Movies, music, cartoons, comics, food, and television. That's just the kind of stuff that keeps me up at night.

 

30 Day Challenge (Day 3)

Ar midnight I began to watch Akira on blu-ray. The movie is brillaint and one of my favorite films ever. After Akira I started to watch Total Recall, also on blu-ray, but as I was laying down I started to get very tired. Eventually I couldn’t stay up anymore and had to turn it off. (It was right before Hauser was going to meet Kuato, but before Cohaagen decides to shut off the air to the lower-class of Mars.)

When I awoke I decided to go inside of my house to which I saw my brother playing Mortal Kombat on the PS3, I got on tumblr and decided to play some Slayer. I was a bit down, being a big metalhead I was hoping to see the big 4 in concert. Anthrax, Megadeth, Slayer and Metallica. Alas, it was not to be, all I could do was post songs by each artist.

That wasn’t the worst thing to happen though, when my mother returned she had horrible news. My grandfather now has Alzheimer’s. It struck me hard, but I didn’t want to seem weak in front of my mother. As I started to wonder what that means to me, I began to ask myself, “Why do I always write about myself?” I think that perhaps I want to leave a bit of a legacy, even if I never become anyone important. If I begin to forget about my life…then what? Maybe it’s important not to think about it, not now.

Then I watched the newest episode of The Whitest Kids You Know. It was hilarious. After that I made some Chinese food while old episodes of Community were playing in the background. After a couple bowls of shrimp fried rice and pot stickers I went into to my room and read some of Hunter S. Thompson’s Hell’s Angels. Unfortunately I was laying down on my bed. Bad idea…

I awoke again in the twilight hours of the day. I finished Hell’s Angels and let my brother hang out in my room. I came in to watch That Metal Show. I was going to make my own list for top 5 Metal bassists. I gave up though, writing wasn’t going to work for me today. Not like this.

A lot of nothing happened and now I’m writing this entry. How fun.

My Review of Terminator (1984)

Let me tell you a little something about my love for the Terminator franchise. When I was young I saw the movie Terminator 2: Judgment Day and it blew my mind. The excitement, the action, the awesome bad guy, it was pretty much the greatest movie ever. However I didn’t watch the original film until a few years later. My mind was blown again, but for an entirely different reason.

"Wait a minute, the terminator is a bad guy?" I know that sounds stupid to any real fan of the Terminator series, but the years of me watching anything Terminator related were always delegated to what I saw in Terminator 2. Arnold Schwarzenegger was one of my idols and here he is, terrorizing Sarah Connor. I always wondered why she was so afraid of him when she first saw him in part two, but I always chalked it up to the fact that he was some strange bad ass hanging out with her son. I was about four or five at the time and even if I did ask any of my family members why Sarah Connor was so freaked at the sight of the Terminator, I probably was too hyper to remember. (I was also probably saying, "Hasta la vista, baby." non-stop, too.)

Terminator is about a warrior from the future, Kyle Reese, (Michael Biehn) coming to the present (1984) to save Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), the mother of the leader of the human resistance who defeated Skynet. Turns out in a last ditch effort to destroy the human race Skynet sent a robotic assassin (Played by Arnold Schwarzenegger) to kill Sarah Connor.

Most time travels movies can’t seem to keep the logic of how things are done under control. Some are so bad that you immediately see a plot hole within the first few minutes. However Terminator seems to bypass this problem by only giving the viewer the minimal amount of information about how Kyle Reese and the Terminator got back to 1984. This is a smart move on the part of James Cameron, because even if he gave us an hour explanation on the logistics of time travel there would still be a big uproar if anything sounded fishy. That’s just how nerds roll.

The acting from the three main characters is excellent. There is a lot that could have gone wrong had the wrong cast been chosen for this film, but it seems like everything went off without a hitch. O.J. Simpson was up for the role of the Terminator, but James Cameron felt he was too nice and likable for the role of a killing machine. (Hold your laughter for the end of the paragraph.) I wonder how O.J.’s life would have been like had he got the role? You know the media would use the Terminator as reference during the trial. They’re bottom feeders, all of them. (You may laugh now.)

