Oh, Terminator: Salvation.I was really rooting for this movie to succeed. Despite the Anti-talented McG being at the helm

"Right, right...I think I see what youre going for. So guys I was thinking, instead of making a good Terminator film, what if we just put a monkeys swollen a** on the screen?"

I really wanted the Terminator to “be back”. Unfortunately all the good casting and money in the world can’t stop a poorly paced and badly written movie. I didn’t like Terminator 3:Rise of the Machines, either. (As a matter of fact, I don’t think I’ve ever liked anything with Rise in the subtitle. I’m talking to you especially un-Fantastic Four.)

Pictured: The good Fantastic Four movie. Note that Tim Story had nothing to do with it. And Fox is falls into the epic levels of stupid for assuming that someone that thinks Queen Latifah can carry a movie could somehow create a watchable FF film.

I loved the first two installments. (I didn’t hate the TV series, either.) The first two films are, and I am not overstating, some of the best science fiction ever committed to film.

"My d**k sprays gold and diamonds. That I then trade at the Cash for Gold.""

I really enjoy the first film and when you look at the budget relative to what you get on the screen, James Cameron made every dollar his b*tch. The second, and my favorite, in the series is still a sight to behold even to this day. When it was filmed it had what, at that point, was the largest budget for a feature film ever. That was later supplanted by True Lies and later Titanic (all of which are James Cameron films, and Avatar is allegedly around 300 million. Dude likes to spend some money.)

And allegedly, make it rain.

No. I mean he actually makes it rain.

This, along with RoboCop are two of the first R rates film I really remember watching. The moment you get to see the liquid metal (or poly-memetic alloy) Terminator walk out of the semi wreckage looks fantastic almost 20 years later. (I can still remember just staring at the movie screen in awe.) There are too many brilliant scenes within this movie for me to list in the limited space I have here, so I’ll just say the entire movie is a highlight reel. I COMMAND YOU TO WATCH THIS. Seriously if you haven’t GO and watch it now. (After you finish this of course.) The third installment plays like a bad high school production of the second film except with a massive budget. The script is kind of asinine, though at least some of the direction seems like someone was awake while filming. Reportedly Arnold said that he wanted nothing to do with the movie unless James Cameron was involved. Then they offered him 30 million. Understandably, he then took the role. The movie didn’t tank but didn’t inspire an immediate sequel either. Cut to the past summer’s Terminator. I don’t understand who would give McG any money to shoot anything after realizing that he shot the cinematic equivalent of a head trauma/rectal warts sandwich that is Charlie’s Angels and Charlie’s Angels II: The Suckening (or something like that. ) I would rather pleasure myself with a cheese grater.

I was going to put a picture of an exotic dancer here named cheese grater, but there are apparently no pictures of women that arent topless on the internet. Wait, why didnt I put that picture here?

Christian Bale seemed like an inspired choice as John Connor and Sam Worthington’s performance as the Terminator sleeper agent was a more than solid effort.(I did smile at Arnold’s “cameo” in the film.) Unfortunately everything else about the movie is kind of run of the mill, predictable or just uninteresting. For the reported 200 million that they paid for this (making it the most expensive independent film ever made, Warner Bros only acting as a distributor.) I would have asked them to try harder.

Still image from the DVD documentary, Making Terminator Salvation

If this is what we would have been putting up with for the planned trilogy, I’m glad they seem to have put this dog down. I think my nostalgia for the original films may have made me a harsher critic, but if you’re going to f^ck with my childhood, then you better wear a cup. At this point, I don’t care if there is another Terminator film ever…that is unless James Cameron decides he should write and direct it. And at that point I will be first in line.


James Cameron recently announced that the Avatar sequel will take place underwater.  Seriously, one day the man will finally gain control of water, and drown us all.

In other unnecessary sequel news, It was recently made known that the G.I. Joe follow-up will lose it’s original director (Van Helsing’s Stephen Sommers) and most of the original cast besides Duke and the ninjas. Let me get this straight, No Wayans, No Sommers and it won’t be anything like the original with undoubtedly more ninjas. I don’t know about you, but I’m more excited already.

