Posted on 25 May 2009.
|Film Outlet||Movie Critic||Rating Given||Review Date|
||2 / 4 nests||5-25|
|Peter Travers||2.5 / 4 stars||5-21|
|Roger Ebert||2 / 4 stars
|Critics / Users||C+ / B
|Rating / T-Meter||5.1 / 34%||5-25|
Posted on 25 May 2009.
The future of war is already upon us. We deal with it on a daily basis in the Middle East. It’s composed mainly of a war against terrorism. They are the new villains we face. The weapons used are all state-of-the-art, but there’s a constant fear of falling behind in the arms race. Companies spend every waking moment developing newer technologies to help destroy its fellow man. No matter where we are in the present, the future is firmly in our grasp. However, at the moment, our wars are fought man versus man. The future depicted in Terminator Salvation is man versus machine, in which man fights all on the same side.
Throughout the Terminator franchise, the moment of “judgment day,” in which a nuclear holocaust wipes out the vast majority of human civilization, leaving Earth to be ruled by machines, has been seen only briefly. It’s mentioned in The Terminator, shown very briefly in a futuristic vision in Terminator 2: Judgment Day and is the backdrop for the end of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, as John Connor along with other important world leaders are stowed in a fallout shelter while the rest of the world endures nuclear annihilation. The future after judgment day has always been shown briefly throughout the series and with the present day storyline pretty much all visualized, the next logical step is to venture into that future when man is at war with the Skynet machines as humanity attempts to stay afloat.
In 2003, a man names Marcus Wright sits on death row. He’s a murderer and no longer redeemable to fit into society. Just before his execution, he’s met by Dr. Serena Kogan. Dr. Kogan requests that Marcus donates his organs after he’s killed. He signs a waiver and is executed via lethal injection. The film flash-forwards to 2018. Judgment day has occurred and left the planet a vast wasteland. Humans are scarce and only scattered throughout. Skynet machines have become self-aware and want to rule the planet for themselves. Their only course of action in order to do so is to eliminate the human race.
John Connor is the leader of the resistance. He is the prophesized individual to help the humans win the ongoing war with the machines. He is tasked with finding and saving his father who years later had traveled back in time to conceive him, Kyle Reese. Reese is only a teenager. He heads the “L.A. branch” of the resistance, which consists of him and a mute five-year-old girl. While performing his life’s work, battling machines, Reese comes across an individual resembling a human, but is not part of the resistance. He seems unaware of his being. He is Marcus Wright. Marcus is revealed to be a terminator, but is adamant he’s human. The question is whether he is friend or foe to the humans and is his objective to help or hurt them.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day used to be known as the action piece of the franchise. Indeed it is, as it’s one of the greatest pure action films ever made. What made it a great film though, is over and above the great set pieces, there was a rush of adrenaline with some substance to it. Terminator Salvation aims to give T2 a run for its money action-wise, but what it forgets is to make it mean something. Sure there are huge robots equipped with incendiary devices of all sorts blowing up what remains of the Earth in attempt to eradicate humans, but isn’t much beyond that and the subtle trust/mistrust of Marcus. The bleak, post-apocalyptic atmosphere created by director McG looks great, but the whole script is predicated upon making sure nothing really happens. The whole point of the film is to make sure it sets itself up for another sequel. It ultimately ends exactly where it began, like a non-serialized TV episode.
McG had to convince Christian Bale to take a chance on him. Take a chance the director of slick-looking fare like the Charlie’s Angels series could reinvent himself with a more gritty style. The look of it is certainly there and the action scenes are well-executed. For that, he should be commended, but most human interaction seems void of any real emotion. The script by John Brancato & Michael Ferris (Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines) just doesn’t go anywhere. The concept of the human/terminator, Marcus, is an interesting one, but doesn’t lead to any emotionally-relevant state. It’s a stagnant film with no real arc and it seems as if somebody involved in the production just wanted to tread water instead of diving in.
