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The word for today's weather is "muggy." It is, like yesterday, a muggy day in Providence, Currently, it's cloudy and 82˚F.

Not much to say about yesterday. We went to the movies, we we rarely ever do. There was a time I went to the theater a couple of times a week. Now I go maybe once every couple of months, usually. Movies have simply too expensive to see on the big screen. Which sucks. Even going to the cheap Tuesday matinées, as we almost always do, it's just too expensive to be a regular habit.

Anyway, we saw Alan Taylor's Terminator Genisys, and, much to my surprise and probably against all odds, I actually enjoyed it very much. It's the first smart (well, relatively) Terminator film since Terminator 2 (1991), and I think that I'd say, more than anything else, this film feels like an homage to Terminator 2. Emilia Clarke is a joy to watch, even if she does make an oddly soft sort of Sarah Connor, coming nowhere close to the gritty, hard-as-nails survivalist we got from Linda Hamilton (or Lena Headey, for that matter). She's sort of Sarah Connor Lite. I found Arnold Schwarzenegger unexpectedly charming. And I went in not knowing Matt Smith has an important role, which automatically raises the film's cool factor. I think the filmmakers made a smart move playing it lighter than the earlier films, especially after the mess that was Terminator Salvation. In places, this is a very funny movie. Oh, and Jason Clarke as John Connor is okay. Not great, but okay.

All that said, Jai Courtney is one of the least interesting actors I've ever had to endure, and I think it was an absolutely shitty casting move. He has all the the charisma of a lump of coal. Here's your main character, and you cast a lump of coal. And I absolutely loathe what 3d has done to how action sequences are filmed, how they're blocked and executed. The action scenes in Terminator 2 are far, far more effective. In Terminator 2, nuclear war was horrifying. In Terminator Genisys it's no more than a soulless SFX sequence. And what's with the fucking close ups? I'm pretty sure directors of 3D films are piling on the closeups. Parts of Terminator Genisys come off as an endless series of talking heads, almost painful to watch. I noted this same problem in the third Hobbit film. What the fuck? But still, all the problems aside, I did enjoy the film, which must mean Taylor did something right, even if it's hard to look past the flaws and say exactly what that something was.

Now, work.

Aunt Beast


( 5 comments — Have your say! )
Jul. 8th, 2015 08:12 pm (UTC)
I'm glad for your review of Terminator Genisys. Hopefully I will get to see this one on the big screen soon. I was wondering how Emilia Clark compared to Linda Hamilton. I'm surprised they didn't want her to be as gritty. I always loved the fierceness of Linda Hamilton in T2. Terminator 2: Judgment Day was my favorite of the series and I vividly recall seeing it twice in the theater. My memory is super shitty and I really don't remember much about 3 and 4 except for Claire Danes being in one of them.
Jul. 8th, 2015 11:58 pm (UTC)
Thank you for Sirenia Digest 113. I look forward to Round 1 of the 'cool shit' announcement.
Jul. 9th, 2015 01:02 am (UTC)
I found Arnold Schwarzenegger unexpectedly charming.

I think the thing that made me see the movie was hearing Schwarzenegger on The Howard Stern Show earlier in the week and thinking what a goofy, irrepressibly fun guy Schwarzenegger is. His firm belief in anyone being able to work hard to get what they want makes him an ideal Republican, of course, but he somehow succeeds in coming of as completely without the vaguest understanding of malice and I think that does come through in his latest Terminator.

Parts of Terminator Genisys come off as an endless series of talking heads, almost painful to watch. I noted this same problem in the third Hobbit film. What the fuck?

I really think that's a trend Peter Jackson started with Fellowship of the Ring where I think the many close-ups worked largely because of the novelty and as a quick way to personalise large scale sequences--I remember Ian McKellen in the commentary talking about how much he liked the cut straight to an extreme close-up of Elrond in the opening battle sequence, how it helped to make the battle feel real with an actor's face visibly internalising it. And Jackson uses a very unconventional number of close-ups from then on for scenes that usually don't get so many--like Frodo and Gandalf talking over tea. There were certainly plenty of lazy directors, particularly in television, who would construct sequences of talking heads before this but Jackson created an artistically legitimate space for the talking heads which converged with the illegitimate in the theatre of filmmaking. It's encouraged bad habits, basically.
Jul. 10th, 2015 09:11 pm (UTC)
The Divine
Sometimes I believe in the Muses. When their inspiration fails on a project, they directly intervene. No matter how bad a movie maybe, there is moment of brilliance, no matter how brief. Gives me something to look for when I'm being tortured.
Not a big fan of Arnold, but you gotta love the big lug. I remember when he passed some Environmental ledgistration to protect his state, than refused to destroy California's education system when order to by his party, which ruined is political career. When asked why he did it, he said, "This is my country ,I'm not going to destroy it." Later, when he was out of office, he said,"Republican love hard work, that's why they have everyone else doing it for them."
Jul. 13th, 2015 05:33 am (UTC)
Linda Hamilton, all ripped and sweaty.
( 5 comments — Have your say! )