The Escapist Presents: MovieBob Reviews Terminator: Salvation

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Thanks for your honesty. I'm just saying, as an audience to your reviews, a lot of times, you use these "questions" of ethos to make a justification of a particularly negative review point (or positive, i guess). I'm just suggesting that maybe be more conscious of your "questioning" of ethos of the cast so that it seems more like a question that has yet to be answered rather than a negative criticism.

Seeing the trailer and this review has given me more hope for this film than I had before, I have to say. My expectations still aren't particularly high, mainly because I think they should have ended it with T2, but I'll go and see this anyway.

mulletmanalive:
Return to the on screen format you used with the Oscars thing. Your facial expressions and gesticulations gave your words weight. At present, I'm remaining convinced that i'm justified in looking forward to this movie but i'm wondering about the comments coming from someone who's screen video presentation lacks punch to the point where there is a definate hint of irony in you criticising Micheal Bay.

I'd completely agree with this, actually. The sound quality in the current format really isn't very good; Bob's voice sounds really tinny, and it sounds like the videos are made with a very cheap microphone. For whatever reason, the Oscar show didn't have that problem. Secondly, the current format makes it seem like he's simply trying to be a Yahtzee for films. I realise that's basically what he is (although he doesn't rant quite as much) but he could at least disguise it a bit better.

*SIGH* You're right, Moviebob. Hard to admit, but nevertheless necessary.

If you just take T:S the way it is - mindless summer movie entertainment - it's ok. Enjoyable in some, awful in many other aspects, but at least well made.

Everything else regarding this franchise seems to go the same way as the ALIEN- and STAR TREK-franchises did - down the drain in the most painful, embarassing and idiotic way. (Not even the soundtrack by Danny Elfman made much sense.)

I never wondered why Cameron would not give his blessing to this sequel. Not because the franchise was once "his" and now isn't anymore. No, because he expected MORE. And got less - A LOT!

Fat Harry and OddTodd hate T:S and I'm sure Cameron watched the movie with a sad grin and lots of head shaking. But it's not his problem anymore. The first two movies will stand on their own as classics of the genre.*

Anyway. Serious fans will ignore sequels three and four and the (now canceled) television series (which altogether is not bad, but also - in most other respects - not good enough) and hope that one day the franchise will be given a new spin with some better personal in the story department and less idiotic greed from the producers. (Hey, maybe that guy from BATMAN: DEAD END could do it!)

THE_ZAR.

*We could have done with some more future scenes in T2, but Cameron did not get the cash to film the additional 15 minutes and that's it. On the other hand, Fox actually considered giving Ridley Scott money to complete the famous airlock scene from ALIEN for the Director's Cut! Who knows, maybe one day...

PedroSteckecilo:
I'm pretty sure the movies writiers have very LITTLE control over how the final product turns out, they are SO bitch smacked around by the Directors/Producers that I'm pretty sure they just write what people tell them to.

Yep, the film industry runs very closely to the music industry in terms of content control. If you got a big label you loose all of your originality. That isn't even a music nerd lashing out, no it's fact.

Alright, this may be the only good review I've seen from this guy. As for the movie, hey they had to come full circle sooner or later with the series (god knows they weren't doing it with the Sarah Conner Chronicles). So for the most part I think it's a good film and I'll probably see it because of this review, There you go.

Also, dissing Transformers again!? Jesus get over it the first film was a good action flick and a generally fun film and to say the next will be bad too when you haven't seen it? Thats sad for a critic. Just sayin' never judge a book by it's cover or a movie by its tralier. Or even by it's director. You forget that Michael Bay also directed good films like "Collateral"
even if it did star crazy-jump-on-Oprahs-couch-loony Tom Cruise.

jabrwock:

Sipher107:
Whats wrong with Pearl Harbor?....I liked it.

It was so EPIC without being very good. Over-hyped, over-acted, etc. That and the whole last section could have been chopped out and not messed up anything.

Not to mention the truly horrible historical, and even logical, errors.

