Scott Hardie | July 6, 2003
I've got a question for the TC authors who know me well: Do you think I'm passive-aggressive? At the beginning of our normal Saturday gaming session, one of the players concisely described each person in the group, and he said that I was passive-aggressive. At first I was insulted (though I know he didn't mean it that way), because while I generally try to be easy-going, I do not like being thought of as a pushover. I tried to tell him that normally I'm a very firm person, but in the presence of so many dominant people in the group, my strength fades... but by that point in my sentence, he'd already cut me off. This is something that happens often, by the way, people in this group interrupting me. They tell me I should speak up more, and I often do! Even if I keep right on talking and even if I raise my voice, it does no good: The interruptor invariably seizes the group's attention away from me.

Anyway, this same guy always brings over lots of candy every Saturday and insists on leaving at my house. I don't mind the candy here when the group is here, but I definitely don't want it left here afterwards! I swear I've told this to him twenty times, and I even practically shouted it to him tonight, but he just seems deaf to my wishes on the subject. However, tonight, for a change, he was dropping me off at home at the end of the night, and after I got out of his car, I put the bag of candy on the passenger seat and wouldn't take it back. And you know what? I bet he drove away thinking how passive-aggressive I am about that candy, how I have to take a quiet stand at the very end of the night instead of saying no earlier. This shit pisses me off.

Anna Gregoline | July 6, 2003
They just sound disrespectful to me.

Lori Lancaster | July 6, 2003
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Jackie Mason | July 7, 2003
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Anna Gregoline | July 8, 2003
Scott also considers other's opinions before speaking (or speaking over them).

Scott Hardie | July 8, 2003
Thanks for the kind words, everybody. I have been thinking about this, and I realized that I do often clam up when someone steals my turn to speak. But that's usually because I consider the person to be so rude that I no longer want to continue speaking to him or her; that person is not worth my time or thought. I could see how a person doing this to me on a regular basis would interpret my frequent silence as "passive" and my later firmness as "aggressive," and you know what, maybe it is. But I think it's a behavior that's caused by my situations, not something in my personality. Anyway, I'll watch for it some more in future interactions and give it more thought. Thanks again.

Erik Bates | July 8, 2003
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Jackie Mason | July 7, 2003
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Anna Gregoline | July 8, 2003
In a "making of" program, I saw that there was a possibility of a fifth and a SIXTH Terminator.

Scott Hardie | July 8, 2003
Good stuff:

- That spectacular chase scene. It's loud and pulverizing. I didn't realize how accustomed I'd gotten to graceful action by watching "The Matrix" and lots of Asian action films, and it was great to be reminded of how thrilling brute force can be in a battle scene.

- The twists in the series plotline were presented in an intriguing way; I for one didn't see them coming, including the nature of Crystal Peak.

- The CGI was good in the sense that it was not noticeably CGI. I don't normally care anyway except in egregiously fake-looking scenes (like in "Die Another Day"), but at least I don't have to read legions of F/X snobs complaining about it like with "Hulk" and "The Matrix Reloaded."

- The acting was above average for the genre, especially from Claire Danes, who was not even given a particularly realistic character.

- Nick Stahl doesn't look much like Edward Furlong, but you know what? He does look like the son of Michael Biehn. Good call, Jackie.

Bad stuff:

- There's no big action scene at the end. It's not necessarily a bad thing for a action movie to put its best setpiece near the beginning ("Star Trek: First Contact" comes to mind). But T3 develops such a frantic, hurried momentum that you think it's got to release that tension with something big at the end, and instead it gets somber just when it should (ahem) get with the smashy-smashy. Walking out of the theater afterwards, I said that it had put me in the mood to see a really good action movie, and my companion said that was like shaking up a bottle of soda but not popping the cap.

- The filmmakers know they're not James Cameron, but does that mean they couldn't learn from him? For one, he knows how to have characters behave sensibly without spoiling the plot. (In his script, I predict Kate would have called the cops with John locked in the cage, instead of getting romantic with a junkie breaking & entering her business.) For another, he knows how to convey sadness, by keeping it personal. T3 has been criticized for caring so much about its characters that the destruction of the human race is treated like a perfunctory plot point, and I think that's because the filmmakers were overwhelmed by the idea of trying to convey that. How did Cameron do it? By limiting it to Sarah Connor's personal (and horrific) point of view of the destruction only.

- The humor is a mixed bag. One-liners are Arnold's trademark, and I'm glad they played with "I'll be back." But T2 had subtler jokes deriving just from the characters' behavior. I'm reminded of the chase out of Pescadero: The T-1000 is shot and knocked off the police car, which escapes into the night. What does he do? He gets right the fuck back up and keeps on running after it, however futile the effort. I still laugh at moments like that, and T3 doesn't have time for them, at least that I noticed in one viewing. I'll look for them this weekend when I see it again with a group.

