The Unending Struggle

Why is that McG fellow crying?My latest MSN DVD column finds “Terminator Salvation” and “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian” are still locked in their head-to-head battle for your entertainment dollars, just as they were on the weekend of May 22nd.

The problem is, neither film is all that good — though the tech side of “Salvation” is beyond reproach, and the lowered expectations of the video realm will probably lead a lot of people to think it was unfairly savaged theatrically.

But before you weigh in with angry comments to that effect, try to remember how entertaining the previous “Terminator” movies are — and I’m being generous and including “Rise of the Machines” in there. It had its moments.

“Terminator Salvation”, on the other hand, is about as much fun as watching Ben Stiller mug his way through another effects comedy. Maybe they do belong together, at that.

3 thoughts on “The Unending Struggle”

  1. Here’s the thing about Terminator Salvation. No, it isn’t anywhere near on the same level as the first two movies. Yes, it’s pretty generic and derivative. True, Christian Bale’s performance is an annoying one-note growl the entire movie.

    However, compared to most of this summer’s big blockbusters (Transformers, G.I. Joe, Wolverine, etc.), Salvation at least *tries* not to be a complete piece of crap. It isn’t insultingly stupid, the way those other are. There are no robot testicles or John Turturro in a thong, no icebergs that sink in water, the main character doesn’t look skyward and howl “NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!” to the heavens over and over and over and over again, and then 35 more times for good measure.

    The movie has a coherent plot and makes an attempt to work in some intellectual/philosophical themes (as cliched as they may be at this point) about the line dividing man from machine.

    So, I think it’s fair to criticize the movie for its faults. But no, I don’t think it deserved the savaging it’s gotten. I could watch Terminator Salvation again. I felt parts of myself dying inside while watching G.I. Joe the first time.

  2. But without Terminator Salvation, we all would have missed the musical remix of Christian Bale’s hissy fit.

    And regarding Josh’s comment – “icebergs that sink in water” !?!? Sometimes I’m glad I don’t make it out to too many movies.

  3. Not only does an iceberg sink in water, the entire climax of the movie hinges on it. Apparently, none of the 6 screenwriters or 135 VFX artists were aware that ice floats.

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