Movie thoughts

I watched Terminator: Salvation last night, which means I have no seen every movie in the Terminator franchise, including the thoroughly wretched Terminator 3 or whatever it was called.  This isn’t a thought so much on the movie itself, but rather on something that got my attention.  During the movie, there’s a scene where John Connor, as played by Christian Bale is pointing his USP at one of the other characters, and you get a good look at his grip.  To Bale’s credit, he’s holding the gun in a positive two handed grip with his arms extended isosceles style…just like a real pro would be doing in that situation.

Now, we know that Christian Bale is an insane method actor, and having worked on a Michael Mann film and just generally being Christian Bale, it stands to reason that if he was going to play a hardened commando/special ops type like John Connor, that he’d actually learn how a hardened commando/special ops type would hold a gun.  For whatever reason, seeing that made me unusually happy.  Perhaps I’ve seen one to many TV cops and soldiers tea-cupping their guns lately, and watching someone look like he had actually shot a gun before was very refreshing.

Also, if you can get it on HBO or DVD, you should watch Terminator Salvation.  It’s quite fun, stuff blows up and people shoot robots with all kinds of crazy weapons.  And John Connor uses an HK USP, so the HK fanboys will love it.


  1. Apparently I’m the only person in the world who overall enjoyed Terminator 3. It wasn’t at the same level as the other films, but I thought it was an enjoyable action movie overall.

  2. There was no Terminator 3. That was just a rumor.

    There were also no sequels to the Matrix. Shame, really.

  3. It’s nice to see such things, as it shows the amount of effort they put into the movie.

    However, don’t get me started on how the “press” photogs in 99.95% of the movies hold their cameras. 🙂

  4. So you spend your time watching TV and not preparing your Gun Nuts radio broadcast. I see.

  5. Wow, noticed the same exact thing the other day while watching it with my sons, the scene before they “make friends” where “Kyle” kills the terminator/water-snake thing saving Bale/Conner to make it on shore after emptying his AR (did notice his support-hand thumb was a bit too low and getting in front of the trigger-guard though, still…).

    Think it jumped out, ’cause as you said, he actually was in a decent shooting stance with a real grip, seemed weird almost…
    It’s amazing that with all the money that goes into these type of movies that this is seriously probably the only time I remember seeing an actor in an action flick with a gun in his hand in a “true-to-life” way… wonder if maybe some of us should move to hollywood and see if they need any more firearms consultants…

  6. This is what makes Collateral so good for me – Cruise’s character actually looks like he does what he does.

  7. It took me a few times before I enjoyed T3. I wanted to see more man vs terminator combat in salvation.

  8. Caleb,

    Two of my favorite movies for good gun handling are “Thief” with James Cann (1981) and Collateral” with Tom Cruise.

    Caan uses a Jim Hoag 1911 in “Thief” and I remember distinctly noticing the gun and being impressed when I saw the movie back in ’81 or ’82 because I was active in IPSC at the time. Hoag is mentioned in the credits. Caan was coached at the Gunsite facility by the then operations manager Chuck Taylor.

    If you have the DVD of “Collateral” you can see the training that Cruise did on a police range using live ammunition. I don’t recall the PD or the names of the instructors, but they did a god job and said that Cruise wanted to appear to be professional in his gun handling even to people who “know guns”, and worked very hard at it.

    One of the things, in addition to proper grip, stance and movement that I noticed in “Thief” and “Collateral” both, was the use of very quick double taps by both Caan and Cruise (and triple tap failure drills by Cruise on occasion).

  9. Thanks to the magic of Youtube, I now know that Michael Mann directed both movies, and that Cruise trained on the LA County Sheriff’s Dept. range under Mick Gould and the LACSO range staff. The best parts of both movies are on Youtube, no need to rent the whole thing 😉

  10. Michael Mann has always displayed a sympathetic understanding and interest in firearms and shooting in his movies. Quick examples: in “Manhunter” William Peterson’s character packs a Charter Arms Bulldog .44 Special with Glasers; Don Johnson’s pairing of a Detonics CombatMaster and a Bren Ten in the “Miami Vice” tv show; the juxtaposition of deNiro’s Sig 220 with Pacino’s Colt Officer’s Model in “Heat”; Cruise’s USP (I think) in “Collateral” and so forth. It’s happened frequently enough that I don’t think we can write it off to a sympathetic props guy. I haven’t seen “Public Enemies” yet but would expect some quality 1930s era guns and gunplay in it as well. I’m just curious if they’ll be using isosceles, back in the day!

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