Terminator Salvation quickie

May 23, 2009
One's human and one's a robot, and they both act like shit.

One's human and one's a robot, and they both act like shit.

Because I really don’t want to give the movie more attention than it deserves, or forgo mentioning a summer tent pole, here’s my quick thoughts on McG’s latest masterpiece:

The Good:

  • It has terminators. Lots of them. On bikes, as giants, as planes. Terminating stuff.
  • Kyle Reese. Anton Yelchin has grown on me, especially after Star Trek and now this. Too bad the movie doesn’t give us enough of him.
  • Five minutes of Ahnuld. I have to admit, they did a pretty great job with the special effects when the T-800 does show up. Too bad its over before you know it.

The Bad:

  • John Connor. It was unfortunate that Christian Bale took the Batman route and had Connor either yelling or harshly whispering the entire time. Plus, didn’t the previous two movies establish Connor was a sort of witty every man? Here he’s devoid of all the characteristics that we’ve come to expect from Connor. It’s a wonder how Connor can become so iconic in the future when he has no charm whatsoever.
  • The story. Instead of being about something thought provoking, it’s pretty much about Connor meeting Kyle Reese and cramming as many explosions in between as possible. You don’t give two shits about anybody.
  • The “twist”. Turns out Marcus’ mission was as some kind of Trojan to lure Kyle and John to Skynet, and with that done he’s given a choice of whether or not to continue helping the robots. This presents two idiotic problems. One, couldn’t he have killed Connor the first moment they met? And two, why even give him a fucking choice? Or better yet, why even use Kyle Reese as bait when you can kill Connor’s father right then! Man, for “superior” machine intellect, they are fucking retarded.
  • Makes Terminator 3 look like fucking Picasso. I liked many parts of T3, mainly the kickass ending in the bunker, but I’ll admit it doesn’t hold a candle to the previous two movies. It really wouldn’t take that much to match it, and McG completely fails to even do that.

The Ugly

  • It’s PG-13. This means there’s a lot of bloodless violence and a lack of vernacular I would expect people fighting for their existence against killer fucking robots to say. With frequency.
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Next Terminator travels to the future! Relatively.

May 5, 2009

Say goodbye to smoky future warehouses!

Say goodbye to smoky future warehouses!

Film Journal has a pretty cool interview with McG that covers the usual when discussing taking over the franchise – living up to Cameron, being awesome, etc. Par for the course, really, but it’s the end part where he mentions what to expect from the next Terminator that’s kicking up a frenzy.

“I strongly suspect the next movie is going to take place in a [pre-Judgment Day] 2011,” McG reveals. “John Connor is going to travel back in time and he’s going to have to galvanize the militaries of the world for an impending Skynet invasion. They’ve figured out time travel to the degree where they can send more than one naked entity. So you’re going to have hunter killers and transports and harvesters and everything arriving in our time and Connor fighting back with conventional military warfare, which I think is going to be fucking awesome. I also think he’s going to meet a scientist that’s going to look a lot like present-day Robert Patrick [who famously played the T-1000 in Terminator 2], talking about stem-cell research and how we can all live as idealized, younger versions of ourselves.”

Now let’s do a bit of intellectual analyzing – what the fuck? I thought the entire purpose of this continuation of the series is to show the future war, not to have another time travel story. Wasn’t McG all excited about a trilogy of movies based in the future while the real war happened? And now they’re just scrapping that, screwing up the timeline again, and bringing the brunt of Skynet down on the present (I’m guessing the next movie comes out in 2011)?

But for now, I’m willing to let this anger just simmer until I see how well Salvation turns out.

Actually no. Even if it is awesome the fact that the next movie takes place in the present is stupid and backwards. Seeing that going back in time to change shit up isn’t exactly effective I really don’t see the point of treading the same tired course for a fourth time (T1-3 + the TV show).


The Child Stars of Geekdom

April 19, 2009

If you’re like me, there were certain child stars that you either looked up to, remember clearly, despised, whatever. Similar to the recent Disney initiates, only a heck of a lot more awesome and ingrained in our collective psyches. So, let’s take a look at what some of these whiz kids have contributed to our geekverse and what the heck they’ve been up to since.

I’m sure I forgot some obvious ones, so drop a line if you don’t see someone tht should definitely be here.

"Okey dokey, Dr. Jones! Hold on to your potatoes!"

"Okey dokey, Dr. Jones! Hold on to your potatoes!"

Johnathan Ke Quan

Ahh, Short Round. He was a character I thought was the epitome of greatness. He was living proof that Asians can also make it in the cutthroat world of big budget cinema.

It wasn’t until later on in life that I realized Quan’s portrayal may be the single most obnoxious and racist depiction of an Asian ever put on celluloid. He then went on to play the equally obnoxious dweeby nerd Data in The Goonies.

Life Report: Apparently he became a kick ass martial artist and is currently a stunt coordinator. Short Round kick to your face!

It's so baaad.

It's so baaad.

Fred Savage

While more people probably remember him from The Wonder Years, geeks will most likely remember him as Corey Wood from the classically horrible Wizard, the movie that was a 2 hour advertisement for Nintendo. And it was awesome. Did you see them play SMB3? Or the Power Glove?

Life Report: Cast in middling roles since, it’s hard not to feel a bit bad. Especially when you consider the role most kids will remember him from is ‘that mole guy from Austin Powers’.

"That cave over there is the little girls' room."

"That cave over there is the little girls' room."

