Posts Tagged ‘terminator

19
May
09

Movie Review: Terminator Salvation

terminator_salvation

 

The future is bleak.

Starring Christian Bale, Sam Worthington, Moon Bloodgood, Anton Yelchin, and Michael Ironside. Directed by McG

In the year 2003 a convict sentenced to death via poison signs a release for his body to be used for medical purposes. His name is Marcus Wright (Worthington) and this is a plot point.

Fast-forward to 2018. The world is friggin’ bleak. John Connor (Bale) is a member of the Resistance who answers to the high command (Michael Ironside and company going up and down the California coast in a submarine). His wife (Bryce Dallas Howard) is a doctor, pregnant with his baby. The Resistance itself are scattered cells dotting the post-nuclear SoCal wasteland while Skynet, the evil robot conglomerate, controls the San Fran/Bay area.

Skynet has been working on ever elaborate ways to destroy mankind. There’s a gigantic robot that can hunt down and pick up humans as if it were King Kong, Harvesters which “cattle herd” humans into cargo bays and drop them off at Skynet Central, robot motorbikes, flying “seek and report” scouts (reminiscent of “They Live”), and ones that reside in water (looking like Doc Oc’s arms from “Spider-Man 2”) Even with all of its technological achievements, Skynet has a problem with infiltrating the Resistance.

John Connor is sent on a mission. What he finds is that Skynet has been harvesting humans for… something. He ends up being the only survivor after the control room they enter self-destructs. Connor walks back to a pick-up point. Out from the ashes rises… Marcus Wright. Wright doesn’t know where or when he is, he just needs to head north for some reason.

Connor dangerously meets with Resistance command and finds that Skynet has a secret plot to eliminate him, the entire central command, and Kyle Reese. Using the mythos already set forth in previous “Terminator” flicks we, and John, know that if Kyle Reese dies in the present then John is never born and Skynet wins by default. John must find Kyle at all costs.

Marcus lumbers around and reaches what’s left of L.A. where he meets Kyle Reese (Yelchin) and a young girl named Star. Marcus gets a quick update on the “man vs. machine” world he’s stepped into and their off to find John Connor and the rest of the Resistance. Along the way Reese and Star are captured but Marcus is able to help out and buddy up with Resistance fighter Blair. The two travel to the base.

An altercation while going through the metal minefield surrounding the base leads the group to realize what’s going on: Skynet is abducting humans to use to create life-like “Terminators.” Marcus is one but the problem is he doesn’t know it. After an escape Connor faces Wright and makes a deal: Wright has to find Kyle Reese. Meanwhile the high command is demanding a full attack on Skynet (which would destroy all humans captured). John decides to ignore the orders and go after Wright and Reese.

Yes, it’s a little revisionist; I’m not exactly sure how Marcus escaped the 1997 Judgment Day only to end up in the executioner’s chair in 2003 and upon waking in the future NOT knowing about it. Or why John continues to listen to cassette tapes his mother made (Linda Hamilton’s voice makes a cameo) when he probably should know more about Terminators and Skynet than his mother ever did. Then again these are just logic points only made by geeks like me.

What works is that there is substance, nay a story, in this movie. McG, whose previous movies include “Charlie’s Angels,” and “We Are Marshall,” wraps the story in a white-washed world where the colors are muted, if not absent, and the only real shades are light, dark, and gray. It may have been because the WB wants to churn out darker fare (see also: “The Dark Knight”) but whatever the true motives it makes “Salvation” has a look and feel of desolation and dread which works better for the world of “Terminator” as opposed to say what a director like Michael Bay would do.

How does it compare with the others? Barring “T3” (because I never bothered to watch it), I would say it’s as good as “T2” but slightly less fun. Then again it’s a post-apocalyptic world and it’s not supposed to be. McG does give nods to the previous films: there’s the Polaroid pic of Sarah Connor, John hacks into a Skynet security door, a Skynet motorbike tears down the road looking for Connor while Guns ‘n Roses’ “You Could Be Mine” is playing on a radio, there’s a return to the gas station that was at the end of the first “Terminator” which is now all but a decrepit shack, and “I’ll be back,” is said at some point.

Should you go see this film? If you’re a “Terminator” fan, this movie is well worth the wait. If you’re a scifi geek/nerd/buff and enjoy movies like “Blade Runner,” this is worth your time as well.

Speaking of “Blade Runner,” McG reportedly had the cast read “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy (which has been adapted as a movie starring Viggo Mortenson) and “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” by Philip K. Dick (which became “Blade Runner”) so that they could “absorb” the dystopia he wanted portrayed. There is a scene in “Salvation” where San Fran looks a lot like L.A. from “Blade Runner…”

While walking out after the movie had finished a couple walking in front of me were commenting about the T-800 featured in the movie. “Isn’t it great that he…”

Guess you’ll have to watch the movie to find out.

My grade: A

P.S. Before the movie they previewed the trailer for the new “Sherlock Holmes” movie with Robert Downey, Jr., Jude Law, and Rachel McAdams, directed by Guy Ritchie. It looks cool.

