Terminator Genisys

July 3, 2015 by  
Filed under Jerrod, Reviews

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney
Directed by: Alan Taylor (“Thor: The Dark World”)
Written by: Laeta Kalogridis (“Shutter Island”) and Patrick Lussier (“Drive Angry”)

Nearly a quarter century after James Cameron gave us “Terminator 2: Judgement Day,” Hollywood is still throwing Terminator franchise-extending ideas at the wall hoping that they stick. Sequels, TV series, and whatever the hell “Terminator Salvation” was supposed to be have come and gone, seemingly wringing the movie going public’s goodwill dry in the process. After all, how can we be expected to stay invested in this series when it features an ever-rotating cast and keeps using time travel to re-write its own continuity with every new project? Regardless, along comes “Terminator Genisys” with one ace up its sleeve the franchise hasn’t had for 12 years: the return of Arnold Schwarzenegger. It’s good to see Arnold in his iconic role once again, especially since he’s the only positive thing “Genisys” has going for it.

For what seems like the millionth time, this “Terminator” movie opens in the post-apocalyptic future, after world-destroying computer program Skynet has decided to wipe humans off the face of the earth. The human resistance, led by thinly-veiled messianic character John Connor (Jason Clarke), has identified the last stronghold of Skynet and its army of Terminators—one that houses an ultimate weapon. Along with his right hand man Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney), Connor and the resistance infiltrate the base to find a freshly-used time machine. Figuring out Skynet send a Terminator back to 1984 to kill Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke), Reese volunteers to go back to the past and save her. As he’s being transported away, he catches a glimpse of a Terminator attacking John Connor…or something. Unable to help, Reese arrives in 1984 to relive the events of “The Terminator” (complete with CGI young Schwarzenegger!) only to be interrupted by an aged T-800 Arnold (nicknamed Pops) and a Sarah Connor already well-versed in kicking Terminator ass. Someone changed the timeline even further back, and now it’s time for Sarah, Reese, and Pops to sort all the bullshit out.

While the first two films in the series focused on fate—or the lack thereof—the time travel elements always made little sense within the logic of the movies’ universe. That plot device ridiculousness is ramped up to ridiculous heights in “Genisys,” where time travel is regarded as an ultimate weapon (okay), a 20-something woman and her aged robot from the future can build a time machine in the LA sewers (what?) and one of the main characters from a future that no longer exists can travel to a tangential past and then back to a different future to stop something from existing that didn’t create the future that he’s from, but creates yet a different apocalyptic future than the seemingly endless versions this series has spat at us over the years (ugh, fuck it). The movie also seems to have some half-assed nonsense to say about stuff like smartphones and tablets and whatnot ruling our lives, but it’s all so poorly plotted out that literally none of the plot is engaging. The same can’t be said of Arnold, though, who becomes the only thing onscreen to elicit even the slightest bit of interest. With some liberal CGI, Arnold appears as three different versions of the iconic T-800, and its admittedly pretty fun when the old man version dukes it out with the 1984 version.  But the computer-enhanced exploits of a 67-year-old former governor aren’t enough to balance out the sheer “who the fuck cares?” of everything else haphazardly thrown on the screen.

My Bloody Valentine

January 13, 2009 by  
Filed under Kiko, Reviews

Starring: Jensen Ackles, Jaime King, Kerr Smith
Directed by: Patrick Lussier (“Dracula 2000”)
Written by: Todd Farmer (“The Messengers”) and Zane Smith (debut)

If you believe in first impressions, 3-D live-action horror movies isn’t a genre you’re going to want to get attached to after seeing the remake of the 1981 film “My Blood Valentine.” It’s grotesque, grim, and gimmicky without an ounce of campiness for horror fans looking for something other than the monotony of watching another masked killer flailing a sharp object.

Set in the “inbred mining community” of a town called Harmony, county sheriff Axel Palmer (Kerr Smith) is up to his waist in dead bodies when a killer wearing a jumpsuit and miner’s mask starts bludgeoning citizens with a pickaxe. His calling card: He likes leaving human hearts inside boxes of Valentine’s Day chocolates (I thought those things were cherry cordials!)

Since the murders are taking place on the tenth anniversary of the town’s Valentine’s Day Massacre where local man named Harry Warden goes nuts and murders 22 men, women, and children, people of Harmony think he has returned even though he was always presumed dead. Others believe the murders have something to do with the return of Tom Hanniger (Jensen Ackles), a former Harmonian whose father owned the town’s mine before passing away. Then there’s Axel himself, who becomes a bit jealous when Tom vies for the attention of his wife Sarah (Jaime King).

Like last year’s “Journey to the Center of the Earth 3-D,” there’s really no reason to sit through a movie like this without the special effects, which are considered groundbreaking by some viewer’s standards. While “Journey” had its major problems, at least it had 3-D meteor showers and an angry dinosaur to distract you from the waifish plot. In “My Blood Valentine,” you get a few pickaxes to the face and a flying severed head to keep you entertained for 90 minutes not to mention daytime soap opera acting and some terrible dialogue.

And what about the big fiery explosion that combusts through the silver screen during previews for the movie? It happens in the waning moments and will make you flinch far less that the popcorn-tossing moviegoers in the commercial have you think.