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Terminator Salvation

I’m beginning to think I’m unsophisticated, easily led, maybe even a little stupid.  I read the reviews for Terminator Salvation and they say ‘doesn’t capture the magic of the original’ or ‘haggard, nothing new’. They say that it’s a tired franchise and that it was a confusing and fractured movie.  I know cinema is an artform, and in art there are as many opinions as there are people.  Everyone reacts differently, but still, I think about the movie I saw yesterday and I wonder what other people went in expecting?

The first two Terminator movies are similar in layout, in my view, to the first two Alien movies.  Terminator is a very personal story about a single machine trying to kill a single person and anything that gets in the way.  Alien is a claustrophobic story about a single alien trying to kill the crew which eventually comes down to a single person.  Both Terminator 2 and Aliens ramp up the action and move away from the heavier horror elements.  I’ve seen reviews complaining that Terminator Salvation doesn’t capture the glory or the originality or the heart of the first movies.  Well, I hate to break it to them, but Terminator Salvation isn’t trying to do that.  It’s trying to be a modern action-based continuation of the Terminator story.  On top of that, how much heart was there really in T1 or T2?  Yes, we get the emotional bond and relationship between Sarah and Kyle in the first movie and we get a bunch of cheesy surrogate-father activity in T2 but they aren’t the mainstays of those two films.

I loved T1 and T2, I think they’re fantastic movies.  I think T3 should have been different, but it had some okay elements.  Personally, I think T4 (Terminator Salvation) is at least as good as T2.  But the rush of bad reviews make me question my own experience, maybe I missed something they saw, maybe I saw something that wasn’t really there?  I have to keep reminding myself that it’s art, and everyone experiences it differently.  I think if you go in expecting something, and  you don’t get it, then it leads to disappointment, and I think too many people went in with too many expectations.  I’m not saying I lowered my expectations, but I went in prepared to watch MCG’s film, not my idea of what it should be, or my idea of how it should play out, but what he wanted to do and the film he wanted to make.

So with that said, here’s my actual comment on the film, and there are minor spoilers.

Continue reading Terminator Salvation

Terminator Salvation

So I’m starting to see some reviews for Terminator Salvation and it’s not looking hopeful.  Disappointing, let down, missed opportunity – those phrases never add up to anything good.

Maybe in the battle of the Giant Robots this summer, Transformers has already won.

2009 Battle of the Robots

So, in 2009 we have Transformers 2 and Terminator Salvation.  Both are going to be huge whichever way you paint it, even if they suck.  Both are going to contain people fighting robots and probably robots fighting robots.  Both are going to be special effects extravaganzas.  Which one will win?

Who knows.  My advice is watch them both for what they are.  When I watch Terminator Salvation I won’t be going to watch the continuation of the Terminator story, I’ll just be going to watch huge onscreen explosions, people being crushed by robots, people blowing robots up in amusing ways and adrenaline pumping robot destruction action.  I don’t think it’s wise to go along expecting any serious continuation of the Terminator story, that path leads to dissapointment I feel.

But I’m looking forward to see Bale running around being manly and destroying robots.  Check out the latest trailer over here.

And Transformers 2 (Revenge of the Fallen)?  Well, the first one was silly and inconsistent and flawed and amazing, so I don’t expect anything different in the second.  There’ll be sillyness (these were toys after all) and there’ll be inconsistencies (because this isn’t trying to win Oscars for best screenplay) and there’ll be action and hot trailer trash chicks and guns and robots and explosions and more guns and tanks and planes and oh my.

Should be a good year.  Best Man vs Machine action since The Matrix Revolutions.  Maybe.