Terminator 2

IntroToProps

There are two reasons a movie might re-use a prop: because they have to or because they want to. Sometimes you love a movie so much you want to use or recreate a piece of it to show that love, or – if your budget is in the dumps – you just need something from the prop warehouse to re-paint and use as your own. Whatever the case, iconic is iconic, so if you are watching close enough you just might catch these one-of-a-kind props in films you wouldn’t expect them to be in.

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IntroBadassWounds

So you’ve been shot/stabbed/eaten/burned/dismembered/amputated/face melted by an ancient artifact, what are you going to do next? If you answered, “go into shock while screaming like an asshole” then you’re probably on track. In the movies, of course, that’s a different story – people like to do cool stuff while dying in movies, act all badass for our amusement. Let’s look at 20 such fallen heroes. Spoilers should go without saying. But we said it. Right there. So no one can complain.

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Exactly one billion years ago today, a group of settlers had an early dinner with the Wampanoag Native American tribe before playing an unsettling game of touch football in their back yard. They then went to the local merchant to stand in line for many hours in hopes of purchasing an item for slightly less than what it will cost the following day, thus completely justifying the enormous emotional distress of doing so. Today we honor this tradition by having a dinner with friends and family to celebrate the unification of mankind before going to the mall and doing the exact opposite of that. But hey, it could be weirder. For example, the following:

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Looper

Beware of Massive Spoilers for Looper after the jump. Should we enjoy time travel movies for their entertainment value despite any plot holes that might arise, or are those pesky nitpicks enough to sink the sci-fi ship? That’s the question at the heart of a metric ton of gold-bricking discussions about Looper – a film that playfully and smartly waves away the specifics in search of a larger metaphor. But is that really okay? To step away from the heat of the conversation, I’d like to give an example from the past that falls in the sweet middle spot of that main question: the liquid metal absurdity of Terminator 2. My central problem with the time travel in that fun-as-hell film is that it doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. Granted, from the “present” that we’re watching, it all seems fine. The original plan failed, so they call in Robert Patrick to take over. But put yourself in the room when the machines sent back Arnold Schwarzenegger in the first one. They would have known instantly whether the plan worked or not, and that causes a lot of problems for the internal logic of what goes on in the sequel.

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Blu-ray Spotlight

Anthologies are tricky business, especially with a beloved franchise that has taken some lumps over the years. For example, 20th Century Fox knocked it out of the park earlier this year with the Alien Anthology, mostly because it gave us ample reason to rebuy some films we’ve already owned for years. The packaging was brilliant, the box set included a bunch of new interactive features and the entire thing was easily one of the most impressive box sets we’ve seen in a long time, if ever. Even people who weren’t fans of the troubled third film or the odd left turn of the fourth film would be compelled to pick it up. It was that good. Conversely, The Terminator Anthology, released as an exclusive to Best Buy this past week as compendium on the sci-fi franchise that includes one of the single most iconic characters in cinema history, is not that good. It’s a nice little set that comes with all of the movies in a nice package, but it fails a lot of ways that other anthologies succeed. And I say this as someone who probably enjoyed Terminator 3 and Terminator Salvation more than you did.

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Jurassic Park Mosquito

Movie trailers are one of the few things in the industry that you really can’t improve upon with technology. It’s just editing – that’s it. Nothing else can make a trailer better besides skill. This is also why it seems like they generally get better every year (not always the case though). It’s difficult to nail down exactly what makes a teaser trailer effective, which is why we’re going to focus simply on intensity. It’s the best part, especially when a film is already anticipated from the start due to being an adaptation or a sequel. So here we go – fifteen movie teasers that have your heart pounding before the feature presentation even begins.

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Mmmm. Grab a snack and get ready for some hot viscid action because we’ll be talking about movie sludge today! We’re talking creeping and colorful gunk – the thicker and scarier the better. Why? You ask? Because behind every adult – every respectable member of working society – is a little kid, morbidly fascinated with the creepy and slimy. This is why Reality TV thrives like it does.

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Culture Warrior

Way back in the summer of 2004, on the heels of the great success of I Love the 80s and (later) I Love the 70s, VH1 tested the bounds and justifications of the nostalgia market by releasing the initial ten-part I Love the 90s. Instead of simply reflecting upon the most memorable and oft-canonized popular culture products and national news events of the 1970s and 1980s (two decades whose iconography had become ever more apparent, stylized, and parodied during its reappropriation in late 90s/early 00s pop culture), VH1 instead attempted (perhaps unsuccessfully) to create a trend rather than merely follow the typical, perhaps “natural” cycle of nostalgia. Because I Love the 90s aired only a few years after the actual 90s ended, VH1 situated the early 21st century – a time that ostensibly marked a major temporal shift but (save for 9/11) had yet to be self-defined – as a time that uniquely necessitated an immediate reflection on how to understand the 20th century, even the years of that century that were not so long ago. The experiment was both engaging and bizarre. By 2004, the early 90s had come into stark, VH1-friendly self-definition. Yes, we could all collectively make fun of Joey Lawrence, Pogs, oversize flannel, and Kevin Costner’s accent in Robin Hood, and share in the memories and irony-light criticisms therein with Michael Ian Black and Wendy the Snapple Lady. However, by the time the show reached 1997-99, I Love the 90s seemed less like a program banking […]

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We have been talking about posters from MondoTees for a while now, and for good reason. Their posters exist in two places – on my walls, and in the dreams of movie gods.

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culturewarrior-digitalcreatures

This week’s Culture Warrior explains why puppet Yoda is far superior to digital Yoda.

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bluray-header

This week the world famous FSR Blu-ray column changes formats again. We told Exec. Editor Neil Miller not to do it, but he just kept saying “I’m the Boss, deal with it.” Hopefully you like it…

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