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Capone misses the humanity but liked the robots in TERMINATOR SALVATION!!!

Hey everyone. Capone in Chicago here. This fourth installment in the end-of-the-world franchise is not really science fiction at all. Nope, this is director McG's big, loud, gritty, steely-gray war epic. Gone is the philosophy and metaphors about time travel, the dangers of letting machines and computers take over our lives, the loss of innocence, motherhood. With this new film, the other thing that has officially vanished from the Terminator universe is heart--ironic since the human heart is a major plot point in TERMINATOR SALVATION. What we're left with is a collection of hardened bad-asses battling some of the meanest fucking robots I've ever seen. In any other movie, this might bother me less bother. But one of the things I always loved about Cameron's first two films, and even the subpar third movie and the "Sarah Connor Chronicles" TV show (which I contend got progressively better as it went on), is that not everybody in each story was supposed to be a grizzled soldier. Sarah Connor was an unremarkable woman when we met her all those years ago; she became remarkable to protect her son, who in turn grew into a little shit who had to learn to fight from a friendly Terminator sent back to protect him. Since TERMINATOR SALVATION opens several years after Judgment Day (when the machines preemptively strike against humans with nuclear attacks around the world), there are no "ordinary" people left in the world, so perhaps my search for normal folk is foolish. And that's a valid counter my feelings about what's missing from this new film. Then just don't call it this movie TERMINATOR; call it POST-APOCALYPTIC WAR, PART 79. This "everyman" quality always separated the TERMINATOR films from all of the other end-of-the-world movies. Instead, we get a war picture complete with big elaborate battle sequences, concentration camps, submarines, helicopters, bullets zipping by, flares lighting up the night sky, you name it. There's even a GREAT ESCAPE-style great escape. When we meet Christian Bale's John Connor, he's already in CAPS LOCK!!! mode. Every line is belted out like an order or an injured animal (by the way, I thought the cinematography looked really nice here). Gone is the sassy, good-natured teen and young man; make way for super-soldier John. We also meet Marcus Wright (Australian newcomer Sam Worthington), a one-time death row prisoner who was executed until someone wakes him up a couple decades later having no idea the turn for the worse the world has made. He's determined to make his way to San Francisco, where he wants to find someone who he lost touch with. He stumbles upon Kyle Reese (the man who will be sent back in time by John Connor to have sex with his mother to father him; got it?), played as a young man by Anton Yelchin (the new STAR TREK’s Chekov). Kyle decides to follow this mysterious stranger because the alternative is to not follow him. That's about the level of logic that permeates this movie, sorry folks. The biggest problem for me is that the film's big "mystery" is hardly a mystery--it's revealed in the trailer that the human rebellion has an infiltrator in their midst, and it doesn't take a PhD to figure out who it is even if you haven't seen the trailer. I'm not even 100 percent it qualifies as a secret at this point, but for that infinitesimal number of you who don't know, I won't spoil it here. I grew increasingly frustrated with the truly abysmal state of the screenplay for TERMINATOR SALVATION. It's disjointed, aimless, front-loaded with clichéd dialogue and scenarios, and sadly lacking in any emotion outside of rage. Again, I get that, in a way: the collective human population is suffering from global post-traumatic stress disorder and anything other than hardened, solider-like personalities might be asking too much. But that doesn't make for compelling screen acting. Speaking of which, as far as I'm concerned, the jury is still out on Sam Worthington as a force on film. I'll reserve my judgment until I see what he pulls off in James Cameron's AVATAR, but his performance here seems to consist of a combination of wide-eyed bafflement or narrow-eyed anger. Grrrrrr. And I tend to hate people that focus on whether or not an actor can hold onto an accent, but I can't wait to play the drinking game where you take a sip every time Worthington's Australian accent slips out. I'm going to be one drunk motherfucker when this movie comes out on DVD. I don't think any of the supporting cast of TERMINATOR SALVATION stands out in my mind. From Helena Bonham Carter playing the worst kind of Dr. Exposition near the end of the film to the blink-and-you'll-miss-them appearances by Jane Alexander, Common, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Michael Ironside, who probably fares better than most in making the most of his limited screen time, although the motivation for his character's impatient behavior makes no damn sense. I've only ever seen the striking Moon Bloodgood in a couple of films, most of them terrible (STREET FIGHTER; PATHFINDER), but her Blair character comes the closest to displaying the characteristics of a warm-blooded human being in these proceedings. She's compassionate and seems to understand Worthington's unique set of complications better than anyone. Maybe I am spending too much time on the negatives, and the fact is, there are some pretty cool elements to TERMINATOR SALVATION, but most of them are limited to the action scenes and special effects. I mentioned earlier that the movie is director McG's war film, and I stick by that. But it's a hell of a war film. There's a sequence near the beginning where John Connor and a small squadron are going after a robot stronghold. The mission turns into a rescue effort when they find a small number of humans at the location being held captive. Part of the sequence involves Connor exiting the hole in the ground where the stronghold is, getting into a helicopter to chase an enemy ship, getting shot down, crash landing, and getting out of the wreckage to continue fighting…all in one take (or so it seems). I've got no idea how they pulled the sequence off, but it's damned impressive. Most of the action sequences are top notch, from an attack at a gas station where we see the full range of Terminator variations (I really like the ones that look like motorcycles) to the climactic battle set at a Terminator production facility. Since so much of the film revolves around some powerful, well-staged action set pieces, if that's all you care about, you should have a pretty great time watching this movie. I was certainly a lot happier when the bullets were flying and people were getting snatched up by giant Terminator robots that looked and acted way too much like Transformers for my taste. I got a particular kick out of the older-model Terminator that looked sort of like pirate zombies. The fact that this installment of TERMINATOR was PG-13 didn't even phase me. The violence allowed in PG-13 films these days is almost equal to what Cameron was getting away with in the first two R-rated works. If you're going to hate this movie before you even see it, don't do so because of the rating. TERMINATOR SALVATION will undoubtedly be the most divisive film in the franchise. Hell, it's the most divisive film of all the summer releases so far in my brain, and will probably continue to be so for quite some time. I suspect that when I revisit this film, I'll either see it for the action-oriented masterpiece that is might be, or I'll be so frustrated with the lack of character development and solid storytelling that I'll abandon it forever. This is half a recommendation, as you can probably tell, and whether you enjoy the film will have everything to do with your expectations of what TERMINATOR films are to you. Mine were clearly different that McG's, but that doesn't mean he's made an unwatchable film by any stretch. If you're okay with a focus on the hardware, that's cool. I remember when these movies were about people and machines finding a middle ground amidst a whole lot of bloodshed. There's some of that in TERMINATOR SALVATION, but it gets sadly lost early on, as did I. -- Capone capone@aintitcoolmail.com



Readers Talkback
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  • May 20, 2009, 5:14 p.m. CST

    I liked T3

    by Iowa Snot Client

    Sue me.

  • May 20, 2009, 5:16 p.m. CST

    The meaning fucking robots since AI

    by Iowa Snot Client

    Those guys were Hard Core.

  • May 20, 2009, 5:18 p.m. CST

    Needs to be released quicker in the UK!

    by Judge_Dredd

  • May 20, 2009, 5:21 p.m. CST

    Christian Bale

    by MisterNobody

    When isnt Christian Bale on CAPS Lock? He exhales his lines as if he were restraining himself from yelling every time he speaks. I think his "melt down" was actually just him speaking in a normal tone of voice...

