Wednesday, December 2, 2009

This Time I Should Call It "So I Won't Have To"

Are any of you brave readers willing to bite the bullet for the old Cap'n? My schedule is going to be a little busy for the next nine days or so before settling down to "jack and shit" for a month of movie viewing, but I've got some "So You Won't Have To"'s either coming from or already here via Netflix.

I'm willing to sit through the not-so-well* reviewed The Limits of Control because I'll watch pretty much anything Jim Jarmusch makes, even if it goes nowhere for two hours and sounds at best like an exercise in self-indulgence. Hey, the man made Ghost Dog, Dead Man, and Down by Law, to name a few. Hey, I'll name three more: Broken Flowers, Night on Earth, and Stranger Than Paradise. I even enjoyed Permanent Vacation, his first feature that's the extra disc on Criterion's Stranger Than Paradise dvd. How bad could The Limits of Control really be? Maybe it's secretly great! Or not. But it could be, right?

So I don't mind watching it So You Might Have To. I've certainly been advocating lots of movies that people disagree with me about (Whatever Works and Funny People spring to mind), and you might end up being informed that you should see it.

On the other hand, I just can't bring myself to watch Terminator: Salvation. I even jumped it up to the top of the old Netflix queue, but when it eventually arrives, I'm not sure I can do the deed, even for you guys. Gals. Whatever**.

It's not McG, per se: truthfully, I don't think I hated the first Charlie's Angels. I haven't seen it since the first time I saw it, but I seem to remember enjoying Crispin Glover and Bill Murray. I never saw the second movie, and I guess I never did watch the epic team up of McCoughnaFox in We Are Marshall, so it's not like I have any animosity towards his films.

The problem that I have with Terminator: Salvation is that it seems so unnecessary. Yes, at first the idea of John Connor tooling around in the post-apocalyptic future fighting robots sounds like it would be fun. We all know how much of a sucker I am for post-apocalyptic films. The big BUT though is that we already know how it pans out. Terminator: Salvation isn't going to shake things up like Star Trek, so there's really no tension. Kyle Reese can't die, because he has to go back and knock up Sarah Connor, or there's no John Connor to send him back, etc. If a new character is introduced, as T:S does, they either see Kyle Reese off to the past or die before it happens.

If there were more Terminator movies, I suppose they could show what happens to John after he sets the first film in motion, but unless there's some serious ret-conning going on, we still know how that ends up as well. The T-800 from Terminator 3 killed John Connor, so in an act of ironic time travel, his wife sends Arnold back to protect him long enough for Judgment Day to happen. Since Connor's wife is in Salvation, it looks like they didn't feel like ignoring Terminator 3 that much, so this whole supposed "new" series is based on plot points that we know are coming. How exciting!

Now that I've made my case for not seeing Terminator: Salvation, allow me to extend the opportunity to one of you. This is, in all likelihood, a strong candidate for SYWHT, and I'm really hoping that one of you good people has more of a morbid curiosity to see digital Arnold face beat up Christian Bale than the Cap'n does. Someone who would be willing to watch Terminator: Salvation So I Won't Have To.

Let me sweeten the pot for you. If one of the Blogorium readers is willing to step up to the plate and take one for the team, I'll return the favor. I will watch any movie without the word Twilight in the title, no matter how shitty, so that the rest of you won't have to. I'll even lift my almost universal Uwe Boll ban for this. I'll watch Alvin and the Chipmunks. I'll watch Old Dogs. Hell, I'll watch 2012 So You Won't Have To.

I just don't think I can do this Terminator thing. But I'm curious, in a very wary way. I don't want to see it, but I want to know. And I'm certain at least one of you is also a good enough writer that you can fill all of us in. In return, take your pick. Anything but the Twilight series.

Want me to watch Cruel Intentions 3? Done.
Command Performance
with Dolph Lundgren? Done.
with DMX? Done.
Planet 51
? You got it.
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakuel? ugh..... As you wish.
I will finish Vampire Men of the Lost Planet. If that's what you want.

Throw me a bone here, gang. I'll make it worth your while...

*EDIT* Let me throw in a quick caveat, just so nobody says I'm making up new rules later: the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad movie I agree to watch has to fit within the parameters of So You Won't Have To. If you're curious what that entails, click the tag and read previous reviews. The whole point is to choose movies that people have some strange curiosity about (okay, that I have curiosity about) and report back to others rather than all of us watching it. Like, say you're curious about Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, but you wouldn't spend your own money to see it. I'll do it, So You Won't Have To. If you can make the case your choice fits that criteria, and that you aren't just picking a movie arbitrarily to mess with the Cap'n, you got it.

* Vern's review is easily the kindest I've seen The Limits of Control get, aside from a fawning DVD Talk write up. Seriously, read those "positive" reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. Most of them are cautious recommendations with serious "but"'s.
** I really have no idea who reads this of late. The Blogorium gets weird links to websites I've never heard of, so somebody finds the Cap'n interesting. So thanks.

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