Why are children playing baseball when those Japanese Zeros are flying overhead? The attack was early in the morning, no kids would be out. Also, the line "I think World War 2 just started" disgusted me. It's not like anybody else had been fighting it since, say, 1939 (or even earlier for the Chinese).

A solid review, but saying that Equilibrium is the best sci fi film of the century, nay anything more than mediocre at best, gives that particular film waaaay more credit than is due. I found it to be a tired, poorly written and ponderous pastiche of every contemporary trend in action cinematography seven years ago.

Sipher107:
Whats wrong with Pearl Harbor?....I liked it.

mainly the historical accuracy, especially the bit where an American won the battle of Britain almost single handedly.

On topic; pretty decent review and I think I'll go see the film, can't be any worse then Terminator 3

I saw T.S last night. It was pretty good in my opinion. I really liked it. I didn't see where the dialogue was "too" bad. IT was good you should all see it.

Great review mate. Easy to follow and you know what you're talking about.

Noticed you didn't mention the abomination that was Terminator 3. I knew when I saw that installment that something had gone horribly wrong in Hollywood.

Unfortunately I don't think there's anyway this recent addition can meet the expectations of these great scenes ->
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7nq-r7QWW0

Sucks, I've been waiting since '91 for a decent 'Future War' conclusion.

jacobschndr:
You forget that Michael Bay also directed good films like "Collateral" even if it did star crazy-jump-on-Oprahs-couch-loony Tom Cruise.

Um.. friend? Michael MANN directed "Collateral," not Michael Bay.

Bay has basically made two entirely good films, i.e. the two "Bad Boys" movies. Those work because there's LITERALLY nothing to them - they're formula cop movies charged-up with nihilistic "eff it all" disregard for all decency, so his thematically-empty style and complete lack of ability at communicating depth actually fits.

Everything else has been a disaster, and "Transformers" was the worst offender of all. Here's this killer "high-concept" movie with all this built-in scifi mythology that should make for a really cool, sweeping pop epic... and he doesn't even seem to notice. Instead he basically makes a feature-length car commercial, keeping the robots (who are horribly designed, btw) in their vehicle forms as much as possible and ignores all the potential cool story possibilities in favor of bad comedy and "I'm-cool-cuz-I-hang-out-with-army-guys" military digressions. It's a total failure, one of the worst "big" genre films I've ever seen.

MovieBob:

jacobschndr:
You forget that Michael Bay also directed good films like "Collateral" even if it did star crazy-jump-on-Oprahs-couch-loony Tom Cruise.

Um.. friend? Michael MANN directed "Collateral," not Michael Bay.

Bay has basically made two entirely good films, i.e. the two "Bad Boys" movies. Those work because there's LITERALLY nothing to them - they're formula cop movies charged-up with nihilistic "eff it all" disregard for all decency, so his thematically-empty style and complete lack of ability at communicating depth actually fits.

Everything else has been a disaster, and "Transformers" was the worst offender of all. Here's this killer "high-concept" movie with all this built-in scifi mythology that should make for a really cool, sweeping pop epic... and he doesn't even seem to notice. Instead he basically makes a feature-length car commercial, keeping the robots (who are horribly designed, btw) in their vehicle forms as much as possible and ignores all the potential cool story possibilities in favor of bad comedy and "I'm-cool-cuz-I-hang-out-with-army-guys" military digressions. It's a total failure, one of the worst "big" genre films I've ever seen.

OK my bad, Michael MAnn instead of Michael Bay. Still, "Collateral" good movie.

Yes Michael Bay is a dueschbag we all know that. Hell he even has the whole movie director cliche' going with that megaphone of his. But I still think "Transformers" was alright and heres why.

Bay and the writers made that movie to be more appealing to the general audience, not just the fans (even if some fans hate it). You can't put Hundreds of millions of dollars into a film just to make only the fans happy then no one but the fans will want to see it because no one else knows the franchise better than fans. It becomes a flop. Instead what happened was Bay, Speilberg, and the writers made a film that can be fun for both the nerds and everyone else. Last time I checked it grossed a LOT of money.

