it, you can safely turn off your brain and enjoy the spectacle as long as the main role is played by the explosions, shooting and destruction.

So, if you are a gamer, and computer generated images satisfy your taste, this film is definitely for you.

The story:-  The chaos begins with news reports of a series of undetected meteor showers that are inexplicably headed for the world's population centres. As the meteors start landing, it becomes obvious that they're not giant chunks of space rock; them there are alien spacecrafts, and they're not here to spread good cheer. Metallic and ungainly aliens decide to colonize Earth and take our resources – water (since we're the only planet known to have H2O in its liquid form). They have advanced technology, fast ships, and devastating weapons. But don’t worry, a marine staff sergeant (Aaron Eckhart) and his squad fight to save civilians, the city and the planet.

The movie, directed by Jonathan Liebesman (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning), is similar to those old World War II films you find on late night cable, but with less story and instead of Germans or Japanese for hostiles, we get hordes of furious aliens.

As I already said before, Battle - Los Angeles is full of American pathos of heroism and patriotism of brave American soldiers. Honestly, I do not understand this reverence for the country, which is even not your motherland. Liebesman was born in South Africa.

The script is totally predictable and consists mostly of the Marines shouting things like "Get back!", "Fire!", and "Let's move!". It contains no memorable dialogue. There are no abstruse words and deep meanings to think about. But such a scenario is only for the benefit of "alien invasion", because of so large an abundance of special effects and computer graphics, renders semantic load is unnecessary and it would not have let us enjoy the picture fully.

Actors:-  Personally, I haven’t noticed any outstanding acting work in this movie. The actors coped with their task really well unless they had to say or explain something. As soon as they had to pronounce the long, sometimes uninspiring, monologues, actors immediately goofed. There were no internal vibrations in heroes. Just listen to their words - each of them is a hero in the soul, who is able to do the impossible. You won’t be able to find any coward or a traitor. It turns out that all characters were made of plasticine: with tears, but without emotion, with fear but without panic.

Despite the fact that characters in the movie fall flat, I’d like to highlight some of them. Aaron Eckhart looks pretty nice and colourful, however to empathize with him is just impossible. The reason is not the lack of his talent, but an atmosphere of the film, which resembles a computer game. It seems that you can take a mouse in your hand and save the game any time.The appearance of Michelle Rodriguez didn’t surprise me at all. She is always in her constant line - super chick. At her place could be anyone, and the film wouldn’t lose anything.

Regarding Bridget Moynehen, her character was not revealed at all.  Ramon Rodriguez, who is known to us as a sickly boy from the second "Transformers", has become a real warrior, who looked pretty convincing in a role of a young lieutenant. I was surprised that there wasn’t any kind of love story in the movie. I think, I would make Michelle Rodriguez to fall in love with the sergeant, Eckhart.

Filming:-  The effect of constantly shaking camera I found really annoying. It seems that the operator is certainly erratic, constantly running around and breathing so deeply that he cannot focus the camera on his shoulder. However, it gave a good sense of presence and conveyed the effect of pseudo-documentary video.

Probably, like many others, I expected that I will see some brand new alien creatures and the director will surprise us with something original, but, unfortunately, I was wrong. Aliens are usual and remind us of all previous ones, which we have seen many times before. Part of the design were stolen from the "District 9" and "Predator" and parts of the fourth part from the "Terminator" and "Skyline".

Yes, a hundred million dollar budget was spent beautifully. Special effects here are stunning. Lights explode every minute. The director does not spare buses, armoured vehicles or helicopters to be burnt. Pictures, accompanied with excellent music, are spectacular and there is no semantic load. In my opinion, the best place to watch this film is in the cinema, because it is very difficult to enjoy all the charm and the scale of the modern special effects using 17" monitor.

Unfortunately Battle - Los Angeles did not meet my expectations and I left the cinema a bit disappointed. But what I understood is that Americans have learned to do well one thing - to shoot great teasers and trailers, as well as make cool advertising. But don’t forget, all that glitters is not gold!

Our popcorn rating - 3 out of 5

Do you have, or have you had, any problems with Store Cards?

WE are getting reports from quite a few people about problems regarding store cards.   If you have a store card and are having problems, please let us know what it is and from what store the card came from?   Also if you have had any good things to say about store cards, again let us know about them and the stores you got them it?   Email our news desk at with your views on this topic...


WE require self employed sales people to promote Virgin Media in Town Centre's and Supermarkets across the UK. Huge earning potential and great commissions for the right candidates Experience in sales is essential. Please call us initially on:- 0151 422 6616 to arrange an interview locally.


