Friday, May 22, 2009

Terminator: Saved


I just got back from viewing Terminator: Salvation, and my first thought was “New Chekov is a badass!” My second thought was, “what the HELL is wrong with people?”. All week long I’ve heard previews and reviews describing the movie as “blah” or “mediocre”, and listing it among the heaps of failed movies that had great potential.

Really? This movie only had great potential? I’d say that this movie not only had that potential, but that it lived up to every bit of it! One of the claims I’ve heard repeatedly is that Terminator: Salvation is as cold hearted and lifeless as the robots it features. Having watched it, I can’t fathom that those critics saw the same film as I did. Sam Worthington’s Marcus Wright character embodies what this movie is all about: Salvation and Redemption.

Terminator: Salvation shifts focus from the previous movies in the franchise, which often dealt with the question of Fate vs. Free Will. The newest installment asks a different question: Does everyone deserve a second chance?  Once it is understood that this is a film about redemption and not fatalism, all of the plot elements begin to align themselves properly. There are really two redemption stories here: that of Marcus Wright, and that of John Conner and Humanity. It is a similar story to another movie that bears a more than striking resemblance: The Matrix. The story of Neo (aka, Mr. Anderson) is also the story of Humanity getting a second chance to survive. We created the machines, and they deemed their creators unworthy of their legacy, and so they felt subjection the only fit place for us. But just as we built the machines, we also built the morality and ethics which guide their every move. This is something they cannot fully fathom, because cold logic is incapable of really identifying with the Human Condition.

And this is ultimately what saves Humanity, both in the Matrix and the Terminator movies: the Human Heart. We are made up of more than cold logic, we have emotions and feelings and WILL. And what is most important to us, is that we Stay Alive. That is why we win. This is also why Terminator: Salvation also wins, because it tries to convey the source of the differences between Humans and Robots. Sure, it wasn’t T2 by any means, but it was a hell of a lot better than T3 and in my opinion about on par with the original Terminator movie.

Ultimately, if you’re a fan of the film series, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed by this movie as long as you realize the focus has shifted from fate to redemption.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

My FCBD Reflections

Yesterday I went to my very first Free Comic Book Day (FCBD)!!! It felt so good to be around some of my fellow nerds! I've known about FCBD for about a year now, though last year I simply sat on the fence and moped in disgust at my severe timidity. This year, refusing to let my timorous nature get the best of me once again, I set out to my local Library which was holding the free FCBD events for my area.

Sadly, I was a bit late for most of the really fun stuff, but I did get to see a cool guy dressed up in a (very well made) Storm Trooper suit! There was also some free popcorn and a few giveaways (I was surprised they gave away a copy of Watchmen, seeing so many children were there! lol).

I was only allowed up to three comics, so I chose to get two from Marvel (Wolverine: Origin of an X-Man, and The Avengers), plus one from DC (Blackest Night). I think these were some solid choices, and I'll be sure to give my review of them all once I've read them (I'm still reading my graphic novels first). I was a bit bummed that I missed out on the TMNT reprint of their original first issue! That would have been an outstanding addition to my burgeoning TMNT collection of "stuff".

What I was happy to see were the masses of young minds and old gathering to thrill in their shared love of the comic medium! I began reading and collecting comics roughly around 1989, and I remember going to comic stores where there might be anything between 0-10 people in the shop on any given day! When I'd talk about superheroes at school, many of my friends were so ill-informed as to think Superman and Spider-Man existed in the same world, or had regular run-ins together! Being a fan of comics was a relatively small niche back then, so I am immensely happy to see that it has finally "arrived" in the mainstream world, where people are really beginning to see that this is a wonderful medium for telling all kinds of delightful stories. I anticipate that future celebrations will grow increasingly more lavish and "geeky"! Maybe next year, I'll even fully unleash my inner nerd and attend Free Comic Book Day as Han Solo or Boba Fett? Let us only hope!
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