  • May 20, 2009, 5:22 p.m. CST

    I sure wish Vern would review this

    by The Amazing G

  • May 20, 2009, 5:23 p.m. CST

    All the bitching.

    by LoLWut

    You know what? with all the bitching this film is getting it is SURE to make a fuck-ton of cash, look at Wolverne, that sucked ass and STILL MAKE FUCK-TONS OF CASH. The internet means shit, people will see this no matter what is said on the internet, anyone remember how well that went for Snakes on a Plane or even better Watchmen? yeah thats right your posturing will get you nowhere.

  • May 20, 2009, 5:30 p.m. CST

    GO SEE IT! DON'T ALWAYS FOLLOW ROTTEN TOMATOES.......

    by digital8

  • May 20, 2009, 5:31 p.m. CST

    too many TBs FUCK

    by Six Demon Bag

    make one almighty TB to crush all in its wake!!!

  • May 20, 2009, 5:31 p.m. CST

    T3 "Nuked the fridge"...

    by AtomicRoboticZombieWearwolf

  • May 20, 2009, 5:32 p.m. CST

    is this a new new Matrix sequel?

    by ciroslive

    shallow/dumb characters, convoluted plot, corny dialogue, but GREAT action sequences? sounds like it to me

  • May 20, 2009, 5:32 p.m. CST

    T3

    by AtomicRoboticZombieWearwolf

  • May 20, 2009, 5:34 p.m. CST

    That's because of the Sheople just devouring anything...

    by LabattsBleu

    Unfortunately, this perpetuates the cycle of lousy films and cash-grabbing sequels and remakes. Ultimately, you are right LoLWut: it won't make a damn difference what reviews are and what the studios do - but I'll sleep better at night, by refusing to reward Hollywood for churning out mindless crap and shoveling it down our throats, even if some people are too stupid to realize they enable the studios to continue with their cynical cash-grabs.

  • May 20, 2009, 5:34 p.m. CST

    Fuck!

    by AtomicRoboticZombieWearwolf

    Here I was, all ready to write some seriously smarmy shit and my fucking keyboard freaks out and makes me look like an asshole. Ah well... maybe next time

  • May 20, 2009, 5:37 p.m. CST

    Star Trek is safe for another week!

    by lockesbrokenleg

  • May 20, 2009, 5:37 p.m. CST

    What do you expect?

    by kafka07

    this is directed by the guy who did Charlie's Angels...CHARLIE'S ANGELS! And written by the idiots who wrote Catwoman...CATWOMAN!

  • May 20, 2009, 5:37 p.m. CST

    Tired of the bitching, too

    by seagrass

    All anyone has ever wanted was to see the Future War...we had 3 movies of time travel, and now we got what we wanted, and people still bitch. Hell, even in the comics dealing with the future war there really wasn't a lot of focus on the "humanity" of the Terminator series...it was pretty much just run-fight-rest-run-fight-rest. I still don't get all of the T3 hate...I'm guessing it stems from the one scene with Ahnuld in the star sunglasses, which was ill-advised for sure. T3 (and its spiritual cousin, Jurassic Park 3) were both solid films.

  • May 20, 2009, 5:37 p.m. CST

    About the supposed lack of character development

    by TylerDurden3395

    The character development in the past three films was exactly the same. Part 1: A chick with a bad perm learns she'll give birth to the leader of the resistance and deals with it. Falls in love with a dude from the future. <p> <p> Part 2: A whiny kid learns that he'll be the leader of the resistance and deals with it. Gets a father figure in a robot from the future. <p> <p> Part 3: A morose vet learns that she'll hook up with the leader of the resistance and deals with it. She falls in love with him. <p> <p> I haven't seen T4 yet, but I can excuse the lack of "character development" if it's anything compared to the previous films.

  • May 20, 2009, 5:38 p.m. CST

    POST-APOCALYPTIC WAR, PART 79

    by slone13

    is a terrible title for a movie

  • May 20, 2009, 5:38 p.m. CST

    I still contend that "The Burning Earth"

    by seagrass

    series could have been made into a great film.

  • May 20, 2009, 5:40 p.m. CST

    capone

    by DocDaneeka

    that could've been a much more enjoyable read, if not for all of the grammatical errors. spellcheck is one thing, just make sure you proofread next time. otherwise, great review.

  • May 20, 2009, 5:43 p.m. CST

    Correct me if I'm wrong...

    by MapMan

    But didn't Cameron tie things up nicely in T2 so that Skynet never existed and therefore Judgment Day never occurred? Is this addressed in the movie?

  • May 20, 2009, 5:45 p.m. CST

    MapMan, according to T3, "Judgement Day is inevitable"

    by TylerDurden3395

    They only pushed the date back.

  • May 20, 2009, 5:45 p.m. CST

    Still seeing it, begrudgingly

    by SoylentMean

    The price you pay for watching movies. Wheat and chaff.

  • May 20, 2009, 5:46 p.m. CST

    Bale's big moment

    by JohnnyLaBamba

    Could you tell which scene he freaked out on?

  • May 20, 2009, 5:53 p.m. CST

    Violence is almost equal

    by AlwaysThere

    Watch T2 again so you can retract that statement.

  • May 20, 2009, 5:54 p.m. CST

    Wake me when 9 comes out.

    by DOGSOUP

    Post-apocalypse animated sack people seems way more interesting at this point.

  • May 20, 2009, 5:54 p.m. CST

    seagrass...

    by AtomicRoboticZombieWearwolf

    I think the problems with T3 go a lot further than just the Elton John glasses, the Terminatrix growing tits to distract the cop, the two "talk to the hand" moments or... wait a minute, no they don't - those WERE the problems with T3. All that unnecessary humor the writers put into it made it feel kiddie and unimportant. I felt like I was being talked down to for most of the film. I do agree with you on your Jurassic Park 3 point though... solid flick.

  • May 20, 2009, 5:54 p.m. CST

    T-800 didn't teach John Connor to fight.

    by veebeeyes

    That was all Sarah Connor and her scumbag boyfriends.

  • May 20, 2009, 5:57 p.m. CST

    Well, we know McG ain't no Cameron...

    by sonnyfern

    -so the storytelling isn't going to be nearly as good. This is the wildcard of the Summer for me. I'm going to see it tonight. We'll see.

  • May 20, 2009, 5:58 p.m. CST

    Worthington is the goods

    by Kobaal

    He just had poor direction.

  • May 20, 2009, 5:58 p.m. CST

    After reading this eview, you know what I'm frustrated about?

    by mukhtabi

    The fact the thing was not checked for grammar prior to being uploaded. I have to say, this was a difficult read primarily because of badly placed and terribly phrased sentences. I tip my hat to Capone for some really credible, wondrous reviews in the past and what I'm sure will excellent ones in the future. This one was a stinker in its own right.

  • May 20, 2009, 5:59 p.m. CST

    Dammit I forgot the 'R' in review.

    by mukhtabi

    I never do that, dammit!

  • May 20, 2009, 5:59 p.m. CST

    can you profread

    by jkaiser

    be4ore po5tng next tme please, tknsalo t

  • May 20, 2009, 6:04 p.m. CST

    AtomicRoboticZombieWearwolf, T2 is just as goofy as T3

    by TylerDurden3395

    the groan inducing "Bad to the Bone" song cue, "I need a vacation", Terminator smiling when he picked up a big gun (he's a damn robot he's not supposed to show emotions!), John making him stand on one foot...

  • May 20, 2009, 6:05 p.m. CST

    Does Dr. Silverman make an appearance?

    by BoyNamedSue

    He has been in every Terminator movie thus far, and I believe he should also be in this one. He can survive Judgement Day.......and I would LOVE to see him face the fact that he unjustly persecuted Sara Conner!

