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Films - John C. Kirk — LiveJournal

Aug. 2nd, 2003

02:22 am - Films

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Well, today hasn't been amazingly productive, but it's been quite fun, as I've spent most of it watching films. I re-watched "The Terminator" and "Terminator 2" on DVD earlier, then went off to the cinema in the evening to watch "Hulk" and "Terminator 3". In brief, they were both good films. However, I've found lately that I'm more interested in plot/characterisation than I am in fight scenes. I still like action, but I prefer rescues. It's also good if I can actually see what's going on.

Initially, I had major reservations about the CGI effects in "Hulk", but I got used to them as the film went on. I did spend the first half of the film thinking "I liked the novelisation better", but I think the film had the edge towards the end. In "Terminator 3", I thought it was a good plot, that built strongly on the events of the first two films. And (for once) I can say that the female nudity wasn't gratuitous, given that the three male actors portraying time-travellers took their turn in the previous films. However, there was a shift towards comedy here, and while I found those scenes funny, I'm not sure that this is the best direction to take.

I didn't wait until the credits were over in either film, so I don't know whether there were any "Easter eggs" afterwards. It would be nice if they'd indicate this at the start of the credits... However, T-3 does include a trailer for the next Matrix film, for anyone who missed it at the end of the last one.

The main problem I had with "Hulk" were the fight scenes at night - early on against the dogs, and later with the Absorbing Man. The combination of darkness and fast movement meant that I couldn't really see what was going on, so it was rather dull - I just thought "Yes, they're fighting, tell me when they've finished". By contrast, the scene with the tanks/helicopters in the desert was much better.

In "Terminator 3", it was an interesting idea to look at the implications of the T-101 (Arnie) having a metal body, i.e. that it's very heavy. That's not something they addressed in previous films, but it makes sense. Unfortunately, it does cause problems when you see him travelling at high speed on a motorbike. On my old bike (125cc), I could never get up to 70mph, because of my weight (currently about 95kg). I can easily on my current bike (500cc). But I'd assume that if you double the weight, that's equivalent to halving the engine capacity, and so on.

It was interesting to actually see a Terminator achieve its goals for a change - the T-X was quite efficient at dealing with the first few lieutenants she encountered. And the new abilities were impressive. As soon as they mentioned the ability to control other robots, I immediately thought "Does that include the T-101?", so I saw that plot twist coming. However, after the reboot, I was wondering whether that would erase all modifications (i.e. Kate's as well as the T-X's), putting the T-101 back in it's original "Kill John Connor" configuration. So, we would then have a situation like Angel going bad in "Buffy", where the T-101 turns out to be the main villain of the film. Particularly after John's comment that Kate reminds him of his mother, this would give him a major Oedipus complex (i.e. marrying someone who reminds him of his mother, and killing someone who is identical to his father-figure). But that turned out not to be the case, which is fair enough.

Speaking of Sarah Conner, while it was a shame not to see her, I think it was necessary - her narration at the start of "Terminator 2" says that two Terminators were sent back, so killing her off before the third one arrives satisfies continuity.

When "Terminator 2" came out, I saw an interview with either Arnie or James Cameron (I don't recall which) saying that the first film was crying out for a sequel. That surprised me, since I thought that the first film had ended quite conclusively. Similarly, I was wondering how they'd do T-3, after T-2. Well, it was a bit of a downbeat ending, but it has actually resulted in a shift in the status quo. It would get a bit futile if every film ended with "That's this Terminator destroyed, now we just have to wait for the next one to turn up". And they've definitely laid groundwork for "Terminator 4". Although I don't think that would actually need to have the same structure as the first three films (one assassin, one protector) - they could take a wider scope, looking at how the resistance is formed. Maybe even show the "other side" of the first three films, when robots are sent back in time. I liked the idea that this film is now effectively back on course for how events would have turned out without future intervention. I've seen a couple of comics that were set after T-2, which involved more future technology being responsible for Skynet, which is something of a paradox, whereas this film said "We screwed up all by ourselves". Actually, considering that these films have a lot of violence in them, they all seem to be quite anti-war (T-2 compared Dyson to the people who created the nuclear bomb).

One other minor quibble - why do the skinless robots have teeth? It seems like they'd only be useful as part of the organic disguise...