Rango (2011 - Theater)

Actors are better than normal people, or if you fake your way through life, things will work out just a-okay. One, or possibly both of those is the moral of Rango, and I have to say I didn't care for this movie all that much. Yes, I could cite how its action scenes are too fast and make little sense, but instead, I'll harp on what stood out to me the most:

None of the supporting characters, aside from the female lizard/lemming thing who's really annoying, have any kind of personality. It's like they all just exist so Rango can be their savior. I'm gonna go off on a tangent and mention how lately the bashing of 80's cartoons around the internet has been ramped up a notch, but at least 80's cartoons generally understood that more than just the "main" character is important. And in fact, when they changed focus to only one character (Scrappy Doo, Slimer), that's when everyone agrees they screwed up.

I had this same problem with Kung Fu Panda in that Jack Black was the only one who was important, the "Furious Five" weren't. Rango is an even bigger step backwards in that direction because Rango himself is not particularly interesting as a character since he mostly gets by on luck, or perhaps just the magic of being voiced by the most popular actor, instead of actually being clever or intelligent. I don't think we're supposed to side with the rattlesnake when he tells the townspeople the truth about Rango, but I felt it was a comeuppance he deserved.

Finally, how many times have you seen characters in wheelchairs being portrayed as villains? Yes, I get the reference. No, it doesn't excuse it. Transformers, in the 80s, had a character in a wheelchair who was on the good guys' side. Was that show really that far ahead of its time?
Rating: 2/5

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles: The Complete First Season (2008 - DVD)

When this show originally aired, one of the first episodes I caught was one that didn't make a whole lot of sense to me and thus gave me an initial bad impression of it. That, and after seeing Terminator 3, I was very apprehensive of the idea of anyone doing anything with the franchise after that, instead of just letting it end at T2.

But after watching T:SCC from the beginning, I can say now that this show actually is a lot better than what I had given it credit for. It wastes no time in getting to the action and it's much more faithful to the characters and source material than T3 was. Heck, it even retcons T3, so thumbs up just for that.

The basic premise is that yet another (reprogrammed) Terminator, a female named Cameron, is sent back in time to protect John Connor, the future savior of mankind, from Skynet, a rogue computer program that has declared war on humans in the future. Skynet sends its own Terminators back in time, but this time they're not only going after John Connor, but other targets that help him in the future world. To complicate things further, they are putting steps in place to make sure that Judgment Day happens. All the while, John, Cameron, and John's mother Sarah Connor, must stop Skynet's plans at every turn to not only save themselves, but alter the future.

Season 1 is pretty darn good, but it does require a strong suspension of disbelief for some things. That Kyle Reese had a brother and he just so happens to end up with the Connors is a little silly, but you get used to it. There are also some plot threads started in this season that get completely dumped in the second season, mostly that strange girl at school that John was interested in, but I can't honestly say I cared too much about her, anyway.

Overall, Season 2 might be better (I haven't finished it as of typing this yet), but it's still quite an explosive start.
Rating: 4/5



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