Yes, There’s a Scene During the “Terminator Genisys” End Credits

Terminator Genisys!

You can pretend they’re Linda Hamilton and Michael Biehn if you take off your glasses, squint really hard, turn off your computer, and go watch the first Terminator instead.

If you’ve seen the first two Terminator films, you’ve already seen at least 60% of Terminator Genisys. Entire scenes and concepts are lifted and lightly tweaked, a few surprises are reused and are no longer surprises by definition, lots of famous quotes are spoken by the wrong characters, but much of that beloved old material is back, ridiculously recognizable and retold in the wrong order.

If you’ve seen those two films and all the Genisys trailers, you’ve already had the movie’s biggest, cleverest twist spoiled for you and you’ve now basically seen 80% of the film. If you like bullets and car accidents, I suppose you can stay tuned and settle for those.

If you’ve never seen a Terminator film, you’ll be thoroughly lost. But hey, who doesn’t love gunfire, right?

If you saw the third or fourth Terminator films or The Sarah Connor Chronicles, sadly, no one cares.

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“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”: In a World Where Apes Are No Better Than Men

Koba!

Toby Kebbell takes over for Claude Akins as the Koba of a new generation. So far I’ve seen no hardcore fans protesting the decision to change Koba from gorilla to ape.

Many of us here on the internet openly lament Hollywood’s fixation on sequels, prequels, remakes, and reboots as their creative crutches of choice. Implicit in our grumbles is the broad assumption that all of those recycling methods are inherently bad by definition. We’re sometimes quick to forget within the space of 140 characters, for the sake of the snarky punchline, that such vehicles don’t have to be all bad. Their success rate is disappointing, but it’s far from 0%.

Last weekend, six of the top ten films on the box office chart were sequels. One was a sequel and a sort-of relaunch; one a sequel to a spinoff; one a sequel to a remake; and two were just plain sequels. And then there was Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, a loose do-over of 1973’s Battle for the Planet of the Apes with the additions of one large MacGuffin and some expensive set pieces, any one of which probably cost five times Battle‘s miserly budget. Also, they smartly ditched the humans’ sci-fi B-movie costumes.

So Dawn is a sequel to a reboot and it’s a remake. Its pedigree is an anti-art hat trick. Somehow it’s also one of the best films of the summer.

Right this way for another trip to the madhouse!

“Zero Dark Thirty”: What Price the Pursuit of Earth’s Most Wanted?

Zero Dark ThirtyAfter seeing Zero Dark Thirty as part of my annual Best Picture nominee binge, I exited the theater with just one thought on my mind: I’d hate to be a guy trying to start a new country in this day and age.

It’s a fun daydream, wondering what it would be like to find a deserted island no one’s yet claimed, plant a flag, invite a few friends to be charter citizens, and then declaring yourselves the new sovereign nation of YourNameHereLand. You build at least one impressive building to house your government. You write your own constitution that justifies everything you’ll ever want to do and lays down basic ground rules to protect you from any future jerks who emigrate inside your borders or grow up inside your school system. You figure out how your economy should function, discern your people’s industrial skill sets, plan for necessary imports, form relationships with all the right countries, fill out the proper UN forms, and you’re off and running. You could probably find how-to guides on the Internet that fill in your knowledge gaps, complete with instructional YouTube videos. How cool would that be?

Long-term answer: sooner or later, not very. Continue reading

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