The Escapist Presents: MovieBob Reviews Terminator: Salvation

Laughing Man

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...and the sad thing is, they're probably right. You think the movie-going public today really wants to strain their brains considering time travel and causality loops?
Cough cough, the new Star Trek Movie, cough cough.
 

L.B. Jeffries

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Looks like another rental that will go nicely with a 6 pack.

On a side note, I gotta admit, I rented Equilibrium on your advice in some other video a while back and was pleasantly surprised. It's one of the few movies I flicked off and immediately wished they would make it into a video game.
 

jabrwock

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Laughing Man said:
Cough cough, the new Star Trek Movie, cough cough.
Hardly brain straining to think about that one. More like "hey no causality at all, cause we rebooted the timeline". It's almost as bad as the "and then I woke up, and it was all a dream". Terminator has time-mobius-strip going on...
 

Mstrswrd

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This is one of his first actual full on reviews, and not just rant-opinion piece's. I like 'em both, but I'll admit this caught me off guard.
 

PopcornAvenger

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Eh?
The Island was a good movie. Nice to see an original scifi tale that *didn't* feature giant robots or was a graphic novel first.

Oh, yeah, just saw Salvation. Better than the 3rd (I just really disliked Nick Stahl's Connor), just not quite as good as #1 and #2.
 

Dalisclock

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Sipher107 said:
Whats wrong with Pearl Harbor?....I liked it.
To sum up: The Japanese Bomb an American Love Triangle.

The attack itself it awesome(even if lacking a little in historical accuracy) but the love triangle stuff is pretty boring and forgettable(which is unofortunatly the other 2/3's of the movie).
 

Dalisclock

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Salvation was....okay.

My issues with it:

-The whole "New guy is a terminator without knowing it" would be a lot cooler if it hadn't been given away in the trailer.

-The Human heart symbolism was incredibly heavy handed. And no....I didn't see every plot "twist" invovling that coming a mile away....particulary the one at the end.

My major gripe:

-I know they changed the past from all the time travel shenaginans in the previous movies, but throughout most of the movie, I kept thinking of Kyle Reece saying

Kyle Reese:.... Most of us were rounded up, put in camps for orderly disposal.
[Pulls up his right sleeve, exposing a mark]
Kyle Reese: This is burned in by laser scan. Some of us were kept alive... to work... loading bodies into dumpsters and incinerators. The disposal units ran night and day. We were that close to going out forever. But there was one man who taught us to fight, to storm the wire of the camps, to smash those metal motherfuckers into junk. He turned it around. He brought us back from the brink. His name is Connor. John Connor. Your son, Sarah, your unborn son.

That coupled with the few snippets of the future gives a much different picture of what I expected from this movie.

The original and even the 2nd shows a rather desperate humanity, hopelessly outclassed, living in tunnels, herded into concentration camps, paranoid of terminator infiltration, tired and hungary. John Conner ends up inspiring them to rise up and make a desperate fight, eventually, through long, hard struggle, finally winning and prompting all the time traveling. You know, a really epic, from nothing to finally victorious struggle.

The new movie....well, humanity doesn't really seem that desperate. I mean, they've got at least one airbase with transports, A-10's, a small fleet of helicopters, not to mention all the infrastruture, supplies and technical support to maintain them. Oh, and electricity and computer screens.
THat's a far cry from living in shitty tunnels and dodging giant tanks all the time. Hell, the fact Skynet can't even locate a friggen airbase(despite the fact skynet probably has satellites available) implies it's kinda stupid. Hell, after all those flares and explosions at their base, skynet apparently never bothered to send a couple HK's to investigate.

And instead of John being the leader? Well, he's just the head of a local base.....after his officer in charge gets blown up and playing second fiddle to a group of douchbags on a sub(who are apparently really surprised that skynet figures out where they are despite their continued broadcasting).

It's not a good sign when I'm watching the movie and having nostalgia for the first two before the movies even over.

On the bright side, I was rather pleased that the T-800 takes at least as much punishment, if not more, then the terminator in the original before going down. I was beginning to wonder when the terminators in most of the movie went down with just a dozen assualt rifle bullets.
 

mulletmanalive

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Moviebob, I'm going to make a singular request:

Return to the on screen format you used with the Oscars thing. Your facial expressions and gesticulations gave your words weight. At present, I'm remaining convinced that i'm justified in looking forward to this movie but i'm wondering about the comments coming from someone who's screen video presentation lacks punch to the point where there is a definate hint of irony in you criticising Micheal Bay.

