Battlefield Earth

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Overview

Actor John Travolta's ambitious science fiction film Battlefield Earth has been released on DVD and is loaded with extras -- many of which feel like afterthoughts and are not very insightful. Good examples are the hidden features located in the disc menus; one such "Easter egg" is a completely uneventful and uninteresting two-second clip of a stunt person being pulled backward in a harness. There are more hidden clips to be found when the disc is viewed with the commentary, and these tend to occur during ...
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Overview

Actor John Travolta's ambitious science fiction film Battlefield Earth has been released on DVD and is loaded with extras -- many of which feel like afterthoughts and are not very insightful. Good examples are the hidden features located in the disc menus; one such "Easter egg" is a completely uneventful and uninteresting two-second clip of a stunt person being pulled backward in a harness. There are more hidden clips to be found when the disc is viewed with the commentary, and these tend to occur during special-effects sequences. While there is at least a correlation to what is occurring onscreen, the execution feels like a lukewarm copy of a similar feature perfected on The Matrix DVD. Additional features include a standard, 16-minute, behind-the-scenes documentary entitled "Evolution and Creation," an eight-minute storyboard montage that intercuts the boards with the matching scenes in the film, a two-minute visual effects featurette, and a brief "John Travolta Make-up Test" film. The disc also includes a teaser trailer, a theatrical trailer, two TV spots, a history of the source material, and bios for the cast and director Roger Christian. There are English and French language tracks and subtitles (be aware that the French is Québecois French, which does vary from Parisian French). The 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer has no visual flaws and many of the images (particularly the matte paintings and building miniatures) do look stunning. Overall, this is a disc that suitably represents the movie.
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Special Features

Commentaries by director Roger Christian and production designer Patrick Fatopolous; Behind-the-scenes documentary: "Evolution and Creation"; John Travolta's alien makeup test feature; Creative visual effects feature ; Storyboard montage; Theatrical trailers and TV spots; Cast and crew bios; Web links; Languages & subtitles: English & French [dubbed in Québec]; Hidden video features
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Chas Turner
In the year 3000, mankind will be an endangered species, according to the postapocalyptic premise of Battlefield Earth. Based on a novel by Church of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, the story foresees a bleak future in which the alien Psychlo race has colonized Earth for gold mining and knocked the human race down a few steps on the evolutionary ladder. The cave-dwelling "man-animals" of Earth are imprisoned for slave labor by Terl John Travolta, a psychotic Psychlo, and his assistant Ker Forest Whitaker; but one courageous man, Johnny "Goodboy" Tyler The Green Mile's Barry Pepper leads his fellow inmates in a revolution to reclaim their home and their freedom. Packed with obvious allusions to America's colonial history, the plot of Battlefield Earth is muddled and at times borders on ridiculous, but there is a cartoonish aura here -- mainly in Travolta's deliciously over-the-top performance -- that catapults the film into that wicked cult film territory of being so bad, it's almost good. Even more so than Travolta, the real star of the film is the production design. And why not? Director Roger Christian was nominated for his art direction for Alien and took home an Oscar for his set decoration on Star Wars. Battelfield Earth's DVD is filled to the digital brim with audio commentary by Christian and the film's production designer; three behind-the-scenes documentaries; makeup tests; and special hidden extras.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/16/2001
  • UPC: 085391856627
  • Original Release: 2000
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Home Video
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Cinemascope (2.35:1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Language: English, Français
  • Time: 1:59:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
John Travolta Terl
Barry Pepper Jonnie "Goodboy" Tyler
Forest Whitaker Ker
Kim Coates Carlo
Richard Tyson Robert the Fox
Sabine Karsenti Chrissie
Michael MacRae District Manager Zete
Michael Byrne Parson Staffer
Sean Hewitt Heywood
Michel Perron Rock
Shaun Austin-Olsen Planetship
Christian Tessier Mickey
Marie-Josée Croze Mara
Kelly Preston Chirk
Jim Meskimen Blythe
Technical Credits
Roger Christian Director
Ashok Amritraj Executive Producer
Oana Bogdan Art Director
Don Carmody Executive Producer
Elia Cmiral Score Composer
Walter Gasparovic Asst. Director
Eric Gotthelf Sound/Sound Designer
James Holt Co-producer
Jonathan D. Krane Producer
Corey Mandell Screenwriter
Giles Nuttgens Cinematographer
Robin Russell Editor
Elie Samaha Producer
Lynn Stalmaster Casting
Tracee Stanley Co-producer
Andrew Stevens Executive Producer
Patrick Tatopoulos Costumes/Costume Designer, Production Designer
John Travolta Producer
Joe Viskocil Special Effects
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Scene Index

