In your replies to my review of Terminator Salvation some of you felt my analysis was compromised. You were all wrong. I see everything.

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  • Comment number 41. Posted by RussiansEatBambi66

    on 11 Oct 2009 11:36

    1. Get rid of McG or at least send him to film school or something? In the meantime, try to tempt a director like David Finscher to jump in as soon as McG gets fired (inevitably).

    2. Get new pens on the script and stick to the CHASE MOVIE structure.

    3. Like with Batman Begins - use Bale (for what we know he is capable of) and build the story around him showing the new world from his perspective. We have yet to get close enough to the older John Connor (thanks to Salvation favouring Wothington).

    4. I'm all for changes and surprises but they need to be better than what we have been given. Skynet and Connor are both aware of the past events and so this is where these two sides should really tackle each other head on.

    5. Get Weta in to work on some new concept machines - I think we need a fresher perspective on things.

    6. Get a new sound designer who is not deaf?

    7. Skynet needs a strong representative to follow on from Arnie and Robert Patrick. Salvation had nobody and I mean NOBODY!

    8. Bring back the old score or at least get Hans Zimmer to give us a new one?

    9. John Connor would have a signature motorbike modified to his own specification.

    10. Find out if James Cameron wants to be involved... somehow?

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  • Comment number 40. Posted by suchet9

    on 10 Oct 2009 23:50

    I totally agree with Mark Kermode's review of Terminator 4 and have some of my own comments below : -

    The first 2 movies in the franchise are classics - and while the third movie wasn't brilliant it still had some interesting and valid elements in it.

    Terminator Salvation fails on a number of levels - firstly is the fact that there is no Arnold Schwarzennegger in the whole movie (the ridiculous constructed Arnold T800 special effects at the climax of the movie are crap.) - I was laughing at how terrible the movie got when that scene started. The special effects in this movie dont even come close to the beautifuly designed visual effects of the first 3 Terminator movies.

    Also all the previous Terminator movies have powerful actors in them such as Michael Biehn and Linda Hamilton and some great performances from newcomers - You only have to check out the successful performances of Edward Furlong and Robert Patrick in T2 and of course the younger Arnold in the original Terminator movie(although he wasnt a complete newcomer when he made the first movie).

    Unfortunately Salvation has a very wooden performance by Christian Bale (The worst actor to ever play John Connor!)- he completely ruins the movie and is almost completely overshadowed by the supporting cast, and doesnt even compare to the hi-lites of that film Sam Worthington, Anton Yelchin and Moon Bloodgood who seemed to carry the film better with their performances.

    The plot of the movie is not terrible - its just the bad execution of it - there is nothing in here to indicate that its a valid sequel - The future battle story isnt a bad idea - but you need to be able to pull it off - There are so many great directors out there doing some really smart stuff with science fiction - yet this movie shows what can happen when a good idea is executed badly without any care or respect for the previous storylines and characters.


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  • Comment number 39. Posted by KubrickandScott

    on 17 Jul 2009 23:23

    Dr. Doctor (again, sorry),
    During my finals a friend of mine lent me the original Star Wars trilogy on DVD. I watched them in between revision sessions and found them to be less enjoyable than when I was a teenager - and not just because Return of the Jedi, the best of the original three, has been ruined by the presence of His Royal Plankness, Hayden Christiansen.

    From reading your review of Sunshine back in 2007 (which I have yet to see, to my great shame), I now see your point about Star Wars being an "infantilisation" of early-1970s stuff like Silent Running and 2001. The films are still enjoyable but they are not as deep as I once thought.

    One thing I would like to ask, however, and this relates to the 'success' of Transformers and Terminator. Star Wars is often grouped with Jaws as being the birth of the high concept movie. Is the problem with Transformers and Terminator rooted in the fact that they are extreme forms of high concept movie? And if so, do all high-concept films suck?

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  • Comment number 38. Posted by KubrickandScott

    on 14 Jul 2009 20:07

    Dr. Doctor K,
    It's great to see someone sticking up for Terminator 3. This was the first Terminator film I saw, and while in hindsight it isn't as good as the other two, it was the reason I got into the Terminator franchise. While much of the film was a recycling of Terminator 2, it serves as a useful companion to the other two films, contains many sequences and dialogue which are engaging (unlike McG's recent offering), and since it's only a 12 certificate film, it's a good way to get children interested in what is, like you said, at heart a science fiction trilogy.

    P.S. Claire Danes was great in Stardust, as you probably already know.

