Terminator Franchise (1984-∞)

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John Cope
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Re: Terminator Salvation (McG, 2009)

#127 Post by John Cope » Mon May 18, 2009 4:41 am

Had to post a link to Variety's review if only because it contains one sentence I never expected to ever see:
McG's direction is always intelligent.
If only in this movie at least, presumably.

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John Cope
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Re: Terminator Salvation (McG, 2009)

#128 Post by John Cope » Fri May 22, 2009 4:54 am

As a quick follow up: no, not even in this movie.

Sam Worthington however is indeed the real deal. Bring on Avatar.

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Re: Terminator Salvation (McG, 2009)

#129 Post by LQ » Fri May 22, 2009 11:47 pm

And to confirm John's follow up: Definitely no. Biggest waste of two hours and $ ten-fifty to date (this year). Just a barrage of one numbing action sequence after another. Add some awful dialogue, most of it screamed and incomprehensible amidst a deafening explosion/clash of metal/bigger explosion and voila. The two-minute trailer stretched to feature length.

Worthington wasn't terrible, I guess. His version of an "anguished cry", however, had the audience cackling pretty madly.

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Re: Terminator Salvation (McG, 2009)

#130 Post by nsps » Sat May 23, 2009 2:38 am

What gets me is that McG doesn't even seem to understand the whole point of the Terminator—to terminate humans. They'll grab ahold of them with their super strength, and then just throw them into stuff. I whine about this further in my review

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domino harvey
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Re: Terminator Salvation (McG, 2009)

#131 Post by domino harvey » Tue Jun 02, 2009 10:38 pm

Bill Murray gave McG some constructive criticism
McG wrote:McG declines to comment any further than he already has, but points out that movie sound stages can be stressful places where creative battles sometimes become heated. Particularly, it seems, on his sound-stages. "I'm reintroducing the fist-fight to movie sets," he smiles. "I don't think there's been a film I've made where there hasn't been some kind of physical fight. I mean, I've been headbutted by an A-list star. Square in the head. An inch later and my nose would have been obliterated." Will he be revealing any names? "Nah, I probably shouldn't," he smiles. "But it was Bill Murray. Y'know, it's a passionate industry."

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Re: Terminator Salvation (McG, 2009)

#132 Post by James » Tue Jun 02, 2009 10:58 pm

domino harvey wrote:Bill Murray gave McG some constructive criticism
McG wrote:McG declines to comment any further than he already has, but points out that movie sound stages can be stressful places where creative battles sometimes become heated. Particularly, it seems, on his sound-stages. "I'm reintroducing the fist-fight to movie sets," he smiles. "I don't think there's been a film I've made where there hasn't been some kind of physical fight. I mean, I've been headbutted by an A-list star. Square in the head. An inch later and my nose would have been obliterated." Will he be revealing any names? "Nah, I probably shouldn't," he smiles. "But it was Bill Murray. Y'know, it's a passionate industry."
I find the first comment ("Who gives a McF about McG?") especially funny. Bill Murray absolutely rules!

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Re: Terminator Salvation (McG, 2009)

#133 Post by Cde. » Wed Jun 03, 2009 12:03 am

I think this confirms people's suspicions from back around the Bale incident that it was really McG's (lack of) control over the on-set atmosphere that was at fault.

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Re: Terminator Salvation (McG, 2009)

#134 Post by Antoine Doinel » Thu Aug 27, 2009 7:16 am

The R-rated cut will make it to DVD and BluRay.

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Re: Terminator Salvation (McG, 2009)

#135 Post by hot_locket » Thu Aug 27, 2009 12:14 pm

Sam Worthington is an IMDB troll.
We just have try and do the best character we can do at that time. And I can nitpick with the best of them, man, and go down the list of things I saw on IMDB where they found holes in it and go, 'You are f***ing right. If there was a big ten-ton robot coming outside that gas station, surely we would f***ing hear it!' And I missed that! So I go, 'I gotta be a bit better when I'm looking through my scripts!' So that kind of raises my games a bit, cause I feel like an idiot for not saying it to McG.
http://www.movietome.com/infocus/show_b ... _id=841239" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Terminator Salvation (McG, 2009)

#136 Post by jbeall » Sat Jan 09, 2010 12:56 am

After watching T4, I'm convinced that Skynet has won. While the special effects and relentlessly grimy tone were a'ight, the script could only have been generated by (you guessed it) a machine. It hits all the expected plot points right on cue, getting so predictable that my fiancée and I started guessing the dialogue before the characters spoke, and we must've been right 80% of the time.

