There’s something to be said for a franchise entry that doesn’t play it safe. Considering how many sequels and reboots are greenlit solely for brand recognition or continued recognition, an installment that actually tries to re-envision its source material and add new twists to its story deserves some commendation. On that level, let’s give Terminator Genisys its dues. The movie contains plenty of twists and surprises (many of which were ruined by the trailers) that offset the conventions of the series, and it acts as both a continuation and a new entry point for the franchise.
Unfortunately, most of my praise ends there. The plot, which follows JJ Abrams’ Star Trek by being both a reboot and a sequel, is woefully convoluted and never fully explained. Unlike Star Trek, which has had a mostly-linear continuity and was not significantly affected by time-travel before the Abrams films, the Terminator films are already burdened with a complicated (and, if we’re being honest, inconsistent and illogical) history of time-fuckery. By adding yet another layer of time-travel complications and alternate timelines onto a series with already-questionable continuity, the inconsistencies in time-travel logic and the overt complexity of the plot proves too much to handle.
This week on Jay and Ross Talk Shit, we reflect on the attacks on Paris, along with all of the political and social ramifications we’re seeing in America. It’s not all dour talk, as we get sidetracked into a conversation on BBQ (Kansas City is the best, obviously), but it’s definitely one of our heavier episodes. Thanks for sticking with us!
0:00 – Intro on the Paris attacks
1:14 – The Facebook French Flag Overlay
3:52 – Ignoring Tragedies in Other Countries
5:55 – Hypocrity in Right-Wing French Support
—6:45-10:39 – Tangent on BBQ, Texas, Robert Rodriguez, and tequila
11:11 – Syrian Refugees, the Unstable Middle-East, and Immigration Policies
26:46 – Charlie Sheen is HIV+
(This post will contain major spoilers for the current season of The Walking Dead. I would recommend against reading it until you have watched S6 E7, “Heads Up”)
Just this week, the whole “Glenn is dead” charade finally came to a close with a cold open featuring Glenn’s dumpster escape from a whole herd of zombies. If you’re just looking at the numbers, the twist was enormously effective: ratings went up as people tuned in week after week to see if Glenn had survived, and the internet was dominated with articles on Glenn’s fate.
However, you’re not going to find many people who were happy with the way the show handled things. Lots of fans felt pissed off and jerked around by the move, and this sentiment can taint the way people feel about the whole half-season. But why did this twist upset people so much when surprise is so often effective in narrative? I’ve outlined five major reasons below. Continue reading The Glenn Problem: Why The Walking Dead’s Fakeout Was Doomed To Failure→
(This review covers both parts of the Mockingjay film adaptation. It does contain spoilers)
The Hunger Games series proves that the book isn’t always better. By removing all of the inner-monologues and allowing Jennifer Lawrence to imbue Katniss with a sense of gravity and maturity that her written character lacks, the films present a more consistent portrayal of their world. As they continue, they become more confident in changing details and expanding on the universe. While Catching Fire gives us some glimpses behind the curtains to see what the Capitol is up to, Mockingjay Part 1 benefits the most from this change-of-perspective.
Mockingjay was by far my least favorite of the books. If I were to choose one reason, it’s that it’s a story about a wide-scale conflict told entirely from the perspective of a character who is not especially involved. Because Katniss is relegated to creating propaganda for the war and rarely in the field actually fighting, most of the successes and failures of the war effort are relayed to her by other characters, bypassing the most significant drama of the series. Instead, we’re left with Katniss constantly mulling over her feelings for Gale and Peeta while the actual culmination of the series occurs off-page.