Michael Biehn captures the role of a frustrated warrior from the future perfectly. When he has to explain himself to the cops or Sarah Connor you can tell that Biehn study the character enough to know that he knew Kyle Reese was not going to be believed. When he gets frustrated and finally lashes out at the police you can really feel it.

I wasn’t as impressed with Linda Hamilton’s role the first time I saw the movie, but when I saw it again as an adult I was able to make out how much she matures through the movie. She starts out as just a whiny club rat, but by the end of the film you can tell she is ready to make the transformation from waitress to the bad ass that you see in the sequel. Although I enjoy her more in the sequel, no one should miss out on her role in the original Terminator.

The stand out character of the film is none other than the Terminator itself. With only eighteen lines of dialogue in the whole film, it doesn’t seem like Arnold Schwarzenegger had to do much. But acting is more than just delivering lines Schwarzenegger pulls off the role of a robot assassin from the future without any problems. This may be due to his strong Austrian accent, but it works.

There is more horror in the original Terminator when compared its sequel. Terminator fills the viewer with a sense of dread. It’s hard to pick which Terminator is more frightening however, both the T-800 and T-1000 are relentless villains who stop at nothing to find and eliminate their target. However, possibly due to the lack of CGI, the T-800 looks uglier when damaged. His skin begins to rot and his face looks less than human. This may be because back in 1984 Schwarzenegger still looked like a human tank.

The music in the film is a bit of a mixed bag. On one hand the synth sounds bring you into the 1984 atmosphere and do remind you that the heroes of this movie are dealing with machines. However, there were times where it brought me out of the movie.

Terminator is a science fiction classic that shouldn’t be missed by anyone. The best part is that it still holds up even by today’s standards. This is the film that pushed both James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s careers into the stratosphere. If you’re a fan of either of those two then you already know how awesome this film is, if you haven’t seen this movie then I advise you see it.

This poster is so awesome that even I own it!

A Review of Total Recall (1990) While Under the Influence

It was all like some dream. Things weren’t like they usually were, different somehow. I was more aware of my surroundings and what was going on at that time. Things slowed down, but my brain continued to move at the same pace as it was earlier. With things just the way I wanted them I put in Paul Verhoeven’s masterpiece, Total Recall, into my Blu-ray player. Things would never be the same again.

Nothing like this actually happens in the movie, it’s just a bad ass poster.


Total Recall is based on the short story called We Can Remember It for You Wholesale by Philip K. Dick, the same mind who brought you Blade Runner, Minority Report, and A Scanner Darkly. If you’ve ever seen any of these movies then you know that your mind will be blown away by the end of the film. Imagine one day you realize that your entire life was created for you, that all the memories of the people you know and love were implanted into your brain. Suddenly you slowly begin to remember small snippets of your past and what you know could makes you the target of a major corporate conspiracy. There’s only one thing you can do, get your ass to Mars.

The first thing to reach my attention was Jerry Goldsmith’s score. Powerful and precise it seemed like it would be hard not to have the first song play on repeat in my head, however the entire soundtrack is one of the greatest sci-fi scores of all time. The synth is used sparsely alongside the orchestra giving you a sound that blends so well together that you almost feel like you’re in a dream. Like a wall of sound, I would sometimes feel as if I was transported right into the film. The chaos, danger and wonderment of Mars were constantly on my mind when I listened to the music, few films have been able to pull of such an invigorating sound.   

Although Arnold Schwarzenegger is not known as a great actor, this may be his best work in terms of acting. His acting still has that strong Austrian accent that we have grown to love/hate over the years, but for some reason it’s excusable in Total Recall. He gives his lines in the usual matter that he would for his movies along with his strong one-liners. (Total Recall may actually be the best place to find his best one-liners, it’s like a goldmine here.) However besides a few cracks in the film, he delivers them all perfectly. Well, perfect for a Schwarzenegger movie.

