Monday, January 14, 2008

Read this Post if You Want to Live

Future/time-traveling movies fascinate Sadie (yes, you'll think less of her, but even Jean Claude Van Damme's TimeCop got her blood pumping - but who can argue against some dude in a banana hammock doing the splits across the counter to avoid a laser blast?). Part of this being that Sadie has lived many different lives (some in the future - I bet you wish I'd stop rambling and tell you those stories) and these type of stories remind her of her own life.

And what's the mother of all these type of stories? The Terminator series. Now, number three aside (Sadie refuses to accept it as cannon), this series rocks. It plays with the notion of violence and man's tendencies toward self-destruction. At a higher level it examines the different philosophies of Fate versus Destiny (and all the paradoxes that go with time travel).

So, Sadie was tickled pink (don't tell her I said that - it's embarrassing) when Fox announced The Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles (and I dare you to try and say "Sarah Connor Chronicles" three times fast - it's impossible!) - a Terminator TV series that picks up after number two, with Sarah and future messiah John Connor on the run from... well... everyone.

Here's Sadie's review of part one of the pilot:

Sadie loves mommy.

Okay, so, well, articulate - she may not be. Let me give this a shot for her...

The goods: Good production value. How do you follow up one of the most influential films as far as special effects go (T2)? Tough act to follow, even 17 years (can you believe it? Man, I feel old) after it came out. Well, they do a decent job. Makeup, effects, etc is up to par. The actors are all pretty good (the guy pulling an Arnold impersonation kinda sucks, but how do you imitate one of the most iconic characters ever?). Lena Headey is a good Sarah Connor. What she lacks in Physical prowess, she gives a hint at her emotional breadth (which is what we'll really need). Summer Glau as Cameron, the new terminator, seems pretty cool. This was one of my favorite parts of the new show. The upside to the premise is that it seems future John has sent people and others back in time, in (possibly) various places to leave tech and other things to help our heroes.

The bad: the plot seems like a rehash of T2 and, well... T3. It seems that though they sacrificed all to stop Skynet from being built, it only prolonged the building 14 years. In 2011 (I believe) Skynet will go online and judgement day will happen. So, they hop forward from 1999 to 2007 to see who will build it and stop them. Sounds like the others? Umm... yeah. For something that is supposed to RetCon T3, it sounds just like it (minus "I only take roles in bad movies" Kristina Lokken). So, so far, nothing new really. The action is cool, but it all seems familiar.

The good to the bad: the setup could be very cool, and we're only one, introductory episode in. The previews for part two of the pilot (tonight) look like they might add a new twist and dimension. It's got potential, boys and girls. Let's hope they take it. This definitely could be cool.

Were I to do it (this should be a new feature of the blog where I talk about how cool I would have made something (example: World War 2. Two words: Giant Snakes)), I would ditch the Skynet always is risen angle, it'll get old fast (it's been done, twice). Instead, do you ever wonder where the robots got their look from? Why not have the robots sent back to present, unaware of who they are and why they're there (no knowledge of judgement day or any machine/man war). They have core programming, but don't know anything else. As around, they run into live humans who resemble them (hint: get Governator to make an appearance in the second season, he should be out of office by then, I would think). So, we not have the imagesake of the killer robots, robots from an unknown future. Now our group has to put it all together to figure out what the future actually is and if they have to prevent anything at all.

Heck, I'd even go in that direction with the current "Judgement Day will happen" storyline. They encounter people who are the spittin' image of the killer robots. How do they fit in? Do they create Skynet? Etc. Much more interesting. So, we'll have to see how things pan out.

So, the Sadie grade on this new show: A Tentative B (opportunity to be really good, but could fall into banal repetitiveness rather quickly). Sadie will update after tonight's part two.

Sadie loves mommy!

No comments: