Discussion in 'Movies and Television' started by Hand Of Omega, Jun 19, 2009.
Rambo: Last Blood 7/10
Terminator Salvation - 7/10
Much, much better than Rise of the Machines. If nothing else, Salvation at least had competent technical filmmaking. Like, it had good sound mixing and good effects. I wasn't laughing at it unintentionally. Overall I liked the premise. It was a nice break from time traveling and the typical Terminator storylines. I definitely missed Arnold (aside from the brief cameo), but I thought the different approach worked. The fan service was tasteful and it felt like the filmmakers knew what they wanted to make.
When I watch watching it, I was enjoying it quite a bit. I was thinking "I don't get the low critic score". But in hindsight, it doesn't seem like something I'd be super eager to check out again. I wasn't terribly attached to the characters or the narrative. I mostly liked it on a visual level. Especially the scene with the giant robot and the Terminator factory at the end. Those was really cool. It was a fine "in the world of Terminator" story, and I think it definitely deserves more praise than people give it. I would say it was good, but not great. It doesn't come anywhere close to the first two, and I'm not sure I'd ever revisit it. I could see watching one of those "best scenes" compilations though.
Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn):
Glad I didn't go to this movie because I'd force myself to watch what I paid for, otherwise I'd totally walk out of it.
3 things that are good in it: The egg & cheese sandwich, the hyena, and sticking to one tone instead of Suicide Squad's mess. Everything else was utter garbage.
The Deadpool-style narrative was painful to sit through, the plot was padded for too long, they turned Renee Montoya to a joke, Cassandra Kane was a pathetic load instead of being the kickass fighter that she's known as, Huntress and Black Canary were generic trashy "Badass girls", and Black Mask makes Tommy Lee Jones' Two-face from Batman Forever subtle in comparison.
It's been a long time since I felt wanting to get my time back and I sure regret wasting it here.
Summer Wars 7.8/10
I love the whole fear of the unknown aspect.
Back to the Future Part 1: 9/10
Fun movie, and better then the second one.
The Jungle Book (original) 7.75/10
This one surprised me.
I tried watching it over 10 years ago with my wife, and all I remember is I fell asleep.
So this time I expected it to be boring. Turned out very charming, with the great songs by Baloo and King Louie. It slows down quite a bit in the second half (honestly, the British vultures are boring characters), and the ending of Mowgli entering the man-village seemed kind of anti-climactic.
I thought it was interesting that the Disney+ description cautions against "outdated cultural depictions" but I really didn't see anything that could be offensive, other than the blatant reference in the girl's song at the end about men going hunting and women cooking and keeping house.
I think it's also concerning the depiction of King Louie because he's played by a white man acting like a black man and a racial stereotype for its time.
Wow, you might be right.
I knew about Louis Prima but I always assumed he was of Caribbean descent. I just read that he's actually Italian. Yeah, that's probably it.
Guardians of the galaxy 9/10
Guardians of the galaxy vol 2 8.5/10
Pacific rim 8.5/10
Josh Trank's latest film giving his take on Al Capone's final days. The movie is weird at some points, disgusting at other points, and then there's Tom Hardy's weird accent and makeup. Seriously, you're going to have a hard time taking Hardy seriously as the character with his hammy performance. But I was really into the "weird" parts of the movie which what you'd expect from a story about an infamous dying man.
King Kong 1976: 9.5/10
Risky Business - 8/10
Fate of the Furious - 8/10
Just too insane much of the time. My eyes got exercise from rolling so much. Did have some good laughs here and there.
Terminator: Genesys - 7/10
I'm going to give this the same score as Salvation, but for different reasons. I think it's technically a much worse movie. But at the same time, I found it a bit more entertaining and would probably rather rewatch this one. I also liked the first third or so of Genesys more than Salvation.
I was really hopeful at the start of this movie. I really dug the opening scene especially. It was neat how the Resistance storming the Skynet hanger was intercut with the Terminator being sent back in time. I liked the buildup to Kyle Reese being sent back. That whole sequence was really fun to watch, since it's what was described in the first film. Things got kind of confusing after that, but I was still onboard for a while. I liked how Arnold ('Pops') wasn't able to time-travel with Sarah and Kyle because of his damaged arm, so he just had to wait it out. I like those clever situations with the lore. That kind of stuff is part of what made the first two films great.
I loved the fight with the bad T-800, even though it was sort of pointless. And I have to give them props for leaving good Arnold alive this time. Having him sacrifice himself at the end would have been a bit goofy, since that's already happened twice. He deserved to finally survive an ending. And as usual, he was a highlight of the movie, and he gave me a few chuckles. And J.K. Simmons is always great to watch too.
The movie sort of lost me when it was revealed that John Connor was a Terminator. I actually knew it was coming, but it still kind of took me by surprise because the movie was fine up until then, and that decision seemed dumb and over-the-top. It was kind of a jump-the-shark-moment for me. I suppose that concept could have been done well, but I didn't feel like it was. From then on, it just felt like a generic superhero movie with generic CGI action beats that lacked weight. The Terminators stopped being powerful and scary, they just started feeling like generic robot guys.
I didn't feel like Emilia Clarke made a good Sarah Connor. Even as an alternate universe version. I just didn't see her as the same character. And although I praised Arnold, I must say this was probably his weakest role in the series (so far). He nailed the funny part from T2, but he lacked the coolness or the feeling that he was really powerful. He didn't quite have the same presence or weight. It was a super sanitized version of his role from T2. And I don't blame that on him as much as the writing and direction.