- I accept that Kristanna Loken was chosen for her appearance (not that I find her attractive at all), but I would have preferred any of the other actors previously considered for the part of the villain: Joanie Laurer (aka Chyna the wrestler), Vin Diesel, Shaquille O'Neal, and Famke Janssen.

- The worst part, I guess, is the mercenary feel to it. Certainly I understand the nature of the business. But as a film lover, I would like it very much if filmmakers who attempt a sequel to a great movie make a genuine effort to match the quality of that predecessor. For all of its giant budget, this one seems like a cheap knock-off, and that's because it was rushed into production as soon as the rights were secured. Why is it that studios will spend tens of millions of dollars on special effects, but they're so cheap when it comes to paying for a good screenplay, which is a fraction of the cost? I'm glad that there are directors like James Cameron, Quentin Tarantino, Ridley Scott, Kathryn Bigelow, Ang Lee, F. Gary Gray, and for that sake Steven Spielberg (and many others), who put forth just a little extra effort to make their action movies intelligent.

As for the current trend of making a sequel to EVERYTHING ("The Whole Ten Yards"? "The Chronicles of Riddick"? "Resident Evil: Apocalypse"? "Jumanji 2"? Do you people have any idea how many shitty sequels are coming out in the next year?), I'd prefer not to pay much attention to that disgusting practice. For every lame sequel that comes out, I lament the waste of money, talent, and theater screens that could have gone to a new film instead.

Scott Hardie | July 8, 2003
I'm so disappointed by the list of upcoming sequels that I'm going to post it here. Some of these are legitimate, and a few could be good, but most are ridiculous. This is only a list of confirmed sequels (filmed, filming, or about to start filming), leaving out many other bullshit movies that are merely in the development or concept stages:

Agent Cody Banks 2
American Wedding
Bad Boys II
Barbershop 2
Beetlejuice 2
Blade: Trinity
Blue Streak 2
Bridget Jones 2: The Edge of Reason
Cats & Dogs 2
Deuce Bigelow: Electric Gigolo
Die Hard 4: Die Hardest
Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights
Exorcist IV: The Beginning
Fletch Won
Freddy vs. Jason
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Highlander: The Source
Innocence: Ghost in the Shell II
Jeepers Creepers II
Jumanji II
Jurassic Park IV
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider - The Cradle of Life
Mad Max: Fury Road
Mission: Impossible 3
Ocean's Twelve
Once Upon a Time in Mexico (aka Desperado II)
Phantasm's End
Red Rabbit (next Jack Ryan film)
Resident Evil: Apocalypse
Return of the Living Dead 4: Rave from the Grave
Ripley's Game
Rush Hour III
Scary Movie 3
Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed
Shrek 2
Spider-Man II
Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over
Star Wars: Episode III
The Bourne Supremacy
The Chronicles of Riddick (aka Pitch Black II)
The Crow: Wicked Prayer
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
The Matrix Revolutions
The Princess Diaries 2
The Santa Clause 3
The Whole Ten Yards
XXX2

Jackie Mason | July 8, 2003
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Mike Eberhart | July 10, 2003
Hey, for all those out there that want to know about what movies are coming out now, and for several years to come. Here is a great site that I go to....http://www.comingsoon.net

Mike Eberhart | July 10, 2003
Ok, I don't know how to make a link that works, but you get the point. You'll just have to cut and paste it in the URL line.

I do agree though that there is a large amount of sequels coming out. Most of them will suck, but there are a few that I will go to see. Definately the Harry Potter movie, and for sure the Star Wars. As for the rest, I'll just have to wait and see the trailer...

Scott Hardie | July 10, 2003
The link is fixed. Just to explain it, since Mike isn't the first person to misunderstand: In the comment form at the bottom of the page, there are a couple of sample HTML commands in red. When you type the
command, it will insert a line break, which moves the text down...
...to the next line, like that. Typing two of them together...

...will skip two lines, which has the effect of inserting a blank line like I just did. The anchor command, , is used to create a hyperlink to another site. Type that command in, making sure to close it with at the end, and replace the "url" part with the address of the page. So, this would create a link to Coming Soon. (Optional: To open the link in a new window, have the TARGET=_blank, as in: this.)

Btw, I don't mean to sound condescending with what I just wrote. I've seen a couple of authors who don't know HTML get tripped up by the red samples I provide, so this is just meant to clear that up for anyone who wants to know. On to bitching about sequels... :-)

Jackie Mason | July 10, 2003
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Scott Hardie | July 10, 2003
You know, I was wondering why you hadn't changed that. :-) It was a code glitch; it's fixed now.

Mike Eberhart | July 16, 2003
Damn!!! I haven't even seen the first one yet.....


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