So of course its going to show close-ups of the cars because when big automakers allow you to put their models in a film their gonna want to see some exposure of their products to the public. And how would you want to see the robots anyway? What you wanna see the same thing as back in the 80's cartoon and comics with what looks like a bunch of guys in multi-colored cardboard boxes? I think they looked cool, ultra-modern even, while still keeping a somewhat recognizble look(Optimus Prime for instance). Also I'm glad "Bumblebee" was a Camero instead of looking like a VW bug that would have looked stupid.

Look, bad for the genre, maybe. But even hardcore fans, even the fans with shrines dedicated to Megatron, and even fans with "Transformers" tattoos and who name their private parts stuff like "Primus", "Devastator", and...probably even "Blur". They would still think the film is good. Do I wish Bay would do more to direct actors according to their roles, like instead of saying "Just improvise this scene for me" he should try to have them follow the role better and actually direct them to what the character is feeling and doing at that point. Instead, he just lets them wonder aimlessly through the roles.

So, OK yes I agree. Bay is a bad director for drama and emotion, thats why he directs action flicks because they don't need drama or emotion, just explosions and lots of them. I still like the first "Transformers" (hell I like the 1984 Movie still) and I will still see "Rise of the Fallen" as well.

P.S. I like how you (Moviebob) comment on the threads. That's good I think at touching base with your viewers. If more critics did that I would have a lot more fun on forums than I ususally do.

Andy_Panthro:
I heard that this was supposed to be a quite poor film in general. I'll be waiting to see it on DVD I think.

My favourite of the series will remain the first. The second was good, but had declined a bit in quality, and the third was not very good. I quite liked the first series of the sarah connor chronicles though, but apparently series 2 isn't quite as good.

Cracked: 5 reasons the terminator series makes no sense

Guardian film review: Terminator Salvation

Interesting. I personally think that not only was T2 better, but one of the best sequels ever made.

MovieBob:

jacobschndr:
You forget that Michael Bay also directed good films like "Collateral" even if it did star crazy-jump-on-Oprahs-couch-loony Tom Cruise.

Um.. friend? Michael MANN directed "Collateral," not Michael Bay.

Bay has basically made two entirely good films, i.e. the two "Bad Boys" movies. Those work because there's LITERALLY nothing to them - they're formula cop movies charged-up with nihilistic "eff it all" disregard for all decency, so his thematically-empty style and complete lack of ability at communicating depth actually fits.

Everything else has been a disaster, and "Transformers" was the worst offender of all. Here's this killer "high-concept" movie with all this built-in scifi mythology that should make for a really cool, sweeping pop epic... and he doesn't even seem to notice. Instead he basically makes a feature-length car commercial, keeping the robots (who are horribly designed, btw) in their vehicle forms as much as possible and ignores all the potential cool story possibilities in favor of bad comedy and "I'm-cool-cuz-I-hang-out-with-army-guys" military digressions. It's a total failure, one of the worst "big" genre films I've ever seen.

Many people try and say that these films are made more mainstream so it appeals to everyone...but what happened to keeping the damned story and mythos that made it popular in the first place, modernising it somewhat, adding a bit more information in so non fans aren't left in the dark? (I'm actually looking at you for some reason Watchmen, because my non-fan friends who watched that film had no clue what was going on, maybe they're just retarded)

I honestly think at times they should just call these films something else instead of butchering work to the point that it basically is something else. I wouldn't go so far as to say this is an example though.

Random sidebar, it made me laugh when the soldiers finally made it into the city and they dictate where the cube needs to go and talk like they were there all along and knew what was going on. Either way, revenge of the fallen is going to own.

P.S. that last part isn't true, but the only saving grace of that film will be if we get Hotrod, and he becomes Rodimus Prime (which would be too soon, but I don't care...oh god, they wouldn't possibly make another? Wait, what am I saying, of course they will).

jacobschndr:
Bay and the writers made that movie to be more appealing to the general audience, not just the fans (even if some fans hate it). You can't put Hundreds of millions of dollars into a film just to make only the fans happy then no one but the fans will want to see it because no one else knows the franchise better than fans. It becomes a flop.