Scene Selections
0. Scene Selections
1. Fate [6:09]
2. Show Me The God [3:59]
3. Hunter's Targets [3:00]
4. Aerial Transport [:11]
5. The Man-Animal Can Shoot [:09]
6. District Manager [2:41]
7. Endless Options For Renewal [:10]
8. Return To Psychlo [:05]
9. Conqueror Of Galaxies [:09]
10. New Rules [:10]
11. Exposed Gold Vein [:06]
12. Escape Attempt [1:11]
13. Leverage, Leverage [:11]
14. Smart For His Species [:04]
15. The Learning Machine [1:12]
16. Difficult To Understand [2:50]
17. Bargaining [2:58]
18. Denver Library [1:13]
19. We Fight [1:28]
20. Properly Motivated [2:19]
21. Count Us In [1:31]
22. Blackmailing Planetship [:11]
23. Pilots And Miners [:05]
24. The Capital For Our Tribes [3:10]
25. Arming For Revolt [:37]
26. Bounty From Fort Knox [:11]
27. Trading With Ker [:05]
28. The Upper Hand [2:19]
29. Battlefield Denver [1:59]
30. Reinforcements Arrive [4:46]
31. Interrupted Teleportation [2:21]
32. Exterminate At Will [:11]
33. Carlo Comes Through [:05]
34. You Don't Want To Do That [2:18]
35. Death Of A Planet [:09]
36. Got His Gold [:02]
37. End Credits [3:26]
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Menu

Main
Play Movie
   Menu Group #1 with 37 chapter(s) covering 01:58:38
Special Features
   Commentary With Director Roger Christian and Production Designer Patrick Tatopou
   "Evolution and Creation"- Behind The Scenes Documentary
   Storyboard Montage
   John Travolta: Make-Up Test
   Creative Visuals-Effects Featurette
Languages
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(4)

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Interesting commentary

    There is one very good reason to buy this terrible DVD: The director's commentary. He's somewhat defensive but clearly takes pleasure in explaining every decision that was made with great detail. None of these decisions, individually, seem like they were wrong to me. Indeed many were pretty clever. What comes across, however, is the director's peculiar belief that the creative process, like a strand of DNA, is utlimately reducible to a string of polyvalent contingencies. You will then then know what it is truly is to be mediocre. It is important to know this. But it. Buy it right now.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    WHAT????

    Read the book! The movie doesn't even make a good beverage coaster due to the hole in the middle of the disk! In all seriousness the movie should be called "hoover". This was Travolta's pet project as he was so taken with the book, yet it ran so far off track it became lame. If you are an FX fan you might enjoy it. But the reality is that for this story line to work, it needed to be done up as a TV series to give it the time for the plot development and character growth that was integral to the story line.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Beyond Bad

    One of the worst sci-fi movies ever made. Everything in this movie is appallingly bad: the script, the acting, the special effects, the plot: everything. If the aliens in the story were so intelligent, then they would have found Fort Knox a long time ago. If the aliens were really intelligent they would have known that Fort Knox has been pretty empty ever since the US dollar was removed from the gold standard in the 60s. Somehow humans couldn't overcome these aliens when they were at the peak of their technology but are able to do it when they're living in caves? Please. Don't waste your time and money on this joke film.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Saturday Matinee Fun

    I enjoyed the movie in the theatres, where I saw it in a packed theatre with a lot of kids. That was fun, but watching it at home on DVD is even better. The special effects are truly remarkable and some of them cry out for backing up and watching over and over, asking ''How did they DO that?'' Fortunately, the extras on the DVD answer that question. I had read the book when it first came out and reread it just before watching the movie, so I was already up to speed on the story, and I knew it was intended to be a hoot -- where a larger-than-life hero, considered literally to be an animal by the bad guys, rises up against impossible odds with a band of ruffians and saves the world. It's like having the Saturday matinee serials of my boyhood redone with modern filmmaking technology. I love it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Decent Movie, Great DVD

    The DVD has a lot interesting extras that I always like to see about a movie. Also, the quality of the DVD makes for a better viewing experience and the story comes through better. I'd highly recommend the book too because a movie can only capture so much.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Worth the price.

    My own personal opinion is quite different than the critics. The critics went way overboard--as usual. Does anybody really listen to the critics--I hope not. This DVD really has some good stuff on it. the commentary is special because you are getting inside data on how the movie was made and various details from the director and art director. It was very cool to see the behind the scenes shots and the interviews from the people involved with the movie. I also liked the movie itself--it is true sci fi. The special effects were well-done and amazing when you consider the budget of $20 million to make the movie itself--including the special effects shots. The DVD was number 2 on the charts--so obviously others agree. Check it out.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great Book....Horrible movie

    I loved the novel Battlefield Earth and was excited when I heard that the film was finally going to be made. Unfortunately, this was not a film version of the book I read. The plot strayed, additional characters were added for no apparent reason. Beyond that, the storyline as laid out in this movie is incomprehensible and in many places just plain laughable. I have read the book four times. I will not be watching the movie twice.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Come on now

    The theory basic science fiction, no problem. But people learning how to fly a jet effectively in one week? The movie is far fetched at best. acting is fair, and the box office helped prove it. I went and saw it, the theater was just me. That is usually a very good sign of a bad movie.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Battlefield Earth

    I like to see a director who is innovative and who is not afraid to take a different approach to his subject. Here, Roger Christian started out with a book that a great many people already knew and loved. This can be both a blessing and a curse. But the way he adapted the story to the time constraints of a movie were very inventive. And they worked! I would have ordered this DVD just for the movie, but the extras make it impossible to resist. Everybody should buy this movie. It is going to be talked about for years to come. Hey, do you want to be the one to tell your grandkids that you passed up a chance to own this gem? Come on!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Battlefield Earth

    This is a movie that is going to be talked about for years to come. How could I not get one?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Good Job

    It was a refreshing new sci-fi move. I look forward to a sequal. Alot more happend in the book that wasnt in the move.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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