Tag Archives: Arnold Schwarzenegger

Where “Terminator: Dark Fate” went wrong and could now lose $150 million

Last night I went and belatedly saw the sixth movie in the Terminator series, which is sort-of the third because the script wisely ignores what happened in the 3rd, 4th and 5th movies and the TV series.

It needs a gross of $450-$480 million just to break even.

It cost $185 or $196 million to make depending on whom you believe and it needs to gross $450-$480 million just to break even.

It is reportedly facing an estimated loss of $100 million to $150 million. Now I know why.

The action scenes were edited too tightly and the non-action scenes were edited too slackly.

Only my opinion, of course – and what do I know?

But parts of the action sequences were cut to the point of disjointed abstraction – a style which seems to me to have started with the overly-edited action scenes in Joel Schumacher’s un-involving Batman & Robin in 1997.

And, in non-action scenes in a modern movie, you really do not need to see what I sat through in Terminator: Dark Fate – people walking or driving to a new location to get into the next scene. It’s padding; just as some conversational scenes were thrown in to create atmosphere but without any plot point. They were padding which varied the pace (good) but did not develop the plot (bad).

There was one missed chance where a mini-revelation which might have been quite effective was ruined by a shot in the promotional trailer.

Arnie may have aged 27 years, but why did the machine?

And – a big thing because it troubled me all the way through – it was never explained how or why Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character – a terminator – had physically aged 27 years since the second film. He’s a robot! Arnold Schwarzenegger has aged 27 years, but why would a robot/cyborg/machine age like a human?

At least try to throw in an explanation.

For fuck’s sake, the movie cost $185 or $196 million to make: at least plug any holes which might detract from the audience’s willing suspension of disbelief.

It’s all the more surprising because there were signs that the whole thing might have been influenced by some committee which included (God help us) marketing people.

I like movies with kick-ass female action heroes but this one had three central female action heroes (well, two-and-a-half) and no male action hero – Yes, Arnie was introduced after a bit, but he really filled the traditional ‘sidekick to the hero’ role with action added. The feminist role casting, good in itself, may have arguably backfired because it was over-calculated.

Perhaps the commendable feminist role-casting backfired?

One other, admittedly very minor, point is that the title Terminator: Dark Fate doesn’t really mean anything specific. It can be argued in vague terms that a ‘dark fate’ for the human race is averted but, really, there is nothing specific to the plot of this movie. 

It’s a generic piece of title waffle.

It smacks of some focus group or studio suit coming up with a seemingly ‘sexy’ but generic movie title.

Dark Fate is a phrase with a seeming ‘hook’ for an audience. But, really, you could sub-title any movie that – from Iron Man: Dark Fate to Beverly Hills Cop: Dark Fate to Snow White: Dark Fate – with as much relevance and effect.

It’s not big; it’s not clever. Not mean, not lean, not clean.

Just titular waffle, missus.

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The Grouchy Club Podcast: a tad surreal

THIS BLOG WAS WRITTEN AND WAS INTENDED TO BE POSTED ON FRIDAY 23rd OCTOBER. IT IS BEING POSTED ON SUNDAY 25th OCTOBER BECAUSE I WAS UNABLE TO POST IT.

THE MORAL TO THIS IS: DON’T START A BLOG WITH WORDPRESS.

NOW READ ON, AS IF IT WERE LAST FRIDAY…

Copstick (left) and me (on the right)

Copstick & me: It was not just the hair that was out of control


This evening, comedy critic Kate Copstick and I recorded our 36th weekly Grouchy Club Podcast.

Copstick had bumped into someone this week who told her that, last weekend, he had got unbelievably drunk, booked into a hotel from Friday to Monday and, still drunk, simply listened to the previous 35 Grouchy Club Podcasts one after the other. 

This sounds made-up, but is true.

I can only worry for his mental well-being.

Copstick and I usually do not discuss in advance what we are going to talk about but we usually stumble into some subject. 

That was going to change this evening.

I thought it would be interesting to talk about How to interview someone.

So we actually had a topic.

But, as it turned out, we never discussed it.

The podcast recording ended 24 minutes later.

This is a short extract. If anyone understands what was going on, do let us know… I think printing a conversation, word-for-word without editing, can have its own type of surreal splendour…


COPSTICK
Talking of Richard Gadd…

JOHN
… and who isn’t?

COPSTICK
Well we are. Spencer Jones, who was also up in Edinburgh, with a show that…

JOHN
… tragically I should have nominated and didn’t…

COPSTICK
It should have been nominated for all manner of loveliness… I’m just wondering… It crossed my mind… he’s doing terribly well on the old television advert front. He did a credit card advert where he was getting married, which was all lovely and very sweet. And now he’s doing something for dentists, where he’s grinning and clowning into camera with a set of ghastly fake teeth, encouraging people to go and get their teeth fixed for their selfie – Do it for your selfie!