I could care less if the movie was "true" to the continuity or whatever, honestly. I'm just looking for it to be GOOD, and so far as I'm concerned a big part of why it's NOT is because of misdirected attention owing to a filmmaker who has stated on-record that he didn't want to make this film and demonstrably doesn't "get" the material.

I mean, forget even the PRIOR mythology for a minute and look at JUST the stuff set up in this (so far) one movie. You've got two seperate sets of characters: One one end, two warring sides of a race of mechanical beings from a devastated planet forced by chance to continue their intergalactic civil war AND try to build (literally) new lives on a non-mechanical world totally alien and potentially hostile to them. On the OTHER end, you have various broadly-sketched human stereotypes mostly borrowed from other movies (the secret agents from "Men In Black" and "ID4," the cut-off soldiers from "Black Hawk Down," the rag-tag hacker/conspiracy team from "Hackers" and "XFiles," the nerdy-kid-whos-sudden-involvement-in-the-hero-biz-helps-him-nail-gorgeous-but-troubled-girl from "Spider-Man," the moron parents from EVERYTHING) who are mainly there for comic relief and padding the story.

Of those two above-mentioned sets, which one do you honestly think is more interesting? Compelling? Worth building a movie around? There's an intergalactic civil war going on between ginormous alien robots who can be hiding anywhere in the guise of heavy machinery... With THAT going on, why the HELL would I care whether or not Indy Jr. is going to prove his manhood to Interchangeable Vacant-Eyed Maxim Chick #5629? And more importantly, why the HELL is that the "A" story? It's not like this is E.T. where the title-creature can't talk and we need the humans for exposition and reaction - the Transformers can talk for themselves, they can "emote," they have backstories and (theoretical) personalities, why don't they get to be the stars of their own story? Because they're CGI robots? Heck, Wall-E got to be the star of HIS movie as the only thing onscreen for almost a half-hour and he can't even SPEAK ;)

Honestly, this shows me more of a distrust of the audience than some commitment toward "mainstreaming." The Lord of The Rings films made BILLIONS worldwide and won piles of Oscars and they didn't feel the need to coddle the slower among the crowd by dumbing down the story, and that universe is INFINITELY more strange and complicated than the Transformers mythos is. It's lazy, unpleasant filmmaking from a bad filmmaker who has no grasp of the material he's undertaken.

Incidentally, the boxoffice numbers are coming in and it looks as though this is going to finish in 2nd place behind "Night at The Museum 2." That's a really, REALLY bad sign especially since it'll just continue to go down when "Up" slaughters everything next week (plus "Drag Me To Hell," which'll eat up the older audience that might otherwise help T4 hang on.) That puts the chances of another sequel very much in jeopardy, at least with this creative team. It's also REALLY got to sting that they're getting FLAYED by the fans for going PG13, and it didn't end up helping them grab the family audience away. Bad weekend all-around if you're anyone with money to lose in this.

MovieBob:
Honestly, this shows me more of a distrust of the audience than some commitment toward "mainstreaming." The Lord of The Rings films made BILLIONS worldwide and won piles of Oscars and they didn't feel the need to coddle the slower among the crowd by dumbing down the story, and that universe is INFINITELY more strange and complicated than the Transformers mythos is. It's lazy, unpleasant filmmaking from a bad filmmaker who has no grasp of the material he's undertaken.

Thats crazy to compare Lord of the Rings to Transformers. Everyone knew what lord of the rings was, hell that probably was the start of the whole fantasy genre with Elves and orcs and hobbits and shit. Fuck my grandfather knew what J.R.R. Tolkiens work was about. Transformers are only 25 years old(maybe older I don't when the actual toyline came out in Japan) I'm sure if go into the future by 50 years someone will think its a masterpiece(doubt it though) Comparing Tolkiens L.O.G. to Transformers is like comparing "The Godfather" to "Grandmas Boy" One everyones gonna know, the other, everyones gonna know shit.

