Run That By Me Again, Terminator 2?

01/18/2013

Quite some time ago, I blogged Run That By Me Again, Top Gun?, a simple observation on the lack of logic in a successful and otherwise entertaining movie I like. I could have made a series out of this phenomenon, but I chose to wait until the next time I re-watched a favorite and noticed a glaring lapse in logic I hadn’t noticed before.

That time is now.

chill

(Carolco)

Thanks to Netflix (thank you!), I had the opportunity to see Terminator 2: Judgement Day again. Let me be clear that this James Cameron film is one of my all time favorite examples of how an action movie should flow, complete with explosions, cars getting the shit knocked out of them by big rigs, bullets flying everywhere, and, signaturely, that THUMP sound when Mr. Terminator shoots and reloads his grenade launcher. But even a perfectly scripted adventure like this can have the writers wedge in a scene that doesn’t make any sense, when you think about it.

Case in point: The Cyberdyne  Building Sequence.

So we have a T-1000, who “knows what the T-100 (Arnold) knows about Miles Dyson”, but is not tipped off to the reports on his police radio about a situation at goddamn Cyberdyne until Sarah Connor’s name is mentioned. OK, fair is fair. But here’s where T2 writers went off the map… but it’s all for a cause.

 

T1000

 

The T-1000 shows up late for the party, but clearly observes that some shit has gone down, probably at the metallic hands of his adversary —  the lowly T-100 series douche who has been fucking this whole mission up since the arcade scene.

Hmmmm, better be careful here. I think I’ll creep into this door, here…

Door

And from there, I’ll awkwardly gun my awesome copcycle up some flights of stairs…

Stair

Because…. WHY?

As we all know, by the time this lethal machine has done all of this, Mr. Terminator and his wife and kid have escaped and are speeding away in a fucking police vehicle.

RUN THAT BY ME AGAIN?

Okay, I’m a huge fan of this story line because it presents a villain that is even more threatening than its predecessor, to the point of irony in some moments. But come on, T-1000, did you suffer from a logic chip malfunction?

You’re a fucking COP in a COP UNIFORM. Of course you could have walked right into the fray of their escape, and carried out your mission, stabbing the absolute shit out of anything that got in your way, and planting a bullet into your target’s gasmasked face. But, no. You chose the more difficult, slinky, obstinate path. I’d accuse you of being a Randian, but I know why you did it. It was so you could do this:

smash

…And land on that helicopter for a stunning stunt. Why the hell else would a terminator in police uniform sneak around, up a staircase on a freaking traffic cop’s motorcycle, unless he was really just down for some helicopter snatching. Oh, and about that helicopter…

Why is it even anywhere near the building after this happens?

explosion

(All images courtesy Carolco Films)

 

 


Crushin’ on Sarah Rush

05/20/2011

Photo: ABC

When the original Battlestar Galactica series captivated my attention in the late 1970s, my friends were all kinds of hot for Athena and Cassiopeia, while my Dad lost interest in the show after Serena (the lovely Jane Seymour) was killed off. But for me, infatuation was found in the fleeting glimpses of Flight Corporal Rigel’s announcements; I absolutely adored her then, and can honestly say I still have a crush on her. She comes across as someone who not only inspires the likes of Princess Leia on hairstyles, but someone who would actually have something to talk about on a date. Also: no competition from that player, Starbuck.

The actress who played her, Sarah Rush, was interviewed last year on Galactica.TV.

Can you talk about your audition for Battlestar Galactica?

Since I was under contract, they called in all the girls, all the contract players. I came in and was very serious about my craft. I still am. It’s not brain surgery, but I feel passionate about it. Though I now have more fun in doing it than I did back then.  When I was younger I was so very serious and committed. So I came in, I auditioned and there was Glen Larson and all these people and I had to say something like: “Red alert! Red Alert! 100 microns and closing, 99 microns and closing…”; something like that.

I sat in the middle on a chair with everybody around me and I used my fist as a microphone, said my lines and then looked at everybody. They all burst into laughter! I was so serious about it. We laughed and I got the job. It was wonderful and a blessing, even though my role was so small. I wished I could have been around more. You can imagine. I was just 22 years old and this show was so fantastic. I got to work with Terry Carter a lot and talked to him about acting. I don’t even know if he knows how important he was for me. He was so supportive. It was such a great cast and to me it was a blessing to be on the show.

Frakking adorable.


