An Uncomfortable Revisit…

January 9, 2021

Everything, it seems, has an expiration date… After the break…

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Odds & Ends

December 31, 2020

More tidbits to close out the year… After the break…

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Terminator: Dark Fate (2019 movie) thoughts…

December 1, 2020

Before I was subjected to a rather splitting headache earlier yesterday, I was planning on writing a more thorough review of this movie.

As always, fate has a way of intervening even in the most carefully laid of plans.

For those of you that are rusty with your contemporary pop culture, the Terminator franchise is, at this point, nearly akin to the slasher horror movie genre: In each movie, an unstoppable (and obviously nefarious) robot from the future time-travels to it’s past (our present) in order to kill a person that will destroy a future robot uprising that is attempting to exterminate all of humanity. Naturally, someone from humanity’s resistance also sends someone back in time to stop said robot. Hilarity ensues?

In a way, the Terminator franchise truly is the “Friday the 13th” of science fiction movies in that each movie, quite honestly, is a near exact replica of the prior one in tone and overall structure. The Terminator is the techno-equivalent of Jason Voorhees, the hockey-mask wearing serial killer who will stop at nothing to complete it’s objective.

Terminator: Dark Fate (TDF for short here) does absolutely nothing to deviate from the core formula except, like a Mad Libs story, allow for the slight details to be swapped out and changed.

In this particular flavor of the franchise, it is a young Mexican woman named Dani Ramos (played by Natalia Reyes) who is the new Sarah Connors, Mackenzie Davis fills in for Michael Biehn as the human resistance fighter named simply “Grace” that is assigned to protect her and Gabriel Luna (known as a “Rev 9” or “Revision 9”) is the shiny, new Terminator model bent on killing her. Don’t worry; It wouldn’t be a Terminator film if they somehow didn’t shoehorn an appearance by original Terminator actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, this time as an aging Terminator because, at this point, Arnie is in his 70s and long-removed from his bodybuilding prime years.

There are, of course, new wrinkles in this particular installment. “Rev 9” is almost two Terminators in one: A metal skeleton & a liquid-metal one that can act independently from one another but may combine to become even more lethal than what they are separately. Also, the character of Sarah Connors returns, played by original actress Linda Hamilton looking as though she’s wearing the same age-advancing make-up seen on the original series of Star Trek episode, “The Deadly Years.” I guess being hunted and hunting Terminators doesn’t do well for your complexion.

The faintest praise that I may offer TDF (of the damning kind, naturally) is that TDF is not a bad movie but that it is so derivative there is no point in really watching it. It is a technically well-made movie. Whomever contributed to it were competent in each of their professions.

Yet there is simply no significant innovation in this movie whatsoever. The core formula is kept unchanged to the point of parody: One may be able to watch the film “The Terminator” (1984) and this movie side-by-side and see the plethora of similarities. Is this because this movie is yet another attempted reboot of the franchise? It seems that every movie in the franchise after the second one is some attempted reboot.

It is almost maddening that some competent one-liners and moments are completely wasted in this film. The film does attempt to answer what happens when a Terminator robot completes it’s mission (apparently, finds a career in interior decorating instead of exploding and removing evidence of it’s existence). And, naturally, Arnie comes up with a few deadpanned quips amusing only because an impartial Terminator robot speaks them.

So much of this film, though, is just… Unnecessary. It feels as though someone has just attempted to re-make “The Terminator” (1984) for contemporary audiences and with a more international appeal.

“Dark Fate” may be an apt description of the Terminator franchise at this point, ironically reliving the same story throughout time, unable to break it’s own cycle of a floundering franchise simply repeating itself.

Odds & Ends

October 29, 2020

It seems that I am stuck with the “new” editor. How unfortunate. Regardless…

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In Every Life, A Little Rain…

September 30, 2020

Does It Really Have to, Though?… After the Break…

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Another round of Odds & Ends…

August 31, 2020

I’m not lazy, I just have nothing to write but I’ll write it anyway…

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A Return to The Far Side…

July 31, 2020

With age comes with it the desire for nostalgia… After the break…

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Pleasant Evenings Amidst Unsettling Days…

June 9, 2020

The early evenings are now pleasant in temperature. Summer has not technically arrived but it’s weather has. Yet the quiet, tranquil nature of these days are interrupted and blunted by disturbing events. We are still afflicted by disease and now we are confronted with social unrest. It is hard to enjoy tranquility when your physical safety, in one or more forms, is constantly threatened.

I understand why there is such appeal for gardens; They are a tranquil oasis in a sea of discontent. They are timeless; Historians may be able to tell heritage varieties from our current crop of flowers, fruits and vegetables but, besides the contemporary styling of gardens, can one honestly tell if a rose was grown today or three hundred years ago?

One, though, can not stay in a garden forever. The rest of the world needs to be confronted, analyzed and a course of action taken to rectify whatever is occurring outside of the garden. Even gardens need constant maintenance in order for their true grandeur to be realized.

Is there ever a day when someone can enjoy a pleasant evening without the shadow of impending and crushing responsibility looming? Perhaps that’s the whole point, that the sensation of joy is just an illusion, that we willfully forget the imposing danger constantly lurking in the shadows to appreciate the beauty (however superficial that it may be) of a garden.

Ad Astra (2019 movie) thoughts…

June 8, 2020

This won’t be a review; I have no time to go through a complete analysis of the movie.

Overall, the movie was “nice.” It was well-made. Yet it also feels very unsatisfying. The best part of the movie is simply the theme of the movie in depicting what life might be like one hundred years from now. It isn’t entirely out of the question that, in one hundred years, flights to the Moon might be semi-normal (but still fairly complicated and expensive) along with lunar crime (a bit implausible but… OK…).

There’s just this sense that, once you watched the movie, there’s not much there. It’s about a son going to confront his absent father and… That’s it. There’s no “there” there. The journey is, for the most part, the movie. The movie could have been made in the time period of the American Civil War, the Cold War, in contemporary times…

It’s a nice looking film but, in the end, it just didn’t go anywhere for me. I did like the little psychological speech that Brad Pitt always had to give himself, though. I thought that was a nice touch.

I am being tested…

June 7, 2020

Even when I am at rest, I am being tested. My patience is tested. I dare say that my sanity is being tested.

Age brings upon you more worry than can be readily dismissed, even if one gives the utmost effort at dismissing it. And this is a time of great worry for many reasons.

I am tired of anxiety but is it anxiety that is vexing me or is it something greater? I do not know. It is normal to be tired after working hard but I suffer from bouts of weakness that can not easily be explained away by physical exertion. Is it aging? Perhaps. Is it… something else? I do not know. Is it anxiety?

There are so many tasks at hand to accomplish. So little time.

Responsibility is a burden that should be wished onto no one. But it one that we are forced to take as we age.

Age is a test. Am I failing it? I do not know.