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T4: better than 3-day-old coyote

With TSCC being cancelled, I thought seeing Terminator Salvation would just make me sad and maybe a little bitter. Future war isn't a story that I find very interesting anyway and I'm not a big Christian Bale fan either (aside from Batman Begins, I don't think I've ever really liked him much in anything). So I'd been stalling, but I did finally see T4 on Sunday. It was a nice day and it was playing at our little local movie theater, so the man and I decided to walk to the movies then go for ice cream after — fun summery thing to do.

I'd read my flist's reviews so I was spoiled about some stuff ahead of time. In hindsight that was probably a good thing because it's definitely the kind of film that gets worse afterwards when you start thinking about it. Knowing a lot going in eased the WTF? post-viewing factor quite a bit. Even so, the man and I ripped it apart on the walk to the ice cream cottage.

Here's what I flat-out hated: The super-transformery Godzilla-sized harvester robot, Kyle's traps conveniently set at the exact spots the endo stands, that mute rat-girl sidekick of his, the resistance leader we all know will be bad news from the second he appears on screen because he's played by Michael Ironsides, the Max Headroom scene where Helena Bonham-Carter reveals the entire plot to Marcus, and of course, the heart transplant. Other than that, the movie really wasn't as bad as I expected and there was certainly enough to enjoy that neither of us regretted seeing it (following it up with a scoop of Hershey's Cappuccino Crunch helped a lot too).

I think the biggest problem is that Terminator Salvation just tried to be too many things and didn't really succeed at any of them. It was primarily about Skynet's development of a new hybrid infiltrator: Marcus. Sam Worthington was good, but honestly, I didn't give a shit about Marcus. Some murderer who got to live again (sort of), so he was going to do good now? Meh. I didn't have a good enough sense of his motivation. And aside from the heart transplant being completely ludicrous, it felt like a forced way to give him some importance in the Terminator universe. Sorry. No. Didn't work for me at all. We've already got our heroes and John Connor already has plenty of reason to be a bit more trusting of machines than the average person. So we didn't need that.

What we did need was Kyle — lots more Kyle. I loved that he was the LA resistance. I loved that he rescued Marcus. I loved that he was excited when he heard John Connor on the radio. I loved everything about Kyle. If I had my way, I would've gotten rid of the Marcus story all together and there would've been a much more in-depth story of John Connor becoming the leader of the resistance. That's such an important thing yet it was the weakest part of the film. I wish it had focused on Kyle's journey to find John after hearing him on the radio, them finally meeting (in a Skynet prison camp, of course), and John leading the revolt. That's a future war story I might actually care about. That's a story that could have heart. Terminator Salvation? Not so much.

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( 22 comments — Add a comment )
usagiko
Jun. 3rd, 2009 08:41 pm (UTC)
Anton Yelchin is my favourite piece of Russian Jailbait~ <3

And I think that both Yelchin and Worthington totally stole the show. Those two were the best part of the movie, imo.
roxybisquaint
Jun. 3rd, 2009 10:03 pm (UTC)
Anton Yelchin is oh so cute :)

I didn't dislike Marcus, in fact I thought Sam Worthington was quite good. I just didn't like the whole idea of his story. It as hard enough for me to motivate to see a future war story anyway, but then to have it not even be about John was disappointing.
sabaceanbabe
Jun. 3rd, 2009 08:56 pm (UTC)
I enjoyed the movie for what it was and have no intention of thinking much about it, because there were just way too many logic holes. Unless the husband wants to go see it, I won't be seeing it again. But I liked Marcus and Blair and Kyle. Of course, I kept looking for Derek, too. :P
usagiko
Jun. 3rd, 2009 09:03 pm (UTC)
RE: Derek - omg me too. It felt a little more empty without him. :(

And Blair! I love Moon Bloodgood and she did a fantastic job. If only she'd gotten more facetime.
roxybisquaint
Jun. 3rd, 2009 10:09 pm (UTC)
Ah maybe that was my problem... the thinking ;)

Surprisingly, I didn't think about TSCC during the movie, so I didn't feel any Derek void. I'm glad of that. Yeah, Blair was very cool and I wished she'd had more story. I could've watched Kyle all day too.

I think cissac summed T4 up best: not as good as T2, but better than T3.

Oh, I finally saw Caprica last night and loved it. I've been behind on LJ flist quite a bit the past 2 weeks, so I don't recall if you've posted about it. Did you see it? What did you think of it?

Edited at 2009-06-03 10:10 pm (UTC)
gega_cai
Jun. 3rd, 2009 09:42 pm (UTC)
While I have my issues with the film, I guess there are some things that I liked that you didn't like and it makes me go 'hm.'
roxybisquaint
Jun. 3rd, 2009 09:59 pm (UTC)
I probably made it sound worse than it was because it's easier to pick at what I didn't like. But I know Marcus is the one character everyone seems to agree was awesome and I really didn't care much about his story. So that alone made it a weaker film for me.

Like everyone else, I did think Blair was awesome, though.
lenageek
Jun. 3rd, 2009 10:52 pm (UTC)
The super-transformery Godzilla-sized harvester robot

LOL! I think even the sound effects of the 'transforming' were better than in the actual Transformer movies!

I think the biggest problem is that Terminator Salvation just tried to be too many things and didn't really succeed at any of them.

