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World Invasion: Battle Los Angeles

World Invasion: Battle Los Angeles

Hello folks. We are back with a review of another science fiction movie featuring aliens from space. World Invasion: Battle Los Angeles. Should you see it? If you are going for a matinee, sure. Otherwise, spending 200+ rupees is probably not going to appeal to most people. Movie summary: Aliens attack Earth. Humans fight back. One attack point is Los Angeles where the entire movie is based.

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The standard disclaimer: We will reveal some plot details. So if you wish to see the movie and come back, do so. The review is not going anywhere.

The movie begins by showing astronomers tracking a bunch of objects, which at first glance look like meters, falling towards Earth. It is only when the speed and trajectory of the meteors deviates from the existing one that NASA and other space agencies become very concerned. I thought this was very pertinent considering two facts. One, that all the major telescopes on Earth combined, are looking at less than 2% of space at a given point in time. Hence it is quite possible to miss something spectacular happening for a brief period in the remaining 98% of unobserved space. There are indeed telescopes and satellites that make passes over the entire sphere for quick observations but these are not adequate. Two, there is currently no way of telling what kind of technology can be used for interstellar travel (i.e. across different stars in a galaxy). Hence, detecting if a particular object nearby in space is natural or not is difficult. Yes, theories abound on what is possible but our current estimates for travelling to Mars is about 214 days each way which puts interstellar travel firmly out of the lifespans of today's humans. What is needed is a breakthrough in both bio-tech to have some sort of cryogenic suspension state available for multi-year travel and at the same time in physics to manipulate space and time. We are seeing some more intriguing theories come up (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42100367/ns/technology_and_science-science/), Once we have knowledge of how interstellar travel can happen, then we can deploy sensors inside the solar system to detect when we receive alien attention.

One interesting facet shown in the movie is that the aliens wear bio-tech exoskeletons over their bodies and have weapons grafted into this exoskeleton. Now this has been discussed endlessly by military folks. Already there are exoskeletons available as seen here (http://www.hightech-edge.com/military-super-suit-exoskeleton-video/1148/, http://singularityhub.com/2009/06/11/army-exoskeleton-suit-gives-man-superhuman-strength/) and some have already started to be tested in mock situations (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13639_3-20010845-42.html, http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/10/exoskeletons-walk-the-floor-at-armys-d-c-expo/) but a bio-tech one is far far away unless some geneticist has a breakthrough. It will be interesting to see how many ordinary people will take up "boosted" musculature as and when these technologies are available.


Trailer

In the movie it is speculated that our planet may get invaded purely for its water. Water being a very very precious resource for a properly maintained biosphere is something more and more scientists are willing to commit on. It is a shame the way we abuse the water resources on our planet. It is quite likely that scarcity of potable water will become a problem before scarcity of food given that we are becoming extremely good at creating high yields in cultivations. We are nowhere with water. Desalination plants are the best that we have done so far. If possible, see if you can see the "Water" episode of BBC's Earth (http://www.bbcearth.com/). It talks about how 98% of the fresh water in the world comes from rain, which as you will agree has been erratic in the last few years. Given the recent emphasis for finding water on the moon, on Mars and on Earth, it is becoming quite clear that water is something that should be abundantly available to space crews at their ports of calls or colonizing foreign rocks will simply not be possible.


Another interesting thing in the movie is the way in which aliens choose to communicate and carry orders. This is highly technical and I would need a thousand word essay just to break the surface. However, what struck me was the very nature of communication over distances. To date, we don't know how to send signals faster than the speed of light. Thus any communication quickly stops being real time when inter-planetary distances are involved. Electromagnetic radiation carry almost no mass but they are still bound by the laws of physics that are known to us. This is terrible for a space crew  that may need assistance or advice quickly when alone in space millions of miles away from home. This is something that has to be overcome quickly if we wish to dream of interplanetary and interstellar travel.


Trailer

That's all for this review. We will keep posting new reviews as more exciting movies are released this summer. Have fun.


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Author
Azeem Khan

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