Friday, June 12, 2009


So, my son and I went to see Terminator 4, aka Salvation.

Let's face it, the first one of these was a B-movie plot that only took off because Cameron knows how to make science fiction work, and because it was the role Ahnahl was born to play.

(Said plot was admittedly swiped from Harlan Ellison, by the way, and the threat-of-lawsuit proved it. Cameron, when asked where he got the idea for the Terminator, allowed as how he had taken it from a couple of old episodes of The Outer Limits. When Ellison, who wrote those episodes, "Soldier," and "Demon with a Glass Hand," got wind of this and called to ask about it, he was essentially told to fuck off. Never a good idea with Harlan, who is a delightful fellow, unless you try and piss on him. He unshipped the lawyers, and the production company was quick to settle, money and a screen credit -- because it was easy to see which way that judicial wind would blow.)

T2 was better across the board. It was worth seeing just for watching Sarah Connor do chin-ups -- and the Guvernator crack funny. It started out with a gag that would end most action movies, and played all the way to the end. Great popcorn film. I put Linda Hamilton's picture up, but alas, she's not in this installment.

T3? Let's be kind and just say it sucked.

T4 also sucked -- and has more holes in it than Blackburn Lancashire. The most fun I got out of it was trying to figure out which scene it might have been that Bale went ballistic in while they were filming. There were so many I almost went ballistic in -- skirting the edge of hysterical laughter.

There are some nice EFX, give it that. Especially one late in the movie, with a CGI version of Schwarzenegger that is dead-on, but that's not a spoiler -- because you want to save your ten bucks and wait for it come out on cable.

I can almost hear the producers sitting in a big conference room over their bottles of Evian water. Plot? We don't need no steenkin' plot! We'll just blow up a shitload of robots and aircraft and riderless motorcycles, and nobody will notice that none of it makes any sense whatsoever.

There are six writers listed, though only a couple get credits, and the script was so totally re-written even while the filming was going on that Alan Dean Foster, who did the novelization, decided to rewrite the book because the script he was given had almost nothing to do with the movie ...

If all you want is mindless action, have at it. But, really, check your brain at the door, otherwise you'll find yourself sniggering in scenes that are supposed to be scary and dramatic ...

Don't say I didn't warn you.


Bobbe Edmonds said...

Now that is sad to hear. Bale is reported to have said he would only sign on if the script was so well written that they could perform it on a stage and it would play just as well.

How the mighty are fallen.

I was going to see this next week. Think I'll pass until it comes out on Netflix now.

Nataraj Hauser said...

Yep, that version of Sarah Connor works for me too (sans cigarette). Gimmee that buff dancer body any day.

Any movie with a "4" after it has jumped the shark. That said, I did like the latest Star Trek movie.

Steve Perry said...

Bale got to chew a lot of scenery, actors love to do that, but he really didn't have much to work with, nor was he even the centerpiece of the movie.

As for acting, there was a little frizzy-haired girl (Jada Grace, Berry Gordy's youngest daughter) who never says a word -- and did as good a job acting as anybody in the film ...

Dan Moran said...

Yep; I was going to take the two older boys to go see it, but I went to go see it by myself to see if it was appropriate for my 7 year old. (It wasn't.) But it was such a disappointment, I didn't bother to take the older two, either. All the weight and emotional resonance was borrowed from the original. The bit about Marcus would have been interesting if they hadn't completely blown the gag in the trailers, and there was nothing left after that.

Dan Moran said...

The summer movies my sons get to see are usually pretty good movies -- if they're PG-13, I go see them first, and if they get to see it, it means it A) wasn't too violent, and B) was worth sitting through twice.

Last year, when my now-13 year old son was 12, I didn't take even him to see The Dark Knight; that was a bloody, scary movie. By contrast Star Trek was also PG-13; and all of them got to see it, including my 7 year old.

Steve Perry said...

I love it that Fandango -- where I got the tickets for the movie -- emails a follow-up and asks for a review. Want to bet they don't run mine ... ?