Also, Wall-E can say His name, EVA, and "whoa!" HA!:P

MovieBob:
Incidentally, the boxoffice numbers are coming in and it looks as though this is going to finish in 2nd place behind "Night at The Museum 2." That's a really, REALLY bad sign especially since it'll just continue to go down when "Up" slaughters everything next week (plus "Drag Me To Hell," which'll eat up the older audience that might otherwise help T4 hang on.) That puts the chances of another sequel very much in jeopardy, at least with this creative team. It's also REALLY got to sting that they're getting FLAYED by the fans for going PG13, and it didn't end up helping them grab the family audience away. Bad weekend all-around if you're anyone with money to lose in this.

Would you really say PG-13 is so family friendly? I'm mean "Taken" was PG-13 and I sure as hell wouldn't take any of my kids (if I had any that is). I think PG-13 is what "R" rated films were back in the day, and "R" rated films are what NC-17 were, and NC-17 is just not shown anywhere anymore because it's probably more of a Grindhouse flick material anyway.

jacobschndr:
Thats crazy to compare Lord of the Rings to Transformers.

You misunderstand me. I intend not to compare the franchises, but rather the way they were approached. LOTR tends to be my go-to benchmark for "why there's no excuse for genre films to be wimp out," and in this case the element in question is the way it handles the "non-mainstream" elements of it's story. LOTR basically gives you a 5 or 10 minute prologue at the beginning covering everything anyone NEEDS to know, then jumps into the main story and trusts that the audience can "keep up" and fill in the gaps with new data gained along the way. The original Star Wars used much the same approach, as did the two good X-Men films and even the original Terminator. "Transformers," by contrast, reduces itself down to: "There's these aliens. Some are good, some are bad. There's maybe more story here, but we think you'll find it weird, so instead please enjoy a teenage romance occasionally interupted by robots."

Would you really say PG-13 is so family friendly?

Yes, when using the term in the sense that the industry does, i.e. "family friendly" = "young kids can go see without parent's permission," which almost always means more boxoffice than one gets with an R. And make no mistake, thats what went down here: They knew their main competition would be a run of recent G to PG13 films, so they went 13 to try and mitigate the impact. It has demonstrably failed.

This was an overall smoother episode; really liked the review. Good job, MovieBob!

Sipher107:
Whats wrong with Pearl Harbor?....I liked it.

You haven't EVER EVER watched Team America right? ^^
Good Job Moviebob. Always good justified opinions, love your reviews.

VZLANemesis:

Sipher107:
Whats wrong with Pearl Harbor?....I liked it.

You haven't EVER EVER watched Team America right? ^^
Good Job Moviebob. Always good justified opinions, love your reviews.

Yeah i have actually
why?

Interesting review. I am still not going to see the movie because I gave up on the franchise after the second one. I'm not going to say Terminator 2 was a bad movie, but it did undercut much of what I liked about the original film enough to no care to bother with further sequels. Go find someone griping about Highlander 2 and it's a lot like that but less whiny.

One thing I'm kind of surprised you didn't mention, but it is a bigger spoiler than what the trailers had already blown, so I'll put it here in tags.

Sipher107:

VZLANemesis:

Sipher107:
Whats wrong with Pearl Harbor?....I liked it.

You haven't EVER EVER watched Team America right? ^^
Good Job Moviebob. Always good justified opinions, love your reviews.

Yeah i have actually
why?

Because I love you almost as much as Pearl Harbor sucks. I mean ignoring the terrible historical accuracy, because it could be forgiven if the move was any good. What we had was a poorly acted paint by numbers romance in witch all dilemmas and problems where solved for the main cast saving them from ever having to make a hard choice, oh and there was this thing about a naval base being attacked maybe its hard to tell given how little it had to do with the plot. It is a painful movie to watch and to make matters worse it does not even seem to finish, it just goes on and on and on.

I would also agree that Transformers is a terrible movie, one I was not even able to watch to the end. I wanted to see a movie about transforming robots, you know like the title, but after half an hour of what turned out to be some sort of film about two stupid teenager I could not care less about I gave up. Really is a movie about transforming robots to start said robots to hard to ask?

"I hate Star Trek but Terminator Salvation is worth watching!"