Sean Astin

Along with Quan, Astin is another Goonies alum. But the movie that has made him a household name (well, not his name to be precise) is the rags to slightly better rag movie Rudy, where he played a spunky little Irish kid with no talent besides obnoxiousness who somehow got to play 3 seconds in a Notre Dame football game. And became a legend because of it.

Life Report: He’s gotten gigs in stuff like Law & Order and My Wife is Retarded (this is real). Oh, and something about a ring.

I guess he saw what would become his career.

I guess he saw what would become his career.

Macaulay Culkin

Remember when he was supposedly the “next big thing”. And then his mom made him be a serial killer in The Good Son and it all went down hill? At least we’ll always remember him as the son to the most neglectful parents in the world, Kevin McCallister.

Life Report: Completely fell off the face of the world for a decade until he resurfaced for Party Monster, which was horrible. Then he was a cripple in Saved and now has a recurring gig with the soon to be cancelled NBC show Kings. Hey, at least he’s working, right?

"Fuck sake man, you're amateur."

"Fuck sake man, you're amateur."

Christian Bale

Young mister Bale here pretty much came out of nowhere and tore it up in Spielberg’s Empire of the Sun. He then went on and lit up the screen in, um, Little Women. Okay, not the greatest geek resume, but I guess he’s on here in a sort of Benjamin Button move where he’s currently geek-central and, er, just get it. It makes sense if you believe.

Life Report: He’s made some low rent superhero flicks or something. Kind of a giant ass, and prone to mother beating, but it’s not like he’s failing.

The face of a future douchebag.

The face of a future douchebag.

Drew Barrymore

Propelled to stardom as Gertie in Spielberg’s greatest movie (do I even need to mention it?), Barrymore was probably the most annoying part about that movie. Man, when I was a kid I wanted to strangle her. But I guess I was going through a boys club phase, and simply couldn’t accept a cooties infested girl to be in the know of E.T.

Life Report: Continued to do kid-friendly affair until she chose to be jailbait killer Ivy in the aptly titled Poison Ivy. Since then she’s gone on to make cinematic classics such as Doppelganger, Mad Love and Charlie’s Angels.

"I see a dead career."

"I see a dead career."

Haley Joel Osment

After drawing attention as Forrest Gump’s son, he freaked everybody out as that creepy kid in The Sixth Sense and paid it forward with Kevin Spacey. Like Culkin, everbody was sure we had an acting savant on our hands, and like Culkin, he submerged into obscurity.

Life Report: What can I say? A lot of wasted potential this was. He’s got a couple movies coming out, but neither scream Oscar.

Are they even human? You decide.

Are they even human? You decide.

Fanning Sisters

I’ve mentioned elsewhere that I[m still dubious whether or not they’re human or specially designed Actdroids. It’s pretty freaky how good they are. We have Dakota Fanning there with War of the Worlds and, to a lesser extent, Push under her belt. There’s also the great Coraline and the upcoming New Moon. A good geek resume if I say so myself.

Then there’s little Elle Fanning with The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and the uber awesome Lost Room (which nobody I know has ever heard of. Damnit, watch this. Peter Krause at his best).

These two have accomplished so much in so little time that until proven otherwise, I’ll continue to believe they are artificial intelligences from a time or place far more evolved than now and here.

Possibly Japan.

Life Report: Still a work in progress. They haven’t messed up yet (Culkin) or reached astronomical acclaim (Bale), but it’ll be fun to see where this goes.

————

Final Thoughts:

This has been a fun little article. I guess the best consolation for all the actors I’ve mentioned is this – no matter their successes or failures, none of them have yet to become Lindsey Lohan.

And that’s always a win.


Terminator Salvation = PG-13 = Gay

April 7, 2009
Sample excerpt from upcoming PG-13 Terminator: Salvation

Sample excerpt from upcoming PG-13 Terminator: Salvation

Well, word has now spread like wildfire (that was a lie, it’s 2 in the fucking morning) that McG’s upcoming Terminator: Salvation, starring Christian “We’re through professionally” Bale and a bunch of other people, has officially received a PG-13 rating.

Harry over at Aintitcool, bless his four fold sized heart, is trying t rationalize this news as being a “hard PG-13,” because the future setting allows for more intense science-fiction themed may-blah, blah, fucking blah.

Remember the last R to PG-13 franchise people tried to rationalize as being “hard PG-13”? Die Hard. What happened there? We got Live Free or Die Hard, and the less said about that piece of crap the better. Another fan favourite franchise (s?) to go from R to PG-13 and suck balls because of it? Aliens Versus Predator.

That movie still remains, in my personal opinion, an abortion caught on film that somehow tricked millions into watching it.

So what can we expect from Terminator: Salvation? Going by the MPAA’s direct guidelines, here’s what you shouldn’t expect:

1) There will be absolutely no “realistic and extreme or persistent violence.”

2) Say good bye to “more than one [harsh] expletive.” Especially if that harsh term is used in a “sexual context.”

So yeah, don’t expect very much bloodshed or gore in the action, especially sustained sequences of such. Don’t expect any cursive language beyond a bunch of “shit” being spewed around.

In other words, don’t expect this to be the movie you’re expecting it to be. And here’s another morsel to chew at – T3: Rise of the Machines was by no means the most intense action movie ever made, but even that was R-rated.

And please, take the “hard PG-13” notion and shove it up your ass. Hard. And remember how that “hard PG-13” raped the Die Hard, Aliens and Predator franchises.