Geek Chic: Sanctum

February 16, 2011


I don’t have any evidence of this, but I think at some point in his career, James Cameron must have bought the rights to water or something.  Robert Zemeckis has a thing for trains (Used Cars, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Back to the Future Part III and Polar Express) I think James thinks about 3 things. Future Robots, Aliens and Water. When he’s at any sort of meeting, I think those are just his suggestions. People used to be able to ignore him, but now that he’s a billionaire, they just have to listen. I don’t know what water did to him, but he is determined to make us scared of it. It will kill you, plain and simple. Just like the aliens will and the robots from the future will. I don’t know where he met the Aliens or the robots from the future either. He softened on the Aliens (Avatar) and the robots (Terminator 2: Judgement Day) so they have made amends with him somehow.  Whatever it started out as (hydrophobia) the water is about to be scared of him. This guy has enough money to replace all the clear stuff with Hawaiian Fruit Punch. Every time this guy makes a movie, it’s the new most expensive movie ever made. I’m sure when he heard that Superman Returns was the new most expensive movie ever, he was more than a little P.O.’d. I suspect that’s why he came out of retirement. Then he got high one night watching Dances with Wolves with the color contrast off and boom…the 300 million dollar Avatar is born. But now that he’s gotten that out of his way, he can go back to scaring the piss out of people about water. The Abyss, Titanic and now he executive produces Sanctum. Do not set this man off. He will make a movie about you killing people.




"Stand back. I think it has a gun."

I am one of the few supporters of Superman Returns. It isn’t a flawless film. I’ll admit that. Neither was the original X-Men. And with that set up for X2. We will never know what Bryan Singer’s Super Returns follow up would have been like. At the end of the day Warner Bros. (who had ponied up the money for Superman Returns, which caused Fox to find a replacement for him for X-Men 3, which makes them partially responsible for that whole mess.)

That’s how much Superman Returns made domestically. 200 million. Not too shabby honestly. The film did alot of stuff right. Like most fans of quality cinema, it ignored Superman III and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace.

General Zod couldn't stop him. He was more powerful than a locomotive. In the end all it took was Mark Pillow and Jon Cryer, who is also responsible for the dumbing down of America (See Two and a Half Men, but only in small doses.)


The film cobbles together a vague history of the first two Superman films. I thought Singer’s effort was strong enough for a redo, not to mention his track record. The main problem he faced was that all the money that had been spent over the years with false starts and other projects that turned into nothing were all rolled into his film’s budget. The Nicolas Cage/Tim Burton Superman Lives project.


This is what Tim Burton thought Superman Looked like.


And this is who he wanted to play him. Also, Superman wasn’t going to fly, though he was going to have a car that did. He fought a Polar Bear at the Fortress of Solitude and had a gay robot side-kick. I don’t know how robots can be gay, but it was going to be.


Here’s a link to some of his concepts on Braniac. I think he went to his trash can and got some drawing he threw away during Beetlejuice.


30 million dollars down the drain. Preproduction and pay or play deals, and nothing to really show for it. Oh, and Jon Peters said that Superman’s iconic costume was “too faggy”. This from a former Hair Stylist.


As best I can tell, this is the only thing that came out of this phase of the production that was worth anything. I would have loved to of seen Superman fight this Doomsday. I suspect if the new film is successful, we’ll eventually see Big Nasty in there somewhere.

After Burton left the project, it spiraled into chaos, as roughly anyone with writing credits or a background in direction was given the shot at directing or at least pitching their idea. Micheal Bay and Martin Campbell were both offered the director’s chair and both turned it down. Will Smith was also offered the lead. He turned it down on the grounds that he had made enough white people mad with Wild Wild West. Fair Enough.


Somewhere in all of this, Darren Aronofsky was going to take a stab at adapting Batman: Year One into a film. ( a gem of an idea that eventaully led to the reboot we all know and love Batman Begins.) He took some severe liberties with the source material. Batman was no longer Bruce Wayne. His Batman is a homeless man on the street. Alfred is an African american mechanic. Who goes by Big Al. Batman drove a souped up Lincoln Towncar. He gets called Batman because the ring he wears on his finger (that have the intials TW for Thomas Wayne) look like a Bat. Really. Supposedly Aronofsky never had any intention of doing Batman. He wanted to make Warner think he was going to so that they would greenlight The Fountain Here’s a quote from the man himself.


“I never really wanted to make a Batman film, it was a kind of bait and switch strategy. I was working on Requiem for a Dream and I got a phone call that Warner Bros wanted to talk about Batman. At the time I had this idea for a film called The Fountain which I knew was gonna be this big movie and I was thinking, ‘Is Warners really gonna give me $80 million to make a film about love and death after I come off a heroin movie?’ So my theory was if I can write this Batman film and they could perceive me as a writer for it.”


This eventually led to them combining the franchises which eventually led to them separating them again. It is worth noting that Christian Bale was approached to play Batman in Year One. (He was also a finalist for Robin in Batman Forever.) The script is kind of a mess but here is some of the concept work, which to be fair is pretty sweet.



This is good, but can we think more "homeless" and less billionaire...



What would it look like if it was a Lincoln Towncar?



Who are these people? They are neither not Bruce Wayne or my not Alfred, Big Al.

