It’s Friday, and the weather reports are predicting rain, rain, rain all through Memorial Day weekend. Very sad, but this news does automatically increase your chances of heading to a movie theater sometime over the next three days. So what should you see? After the jump, John Connor becomes a sexy bitch in the form of Christian Bale in “Terminator Salvation,” Steven Soderbergh pops a porn star’s mainstream movie cherry in “The Girlfriend Experience,” and Ben Stiller is lost in a museum. Again.
The Movie: “Terminator Salvation”
The Trailer Hitch: In the near future—2018, which is like, so soon—John Connor stalks the apocalyptic wasteland battling cyborgs that look like “Tranformer” rejects. He’s no longer a young, innocent cutie played by Edward Furlong—he’s grown up into a rough-and-tumble Christian Bale, seeking revenge on the robots who’ve had it in for him since before he was born. He revs his motorcycle, dodges fireballs, and tries to prevent Judgment Day for the fourth time.
The Verdict: Funny that this movie has the word “salvation” in the title, because for the Terminator series, this flick is anything but. We’re pining for the days when Linda Hamilton saved the day, guns a blazing. And by that we mean both firearms and those famous biceps that were the forerunner to Michelle Obama’s.
The Movie: “The Girlfriend Experience”
The Trailer Hitch: Chelsea is your new best friend. She sashays around town in the best clothes, going on dates with the most fabulous men, who sip Sancerre in million-dollar kitchens and breathtaking beach homes. Oh, and she always has envelopes of cash on hand, because, well, she’s a call girl. Which to judge from the look on her face is about as dull as regular dating.
The Verdict: Director Steven Soderbergh goes soft core in this film, which stars real-live porn star Sasha Grey. Filmed in New York just before the economic meltdown, it captures a slice of high living that already seems dated. Still, the intimate camerawork and Soderbergh’s skill at capturing nuance save the day.
The Movie: “Night at the Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian”
The Trailer Hitch: Ben Stiller and Jonah Hill cause mayhem in the Smithsonian, as mummies come to life, space shuttles blast off, and Amelia Earhart (aka Amy Adams) provides the requisite flirtatious adventure. Oh, and Bill Heder plays General Custer who can’t pronounce Sacajawea and Owen Wilson does his idiot act as pioneer Jedediah Smith.
The Verdict: Supposedly for kids, this movie’s got a subversive streak. There is something a little dark about putting Stiller at the center of a family-friendly flick. Tykes in your life will get a weird but fun version of American history—maybe this will be their “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.”