Friday, May 29, 2009

Bumming Down

From a recent student essay: "In a way the party is slowly but surly bumming down the people of Oceania." I'm not sure what it means, but it's exactly right.

Speaking of bumming down, what's with all the Internet hatred of Terminator Salvation? Hey, The Internet! Just because you twittered it does not make it so! I agree that it's not a perfect film, or even a great film. It's not as fun as Star Trek, it's too self-serious, it doesn't have good character development, and there are some cheesy bits. I will cede all of these points, and still tell you it's not a terrible movie, or even a bad movie. It's a typical summer blockbuster type film! Does stuff blow up? Yes it does. Is there some good action? Yes there is. If you were expecting Terminator 2 (which I will admit is a pretty great movie) then you must have missed Terminator 3, which is a complete pile of dog gravy. The Internet Has Decided that it's a bad film, so that's all anyone seems to say now, but it's really not. It's entertaining from pretty much beginning to end, and takes the fanchise in a new direction, rather than retreading the same ground that has been worn raw in three movies and a tv show.

Oh, and it's a Terminator movie, not Hamlet. Look, I'm not trying to make the argument that stupid entertainment should be excused, but I am saying perhaps expectations should be kept in line with the product. Big summer sci-fi extravaganzas aren't going anywhere, but they aren't all going to be "great" movies like The Dark Knight or even IronMan. And historically they haven't been! Take the summer of 1988 (thanks to Cinematical's Our Favorite Summers feature for the backup). The biggest action movie that came out that summer was certainly Die Hard. Also out that summer in the same genre? Red Heat, Rambo III, and Young Guns--not to mention more forgettable entries like The Presidio and The Dead Pool. Sure, all of those are entertaining to greater or lesser degrees, and some have a cheese factor that makes them fond memories, but only one remains as a definitive action film.

So lay off McG and Christian Bale. Is it the best movie you'll see this summer? No way. Is it a terrible way to spend your $8.00 at the box office? Not at all. Hey The Internet, you don't have to be so cynical about everything, and you don't have to whine so bad when something doesn't go just as you imagined it. So quit bumming down the people!

(PS - coming soon I'll have a Nashville recap, but for now let me just say that good times were had.)

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