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FILM Terminator Salvation


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#1 Stefancos

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 01:39 AM

Terminator Salvation

Could have been named The Bourne Terminator. Because the films many many many action scenes are filled with shaky-cam, faster then light edits, CGI and explosions, explosions explosions. Each one bigger then the previous one.
After watching Cameron's rather brilliantly shot and edited action scenes for T2 earlier today, this was a let down.
But that is not the films greatest problem.

Ok how about the cinematography?
Most of the daytime scenes were either in grey or brown. The colour grading at times is really ugly.
But that is not the films greatest problem.

It's actually quite a rare thing to see a film with a basically sound concept shoot itself in the foot in it's very first scene.

What they actually did with this film was rather clever. John Conner is in this film, so is Kyle Reese. But because we have seen the previous films we know what will happen. Reese won't die in this film, Conner won't die in this film. So they introduced an unknown element. A third male character, Marcus Wright. Played with some gusto by Sam Worthington.
He wanders though the post-apocalypse wastelands, seemingly unaware their has been a nuclear holocaust, seemingly unaware that machines are trying to kill humanity. For the first half of the film we don't know what he's about, and then after an unfortunate incident we suddenly find out....he's a machine.

This could have been a shocking revelation. But the film opens with an scene set in 2003, were we see the same Marcus Wright volunteering to donate his body for some...project.
Because of this lone prologue, we already know when we see the character again later in the film that he is probably a machine of some sort. Which ruins much of the interest in this character.
The film would have genuinely been better if the opening scene was put in later in the film, as a flash back.

As I said, Worthington is effective, playing the character a little bit ala Mad Max (the post apocalyptic desert in this film is far closer to Mad Max then Cameron's vision of the future. (they even included a kid that doesn't speak a line in the movie, like the Feral Kid). We already know what's coming for his character, which somewhat lessens the impact of the performance. But he is definitely a strong action lead.

Christian Bale, surprisingly is NOT. He's a good actor, no doubt about it. But he doesn't have a lot to work with. As a leader he doesn't come of as very inspirational. We don't really get a sense of a character here. Bale doesn't hurt the film, but also does not enhance it.

Anton Yelchin plays Kyle Reese, and at times manages to very eerily resemble Michael Biehn in looks, in voice and even behaviour.

Bryce Dallas Howard plays the role of Conner's wife, which was played by Claire Danes in the previous film. Why did she bother (why did Claire Danes bother?)

Helena Bonham Carter????...in a Terminator film? You're shitting me, right?

This is my first McG film. I don't really sense the hand of any particular director. The action scenes miss any sense of ebb and flow. They start loud, get even louder...even more louder and then end. no time for an aftermath, straight back into the next scene...hurry up...hurry up!
The non-action scenes are strangely remote at times. Maybe because the characters offer so little surprise? Maybe because certain scenes just seem to happen because the plot dictates it?
For instance. The resistance discovers a signal that can disable all the machines and end the war. John Conner seems to believe this can happen, even though he knows his own future...

For much of the film, Terminator Salvation id unlike the previous 3. This is actually a good thing. We have had the same basic premise 3 times, and it was time for something new.
Unfortunately, near the end it resorts to repeating the franchise.
Another climax in a factory, another Terminator burned, and then frozen. They even took the trouble to use a Terminator that look like Ah'nuld. I read that the CGI was supposed to be well done. It wasn't. It looked like a spitting image puppet of Arnie. Really laughable and distracting.

Elfman's score is pretty effective. His main theme seems like an homage to Fiedel's one. and there is a lot of low grumbling brass and pounding percussion. The most memorable musical moments is when he's quoting Fiedel's 5 note Terminator rhythm. Which almost made me feel sorry for Danny.

When I watched Terminator 3 a few years ago I thought that if you had never seen the previous films, and were just looking for a big action blockbuster with Arnie, then at that level at least it's an effective film. **1/2 out of **** maybe. As a continuation of the Terminator saga however, I gave it a solid * out of ****.

The fourth film is more tricky. It cannot be seen separately from the previous 3. The plot, the characters would make no sense at all.
As a continuation of the Terminator saga it actually sort of works. It's also one of the very few films that is both a sequel and a prequel. **1/2 out of ****

As a big action film that you can watch for it's own sake it doesn't work at all, None of it. zero out of ****

If only they did moved that first scene to much later in the film.... It could have worked....

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#2 Alexcremers

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 09:40 AM

I've seen it Terminator Salvation but I don't remember a thing about it
"The film that really struck me was Ridley Scott's 'Blade Runner.' That was a film I watched many, many times and found endlessly fascinating in its density. But I think the density of that film is primarily visual density and atmospheric and sound density, more so than narrative density. But, yeah, I think for a lot of filmmakers particularly, there will be a film like that in their past that they've really become a little obsessed with and seen too many times, or more times than seems healthy." - Christopher Nolan

#3 Stefancos

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 12:02 PM

I can imagine.

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#4 Eblobulator

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 08:37 PM

There were SOME things I liked about this film, mostly the Marcus Wright plot. I also did like some bits with Kyle Reese. The part where Marcus shows the shotgun trick to Kyle was pretty cool and nice to know how he learned it from the first Terminator film.

I didn't mind the CG Arnold, they actually did not too bad of a job considering that it's hard to make someone look younger than they do today.