In a way, this was the threat implicit in the very first Terminator. No other movie franchise (not even the Matrix trilogy) so relentlessly purports to champion our collective humanity, only to subsume that message under an increasingly mechanical script and CGI. While the first movie now comes across as rather quaint, I suddenly feel a certain nostalgia for it to the degree that it actually had more than just spfx going for it.

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colinr0380
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Re: Terminator Salvation (McG, 2009)

#137 Post by colinr0380 » Thu Jan 06, 2011 10:04 am

Mr Sausage wrote:
flyonthewall2983 wrote:This is just crazy talk, but if this is any good, I could see how it would lead to a 5th and final film set further in the future. John Connor is still fighting the good fight, much older of course, and is a Patton-like general. Dream casting would be Bruce Willis.
This series had better end exactly when John Conner sends Reese back in time, closing the loop. Not because this is clever, but because I smile whenever I recall that John Conner's only purpose in life is to stay alive long enough to engineer his own birth, at which point he ceases to matter and everything starts all over again (Reese: "their defense grid was smashed. We'd won"). Forget the apocalypse; the real hell is being suffered by an eternally looping, pointlessly restarting, John Conner, whose life has less purpose than a dragonfly (it at least has a second imperative, reproduction).

I find all of this very funny. The most pointless hero in film?
Having finally sat down to watch this film, I think Mr Sausage hit on the major problem with these Terminator films, which was easy to overlook in the first two (where it was brushed over quickly as a plot point, or put across from the point of view of characters who seemed insane at the time, or at least was treated with some irony), which is that we are constantly being told that this John Connor is important as the saviour of the human race. However who is telling us that? Kyle Reese as the person who idolised the 'resistance leader' figure of John Connor, who passes that sense of destiny over to Sarah Connor, who then closes the circle and passes it to her son. All we can really know for sure in this narrative is that John Connor has to get to the point of sending Kyle Reese back in time. After that the future truly is what he makes it, since there are no further prophecies to follow.

It may be that Connor actually might not be that good a leader once he has fulfilled his primary objective that has been driving him for his whole life, and has finally closed the circle on all the time travelling antics - will he and those people he leads go on to win the war or to lose it? In a sense it doesn't matter.

The more that the Terminator films plow on into this future, the more that they are going to have to face up to the essential emptiness at the heart of the film (another problem with Salvation is that the evocative flashbacks/flashforwards in the first two films, most interesting because of their brief duration, the stark contrast with the modern world of the 1980s and early 1990s and the way they could hauntingly pop up like traumatised memories of a future past at any point during the films, were never the most interesting part of those films. While I think this new film wasn't the disaster it could have been, I would still question the wisdom of setting it entirely within this future war with the machines). Unless of course they want to abandon connections to the James Cameron films altogether and move past the 'sending Kyle back in time' moment. This fourth film is particularly (but not surprisingly) disappointing mostly for the way in which it is marking time within the narrative - not even getting to the point of sending Reese back in time by its conclusion, instead leaving that whole area for another film (I do find it amusing though that the films always shy away from the time travel aspects except as a means to an end).

Instead it seems much more concerned with man and machine coming together, either through adding in the new element for this film of the creation of cyborgs or in the more classical for the series and schmaltzy way of learning and understanding each other, mostly performed through a rejigging of aspects from Terminator 2. (And there are a lot of call backs. While I wasn't fond of many of the various repeated lines from the previous films - the characters saying "I'll be back", "Come with me if you want to live", etc feeling rather clunky - I thought the use of the ZZ Top song during the motorbike stealing sequence was quite a neat callback to T2. Similar to the use of the Beastie Boys in an early sequence in that Star Trek reboot film, it was also amusing to hear that kind of song used in a nostalgic manner!)
Mr Sausage wrote:EDIT: anyone else think the wording of the title makes it sounds like it's the salvation of the terminators?
Again I think Mr Sausage got to the heart of the film here. Most of the human characters here are not particularly interesting. Bale in particular has the poisoned chalice of the 'star part' in the film, where he has to gruffly bark orders at everyone without taking the time to explain himself, thus proving he has the leadership qualities of Patton at his surliest.

