By Brian Hall
The last thing I expected from the first clip played from this summer’s aliens vs. naval ships epic “Battleship” was a five minute scene about Taylor Kitsch’s character locating a burrito for his new crush, played by Brooklyn Decker.
I’m happy to say that it was the first clip from the film that made it feel like it was more than just cutting room scraps pieced together from the past “Transformers” movies. The second clip surprised me as well. This slow building scene featured Kitsch and his crew below deck removing the helmet from a recovered, unconscious alien. Needless to say, it doesn’t go well. But I’m happy to report that even when things got crazy, the editing didn’t resort to choppy, blurry-image style editing. It was tense, coherent and fun.
As director Peter Berg, and stars Alexander Skarsgard and Brooklyn Decker took the stage, Berg mercifully answered the question everyone’s been wondering: Why aliens?! Berg said he has a deep respect for the Navy that comes from his father but he didn’t want to get into anything historical. He was influenced by a Stephen Hawking documentary about what are called Goldilocks Planets – planets that orbit a sun and could potentially support life just like Earth. NASA beams signals to these planets – as Berg puts it, essentially saying “How ya doin’.” In this film, the aliens respond.
The most amusing story came from a question about what it was like filming on the ocean. Berg said that Kevin Costner, whom he doesn’t even know, called him up out of the blue to offer advice about filming on the water – clearly leftover chestnuts he’d gleaned from his rocky time filming “Waterworld.” Berg continued saying that their work in the water was the real deal and that included a sea sick crew and men hired to watch for sharks with poised rifles while the actors got in.
We’ll find out if it was all worth it when “Battleship” opens May 18.