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Films I Neglected To Review: "I Sense Injuries"
by Peter Sobczynski

Please enjoy short reviews of "Bushwick" and "Terminator 2: 3-D"

If nothing else, one certainly has to give credit to ''Bushwick'' for having one of the most inadvertently timely premise for any movie in release at the moment. After getting off the subway to go to her grandmother's home in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bushwick, college student Lucy (Brittany Snow) finds the entire area in the midst of a violent invasion in which most of the locals are being gunned down in the street by a military-style outfit while a few try to defend themselves and their homes. After being rescued by Stupe (Dave Bautista), a former Marine who is about to set off for Hoboken to reunite with his wife and child, Lucy convinces him to first help her navigate the five or so war-torn blocks to her grandmother’s house. As the siege continues, with more and more locals beginning to fight back, the two embark on their harrowing journey and along the way meet up with Lucy’s perpetually stoned and utterly oblivious sister (Angelic Zambrana) and capture a soldier who is persuaded to spill the beans on what is really going on, a plot that genuinely seems to be ripped directly from today’s headlines.

The premise of ''Bushwick'' is certainly intriguing enough to warrant some kind of merit but it is in the execution that it falters. For a film like this to work, it should combine the unapologetically muckraking audaciousness of a Larry Cohen with the sleek cinematic style of John Carpenter. Here, the screenplay by Nick Damici is smart and terse for a while but gets a little sloppy as time goes by--key plot points such as the rationale for the Bushwick invasion and a forced excursion to a local church make little sense and the cluelessness of the sister character gets really irritating after a while. As for the direction, Cary Murnion and Jonathan Milott have given the film a stylized look that sticks to the limited field of vision of our two heroes throughout (imagine a hybrid of ''Escape from the Bronx'' and ''Son of Saul'') but there are too many points where scenes drag on a little too long and the reasonably elaborate finale is kind of a mess. This is a shame because ''Bushwick'' does have its share of good point--the early scenes do a good job on conveying the sheer confusion and panic of the situation that it presents and the performance by Dave Bautista is pretty effective as well, even managing to save a climactic monologue that might have otherwise come across as a little too melodramatic. As cinematic provocations go, ''Bushwick'' certainly has ambition to spare but it ultimately never quite manages to pay off in a satisfying manner in the end.

Having scored a reasonable success a few years ago by reconverting his 1997 blockbuster ''Titanic'' into 3-D, James Cameron has now done the same thing for his 1991 action extravaganza ''Terminator 2: Judgement Day'' with the results being a bit of a mixed bag. From a technological standpoint, it does a reasonably good job of adding depth to where there was none before and it is clear that he and his army of technicians took their time to make sure that it looked right instead of just trying to cash in with a half-assed rush job and the results are on a par with most current 3-D movies. However, the extra dimension does not really add that much to the moviegoing experience in the long run aside from allowing moviegoers to get into the Terminator mindset by donning the necessary eyewear, which superficially resembles the iconic sunglasses that it wears throughout the film. As for the film itself, it was deemed an instant classic of the sci-fi genre from the moment that it debuted and it continues to maintain that position a quarter-century later--Cameron's kinetic filmmaking style is as breathlessly exciting as ever, the storyline is still a fairly brilliant construct that amplifies the elements that made the original ''The Terminator'' into a B-movie classic while spinning the narrative off into new and interesting directions, the performances are strong and very effective (Arnold Schwarzenegger's performance here is still the best of his entire career, Linda Hamilton is a wonderful ass-kicking heroine and Robert Patrick is suitably malevolent as the T-1000) and the then-groundbreaking special effects are still impressive to behold today. ''Terminator 2: 3-D'' may have come into being for the most mercenary reasons but since the end result is a chance to see one of the greatest action epics in Hollywood history on the big screen where it belongs, I suppose I will allow it.

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originally posted: 08/26/17 01:16:56
last updated: 08/26/17 03:01:54
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