Christian Bale certainly has the intensity necessary as John Connor to carry the fate of the world on his shoulders, but it doesn’t seem to translate when he shares the screen with Aussie actor, Sam Worthington, as Marcus. They’re both worthy actors, but don’t generate the type of heat needed for the on-the-brink-of-extinction premise, especially if compared with the charisma of the Arnold Schwarzenegger-headlined parts of the franchise. Speaking of Schwarzenegger, his “cameo” as a CGI-face on the body of another actor as a T-800 model terminator is plainly awful. The CGI looks waxy and expressionless and the whole occurrence made no sense in the context of the film. It would have been far better if it were excised, especially since it happens during the climax of the film. Once Alfred Hitchcock became such a recognizable face, he continued to do cameo’s in his films, but only toward the beginning, as he knew the audience was waiting for his presence and he didn’t want it to overtake the narrative. This is a lesson Terminator Salvation should have learned.
It’s definitely a positive that the human existence hasn’t stared elimination in the face, even with the current rapid-rate production of WMD’s. It’d be nice if the state of the world can remain that way for while instead of facing mass takeover by the machines we’ve created, ala HAL 9000. Although it looks good and the action sequences are all visually stunning, there isn’t much glue holding this film together. It’s all fairly mindless. What makes matters more saddening is the knowledge that this isn’t the end. In fact, in shows no signs of stopping and sometimes you just need to know when to quit. It will entertain throughout its runtime, but when the credits roll you will have wished for something more.
Posted on 27 April 2009.
Following a weekend in which audiences were obsessed with Obsessed and I was in San Diego for 3 days drinking myself into oblivion with some friends where I saw many women who almost made Angelina Jolie look like Roseanne Barr, here’s the latest film news.
First off, here is a pic of the cover of the “Art of Terminator Salvation” book. Is it just me or does the background look a lot like The Matrix‘s real world?
There might not be a third X-Files film or will there be? Fans grill the creator and a key writer about this and more at [Hero Complex] with a video interview.
David Cronenberg’s 1983 thriller Videodrome is getting a remake. [The HD Room] has more info on what is expected to be a big budget sci-fi film with a “nano-technology” focus. If you have seen the original, please share.
The Company Men, not to be confused with In The Company of Men, has added Maria Bello and Craig T. Nelson (“Coach” in the house!) to a cast that already included Ben Affleck, Kevin Costner, and Tommy Lee Jones, not to be confused with Tommy Lee. “You cannot reduce me to his size.” [Movie Jungle]
I came to be an insider film fan through “Premiere” magazine which has been defunct in print form for a few years now. [Thompson on Hollywood] mentions that former magazine “Movieline” is putting it’s archives online but Primo continues to lag behind. Just an FYI for those that care about an older age of film news, before the ‘net.
More Megan Fox Jonah Hex set pics have emerged today via [Movie Gab]. These are sans robe like the previous pics, meaning she is wearing less, meaning that’s a good thing.
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall and busted his damn head open, so that is indeed horrific. Hence, Humpty Dumpty comes around, a horror/sci-fi film that [Dread Central] says is to be directed by David R. Ellis of Snakes on a Plane infamy. Can’t wait for this one!!
Finally, [Film School Rejects] tells of Kevin McDonald (State of Play director) next project being Isaac Asimov’s End of Eternity. It bares no relation to the Governator’s End of Days from the past.
Posted on 16 April 2009.
The Terminator, which was first released in 1984, established the notion of man trying to stop machines from taking over the world. When the sequel Terminator 2: Judgment Day (often considered the best movie of the series) was released in 1991, it launched the franchise into the popular incarnation of what it is now. Since then, another Terminator film has appeared (Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, 2003), a television series (“Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”), video games and comic books. It also placed Arnold Schwarzenegger in his iconic role. Along with X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Star Trek, the upcoming sequel, Terminator Salvation, the fourth of the series, will be one of the most anticipated films of 2009.
