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Starring Taylor Kitsch , Alexander Skarsgård, Rihanna, Brooklyn Decker, Tadanobu Asano, Liam Neeson;
Hamish Linklater, Jesse Plemons, John Tui and Gregory D. Gadson
Screenplay by Jon Hoeber & Erich Hoeber
Inspired by the Hasbro naval-combat game
Directed by Peter Berg

IN SHORT: It was a great game . . . when I was eight. [Rated PG-13. 131 minutes]

When Marvel Comics co-creator Jack Kirby left that company and headed west to Los Angeles, he pitched new comic series and animated movies based on his epic ideas, intensely. One of them went like this . . . Remember the Voyager spacecraft that was sent into space, with a picture of a man and a woman making signs of peace next to a map that gave the cosmic location of planet Earth? -- we were swept up in an e.t. mania at the time -- Kirby's pitch was, "what if someone found the probe and used the map as a guide to come and conquer a planet of stupid, inviting humans?" The movie didn't get made. Kirby died in 1994 and, years later, and his estate made a deal with a new comics company and the comic book "Kirby Genesis", by Alex Ross, has been telling this story for the past year. Not that Kirby has anything to do with Battleship, but just so's you know . . .

Which brings us to the story of the movie called Battleship. In it, some scientific scan of the heavens has discovered a distant solar system just like ours with a planet in said system just like ours. So Cal Zapata (Hamish Linklater), a dim bulb of a scientist who mans the international satellite station in Hawaii that found said system and planet sends a beacon towards the planet, like the kind of blinking "WELCOME" or "ALWAYS OPEN" sign that truckers see every couple of hundred miles along the various interstates. Apparently, said science geeks weren't supposed to such a thing without getting permission, but then there wouldn't be a movie.

An answer comes. It ain't e.t.

What follows is an hour or more of heavy duty of explosions as the US Navy takes on a batch of what can only be described as evil Transformers. Between battleship cannon fire, model Brooklyn Decker and actress/singer Rihanna supply cheesecake for the males in the audience. We can't speak for the beefcake value of male stars Taylor Kitsch or Alexander Skarsgård or Liam Neeson because we don't swing that way. Given the paucity of his role as Admiral in Charge, Neeson pretty much picks up a pay check and grimaces -- it's what Admirals in battle do -- all the way to the bank.

The only piece of the movie that deserves proper recognition is built on real life. While we can dismiss Brooklyn Decker as cheesecake, her role as a physical therapist for a wounded warrior introduces us to Gregory D. Gadson as Lieutenant Colonel Mick Canales, an Army combat veteran and double amputee who begins his recovery just as the alien attack begins. No fancy effects here, dear readers. Mr. Gadson lost both legs during his military service as a battalion leader in Iraq in 2007. While there is little we can offer but a thank you for his service, the technological advances in prosthetics technology, all demonstrated during this film, are mind blowing.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Battleship[, he would have paid . . .


Blown minds aside, Battleship is a waste of time. Unless you are a young person, herbally stimulated who would be more than happy for two hours of explosions and special effects and the cheese or beef cake of choice.

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