This fits in with the idea of Salvation taking a lot of its themes from T2, since Sarah Connor in that film is in danger of losing her humanity in the relentless pursuit of her goals. The 'main roles' in the Terminator films are usually the most tormented (due to carrying all of the burden of prophecies, etc) and so are not the ones the audience identifies with most, or has most fun with - instead the heart of the film is usually the new person being brought into the situation and their relationship with a machine that can go beyond simple hatred. We get a little of that here in Salvation in the relationship between Marcus and Blair.

Salvation is, like T2, much more about the machines teaching humans how to be human again though personalised relationships, while in the background the more generic machine/human war stuff takes on a sense of submissive/dominant playacting, with of course the required Holocaust-style imagery of trucks of human prisoners getting transported.

The entire last act of Salvation involving the fight in the robot factory feels extremely reminiscent of T2's last section in the foundry, including the superheating/superfreezing of the robot, the clashes between the 'good' and 'bad' robot and the good robot being supposedly killed before resurrecting to save the day. Even the idea of mimicing another character's voice occurs again. It is not handled particularly badly in this film, but it just adds to that sense of Salvation being content with re-covering old ground in a slightly different environment, rather than actually pushing forward the mythology of the series in any significant way.

Though there is the interesting idea of the leader of the resistance to the robots becoming part artificial himself, which perhaps needs to be tackled since in the world beyond the film implants, prosthetic limbs and so on are commonplace (the technology has 'grown into us') and it is therefore increasingly impossible to take a totally Luddite view of smashing all technology into bits, but instead there needs to be a way found of co-existence.

However this final sequence does leave the film even more as Marcus's story than the uninteresting John Connor's. Rather reductively it also suggests that the entire point of the film is to show one man that organ donation is apparently a good thing to do.

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Re: Terminator Genisys (Alan Taylor, 2015)

#138 Post by colinr0380 » Fri Mar 25, 2016 12:09 pm

I hope nobody minds but I'm going to add my thoughts on Terminator: Genisys to the Salvation thread, as they kind of follow on from thoughts made in the previous post. It struck me as interesting while watching that this takes almost the diametrically opposed approach from Salvation - that was all about man and machine bonding and coming to a kind of impasse or entente cordial if you will as once humans start becoming cyborgs themselves you cannot take an entirely Luddite approach to technology any more. In Genisys the man-machine hybrid is seen as the truly terrifying monster of the future, neither one thing nor the other and able to shift allegiance at will. Social media interconnectivity is a big theme of Genisys, picking up with modern, or rather 2017, issues of ubiquitously shared information and 'the internet of things', though there's little more nuance on this subject than a general concern about giving up too much control to the 'cloud'! Anyway onto my thoughts:

Oh God, this is a problematic film to understand my feelings on. Its exactly the kind of material that I wanted from the Terminator series, which was that it actually dealt with its time travel McGuffin rather than just used it as a plot device to set up its films at the very beginning, but timelines and alternate universes get horribly tangled up here.

I loved the eerie recreation, then destruction, of the 1984 settings for the early section of the film (and slipping the T-1000 in there too) but then found the shoehorned in attempt to update Skynet from 1997 to a more contemporary audience friendly 2017 to be a little too forced. Also, and I might just have missed it, but I don't think the film satisfactorily answered the question of who actually sent Arnie all the way back to Sarah Connor as a 9 year old in 1973 to mess up the whole timeline in the first place. Is that something set up for a future film, or just a ginormous plot hole?

The other problem is that there's a bit of a charisma black hole surrounding the Kyle Reese and Sarah Connor characters. They're individually well acted and have a few touching scenes together, but I never got a sense of much chemistry there. And I never really bought the moments where Arnie's "Pops" terminator had to spout techno-babble like a robotic Spock figure. And as much as Emilia Clarke is made up to look like a younger Linda Hamilton there's also something inevitably lost in recasting every role but Schwarzenegger - we've already lost the thrill of the eerie recreation as soon as Bill Paxton isn't one of the switchblade wielding punks in the Griffith Park Observatory scene! The characters aren't who we know and love (or at least recognise) already, and so its nowhere near as shocking when they proceed to say and do entirely different things. Outside of Back To The Future Part II, which is really the exception that proves the rule, it seems impossible to ask for what this film is attempting to do (at least until digitally younger characters can be used for more than just a couple of scenes in a film) whilst also changing key details at the same time - this is the Terminator universe equivalent of Van Sant's impossible Psycho remake in some ways! (or the blockbuster budgeted version of that 1991 fan remake film!) And what do you do with a character like John Connor who has been played by a different actor in every single film? How can you make a continuity impact with that character anymore when he's been interchangable his entire life?