One such writer suggests that Afronosky never had any intention of making the movie and made sure by making it so far fetched from its genesis. Whatever the reason, it eventually led to this stage of development…


The next major director that was attached was Wolfgang Peterson, who proposed a Batman/Superman film with Jude Law as Superman and Colin Farrel as Batman. Andrew Kevin Walker of Seven fame was hired for scripting duties. Peterson eventually left the project in favor of Troy. Akiva Goldsmith (who rewrote the Walker draft and is responsible in part for Batman and Robin) did place an in joke in another film he wrote that was also produced by Warner Bros. (I am Legend) Anyone with a quick pair of eyes or access to a pause button can check it out. Or Just look down now.



An ode to the film that never was.

The next major team to attach themselves was JJ Abrams and Brett Ratner. (1 out of 2 isn’t bad)  This draft was referred to as Superman: Flyby (terrrible name) In an apparent Mad Lib session of casting. Josh Hartnett, Ashton Kutcher, Brendan Fraser and  with Matthew Bomer as the favored one for the role.



Christopher Reeve continued to suggest Tom Welling, whom you might know from Smallville fame. But what does that guy know?


Oh, yeah. Greatest actor to ever wear the suit. THE Superman by which all others are measured against. That guy.


Harry Poooooooottttteeeeerrrrr... I mean Suuuuuppppppeeeeerrrman!!!!!!



Always my weapon of choice.


This has nothing to do with anything, but any time someone mentions Christopher Walken, my mind always wanders to this…


That and Batman Returns.


Who's your daddy? And that's Sir to you B*tches.

The one thing this project did have going to it was it’s supporting cast. Christopher Walken as Perry White, Anthony Hopkins as Jor-El (He must have the most potent sperm in the world as he was in the running for Superman’s father and was recently cast as Thor’s father Oden in Marvel’s Thor) and Ralph Fienes as Lex Luthor. Tell me that wouldn’t have been something to see. And all this with JJ Abrams. The man rebooted Star Trek and the X-Files (kind of) and wiped the stank off Mission: Impossible left by M:I 2. How much more credibility does the man need?



Ratman Returns

Angered by his inability to direct and only get Rush Hour sequels greenlit, Ratner eventually left the project, with money likely in hand.



McG was then attached to the project, in hopes of buying himself a full last name. In Warner Bros. defense, he hadn’t yet ruined the Terminator franchise but anyone that is willing to put Charlie’s Angels I and II on there resume should be evaluated physiologically and mentally.



You don't have to view the trailer if you don't want to.

At this point Bryan Singer stepped in as director. This halted his pre-production on X-Men 3, and took his full staff with him. Ironically, Brett Ratner then took over helming duties on X-Men: The Last Stand as Singer took over Superman. After worldwide marketing cost, previous productions that didn’t come to fruition and Superman Returns actual budget, the final price tag was 350 million dollars, which made Superman Returns the most expensive film ever made at the point that it was released. Hearing that someone was making movies more expensive that him, James Cameron came out of retirement.



They did what! Those Mother F*ckers.

Superman Returns went on to gross 391 million dollars worldwide. It’s a respectable sum. I think the Warner’s were content to give Singer another shot at the movie until this happened…


When Warner realized that the 500 million they anticipated from Superman Returns was short by roughly another 500 million dollars, they suddenly had a severe underachiever. Why have a million dollar franchise, when you can have a billion dollar franchise?


Flash forward to 2011 and this is the new face of Superman. Henry Cavill, of Tudors and War of the Gods fame. Zack Snyder, who brought us Watchmen and 300. (The man does know his comic books) Personally I would have liked to see Singer’s follow up. I have been a huge fan of his work since Usual Suspects ( I am watching X2 as I write this.) I know he had a superior, intelligent sequel in him.  Sadly this will never come to be. Out of all the names that have been bandied about, I think Snyder is the best choice for the job. With Nolan producing and Goyer scripting, the film is in more than capable hands. I think Snyder is talented and more than qualified for the role. I don’t think he’s the artist that Singer is. The first Superman film (Superman: The Movie 1978) is a quientesntial piece of Americana. Richard Donner may have produced his masterwork then. Much in the same way he was robbed of his chance to follow up his film, so was Singer. I am looking forward to Snyder’s Man of Steel, but in the same way that I’ll always be upset that James Cameron never made his Spider-Man, I think I’ll just be left to stew about Singer’s Man of Steel.


In a final note to the new filmmaker’s, Harrison Ford IS Indiana Jones. You can’t get generic Captain Crucnch. John William Superman score cannot be improved upon. If you think you can recast General Zod, you can’t. Terrance Stamp is still alive and well. There is only one man for that job. If you want the son of Jor-El to kneel, you know who to call…