AS most of you are aware, the organizers of the Southport Weekender announced that an application could be made for one of the 1500 (free) places, Butlins Holiday Resort, well we can say that they have told us know that:- "It went crazy, with just under 2500 applications, even after we'd sifted through the duplicates! We had to take the link down. That's roughly if our memory serves us right, the number we had in total at the first Southport! Let alone the extra night! The good news is, that following this amazing response, we've been in discussions with Butlins and they have kindly granted us anther 1000 places, without any charge, so everyone who applied will be getting a confirmation email over the next few days. Regretfully for people who did not put an application in, we really are sorry, but the Sunday Night is now completely full. If anyone has applied and you don't intend staying, please do let us know as there are going to be a lot of disappointed people out there, especially people who are not registered for these mail outs. As always the Southport Spirit never ceases to amaze us and we would like to give a huge thanks to everyone for your support." If you want to know more about the event go to:-

Liverpool Philharmonic Will Host The Best of John Barrowman

SEE Barrowman live, on Friday, 11 November 2011 (from 7.30pm), at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, after he releases 'The Best of John Barrowman' in September 2011. The new album and live show features songs from all his albums. Easily one of the most familiar faces on television and the West End stage he is best known for playing Captain Jack Harkness in the BBC series ’Torchwood' and 'Doctor Who', he has also been a judge on the award-winning BBC1 entertainment shows 'How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?', 'Any Dream Will Do' and 'I’d Do Anything'.

Priority ticket are on sale from:- 16 March
General tickets are on sale from:- 18 March
Prices are:- £22.50, £30, £40, £49
Box Office:- +44 (0) 151 709 3789

Cutting hundreds of Connexions jobs in the North West will Stop Britain Working

ON Wednesday, 16 March 2011, Connexions employees from all over the North West demonstrated against the savage spending cuts which are set to have a devastating effect on the services Connexions provide.

The careers service has been hit by a double whammy of cuts, from both the Comprehensive Spending Review followed by the £311 million reduction in the Area Based Grant by the Department for Education. Which has left the service reeling from having to deal with the highest proportion of cuts in the whole of the public sector.

According to Government figures the North West has one of the highest rates of youth unemployment in the country and all indications are this figure is set to rise. Andrew J McGregor, Chair of the North West UNISON Connexions Committee, said:- “At a time of record and rising Youth unemployment the one professional group dedicated to helping them - Careers and Connexions Advisers - are being made redundant. 1000's of skilled and experienced Advisers are to go across the country and services dedicated to help young people across the North West are being destroyed as hundreds of jobs are being lost here through redundancy. It is short sighted madness and an appalling waste of talent from those who passionately care about helping young people.”

David Llewellyn, Connexions Advisor and Unison Steward in Cheshire, added:- “Chopping hundreds of careers service jobs in the North West will have a devastating impact, not just on the lives of workers and their families, but on the huge number of young people they help and the whole of society. There will be a series of localised lunchtime protests at local Connexions offices across the Region with key demonstrations being held in Manchester, Blackpool and Cheshire. In Moss Side, Manchester, members will be wearing black armbands to signify the death of Connexions in the area. A good quality careers service can make or break the future of young people desperately trying to find their feet and redundant workers struggling to retrain. Hikes in tuition fees, education cuts and 2.5m unemployed leave many young people feeling that they have no way to turn.”

With youth unemployment at record levels, the UK’s largest union says the Government is consigning millions of young people to the scrapheap by axing career and youth services, hiking up tuition fees and abolishing the EMA.

Dave Prentis, UNISON’s General Secretary, will say:- “Young people desperately seeking a job or an education will be dealt a fresh blow by today’s unemployment figures. Dole queues will be fit to burst with a lost generation, who are desperate for a job or education, but this Tory-led government is stealing their chance of a decent future away. The Government is tossing young people onto a scrapheap with its savage cuts, which will cause collateral damage to millions of lives. It is time to put the breaks on, stop the cuts and give young people a chance.”

UNISON is calling for:-

► Ring-fenced budgets for the careers service and adequate funding - large-scale reductions to school and local authority budgets may see them shun careers service provision holistic nature of existing careers advice to be preserved - any new all age service should seek to build on best practice within the Connexions network, which included services to young people on range of issues, from employment training to housing.

► The holistic nature of existing careers advice to be preserved - any new all age service should seek to build on best practice within the Connexions network, which included services to young people on range of issues, from employment training to housing.

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