Luke Skywalker and Commander Adama Together

08/20/2010

Although I can find no information to support it, my theory is a young Edward James Olmos is the guy who picks up Mark Hammil’s character Kenny on his way to Las Vegas in the 1978 film, Corvette Summer. Imdb has a mysterious chararacter called “Uncredited” played by some actor named Rio, who doesn’t seem to exist, and Wikipedia/Olmos’ bio is silent on the subject. Sounds to me like this was before Olmos was serious about acting, and used a fake name. I don’t blame him for not taking credit, but I’m shocked I’m the first one to notice this obvious piece of acting history.

Be my guest, and watch the scene. Tell me this isn’t a young Adama giving a young Skywalker a ride.

(YouTube Link)

The fact that Gandalf/Ian McKellan makes an appearance in this movie as a pornographer makes this claim even more plausible.

UPDATE: Well, after further investigation, the truth is revealed. It sure looks like a young EJO, but according to the Unofficial Corvette Summer site, that’s Isaac Ruiz Jr., who had a part on Chico and the Man.


In the Movies: Elevator Shafts

08/14/2010

Shane Gorski under Creative Commons

Settings in movies tend to be places the average person doesn’t spend a lot of time in, be it a beach in the South of France, or in outer space, or elsewhere. The exotic nature of a particular scene stimulates the imagination, and pulls the viewer in deeper. Our interest perks up when the characters on-screen find themselves in strange locales; and one of these locales is the dreaded, beloved, and mysterious elevator shaft.

Found almost exclusively in the action/thriller genres, scenes involving elevator shafts take us into the forbidden area above and below the cars we generally ride in when traveling tall buildings. While it’s true that the concept of a mechanical lift has been around for centuries, modern elevators (and the dangers associated with them) sparked the imaginations of filmmakers since the days of black and white. And although the typical elevator shaft is not a grandiose space that would allow for such dramatics as Hollywood would like us to think, many timeless classics have portrayed them as such.  Let’s take a look at some.

Death by Shaft

In John Farrow’s classic, The Big Clock, Charles Laughton’s character Janoth plummets to his death when he steps into an open shaft; this is after killing his accuser, so it’s justified. Things don’t end up so satisfying for Emilio Estevez’s character in Mission Impossible‘s opening sequence, as the car he’s hiding atop takes him to the top of the shaft, where he meets a steely, gruesome end.


There’s even a horror movie starring Naomi Watts about a killer, evil, possessed elevator called The Shaft: YouTube Link

Surviving the Danger

20th Century Fox

Detective John McClane is pretty well-versed in dispatching the villains he encounters via elevator shaft. Whether he’s dropping C-4 down the Nakatomi Plaza’s well, or battling a henchwoman in a power station’s, he definitely “dies hard” in a hostile environment.

20th Century Fox

The opening of Speed features a breathtaking rescue effort as a group of office workers are held hostage in an elevator car, Dennis Hopper’s madman ready to blow the cables at a moment’s notice. Enter Keanu Reeves and Jeff Daniels, who go into the shaft above the imperiled car and save lives in a most excellent fashion. Director Jan de Bont was the cinematographer for Die Hard, and the influence shows in this taut sequence.

Artisan Home Entertainment

Narrow escapes are plentiful in each movie about an unstoppable cyborg trying to kill the Connors, and Terminator 2: Judgement Day includes many, including this scene where the T-1000, having just missed the elevator going down with his prey aboard, deftly opens the doors and jumps down onto the top of the car. Multiple stabbing attempts later, he oozes into the elevator after failing to kill his quarry… again.

Other examples of surviving the danger include Backdraft, and I assume Salt. In the former, a firefighter is rescued from a burning shaft, and the latter ostensibly has Angelina Jolie eluding her pursuers in some acrobatic way. What can I say, I haven’t seen it.

Use it or Lose it

Some films have a scene in an elevator shaft for utilitarian purposes. There’s not a lot of danger, and nobody dies. The characters just need to use the shaft in order to do something.

Universal

In Sneakers, River Phoenix’s Carl uses the shaft to navigate into a service duct, where he can manipulate an office’s security measures. He spends about five seconds in the shaft, but there it is.

And finally, a scene involving an elevator shaft unlike any other.

Warner Bros.

Without giving too much away, this scene from Inception is hands down the most creative use of an elevator shaft I can think of. Joseph Gordon-Leavitt’s Arthur puts the shaft, the car, and the cables into a cinematic spin that completely makes sense… once you’ve seen the movie a couple of times. :)

Okay, here’s where I turn it over to you, reader. What did I miss? Sound off in the comments.


