Have Posts Sent To Your Inbox!
Enter your email address:

Monday, June 30, 2008

Premonition (2007)

I hate it.

What a lame film.

Why is it lame? Two reasons: 1) Organization. 2) Its apparent message.

SPOILER ALERT. Read on only if you're fine with learning major details about the film and how it ends.

Organization: In the beginning, Sandra Bullock's husband dies, and she consoles her two daughters, both of which are in perfect health.

Then time travel ensues, and she ends up changing things. She now accidentally makes it so that one daughter mistakenly runs through a glass door, cutting up her face. And this happens before the husband dies. Didn't happen in the first timeline.

So, great! If she can change things, then she can save her husband.

Bullock's time hops enable her to see what happened before. Each time she gets a glimpse of the future, she learns what actions she'd previously taken to get her there.

So any sane, rational, and modestly intelligent person would use that knowledge to their benefit. How? In the past. Bullock would hop to the future, find out what went wrong, and then hop back to the past. This happens in the film.

And there in the past, we expect her to use her knowledge of the future to change things for the better.

But she doesn't. For 2 excruciating hours, we watch as Bullock takes the exact same actions that led to disaster.

Then, at the end of the film, she has a chance to redeem herself, and save her husband. But she for some reason denies the opportunity, and instead ensures his death.

If you remove the part about how she changed history to mess up her daughter's face by mistake, then the film seems to be about how fate is set in stone. This is the apparent message I was talking about earlier.

But the fact that she changes history right away would seem to say, "Hey, there's hope after all!" If you get that impression, as I did, the rest of the movie is a huge letdown.

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Paycheck (2003)

I first thought this movie wasn't that great, but I watched it again today and got a lot of enjoyment out of it.

One thing I didn't really like was some apparent hypocrisy.

The whole film is about how Ben Affleck, the hero, had used a machine to see into his future and change it for the better.

The majority of the movie is spent watching him alter his destiny time and again.

Then, halfway through, he discovers that the machine would have been used by the government, and would have predicted disasters that would ultimately be caused by the government's efforts to prevent them.

Then, the bad guy yells at Affleck, "You can't change your fate!"

It's so stupid! He already has... He saved the day, he saved himself, even when the machine clearly showed him as getting shot.

So... what's the lesson? If Affleck used the machine, and instead of ensuring what he saw, he changed it, then why is the machine bad? What is the difference between him and the government? Why would the government achieve different results, using the same machine? Why would they be limited to only ensuring a bad future, when he proved the machine can be used to avoid negative consequences?

Here's a stupid theory: Maybe he's so brilliant he's the only one who can figure out how to rewrite the future.

In spite of this nit-picking, I really did enjoy the film. In any form of movie entertainment, there must usually be some disregard for reality. So putting one more thing aside isn't that big a deal.

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Why T3's John Connor Is Wrong

In the first Terminator, John Connor is described as being a hero who brought mankind back from the brink of annihilation.

In Terminator 2, a young John Connor shows that even in his youth, he's still got the mindset of humankind's savior. The "Never Say Die" attitude. The will to win.

In Terminator 3, John Connor was significantly weaker than we'd all come to expect. I don't know if it was the actor playing John Connor, or the director. I'll guess it was the director's fault, because he chose the actor, and guided him.

Maybe the director wanted to take the Terminator series in a new direction. I say that direction was a perversion of everything that makes Terminator cool.

First off, John Connor in T2 didn't take crap from anybody. But in T3, he sees a gas station worker dialing the police, and says, "I think we better leave," with a look on his face of legitimate concern and fear. What???!!! No way. I don't buy it!

And then at the end, nuclear war happens, and the music and movie try to convince us that it's a beautiful thing. BULL!!

I enjoyed the action, seeing Arnold back as a cyborg, and time travel and all. I even enjoyed seeing that psychiatrist guy run away in the graveyard. But I wasn't thrilled with John Connor, and I wasn't impressed by the mentality of the film, a mentality that classified a nuclear holocaust as a good thing. Good because it's inevitable? Just because something happens, or must happen, doesn't make it good.

And here's a big reason why T3's John Connor fails.

In Terminator, John Connor was successful in the future in two endeavors: saving humanity, and sending Kyle Reese to protect Sarah Connor in the past.

In T2, John Connor was successful in two endeavors: helping Sarah Connor escape the Pescadero Mental Institution and the T-1000, and blowing up Cyberdyne.

In T3, all "John Connor" did was hide out in a bunker with some chick who'd established that she'd rather shoot first and ask questions later. JC is supposed to be smart, and ends up betrothed to a tough dummy.

(Evidence: She grabbed his gun and fired away as soon as she met him. Either she knew it was a paint ball gun before she shot him, or learned it was so when he didn't die. I say she didn't know, and didn't care. And that's disgusting.)

Sure, it wasn't his fault that Judgment Day was inevitable. That was the writer's and director's choice.

But look at it this way: To set John Connor up in a universe where his only possible triumph is to just barely survive -- that's lame!

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.