  • May 20, 2009, 6:09 p.m. CST

    Mapman...

    by veebeeyes

    No, James Cameron did no such thing. He left it open-ended, and allowed the audience to come to their own conclusions or whatnot. However, since stopping Judgement Day is logically impossible within the context of the rules established in the first movie, I can confidently say that they did NOT stop Judgement Day. They didn't change a single fucking thing, and anyone who disagrees with me is wrong.

  • May 20, 2009, 6:11 p.m. CST

    Maybe Dr Silberman can come back...

    by veebeeyes

    as a Terminator.

  • May 20, 2009, 6:11 p.m. CST

    Damn you McG

    by --- Emperor ---

    Damn you to hell.

  • May 20, 2009, 6:11 p.m. CST

    I never watched Terminator for the "heart"

    by Simpsonian

    It was always for the bad ass machines....

  • May 20, 2009, 6:16 p.m. CST

    great movie, even better than t3

    by bilbo78

    just kidding, i know these movies blow big time!! Ha!

  • May 20, 2009, 6:18 p.m. CST

    veebeeyes

    by scnjedi

    No, he shouldn't. They'd turn it into a stupid fucking plot twist that he was actually a machine sent back to lock up Sarah Connor to stop her from raising John to be Resistance leader.

  • May 20, 2009, 6:18 p.m. CST

    Silberman plays....

    by chuffsterUK

    ....crushed skull number 3;)

  • May 20, 2009, 6:24 p.m. CST

    Silberman's in it??

    by Six Demon Bag

    now its a terminator film. couldve sworn he wouldve slit his wrists after witnessing the events of T3

  • May 20, 2009, 6:24 p.m. CST

    Capone lets say I wanna see some epic action

    by TheDark0Knight

    would you say it has some of the best action scenes of recent memory? Im to young to feel really close to the terminator franchise. I was 14 when t3 came out and I dug it, I get that the franchise was built on a really good story but to me its always been about the action I never really looked at it like alot of you older guys did. I will say this though T2 is in my top 3 favourite action films of all time.

  • May 20, 2009, 6:25 p.m. CST

    ..its a WAR movie, the others were "heart-filled".

    by Mike_D

    Theres a difference. This is about the future war, the others were about time-travel and making the right choices.

  • May 20, 2009, 6:27 p.m. CST

    veebeeyes

    by Six Demon Bag

    agreed with the Judgement Day thing.. if they stop JD, then Connor cant send back Kyle. then he cant be born to stop...fuck i need to sit down.

  • May 20, 2009, 6:27 p.m. CST

    Yes, all these Terminator movies have heart

    by lockesbrokenleg

    lol, like in T2, where the dude is shoved through the chest by a sharp spike! That's love!!!

  • May 20, 2009, 6:36 p.m. CST

    Good Review Capone

    by BLEST

    I'm sensing a theme here: The movie is awesome, the action/terminators rock, but character development and heart/humor/arnie are lacking.<p>But I like how this review almost apologizes for that, because it's really not supposed to be there.<p>And there's the rub.<p>This film is a DIFFERENT type of Terminator film, because it's in a different time period, and it's about different things.<p>How the review says it's different because it's a war movie just proves that it did what it's supposed to do.....it's just that many reviewers don't seem to want this new version.<p>This trilogy will be different in tone because we are watching war films now, not time-travel stories about the possible future of humnanity and robots...but instead films where they have kicked the crap out of us and we're fighting back.<p>I'm getting more excited for this, actually!

  • May 20, 2009, 6:41 p.m. CST

    Capone is the best reviewer on this site

    by Kwalified

    the end

  • May 20, 2009, 6:41 p.m. CST

    But then how is this different than Transformers or any other mo

    by MANNZILLA

    This will be processed and soon forgotten. Movies are ONLY remembered for their characters, plot, and heart. Thats why movies like Star Wars and the orgininal terminator are remembered.

  • May 20, 2009, 6:47 p.m. CST

    Different .....because

    by Trannyformers_Apologist

    Shitformers didn't have Lord Bale screaming and trashing Skynets' lights.

  • May 20, 2009, 6:55 p.m. CST

    MOST DIVISIVE FILM OF THE SUMMER???

    by Six Demon Bag

    how can that be when i wont remember a frame of it by the time i get to my car?

  • May 20, 2009, 6:57 p.m. CST

    Glad to hear it's not garbage...

    by Laza-rus

    I really want to see this film and be immersed and enjoy it the way I did the other films in the franchise (yes, even T3). Even with all the exposition on the paradox of time travel, the inevitable extinction of mankind due to their own devices and whatever other filler posing as drama you want infused into the franchise and debate, Terminator has always been a thinly veiled action series and as long as that's intact, even with a "no shit" twist for good measure, I'm good.

  • May 20, 2009, 6:59 p.m. CST

    TheDark0Knight

    by BillEmic

    Geez, way to make me feel old. I was all of 17 when Terminator 3 came out and I still had a lot of fond memories of seeing T1 and T2 as a kid - enough to know that the recent sequels are something like a bastardization of Cameron's original vision. I must say that I dig the Sarah Connor Chronicles, though.

  • May 20, 2009, 7:03 p.m. CST

    good god, T3 is on Tv right NOW

    by zom-bot.com

    just started. and after that- star trek nemesis is coming on. i love it how when a movie is out, they pick the WORST related movies to show on cable, instead of the originals.

  • May 20, 2009, 7:08 p.m. CST

    what dont you understand?

    by moviemaven83

  • May 20, 2009, 7:09 p.m. CST

    The time travel logic in the first two...

    by benlovescoolnews

    ... was a load of shit but the movies worked anyway. i always thought that if a terminator movie was finally set in the future thats when the logic would become too inyourface stupid to get past and the film would fall to pieces. Does anyone who has seen this movie know if thats true or not?

  • May 20, 2009, 7:14 p.m. CST

    zom-bot.com

    by Six Demon Bag

    they're cheaper to play, residual wise.

  • May 20, 2009, 7:16 p.m. CST

    I had my suspicions that this movie might be bad...

    by MrHyde

    when I heard that they had changed the ending according to bad test screenings. You know the one I mean. Where John Conner dies and Marcus takes his face to lead the resistance. This is a new TRILOGY. And to abandon their original plan so far into production makes me wary of how much faith they place in their story. However, I'm still going to see it. This site lost a lot of credibility with me with the universal praise of Star Trek. And I know it's not just this site. Reviewers everywhere think it's amazing. Am I the only one who thought it was either way too boring or way too silly? Star Trek was absolutely terrible. From the fat hands jokes to the overkill of exposition about creating a 2nd timeline to the stupid sequence of young Kirk trashing an "antique" car to a Beastie Boys song for no other reason just to drive it into our dense skulls that this guy "plays by his own rules". I know I've gotten off topic here but god dammit. Star Trek was absolutely awful. And you'll be seeing me say that all summer.

  • May 20, 2009, 7:17 p.m. CST

    Mindless action?

    by CyG

    I would expect nothing more from a summer blockbuster. Besides, who in their right mind would expect Cameron-level philosophizing from McG?

  • May 20, 2009, 7:20 p.m. CST

    ALMOST

    by PG_13_Fisting_Party

    "The violence allowed in PG-13 films these days is almost equal to what Cameron was getting away with in the first two works." <p> ALMOST being the operative word.<p> Doesn't it follow that an R rated film could be harder now? Wheres the tension in a film where you KNOW no-one can get fucked up? <p> Though its the McGness not the pussy rating thats why I won't be paying for this bag of ass water.

  • Inspired but mishandled, Star Trek is a schizophrenic film. The movie never really knows whether to pander to the core Star Trek fanbase or to tread into silly, easy to please "dumb summer entertainment" and their lack of commitment to either of these categories creates a big messy outing that all the red matter in the universe couldn't fix. now THAT'S an accurate review.

