‘Terminator Salvation’: Cool chases and explosions, but a muddied mythology (Movie review)

“Terminator” creator James Cameron felt the story was done after two movies, but of course, where there’s money to be made, there are stories to tell. So then we had comics, novels, another movie, a TV series, and now the first post-Judgment Day movie … and plot holes you could pilot a Hunter-Killer through.

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‘Beverly Hills,’ that’s where I want to be. (But the new ‘90210?’ Not so much) (TV review)

The CW seems to think that giving its shows the names of hit shows from the past is a way to build a network. It renewed “90210” — a show that has notoriously struggled to find an identity — and added the spinoff “Melrose Place” to its fall schedule.

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Where were you in ’98?: ‘Fanboys’ will make ‘Star Wars’ fans smile (Movie review)

At the beginning of “Fanboys,” two of the titular characters argue about Boba Fett’s degree of coolness, the Fett-hater noting that the Rocketeer also had a jet pack, so that can’t be a point in his favor. I was never the type of geek to argue the pluses and minuses of fictional characters, but I did notice “Wookiee” is spelled wrong in the DVD special features, so I guess I’m some degree of fanboy myself.

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Is ‘The Office’ making Michael into a good boss? (TV commentary)

“The Office” is five seasons old, so this is about the time you’d expect it to fall apart, but it’s as funny as ever. It’s also the time you’d expect the writers to morph Michael Scott, the archetypal Worst Boss Ever, into a good boss. They are doing that, but rather than ruining the show, it has made it easier to embrace.

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Maybe ‘The Phantom Menace’ was ‘just a movie’ after all (Commentary)

Ten years ago today, I was waiting in a sun-drenched line at West Acres Cinema in Fargo, N.D., to buy a ticket for the midnight debut of “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace,” a movie that was supposed to change cinema as we knew it. One could make a case that it succeeded, at least in one sense: All “Star Wars” movies push the technology that makes fake things look real, and “Episode I” was no exception.

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Maybe mountain lions aren’t so bad, or: Why this season of ‘24’ is the worst ever (TV commentary)

Can we put the Kim Bauer/mountain lion jokes to rest now?

Since Jack’s daughter was briefly pursued by a big cat in Season 2, the incident has become a touchstone for critics who want to illustrate silly moments in “24.” That sequence never really bothered me. There are indeed mountain lions in the hills around Los Angeles; they were there first and we built a city around them.

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