Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Sarah Connor: The Demon Hand

One episode to go. How do I feel about this? Tell 'em, Greg.

HIGH DEF! Whoooooo! Hey, was this the first week that we didn't see the high school jumper from "Gnothi Seauton"? I'm not sure why they hammered that in week after week after week if they're not going anywhere with it.

Ha! Just heard about a post from the show's creator. There was some question as to how Cromartie's head could travel through time with Sarah & Co. Well, the idea was that it was still covered in living tissue but that it was on fire. So it could time-travel, but it would very quickly be much more Terminator-y. BUT - you can't show a decapitated head with burning bubbling flesh flying through the air on TV (even now). So it looks like just a metal skull that travels through time. And we know from the movies that that's impossible. So just go with it.

Still awesome. These are kind of tough to review / recap the morning after. Things get twisty. So I'll just hit what sticks with me.

Silberman. Yeeeaahhhhhh! I wish they had cast someone a little more reminiscent of Earl Boen from the movies. (Hrmm. I didn't remember him from T3 at all...) I mean going from dark haired and bald to blond with a magnificent head of hair. Also, Silberman was SO much dweebier in the movies. BUT we got Bruce Davison. And he was terrific as always. And it's always nice to see that these people will figure things out when they see a T-1000 going all morphy on them. Enough that he got a nice cabin away from the coming war. I'm not sure I buy Ellison putting him in a rubber room. Sure, he's totally unhinged. Maybe I do buy it. I kind of would have liked Sarah to greet him by saying "How's the knee?"

But what does Ellison do next? She Who Is My Wife was a little surprised when I said Ellison was my favorite character. But he is. I like watching where they're going with him. And he's a Christian that actually attends some kind of service at an organized place of worship (and not just Sunday service either, by the looks of it) and he's not crazy. Does anyone really read King James anymore? But he was my favorite before we found all that out.

"She always did love to dance." Writers room: "Hey, how do we get Summer to be able to do ballet on this show?" Still interesting to watch where this character goes. She's really got her own agenda. I'm not sure if Cameron didn't tell Sarah that the Russian fellow was dead because she's smart enough to know what Sarah's reaction would be or if it's because she really wasn't aware. Not her mission. Brrr.

Cool subplot that the Russian (not to be confused with the Haitian) sabotaged The Turk for the chess match. Wonder how this went down before everyone started hopping timelines? It's interesting that Kyle says in The Terminator that he is from "one possible future" even though none of his or the T-800's actions change anything (and actually set the war in motion). Then in T2 they WERE able to change time. But the groundwork had been laid that time could be changed and that these future timelines might still exist.

Cameron and Derek have set up a nice adversarial relationship. I'm looking forward to more. You know, this is often movie-speak for falling in love. Hee.

John's hitting on all cylinders. For some reason I'd like to see more high school. (Aren't there a couple subplots festering there? Didn't John almost get a best friend / side-kick? Weird girl being locked up by her Dad?) But he's hitting the perfect balance between needy kid and future leader. He wants Derek to stay so bad it's almost subtitled. Wow, a show that actually says boys need fathers. Even boys with superheroes for mothers. The callback to his foster folks in T2 was good. This show is great when it echoes the movies and it's great when it goes out on it's own.

Derek's kind of a slippery character. Like that. It hadn't occurred to me that he flat out lied to Sarah about killing Andrew Goode. (Unless he doesn't know he did it?) But he didn't take The Turk. Which is still out there. And of course we're creating paradoxes like weeds. I liked the scene with Derek and the grass. This really should be paradise for our future warriors. He seems a little too calm about hanging around with young John. And apparently not everyone in the future holds Sarah in such high esteem. Or John.

Oh, and did the pilot say that Cameron is from 2027? So is anyone from 2029 anymore? Curious change...

So, nobody knows that Kyle Reese is John's father. But they've got how many hours of videotape of Sarah talking about it? Hrrmmmmm.

Sarah. This is the first time I've really compared Leana Heady with Linda Hamilton. Heady plays everything so cool. She's so resigned most of the time. Her life has sucked since 1984 and it won't get better anytime soon. But now she's re-playing the scenes that Hamilton did in T2. And I'm not sure she played it raving enough. But she got to say "It's what they do! It's all they do!" Ahhhh.

This is an interesting twist for a time travel story. Usually it's all about "You can't know because otherwise the future could change." But their whole mission is to change the future. Fun.

So The Hand is gone. But Cameron still has metal and a chip. Hrm.

Nothing with the FBI Terminator this week. Probably saving it for THE BIG FINALE. Maybe they'll just skip over that until next season. That might be neat. But maybe not. So I'm sure THE BIG (2 hour) FINALE will be quite the ride.

