Sunday, May 24, 2009

Terminator: Salvation (2009)

Obviously, the draw of this movie is to see whether Christian Bale will lose it.  He does, in fact, seem on the verge of losing it the entire time.  Sadly, I have to report that this Family Guy clip that uses Bale’s freakout as source material is better than the movie.

In fact, the trailers might have been the highlight of this movie.

I was drawn to see Terminator: Salvation – the first movie I’ve seen in a theater since Dark Knight – because it’s my favorite science fiction series of all time.  The original blew my mind, the second one was just awesome and blew my mind with visual effects, and the third one had a significantly redeeming ending that I won’t give away here.  I prefer it to the Aliens franchise because I only really like Aliens of that franchise, and I prefer it to Star Wars because George Lucas ruined that franchise.

Before seeing the movie, my fear was that McG was going to ruin this Terminator franchise forever.  You would think, for sure, that he’s the weakest link in making this picutre, right?

Not so.  In fact, given the script he had to work with, McG did a fantastic job of making a mindless, vfx-laden summer blockbuster.  The script is so disjointed that it’s painful to watch.  You wonder if the editor lingered on a scene in an awkwardly long way because it would have been more awkward to cut at the point the material would have normally called for. 

And you might as well call the Terminator storyline completely trashed now.  They’ve tried to save it in Terminator 3 and The Sarah Connor Chronicles by saying that the time travel paradox isn’t true (that timelines are separate, and that destinies are inevitable).  But this movie makes no sense if that’s the case!   Why would John Connor care so much about the main plot in this movie if any of that was true.  Consistency is long gone in this franchise and so is the magic.

This script is so bad and so franchise-ruining it should have been on the same funeral pyre as Darth Vader when they comped stupid young Anakin into Return of the Jedi (another franchise-ruining act by G. Lucas).

All I have to say about the acting is that when Bryce Dallas Howard seems Oscar-worthy in a movie, the other actors must reeeealy suck.

The VFX and action scenes are the real stars of this movie, although I have to ask “Transformers much?” about some of the content.

Regarding the VFX, some shots are off the charts good and some are just, plain, embarrassingly bad.   I was surprised to see that ILM did the effects, though I’m sure it was offloaded to a host of shops along the way. Can no one pull a decent matte anymore or does no one take the time to shoot a good bluescreen?  Either way, you would think that McG would have been very accommodating to the VFX crew since there was no other reason to make the film.  Period.   It just puts another nail in the coffin of film’s greatest science fiction franchise.

And finally, I’d like to say that I saw this movie on DLP and I’m never seeing another movie on film again.  I’ll detail that on my main blog later.

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