  • May 20, 2009, 7:21 p.m. CST

    The time travel logic

    by ballyhoo

    Was perfect in the first two films.

  • May 20, 2009, 7:24 p.m. CST

    why do humans cry?

    by maitlanr

    what's wrong with your eyes?

  • May 20, 2009, 7:27 p.m. CST

    District 9

    by NotEnoughBiehn

    will provide real sci fi for the fans. This is just an action movie. Blomkamp is the future of this genre on film. Moon looks good too

  • May 20, 2009, 7:31 p.m. CST

    ballyhoo

    by Six Demon Bag

    agreed. as with all sequels its only gonna ruin the originals. <P> what up?

  • May 20, 2009, 7:33 p.m. CST

    Could we get a proof reader in here... STAT!

    by brhood

  • May 20, 2009, 7:36 p.m. CST

    R-rated films...

    by veebeeyes

    could have been harder back when Terminator and T2 were made. They weren't, though, because James Cameron isn't a gimmicky director who relies on shock. If James Cameron were to make another Terminator movie today, do you think he'd make it super ultra-gory with titties galore just because he can? He could've done that back with the first two movies, but he apparently didn't want to.

  • May 20, 2009, 7:51 p.m. CST

    We should play a drinking game with this review!!

    by Turd Furgeson

    take a sip of your favorite coctail every time Capone misses a word or writes an incomplete sentence or misspells a word.. Shit, I could be drunk already!

  • May 20, 2009, 7:59 p.m. CST

    veebeeyes

    by PG_13_Fisting_Party

    they were both still fairly gory and the first one did have titties. <p> But you're right. He didn't have to crank up the shock value to make a great flick (McGunt would have done to make a passably distracting one). <p> The difference is they were still R films so the rules are different <p> I don't have to see moon bloodgood get her face ripped off by a giant robot to make a tense hardcore film, but i need to believe that it could happen. <p> Christopher Nolan can make a tense exciting PG film. McPizzahut can't.

  • May 20, 2009, 8:27 p.m. CST

    baby kirk and beastie boys -GAH!

    by zom-bot.com

    i like the beasties. that song was big when i was in high school and i still like it -and it has a time and place. but it didn't belong it star trek, stuck out horribly and the scene was way too long. like, by law did they have to use the entire song? did it have to be the loudest thing in the movie? was it all just so JJ could synch up the 'WHOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA' with some action? when i saw the flick, the theater was packed full of oldsters who probably worshipped TOS and i thought it was cool they came out so excited for this one...but i felt so bad for them to be assaulted by the song. not because it's loud white boy rap- but because it was just such a bad awkward choice. yeah, we get that it's an old car. but it was older than the song itself. and the song would be older than anything kirk's stepdad would be listening to. it would be like me rocking out to some harpsichord music from 1779 today. i'm not nitpicking. there were a lot of stupid choices for that movie. it was good, but it could have been so much better.

  • May 20, 2009, 8:31 p.m. CST

    HOW

    by dxf138

    How do they make TWO Terminator movies in a row without a real script?

  • May 20, 2009, 8:32 p.m. CST

    and don't get me started on the engine room

    by zom-bot.com

    the use of someone's water treatment facility/factory warehouse was a terrible low budget idea. at least on TOS they made a set, they didn't just paint a factory white and orange.. the thing had some concrete floors and columns in it for crying out loud. on a starship? really?

  • May 20, 2009, 8:44 p.m. CST

    I liked T3.

    by SmokingRobot

    It wasn't 'Citizen Kane' or anything. But hey, robots from the future fighting each other. That puts my ass in a chair right there.

  • May 20, 2009, 9:02 p.m. CST

    T3 Had Too Much Humor

    by BoyNamedSue

    I thought the movie was worth seeing, but I also thought it had more humor than a Terminator movie is supposed to have (fine for a Lethal Weapon or a Die Hard......but Terminator???........ESPECIALLY when a nuclear holocaust occurred at the end????) The movie should have been a lot more serious, given the nature of the film.

  • May 20, 2009, 9:05 p.m. CST

    Cant be good, its got Bale in it

    by j2talk

  • May 20, 2009, 9:06 p.m. CST

    Geez man, proof read before posting?

    by PrezMike

    Even just once? Please?

  • May 20, 2009, 9:25 p.m. CST

    so what if the trailer revealed THE big twist?

    by glenn_the_frog

    t2 did the exact same thing back in the day, and it wasa MUCH BIGGER twist. Did you realize it was supposed to bea SURPRISE that Arnie was a goodguy in T2? The first 20 minutes of the film are completley ambiguous about that fact and its not until the shootout at the mall that you discover the T1000 is a machine instead of a man like in the first film... but the commercials, trailers and talk show circuit so freely gave that away, and were so full of liquid metal special effects and Arnie being buddy buddy with John Conner, that almost nobody realizes that was ever SUPPOSED to be a surprise at all.

  • May 20, 2009, 9:25 p.m. CST

    Sounds good-AND it has Giant Robots too!

    by Sal_Bando

    Works for me. Big Trucks chase, explosions and Robots. C'mon, as Noted_Sage Pinky Saithe--that's what youse gets w/ these, and that's what you want. <p> Plus big Robots. They're your friends.

  • May 20, 2009, 9:27 p.m. CST

    GET TO DA SPELLCHECK!!!

    by 35MinutesAgo

    DO IT NOWWWWWWW!!!

  • May 20, 2009, 9:29 p.m. CST

    T3 was pretty much a shot by shot remake

    by Six Demon Bag

    it brought nothing to the table. bad villian. last ten minutes were good.

  • May 20, 2009, 9:32 p.m. CST

    All of the sudden, Orlando's only down by 2

    by 35MinutesAgo

    ....uh, Terminator Salvation.

  • May 20, 2009, 9:34 p.m. CST

    If Christian Bale was a basketball player...

    by 35MinutesAgo

    he'd tear down the backboard without even dunking the ball.

  • May 20, 2009, 9:35 p.m. CST

    Can't wait to download this...

    by 35MinutesAgo

    and fall asleep twenty-five minutes in.

  • May 20, 2009, 9:38 p.m. CST

    zom-bot.com

    by The Dark Shite

    Not only was the engineering section in Star Trek some kind of factory, but even if you accepted that as the look, how can anyone explain the fact that NOBODY was in there working? In a place full of old fashioned valves & stuff that would to be tweaked & maintained.<p> & Nero's ship looked like a Chicken Nuggets factory.

  • May 20, 2009, 9:40 p.m. CST

    Just a'paddin the ol' talkback stats...

    by 35MinutesAgo

    i still think they should've cast bill murray as the new terminator model.<p> who the fuck would see THAT coming?

  • May 20, 2009, 9:42 p.m. CST

    chicken nugget factory WHAAAAAAT???

    by 35MinutesAgo

    i want to go to there.

  • May 20, 2009, 9:45 p.m. CST

    goodnight, moon

    by 35MinutesAgo

    goodnight, McG's career.<p> goodnight, talkback

  • May 20, 2009, 9:47 p.m. CST

    Really 35MinutesAgo

    by The Dark Shite

    It even had factory/slaughterhouse plastic sheeting in the doorways. What fucking purpose would that serve? <p> "Oh no, we're all gonna die! Our ship's been shot to shit & somebody left the plastic sheeting open."

  • May 20, 2009, 9:49 p.m. CST

    the plastic sheeting strips

    by zom-bot.com

    were to keep the breathable air from being sucked out of the airlock...lol

  • May 20, 2009, 9:51 p.m. CST

    Jesus, Capone

    by JediWuddayaknow

    Proofread your shit before you post it.