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  • Comment number 37. Posted by I_am_I

    on 3 Jul 2009 23:36

    'The Terminator' should have started and finished with the first film. It didn't need 3 sequels, and certainly didn't deserve a lame TV series. One of the justifications for the sequels - especially T2 - was for the development of the Sarah Connor character, but in the first film we already see her go from being a timid young woman to a warrior (in the factory we see her dragging Reece yelling "On your feet, soldier!"; or the way in which she gives Reece a field dressing when they stop to rest under a bridge). She goes from from being a frightened, anonymous young woman to the saviour of mankind in the space of 2 hours, and we see the changes during the course of the film. No sequel is needed. In addition, the film ends with her driving down a desert road toward a storm, both metaphorical and real; yet at the beginning of 'Terminator 2: Judgement Day' she is locked up in a mental hospital, presumably for being crazy after telling the authorities about her ordeal. This is a complete non-sequiteur, as in no way at the end of 'The Terminator' do we get any indication that she is considered insane (the police psychologist only thinks Reece is a "loon"). Frankly, 'The Terminator' needed sequels about as much as a fish needs a bicycle, so for me a 4th film is just plain ridiculous, and merely indicates that once again Hollywood has utterly destroyed what was an original and thought-provoking idea for the sake of a quick buck. If you don't agree, then look at the downright cynical way in which the film's certificates came down with each sequel - 18,15, 12, 12a. I rest my case, m'lud.

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  • Comment number 36. Posted by J_O_E_L_-_C

    on 27 Jun 2009 15:56

    Hey folks. Glad to get a mention on this esteemed blog!

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  • Comment number 35. Posted by vanveen14

    on 26 Jun 2009 20:27

    I'm certain Kermode is absolutely right that the Terminator is a blandly bad action film--I'm not going to see it--but I would violently argue with him that the first one was an ideas based Sci-fi film. Actually it was a clever marriage of the then hot slasher type film and the action flick, using a pretty standard sci-fi set up, rather like the first Alien. The result really was good eighties hokum, no philosphy involved (Alien, on the other hand, had a cool, charged, atmospheric lyricism). And on the other topic, you definitely are softer on Horror than almost any other genre. For instance I finally got around to watching the loose remake of Friday the Thirteenth, and there's just no excuse for the wishy-washy it's-all-right-for-what-it-is-but-why-bother review you gave the thing. It's was a stupid, incoherent waste of time and money. At 96 minutes the movie still managed to seem stale, at least ten minutes too long. The acting, while a good deal better than in the original series, made the schlock types they played somehow even more annoying, so that when they got killed it wasn't such a great loss, hence not scary. Even the extensive eighties style nudity simply seemed quaint. And though it had a fair amount of gore it came off as bad in the same taste-free way all those dull Japanese remakes do, and you should have warned your audience about this. Your review of Last House on the Left, which you played down the middle, is probably more likely to send younger audiences to the movie than not, because you have led them to believe it will be an effective test of their horror mettle, violent and nasty all the way. They're not going to care if the movie's point, approach, or theme is out of the historical context of the original--why does that matter? The message you gave us was that it was an effective horror movie that got to you. You need to point out that these films are dorky and unscary and that if audiences can't get their bare breasts and blood letting needs from more fulfilling sources than these then by all means see the things, but be prepared to nod off. I tune in weekly for your wonderfully hilarious rants, but you're not always as vigilant as you should be. There's so much you could have gone off about these terrible horror remakes!

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  • Comment number 34. Posted by Jake

    on 25 Jun 2009 23:37

    The good doctor is correct and I know why some are complaining about Marks subjectivity. You really wanted T4 to be good, I know how you all feel I wanted it to be good too and I thought Bale was the one to reinvogorate things.
    Ah well maybe no McG and T5 could be so good it will have all hailing terminator as the ultimate quintiligy.

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  • Comment number 33. Posted by Michael Bay

    on 25 Jun 2009 23:14

    How many splosions are in this one? Need to make sure I stay on top in terms of splosions per second. Anyone got a number?

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  • Comment number 32. Posted by jayfurneaux

    on 25 Jun 2009 19:14

    The good doctor is right that T4 shouldn't have been an out and out action movie. The template T1 (and T2 was a very clever remake) was a chase movie with suspense. (How can the T800/1000 be destroyed?)
    T4 completely lacked suspense; the ending was never in doubt. As for plot it has two, and never really meshes them together; it just collides them clumsily together.
    The idea of a man realising that he is no longer fully human and is considered untrustworthy by both sides should have been the main story; in fact T4 could have done with no John Connor at all and would have been better for it; but that's star power for you.
    All the guff at the end about the heart making one human is so ludicrous its cringe worthy come on its the mind that makes us human.
    The problem I found with the action parts were that at times even the 'real' footage was shot so it looked like CGI, otherwise it felt like I was watching a 2 hour trailer for the game and boy, were those terminators disposed of easily, even in hand-to-hand combat. The sense of threat was missing too.
    Like a lot of series everything good that could be done was in the first two movies. From then on its downhill, not least in the ideas department. S different director wouldn't have made much difference; Hating McG isn't the solution.

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