May 302009
 

It’s a bit late to do this review, considering the show has been cancelled. However, I thought I’d do one anyway…with a twist.

This show sucked. A lot. For almost all of it. And I saw all of it, cause I’m a sucker for anything Terminator. Actually, the most annoying thing about this show was that is sucked so much for so long, but then got awesome in the last two-three episodes. It got gripping and full of fascinating twists in the last two-three episodes, right before it got canceled. Maybe the writers felt the possibility of cancellation so they just took more “risks”. Though I wouldn’t call them risks. I honestly don’t know why they didn’t just do this stuff earlier instead of endlessly building up.

SPOILER ALERT

I reckon you probably haven’t seen the show (not many people sat through it all long enough to get to the good bits–they’re not as masochistic as I am), so I thought I’d throw in a few things to give you a sense of why it got awesome. Spoiler alert for rest of post.

1. Kyle Reese(John’s father)’s brother is sent back in time. He’s killed. Pretty easily, too, without too much drama, despite being a main character for much of the show.

2. Turns out some crazy woman from an alternate future brought back a girl with her for John to fall in love with, so that when Cameron (the robot played by Summer Glau) killed her, John would kill the robot, because in the future Cameron and John are joined at the hip and she didn’t like that. Things didn’t go so well, so crazy woman kills John’s girlfriend herself. John tracks her down but lets her live.

3. Finally, in the last few episodes John stopped being a goddamned wuss. The thing that was most awesome about John Connor in Terminator 2 was that he was just a badass kid. T3 (which never happened) missed this and so did this show. Both turned him into a whiny emo bastard. But in the last three episodes, he turns more into John Connor, leader of the Resistance.

4. Turns out not all machines are aligned with Skynet in the future. Some machines are aligned with the humans and support them. One of the robots that was originally setup as a villainous robot (T-1000 unit) turns out to supporting the humans.

There were still some odd things in that show that didn’t get a chance to be explored. For example, it almost seemed like Cameron was trying to seduce John in some scenes, and there was that time Cameron told John she loved him (likely in an attempt to manipulate him) but it deeply effected John. I wanted to see how that would play out.

The show ended in an annoying cliffhanger, too. But that is the nature of the world.

Ah well. This sort of cliffhanger has nothing on Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles. That show was really good and somehow made you really connect with the characters who were fighting the bug war on four planets against newer and more difficult kind of bugs. Then they think they’ve destroyed all the bugs on their homeworld and Earth is safe. However, three episodes from the end of the series, turns out the bugs are on Earth, they’re human formed, they’ve taken down Earth’s military defenses and humans have to fight for their very existence from outer space. Then the show ended. Worst. Cliffhanger. Ever.

May 272009
 

Kirk is Awesome!

Possible spoiler alert! I just wanted to do a quick review highlighting some things I found interesting in the new movie.

  • It’s better than Terminator Salvation. I saw it after Salvation and Star Trek is by far the better movie.
  • The opening scene is amazing. Within a few minutes, I almost had tears in my eyes over the death of Kirk’s father.
  • The story is really well told and I cared about the characters. That may not sound like a lot, but Salvation missed that mark.
  • According to Peterson (whom I love and have written about extensively before), “reality” can be divided up into the explored territory, unexplored territory and the thing that explores. A lot of myths are subtly about this interplay and stories that are built on these mythical structures seem to just grip us more than they “should”. Star Trek is pretty explicitly about exploring the unknown, and the explorers are the main characters. The known is represented by culture/the Great Father in stories and Star Trek is no exception. You will hear the refrain, “your father would be very proud of you”. Meaning, your culture is proud of you, and adversary is defeated. Very mythical story.
  • As Peterson says, science fiction is where people who cannot stand traditional belief structures get their mythology.

I tend to rate movies by:

  • whether I’d pay to see them again,
  • whether I would pay to see them once (and not really pay for more times than that),
  • movies I’d pay for once and not want to see again,
  • movies I wouldn’t pay for to watch,
  • movies I wouldn’t watch.

Star Trek is a movie I feel I would pay to see again. Terminator Salvation, on the other hand, I wouldn’t pay to see if I was you.

PS sorry for the hotlinking.