Here’s the new “Sherlock Holmes” trailer:

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20
Jan
09

Movie News and Views January 20, 2009 Inaugural Poster Edition

killshot

 

 

All the movie news fit to blog!

 

         Good news for Zack Snyder/ “Watchmen” fans. Warner Bros. and Fox have reached a settlement over the movie. For those who don’t know the backstory Warner Bros. gave the go-ahead to do a “Watchmen” movie. Late in the game a contract was found dating back to the Nineties which showed that Fox had distribution rights on the graphic novel. Fox threatened to halt distribution while the WB was too far into production to stop the movie (i.e. it was almost in post). The settlement is reportedly $5-$10 mil from WB upfront to Fox, then an additional 5-8% of the theatrical gross.

         A new prequel for “The Thing” will involve what happened to the Norwegian scientists (who were dead at the beginning of John Carpenter’s “The Thing.”)

         Keanu Reeves has been confirmed for the “Cowboy Bebop” movie.

         Sam Rockwell and Mickey Rourke will be in “Iron Man 2.”

         Joaquin Phoenix has officially left acting to be a rap star. Chronicling his adventures on video is his best friend Casey Affleck.

         J.K. Simmons will reprise his role as J.J. Jameson in “Spidey 4.”

         Reshooting on the upcoming “Wolverine” movie DOES NOT mean previous shooting went bad. Several actors’ schedules couldn’t clear until now.

         Roland Emmerich (“Independence Day,” “The Day After Tomorrow”) is slated to direct Isaac Asimov’s “Foundation” trilogy.

         Pioneer will stop making Laserdisc players after 3000 for the year. This is surprising since I didn’t realize the players were still being made, and a movie hasn’t been pressed on LD since 2000.

         Samuel L. Jackson may not play Nick Fury in the upcoming “Nick Fury” and “Avengers” movie. Apparently, contract negotiations have broken down due to the paycheck Jackson was requesting.

         Jackie Chan will play “Mr. Miyagi” in the “Karate Kid” remake starring Jayden Smith (Will Smith’s son).

         “Transformers 2” info: The Decepticons will use Devastator (from the Constructicons) and the Autobots will use Superion (constructed from the Aerialbots).

         Warner Bros. has put DC Comics movies on hold.

         The next Superman movie will have a new villain.

         Relative Media has purchased Rogue Pictures from Universal.

         A homeless man was cast in Guy Ritchie’s “Sherlock Holmes” movie.

         Bollywood is set to remake “Back to the Future.”

         “The Terminator” has now been submitted for preservation in the US Film Registry.

         Jay Mohr changes his name to Jay Ferguson Cox Mohr, due to his wife Nikki Cox.

         Bruce Boxleitner and Jeff Bridges will return for the next “Tron” movie.

         VHS is done. The last movie to be released on it was “A History of Violence.”

 

 

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29
Jul
08

Movie News and Views July 29, 2008 Trailer Edition

 

 

 

“Fly Me To The Moon 3-D” – Three insects plan to hitch a ride to the moon on the Apollo 11 mission. Animated/CG. Featuring the voices of Christopher Lloyd, Kelly Ripa, Nicollette Sheridan, and Tim Curry. Opens August 15, 2008. View the trailer at:

http://www.moviefone.com/movie/fly-me-to-the-moon-3-d/31337/trailer?trailerId=2175044

 

“Tyler Perry’s The Family That Preys” – Love, career, wealth, relationships, affairs… all between two families struggling to work together. Stars Jennifer Hudson, Kathy Bates, Cole Houser, Robin Givens, and Tyler Perry. Opens September 12, 2008. View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer.php?id=1166&item=0

 

“The Duchess” – Keira Knightley plays 18th aristocrat Georgiana Devonshire. Opens September 19, 2008. View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer.php?id=813&item=2

 

“The Lucky Ones” – Tim Robbins, Rachel McAdams, and Micael Pena are all U.S. soldiers who return from Iraq to find life has gone on without them. Opens September 26, 2008. View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer.php?id=1239&item=0

 

“How to Lose Friends and Alienate People” – Based on the magazine article, Simon Pegg is a British journalist who is hired by a New York magazine. Also stars Jeff Bridges, Megan Fox, and Kirtsen Dunst. Opens October 3, 2008 View the trailer at:

http://www.moviefone.com/movie/how-to-lose-friends-and-alienate-people/27150/trailer?trailerId=2164233

 

“Body of Lies” – Russell Crowe and Leo DiCaprio in a movie about trying to trap a dangerous Al Qaeda operative. Opens October 10, 2008. View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer.php?id=1008&item=0

 

“W” – Oliver Stone presents a story of a man who knows how to party, how to gamble, how to have a good time. This man has some lows; notably, bad management over a sports team and oil company. However, he triumphs and becomes President of the United States. This piece of Americana opens October 17, 2008. View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/review.php?id=1237

 

