I Skyped in from the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center in beautiful New London, CT to dissect Terminator: Genisys (sic) — the underwhelming reboot of/fourth sequel to one of my favorite movies — with Pal-for-Life Glen Weldon. While I was taking in this movie in the “Luxury Seating” equipped Waterford 9 Cinemas, several of my fellow Critic Fellows, all ladies, were next door enjoying Magic Mike XXL. My proposal for a double feature was summarily rejected.
I haven’t seen the by-all-accounts underwhelming Terminator: Genisys yet, because since I’ve been busy being a “Critic Fellow” at the one-of-a-kind Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center in the wilds of Connecticut. But I did indulge in some quippy dramaturgy on the wandering-ronin Terminator franchise, for NPR.
I reviewed The Expendables 3 for NPR, because their audience demanded it.
This movie made me weirdly nostalgic for the days when martial artists or athletes like current MMA champ Ronda Rousey or retired MMA fighter Randy Couture might be deemed worthy of their own low-budget action flicks. No, I can’t explain, really.
The “mimetic pollyalloy” T-1000 in its transitional state.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day originally had a sunlit coda set on the National Mall in the no-longer-grim future of 2029 with Linda Hamilton in unconvincing old age makeup. Director James Cameron was right to cut it.
My essay about the movie’s villain that ran on The Dissolve last week originally had a rambling 500-word introduction. My editor, Keith Phipps, was right to cut it.
So here it is! Continue reading
I’ve very proud to have contributed the concluding essay of The Dissolve’s Movie of the Week coverage of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, long one of my sentimental favorites. My piece examines how cowriter-director James Cameron’s decision to disguise the film’s mysterious villain, the advanced T-1000 Terminator played (mostly) by Robert Patrick, as a uniformed Los Angeles police officer anticipated our growing discomfort with police in general and the L.A.P.D. in particular at the start of the 90s. It also explores the film’s ironic connection to the tragic beating of Rodney King by four L.A.P.D. officers near one of T2‘s key locations while the movie was in production. Read the essay here.
Both of Sabotage’s prior titles, Ten and Breacher, make more sense than the one it ended up with. Actually, the title is no more nonsensical than the convoluted plot of David Ayer’s gruesome, vulgar, throughly disreputable dirty-cop thriller. It’s only just barely an Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle, which is part of why it’s the most satisfying picture he’s made in 20 years. I reviewed it for The Village Voice. Continue reading
“If I am not me, who da hell am I? I mean, who da hell am I NOW?”
I am delighted to tell you that I am making my Village Voice debut this week with an essay about one Arnold Schwarzenegger, screen icon of my youth, governor of California for part of the time I lived there (I didn’t vote for him) and celebrity host of my narrowly acclaimed 2012 Christmas album.
It was a happy, potentially self-improving experience, being edited by the noted crapologist Alan Scherstuhl, whose cover story in last week’s Voice about current Spider-Man scribe Dan Slott is well worth your time, if you care at all about Spider-Man or comic books. Continue reading