  • May 20, 2009, 9:51 p.m. CST

    re: plastic sheeting

    by 35MinutesAgo

    it keeps the air conditioning/plot holes from leaking out all over the place.

  • May 20, 2009, 9:52 p.m. CST

    trek in a terminator talkback?

    by slkboxrman

    wtf...but on the subject...beastie boys did not stick out much...felt right in the scene....the engine room looked like how a major engine room on a ship that big would have...never saw concrete so i dont know bout that....and DARK sHITE....guess ur comment about nero's ship tells me what ur current job is...either working at a chicken nugget factory or eating too many nuggets while ur on duty, working at mcdonalds.

  • May 20, 2009, 9:57 p.m. CST

    A door would have done the trick.

    by The Dark Shite

    The lack of gravity would suck the plastic sheeting out. Because it's plastic sheeting. <p> Unless they had some kind of force field thingy like in the other movies/shows, to keep the air in, in which case they wouldn't need plastic sheeting at all. <p> If I was JJ Abrams, I'd have had crew members being sucked out into space, clutching a sheet of plastic.

  • May 20, 2009, 10 p.m. CST

    WOAHHH CHICKEN NUGGET BURN!!

    by 35MinutesAgo

    sensitive little trek nerd, arn'cha?

  • May 20, 2009, 10 p.m. CST

    slkboxrman

    by The Dark Shite

    No need to be a prick, you wankshaft. & for the record I'm former investigative journalist/ arts & entertainments reviewer with a phd in history & I work as a teacher. & I've never even stepped foot in a macdonalds. <p> Let me tell you how being a twat works here. There should probably be a point to it. Not just being a total wanker for no fucking reason.

  • May 20, 2009, 10:04 p.m. CST

    Or did you design..

    by The Dark Shite

    the galactic chicken nugget factory & now you're all upset? You don't need to lash out. Your ma's got enough milk for the both of us.

  • May 20, 2009, 10:04 p.m. CST

    i've got a PhD

    by 35MinutesAgo

    in GETTING TO DA CHAPPAHHHHHHHHH!!!

  • May 20, 2009, 10:06 p.m. CST

    Dark Shite

    by 35MinutesAgo

    something tells me you're not from around these parts.<p> jolly old england, is it?

  • May 20, 2009, 10:07 p.m. CST

    Which parts?

    by The Dark Shite

    The internet?

  • May 20, 2009, 10:09 p.m. CST

    america...

    by 35MinutesAgo

    you know, the center of the known universe :D

  • May 20, 2009, 10:13 p.m. CST

    Nope, not from America..

    by The Dark Shite

    I am indeed from Jolly old England (originally). What gave me away? My girly little bone claws?

  • May 20, 2009, 10:18 p.m. CST

    partially your vernacular...

    by 35MinutesAgo

    but mostly because americans don't get PhD's in history, because there's no money in them.

  • May 20, 2009, 10:18 p.m. CST

    nero's ship

    by zom-bot.com

    really was quite an elaborate and unsafe place for being a simple mining ship. towards the end it thought i was playing some horrible game with all the jumping from platform to platform. and why was the blaster at the end of the tether all spiky and blade-like if it wasn't actually a drill?

  • May 20, 2009, 10:20 p.m. CST

    "A collection of hardened bad-asses..."

    by LaserPants

    "What we're left with is a collection of hardened bad-asses battled some of the meaning fucking robots I've ever seen." <br><br> I'm assuming you mean -- a collection of hardened bad-asses BATTLING some of the MEANEST fucking robots I've ever seen. Right?<br><br> In other words, its awesome, exactly what I've always wanted to see, and WAY better than the wanky, whiny, kiddie film T2: WOBODADDY FALL DOWN GO BOOM. <br><br>See, for me, T2 is the very height of faky soulessness. It was just as much as a cynical money grab as T3 or even this; it was a way to get back on track after the utter failure of The Abyss. I think Cameron's most soulful film is ALIENS (which remains one of the favorite movies of all time), actually, and if he had the balls, HE would have taken the same spirit that ALIENS displayed and made his T2: FUTURE! FUCKING! WAR! movie in the early 90s when he instead decided to pander to the middle class family demographic by giving them a movie about a wonewy wickle boy who finds a wobodaddy and reunites with mommy thereby saving the middle class family unit... and the world! You know it, I know it. T2 is a piece of shit, just as much a soulless money grab as this is, with the caveat that THIS MOVIE APPEARS TO DEAL WITH THE ONLY THING I WANTED TO SEE SINCE T1 -- FUTURE! FUCKING! WAR! Not a 30 second clip of said war, but FULL ON WAR. The fact that the whole thing amounts to a series of awesome battle scenes and thin characters is fine, as long as said battle scenes are exciting and interesting. WAKE UP! T2 was FAR from a masterpiece. It was, at best, a competently made B grade children's action adventure film on a HUGE budget. That's it.

  • May 20, 2009, 10:21 p.m. CST

    There used to be money in a phd..

    by The Dark Shite

    Once upon a time, having that down in your CV or resume could get you into pretty much any job you wanted. Then the powers that be decided that it's unfair to people who couldn't bothered to go to school, so they invented the notion of being "overqualified" for a job. <p> That's probably how McG got this gig. The good directors were overqualified.

  • May 20, 2009, 10:55 p.m. CST

    Thanks For Saying The PG-13 Rating Makes No Difference

    by LaserPants

    And that T2 especially was nearly indistinguishable from a PG-13 movie. THANK YOU! I've been beating that drum for months, and, again, like always, I WAS RIGHT.

  • May 20, 2009, 11:03 p.m. CST

    As far as T3 hate...

    by veebeeyes

    I hate it because it was a lazy stupid sequel that didn't do anything other than destroying the entire series. Some people say that T2 was too derivative of The Terminator, and I agree. But at least T2 did not INVALIDATE The Terminator. T3 was a stupid unambitious total remake of T2, that somehow even managed to be completely boring. 90% of T3 was shit that we'd already seen before. But even the new shit mostly was just...boring. Even when the robots start shooting everyone, it just seemed unpredictable and tame. But the WORST sin is having the T-X go back in time and ACTUALLY KILL HER TARGET. That is simply not compatible with the first two movies. T3 completely fails to misinterpret T2 by having Judgement Day DELAYED. Then it takes the stance that Judgement Day is inevitable. Uh...no. That's fucking stupid. If you can DELAY Judgement Day, then it is possible to STOP it. If you cannot stop Judgement Day, then it happens exactly when it ALWAYS happened. The idea that fate somehow dictates SOME events, but doesn't particularly care WHEN those events occur is ABSOLUTELY FUCKING STUPID. If it doesn't occur AT THE SAME TIME then it is NOT the same event! There is absolutely NO basis for Judgement Day being DELAYED and yet somehow being INEVITABLE. That's wishy washy bullshit designed to set up future sequels. At least Terminator and T2 were consistent companions to each other even if you hate the direction that T2 took. And yeah, there was the Elton John sunglasses and the "talk to the hand" comedy moments. The car chase was cool, but it was based on the simply retarded notion that modern day cars can fucking apply pressure to their own brakes if you hack into the computers. And the shit about the mini-nukes was just dumb. Fuck that movie. Fuck it to hell.

  • May 20, 2009, 11:05 p.m. CST

    laserpants

    by LabattsBleu

    actually, my understanding was that Cameron WANTED to do the future war for T2, but the studio balked at the astronomical costs (i think 200 million was what they thought it would take)...T2 was always meant as the bookend to Terminator, completing the paradox loop - that's why the T2 that did get produced ends the way that it does, on a hopeful note.

