Terminator Retrospective Part 4

Terminator: Salvation

Let’s face facts. Terminator is a franchise that can thrive without the presence and mystique of Arnold Schwarzenegger. He is the lifeblood. Even if Terminator: Genisys is a fiasco, at least the Austrian Oak is in it once again and he is terra firma of all these films. Terminator: Salvation and The Sarah Connor Chronicles FOX television show erroneously believed that Schwarzenegger is just an optional accessory and not the main attraction. McG and showrunner Josh Friedman were tragically mistaken.

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Shouts From the Back Row – Episode 220 – The Terminator Franchise

TerminatorThere’s a new Terminator movie out in theatres, and so Gill, Robin, TK, and special guest Rob McElheron have decided to seize the opportunity to discuss the entire Terminator franchise. Every Terminator film between the first installment and 2009’s atrocious Terminator: Salvation is reviewed, and Rob gives us a preview of our more in-depth review of Terminator: Genisys coming next week. Click here to download the episode!

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Before They Were Stars: Jai Courtney in “Boys Grammar”

Terminator Genisys is currently playing in theatres, featuring one of The Back Row’s least favourite actors, Jai Courtney, who presumably delivers his usual bland performance in the role of Kyle Reese. However, if you want to see a darker side of Jai Courtney, we can travel back to his native Australia in 2005. Courtney made his acting debut in a controversial eight-minute short film called Boys Grammar, where he plays a student at a private all-boys school who participates in the brutal gang rape of a bullying victim.

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Last Link of the Day: Ali Cuts the Watermelon

Apparently he was completely sober, too. I weep for humanity.

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Terminator Retrospective Part 3

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

“There is no fate but what we make for ourselves” was the mantra for the two original films but Terminator 3 teaches us that, despite the delay, the war between mankind and machines will still be waged. I’ve been a staunch advocate of Terminator 3 since its release in 2003 and I still see many merits in its admittedly inferior but nonetheless invigorating framework.

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Robin’s Underrated Gems: Horror Express (1972)

A few weeks ago, one of cinema’s greatest icons, Christopher Lee, passed away at the age of 93 after having lived a more interesting and eventful life than any of us could ever dream of. Of course, after having amassed a filmography of nearly 300 titles, you just know that Lee must have acted in a few underrated gems here or there. The one actor that Lee is probably most associated with is Peter Cushing. Lee’s run in the horror genre pretty much began when he cast as Frankenstein’s monster in the 1957 Hammer Films production, The Curse of Frankenstein, with Cushing as Dr. Frankenstein. Shortly thereafter, Lee found the role he would become most associated with after he was cast in the title role in Horror of Dracula, which is regarded by many to be both the best Hammer production and Dracula film ever made. Of course, Peter Cushing played Lee’s arch-rival, Van Helsing, in Horror of Dracula, and the two actors would go on to appear in over twenty films together. Of course, not all of the Lee-Cushing projects were great movies, but the two men never failed to elevate the material with their screen presence. In 1972, Lee and Cushing teamed up for a British/Spanish production called Horror Express, which could best be described as a cross between The Thing and Murder on the Orient Express, and is one of the more underrated films of both actors’ careers.

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Before They Were Stars: Tony Hale in a Herbal Essences Commercial

If you were around during the 1990s, you probably remember the infamous commercials for Herbal Essences shampoo, which none-too-subtly advertised the product as “a totally organic experience” while women were showcased having an orgasmic reaction to this shampoo in their hair. In this ad for Herbal Essences’ Fruit Fusions brand, the future Buster Bluth himself, Tony Hale, plays a guy who seems extremely uncomfortable about his wife’s orgasmic reactions. I bet Lucille#2 wouldn’t react that way to shampoo.

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Last Link of the Day: Joe Canadian

Happy Canada Day!

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Happy Canada Day From The Back Row!

It’s Canada Day, so all us Back Row Canucks are out enjoying the crappy weather, drinking our Canadian beer and eating our Canadian bacon. Then we’ll go play a massive, nationwide game of hockey, get injured, and take advantage of Canadian healthcare. Yay Canada!

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Terminator Retrospective Part 2

Terminator 2: Judgment Day

The Sarah Connor who was a hapless waitress is gone. Instead she has been replaced by a sensationally muscular, lean, chain-smoking Connor who is doing pull-ups in her sanitarium cell. Hamilton’s transition from the 1984 picture to this follow-up is chameleonic. She is no longer tethered to humanity. She is exfoliated down to survival instincts. This is a tour-de-force performance of a psyche snapped beyond the brink.

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