Lindsey and I have been working some opposite shifts lately, which means that Samson and I have had the opportunity to catch up on some movies we wanted to see, but never got a chance. Some of you may laugh at the idea of Samson watching a movie with me, but sometimes there are movies that he will seem to pay attention to what is happening. Other times, he just sort of goes to sleep. Or in the case of documentaries, he tries to get me turn the damn TV off.
I had very low expectations for this movie. I mean, so low that there were not even expectations. I figured it would be absolutely terrible and that at the end of the day it would at least be so bad that it became funny. Unfortunately, it was not nearly as bad as I thought, but also still not good. Does that make sense? I actually saw a good bit of potential in the movie, but there was enough crap that made me wish it did not exist.
Take for instance, the plot. For those not familiar with this film, the movie starts with John Connor sending Kyle Reese back in time to save his mother, Sarah, from the Terminator. Yeah, the plot of the first movie. However, when Kyle reaches 1984, Sarah and an older version of the Terminator (now known as the Guardian) are waiting for the Terminator. They destroy it and rescue Kyle. Turns out that Skynet sent one back to when Sarah was nine and the Guardian was sent back to protect her. Look, I am a fan of time-travel movies. You had me right there. The idea that Skynet and the Resistance keep sending machines/people back to take out Sarah or John is actually cool. Think about some of the implications (especially with what we saw in this third movie, which I enjoyed despite it’s many flaws), a Terminator could be sent back to when Skynet first starts and then give Skynet advanced warnings of Resistance attacks or technologies they would develop later. Essentially that is the T-3000 is doing in this movie. Helping to create Skynet and as soon as it is created, it will know all of the things the T-3000 knows, so it can begin developing that model of Terminator instead of the T-800. I would have loved for this movie to explore this idea.
Instead, the plot is the same as always. They must find a way to stop Skynet from going online. In the third movie, Skynet was a weapons system that would link all computers together (basically it was the internet). Nowadays, it is linking all of your cool technology together. Skynet is the Cloud I guess. In five years, the next Terminator movie will feature Skynet as brain communication devices that we grow inside our skulls. Or whatever the next big thing ends up being…
I also thought this movie would serve as a cool way to reboot the series. They could have pulled a new alternate timeline story, like the new Star Trek films. Unfortunately, it seems like all the stuff that happened in this movie would mean that none of the other movies actually happened and the timeline was completely changed.
Okay, sorry. I really started to ramble about the plot. I will say that I liked the cast. I thought Emilia Clarke was great as Sarah Connor. I love seeing Arnold as the Terminator. Even as an older version of himself (the jokes about being old, not obsolete were funny). This movie was able to take that question that Sarah asks in T2 about the Terminator being the perfect father for John and showing what it would be like, but instead with the Guardian raising Sarah. I thought the interplay between the Guardian and Kyle was great. I enjoyed J.K. Simmons as a cop who runs into this crazy world and thirty years later is still trying to make sense of what he saw.
That said, I hated the Special FX. It was absolute garbage. I am sorry if you are one of the people who worked on this film (and I am sure you did the best with whatever time/money/resources you were given), but everything looked fake.
Samson enjoyed it. He definitely likes a movie when there is a dog present. He perked up when he heard the dog barking early in the film.
I remember when I saw the teaser for this movie. I wanted to completely dismiss it, but it gave me chills. The whole part where it shows Rocky and Michael B. Jordan asks him who won the third fight…I knew I wanted to see it. And I have to say that it lived up to every bit of praise the movie received. It played on the entire Rocky mythos, but at the same time built it’s own identity. Adonis is not Rocky, but he is also not Apollo Creed.
Rarely have I watched a movie where I actually felt nervous for the character, like I did in this movie. Every time he stepped in the ring, I had no clue whether or not he would win or lose. His first fight, I could see it going either way. Remember, Rocky kept telling him all that stuff about being knocked down, about being beat, etc. So each fight, I wondered if there would be a lesson in humility for Adonis.
The last fight though…first of all, it was filmed perfectly. Ryan Coogler definitely makes you feel like you are in the ring with the fighters. There have been so many boxing movies over the years and yet this one felt like it was different. I loved the way the fight ended. A great throwback to the first film, but also a very fitting ending.
Samson definitely liked this movie. I think he was sad that Adonis lost the fight though. He licked the tears off my cheeks during a few of the scenes. He is so damn tough.
Batman: The Killing Joke
I am required by Comic Book Law to say how much I loved this comic growing up and that I consider it one of the greatest Batman stories ever told and the definitive Joker story. Seriously, if I do not mention that, then someone will post a comment saying “hey, that comic is one of the greatest Batman stories ever told and is THE DEFINITIVE Joker story, you fucking loser!” So allow me to get that out of the way right now.
For the most part, the movie was pretty faithful to the comic…minus that first half hour or so. I have no clue what they were thinking adding in that whole Barbara Gordon/Batman sex scene. I feel like that definitely just detracted from the movie. It turned Batgirl into this lovesick teenager. It just felt like they were trying way too hard to make it feel edgy. Also, it left the whole Batman vs. Joker story feel more like a subplot. The main story is the Joker trying to prove that he can drive a good man crazy. Batman wants to understand his enemy and see if they can resolve this war with each other before one of them ends up dead.
This is why the ending of the comic is so meaningful for so many people. In the comic, Batman stops the Joker and as he is taking him into custody, Joker decides to tell Batman a pretty lame joke. At the punchline, both of them start to laugh. The beauty of an Alan Moore comic is how he has the artist draw the final few panels (if you ever get a chance, read an Alan Moore script and how much detail he gives the artist). The final few panels are brilliant. Instead of describing them, just see for yourself.One of the debates that has raged for years now is what actually happens at the end. Some folks believe that Batman kills the Joker and the evidence they point to is the way the laughter stops and all we see is the sound of the siren. Since the comic was a one-shot and not really supposed to be tied into continuity, I could see Moore deciding that this could be the point where Batman finally kills the Joker. I have always loved that it was ambiguous. I bounce back and forth. I can see both arguments.
Unfortunately, the film does not really leave us with that ambiguity. The laughter does not just cut off, but instead fades out to the credits. I was annoyed and just shut it off without even watching the mid-credit scene. Oh well.
Samson did not like the movie. He may not like animated stuff, I have noticed he does not seem too thrilled when I watch something animated.
And now because I feel like it, a picture of Samson!