BTW, we watched last weeks ep on Fox's streaming broadcast. Bear McReary wrote end title music! It's cool. Still not Brad Fiedel's theme (how much does he get paid for the ten drum beats that they use every week?) but still nifty. Got to figure out how to capture that.

Next week: Huge cliff hanger so Fox can cancel us! Think positive!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Dodged Bullet!

Wow, did I get lucky! I saw the trailer for Jumper and thought it looked moderately cool. Then I read the reviews and found out it wasn't. All the while not knowing it was a Hayden Christensen flick! Arrrrgh!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Tigh in '08

Ok, seems I'm not the first to think of this. Good, I don't have to put it together then.

Terminator: Catchin up, part III

Dungeons & Dragons - Feb 18

Hey, it's the third Sarah review that I haven't published. If you're reading this, I've corrected the problem.

Still good. Maybe even great.

But they hit one really false note for me: They showed Kyle Reese. I know all of these actors are making the character's their own. For the most part that's terrific. But Kyle just seemed so peppy. It underlined a big difference between the people from the future in the movie and the ones in the show. In the movie these people were living at the end of the world. Kyle was so detached as to be off-putting. He had never lived in a world like today. He grew up in the "ashes of the nuclear fire". In the show they're just a bunch of guys in a bad situation. They don't seem "on the way out". They also don't seem all that taken aback by 2007. Heck, you'd think these guys would be amazed by running water! (I guess there's a deleted scene from Terminator where Kyle just about loses it looking at a park with trees.) Again, time travel is a lot less painful than in the films. It was cool that they had a fake looking Terminator. I'm sure that interrogation thing will come back. And they got all of the stuff right about Kyle's unit. I'm disappointed that nobody said they were "under Perry". But I'm a nerd.

I think they nicely dodged a bullet by not showing "future John".

BTW, the people are NOT the same as the machines. They're not, so don't even go there.

It was a nice tie-in with the movie though that it was Derek getting captured that tipped off Skynet to where there was a shelter which was attacked in the movie (when Sarah's photo was burned). They're changing timelines around again (although maybe this is the "post-T2" timeline, so it's different). In The Terminator Kyle traveled back from 2029. Now it's 2027. And the war is going on for two years afterwards when Derek goes back. So much for the "final battle".

Also, no Ellison this week. (You know, I still laugh that the Terminator is named Cameron, but only just got that the FBI fella is named Ellison.) But I've decided I like Charlie (Sarah's ex) a lot. I hope they do interesting things with him. The "very scary robot" conversation was terrific.

This plot is reaching Angel levels of complexity. So now Cameron has extra metal and a chip. And "sometimes they go bad". THAT will all go well.

Random thought, I wonder if they'll ever mention that a Terminator killed John's grandmother? I like that the identity of Kyle as John's father is such a closely guarded secret that even Cameron doesn't know it. That might be good plot coming up there.

Sarah's repeating Kyle's litany about the machines was great. (Nerd.) And they will never, ever stop. And of course "there's a storm coming". Still think Sarah's awesome. Still like Cameron (and they're certainly keeping her from being boring). And I'm really digging John. So I call that a win.

Getting a nagging feeling they're going to get canceled though. It's Fox.

Terminator: Catchin up, part II

Queen's Gambit - Feb 4

Just. Loving. This. Show.

They're starting to pick up on some of the threads they've left dangling. Sarah's ex is a good example. (Good grief, how many father-figures is John going to have? Kyle. Arnold. The Ex. The new Reese.) And the FBI story keeps building and building. More Terminator parts lying around. Isn't that how this whole thing started?

I'm curious who and for what the South Americans that Sarah ran with were fighting. But it's good backstory for John. John gets a little more interesting every week. That's how it ought to be.

Kyle's brother showing up rocked my world. (I'm a geek. I'm not ashamed of that.) Does he not know what happened to his brother? Was the brother sent back first? Arnold was a T-800. But he's been chased by a T-888. Was Kyle completely lied to? Was Skynet (and Connor) sending people back in time before the end of the war and then an old T-800 was all it had left? I love the story, but it does seem to be taking a little bit away from the "final battle" of The Terminator. Maybe we'll learn more.

My only gripe is that the Terminators seem a little too easy to dismember. Arnold held together through some pretty severe stuff. But then, he also broke a little easier (he had to rip open his arm for a fix-up and lost his eye after one little tussle with Kyle). Oh, the "org" part of "cyborg" also died after a car crash and was a rotting corpse hung over his endo-skeleton. That was neat. And I've always thought that they were too hard to get away from. You never see them have to "track" anybody. Although it's very apparent that somebody forgot to set Arnold's sneaky bit to 1. These T's don't have that problem. Also, Cameron was really good at being a teenager when she met John.

Next week: THE FUTURE.