I don't think I'm going to agree with Moviebob.

I still don't like this guy that much, he is too much like Yahtzee. Anyways, I like Cristian Bale, but I didn't like him in this, he sounded to much like friggin Batman, and I thought he was trying to hard to be serious and badass. I quite enjoyed the movie, a good action flick!

You feel pretty much the exact same way about the movie that I do. You pretty much hit the nail on the head with this review, in my opinion.

MovieBob:
I can break dance.

Really? I would love to see that!

MovieBob:
Of those two above-mentioned sets, which one do you honestly think is more interesting? Compelling? Worth building a movie around? There's an intergalactic civil war going on between ginormous alien robots who can be hiding anywhere in the guise of heavy machinery... With THAT going on, why the HELL would I care whether or not Indy Jr. is going to prove his manhood to Interchangeable Vacant-Eyed Maxim Chick #5629? And more importantly, why the HELL is that the "A" story?

Dawson's Creek, with guest stars, the Transformers. ;)

http://www.vgcats.com/comics/?strip_id=241

LazerLuger:
"I hate Star Trek but Terminator Salvation is worth watching!"

Nah, they're about the same. Both worth watching, decent visuals, some good acting bits but terrible, terrible scripts that reduce the whole project down to strictly average. If anything it's a credit to the respective directors that they both made not-terrible movies out of some really, REALLY bad material.

Incidentally, Devin Faraci over at CHUD has an article up about how different this film was from it's ORIGINAL (pre-Christian Bale star-vehicle) script, which is pretty enlightening. Highlights: Conner isn't in it until the very end, Marcus is the real hero, HUGE twist ending, and EVERYTHING we've been told about Skynet in the other three films including the "death to all humans" part has been a lie. Definately read this:
http://chud.com/articles/articles/19577/1/EXCLUSIVE-WHAT-WENT-WRONG-WITH-TERMINATOR-SALVATION/Page1.html

The movie was great, and thought i agree with what you praised, i think you were being very harsh on things which were only slightly negative.

And you're not Yahtzee. Stop trying to be.

And you're not Yahtzee. Stop trying to be.

Alright, that does it.

New rule: anyone who makes this statement from now on automatically loses at life.

I'm sorry but it's gone past stupid and into "yo momma was a flatworm" territory. Stop comparing everyone who does amusing review videos to Ben Croshaw and maybe, just maybe, you can evolve into a higher life form. You lose the ability to regenerate body parts when injured but gain the ability for cognitive thought. Life is full of trade-offs.

the antithesis:

And you're not Yahtzee. Stop trying to be.

Alright, that does it.

New rule: anyone who makes this statement from now on automatically loses at life.

I'm sorry but it's gone past stupid and into "yo momma was a flatworm" territory. Stop comparing everyone who does amusing review videos to Ben Croshaw and maybe, just maybe, you can evolve into a higher life form. You lose the ability to regenerate body parts when injured but gain the ability for cognitive thought. Life is full of trade-offs.

Croshaw's Law?

Lightbunny:
Croshaw's Law?

Something like that, but it needs more punch. How about the Croshaw Effect. Ah, yes. That's the stuff. I can just imagine saying "Stop trying to be Yahtzee" and then space and time warps around them and they devolve into the Goombas from the Super Mario Bros. movies with the silly, tiny lizard heads. Genius!

image
OH NOES! THE CROSHAW EFFECT!!11!

I admit, Bob, I'm pleasantly surprised you didn't give this the same dish of fanboy rage you did to Star Trek.

Well, after about half a dozen of reviews giving "average" verdicts for this movie (ser-based, of course. "Professionals" can be all well and good, but I prefer hearing what the actual consumer thinks.) I suppose it'll make a good mindless action movie to cool-off from finals.

Sipher107:

VZLANemesis:

Sipher107:
Whats wrong with Pearl Harbor?....I liked it.

You haven't EVER EVER watched Team America right? ^^
Good Job Moviebob. Always good justified opinions, love your reviews.

Yeah i have actually
why?

Pearl Harbor song...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pM8PrqY5Rg

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