  • May 20, 2009, 11:05 p.m. CST

    Uh..."fails to INTERPRET"

    by veebeeyes

    I really need to stop drinking so much. Either that, or just start paying better attention to what I'm typing.

  • May 20, 2009, 11:12 p.m. CST

    I'm watching T3 right now

    by Turd Furgeson

    and no, it's not very good.. The whole point of the movie is to get the audience to the last 10 minutes. Arnold plays the Terminator from memory, rather than reviewing the films to get his speech and physicality down.. Claire Daines (sp?) is just collecting a paycheck and Nick Stahl delivers a pretty good performance, but he's too much of a nancy boy with his tiny little body. Not a great film...

  • May 20, 2009, 11:43 p.m. CST

    PG-13= past R ?

    by xbagboy

    If there is stabbing through the eyes, mouth or even blood in this movie then it might be worth seeing but i doubt it, this PG-13 equals R in the past bullshit needs to stop. These days a kick to the head warranties an R rating in a movie.

  • May 20, 2009, 11:52 p.m. CST

    T3 was dreary and redundant

    by maximilian merkins

    The T-X is outfitted with about a dozen cool weapons - some kind of high energy pulse gun, a flamethrower, kitchen sink launcher - and yet none of them are effective against the two puny humans and the (supposedly) weaker and dumber T-850. They serve as FX eye candy only. If the machines had really wanted her to waste JC, why didn't they send her back with a nuke in her chest? Kaboom, the whole city is taken out and JC and his lieutenants with it. But I guess that would go against the whole idea of the movie, which is to entertain, and it barely did that even with all the silly redundant weaponry. One laugh out loud moment was when she used the cop's gun to shoot one of the future resistance fighters. What, couldn't be bothered whipping out the phased quantum impulse whatchit cannon?

  • May 20, 2009, 11:58 p.m. CST

    I JUST got done watching T2...

    by Thrillho77

    There is absolutely nothing "kiddy" about it. In fact, I was fearing that it WAS going to be, because the last time I saw it was when it first came out on video. But no, I found it nearly as satisfying as the first, which I watched again last night. This "kiddy" stuff is bullshit.

  • May 21, 2009, 1:22 a.m. CST

    Terminator Salvation is HORRIBLE

    by FilmFan311

    .....and there is absolutely nothing memorable about it with the exception of how awful it is.

  • May 21, 2009, 1:36 a.m. CST

    Terminator Salvation is Aiight

    by mukhtabi

    The one clear thing is that MCG is an inspired Technical Director. That Screenplay needed a lot more work, speaking as a writer.

  • May 21, 2009, 1:56 a.m. CST

    it was terrible... should be removed from theaters now and strai

    by altoandando

    STRAIGHT to DVD

  • May 21, 2009, 2:12 a.m. CST

    Just saw the Terminator: Salvation WORKPRINT...

    by TheGhostWhoLurks

    It needed more Ryan Reynolds.

  • May 21, 2009, 2:14 a.m. CST

    Will still be better than Wolverine

    by Brody77

    What a turd that was

  • May 21, 2009, 2:26 a.m. CST

    Hmmm....

    by Almega

    Changing a few words here an there, I think I could make this a Star Trek review. Except TS probably has a little better acting. No offense to Capone. I'm just not sold on any movie this summer so far. I'll give it a shot though. Love Terminator. And fuck you Fox for canceling TSCC. And for putting Dollhouse back in the ultimate death-slot! (even though its not that awesome... still fun to watch though)

  • May 21, 2009, 2:27 a.m. CST

    PROOFREAD!

    by GhostDad

    FUCKING AMATUER! YOU'RE A NICE GUY, BUT YOU AND I ARE FUCKING DONE PROFFESIONALLY!!!

  • May 21, 2009, 2:29 a.m. CST

    mukhtabi

    by GhostDad

    Pro writers don't say "Speaking as a writer" ever because it makes you look like you're jut trying to impress everyone.

  • May 21, 2009, 2:37 a.m. CST

    I thought it was cool!

    by lockesbrokenleg

    I just got back. Yes, it was a typical wsr movie, but the action sequences were just fantastic. I really liked seeing Michael Ironside being bad ass again, too.

  • May 21, 2009, 2:40 a.m. CST

    FOUR STARS FROM EMPIRE!!!

    by HarryBlackPotter

  • May 21, 2009, 2:40 a.m. CST

    FOUR STARS FROM EMPIRE!!!

    by HarryBlackPotter

  • May 21, 2009, 2:49 a.m. CST

    Bad year for geek films

    by hallmitchell

    Watchmen, Wolverine, T:Salvation. What a let down! Only plus has been how great Star Trek was.

  • May 21, 2009, 3:04 a.m. CST

    Seriously, anyone calling themselves McG...

    by NeilF

    ...is a total spazmo!

  • May 21, 2009, 3:29 a.m. CST

    i think im going to see this

    by BMacSmith

    I think if its treated as an independent movie (from the series) and not a straight sequel, i will enjoy it. I will find out.

  • May 21, 2009, 4:19 a.m. CST

    In Empire we trust

    by masteryoda007

    Thank fuck for a professional magazine review. They are true professionals.

  • May 21, 2009, 5:24 a.m. CST

    I just read that Empire review too

    by barnaby jones

    Total film gave it four stars aswell.

  • May 21, 2009, 5:28 a.m. CST

    A trend

    by barnaby jones

    I've noticed the people who wanted to see the franchise move on after the third one seem most happy with this new pic. Nobody is moaning in the positive reviews that its not a chase movie or theres no emotional stuff.

  • May 21, 2009, 5:29 a.m. CST

    sorry that should be road movie not a chase movie

    by barnaby jones

  • May 21, 2009, 5:32 a.m. CST

    Charlie's Angel's: Full Throttle > T4

    by TylerDurden3395

    I'm not a "hater" it's just a fact. I thought T4 was OK, no more no less. The only thing I can really compare it to is Ghostbusters 2. It's alright for what it is but lacks the magic of the original. I did like Marcus' story arc (he was essentially the Tin Man in reverse), the action, and Anton Yelchin was Chris-Pine-as-Kirk good. Bale was bland, the Arnold cameo didn't work for me, and the Transformers shit was disparaging. I did like "I'll be back", and hearing "You Could Be Mine" though. T1: 10.0 T2: 10.0 T3: 9.5 T4: 6.5

  • May 21, 2009, 7:21 a.m. CST

    laserPants

    by VXXXJesterXXXV

    There is NO WAY that T2 would be rated PG-13 today as it is. The violence may have been ok in a PG-13 movie, though with the blood I doubt that. But taking the violence out of the reasoning and the language alone makes it R. You can only say fuck 1-2 times in a PG-13 movie and guess what T2 uses that word a lot more than 1-2 times. It was R then and it would be R now, PERIOD.

  • May 21, 2009, 7:54 a.m. CST

    Plot hole you could fly a giant eagle through

    by Jon_McGuirk

    This movie has one massive plot hole: nuclear weapons and robots are a fairly inefficient way to exterminate humans, if the machines really did want to eliminate humanity they'd use germs or gas or something similar to what we use to get rid of cockroaches. This a plot hole similar to the one in LOTR (you know what I'm talking about) painfully obvious and no fun to think about when watching an ass-kicking movie about robut. Haven't seen this one yet but I'd bet McG doesn't address it, let me know if he does....

