Reviewed by: Ryan Doom
Steven Spielberg (producer)
and Will Patton
What's it about
Aliens have attacked, leaving humanity to scramble together and find a way not only to survive opposing forces, but as a species as well.
Is it good movie?
Hereís an easy comparison to make about TNTís new big series Falling Skies. Its part War of the Worlds. Part Walking Dead. Part Terminator. Part Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Iíd wager that people who only watch the TV ads could figure that out. Not saying this is a bad thing, but itís pretty obvious thatís where the comparisons will come from. Especially WOW and Walking Dead. Worlds because of the Spielberg connection and the Alien invasion and all. Walking Dead because itís the hot new genre show. Fair or unfair to compare, theyíre both series about mankindís survival against unusual invading forces, forces they cannot not understand. They can either band together or kill themselves in the process. Now what made Walking Dead great is its simplicity. It didnít overwhelm viewers with characters or bog the story down with weighty and unnecessary back-story. You have your main characters and you move forward, killing zombies and all. It has a hopelessness which is rare.
Falling Skies isnít much differentÖexcept for one major difference: Spielberg. With his name attached as a producer, certain known elements come with it. A motherless child who finds himself in danger. A dad who doesnít have everything not quite figured out. People staring at things. Great discoveries of unknown things. Ok, thatís not a 100% accurate because Noah Wyle, who I only know from those Librarian TV movies (and ER?), stars as Tom Mason, and he isnít much like Tom Cruiseís aimless father in WOW. Instead, Noah is a bit of a know-it-all, a history professor (focus is military strategy of course) who always knows the right thing to do in a nutty world where Aliens have taken over. In spite of all his smarts, he isnít in charge. Heís secondary to Will Patton, who really plays the white trash leader quite well. Along with them is Moon Bloodgood and Steven Weber among others, each making up a different part of society where moral dilemmas are just as important as wacky aliens bent on world domination.
Now the big question. Is this show worth watching? Without really spoiling anything, Iíd say yes. It has very little of the grit or terror of the Walking Dead. But it isnít a horror series. Itís a survival series that has great effects in terms of the aliens, and creates a whole new lexicon of alien stuff and the future world. However, my one problem with the series is that it leans towards the dull side at times. Things donít move or twist or turn quite quick enough. The world of the alien invasion is a little stale, which seems impossible, but the characters arenít wholly original or interesting. It would have been nice if the producers had taken a few notes from Lost (or Walking Dead) to keep the story moving.
Video / Audio
It's on TV, so watch it in HD and crank up your stereo.
It'll have commercials when you watch it. Those are extras, right?
Ideally, this is a great idea for a series even if a serial version of an invasion isnít really a new concept, but with modern effects and the magical touch of Spielberg, itíll be worth your while. Especially since there isnít shit else to watch during the summer. Might as well spend some time with aliens.