Christian Bale (freshly removed from his classic rant on the Terminator set) will take over the reigns from Arnold as the leading man. He plays John Connor, the leader of the human rebellion against the machines. Unlike the first three films where most of stories involved time travel to the present day, this one focuses solely on the war in the future, 2018 to be exact. Bale, who no doubt was last year’s biggest star with The Dark Knight, will be the fifth actor to portray Connor. The others being Edward Furlong (young) and Michael Edwards (old) from T2, Nick Stahl from T3 and Thomas Dekker from the TV show. The story takes place after T3, where man is struggling in a bloody war to stop machines from destroying mankind. The machines, led by an artificial intelligence computer network named Skynet, first tried to alter the future by killing John’s mother, Sarah (Linda Hamilton, who will narrate some of this movie). They then made the attempt to kill John and failed. The machines, however, succeed by taking over the world’s computers and launched nuclear missiles to eradicate man. By 2018, the world is a desolate wasteland of war, death and destruction. Skynet uses “endoskeleton” large metallic robots shaped in the mold of the human skeletal system, to eradicate the last of the human resistance. John, who’s not yet the great leader, is struggling to find his place with the resistance. He has alienated some of his contemporaries by having a wide familiarity of Skynet. He informs people that Skynet is taking human prisoners and replicating them with flesh-covered endoskeletons. When the resistance meets fellow soldier Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington), they are shocked to find out he has memories of being human, but is actually a machine. When John is confused whether Wright is from the past of future, he uses his help to fight Skynet and hopefully take it offline for good.
The film also stars Bryce Dallas Howard as John’s wife, Kate Connor, Anton Yelchin as Kyle Reese (who’s character, played by Michael Biehn, went back in time in the first film to father John), rapper Common as Barnes, Moon Bloodgood as Blair Williams and Helena Bonham Carter as Serena Korgen. Yes, Arnold Schwarzenegger does make an appearance as well, but only provides his voice while his features will be digitized onto actor Roland Kickinger. A lot of this movie will also hinge on its director, McG. He has done some very different work with the Charlie’s Angels movies and We Are Marshall, so hopefully he succeeds in changing his style. Michael Ferris and John D. Brancato wrote the screenplay and they have collaborated on garbage like Catwoman and Primeval. Hopefully they’re writing skills (or lack thereof) won’t transfer to this film, but I am hopeful since they also wrote T3 and The Game (for David Fincher), and both of those ended up positive.
I will definitely see this one and I’m sure everyone else will too. This movie will be huge and it may break some kind of box office record. However, I wouldn’t imagine it’s about to challenge Bale’s other franchise.
Terminator Salvation opens May 21st.
Posted on 13 April 2009.
Monday kicks off another week of film news, where it’s always crackin’ it seems. You want to see the new Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince International Trailer? You have to head here to check it out since embedding has been disabled by request. Daniel Radcliffe does not get naked. Sorry, you sick bastards. I kid.
[Superhero Hype] is talking about the Venom spin-off to Spider-Man film series. A first draft of the screenplay is in.
Michael Sheen, bka ex-husband of Kate Beckinsale, will now lose that unofficial most well-known title,micah as [Daily Mail] reports that he is “Aro, the head of all vampires” in Twilight-sequel, New Moon.
You interested in the new Tyson documentary on the legendary boxer? Good, ’cause I will have a review up for the film this week. “He punches so hard. He punches like a fucken mule kicks!” In the meantime, [Hollywood Elsewhere] has a spirited discussion with Director James Toback. A great conversation, I am told.
Zac Efron gets a pretty big career boost by being cast in the live-action film version of Johnny Quest. [Film Junk]
There is a boat-load of concept art images at [Film-O-Filia] showing tons of crazy stuff from Terminator: Salvation. The motorcycle in particular is cool-looking.
William Hurt has been cast in Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood movie, though I think that is still an undecided title. [Dark Horizons]
You loved Hairspray, you really want to know more about Hairspray 2. [Collider] provides with an update from Adam Shankman. I now retire for the day since I am sick from typing those last few sentences.
Posted on 10 April 2009.
Yes, you know what day of the week it is, that is why you are here. Friday means more Movie Posters in our Round-Up. This week, while there are a few bigger name films with posters, there isn’t anything that really jumps off of the screen, although the Moon poster from FirstShowing is kind of cool looking. A new Where The Wild Things Are poster is probably the most exciting we have to offer. Follow that up with a weak looking Terminator: Salvation poster, and you see where this is going, but trudge on, we must. A couple of Timberlake flames have movies in Jessica Biel’s Powder Blue and Cameron Diaz’s The Box. (Insert joke about Diaz’s box here.) The Taking Woodstock poster couldn’t mean anything else and Gooby features a scary looking bear (look at it, seriously weird).
