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May 21, 2008

Christian Bale Signs Up To Play John Connor in Three Terminator Sequels

Or prequels, I guess. Well, I don't know. They happen in the future but actually in the past from the point of view of the original characters and...

Oh, whatever. He's going to do three of them, whatever they are.

I've been meaning to review (and recommend) the overlooked-but-now-achieving-minor-cult-status Bale film Equilibrium for months. I have some sort of mental block against reviewing it.

So I'll just link this Siskel & Roeper review. They give it two thumbs up, but be aware, the critics savaged this movie. They hated it.


I'm with Fat Douchebag and Not-Fat Douchebag there. I loved it.

It's a bit derivative of The Matrix in postulating a science-fiction explanation for superheroes. In Equilibrium, that explanation is "gun kata," which is form of pistol-based martial arts based on extensive computer analyses of tens of thousands of video-recorded gunfights -- by studying so many gunfights, the conceit has it, practitioners of gun kata know, based on cold hard statistics, the likely positioning and angle of attack of their opponents in any gunfight scenario. The idea is basically Asimov's psychohistory applied to shoot-outs.

Upshot? If you can't be hit with bullets because you move, by training, to avoid being where the next shot is statistically likely to be. And of course you never miss yourself.

In short, you're a Gun Jedi.

Oh, and also an unarmed martial-arts leg and arm breaking Jedi. And also a katana jedi. You're basically a Jedi in all known methods of hurting or killing people.

The action ranges from good to very good. On the commentary, the director chuckled over his own genius in adding an explosive blood squib, like those used to fake bullet injuries, to an arm-break. No one has ever done that before, he compliments himself, as the arm shatters with a spray of blood.

So, you know where this guy is coming from.

As a bonus -- not that it matters -- he seems to be a right winger, or at least a libertarian. The film names "The Thought Crime" as one of the two basic innovations that prop up the futuristic totalitarian society it depicts. And then the director and his producer giggle about how much they love guns on the commentary, but quickly cover that up with lies about how much they hate guns. For example, when the producer says "We saw this particular gun at a gun-show we visited," the director quickly chimes in to say "We were just there to pass out literature about how awful guns are."

It doesn't really make it a better movie, but it's kind of interesting background. Well, it does make it a better movie in the sense it is thankfully free of any politics whatsoever, except Fascists are bad and need to be shot in the face.

Anyway-- the movie is good but not great, a difficult category for me as far as reviews, because on the one hand I want to praise it, but i can't say it's flawless or a must-see. Two people I've recommended it to since didn't like it at all.

I can say that I liked it a lot, and wound up watching it like three times. Plus two commentaries.

Where 90% of movies are flat-out bad, any movie that's merely competent and entertaining stands out as almost extraordinary.

If nothing else you get to see Christian Bale kill a lot of people.

A Clip: SPOILER WARNING on this, as it gives away who Bale fights at the end and whether or not he wins. Then again, if you can't guess he's going to fight the Head Bad Guy at the end and things are probably going to go poorly for the Head Bad Guy, you're a retard.

This is actually uncharacteristic of most of the fights. This is a more realistic, low-tech sort of fight. They're both trained in gunkata, so they both are masters at blocking opponents from getting a shot at them by simply knocking the opponent's aim off and trapping his gun-hand. But I'd never seen this kind of extended gun-trapping martial arts fight before. Pretty clever, I think.

Other scenes are more exciting in a capital-B Big wire-fu way, but I think this is the best fight, because it's nothing I've seen before and seems like, damn, that could really happen.

It's the final fight in the movie, so again, mind the Spoiler.

To preserve some dramatic tension for anyone who watches that, I'll just remind you that just because the hero defeats the villain doesn't mean the hero lives and rides off into the sunset.

Oh and in case you're worried: No, Bale does not wear that faggoty white suit the whole movie. He's just wearing that at the end because he's (supposedly) been promoted to the highest rank of Cleric-Assassin possible, and they wear white.

Before that he wears black.

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posted by Ace at 11:31 PM

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