48 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sci-Fi Family Greatness
I generally love sci-fi, books, movies, and TV. I approached 'Falling Skies' with every bit of excitement only a Spielberg conception could produce, and was pleasantly rewarded.
The show uses carefully woven plotlines and engaging characters to create a post-apocalyptic world helmed by aliens, nicknamed 'Mechs' and 'Skitters' by humans. While it's true dystopian...
Published 18 months ago by K. Hynes
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hmmm... could do better
Let's be clear: this isn't a bad show, but it sure ain't great either. It has its moments, and it kept me watching... mainly waiting for something a bit special to happen. I'm still waiting TBH so here's hoping Season 2 steps it up a gear and delivers.
As has been said elsewhere it's full of cliches, but that in itself isn't a problem when it's done well: see...
Published 17 months ago by XJR
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48 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sci-Fi Family Greatness,
This review is from: Falling Skies - Season 1 [DVD] (DVD)I generally love sci-fi, books, movies, and TV. I approached 'Falling Skies' with every bit of excitement only a Spielberg conception could produce, and was pleasantly rewarded.
The show uses carefully woven plotlines and engaging characters to create a post-apocalyptic world helmed by aliens, nicknamed 'Mechs' and 'Skitters' by humans. While it's true dystopian worlds are a dime a dozen these days, 'Falling Skies' does the smart thing, and approaches the genre with a new angle: Family.
It was refreshing, to say the least, and made the story seem all the more threatening when the characters were in jeopardy. I like this new spin on an age old concept, and I eagerly await season 2!!!!
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hmmm... could do better,
This review is from: Falling Skies - Season 1 [DVD] (DVD)Let's be clear: this isn't a bad show, but it sure ain't great either. It has its moments, and it kept me watching... mainly waiting for something a bit special to happen. I'm still waiting TBH so here's hoping Season 2 steps it up a gear and delivers.
As has been said elsewhere it's full of cliches, but that in itself isn't a problem when it's done well: see the reimagined Battlestar Galactica for the benchmark of how to turn cliched material into something spectacularly unmissable.
Falling Skies is enjoyable up to a point, but probably best approached with low expectations. Everything's merely OK, but I feel we've a right to expect more than that from projects waving the Spielberg banner.
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Promising and entertaining, but with some massive plot issues...,
This review is from: Falling Skies - Season 1 [Blu-ray] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)I bought the entire series on blue ray because I had wanted to watch this on TV, but it seemed to run at weird times and wasn't very well advertised.
Finally I had a chance with the box set and it has been a mixed bag.
This is a show which shows massive potential and I can see it going great places in later seasons, but the first seasons is a bit questionable.
1) The visual effects.
The main aliens which you see throughout the entire show are very well animated, but the mech. units are absolutely awful and in most scenes they are badly positioned, badly animated and move weirdly and have no real life.
A perfect example is the final episode, where a large number of mech. units are on screen at one time, and they all move in sync without any independence and no life to them. Yet on the other hand, other scenes are amazing and the aliens look alive. Its a mixed bag!
2) The very strange plot holes.
A lot of people have talked about the strange idea of having the children collect scrap metal. This is actually explained later down the line and as a plot idea, I didn't mind it. The bad aspect is the way in which it is shown on screen. You see a shot of children walking across a roof top and throwing small bits of metal to the ground for more to collect. Unfortunately the scene is underwhelming, badly shot, badly acted and just has NO impact for what is meant to be a mass-scale operation by the aliens.
Then you have the idea that 200-300 humans are just casually walking through the countryside to a newer and safer location! None of the aliens saw them??? They are camped out in a massive field where other humans can see them, and yet the aliens don't?
There are numerous other, strange story events which occur throughout most of the episodes, which are strange and make no real sense and no real thought seems to have been put into them. You really do have to turn your brain off for most of this.
The last issue being the lack of scale! Now this may be answered in a later season, but where are all the aliens?
