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Tough Times for the Terminator Fan, Part 1

May 29, 2009

OK, the writing was on the wall for the cancellation of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.  I sent emails and letters to Fox, told friends to watch the show, and ate as many DQ Blizzards as there were human lives ended on August 29, 1997.  I did not, however, buy a Dodge Gigantor, so I alone take the blame for the axing of T:SCC.  But the enduring theme of the Terminator movies is hope—and/or punching/stabbing through people’s torsos—so even as I girded myself for the show’s death, I giddily awaited the expansion of the Terminator mythos with Terminator Salvation.   After I saw the trailer featuring everything I ever thought was awesome (giant killer robots, Nine Inch Nails songs, hot half-Asians chicks and redheads), I emailed my friends sort-of-jokingly making them promise not to let me die before seeing Terminator Salvation.

Shit.  I really wanted to like this movie; I swear I did.  I gave it every benefit of the doubt.  I had even convinced myself when I came out of the theater that it was “pretty good”.  But in the end, it was a jumbled, disorganized mess, with none of the elements that made the first two movies iconic and got the original into the National Film Registry.  Yeah, it had axshun and splosions, but this was going to be the resurrection of the freakin’ TERMINATOR movies!  PG-13?  Come on!

It’s my own fault, really.  I should have known not to give McG such sway over my happiness.  If there’s one lesson I learned from Star Wars: Episode 1–The Phantom Menace, it is never, ever, get really excited about a movie.  You will be disappointed.  I learned this again with The Matrix Reloaded, and I’m sure I’ll learn it several more times.

So I will attempt, perhaps until death, to figure out how to stop studios from making crappy sequels to my favorite movies.  But the prospect of easy money from a watered-down, more “accessible” version of an already-established franchise is perhaps too great for studios to resist.  I should have realized my destiny was never to stop Terminator Salvation.  It was merely to survive it.

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