Agreed. Yet another example of a big movie that outgrows itself in it's own ego and falls spectacularly flat.

there would've been a much more in-depth story of John Connor becoming the leader of the resistance. That's such an important thing yet it was the weakest part of the film.

Ah, you put a finger on what I thought was wrong with the film as well. Plus no Sarah Connor is always a big no no in my book. I just don't find the Terminator story interesting without her and John working together and Sarah's influence on the leader John turns out to be.

At the end, even though the five year old in me enjoyed all the pretty exploding bits, the rest of me was going, why couldn't have WB and FOX kept SCC going so there be enough Terminator for every kind of audience and endless variations on one of the best scifi franchises? For your subpar, brainless kinda Terminator, pick T3 and T4. For the real fans, T1, T2 and SCC all the way. In the end, I agree that T4 is definitely a lower quality film than SCC and T2 but slightly better than T3.
roxybisquaint
Jun. 3rd, 2009 11:57 pm (UTC)
Plus no Sarah Connor is always a big no no in my book. I just don't find the Terminator story interesting without her and John working together and Sarah's influence on the leader John turns out to be.

Absolutely. I'm truly more of a Sarah Connor fan than a Terminator fan. I love the whole Terminator story and yay to John Connor forming the resistance and fighting the machines. But when it gets right down to it, it's that mother-son story and the struggle in present day that I find so compelling. Oh how I want our show back.
lenageek
Jun. 4th, 2009 09:05 am (UTC)
But when it gets right down to it, it's that mother-son story and the struggle in present day that I find so compelling. Oh how I want our show back.

[cries] No Terminator without the mother/son duo, agreed. I miss our show! :{
drenkrelar
Jun. 4th, 2009 03:11 am (UTC)
Marcus didn't do anything for me either. He could have been the most interesting character in the movie, but the promos spoiled the big reveal about him.

I also thought Anton Yelchin was great as Kyle. Between this role and equally good portrayal of the new Chekov, I am convinced that we'll be seeing a lot more of him.

If you want, you can read my review here

Slighty off topic, The_Narration pointed me in your direction after the shutdown of the TWOP TSCC forums. I want to try to keep in touch with as many of my friends from there as possible.
the_narration
Jun. 4th, 2009 03:56 am (UTC)
I confess, I did do that. I'm nostalgic for the days when the Meet Market was a great source of fun and nerditry, so I'm trying to get the band back together. :-)

Still haven't seen T4 or Star Trek yet. I keep meaning to, but then I end up being busy with something else.

(BTW, Dren, I've got through episode 12 up on mediafire. I'll set it going before I go to work tonight. It might glitch out again before it gets through all of them, but it should manage to make some progress.)
roxybisquaint
Jun. 5th, 2009 12:35 am (UTC)
Hi dren! I'm glad TN pointed you here - it's been a while. I still miss the meat market group too. It was definitely a cool place to hangout for a while.

Anton Yelchin was so fun as Checkov, wasn't he? I loved Star Trek (way more than T4!). I'll check out your T4 review in a bit.
bobmacpharson
Jun. 4th, 2009 03:45 am (UTC)
>>>, that mute rat-girl sidekick of his

Sacrilege! She was my favorite part of the movie!
roxybisquaint
Jun. 5th, 2009 12:56 am (UTC)
For real? LOL. There really wasn't anything wrong with the girl and I certainly wasn't sitting there loathing her the entire time. It just felt kind of cheap... Hey audience! Kyle is a really good guy and you can tell because he cares about this little orphaned girl.
bobmacpharson
Jun. 5th, 2009 02:39 am (UTC)
It was sad. It was cheap. But seriously, if that girl had not been in the movie I would not have cared about anyone at all.
trinfaneb
Jun. 8th, 2009 01:19 am (UTC)
I want to see her go on a supply mission to Australia and hook up with The Feral Kid from "Road Warrior" :)
trystanknight
Jun. 4th, 2009 02:25 pm (UTC)
Meh...
Once again I find myself in the opposite camp, sadly enough. I actually liked the little kid, liked the harvester aspect, and thought Marcus was a very interesting character.

My friend published my full review here http://newfilmdimension.com/2009/05/27/guest-blogger-can-soran-defend-terminator-salvation/ if you're interested (or bored enough) to read it.
loganwaters
Jun. 4th, 2009 08:55 pm (UTC)
Fascinating blog post by Josh Friedman on the cancellation of Our Fave Show
"I had this little scary robot show and..."

http://hucksblog.blogspot.com/2009/06/boy-in-bubble.html
roxybisquaint
Jun. 5th, 2009 01:39 am (UTC)
Re: Fascinating blog post by Josh Friedman on the cancellation of Our Fave Show
I read Josh Friedman's blog post last night. It was sort of sad, but also really interesting to learn how it all played out from his end of things. Hopefully if we all fight hard enough we can get WB to make a DVD movie. There's plenty of precedence for that to happen and if we succeed, maybe it'll cheer up Josh too :)
schmacky0
Jun. 4th, 2009 09:55 pm (UTC)
Heart. That is what was seriously lacking in Salvation.
roxybisquaint
Jun. 5th, 2009 01:40 am (UTC)
Yeah it really was and I don't think it was in comparison to TSCC either. T4 just spread itself too thin so it was missing the magic.
( 22 comments — Add a comment )

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Roxy Bisquaint...

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