I didn't really like Christian Bale's acting all that much in this film. Most of the time it was wooden and just dull. "Conner, here". How many survivors? "One". I mean seriously, one liners? That stuff is just boring these days. Hell Sam Worthington and Anton Yelchin did a much better job at acting than Christian Bale's. That's saying it nice too considering how better his acting was in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.

Michael Ironside's role too wasn't too bad. All though he seems to play a lot of military roles in films. Top Gun, Starship Troopers, SeaQuest DSV, X-Men: First Class... Michael Ironside actually has been one of my favorite actors through the years. Some of his cameos can be chuckle worthy too.

Anyways, over all I do agree this film just didn't live up to the hype and was a major let down compared to the others, even from Terminator 3. Danny Elfman's score I think helped it a bit but not very much. I'm not sure if another Terminator movie is going to be made, if ti is I hope it's a lot better than this one.

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#5 Luke Skywalker

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 08:38 PM

The CGI arnold was not bad. the smoke helps 'covering it', so you dont really have any standing shot too long (IRRC).

And i think i read they used a real man for the body, so if it looks fake... it must be for other reasons :P

I hope Episode III is Called 'Revenge of the Sith'

#6 E.T. and Elliot

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 12:00 AM

Christian Bale and the Avatar guy miscast and boring. The whole thing, just terrible. It just feels like a sequel/prequel/whateverquel for the sake of doing it. None of what made the earlier ones a success. Just another crappy entry in a franchise to package with the good ones in a future Blu-ray/DVD set. Harsh, but true.

#7 Stefancos

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 09:40 PM

I isagree that Worthington was miscast. He had a certain gravitas, something Bale lacked.

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#8 Alexcremers

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 08:26 AM

Bale also lacked gravitas in TDK. He thinks that he can act without doing anything but not many actors can do that.



Alex - saving this thread
"The film that really struck me was Ridley Scott's 'Blade Runner.' That was a film I watched many, many times and found endlessly fascinating in its density. But I think the density of that film is primarily visual density and atmospheric and sound density, more so than narrative density. But, yeah, I think for a lot of filmmakers particularly, there will be a film like that in their past that they've really become a little obsessed with and seen too many times, or more times than seems healthy." - Christopher Nolan

#9 Stefancos

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 12:35 PM

Weren't you Bale devotee?

Bale can be very very good, but he needs a well written role, something to sink his teeth into.

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#10 Alexcremers

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 05:50 PM

I don't seem to remember ever owning a droid. Very interesting.



Alex


"The film that really struck me was Ridley Scott's 'Blade Runner.' That was a film I watched many, many times and found endlessly fascinating in its density. But I think the density of that film is primarily visual density and atmospheric and sound density, more so than narrative density. But, yeah, I think for a lot of filmmakers particularly, there will be a film like that in their past that they've really become a little obsessed with and seen too many times, or more times than seems healthy." - Christopher Nolan

#11 Stefancos

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 06:10 PM

American Psycho. Watched it again mainly for Cristian Bale's superb performance. And while I was watching it I noticed during some scenes how much potential he has for being a perfect Batman. He's got the looks (a dark Batman) and he definitely has that mental twist. Not that I'm waiting for a new Batman movie but Cristian really fits the bill. I sincerely hope he gets a good and worthy script.


I say bring on Christian Bale, he'll make a good Bond. Oh that's right, he already the new Batman. Can't he be both?


I say bring on Christian Bale, he'll make a good Bond. Oh that's right, he already the new Batman. Can't he be both?


I want Bale for Bond

I want Bale for The Bat.


Bale, Bale, Bale, Bale, Bale!


Bale, Bale, Bale ...


Bale, Bale, Bale, Bale, Bale, Bale, Ba ... Zimmer? Zimmer, you say? This is a bad joke, right? And everything was so perfect! Ah well, Bale, Bale, Bale, Bale, Bale, Bale, Bale...


----------------
Alex Cremers


Only Bale can save the series (just like he'll save the Batman franchise from further humiliation).


Bale, Bale, Bale, Bale...


----------------
Alex Cremers


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#12 Alexcremers

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 06:34 PM

Yes, he once showed promise ...
"The film that really struck me was Ridley Scott's 'Blade Runner.' That was a film I watched many, many times and found endlessly fascinating in its density. But I think the density of that film is primarily visual density and atmospheric and sound density, more so than narrative density. But, yeah, I think for a lot of filmmakers particularly, there will be a film like that in their past that they've really become a little obsessed with and seen too many times, or more times than seems healthy." - Christopher Nolan

#13 Stefancos

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 07:03 PM

Well he won an Oscar, how was he in The Fight?

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#14 crocodile

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 09:28 PM

He's ok. I'm not a fan of his Batman. His Bruce Wayne is top notch, though.

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#15 Stefancos

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 09:47 PM

I like them both. I can look past the Batman holler

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#16 E.T. and Elliot

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 10:16 PM

Hollywood thinks they can repeat what they've got with Johnny Depp and market him in anything.Truthfully, Bale is only exceptional in a few roles. The rest are extremely, extremely dull. It's similar to what happened when Harrison Ford started playing boring guys in suits trying to save his family. Bale plays the same boring, occasionally yelling, otherwise monotone guy.

#17 Stefancos

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 10:35 PM

No, maybe he's more a better version of Edward Norton.

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