I'm not trying to be harsh, the other format really suited your talking style better.
 

Maet

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The story didn't kick in until the resistance finally realized that Marcus was a cyborg, and that was at least half the movie spent waiting for something I wasn't expecting to happen. I didn't like Salvation because they felt compelled to explain his character and in turn make him something dull and boring. Marcus would've been infinitely better if they cut out his death row back story and let the character retain some mystery.

They also dropped the ball with Kate Brewster (or Kate Connor). She's the pregnant sweetheart of a prophesized resistance leader. Surely that must mean something? John Connor himself was also startlingly one dimensional and unlikable. All he does is snarl, bark orders, and slaughter machines with nary a ponderous moment to be found.

In summary, weak story, crappy dialogue, and characterization somewhere between completely botched and utterly terrible really killed the movie for me. It's certainly fun to watch, but I just hated that the franchise has simply been reduced to brainless explosive filler.
 

ThisNewGuy

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Moviebob, just a friendly suggestion:

maybe review the movie for the movie. Please stop prejudicing a movie by its cast. I mean, it's ok to say that this movie has bad acting or scripting or w/e, but starting a review by prejudicing a movie to be bad because of other movies is like saying "Why let David Jaffe direct God of War, when he's made games like Micky Mania?"

Get it? Just because a director has made a game that you didn't enjoy, doesn't mean that this particular movie will suffer for it.
 

Tdc2182

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For those of you who have not seen equilibrium, God directed it, Thats all im gonna say
 

MovieBob

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ThisNewGuy said:
Moviebob, just a friendly suggestion:

maybe review the movie for the movie. Please stop prejudicing a movie by its cast. I mean, it's ok to say that this movie has bad acting or scripting or w/e, but starting a review by prejudicing a movie to be bad because of other movies is like saying "Why let David Jaffe direct God of War, when he's made games like Micky Mania?"

Get it? Just because a director has made a game that you didn't enjoy, doesn't mean that this particular movie will suffer for it.
This is a fair point. Permit me to answer as best I am able.

When it comes to critiquing a film, my #1 main rule is that the movie itself matters more than anything else, and I endeavor to always keep the majority of the focus fixed on that.

I do, however, recognize that this is an idealistic "rule" that must have some "give" to deal with the realities of both moviegoing in the 21st Century and journalism in the age of the Internet. The fact is, almost NO ONE - and definately no web-based critics - go into movies "cold" anymore. This is especially true regarding big-budget "genre" Blockbusters, where a great number of us are to varying degrees aware of their development and production several years in advance (longer if it's based on an older property) and in the lead-up are potentially exposed to everything from multiple-trailers to extended-clips to "webisodes" fleshing out the backstory to direct-to-DVD "prequels" before we even get to go see it.

The above-mentioned "media saturation" I speak of frequently extends to the cast and crew of the film, who's presence is more often than not a major part of the "pre-selling" of the film whether they intend to be or not. For example, the tragic death of Heath Ledger is not "part" of the actual film in "The Dark Knight," but it was unavoidably on EVERYONE'S mind in the lead-up to seeing it. See also: The (in my view wholly justified) claims by Jewish groups of anti-semitism being present in "The Passion of The Christ," or Anne Heche's then-recent "outing" as the female romantic partner of Ellen Degeneres prior to the release of her (heterosexually-inclined) rom-com "Six Days, Seven Nights."

I'm of the opinion that, while I make a conscious effort to regard a movie only as itself as much as possible (I'd ask that you please note that I make no mention of Christian Bale's famous on-set meltdown, because I did not find it especially relevant)... reality is reality, and in reality external forces CAN affect the "energy" surrounding a film. As such, the (potential) audience for my reviews deserves that I be honest and upfront about things that might be on my mind and that they might wish to take into consideration along with the rest of the review. The fact is, the question of "Can McG direct serious action, given his prior examples?" WAS very much on my mind while watching this. I wound up thinking the action was surprisingly good... MAYBE my lowered expectations led me to be more impressed than I otherwise might've been? I don't think so, but maybe thats a consideration you want to make.