At the very first episode, one of the children states there were "millions" of aliens during the first invasion, and yet we barely see one or two of them at a time and again... these humans are able to walk through the countryside in the hundreds without encountering anything?
If you can ignore all of that, this is a good show!
A show which shows potential to grow and become more defined.
The acting is top-notch and the action sequences quite impressive.
There is potential here, but like a lot of TV shows the first season is finding its feet and needs to be cleaned up for the future.
33 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a good start,
This review is from: Falling Skies - Season 1 [DVD] (DVD)Six months after an alien invasion which was most of mankind (or at least America) wiped out; small pockets of survivors exist trying to carry on while being hunted down by alien machines "mechs" and creatures "skitters".
Every family has been touched by tragedy cause by these invaders. History professor Tom Mason's family is no exception.
Tom (Noah Wyle - ER, The Librarian), the father to 3 boys, has lost his wife, who was killed while trying to retrieve some supplies, and has a "missing" son, Ben (Connor Jessup - Saddle Club), who may or may not be one of the "harnessed children" - slave labour for the alien invaders. Still with him are his eldest son, teenager Hal (Drew Roy) and his youngest son, Matt (Maxim Knight).
The military resistance part of this group is lead by Captain Weaver (Will Patton - [[24), a man who's family was devastated by the arrival of the alien forces.
As they search for supplies and wait for orders for the fight back from military command (Dale Dye - Band Of Brothers), they pick up the odd straggler both wanted and unwanted - Margaret who is a fighter (Sarah Carter - Skinwalkers) and John Pope (Colin Cunningham - Stargate SG-1) who was voted the favourite character on the show in an online poll.
There is the mandatory love interest in the shape of Dr Anne Glass (Moon Bloodgood - Terminator Salvation).
This series has the Spielberg name attached to it and, after Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, it did put me off for a time, but I decided to give it ago. I found it to be an entertaining story. Yes, it has some problems, but then again there aren't many series that don't have any problems.
I think that one of the problems is that people saw the Spielberg name and thought that every episode would be a 45-50 minute mini movie; something which all shows should aim for, but hardy ever achieve.
This first season is more about family dynamics than any fight back. If this season was the usual 22-24 episodes then these first 10 episodes would be the character dynamic introduction and the start of the build up of the story towards the battle, and that's the way I am looking at this season, as a build up for what I hope will be an improved second season - more action and drama and less of the perfect Mason family dynamic.
The show also makes the point that humans aren't always good; that many of them, even in times when people should pull together, will have their own agendas.
The 10 episodes are over 3 discs:
- "Live and Learn"
- "The Armoury" - audio commentary - Greg Beeman
- "Prisoner of War" - audio commentary - Greg Beeman
- "Silent Kill"
- "Sanctuary" - part 1
- "Sanctuary" - part 2
- "What Hides Beneath" - audio commentary - Noah Wyle & Mark Verheiden
- "Eight Hours"
The "Extras" are on disc 3 are:
~ Animating the Skitters
~ San Diego Comic Con 2011
~ Behind the Scenes - "The Unknown"
~ Behind the Scenes - "Second Mass"
~ Unanswered Questions - Season 2 Sneak Peak
I admit that I like survival stories, ever since I became hooked on the Resident Evil games a couple of years ago, which is why I like series like "The Walking Dead". It makes a change (for me at least) for the enemy to be Alien rather than a zombie.
It is an enjoyable bit of fun, but did leave me feeling a little let down. I wanted more fighting back and less loving. That said, I am looking forward to a second season to see how the story develops and how the fight back, which started in the final episodes, works out.
* Soundtrack: English, French, Spanish
* Subtitles: English, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, Norwegian, Spanish, Swedish
95 of 120 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Falling Ratings,
This review is from: Falling Skies - Season 1 [DVD] (DVD)I love science fiction stuff and so a show about an alien invasion of Earth is already a winner in my book.
I love US miniseries (Walking Dead, 24, Lost,Dexter, Sopranos) and so already the format suits me perfectly.
