©2008 Big Empire Industries and Randy Shandis Enterprises
Every right imaginable is reserved.


This week:
Terminator 3

Filthy says:
"Hot Robots.

You see, Hollywood? Now was that so very hard? Making an enjoyable action movie , one that isn't the laziest, lowest common-denominator excuse for explosions? I mean, hell, we're not talking about a genius here, but at least Terminator 3 isn't the drooling kid who fingers himself in the special class. No, it's just smart enough not to insult my intelligence while it crashes shit into other shit. The beauty is that it has fun doing it.

I never saw either of the first two Terminator movies and I don't have plans to. Maybe this one's a retread, or maybe it completely undermines what the first two did. I don't know. More important, I don't give a monkey's dimpled ass. That won't stop some annoying fanboy from licking the Cheeto residue off his fingers, taking a long swig of his Mountain Dew and firing off an e-mail to me declaring I have no right talking about the Terminator 3, let alone having an opinion about it, without his encyclopedic knowledge of the relevant mythology. Trust me, I get a lot of e-mail from fanboys who take themselves so seriously that they can't ever ignore a dissenting opinion.

But fuck the fanboys. Not literally. I wouldn't wish a fate that sweaty, slobbery and unpleasant on my worst enemies. Well, maybe on Dipshit Suzanne, but she needs it where she can get it. And she'd probably want two or three of them (Note to Fanboys: do not ask me for Dipshit Suzanne's e-mail address). For the rest of us, Terminator 3 is really fun for more than an hour. Then it goes as ooky, limp and squishy as the dicks at the end of a Candy Bottom's threesome. Up to then, though, it's pretty fucking exhilarating.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is the Terminator, a robot from the future, who was originally sent back to the present to stop a revolution that will keep machines from ruling the world. Somewhere along the line, Schwarzenegger stopped fighting for the robots and tried to protect the humans from them. That's where the story picks up in this sequel. A young man (Nick Stahl) is destined to be the leader of a resistance against machines, so the future machines send their best-looking girlbot (Kristanna Loken) to kill him. Seriously, this leather-clad robot is hot. If all robots looked this good, I'd have rusted out the internal parts of Radio Shack's inventory a long time ago.

Now, Stahl is a homeless burnout who breaks into vet clinics to steal painkillers. The clinic he breaks into is the one where an estranged childhood crush (Claire Danes) works. Loken tracks him and Danes to it. See, Danes is destined to be a lieutenant in the resistance that Stalhl will lead, foreshadowing some deeper relationship between thetwo. Schwarzenegger is back to save Stahl and Danes and, in the bargain, humankind.

The vast majority of the story is action, with two nearly indestructible objects beating the shit out of each other and everything around them. For a sci-fi story, though, the vast bulk of the targets are everyday objects, which is nice and with a lot less CGI. The movie's best scene is about a half hour in when Schwarzenegger commandeers a fire truck and Loken drives a 100-ton crane through the streets of Los Angeles. It's a shitload more entertaining than your average car chase, and a hell of a lot more imaginative. Yeah, stuff blows up, and cars crash, but different. A fight and hearse chase in a cemetery is both exciting and funny, especially when Schwarzenegger rips a coffin from the mausoleum wall. The rest of the action, until the last half hour, is fast-paced and better than average.

What I liked most about this movie is that it's different from the belabored spectacles that Hollywood craps out its boring ass week after week. Movies like The Hulk and The Matrix take themselves so God damn seriously that they forget that movies are like infomercial psychics or sports predictions: for entertainment purposes only. Hollywood jackasses like the Wachowskis think their juvenile, self-important mythologies actually matter. They don't. What matters is not the horseshit mumbo-jumbo. It's a story that logically connects action sequence A to B with characters we care about. Beyond that, for Christ's sake, make it amusing ad exciting, not coated in pretentious moodiness.

Terminator 3 is amusing. Surprisingly so. When a naked Schwarzenegger lands on earth, his only way to get clothed is by disrobing a gay stripper at a honky-tonk's ladies' night. When you've woken up naked in the middle of nowhere as often as I have, you know to plan ahead and pack an extra shirt and shorts up your ass before you leave. But I guess Schwarzenegger's new at this. His dead-pan schtick works well. Unfortunately, the comedy groove gets disrupted by a desperate attempt to attach a catch-phrase to the movie. A few old ones are rehashed ("I'l be back," and "Don't do that.") and a few new ones are futilely attempted. They're bad, so bad I imagine even the whoriest of quote whores would feel awkward wrapping them into their blurbs.

The kids are pretty fucking boring and whiny too. Danes and Stahl sound more like two brats who aren't allowed to go to the arcade than heros in peril. "I don't waaaaaant to." "You can't make me." "Mr. Filthy took my quarterrrrrrrs." The story is smart to make us care about their survival not for themselves, but rather because mankind depends on it. I realize the Schwarzenegger character is indestructible and the star, but it still would have been nice for Danes and Stahl to have something to do other than react. Danes mostly does this by screaming and acting scared.

The ending is as lame as the horse at a summer camp for bestialists. The thrill of the beginning is sapped in five minutes and never comes back. It's as though director Jonathan Mostow was forced to do two things. First, have a generic climax full of Bruckheimer-like cliches, and second, shoehorn in some sort of poignancy. It kills the buzz faster than Roy Boner stopping to say the Pledge of Allegiance during the orgy scene in Red, White and Screw.

Still, Terminator 3 was a damn enjoyable action movie. The premise of nearly-indestructible robots from the future may be nearly exhausted. That could put hundreds of aspiring screenwriters back to square one. But it was a good ride. There are few better premises for big fights and smashing shit up, and for that Terminator 3 gets Four Fingers.

Want to tell Filthy Something



Jim Ferguson (Quote Whore Hall of Famer)

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is "In the summer of sequels the most original action-adventure movie!"

Johnny English is "Fun, fun, fun for kids of all ages! A hilarious comedy!"

Filthy's Reading
Richard Zacks- Pirate Hunter

Listening to
Talking Heads - Sand in the Vaseline


Pirates of the Caribbean