  • May 21, 2009, 9:37 a.m. CST

    Much better than most are claiming.

    by TheLastCleric

    Not a perfect film and there are a few rough spots (as there are in the previous films) but overall a damn solid beginning to what could be an awesome future wars franchise. The fact that the film is briskly paced and mostly action really isn't a bad thing as this entire plot feels like early exposition building up to something more epic. I also think the claim that the characters are lacking humanity is nonsense; they act precisely how they should given the circumstances. Also, as somebody who has watched and enjoyed all the films and the SCC show, I'd venture to say this movie has more profound science fiction elements than any previous installments. The entire concept of a human/terminator hybrid was an interesting twist, and the manner in which John Conner must deal not only with the current war but also with his own working knowledge of the future is very interesting. Like anything else, opinions may vary and people will have their own strong viewpoints but there is no way that T4 deserves the kind of derision that it is getting from either the geek nation or the critics. The film is tight and the action is incredibly well done so the notion that this is bottom-of-the-barrel filmmaking is nonsense. Considering I could only make it through about 10 minutes of the first Charlie’s Angel film, I have no problem with the idea that McG as a director can evolve and improve. There is plenty of good here and in my opinion it vastly outweighs the bad but unfortunately we as a society tend to focus on the negative obsessively, which is a shame because T4 is actually a pretty damn good sci-fi action flick.

  • May 21, 2009, 9:41 a.m. CST

    There's nothing "kiddie" about Terminator Salvation

    by TheLastCleric

    As PG-13 flicks go it pushes the rating pretty hard and there was nothing even remotely aimed at the younger set. As a point of fact, the film contains so many little homages to the first two films that most of the wee lads watching this film will feel lost, especially if they have never bothered to watch the previous films.

  • May 21, 2009, 10:20 a.m. CST

    What's with this "Heart" shit?

    by theycallmemrtibbs

    Were you expecting a chick flick?----Beaches perhaps? I heard this term float around a few times about what's "missing" in Terminator Salvation. When the first Terminator came out "Back in the day" the advertisement consisted of a square jawed big mother-fucker (Arnie) with a kick ass gun, wearing shades with a red light beaming from one eye. I had no idea what was going on with this movie, When I saw that badass poster----I was there and it didnt let down. They touched on the future war and from what I saw, there wasn't anytime for "Heart" It was move your ass or get it blown off! So with that...If this new one is all Future war and less fucking teary eyed scenes with my pet Terminator (Furlong in the second one) Fuck the critics I am there.

  • May 21, 2009, 11:55 a.m. CST

    This movie sounds like what we've all wanted...

    by allykatD

    so what's the issue? I know I'm not the only one who was saying 'screw this dancing around the issue shit, let's see the goddadmn war already!" And everytime there was the smallest flashback to the actual war, I got all excited. The war flashbacks were some of the coolest in SCC and the coolest in the other films, and the coolest part about T3, but the flashbacks were never enough. I WANTED WAR DAMMIT! I get the emotional shit already, and being a female, believe me I need that to get invested in a story. I need the emotional background and the character building, but for fuck's sake, enough is enough! So I'm there with 'theycallmemrtibbs' and 'thelastcleric' and the others who need a Terminator installment that gives us what it's been teasing us about for two decades: THE GODDAMN WAR. I want to see shit blow up and I want to see badass robots and explosions and ruined cities and war weary soldiers and a dystopian future. We've seen three freakin' installments of salad and bread now give us the main course.

  • May 21, 2009, 11:58 a.m. CST

    slkboxrman

    by cant_stop_yawning2

    why not trying so hard to be an ass (and then a coward) every talkback? invariably you start out by posting something inane, followed by a personal attack. then, when the poster you've attacked responds, you slink back to your corner in silence. grow up and grow some balls.

  • May 21, 2009, 12:03 p.m. CST

    Allykatd you got balls....

    by theycallmemrtibbs

    BIG METAL SHINEY ONES!

  • May 21, 2009, 12:10 p.m. CST

    allykatD

    by Turd Furgeson

    AMEN! In all these posts, you make the most sense, and that includes my drunken T3 post from last night. I'm seeing this in a few hours and I'm getting pumped for it.

  • May 21, 2009, 12:20 p.m. CST

    Action scenes - characters, drama & gravitas = yawn.

    by FleshMachine

    yep

  • May 21, 2009, 12:33 p.m. CST

    Not if the characters, drama & gravitas....

    by theycallmemrtibbs

    were heavily established in the first three movies

  • May 21, 2009, 1:19 p.m. CST

    This review

    by Toonol

    It's the first one that really sounds believable. The other's I've read are no doubt heartfelt, but not particularly objective.

  • May 21, 2009, 1:33 p.m. CST

    I'm confuse. Is it terrible or cool?

    by Quake II

    Between the reviews on AICN I still have no clue if Salvation is worth seeing. You are all so divided on this one. Harry acts like it's one of the worst films ever shot and this review says it's a good war movie. WTF?

  • May 21, 2009, 1:47 p.m. CST

    thought this was cute

    by Six Demon Bag

    It’s not often that a studio can put out a movie and two sequels and not have at least one be a worthless rip-off. Spider-Man 3? Worthless rip-off. Alien3? Worthless rip-off. X-Men 3: The Last Stand? Worth renting for the scene where they destroy the Golden Gate Bridge, but otherwise … In that way, the Terminator series — which continues this week with Terminator Salvation — is an anomaly. It’s close to being the action movie version of The Godfather saga: The first Terminator was a masterpiece, the second was bigger and better and the third didn’t measure up, but is still a better film than most people give it credit for. In that way, the Terminator series — which continues this week with Terminator Salvation — is an anomaly. It’s close to being the action movie version of The Godfather saga: The first Terminator was a masterpiece, the second was bigger and better and the third didn’t measure up, but is still a better film than most people give it credit for. With that optimistic outlook, we watched the movies again, and started handing out The Arnolds — awards for the best and worst of the minutiae from the films. Congratulations to all the winners. Unfortunately, most of them aren’t around to pick up their awards … BestTerminator line “Your clothes. Give them to me.” (The Terminator) Arnold Schwarzenegger got a lot more mileage out of “I’ll be back” and “Hasta la vista, baby.” But the coolest line came during the Terminator’s first few minutes after being transported to the past, when the naked cybernetic organism approaches three punks and demands the clothes off their backs. The look on lead punk Bill Paxton’s face is priceless, and it set up the Terminator as a no-nonsense badass for the rest of the series. Honorable mention: “Come with me if you want to live!” (Terminator 2) Most undeserving Terminator death John Connor’s foster mom (Terminator 2: Judgment Day) Janelle Voight is a freaking saint. Already dealing with a beer-swilling, half-wit husband, she agrees to take a 10-year-old motorbike-riding, ATM-thieving juvenile delinquent off the state’s hands. And how is she rewarded? A liquid metal Terminator from the future comes into her home, kills her and then turns its arm into a giant stalagmite and impales her husband’s head. Honorable mention Sarah Ann Connor; Sarah Louise Connor (The Terminator — killed because their names came before the other Sarah Connor in the phone book.) Best Terminator escape vehicle The hearse (Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines) It seems as if the inhabitants of the Terminator world are always driving away from something. Easily the most outstanding escape vehicle was the shabby black “Valley of Peace” hearse that the Terminator T-101 (Schwarzenegger), John Connor (Nick Stahl) and Kate Brewster (Claire Danes) use to escape the new Terminator T-X (Kristanna Loken). The late-model American-made hearse endures a couple hundred rounds of automatic weapons fire, a circular saw attack from the T-X, several off-road excursions and a high-speed collision with a semi truck — and the hearse still reaches its destination. Honorable mention The SPCA pickup truck (Terminator 3) Most awesome Terminator special effect The T-1000 gets hit with a grenade (Terminator 2) There are so many great sequences to choose from — the first two Terminator movies featured huge innovations in makeup and digital effects. We’ll take the scene where the T-1000 (Robert Patrick) gets hit by a grenade, explodes into what looks like a ripped-apart aluminum can, then morphs back into an unstoppable man/machine. The rewind button was made for times like this. Honorable mention Terminator gives himself eye surgery (The Terminator) Most worthless Terminator protagonist Kate Brewster (Terminator 3) Terminator 3 didn’t miss James Cameron as much as everyone thought. The script was surprisingly effective, and Jonathan Mostow capably shot the action scenes. Arguably the biggest problem was the casting, including Danes as Kate Brewster, the future wife of John Connor. Danes mostly just panicked and moped a lot. And the actress looks like she might have a hard time lifting a half-full can of Pringles, much less an automatic weapon. This is a future leader of the resistance? Honorable mention John Connor (Terminator 3) Most completely random Terminator cameo Danny Cooksey (Terminator 2) We have no idea how this red-headed kid went from being cast as Sam on the death throe final seasons of Diff’rent Strokes to getting a speaking part in the highest-grossing film of 1991, playing John Connor’s juvenile delinquent friend. That’s like going from batting seventh on your beer league softball team to roaming center field for the New York Yankees. (And unlike any Yankee, Cooksey got to wear an awesome mullet!) The kid nailed the role. Bring him back for Terminator 4. Honorable mention Bill Paxton (Terminator 2) Hottest Terminator moment Linda Hamilton does a chin-up (Terminator 2) The consummation of Sarah Conner and Kyle Reese’s love may have been the romantic peak of the series — and sex is always best after making homemade explosives out of moth balls and laundry detergent. But this love fest was trashy in a bad way, taking place in a really sleazy motel when both characters hadn’t showered. The scene we freeze-frame the most is Sarah Conner’s insane asylum pull-ups-on-the-bed-frame sequence. If you grew up in the 1990s, it didn’t get much hotter than Linda Hamilton’s well-defined triceps. Honorable mention Ginger and Matt’s phone sex (The Terminator); Schwarzenegger’s first naked trip through the teleportation plasma ball from the future (The Terminator).