Terminator - catchin up part I

Yikes, got a lot to catch up on. So here we go. (Don't I have three more Fireflies to do?)

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
Heavy Metal (Feb 4)

I continue to enjoy the heck out of The Sarah Connor Chronicles. One thing I'm really loving that the movies never got to do (because they were movies) is the time they can take. We're told that the Terminators are these inexorable machines that will NEVER EVER STOP. But we've never seen them have to go after something for more than a few days. We can finally see one of these things biding it's time waiting for it's prey to make a mistake.

My favorite thing continues to be the interplay between Sarah and Cameron. (Heh, that ended in divorce at the 1998 Oscars, didn't it? Oh, wrong Sarah and Cameron.) It's like Spock and McCoy with BIG GUNS and no Kirk to moderate. Maybe John will grow into that role. I think this might be an intentional gamble, holding John back like this, making him less interesting than he might be. I really hope it pays off. I think it just might. It will be really cool if they really manage to make John the leader of the gang.

My second favorite plot is the FBI. I don't know why. But it's a needed element to mix up the kinds of stories you can tell with Sarah's gang. I like that he's really not stupid. Smart people are a welcome addition to any show. Especially smart cops.

Nice touch not showing the fight between security guy and Cameron, just showing his reaction afterwards. If she can't be River then this part is just fine for Summer Glau.

Still wondering what they intend to do if the show runs for four seasons (the new Judgement Day). I'm not sure Smallville ever thought that far ahead.

Of course we continue to see that Kyle Reese couldn't have been more wrong when he said that "no one else gets through". There's armies from both sides flying through time on this show!

Not sure I really followed the "hijacking supplies for Skynet" plot. Maybe Skynet had the time displacement equipment set up early enough that it didn't see the resistance as a threat and was more concerned with shopping runs. I am curious what Cameron will do with her stash. Also, about trapping the terminator inside the bomb shelter: It's a terminator. Won't it be trying to get out? Even if it takes years?

I watched The Terminator this weekend. I had the year of the end of the war totally screwed up. 2029. Not 2017. So Kyle will be a baby or a little kid, if he's even born yet. And in the original timeline he would have been born well after Judgement day. Oh, and we have a date for when Terminator happens. May 12th, 1984. So John has to be born in early 1985. So there's no way he can be 15 in 1999. Close. I guess Sarah was rounding off.

BTW, Linda Hamilton was 27 when she made Terminator (born 1956 - same as Michael Biehn - so I guess Reese would be 6 or 7 in 2008). So she was 43 in 1999. Lena Headey is 34. Dialing back the seven years they skipped, she would have been born in 1965. So her Sarah would be 19 in 1984. Just in case y'all were wondering. While we're at it, Thomas Dekker is 20 and Summer Glau is 26. So neither of them have seen 15 for a while. (Not that it matters, but The Governator is 60.)

Oh! Here we go - from Wikipedia (so it MUST be true!):

According to the script for The Terminator (1984)—available on the Special Edition DVD—Sarah was 19 years old. The film was set from May 12th through May 14th of 1984, placing her birth date between May 11, 1964 and May 15, 1965.

In Terminator 2 Sarah's psychologist states that she is 29. The film itself shows on screen that it takes place when John (born 1985-02-28) is age 10 (between 1995-02-28 and 1996-02-27). This places Sarah's birth date between 1965-03-01 and 1967-02-27, making her 17, 18, or 19 during The Terminator.

The alternate ending for Terminator 2 (1991)—available on the Ultimate Edition DVD—shows Sarah alive and well on August 29, 2029. She is by then a grandmother (and John is a Senator) in a world where Skynet was never able to start its war on humanity.

The tombstone shown in Terminator 3 (2003) reads 1959–1997. The birth year would make her 24 or 25 during The Terminator. Her death was described as from leukemia sometime after the original "Judgment Day" (August 29, 1997).

The "Pilot" episode of The Sarah Connor Chronicles, picks up Sarah and John on the run in 1999. Her FBI file lists her age as 33 on August 24, 1999, placing her birth date between August 25, 1965 and August 24, 1966. This would make her 17 or 18 during The Terminator.

In the "Gnothi Seauton" episode, Cameron Phillips mentions that Sarah would have died from cancer, had they not jumped forward in time. Cameron also mentions that John Connor sent Cameron back in time to help leap over Sarah's death. At the end of the episode Sarah is at a doctor's office, where her forged drivers license shows her birthday as February 4th.

Still might be my favorite show. (House is a close second.)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

If he's stayed a TransAm, we wouldn't have this problem!

This is too funny. (And when did Val Kilmer start looking fat?)

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Superbowl Declaration

I missed this Sunday. I wish I hadn't. I'm glad I see it now.