We ushered out 2009 with a couple of movies, and an odd double bill it was, too.
We’d seen all the other Terminator movies (although we gave up on the TV show), so it was inevitable we’d watch this one, too. Christian Bale is top-billed as John Connor, but the movie really belongs to Sam Worthington, playing a convict who’s executed for murder in 2003 but somehow shows up in 2018 in the middle of the resistance’s war against Skynet and the Terminators. (If you haven’t seen any of these films, you have no idea what I’m talking about, and I’m sorry for that. But the back-story is too complicated to summarize here.) TERMINATOR SALVATION has plenty of action, the occasional quieter moment, and a decent plot that sets things up for more sequels. As far as post-apocalyptic, SFX-laden action/adventure movies go, I’d say it’s slightly above average.
BELOW THE BORDER is one of the entries in the Rough Riders series of B-Westerns starring Buck Jones, Colonel Tim McCoy, and Raymond Hatton as a trio of U.S. marshals who work undercover. In this one they’re after a gang of rustlers and jewel thieves who have a hideout just across the Mexican border from Arizona. The plot is standard stuff, but as always, the chemistry between the three heroes is good and the movie also benefits from the presence of veteran heavies Roy Barcroft, Charles King, and Bud Osborne. There’s a pretty good shootout in this one near the end between Buck Jones and Charles King.
By the way, you may be reading about more of these old Westerns here on the blog this year. One of my Christmas presents was a gift card from Half Price Books, and most of it went for a couple of those 50-movie sets of public domain B-Westerns. That’s 100 movies, with no duplication between the two sets, and I’d only seen about ten of them before. So I have lots of B-Western watching to do.