Hilarious Cut Scene From Terminator 3

08/13/2010

(YouTube Link)

If there’s one thing T3 could have used, it’s more self-deprecating humor, but I guess I can see why they opted out of this scene.

via Geeks Are Sexy


Jenette Goldstein

08/09/2010

20th Century Fox

When James Cameron put out a casting call for American actors in London for his production of Aliens, he got a jewel of an actress by the name of Jenette Goldstein, who jokingly auditioned for the part of tough Latino Marine, Vasquez. She not only stole many scenes in the sci-fi epic, but Cameron’s heart as well, ending up in two more of his gargantuan box office smashes, although audiences may have not recognized her. She’s gained a reputation as being a chameleon.

Everyone remembers her roles, especially Vasquez. Perhaps the funniest moment in Aliens is when Bill Paxton’s Hudson asks her (as she’s flexing some mad pull-ups) if she’s ever been mistaken for a man. Without missing a beat, she retorts, “No, have you?” That was her breakout performance, after studying acting in Los Angeles and competing alongside peers like Val Kilmer and Kevin Spacey.

Artisan Home Entertainment

She then went on to an eclectic film career, playing John Connor’s foster mother in Terminator 2: Judgement Day. “Wolfie’s fine, honey. Where are you?” Also of note is her role in Star Trek: Generations, and an overlooked addition to my post about 3 actors in 2 movies. Jenette, Bill Paxton, and Lance Henriksen were all in both Aliens and Near Dark.

Paramount

The role of the Irish mother in Cameron’s Titanic is probably the most chameleon-like of her performances. A master of dialects and physically altering her persona, Goldstein really shines in this small, yet powerful role. Personally, I was totally unaware that the actress playing this character was the same woman who wielded one of the biggest guns in cinematic history while screaming “Let’s rock!” and killing voracious aliens.

She also went to the same high school as some of our favorite stars, like Angelina Jolie, Nicholas Cage, and Richard Dreyfuss. I think it’s telling that in the credits for Aliens, her character is actually named Jenette Vasquez. Hats (and bandannas) off, Ms. Goldstein; we really really like you!

IMDB


Han Cuffs

08/06/2010

Thanks to Jill Harness for bringing this to my attention. Harrison Ford was brought onstage (in cuffs) at SDCC for a moment, and he had this to say about his stardom: “I just wanted to make a living as an actor.”

That’s what we all want, Harry. Just be glad we all don’t just freeze you in some crappy Earth-version of carbonite. And tell Russell Johnson we said hello.

PS, I Love You. (I know you know).


Before and After

08/05/2010

I injured myself today playing disc golf. I should know better than to skip the prolonged stretching, and then try for a reverse roller on the 4th tee. Ice packs all day, and it seems to be getting better now. Whew.


Yep, That’s How I Imagine Nessus

07/19/2010

Having the world of art at your fingertips is awesome, and it’s such a bonus to be enjoyed when it’s useful. I’ve recently, finally gotten around to reading Larry Niven’s Ringworld. I was wondering if my visions of the characters described were close to what others had depicted, so I searched.

Nessus looks nice here in this illustration by John C. Atkeson & Mark Woolrich, and it’s pretty much what I got from Niven’s descriptions. The kzin, Speaker to Animals was close, but I pictured him looking more like Hoverball Cat.


Fritz Lang’s Fully Restored Metropolis

07/15/2010

I’m still buzzing from the cinematic experience I had last night. As promised, I caught one of the last screenings here of the 2010 restored version of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. There is so many layers of awesome to digest, and it’s about damn time I feasted on this, the greatest silent film in history.

First of all, seeing this in Portland’s Cinema 21 was a huge factor in the enjoyment. The theater is a modernized version of an old town cinema, with one glorious screen (cloaked and bathed in red before the movies start), friendly mature staff, and relatively cheap refreshments.

Secondly, the film is a recent restoration including 25 minutes of footage from the original film thought to be lost. It was damaged, but digital technology improved it for inclusion. The result is pristine shots interspersed with grainy scenes, but it’s a minor, understandable annoyance. One whole action scene is part of that footage, so that must be exciting for those who’ve seen the chopped up version.

For 2.5 hours, I was transfixed, my eyes agog at the brilliant cinematography, my ears delighting in Gottfried Huppert’s sweeping score, and my mind slipping into this imaginative, allegorical story with ease. I’m thrilled to have this one in my “Seen” pile, and can’t wait to see it again.

Check out the Official Website for more info and photos like the one above (Kino International)


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.