My American Movie Life: Five Years Late To The Party

My American Movie Life: a weekly round-up of stuff I’ve watched, thoughts on my life as a Brit in the U.S., and anything else that seems inappropriate.


Tasked with de-shelling, de-fleshing and (probably desexing the corpses of) a load of crab our mates chucked our way, the wife and I opted to watch a movie while conducting the stinky job. Don’t ask me why I’d never seen Oliver Stone’s The Doors. It will make me feel like a terrible person. I have now though and it’s bloody brilliant. There’s nothing quite like ramming tiny steel shafts into the pungent husk of a mighty Dungeness while watching Val Kilmer do the same.

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Kilmer’s crab hands.

 Finally got around to watching the first post-Damon Bourne film, The Bourne Legacy. Quite enjoyed the overlapping bits between this one and Ultimatum – purely so I could point at Paddy Considine and say “He’s from Burton! That’s down the road from where I’m from!”

The little meta-moments when I morph into a gibbering goon because someone in a film has mentioned a place I once visited are often trumped by the wife’s anecdotes. “Oh!” she said watching This Is The End, “He came into my bar one night!” as Craig Robinson did something hilarious and effortlessly cool onscreen. “Yeah, we did some shots and had a dance.”

Turned my “Oh look, there’s the Crich Tramway Museum” while watching Sightseers into a positively flaccid brag.

August Osage County. Bloody nora. I don’t know how Streep didn’t snag the Oscar for that one. What a blinding, yelling, showy performance. Julia Roberts tried to finagle the big britches by stealing her thunder in a later scene, but unsure if a killer one-liner can top Streep. Even if it is “Eat the fish, bitch.”

Ah, The Book Thief. Watched that one alone and was happy for once to be curled up on the sofa by myself. Sobbed a lot. Emily Watson and Geoffrey Rush’s fault. Talented bastards.

Decided to use the excuse that the wife hadn’t seen The Island as a reason to watch it again – purely to hear ScarJo shouting “NO!!!” and “THIS WAY!” every five minutes. Totally worth it.

Come With Me If You Still Haven’t Seen The Last Episode Of Lost

terminator sarah connor chronicles summer glau cameron robot face
Sexy robot face.

The reason behind the title of this post is that I’ve finally finished watching Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. I feel like I’m experiencing pop culture displacement. A deranged form of televisual grief that only those who lag ridiculously behind popular TV shows experience.

The show finished its two season run five years ago. I’m gutted.

The Terminator is a franchise I’ll always go wobbly over – not because it’s consistently good, but because it’s consistently about time travel. There’s the rub. The ability to erase, or do-over events, zaps me with a weirdly impossible nostalgia.

Either way: TSCC was clever, watchable, and action-packed. Its finest quality was the effortless manner in which it wiped all traces of Terminator 3 from the continuity canon. Hur-rah. I was a bit reticent at first due to the issue of: Skynet will get built regardless of who builds it. Miles Dyson’s dead? Every trace of every Terminator has been destroyed? Who cares? Some other hyper-intelligent computer whiz will create another Skynet! 

All that bothered me at first and then I lost the will to get precious. It’s just a damn good show. Changing the format to a serial gave creator Josh Friedman scope to expand on ideas hinted at in the movies. How does a human and its robot protector forge a relationship? What if that robot is housed in a particularly attractive body?

What about new types of Terminators? There’s a few. While there’s not a ton of endoskeleton action (possibly linked to budgetary restraints), the human pathos tied to gunfights, insane plot twists and the appearance of Kyle Reese’s brother made it compelling. Trying to second guess where it would end up was impossible.

Needless to say, I cried.

gem seddon freelance blogger freelance film journalist freelance writer

About the author

Gem is a freelance writer with 11 years of experience in entertainment journalism and movie blogging. She's written for outlets including Digital Spy, TechRadar, Vulture, Total Film, GamesRadar+, Certified Forgotten, and more.