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Paddling towards a serious acting role

Paddling towards a serious acting role

I wonder if the pleasure I take in the Land of the Lost bombing last weekend is attributable to taking joy in bad movies going unwatched, or if I really think this will help curb the trend of movies only getting an easy green light if they were a children’s book or TV show many years ago.

Doesn’t there have to be some – even if it’s miniscule – case for better movies making more money than bad movies, regardless of the built-in audience? Would Land of the Lost still have tanked it if were a good movie, for example, or can the failure be entirely chalked up to the fact that it opened against Up and The Hangover and got killed?

I really like to believe that the reason The Hangover did so well was because it’s actually a good movie that got good reviews and carried reliable word of mouth. I’m sure it would have still done well if it was just OK – look at Van Wilder or Road Trip for example. But how much better did it do because it’s good?

I guess the question I’m trying to ask is: Can studios put a monetary value on good reviews? If a film will already do well at the box office, how many more millions of dollars will a good movie get over an average one?

As for taking joy in the taking of movies like Land of the Lost, Speed Racer, and – to a lesser degree – Terminator Salvation and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, it’s nice to see that the studios can’t crap out a movie with their built in audience and expect the same results as when they try.

Yeah there are plenty of examples of terrible franchises, updates and adaptations that still do well (why do you there there have been a dozen American Pie/nippled Batman sequels?), but every time a Land of the Lost bombs, I get a little bit of hope.

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Hollywood's standard racist depiction of robots

Hollywood's standard racist depiction of robots

It might be The Rise of the Machines, but apparently this means it’s also the rise of ignorant, offensive and downright racist portrayals of robots by the “Liberal” Hollywood elite.

Movies like the upcoming Terminator Salvation do nothing but reinforce the stereotype of robots being violent, murderous killing machines that are hell-bent on destroying the human race at all costs. You know who else described an entire race of people with such derogatory claims? Nazis.

Robots historically have contributed much more to society than they have destroyed the human race, but if the media continues with their offensive portrayals, these good endeavors will be forgotten. If you need your Chinese food reheated, who’s there for you? A robot. If you your floor cleaned and don’t trust a human being, where do you go? Once again, your trusty robot. And where are these good robots in Terminator Salvation? Exactly.

We need more films like Wall-E that depict the more humane side of robots, and less films like Terminator 4 that show the more human-killing side. Sure there are some robots that are hellbent on human destruction, but why should those few bad apples ruin it for the rest? Or do we still live in Draconian times where we hold an entire race responsible for the negative actions of a handfull?

Grow up Hollywood. Leave your scare tactics back with McCarthyism and witch hunts and let’s treat robots with the respect they deserve.

Stopping time travel sex since 1988.

Stopping time travel sex since 1988.

I’m really excited for the new Terminator Salvation movie coming out soon, but it’s made me think of some of the weird time-travel logistics that will interfere with the original Terminator.

The biggest and most obvious conflict seems like it has to be that John Connor is going to send his friend back in time to have sex with his mom and conceive him, John Connor. Can you imagine how awkward of a conversation that has to be?

Surely John Connor didn’t want to have to bring it up with Kyle, but it might have crossed his mind. Right before he hit the “Send” button on the time machine, do you think he said, “By the way, don’t bang my mom,” or was he confident that his friend will go back in time and not have sex with her?

Because most bodyguards aren’t supposed to have sex with their client. I’m sure there’s some syndrome, like how caretakers fall for patients or hostages fall for their captors, but still, this is the future of the human race we’re talking about here and he’s going back to the 1980s to get laid.

But then the problem comes up that if he doesn’t have sex with Sarah Connor, then there is no John Connor and humans are screwed. So does John Connor know? And if he does, that’s even more uncomfortable to tell your friend to go back in time and have sex with your mom. How do you bring that up in casual conversation? “OK, so you need to protect my mom from a T-100 Cyborg Terminator. It’s an indistructible killing machine who will stop at nothing to kill her and anything protecting her. Also, have sex with her if you get the chance.”

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