URLs du Jour


  • Hampton Beach NH Good news: New Hampshire is replacing signs at the beach that attempted to advise French-speaking tourists on proper procedures for requesting assistance.

    One sign warning French speakers about rip currents was supposed to say, "If you're in trouble, wave for assistance," but instead it read, "if you need help, ocean wave."

    How hard can this be? Google Translate suggests: En cas de difficulté, hurler et crier et agiter votre butin. Is that wrong?

  • The 2012 winners of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest have been announced. As usual, they are hilariously awful. My fave:

    “I’ll never get over him,” she said to herself and the truth of that statement settled into her brain the way glitter settles on to a plastic landscape in a Christmas snow globe when she accepted the fact that she was trapped in bed between her half-ton boyfriend and the wall when he rolled over on to her nightgown and passed out, leaving her no way to climb out.

  • I've been meaning to write on a peeve of mine: Comcast envelopes in the mail proclaiming "IMPORTANT INFORMATION ENCLOSED".

    And it is invariably not IMPORTANT. Instead, Comcast wants to sell me something new.

    Gosh, you think anyone else might be irked? Thanks to Google, I can tell you the answer is: yes, yes, yes, yes, …

Terminator Salvation

[1.5 stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

<voice imitation="emily_litella">

"Terminator Salivation? That's disgusting! Those killer androids are menacing enough, you want to make them drool, too? Didn't we get enough of that in the Alien movies?

"Wait, what?

"Oh, that's quite different! Never mind."


A small prequel sets up the plot driver: Marcus (played by Sam Worthington) is about to be executed by the judicial system. Thanks to Helena Bonham Carter's badgering, he donates his body to "science"; although it turns out the scientists work for Cyberdyne, who, as we know, go on to invent technology that ends the world.

The next thing Marcus knows, he's in the future, and Skynet has blown up most of humanity. I hate it when that happens.

John Connor (Christian Bale) is a major fighter in the resistance, of course, but he's not the leader. That's General Ashdown, played by well-known hardass Michael Ironside. And John has not yet encountered Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin), but thanks to his mom's posthumous instructions, he knows that he pretty much has to. (Since we've seen the previous movies, we know this too.)

If you don't understand anything I just said: there's absolutely no reason you should see this movie.

And (generally) we also know what has to happen: Connor and Reese have to meet up; Marcus has to help out; Ashdown's pig-headed stubbornness will nearly doom the good guys; some major character is not gonna make it to the end of the movie, and there's only one candidate for that.

I wanted to like this, but… sorry. Christian Bale is a fine, intense, actor, but his talent is expended to no purpose here. There are lots of explosions, chases, and other PG-13 mayhem, all with decent special effects, but not much very interesting. Perhaps realizing that there's not a lot of reason to care what happens to the adults in this movie, the makers threw a cute (and mute) kid into the perilous mix. Shameless.

There's a scene near the end where we see a scowling old friend from the first movie, but that just reminded me that I liked that one a lot better.