JOHN
I dislike him now. It’s the part I was born to play. (RATTLES TEETH)

COPSTICK
That looked every bit as gross as it sounded, people of the ether. I just wonder, if you are trying to be taken seriously as a Gaulier-inspired, trend-setting…

JOHN
Train set?’

COPSTICK
…free-thinking, creative, clowning comic of the one-hour show format… I wonder if it makes it more difficult to be taken seriously when people are going: Oh, you’re the bloke from the advert, with the bad teeth, aren’t you?

JOHN
I don’t think so, because Dr Ryegold…

COPSTICK
George Ryegold

JOHN
… he’s in lots of adverts. He’s in about three adverts.

COPSTICK
Ah, yes, but his character in those adverts…

JOHN
… is the character, yes.

COPSTICK
… is really quite George Ryegold.

JOHN
Yes.

COPSTICK
The SpecSavers one with the dead cat.

JOHN
Yes, he’s George as opposed to Toby.

COPSTICK
He’d kind of George-ish. He’s not quite as rancid and humanity-loathing and drunk and perverted as George, because it’s difficult to do that in an advert…

JOHN
I’d buy the product!

COPSTICK
… for SpecSavers.

JOHN
I’d buy it.

COPSTICK
SpecSavers?

JOHN
I dunno. there’s something about a dead cat. Yeah, dead cats…

COPSTICK
Yeah. The dead cat. Should’ve gone to SpecSavers.

JOHN
Indeed. How we laughed.

COPSTICK
It’s quite ‘him’ – I mean it’s quite George. this… I dunno… If you’re meant to be… I don’t know… It was just that, last year, Spencer did say it did quite get to him a bit that he was constantly being stopped and asked if he was the one that was getting married.

JOHN
That’s OK. It’s recognition.

COPSTICK
Yes, but…

JOHN
I was trying to think of other people who…

COPSTICK
… is there the wrong kind of recognition? Look, this is a topic, John. we have hit on a topic!

JOHN
Can I point out…

COPSTICK
Is there the wrong kind of recognition?

JOHN
Can I point out that, although she’s a bit further along in the process, Nicole Kidman is now appearing with meerkats.

COPSTICK
I know!

JOHN
Very impressive.

COPSTICK
How badly must her career be going? Or How much money must they have?

JOHN
Well, I did think how much money because, well, Hollywood stars do do lots of ads in Japan, don’t they, and…

COPSTICK
Well, Arnold Schwarzenegger did it before her…

JOHN
… with the meerkats, yes.

COPSTICK
… with the meerkats AND now Sylvester Stallone is advertising Warburton’s bread.

JOHN
You’re joking!

COPSTICK
No! Sylvester Stallone is advertising Warburton’s bread.


The full 24-minute podcast can be heard HERE.

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IMF managing director, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, dressed up in babies’ clothes and sucking on a large dummy

What is wrong with the managing director of the IMF, Dominique Strauss-Kahn?

That man needs serious PR counselling. He looked guilty and dodgy in the New York court. Probably with good reason.

I do like to be lazy and not shave for a bit myself (I had a beard, aged 25-50) but, really, if you are going to be in court charged with attempted rape and you know there will be TV cameras there, then do shave, wear a tie and try to look innocent, not like a rather down-at-heel caged wolf.

It’s enough to give bankers a bad name.

When I was a researcher on The Last Resort with Jonathan Ross TV show, as a possible interviewee, I once chatted to a woman who ran an infantilist business, Her market was grown men (allegedly not paedophiles…) who liked to dress up in babies’ clothes. Giant nappies, the whole caboodle.

If you are an American, for “nappies” read “diapers”.

And they had parties.

Apparently the sort of men who like this tend to be men in very straight, responsible jobs like bank managers. It makes you wonder about Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

I have never had much respect for authority figures anyway but, when you imagine them dressed up in giant nappies sucking on over-sized dummies sitting in specially-made giant-sized cots, it tends to make them seem less authoritative…

If you are an American, for “dummies” read “pacifiers”.

The woman who ran the infantilist business was, at that time, the girlfriend of a now-deceased special effects man who worked on Hammer horror films. I knew him slightly. He was brought up in Kent and, as a child, used to dig up the skeletons of Napoleonic prisoners of war buried in the Kent marshes. He didn’t like his girlfriend to eat food in front of other people.

There are some interesting people around. I am comparatively dull.

Mark you, compared to some of these people, Arnold Schwarzenegger’ sex life would be dull.

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