Its not an entirely bad film and at least Genisys is showing an attempt at doing something far more ambitious with its plot and characters than the frankly boring and wheel spinning Terminator: Salvation did (and Salvation wasted a truly great cast by giving them nothing to do, which was even worse) though it still doesn't escape the inevitable need to climax with a big brawl inside a factory! Maybe an industrial building is the true 'nexus of time' that everything else is being drawn to! (I still love the interpretation that Robert McKee made in a glowing introduction to the first film in the early 90s that it could all be seen as a revisioning of the Theseus and the Minotaur myth, with the cold industrial landscape being The Terminator's equivalent of the labyrinth that has to be traversed before the final confrontation at its industrial factory heart! Which even makes sense for Schwarzenegger coming off of Conan and Hercules-type movies into stardom with the first Terminator!)

And inevitably J.K. Simmons makes the strongest impression here. He's given an interesting small supporting role that's sort of in the same vein as the police psychologist in the first two Terminator films who keeps witnessing and just surviving massacres. Maybe its that he's not burdened by plot and exposition and action into being bludgeoned into submission by expectations, but he seems like the character with the most life to him out of everyone here. And of course he arrives late and leaves early due to the film's focus on more 'important' stuff!

Its a watchable film though with some great set pieces. Its just missing some indefinable spark that makes a film truly great and unique (also, what happened with the son of Miles Dyson subplot? That fizzles out, completely forgotten! There are so many hanging threads in this film!). Its not in the league of the Cameron films but far better than Salvation. I'm going back and forth on whether I think its on a par with Terminator 3 or a little better (erring towards a little better), but I sense that this is the definition of damning with faint praise!
Last edited by colinr0380 on Fri Sep 08, 2017 10:28 am, edited 1 time in total.



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Re: The Terminator Franchise (Cameron/Mostow/McG/Taylor, 198

#141 Post by Morbii » Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:41 am

Only 3 sequels too late...

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Re: The Terminator Franchise (Cameron/Mostow/McG/Taylor, 198

#142 Post by Adam Grikepelis » Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:49 am

Yes, but see Ribs' post above. It's not 2019 yet. This is what happens when time travel gets involved. Not that either news source gives the impression of quality journalism.



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Re: The Terminator Franchise (Cameron/Mostow/McG/Taylor, 198

#145 Post by knives » Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:20 pm

Which I guess means we won't be seeing another one in our lifetimes.

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Re: The Terminator Franchise (Cameron/Mostow/McG/Taylor, 198

#146 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Sun Aug 27, 2017 5:03 pm

T2 is playing in 3D across theaters nationwide this week. This is the first time I've seen this kind of conversion for an old title done before, and was impressed at the results. I've never really been crazy about the original, or the subsequent sequels of course, but this really stands up even today.

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Re: Terminator Franchise (1984-∞)

#147 Post by mfunk9786 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:54 am

Cameron to oversee what will be an actual sequel to Terminator 2, ignoring the other films from the interim - it will be directed by Deadpool’s Tim Miller, and will star Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger, along with an as yet uncast young female lead

The choice of director makes me wonder if they’ll be able to get the tone right without winking at the viewer a thousand times, but I am cautiously excited about this in a way I haven’t been for any of the crummy reboots of this franchise.

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Re: Terminator Franchise (1984-∞)

#148 Post by matrixschmatrix » Wed Sep 20, 2017 2:32 am

Interesting. One of the things that always bothered me about Terminator 3- apart from its generally not being very good- was that it ignored the hard fought hope and general fuck destiny attitude that T2 had. Presuming that, in line with the end of the second movie, Judgement Day never actually occurred, I wonder if this one will still hinge on the same Skynet takeover, or if it will do something entirely different?

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John Cope
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Re: Terminator Franchise (1984-∞)

#149 Post by John Cope » Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:34 am

But where's Eddie Furlong?

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tenia
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Re: Terminator Franchise (1984-∞)

#150 Post by tenia » Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:13 am

John Cope wrote:But where's Eddie Furlong?
Either in rehab or in jail ?

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