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Let’s start by explaining the title.  While the ‘sequel’ part is pretty self explanatory (three on-going franchises release movies this weekend), but the ‘mageddon’ part might need some clarification.  See, I’m a huge fan of suffix (miss)use.  Like much of modern language, the meanings of words change over time.  For example, glamorous used to mean that a person cast a glamour or magic hiding spell on themselves.  It was a very negative term, but now it means bewitching minus the witch.  This is where it gets fun.  Adding a suffix makes new, sometimes awesometacular words (trust me, I’m in an English major).  ‘Maggedon’ is a suffix that can describe something as a destructive force.  Another example would be ‘fu’ (as in kung-fu, movie-fu or stunt-fu) means that something is an orchestrated physical act (like a martial art).  Okay, now that the grammar lesson portion of this roundup is over, let’s put it into practice with Terminator Suckmageddon.  Sorry, Terminator Salvation (Rotten Tomatoes 34%; Metacritic 51%).
terminator_salvation_movie_poster3aOkay, perhaps it’s not a destructive force of suckiness.  But, I can’t help but wonder when I read reviews like this:

“Salvation is a cold, blunt summer movie misfire, infatuated with mindless explosions like an infant with fecal matter…a lumbering, joyless detour into unappetizing Hollywood recycling.” Brian Orndorf Sci-Fi Movie Page

He’s not recommending it to anyone except infants infatuated with poo.  On the other side of the quality spectrum:

“McG’s tone is “Apocalypse Now” by way of Philip K. Dick, and the film packs a war-movie wallop to go with its sleek blockbuster sensibilities. Tough, fast and exhilarating, it’s a worthy addition to the franchise even if Christian Bale is not.” Nick Rogers Suite101.com

Ouch, the reverse shout-out: “Everyone in the movie was great, except that guy.”

“I don’t want to make Bale angry, but his weak supporting role isn’t what we expected from iconic messiah John Connor.” Victoria Alexander FilmsInReview.com

He might be scary when he's angry, but at least he's happy about it

He might be scary when he's angry, but at least he's happy about it

Enough ganging up on Bale.  Didn’t you hear about the rage-fu he unleashed on an unsuspecting crewman?  Let’s redirect our discussion towards explosions (which seems to be Salvation’s salvation).

“A good summer movie isn’t just an uninterrupted crescendo of cacophony. You need stuff IN BETWEEN the fireballs and the cyborgs.” Slate Dana Stevens

Like more action?

Or Terminator slurpees?

Or Terminator slurpees?

“Most of the running time is occupied by action sequences, chase sequences, motorcycle sequences, plow-truck sequences, helicopter sequences, fighter-plane sequences, towering android sequences and fistfights. It gives you all the pleasure of a video game without the bother of having to play it.” Chicago Sun-Times  Roger Ebert

But playing video games isn’t a bother, they’re games.  That’s like saving someone the time it takes to tell a joke by repeating it in your head and laughing for them.

There's nothing funny about robot leprosy.

There's nothing funny about robot leprosy. Say, has anyone seen my hand?

“There’s a certain sad sci-fi irony when one considers that the first Terminator film to feature a robot with a human heart is also the first film in the series that feels like it has no soul.” Jason Buchanan TV Guide’s Movie Guide

Well, at least it has a heart.

“It’s got all the heart of a demolition derby.” Kyle Smith New York Post

Crap.  Well, I don’t go to demolition derbies for dramatic expressionism.   Every time I try to convince myself to see it, I read someone expressing my biggest fears.  Angriest critic in America, what do you say?

“McG’s boyish sensationalism is inoffensive, justified by paying attention to how Wright preserves an unlikely human essence. Worthington is a find.  He suggests a pin-up version of the character actor Michael Rooker and gives the franchise’s most empathetic performance since Linda Hamilton’s stunned, almost-silent-movie pantomime of fear and surprise in Terminator 2. Worthington makes Wright’s sacrifice pitiable, strong and a little orgasmic.” Armond White New York Press

Oh shit, he liked it.  Armond liked it.  He didn’t like Star Trek (95%), Milk (94%), or Slumdog Millionaire (94%), but he liked this.  Well, that settles it.  Terminator is craptacular.  We’re all better off rewatching the trailer and pocketing ten bucks.  Next stop on our train to Sequeltown is Night at the Museum 2: Battle for the Smithsonian (M – 60%; RT – 42%).
“Bigger, longer, and even more chaotically crowded (more stars! more f/x!) than its predecessor, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian proves that adding another ring doesn’t make for a better circus.” Lael Loewenstein Variety

But it does make for a bigger circus.  If tickets cost the same, it still sounds like an improvement.

“How can one movie contain Ricky Gervais, Hank Azaria, Steve Coogan, Amy Adams, Christopher Guest, Bill Hader, Mindy Kaling, Jay Baruchel and Craig Robinson while offering so very little in the way of laughs?” Alonso Duralde MSNBC

I think someone else could answer that question for you.

“As it turns out, 93 main characters is too many.” Matt Pais Metromix.com

Bingo.  Well, part 2 sounds like the same innocuous entertainment offered by the original.

“This is what you call a wholesome kiddie movie on drugs.” Owen Gleiberman Entertainment Weekly

That’s what the first one was like?  I thought it was a wholesome kiddie movie on historical factoids.  Oh well, it will still make an embarrassing amount of money just like the last one.  Our final film this weekend isn’t technically part of a series, but it sure looks like another addition to the never-ending mini-genre of hack spoofs.
dance_flickIt’d probably be more fun to mock the poster, but amazingly the movie is tied on reviewer quality with everything else coming out: Dance Flick (RT 42%).

“We live in desperate times. But no one’s desperate enough to laugh at Dance Flick. Which is sort of encouraging, no?” John Anderson Newsday

You know, that is sort of encouraging.

“A very funny, very entertaining film. Is it perfect? No way. Does it live up to the reputation of classic comedy spoofs like Airplane! and The Naked Gun? Well… yes.” Bill Gibron Filmcritic.com

It does?  Well….shit.  That is amazing.  I’m stunned.

“If you thought the world couldn’t get enough of bad spoof movies, you thought wrong.” Boston Globe  Danny Deza

Clearly I thought wrong.  I will now hang my head in my own personal shamemaggedon.

PDJ is a master of blog-fu

PDJ is a master of blog-fu

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