Terminator Salvation quickie

May 23, 2009
One's human and one's a robot, and they both act like shit.

One's human and one's a robot, and they both act like shit.

Because I really don’t want to give the movie more attention than it deserves, or forgo mentioning a summer tent pole, here’s my quick thoughts on McG’s latest masterpiece:

The Good:

  • It has terminators. Lots of them. On bikes, as giants, as planes. Terminating stuff.
  • Kyle Reese. Anton Yelchin has grown on me, especially after Star Trek and now this. Too bad the movie doesn’t give us enough of him.
  • Five minutes of Ahnuld. I have to admit, they did a pretty great job with the special effects when the T-800 does show up. Too bad its over before you know it.

The Bad:

  • John Connor. It was unfortunate that Christian Bale took the Batman route and had Connor either yelling or harshly whispering the entire time. Plus, didn’t the previous two movies establish Connor was a sort of witty every man? Here he’s devoid of all the characteristics that we’ve come to expect from Connor. It’s a wonder how Connor can become so iconic in the future when he has no charm whatsoever.
  • The story. Instead of being about something thought provoking, it’s pretty much about Connor meeting Kyle Reese and cramming as many explosions in between as possible. You don’t give two shits about anybody.
  • The “twist”. Turns out Marcus’ mission was as some kind of Trojan to lure Kyle and John to Skynet, and with that done he’s given a choice of whether or not to continue helping the robots. This presents two idiotic problems. One, couldn’t he have killed Connor the first moment they met? And two, why even give him a fucking choice? Or better yet, why even use Kyle Reese as bait when you can kill Connor’s father right then! Man, for “superior” machine intellect, they are fucking retarded.
  • Makes Terminator 3 look like fucking Picasso. I liked many parts of T3, mainly the kickass ending in the bunker, but I’ll admit it doesn’t hold a candle to the previous two movies. It really wouldn’t take that much to match it, and McG completely fails to even do that.

The Ugly

  • It’s PG-13. This means there’s a lot of bloodless violence and a lack of vernacular I would expect people fighting for their existence against killer fucking robots to say. With frequency.

No critical salvation for Terminator

May 21, 2009
Sample excerpt from upcoming PG-13 Terminator: Salvation

Sample excerpt from upcoming PG-13 Terminator: Salvation

I’ve never liked a McG film. I despise the Charlie’s Angels’ flicks and found We Are Marshall trite and derivative. So you can bet I was one of the vocal dissenters when McG was announced as the helmer of a future wars Terminator, something I never really wanted but didn’t mind happening – if it were in better hands. It’s not like McG’s movies are badly made. In fact, they are shockingly competent. The real problem with McG is that his films have no restraint or soul. They’re either loud spectacles devoid of personality (Angels) or just carbon copies (Marshall).

But then I heard about Bale and Howard being involved and I though maybe, just maybe, they’ll bring some class and gravitas to the production. Maybe convince McG to tone it down. The previous Terminator movies had plenty of action, sure, but it was the characters that were always in the forefront, not the whiz-bang holy fuck special effects. But then it’s still McG behind the camera.

With Salvation coming out on Friday, the reviews deluge has started and the consensus is just like what I expected – loud and stupid. With a Tomatometer of only 37% as of this writing, this will not only be by far the worst rated Terminator of all time, but it’ll make Rise of the Machines‘ 70% look masterful in comparison.

Say what you will about Mostow’s third Terminator, at least it kept in line with what came before. It was extremely well made and I never understood the fan backlash. I thought it had a wonderful ending, with Connor trapped in a bunker while nuclear missiles are launched globally. I thought it was a great transition into a future wars series. It’s just too bad John Connor went from Nick Stahl’s humourous and down to earth take to Christian Bale’s constantly angry and angsty version. Too bad.

The sad part about all of this is that this movie is gonna perform like gangbusters come Friday, all but ensuring McG get’s another crack at the series. Which is unfortunate because, you know, McG kind of sucks.

Next Terminator travels to the future! Relatively.

May 5, 2009

Say goodbye to smoky future warehouses!

Say goodbye to smoky future warehouses!

Film Journal has a pretty cool interview with McG that covers the usual when discussing taking over the franchise – living up to Cameron, being awesome, etc. Par for the course, really, but it’s the end part where he mentions what to expect from the next Terminator that’s kicking up a frenzy.

“I strongly suspect the next movie is going to take place in a [pre-Judgment Day] 2011,” McG reveals. “John Connor is going to travel back in time and he’s going to have to galvanize the militaries of the world for an impending Skynet invasion. They’ve figured out time travel to the degree where they can send more than one naked entity. So you’re going to have hunter killers and transports and harvesters and everything arriving in our time and Connor fighting back with conventional military warfare, which I think is going to be fucking awesome. I also think he’s going to meet a scientist that’s going to look a lot like present-day Robert Patrick [who famously played the T-1000 in Terminator 2], talking about stem-cell research and how we can all live as idealized, younger versions of ourselves.”

Now let’s do a bit of intellectual analyzing – what the fuck? I thought the entire purpose of this continuation of the series is to show the future war, not to have another time travel story. Wasn’t McG all excited about a trilogy of movies based in the future while the real war happened? And now they’re just scrapping that, screwing up the timeline again, and bringing the brunt of Skynet down on the present (I’m guessing the next movie comes out in 2011)?

But for now, I’m willing to let this anger just simmer until I see how well Salvation turns out.

Actually no. Even if it is awesome the fact that the next movie takes place in the present is stupid and backwards. Seeing that going back in time to change shit up isn’t exactly effective I really don’t see the point of treading the same tired course for a fourth time (T1-3 + the TV show).

Terminator Salvation = PG-13 = Gay

April 7, 2009
Sample excerpt from upcoming PG-13 Terminator: Salvation

Sample excerpt from upcoming PG-13 Terminator: Salvation

Well, word has now spread like wildfire (that was a lie, it’s 2 in the fucking morning) that McG’s upcoming Terminator: Salvation, starring Christian “We’re through professionally” Bale and a bunch of other people, has officially received a PG-13 rating.

Harry over at Aintitcool, bless his four fold sized heart, is trying t rationalize this news as being a “hard PG-13,” because the future setting allows for more intense science-fiction themed may-blah, blah, fucking blah.

Remember the last R to PG-13 franchise people tried to rationalize as being “hard PG-13”? Die Hard. What happened there? We got Live Free or Die Hard, and the less said about that piece of crap the better. Another fan favourite franchise (s?) to go from R to PG-13 and suck balls because of it? Aliens Versus Predator.

That movie still remains, in my personal opinion, an abortion caught on film that somehow tricked millions into watching it.

So what can we expect from Terminator: Salvation? Going by the MPAA’s direct guidelines, here’s what you shouldn’t expect:

1) There will be absolutely no “realistic and extreme or persistent violence.”

2) Say good bye to “more than one [harsh] expletive.” Especially if that harsh term is used in a “sexual context.”

So yeah, don’t expect very much bloodshed or gore in the action, especially sustained sequences of such. Don’t expect any cursive language beyond a bunch of “shit” being spewed around.

In other words, don’t expect this to be the movie you’re expecting it to be. And here’s another morsel to chew at – T3: Rise of the Machines was by no means the most intense action movie ever made, but even that was R-rated.

And please, take the “hard PG-13” notion and shove it up your ass. Hard. And remember how that “hard PG-13” raped the Die Hard, Aliens and Predator franchises.