I LOVE Spielberg. He could release a 9 hour long documentary called 'Paint Drying' and I would watch it and enjoy it and so any link, however tenuous, with the great man is a seal of approval.
Hence it was with great anticipation, and no small ammount of willpower, that I sky-plussed 'Falling Skies'and waited until I had the full series before sitting back to indulge myself with a televisual orgy of Spielbergian, sci fi heaven...
What did I get - 'The Waltons' meets 'V' (the first series, not the revamp!) spiced up with CGI 'special' effects that look like they've been rendered on a Commodore 64 and a plot line that lifts from every science fiction movie or TV show from the last fifty years.
The aliens (borrowed from independence day, starship troopers and district 9)and their mech robots (styled on robocop,district 9 again and every video game or manga comic released since 1989)have taken over Earth despite there only being six of them (and never more than one on screen at any given time )
Their motive for this invasion is never revealed but the only thing they seem intent on doing is enslaving children to collect scrap metal - basically they are intergalactic scrap metal merchants!
Now if I was the leader of a race of highly advanced beings that had the capability for intergalactic travel I might have taken a different strategy towards meeting my planets need for metallic raw materials.I might have gathered mineral rich asteroids or extracted the iron core from our planet. I might have even used the super strong robots at my disposal to gather materials from steelworks or foundries or mines. The strategy I probably WOULDN'T have adopted would be to conquer an entire planet, enslave the most physically weak age group of the indigenous species and have them collect bits of old scaffold poles and tin cans in the streets.
IT DOESN'T MAKE ANY SENSE!!!!!!!!!!!!
I wanted to like this series. I wanted to be waiting with sweaty anticipation for season 2. I wanted to read the blogs and buy the blu-ray boxset and see the spin-off movie.
I couldn't finish season 1.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Just An Alien Invasion Show,
This review is from: Falling Skies - Season 1 [DVD] (DVD)Being a fan of shows such as Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries and Fringe which are about mythical creatures and dystopian universes you would think a show like falling Skies would automatically appeal to me. But when a friend recommended it to me, I was sceptical to watch a show about "aliens", I know, ironic right, seeing as I love shows about vampires, demons and all kinds of monsters. However, when Falling Skies was recommended to me by amazon, I thought I would give it a go. I watched the pilot episode and was instantly hooked; I bought the first season and watched it through in a matter of days and then moved straight on to season 2. I just saw the season 2 finale and cannot wait for season 3, too bad I have to wait until next summer to see it.
In a nut shell this show is about an alien invasion, while this is an accurate description, in my opinion, it does not do the series justice. This show is about the human race more than it is about an alien attack and how the survivors must unite despite their differences and clashing views and opinions in order to continue to survive, fight for their freedom and avenge the deaths of their loved ones.
This show focuses mainly on the Mason family, Tom Mason (Noah Wyle), the protagonist of the series and his three sons Hal (Drew Roy), Ben (Connor Jessup) and Matt (Maxim Knight). Prior to the commencement of the show, Toms wife was killed by skitters (a type of alien in the show) and his middle son, Ben had been taken by the skitters and harnessed (had a "harness" attached to his back that enabled the skitters to control him). The series begins with Tom and his eldest son, Hal out fighting against the skitters while at the same time, trying to find Ben. While Tom and Hal are out fighting, Matt, the youngest, stays with their community of survivors who are known as the 2nd Massachusettes. The 2nd Mass is under the command of Captain Weaver (Will Patton). Other characters include Dr Anne Glass (Moon Bloodgood), the love interest of Tom Mason, John Pope (Colin Cunningham), the criminal who nobody can rely on or trust to do anything except kill skitters and Maggie (Sarah Sanguin Carter) the tough, guarded fighter with a dark backstory.
I love the character of Hal and think that Drew Roy does a great job at playing the strong fearless fighter who, unlike his father, tends to think with his heart rather than with his head. I also love the characters of Maggie, Pope and Weaver and think that the actors playing them are perfect for their roles. Also, Maxim Knight does a good job at playing the "cute kid" role in the character of Matt.
