Day 150: Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

terminator 3Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
Jonathan Mostow
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nick Stahl, Kristanna Loken
Rated: R
Length: 109 min.
Release: July 2, 2003

Synopsis: More than 10 years after ‘Terminator 2’, John Connor now exists only as a drifter – living ‘off the grid’, so no more Terminators from the future can hunt him down. Unfortunately, SkyNet does send another one back – and this one is called the T-X, even more powerful & advanced than the dreaded T-1000. However, another CSM-101 Terminator is also sent back to protect John against the T-X. Now, Skynet is patiently assuming control of civilian computer systems, under the guise of a computer virus. John has also met his future wife, Kate Brewster, whose father – a U.S. Air Force General – is in charge of the military computer systems & is leery of up linking SkyNet. However, when the SkyNet virus infects the U.S military computers & leaves the country open to attack, the machines begin their horrific takeover. Soon a nuclear war will result – and the war against the machines will begin. Can the outdated CSM-101 Terminator eliminate the highly advanced T-X – or will a darker future await man following the nuclear attack?

My Thoughts:
Well, he’s back…again. It was a long time coming, and all the hype just made it impossible to live up to. But, for what it’s worth, I did enjoy this movie. Sure, it’s not nearly as good as the other two films. And yeah, it kind of throws the theme of “no fate , but what we make” right out the window…but it’s an entertaining action movie. A top notch action and special effects movie, and lets be honest…that’s what we expect from a terminator movie.

As great as the special effects and action are there are a few things problematic with this film. First off, this was the last movie Arnold did before he took office as California’s governor, so it’s a little strange seeing Arnold play the same type of terminator while he looks older. In addition, the story seems to fly in the face of a major theme of the first two films. “No fate but what we make” was a critical part of the motivation in the first two films. Without giving away to much, that idea is pretty much thrown out the window making us all ask the question…why would that message be sent back from the future in the first place? But perhaps I’m over thinking it too much. Movies and TV shows that deal with time travel can get ruined real fast by over thinking them. Back to the future is one such example. The terminator series is a great example of that as well.

Another problem I have with the film is how the character of John Connor is portrayed. You would think that, having been raised and trained by such a tuff militarized person like Sarah Connor he would have turned out to be more of a badass. Instead, he seems to be on the run rejecting his “calling” and living more like a whiny little punk. Not exactly the approach I would have gone with, but I guess if he was all big, tuff and ready to take on a terminator he wouldn’t have needed another one sent back in time to protect him.

Though not as intimidating and frightening as the T1000 the TX terminator is a solid antagonist in this movie. It’s unique to have a “female” terminator as well. I wasn’t sure how well it would work having Kristanna Loken go head to head with Arnold, but it worked. She played the cold and calculated assassin rather well. I believed she could stand toe to toe with Arnold’s terminator.

Overall, this was still a fun flick. It did the Terminator franchise justice and it was interesting how it gave us a tast of what John Connor was like as a man before he stepped up and became the great military leader he was destined to become. I’m giving this one 3.5 stars.


Day 47: Hot Fuzz

Hot Fuzz
Directed by: Edgar Wright
Starring: Simon Pegg & Nick Frost
Rated: R
Length: 121 min.
Released: February 14, 2007
Trailer Synopsis:
Nicholas Angel is the finest cop London has to offer, with an arrest record 400% higher than any other officer on the force. He’s so good, he makes everyone else look bad. As a result, Angel’s superiors send him to a place where his talents won’t be quite so embarrassing – the sleepy and seemingly crime-free village of Sandford. Once there, he is partnered with the well-meaning but overeager police officer Danny Butterman. The son of amiable Police Chief Frank Butterman, Danny is a huge action movie fan and believes his new big-city partner might just be a real-life “bad boy,” and his chance to experience the life of gunfights and car chases he so longs for. Angel is quick to dismiss this as childish fantasy and Danny’s puppy-like enthusiasm only adds to Angel’s growing frustration. However, as a series of grisly accidents rocks the village, Angel is convinced that Sandford is not what it seems and as the intrigue deepens, Danny’s dreams of explosive, high-octane, car-chasing, gunfighting, all-out action seem more and more like a reality. It’s time for these small-town cops to break out some big-city justice.

My Thoughts:
Funny…funny…funny. First came Shawn of the Dead which mad fun of horror/zombie movies. Then…Hot Fuzz. A film bent on making light of just about every action/tough guy/law enforcement movie out there. It’s just hilarious. Pegg and Frost make an excellent team. The “twist” at the end of this one is also awesome. This film builds to an epic shoot-out and you will be laughing all the way there.

I really don’t have a whole lot else to say. I greatly enjoyed it. I’m giving it 4 out of 5 stars.

Day 28: Hulk

Directed by: Ang Lee
Starring: Eric Bana,
Jennifer Connelly, Sam Elliott, Josh Lucas & Nick Nolte
Rated: PG-13
Length: 138 min
Released: June 20, 2003
Trailer Synopsis:
Bruce Banner, a brilliant scientist with a cloudy past about his family, is involved in an accident in his laboratory causing him to become exposed to gamma radiation and Nanomeds (A tiny life-form that is supposed to heal wounds but has killed everything with which they have made contact). Confused and curious about his survival, Banner discovers that since the accident, whenever he becomes angry he transforms into a giant green monster destroying everything in sight in an act of fury. Bruce’s mysterious past and the answer to why the radiation had this effect becomes revealed to him as his Birth Father David Banner intervenes with hopes to continue experimenting on him.

My Thoughts:
There are so many reasons why this movie just didn’t work at all. The major problem seemed to be Director Ang Lee. This man had no sensitivity to the comic book and fans of this beloved franchise. He had in his head what would make a good movie and just went with it. As long as it was done his way that’s all that mattered.

This is a perfect example of why producers and film companies need to be VERY careful and selective of who they allow to direct a comic book movie. If they don’t know/understand the franchise and the fan base…they screw it up royally. I mean come on! Who watched Sense and Sensibility and then went, Hmmm…that guy should direct a HULK MOVIE!?!? NNNOOOOOO!!!!! BAD IDEA! It had stuff from various parts of the Hulk comics, but they were just put together so poorly. It didn’t work…at all.

It was to artsy fartsy…melodramatic… psychological…mumbo jumbo. Some of the camera transitions were cool and a lot of the action sequences were nice, but the film as a whole just didn’t work. I wanted it to work so bad…but I have to be honest with myself. They tried to make it smart…and it didn’t work. I found the connection between several characters less than believable, and the villain in this movie just sucked! As I said in an earlier post, a good villain helps make a great hero…and that was seriously lacking in this movie.

The one thing you can take away from this movie is that it helps you appreciate The Incredible Hulk movie…which will be coming up tomorrow. It didn’t totally blow because the action had it’s moments and, though it would have worked better in another non-Hulk movie, the cinematic style was cool. I’m giving this one 1.5 stars out of 5.