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Terminator Salvation (Director’s Cut) [Blu-ray] Reviews

Terminator Salvation (Director’s Cut) [Blu-ray]

In the aftermath of Judgment Day and the machine takeover, resistance leader John Connor (Christian Bale) must counter Skynet’s plan to terminate mankind. Rallying his underground street fighters for a last, desperate battle, he realizes that to save the future he must rescue his own father Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin). But the most shocking discovery comes with the arrival of Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington), a mysterious loner from the past who challenges Connor with an impossible choice and leads them both on a brutal journey into the heart of the enemy.Terminator Salvation restores some of the balance of huge freakin’ explosions and emotionally compelling plot to the Terminator series. Set entirely after the nuclear assault that left the computer system Skynet in control of the world, Terminator Salvation follows John Connor (Christian Bale) as he grapples with both murderous robots and his superiors in the resistance, who aren’t sure they believe the prophecies that Connor is desti

Rating: (out of 388 reviews)

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  1. Brendan A. MacWade

    October 4, 2010 at 7:49 am

    Review by Brendan A. MacWade for Terminator Salvation (Director’s Cut) [Blu-ray]
    The Terminator franchise is an odd beast. Since the original 1984 feature, it has been sold to three (soon to be four) different production companies and two different studios. The only times the plot and dialogue have blended well together were in the first two movies, thanks to the care and writing skill of the younger James Cameron. Since then, the timeline, plot, and characters of Terminator have gone through mutations and minor changes, either to the delight or disappointment of fans (usually the latter). For a franchise that doesn’t have millions of fans like Star Trek or even Battlestar Galactica, Terminator still has legs. And Terminator Salvation was a great opportunity to tie some loose ends left over from the last movie and TV series, and reboot the franchise in the hopes of producing a John Connor trilogy.

    This film is either the first film of a second trilogy, or an intermediate movie while the future of the franchise goes up for bid in a Hollywood auction in 2010. So how is this movie?

    First the bad news. Some of the dialogue, as is the case in too many action films, is poor. I’ve always believed movie producers should hire more than script doctors. They should hire an experienced screenwriter or playwright to give the dialogue a go-over. The plots are usually okay. But the words coming out of character’s mouths can always use an upgrade. Again, I look at Aliens as a model in how smart action movie dialog should be written. At least the dialogue in Terminator Salvation holds together for the first 20 minutes of the 117 minute director’s cut.

    Slightly less bad news – if the director prefers to be known as ‘MCG’ (Joseph McGinty Nichol), and whose previous works were the two Charlie’s Angels films, you know he’s going to spin his wheels and show-off a little bit. And MCG does. But he also proves for the first time that he is capable of assembling top-grade action sequences that are both thrilling and comprehensible (unlike Christopher Nolan, who seemed incapable of directing a good action sequence in The Dark Knight, IMO). MCG seems to have done his homework. His attention to detail setting-up and executing action sequences is similar to the directors he grew-up with (George Lucas, Brian DePalma, John Woo, James Cameron). If I were the executive producer, I would have wanted Alfonso Cuaron (Children of Men) to direct, or at least a director who didn’t give himself a nickname.

    And finally, the movie does go off the rails a bit towards the end. The second half of the movie is poor and cliched. Christian Bale gets more screen time in the second half, but the final acts test the boundaries of medical and physical plausibility. Also the second half is weighed-down by b-movie explosions, obvious homages to the first two Terminator movies, and brief tips of the cap to The Matrix, Lord of the Rings, and Aliens (not so brief with the last movie, as the entire climax seems to replicate Ripley’s Rescue). The first half of the film is clearly better than the second half. At least the two halves are bridged by a most impressive (and original) chase and battle sequence in which all the great elements of the film come together beautifully. That sequence is simply crackerjack.

    But everything else in the movie I see as good news, in varying amounts. Masio Kassar remained as executive producer (from T2 and T3) and hired as much Terminator talent as he could – namely the editor and an apprentice of Stan Winston’s. The casting is fine. The photography, despite being handled by a disliked, unorthodox DP, is excellent, and matches the film’s bleak theme and outlook. The sound design is close to brilliant, with the machines sounding radically different from the previous three movies to awesome effect. Danny Elfman’s restrained score stays off the soundtrack during most action sequences, allowing the jet engines and explosions to speak for themselves. Art direction and costumes are all first-rate. Special effects are almost all top-notch, with the exception of a few cheap explosions and some of the aircraft shots.

    Some plot weaknesses and poor dialogue aside, this is a wonderfully bleak movie. Mankind is almost doomed. The machines are smarter and sometimes more brutal than the previous films. The machines are not always consistent in their speed (hey they have to take their time to aim at our heroes), but they are always quick to destroy human vehicles before humans, and that is a very welcome bit of smart military strategy on their part. And some humans are fairly brutal as well.

    It’s tough for a studio to have a bleak movie as its summer tent pole, but that’s what Terminator Salvation was to Warner, which struck box office gold a year earlier with The Dark Knight. Terminator Salvation failed to crack the # 1 spot in its opening weekend. But it will be remembered for being almost as good as Terminator 2, and that is saying quite a lot.

  2. J. C.E.

    October 4, 2010 at 7:40 am

    Review by J. C.E. for Terminator Salvation (Director’s Cut) [Blu-ray]
    The movie was good, a few bad lines, but mostly the editing was really off, they shouldn’t have cut the time down to under 2 hours and made it a PG-13 flick. That was a big mistake, that’s like making Rambo a G-rated film, it’s just not right. Christian Bale is good as John Connor, he gives an alright performance, but he could have done a little better. Anton Yelchin (Young Kyle Reese) did a superb job portraying the young hardened soldier who will eventually go back to protect young Sarah Connor, but not in this film. The movie is good, but due to editing and script changes here and there, caused the movie’s poor performance at the box office. It’s still a good film to watch, it gives us a fresh new look at the world post Judgment Day. It’s NO James Cameron film by a long shot, but still decent with good action. Just don’t expect to follow the plot as it has it’s ups and downs by the different writers that wrote the screenplay. Expect a future blu-ray/dvd Terminator Salvation: Extended Cut (I don’t know what they will call it) to contain most of the deleted scenes 30-40 mins worth with the original ending and an alternate storyline to debut sometime in late 2010. It’s an alternate version of the film, much like Donner’s Superman II cut. This only has 3 mins added, with Moon Bloodgood’s breasts and a couple of F-Bombs in this sad director’s cut.

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