Oscar worthy


This movie is among one of the most violent big budget films ever. When it was first reviewed the MPAA gave it an X rating. With absolutely no sex in the film all its problems lay in the amount of violence and gore in the movie. (However there is a whorehouse in the movie and you do get to see a total amount of three boobs.) Although it now holds a rating of R it seems like all the violence is still in the film, I don’t see this as a bad thing since it’s one of the things that makes Total Recall stand out amongst other films in the genre. Still, I can see someone who is squeamish or who just didn’t like the idea of Arnold Schwarzenegger using some poor random guy as a human shield walking away from this film. It’s their loss, really.

When the film ended I couldn’t stop thinking of my experience. The music, action, the twists and turns; it was all a bit overwhelming. I had to walk outside because I needed to cool down, my head was still in a haze. As I sat outside I began to get lost in the sky, I was staring in awes of space. After a while everything went back to normal, time sped back up and I was right-minded once more. Still, I couldn’t help but wonder about the questionable ending to the film. I began to examine the entire film all over again, going back and forth and asking what was real and what was a fallacy. The trip had come to an end, it was a wild ride and I would be lying if I said that I didn’t enjoy it.

My Review of Predators (2010)

I remember when I first saw the film Predator, it was one of the most amazing films I had ever seen. Looking through the eyes of a predator, constantly stalking it’s victims as they run around confused and scared. It was one of those movies where you walked in a boy and you left a man. Predators was just one of those action junkie films, the best part though was that you saw these tough guys get the asses handed to them on a regular basis. Arnold barely gets out alive.

Arnold

"If it breathes, we can kill it."

It was one of the few movies that really kept your attention the entire time and it was literally the definition of “Action packed”. It was also some damn good film-making. Although Dutch (Schwarzenegger’s character) takes up most of the screen time, oddly enough, there are a lot of other cool characters that stand out. The film is relatively short, but you somehow get to care about all the supporting characters quickly. Predator just all around kicks ass.

But it seems for a long time that people just couldn’t make a Predator movie that lived up to the first one. The second movie, Predator 2, tried to branch away from the first one by doing an urban jungle feel and replacing the super bad asses with the average guy on the street. Yeah, it made you cheer on Danny Glover as an underdog, but c’mon! Predators travel to earth to kill bad asses all the time, was there suddenly a drought in bad asses? It was a good movie, but it wasn’t Predator good. (Although in Predator 2 we do see the alien skull in the back of the Predator’s ship.)

Back to Predators, I was originally put off by the film because when I finally realized that Robert Rodriguez was not directing the film, I felt that it was going to be thrown under the bus and just be another great franchise that died out. I’m glad I was wrong. Although not as great as the first, it does give you that same feeling of hunters stalking their prey the entire time. You can see both the fear and confusion that all the hunters would have if they were dropped on a planet. Yeah, they all pull off that macho bull-shit in the beginning, talking about how they work alone, but that goes away soon enough.

Character development is quite good, it takes longer than it did in the first one to get to better know the characters, but it’s paced well enough where it doesn’t become tiring or bothersome. Not all the characters are as interesting as the cast from the first Predator was, and I feel that a few that died earlier in the movie were more interesting than some of the characters who lived longer. For me Danny Trejo really stood out, but I don’t know if that was from general interest or because the stuff he was saying actually made sense to me since I’ve lived in the Mexican culture all my life. Still, his banter is fun in that old scary Mexican who could probably kill you if he wanted to kind of way.

Trejo

Ha ha! I understand that Mexican reference!

Although the acting was relatively good for an action movie, the one person who stood out as a weak performer was Alice Braga. My friend completely disagrees with me, but I feel like her acting doesn’t come across as natural dialogue. Instead it seems like she’s waiting for her counterpart on screen to finish talking before she gets ready to say something else, making it feel stiff and unnatural. This could be chalked up to some editing problems however because every time it bothered me it was at a different camera angle from the previous one. It only makes it more confusing for me because the editing seemed fine in the film, oh well, you can’t win ‘em all.

Overall I enjoyed the film, and if you’re a fan of the Predator films and cannon this should be a movie you watch immediately. If you’re a passing sci-fi/fantasy fan you should also give it a try, but don’t expect this to take the top spot in the Predator franchise. 

Superman vs. Predator

That spot still belongs to Superman vs. Predator