Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Terminator: Salvation movie review

So I viewed Terminator: Salvation the other day and thought this movie could use a review (because everyone is doing it)...so here it is. *WARNING* There will be spoilers, because I know no mercy.

The opening scene of the movie starts off with a guy in jail, who's NOT John Conner. In fact, Judgment Day hasn't even happened. The guy is named Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington) and he's on death row. After stealing the kiss of death from his doctor, he signs over his body for experimentation in cybernetics...Gee, what could this lead to?

Then the scene jumps to year 2018, Skynet has taken over and the humans who call themselves "the resistance" wage war against the machine. Finally, after 15 minutes of nothing, we see our famed hero John Conner (Christian Bale). We also get our first taste of action, as Conner climbs of an underground machine research facility while the rest of his team investigates the facility. The facility is basically nuked by the machines and Conner crashes his helicopter...I'm not quite sure why he was in the helicopter, but he was. He then has a run in with a terminator and blasts the things fucking head off. Cool. And that was about the coolest thing John Conner does throughout the entire movie.

But wait! I thought this movie was about John Conner. I thought that too, but once again, Christian Bale is out done by his co-actor. There's two storylines: Conner with his static frequency wave that could potentially disable the machines – equivalent to sticking a CD into a microwave oven, but not as sparkly AND Wright heading toward Skynet as shit blows up around him. It becomes pretty obvious within the first 25 minutes whose storyline is cooler. Not to mention Wright kicks some major ass, blowing up a giant robot mech and beating up three horny guys who were about to rape his love interest Blair Williams (Moon Bloodgood). He's coolness incarnated. All you saw John Conner do was listen to tapes of his dead mother and talk on a radio. Honestly, that's not character development, that's boring!

Eventually these storylines converge, with both men trying to save a captured teen Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin), even though I have no idea why Wright wants to save Reese. So what they hung out for a bit? I don't normally want to save someone's life only after eating lunch with them.

I have to say this movie was VERY predictable. I knew Wright was a cyborg from the get go, so it was no surprise when they open up his shirt give the "O-face." It was also no surprise that Conner would be saved by Wright – actually EVERYONE was saved by Wright in one way or another, because he's cool like that.

The characters (even the robots) seemed to be impervious to damage. That big mech that got blown up – didn't phase it a bit. Wright gets blown up, tossed off a speeding aircraft and slams into the water, is dissected, burned, and shot. A Terminator gets molten steel poured all over and is quickly frozen over, yet manages to defy the physical constraints of metal and be perfectly fine.
If you kids want to try a science experiment at home, just take a metal pan, heat it up in the over and then stick it into the freezer right after. You won't be ever using that pot again as the metal warps and becomes brittle. Movie magic lies to you!!
Conner gets tossed around like a ragdoll; actually, one of my favorite parts is when a super-imposed Arnold Schwarzenegger's head on somebody else's naked body plays toss with wimpy Christian Bale. Conner also gets stabbed right through the chest and SURVIVES!! Damn, I guess he is the chosen one...oh wait that's Matrix.
Speaking of Matrix, a few of the machines looked like leftovers the last Matrix movie. C'mon guys, you can do better than that!

I think the most disappointing thing for me was that it wasn't a genuine human verse machine fight, we just had to throw a cyborg into the mix – a fucking awesome cyborg.
I wanted to see the Terminator saga go back to the original premise that T1 set up, where humans in all their weak flesh overcome the nasty metallic menace from hell. It just gave some optimism to know that humans could actually fend for themselves, because we too can be badass...well, some of us.

But noooooo, humans can't do anything on our own, we MUST have the aid of machines, specifically our enemy's reprogrammed machines. It's like kidnapping some aliens who are invading our planet and brainwashing them so they fight for the human cause. Weak! But maybe that's the point: humans are pathetic and machines will fucking own us.

Some positives (just to seem balanced):
• It was nice a gritty, just how post-apoc stories should be. With the exception of the female cast looking all pretty or hot (including that kid who played young Kyle Reese), everyone looked like they'd been through hell. I like that, it adds much needed realism.
• The action was pretty damn cool, so long as you ignore John Conner's storyline (a good opportunity to use the toilet or get a snack), you'll never be bored.
• Christian Bale uses Batman voice! Okay, so it's not exactly positive, but it's funny to hear Batman coming from John Conner.

Overall, I'd give this movie 3 out of 5 stars. It wasn't horrifically bad, but it wasn't great either. However, it makes me want to see more of Sam Worthington.

For more entertainment, check out 5 Reasons Terminator Franchise Makes No Goddamn Sense

Friday, May 22, 2009

Why dystopias are so popular and other musings

I like to reflect, I think it's healthy. And I was thinking back to this time back in grade school ages ago and how I got in trouble for drawing this nasty picture of some bitch at our school and calling her a she-demon. My friends all thought it was funny. The school administrators did not.
But now that I think about it, why was it so wrong to mock someone? Don't adults do that ALL the time? Hell, some of them even make careers of it; we call them comedians. So why do kids get punished for something adults get away with? It's like you learn rules in school of how behave with other humans only to throw those rules out because they mean nothing in the rule world.

Ahh, so how does this relate back to dystopia and it being popular? It's popular because nearly all of us (unless you're some spoiled brat sheltered by your parents) have lived under the thumb of oppression, whether it be school, parents, or the law. We can all relate to the protagonist and his/her hardships to be an individual in a status quo society; to try be free and make their own choices. We know what it's like to be denied choices and to be told what to do. It sucks balls.

But I think this leads to a problem in dystopia writings, I being such a huge fan of them, many readers expect the protagonist to get away and finally be free, maybe because they too wish it could happen to them. However, the reality is it's not going to happen unless you move to a tiny remote island - and even then you have to explain how you got there. How many own a boat that could sail the seas?
Even though I didn't appreciate the endings to 1984 by George Orwell and Brave New World by Aldous Huxley as they were both rather depressing, but it was the cold truth. We most likely won't get away.

Like I shouldn't have gotten in trouble for making fun of one of my fellow peers at school when it's perfectly acceptable for adults to do it, but I did because the school administrators are bastards. It's a crappy ending, but it's life also. Maybe the conclusion is life sucks? That humans are giant contradictions. That we're pretty much screwed. That defon says some weird shit. Hmmm...

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Why you should not run red lights...

...because you could get hit by a train.

So I was riding the light rail yesterday morning (I would've posted this sooner, but I was dead tired) and about 15 minutes into the ride BOOM - smacked into something. I was in the first car, looked over my shoulder, and right outside the my window there's a Sedan with the driver's side smashed in. The driver looked about mid-30's balling in his seat. He wasn't hurt though, just minor stuff like sprang wrists. What did suck though was having to waste 20 minutes waiting inside the bus while everything got sorted out. That was bull. And then everyone had to get off the train a few stops down and wait for the next train - more wasting of my time.

My dad said I should have sued for emotional damage after the accident, haha.

On a lighter note, I saw this vid of students break dancing to Thriller, which I thought was pretty cool.