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Filtering by Tag: The Terminator

Hear Me Threaten the Life of Co-Host Josh Larsen on Last Week's Filmspotting!

Chris Klimek

The Terminator is one of my favorite movies. When my Windy City pals Adam Kempenarr and Josh Larsen announced the other week that they would make writer-director James Cameron's low-budget, high-concept sci-fi classic the subject of one of their "Sacred Cow" reviews, I knew that the likelihood that Josh—a critic who generally seems to dislike action films, with the bizarre exception of the Fast & the Furious franchise, which to me represents the genre at its most derivative and least inspired—would rain on it. He hates Predator, people! Predator! A film I saw last year at the Library of Congress!

So I took action. To paraphrase Al Capone, you can get farther with a kind word and a quote from The Terminator than you can with a kind word alone. The threatening voice mail I left for Josh opened last week's episode.

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Pop Culture Happy Hour, Small Batch Ed. — Terminator: Genisys (sic)

Chris Klimek

Arnold Schwarzenegger as a long-serving T-800. (Paramount/Skydance)

Arnold Schwarzenegger as a long-serving T-800. (Paramount/Skydance)

 Skyped in from the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center in beautiful New London, CT to dissect Terminator: Genisys (sic) — the underwhelming reboot of/fourth sequel to one of my favorite movies — with Pal-for-Life Glen Weldon. While I was taking in this movie in the “Luxury Seating” equipped Waterford 9 Cinemas, several of my fellow Critic Fellows, all ladies, were next door enjoying Magic Mike XXL. My proposal for a double feature was summarily rejected.

For The Village Voice, L.A. Weekly, and affiliates, Ten Summer Movies I Hope Don't Suck

Chris Klimek

Pixar's  Inside Out  gives physical form to one girl's Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith). The first trailer was sexist and lame, but trailers ain't movies.

Pixar's Inside Out gives physical form to one girl's Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith). The first trailer was sexist and lame, but trailers ain't movies.

It's Memorial Day weekend, which a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away used to signal the start of the summer movie season. Sometime around the turn of the century, the summer movies began arriving the first weekend in May. In recent years the first weekend in April has become a perennial launchpad for Marvel movies and Fast & Furious flicks. 

But I'm the sentimental type, so I (and The Village Voice and L.A. Weekly) waited until this week to post my look at ten releases coming up in roughly the next 10 weeks for which I've got grand or at least moderate hopes. Plus Magic Mike XXL, which I was asked to add so the list wouldn't be "too straight." I am aware that Channing Tatum is what the former John "Cougar" Mellencamp would call "a real good dancer," but Steven Soderbergh is not un-retiring from theatrical filmmaking to direct this sequel, so I'd probably rather see Jurassic World or Ant-Man, neither of which made the cut.

Have a great summer, movie lovers.

Prose and Retcons, or Don't Fear the Rewind, or Mulligans' Wake

Chris Klimek

"Well, everyone knows Ripley died on Fiornia-161. What this ALIEN movie presupposes is... maybe she didn't?"

I have a long, long "Exposition" essay up at The Dissolve today inspired by (uncertain) reports that District 9 director Neill Blomkamp's upcoming Alien movie may be a ret-con scenario that undoes the events of 1992's Alien-little-three, or Alien Cubed – anyway, the one where Ripley died. The piece is about retconning in fiction in general, and why it doesn't much impair my ability or inclination to suspend my disbelief at all.

If you're quite comfortable in your chair, and you're stout of heart and nerdy of temperament... Onward!

 

 

The Infiltration Unit: Terminator 2's Brilliant Game of Good 'Bot, Bad Cop

Chris Klimek

Robert Patrick's "mimetic pollyalloy" T-1000 could look like anyone. For most of  T2 , he looks like an LAPD patrolman.

Robert Patrick's "mimetic pollyalloy" T-1000 could look like anyone. For most of T2, he looks like an LAPD patrolman.

I've very proud to have contributed the concluding essay of The Dissolve's Movie of the Week coverage of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, long one of my sentimental favorites. My piece examines how cowriter-director James Cameron's decision to disguise the film's mysterious villain, the advanced T-1000 Terminator played (mostly) by Robert Patrick, as a uniformed Los Angeles police officer anticipated our growing discomfort with police in general and the L.A.P.D. in particular at the start of the 90s. It also explores the film's ironic connection to the tragic beating of Rodney King by four L.A.P.D. officers near one of T2's key locations while the film was in production. Read it here.

 

Back to the Future (Past), or You Can't Keep a Good X-Man Down

Chris Klimek

I enjoyed X-Men: Days of Future Past, Bryan Singer's return after a decade-long absence to the surprisingly resilient superhero franchise he originated. This movie is based on a 1981 story from The Uncanny X-Men comic book that I first read when it was reprinted in probably 1989 or 1990.

The movie alters the tale as necessary to unite the cast of 2011's 60s-set X-Men: First Class with the players from the earlier X-pictures, set in the present day -- or rather, as a title card at the top of 2000's X-Men tells us, "the not-too-distant future." I'd feared this timeline-straddling -- Days of Future Past is set in some unspecified year in the 2020s, -ish, and in 1973 -- might make the movie as dull and incoherent as the Star Wars prequels, but it's funny and light on its feet.

This time-travel movie triggered some sympathetic time-travel on my part. I bought my first issue of X-Men in the summer of 1988, and I stuck with the title for about four years after that. Since then, I've looked in on the X-Men infrequently, whenever I've heard that Grant Morrison or Joss Whedon or Matt Fraction was up to something interesting with them. 

Anyway. For NPR, some ruminations on how time-travel helps to keep long-running movie franchises fresh.

SEE ALSO: Another thing I wrote for NPR, about a quite different time-travel flick last year.

It's About Time Somebody Called Richard Curtis on This Shit

Chris Klimek

That's disingenuous. Plenty of critics have called Richard Curtis on the way his new movie About Time cheats already. My take, which you can read on Monkey See now, is somewhat unique, I hope.

Backstory: I saw About Time on vacation in Leicester Square in London about two months ago, several weeks before it opened here in the States. (Fancy!) With the exchange rate being what it is, two tickets cost me the equivalent of $50 -- double the freight of a first-run movie here in Washington, DC. I would've been steamed to spend that much on a film I disliked. As I suspected I would, I enjoyed the film unabashedly, but I felt even guiltier for liking it than I'd felt for liking Curtis's other sappy movies, especially Love, Actually, which was particularly egregious. About Time's handling of its time-travel conceit was just so lazy and... unfair.

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Judgment: Judgment Day

Chris Klimek

Edward Furlong and Arnold Schwarzenegger get close in 1991's  Terminator 2: Judgment Day.

Edward Furlong and Arnold Schwarzenegger get close in 1991's Terminator 2: Judgment Day.

Over in today's Criticwire survey, I make a Sophie's choice and present my surprisingly concise rationale for why Terminator 2: Judgment Day is the superior of James Cameron's two Terminator joints. And I begin flogging my imminent Village Voice piece about Arnold Schwarzenegger's attempt at a comeback in The Last Stand. That should be online Wednesday or Thursday.  Rest assured I will let you know.