Overall it was okay, but kind of below-average. I much prefer Genesys over T3, but I think it would rank it below Salvation. But the high points were higher and it has more rewatchability (which is an important aspect in my enjoyment of a movie), so it levels out at a 7/10.
Frankenstein vs Baragon/Frankenstien Conquers the World - 10/10
What a waste of a movie. I was promised a Scooby Doo movie, not "The Blue Falcon Jr. Guest starring Scooby Doo and other random Hanna-Barbera Characters".
Scooby, Shaggy and Dynomutt were the only characters I liked in it. Everyone else was terrible in this. the humor of Scooby and Shaggy was what you expect from the characters, and Dynomutt was pretty much voicing my thoughts on the entire thing. The rest of the Mystery gang and other characters were walking caricatures and pop-culture cringe humor.
The new voices didn't do it for me. They weren't good as the traditional voice actors of the characters. Shaggy was fine, but the others weren't recognizable.
The character designs were also not that great. They looked like some sort of Dreamworks and Illumination hybrid designs with the bare minimum to make them look the characters, with the exception of Scoob who looked dead on to his traditional design.
Big dumb fun back-to-back:
Pacific Rim: Uprising - 6/10
While equal in terms of mindlessness with the original, there's still quite a lot missing both literally (ie. most of the original cast) and figuratively (doesn't really bring anything new or exciting to the table).
Needed more Kaiju vs big-bot action, and found the quantity/quality of kaiju lacking compared to the OG. Definitely missing original director GDT's touch.
Rampage - 6.5/10
Big fan of the original arcade game, and plunked down many quarters to my button mashing delight in my youth. The movie's story and characters were so cliché and predictable it hurts. The movie takes itself a tad too seriously sometimes, and couldn't use more "fun" overall. Well made, just not that well enjoyed.
Terminator: Dark Fate - 7.5/10
While I didn't like it nearly as much as T1 or T2, this is probably my third favorite Terminator movie. It's the only one besides the first two that I would look forward to revisiting.
I really loved Arnold's role in this as Carl/T-800. In T3 and Genesys he felt like a lite version of his character from T2. This felt like something similar, but different. He wasn't overly comical and played for laughs. There were a couple jokes (I loved the joke with him explaining the curtains), but overall he was more somber and played straight. This version of the character felt more thoughtful and complex than any Arnolds since T2. Overall the Terminators in this movie felt very powerful and hard to beat, which was an aspect many of the sequels lacked.
I liked the cast in general. At first I wasn't sure about Grace, I was worried that she was just going to be some Rey-esque character who is super powerful and under-characterized. But she actually took damage and had more complexity and personality than that. She was a neat character. I liked Dani as the new John Connor-esque character, I thought she was great too. And it was nice to see Linda Hamilton return as Sarah Connor. Very solid cast and characters.
The tone of this felt much better than Genesys. While there were some large set-pieces, this felt smaller and more contained. It was about the characters and story again, not the worldbuilding or the timeline. I liked that they were trying to move away from the saving John/Sarah Connor stuff. We've seen a lot of that, and I think this cast did a great job proving that new faces work as leads in this brand.
Although this leads into my complaints. Killing John Connor in the first five minutes was a major spit in the face to T2. Surely they could have found some other way to get him out of the picture. And although they tried to do something new with the plot, I didn't feel like it was new enough. It was still a Skynet-like AI sending a Terminator back in time to kill a future leader. Right down to Arnold sacrificing himself to destroy the bad liquid-metal Terminator. Aren't there any other stories to do with Terminators besides that? While I prefer this over Salvation, I liked that Salvation attempted a very different sort of storyline. And Genesys left Arnold alive. All the sequels have good aspects, they just need to get all those good aspects into one movie instead of spreading them out.
Overall I would describe it as good, but not great. I'll probably rewatch Dark Fate when I rewatch T1 and T2, which is more than I can say about the other sequels. Even the ones I thought were okay weren't good enough to revisit (aside from maybe a few individual moments). In my head the only Terminator movies that really count are T1 and T2, but I would revisit this because I enjoyed it on its own merits. And I would say I liked it much more than I disliked it.
So that concludes my first viewing of all the Terminator movies. Overall there are a lot of misfires that prevent me from saying this is a fantastic brand (when viewed as a whole), but T1 and T2 go a long way in propping it up and giving it some dignity. Kind of like A New Hope and Empire, without those Star Wars wouldn't be considered a good brand. I've seen pictures of the famous Terminator growing up, and it's cool to finally have context as to what it is. Arnold as the T-800 has been a highlight of this whole series, I would rank him among some of the greatest film characters (both as a villain and a hero). It's sort of funny that he's technically a different character in each movie, I don't know if I've seen that before in a movie series.
Here is my ranking of the series. T1 and T2 could flip depending on my mood, as could Salvation and Genesys...
Terminator 2: Judgement Day - 9/10
The Terminator - 9/10
Terminator: Dark Fate - 7.5/10
Terminator: Genesys - 7/10
Terminator: Salvation - 7/10
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines - 6/10
Jumanji: The Next Level: 8/10
A lot of fun, and well made.
Separate names with a comma.