The Armored and Act of God posters are pretty cool but the Waterlife and Tulpan posters aren’t much to look at. Those are followed by Throw Down Your Heart, the place where I am not going for Easter, Home, and the place where a lot of people see Megan Fox, In A Dream, which is actually interesting poster art work. Channing Tatum’s Fighting (in german) is also featured. The Roland Emmerich 2012 has it’s first poster and let me tell you how exciting it is…not very. See for yourself and tell us what you think. As always thanks to IMP Awards for the assistance and check back next Friday for more of the best one-sheets in the world of film.
Posted on 08 April 2009.
The biggest news of the day has to belong to Terminator Salvation. My Governor, your action hero, Mr. Arnold Schwarzenegger has officially confirmed the long hinted at/rumored about cameo of himself in McG’s new film. [MTV Movies Blog] has the exclusive and we wanted to be sure to pass it on.
Continuing in line with the last few days of set pics, [Aintitcool] gives you some shots of Sly Stallone’s action-fest, The Expendables.
Director David O. Russell (Three Kings, I (Heart) Huckabees) has lined up his next project after the to-be-released-later-this-year Nailed, in Aaron and Sarah. Supposedly in the style of a John Hughes comedy. No word on if he plans to blow-up on-set. For that matter, there was no word on the set of Nailed, either? Do you think it happened or did Bale just make more headlines? [Collider]
The lead singer of My Chemical Romance, Gerard Way (No, I didn’t know that off the top of my head. Ask me the leader of the Wu-Tang Clan, though), has a comic book series that was put out by Dark Horse Comics called “Umbrealla Academy.” Shock of all shocks, it’s about superheroes. It’s been optioned for adaptation consideration. Yea. [Cinematical]
For those that live in SoCal, Ralph’s is the primary grocery store chain. I pronounce it “Rafe’s” in honor of Ralph (pronounced “Rafe”) Fiennes. Mr. Fiennes has been attached to the remake of 1981′s Clash of the Titans. He will be baddie Hades in a script written by Lawrence Kasdan (Chinatown) and directed by Louis Letterier (The Incredible Hulk). Sounds awesome at this point. [JoBlo]
Capping off today’s news, here’s a recent clip of Billy Bob Thornton channeling the infamous Joaquin Phoenix interview, posted at [In Contention]. Be sure to check it out if you’re a fan of aloofness.
Posted on 09 February 2009.
With Director McG taking over the Terminator franchise with T4 – Terminator: Salvation, one of the first questions on everyone’s mind was whether or not he would do a credible job. After all, dude has done music videos and Charlie’s Angels movies and little else. One thing that would seem to boost him in the eyes of fans is honoring the earlier films by having Arnold Schwarzenegger, the original Terminator, in the new movie some how. So, MTV has recently learned that McG is somehow planning on doing just that, albeit in an idealized form.
“I don’t want today’s Arnold Schwarzenegger,” the director (said)…Referencing the original film, he said, “I want the idealized, Griffith Park, Bill Paxton, tire-track-on-the-face archetype and we’ll see what we can do about that.”
Schwarzenegger agrees. “If [McG] has the T4 and the kind of shots that has the audience thinking, ‘Now how did he do that?’—then it is ‘Terminator’ and you can blow everyone away and every record at the box office,” he told the LA Times last year. “I do hope it creates a spectacle on the screen. That is what James Cameron created.”
So, the assumption here is that somehow McG will go the special effects driven route, the kind that made Brad Pitt look 80 years old in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and give Arnie his old physique back. This is certainly a daunting task I would think (especially if this hasnt started yet, since the film is due out in 3 months), but one that could result in an added need to see the film, what with the Bale outlash so fresh in everyone’s mind. The rumor is that he will end up in a roughly 30 second cameo in the film. So what do you think, are you down with this idea? Do you even care? Would you see the film regardless or does this make you want to see it for sure? Let us know.