“The Brothers Bloom” – Adrien Brody and Mark Ruffalo are brothers pulling a con job on a wealthy woman (Rachel Weisz). Also stars Robbie Coltrane. Opens October 24, 2008. View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer.php?id=779&item=0

 

“Saw V” – More horror and carnage from the franchise that, like Jason, refuses to die. Opens October 24, 2008 View the teaser at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer.php?id=1128&item=0

 

“RocknRolla” – London. Underground. Gangsters. Guy Ritchie. What more do you need? Also stars Gerard Butler, Thandie Newton, Ludacris, Jeremy Piven, and Tom Wilkinson. Opens October 31, 2008. View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer.php?id=972&item=3

 

“Quantum of Solace” – Bond is back! Opens November 7, 2008. View the trailer at:

http://www.moviefone.com/movie/quantum-of-solace/26922/trailer?trailerId=2150289

 

“Yes Man” – “Yes is the new ‘no’” as Jim Carrey is a guy who begins saying “yes” to everything, and eventually winds up with Zooey Deschanel. Opens December 19, 2008. View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer.php?id=1076&item=0

 

“Watchmen” – Based on the graphic novel/comic book series, this follows an alternate 1985 where a superhero is killed and the investigation into his murder reveals a plot to discredit all superheroes. Opens March 6, 2009. View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer.php?id=590&item=0

 

“Terminator: Salvation” – Christian Bale takes the role of John Connor, lone savior of our future against the giant Cyberdine/Skynet cyborgs. Opens May 22, 2009. View the teaser at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer.php?id=333&item=0

 

“Ghost Town” – “Office” and “Extras” creator Ricky Gervais is a jerk dentist who, after being dead for 7 minutes, is able to see ghosts. He’s imposed upon by Greg Kinnear to stop his former wife (Tea Leoni) from getting married to the wrong guy. Opens September 19, 2009. View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer.php?id=933&item=0

 

“Surfer, Dude” – Matthew McConaughey is a surfer with a problem: there’s a drought in the wave department. His manager (Woody Harrelson) gets him to try to endorse a “3-D” surfing game. Dude. Also stars Willie Nelson. Coming Soon! View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer.php?id=1139&item=0

 

 “Up” – Quoting the Official Plot Summary: Carl Fredricksen spent his entire life dreaming of exploring the globe and experiencing life to its fullest. But at age 78, life seems to have passed him by, until a twist of fate (and a persistent 8-year old Wilderness Explorer named Russell) gives him a new lease on life. “Up” takes audiences on a thrilling journey where the unlikely pair encounter wild terrain, unexpected villains and jungle creatures. Coming Soon! View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/headline.php?id=9519&count=0

 

And, stuff from Comic Con:

 

 “Origins: Wolverine” – Here’s the bootleg of the new “Wolverine” movie; basically, a “prequel” of sorts. View the footage at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer.php?id=143&item=0

 

“Tron 2” – More bootleg stuff from Comic Con. Disney Pictures has given the “go ahead” for “Tron 2” (or “2.0”) and it looks like Jeff Bridges is back as well. View the footage at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/headline.php?id=9511&count=25

 

“Untitled Friday the 13th Sequel” – Let’s get this straight: you already know that a hockey-mask wearing psychopath named Jason Vorhees is out to kill teen/twenty-something campers as they’re about to have sex. You may proceed… View the trailer at:

http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer.php?id=158&item=0

11
Jul
08

Welcome to the Machine

“Welcome my son… welcome, to the Machine…” – Pink Floyd

 

This week at the Film Guys Online / Chasfilm Productions Office of Cinematic Research, we bow down to our Electronic Overlord, the Computer. Whether it’s PC or Mac, these business machines mean business. Let’s take a look at the

 

TOP 5 COMPUTERS TO FEAR

 

5. HAL 9000 (“2001: A Space Odyssey,” “2010”) – Short for Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer, HAL could take you to the deepest depths of outer space and then have you sucked out the airlock. It’s all part of its master plan…

 

4. Colossus (“Colossus: The Forbin Project”) – I blame Forbin. Here a guy creates a supercomputer and it links to a Russian supercomputer called Guardian. And the supercomputers take over the world. Good job there, Forbie.

 

 

 

3. Master Control Program (“Tron”) – What can a computer bent on world-domination in the real world and sadistic slaughter of programs within the video game realm do if you piss it off? Suck you into the world it controls. Good luck, and don’t crash your Light Cycle into the wall. End of line.

 

2. Skynet (“Terminator,” “Terminator 2,” “Terminator 3”) – For those who don’t know the mythos, August 29, 1997 a computer called Skynet “woke up” and nuked civilization. What people were left went underground and the machines began taking over, finally creating a Terminator to destroy mankind and take out the leader, John Connor.

 

1. The Matrix (“The Matrix,” “Matrix Reloaded,” “Matrix Revolutions”) The most evil computer of all has already enslaved mankind, turning humans into “batteries” to continually power it. Neo, the One, is wakened from the world he was plugged into and must find a way for humanity to strike back.