Manic Compression We ❤ Movies!

Terminate the Terminator?

Sometimes it seems like Hollywood just doesn’t know when to stop when it comes to franchises. Christopher Nolan has directed his last Dark Night movie, but we’re going to be subjected to yet another Terminator? What’s wrong with this picture?

terminator-terminator-297645_1280_1024Morgan and David Ellison, current owners of the rights to the Terminator franchise, apparently plan on releasing two new films before 2019, when the rights will revert back to Terminator’s original director James Cameron. Because it’s so early in the process, we have no idea what these next two Terminator movies will be about. One thing does seem certain: Arnold Schwarzenegger will be back to play the title role. The action star confirmed this in a recent interview about his current movie, The Last Stand.

Many have questioned the decision to revive the franchise yet again, and wondered specifically about how the writers will incorporate an aging Arnold into the plot. Will he play a starring role or a smaller part? Will he be CGI-ed back to younger days a la Jeff Bridges in Tron, will he appear as a computer animated image as in Terminator Salvation, or will the writers find some way to explain away an aging robot?

Rumor has it the Ellison siblings paid around $20 million for the rights to make these next two movies…how much of a return can they expect on that investment? Worldwide box office revenues have been declining on this franchise, with Terminator 2 earning $519 million in 1991, Terminator 3 earning $433 million in 2003, and Terminator Salvation earning $371 million in 2009.

We’ll have to gamble the roulette and just wait and see whether these next two movies can do better, or if they will finally terminate the Terminator franchise.

An Early Look at Disney’s “Wreck-it Ralph”

                From the first peek of “Wreck-It Ralph”, Disney’s newest animated feature, it seems that a lot of buttons are being pushed for children of the 1980s and 1990s. Just the trailers feature cameos from Bowser of Super Mario Bros. fame and a Pac Man ghost, both of whom appear in a “Bad Anon” meeting being visited for the first time by our titular villain… or is he really a hero? As Disney sets out to answer this question, audiences come into the theater wondering—can a movie with references to older video games but meant for younger audiences appeal to everyone? The answer seems to be a resounding yes.

                The references aren’t overwhelming enough to make the movie incomprehensible to anybody who isn’t well versed in video game culture. In fact, they act more as “easter eggs”; when you catch them you feel as if you’re in on a little secret along with the filmmakers. The relationship between the older main character and his childish sidekick is in itself enough to draw older and younger members of the audience together.

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But the film does far more than gather people of all ages together for a fun flick. It’s a good look at growing up for adults and children alike. Grown-ups will understand what it means to come to terms with your life and what you’ve chosen to do with yourself, and how to find relevance in a world that seems more and more geared towards younger individuals. Kids will get what it’s like to be the outcast, and just about everybody knows what it’s like to feel like a “glitch”.

                “Wreck-It Ralph” could have been an enjoyable movie even if it was just a look at video games and video game culture. The fact that the filmmakers have done more and delivered a film with a lot of heart, and that can be enjoyed by everyone, speaks volumes for the direction that Disney is moving in. If they continue to produce films of this quality we could be moving into a new golden era in Disney Animation.