Now, let's move onto the characters that I am not quite so fond of. The protagonist Tom Mason, while I understand his significance in the show, I sometimes find that he lacks heart. Just like the character of Tom, I understand Bens importance to the plot but I wasn't too fond of his character at first, I understand that he was harnessed and his level of feeling was somewhat stunted but I do wish we had seen a wider emotional range from him, having said that the character is growing on me. Moving on to Anne Glass, I don't dislike her character but I sometimes feel that she is only there to patch up the wounded and fawn over Tom Mason.
Despite my slight frustration with some of the characters, I love this show; I think that it combines just the right amounts of action and drama, a balance which can sometimes be difficult to get right. Even though I was hooked on this show from the very beginning, I do think that it has gotten better as time has gone by. So, if you don't like this show at first, give it a chance, it might just grow on you.
32 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm seeing a different series,
This review is from: Falling Skies - Season 1 [DVD] (DVD)I'm not the sort of person who likes sci-fi of any kind, the Daleks, Dr. Who, and the thousand and one other mind-boggling series that I can't even remember the names of, leave me completely unmoved. But Falling Skies is hugely entertaining and - if you have the brains to look beyond the mechs and skitters you will find all the good and bad things that make us humans who we are, woven into an on-going suspenseful and intelligent story. Story-telling is an art and Spielberg has the gift in spades. Give it a second chance, all those who are so down on it. It might yet surprise you.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars HOPES FOR A BETTER FUTURE,
This review is from: Falling Skies - Season 1 [DVD] (DVD)Aliens have invaded, eighty percent of the planet overrun. Set six months later, this ten part series concentrates on survivors around Boston. In charge is Weaver (Will Patton), who can only think in terms of war strategy - for him civilians merely "eaters" who hold everything back. Considerably more humane is Professor Tom Mason (Noah Wyle), he caring for the whole community and striving to encourage it to work as a team. Their relationship will become fraught....
TV S/F addicts may regard this as "Been There, Done That" fare, dismissing "Falling Skies" as minor league. There is certainly much talk, action rather less than some would wish (and not always convincing when it does arrive). It seems unfair, though, to dismiss out of hand this variation on a theme. Its heart is in the right place, and the aliens intrigue (those multi-legged Skitters scary). Why that obsession with capturing children, their backs to be fitted with spiky harnesses?
Noah Wyle holds the season together. His character has already has suffered enough - wife dead, one of his three sons missing. Also with impact is charismatic chancer Pope (Colin Cunningham) - he not to be trusted, but capable of coming up trumps.
Bonuses include two commentaries and looks behind the scenes. The most interesting extra is a 20+ minute feature with creators and cast answering questions at a Comic Convention.
The series has its moments, but not as many as hoped. Nevertheless I grew to care what happens next. It pleases to hear rumours Season 2 is a great improvement.
5.0 out of 5 stars Whoa... All that hype is true,
This review is from: Falling Skies - Season 1 [Blu-ray] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)I will leave the story line details to other reviewers. I sum this up as a mixture of "Walking with the Dead" and "V", only with great acting and storylines. I wished I bought the box set instead as it is more economical. Now I am patiently waiting for Season 2 price to fall... Boo-Hoo
1.0 out of 5 stars Rooting for the Aliens,
This review is from: Falling Skies - Season 1 [DVD] (DVD)A bunch of suburban Americans defying Aliens that can conquer a planet but seem incapable of air strikes or tracking people in buses and trucks. Kids have things stuck to their spines that enable them to be controlled and to perform street cleaning duties and scrap metal collection. The stupidity of it sinks in quickly. I got through the series but it was hard. The characters are boring and you end up wanting them to get disintegrated or have their brains sucked out, which would be more interesting than all the hugging, crying and flag saluting.
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Falling Skies - Season 1 [DVD] by Noah Wyle (DVD - 2012)