  • May 21, 2009, 3:55 p.m. CST

    Faze . . .

    by Jim Halpert

    . . . not "phase".

  • May 21, 2009, 4:30 p.m. CST

    What the fuck did ANY of you expect..it's MCG..jesus christ

    by Glory_Fades_ImMaxFischer

    this isnt some fucking film autuer who made an amazing indie film..this is MC-FUCKING-G..Charlies Angels, ass and tits and retarded over the top We Are Marshal..christ the fucking people exicted for this are thick. the same fucking idiots who are Sommers apologists.."Sure the Mummy sucked, and Van Helsing sucked, but G I Joe looks good"....This series was over when they made T3, which contradicted EVERYTHING cameron's movies were about (there is hope for the future - oops sorry, just kidding)...Sorry folks, I'm on Cameron's side of the sand on this one.

  • May 21, 2009, 4:36 p.m. CST

    & How come no one's talking about the lighting?

    by Glory_Fades_ImMaxFischer

  • May 21, 2009, 4:37 p.m. CST

    Capone you missed the point of Reece

    by nyj_et

    following Marcus. He's alone except for the mute little girl. The guy Marcus is obviously useful. Feels he can probably win him over into resistance. At least that was my take.

  • May 21, 2009, 6:27 p.m. CST

    This movie was awesome

    by SmokingRobot

    This is not 'The Importance of being Ernest', ok? This is John FUCKING CONNER fighting the FUCKING ROBOTS. It delivered bigtime as a big summer sci-fi blockbuster. Plot a little loosey towards the end, but hey....JOHN FUCKING CONNER. Better than T3 and T2 (IMHO).

  • May 21, 2009, 8:24 p.m. CST

    "She's compassionate and seems

    by CherryValance

    to understand Worthington's unique set of complications better than anyone." Nah man, she just wanted a boyfriend. Can't blame her. They need to stay alive. Humans need babies. He's hot. Makes sense. I must have missed all the heart in the first 2 Terminators. (didn't see the third) I mean there was some but they were mostly cool robots and effects and stuff too. I really liked this one anyway.

  • May 21, 2009, 10:56 p.m. CST

    This movie stunk

    by Joker Gordon Levitt

    to high heaven.

  • May 21, 2009, 10:56 p.m. CST

    dropped the ball

    by Joker Gordon Levitt

    and broke it.

  • May 21, 2009, 10:57 p.m. CST

    sam worthington

    by Joker Gordon Levitt

    should be in better movies.

  • May 21, 2009, 10:57 p.m. CST

    christian bale

    by Joker Gordon Levitt

    should stick to batman.

  • May 21, 2009, 10:57 p.m. CST

    helena bonham carter:

    by Joker Gordon Levitt

    what the fuck are you doing?

  • May 21, 2009, 10:58 p.m. CST

    anton yelchin

    by Joker Gordon Levitt

    good job.

  • May 21, 2009, 11:55 p.m. CST

    WHY NOT JUT SHOOT KYLE IN THE HEAD!?!

    by soloaj

    when he is captured and verified = end of movie/fade to black cause Connor does not exist!!! How can all these so called "smart" movie makers not see that HUGE plot hole the ruined the entire movie????

  • May 22, 2009, 6:50 a.m. CST

    I think Skynet had bigger plans for Kyle.

    by TylerDurden3395

    Perhaps turning him into a Marcus model Terminator and sending him back through time to further fuck things up. Then again, they could've just made one big goof.

  • May 22, 2009, 9:38 a.m. CST

    I'm not going to get sucked into the

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    this movies sucks, no you're wrong it's great, no you suck for thinking that way diatribes. I'm not even going to post something different on all the talbacks on T4. I'm going to write this, copy and paste once and be done with it. There are spoilers so be careful. I don't have time to read all the comments, so excuse me if I'm repetitive. First, I'm glad TSCC was cancelled right before this came out. I had hopes for the show. It's not a bad show, but I just can't get over them changing the canon of oh wait well now machines really can travel to the past, oh by the way we put our own cells in the fifties, and instead of having them find Sarah and save her they'll just sit around. Having said that T4 is visually a good film. We expected that from McG although there were moments when it did look like we were watching Transformers or The Matrix. This was a kick ass action film. But, is that enough for Terminator fans. I suggest no one spout off on this movie until they see it. The one point that really bugs me is this. If Marcus was programmed to infiltrate the resistance so he could kill Reese and Connor why didn't he just do it when he first met them both. He had the chance. He didn't have to lure them back to skynet. The only thing I can think of is maybe his programming could not go that far. To make him believe he is human, which he is I suppose, they couldn't have him side with the machines and kill them outright. Another thing that bugged me is the fact that all of a sudden the machines know Reese is the father of Connor. That means they know they will invent time travel. They didn't know Reese was the father before, so why do they know now. And, if they did, why didn't they kill him when they first captured him. Look fellow nerds is it a perfect movie, of course not. It is a good movie with a few sticking points. I don't see any of you going out there and making a movie.

  • May 22, 2009, 11:09 a.m. CST

    Humanity

    by unclebusu

    I argue the film is about humanity, but not int he humans, in the machines and Marcus pulls that off. http://tinyurl.com/os54rw

  • May 23, 2009, 12:18 p.m. CST

    right

    by astrologic25

    2

  • May 23, 2009, 12:18 p.m. CST

    too

    by astrologic25

  • May 23, 2009, 12:18 p.m. CST

    2

    by astrologic25

  • May 23, 2009, 11:50 p.m. CST

    Just saw it.

    by arthurrex007

    I liked it more then T3 and it certainly was a fast paced film. Good summer fun