EDIT:

ALSO, sometimes you have to veer off the main course in order to tell a joke. I refer to this as "The Roger Rabbit Defense" ;)
 

Fearzone

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Dec 3, 2008
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I can't tell if this is a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down from the review. It's either a very hesitant recommendation or an ecumenical rejection, but I can't tell for sure

Just saw it. Personally I thought it did to the original what Matrix Reloaded did to Matrix, or, dare I say it, what the Star Wars prequels did to the original series. Yes I thought it was THAT bad. It stepped all over the mythology to churn out action drivel geared for focus groups.
 

ThisNewGuy

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Thanks for your honesty. I'm just saying, as an audience to your reviews, a lot of times, you use these "questions" of ethos to make a justification of a particularly negative review point (or positive, i guess). I'm just suggesting that maybe be more conscious of your "questioning" of ethos of the cast so that it seems more like a question that has yet to be answered rather than a negative criticism.
 

Anachronism

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Seeing the trailer and this review has given me more hope for this film than I had before, I have to say. My expectations still aren't particularly high, mainly because I think they should have ended it with T2, but I'll go and see this anyway.
mulletmanalive said:
Return to the on screen format you used with the Oscars thing. Your facial expressions and gesticulations gave your words weight. At present, I'm remaining convinced that i'm justified in looking forward to this movie but i'm wondering about the comments coming from someone who's screen video presentation lacks punch to the point where there is a definate hint of irony in you criticising Micheal Bay.
I'd completely agree with this, actually. The sound quality in the current format really isn't very good; Bob's voice sounds really tinny, and it sounds like the videos are made with a very cheap microphone. For whatever reason, the Oscar show didn't have that problem. Secondly, the current format makes it seem like he's simply trying to be a Yahtzee for films. I realise that's basically what he is (although he doesn't rant quite as much) but he could at least disguise it a bit better.
 

THE_ZAR

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*SIGH* You're right, Moviebob. Hard to admit, but nevertheless necessary.

If you just take T:S the way it is - mindless summer movie entertainment - it's ok. Enjoyable in some, awful in many other aspects, but at least well made.

Everything else regarding this franchise seems to go the same way as the ALIEN- and STAR TREK-franchises did - down the drain in the most painful, embarassing and idiotic way. (Not even the soundtrack by Danny Elfman made much sense.)

I never wondered why Cameron would not give his blessing to this sequel. Not because the franchise was once "his" and now isn't anymore. No, because he expected MORE. And got less - A LOT!

Fat Harry and OddTodd hate T:S and I'm sure Cameron watched the movie with a sad grin and lots of head shaking. But it's not his problem anymore. The first two movies will stand on their own as classics of the genre.*

Anyway. Serious fans will ignore sequels three and four and the (now canceled) television series (which altogether is not bad, but also - in most other respects - not good enough) and hope that one day the franchise will be given a new spin with some better personal in the story department and less idiotic greed from the producers. (Hey, maybe that guy from BATMAN: DEAD END could do it!)

THE_ZAR.

*We could have done with some more future scenes in T2, but Cameron did not get the cash to film the additional 15 minutes and that's it. On the other hand, Fox actually considered giving Ridley Scott money to complete the famous airlock scene from ALIEN for the Director's Cut! Who knows, maybe one day...
 

Frank_Sinatra_

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Dec 30, 2008
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PedroSteckecilo said:
I'm pretty sure the movies writiers have very LITTLE control over how the final product turns out, they are SO ***** smacked around by the Directors/Producers that I'm pretty sure they just write what people tell them to.
Yep, the film industry runs very closely to the music industry in terms of content control. If you got a big label you loose all of your originality. That isn't even a music nerd lashing out, no it's fact.
 

jacobschndr

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Alright, this may be the only good review I've seen from this guy. As for the movie, hey they had to come full circle sooner or later with the series (god knows they weren't doing it with the Sarah Conner Chronicles). So for the most part I think it's a good film and I'll probably see it because of this review, There you go.

Also, dissing Transformers again!? Jesus get over it the first film was a good action flick and a generally fun film and to say the next will be bad too when you haven't seen it? Thats sad for a critic. Just sayin' never judge a book by it's cover or a movie by its tralier. Or even by it's director. You forget that Michael Bay also directed good films like "Collateral"
even if it did star crazy-jump-on-Oprahs-couch-loony Tom Cruise.