Terminator:Dark Fate

If you’ve been a reader of my blog for a few years you’ll know my opinion of the various Terminator films we’ve had to date. Just briefly though; the first two movies are two of my all time favourite movies, with Terminator 2: Judgement Day being my favourite all time movie. The third film, Rise of the Machines is just about okay. I liked the idea they had but thought it was poorly executed. Terminator:Salvation is a much better film than people give it credit for. It had its faults but I think director McG had a vision, but it feels like he didn’t get his way with much of it. I don’t really want to talk about Genysis.

To Dark Fate though. I was more than a little anxious about this movie. I was comforted that James Cameron was involved, and that Linda Hamilton was coming back to reprise her iconic Sarah Connor role. I liked that Tim Miller was directing it, but I was still anxious. Genysis has left me with a bad taste in my throat and I was scared that my favourite movie of all time was going to be pissed on again. I liked that Mackenzie Davis and Gabriel Luna were both in this movie. I liked Luna’s time on Agents Of Shield, and the two films I’ve seen Davis in (The Martian and Blade Runner 2049) I’ve liked what I’ve seen. I think both of them were good fits for the film and brought their characters to life. Luna’s REV-9 was just badass. He gave the machine an attitude that we’ve not seen from them in these films before. Davis had a desperation to her that worked well with what she was capable of doing. Natalia Reyes was good as Dani. She had a fight to her that worked and developed well as the film progressed.

Linda Hamilton brought her A-game with her like she always does in these movies. Her story starts hard and she is as much of a badass as she was in the first movie. Now, Arnold Schwarzenegger. He’s okay. I’m not really sold on his backstory in Dark Fate, but you know what, I can live with it.

We’re heading into spoiler territory now, so here’s your SPOILER WARNING!!!

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A random picture of Dizzy to prevent accidental Spoilers.

The big spoiler, John Connor getting shot dead in the first few minutes of the movie. I mean how it was all done was stunning to take us back to a moment that could have only been weeks after Judgement Day, but it was still a major slap in the face that changed the entire timeline. But I think to rejuvenate this universe it was needed. It’s not like Genysis where they pissed all over the first two movies. What they did here was much more respectful to what had come before.

Is this my Terminator universe? No, but you know what I can get on board with it. I liked the nods to the first two movies, Sarah Connor’s actions from her past do catch up with her at one point which gave me a smile, and I hope they make more. It is, in a way a retelling of the original film, although I’d guessed that Dani was the saviour of the human race and not an unborn child a while before it was revealed.

They’ve set up a new universe here, I’ll watch more if they make them (bring back Luna though. I’d like to see Davis again in the role but she’s the Kyle Reese of this movie), but the original two Terminator films are still above and beyond for me.

The Next Terminator Film

The second trailer for the next Terminator film, Terminator:Dark Fate, has gone online over the last couple of days. I had a look at it today during my lunch break and i still have some major reservations, but I’m not quite as anxious as I was.

A little background. Terminator 2: Judgement Day is my favourite movie of all time. I saw it at just the right time for it to embed itself into my DNA. It blew me away! After seeing The Terminator I found I loved that one as well. Terminator 2 is still my favourite movie, but The Terminator is a fantastic movie. Then Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines came out. If I was listed top to bottom my favourite Terminator films this would be second from bottom. I love the concept, showing how Judgement Day went down should have been a wet dream for me. It wasn’t. It tried to be too funny, I think the casting was off and I’d have liked to have seen it having a bigger scope to it. This was the film that should have sown the rise of Skynet. It should have detailed it and given us an epic movie showing this all happening. It didn’t though.

After Terminator 3 we had Terminator:Salvation. Now I like Salvation a lot. I was super excited with the thought of a movie showing us what we’d only seen in flashbacks before. I’ll admit I was worried about McG directing it. I’m also not the biggest Christian Bale fan, but I do enjoy it. I didn’t really care for the Marcus Wright storyline, and I’d have liked to of seen the piles of bones you saw in the flashbacks from the first two films. I didn’t like how Connor became the leader of the resistance. It felt lazy and has been done repeatedly on screen. It did have strong points though. Anton Yelchin was fantastic as a young Kyle Reese. I loved the fact that so much of it took place during the day. So many films nowadays have to have all the action at night. The visuals of the film, and the score, were really good.

Ugh, I suppose I ought to address Terminator: Genisys. Okay. I like Emilia Clarke a lot, but I’m not sure this was the role for her at this time in her career. I’ve a lot of respect for her for giving it a go though. Jai Courtney is a good actor, but he isn’t a leading man in my opinion. Just look at how good he is in Suicide Squad. Jason Clarke didn’t sell me if I’m honest. Arnold Schwarzenegger was good, but he was born to play this role. I wish they wouldn’t keep trying to make him comedic in these films though. What they did with him in Terminator 2 worked for that film. It hasn’t in any of the rest of these films. The storyline wasn’t great and had some huge plot holes in. What I really hate about this film though is it erases the first two films from the existence. That and the fact they waste Byung-Hun Lee, J.K. Simmons, and Matt Smith. You just have to watch Matt Smith in his few scenes in the film to see the quality he has. Why wasn’t he Kyle Reese? But that wouldn’t solve the plot problems. Something that also annoyed me was the big reveal about one of the main characters in the trailer! Like really? Don’t you think that would have been better to reveal when people are in the cinema!?!

Terminator: Genisys feels like a slap in the face of the fans who love this world. They tried to take away the two best films in the series, and I still don’t understand why?

Right, I’m going to (try to) stop ranting.

On to Terminator: Dark Fate. I’m comforted by Linda Hamilton returning. I’m a little anxious about Schwarzenegger though. Is he playing another old terminator? Will he be the comic relief? I’m 50/50 on James Cameron’s involvement. I seem to recall him praising Terminator: Genisys. I like that Tim Miller is helming the film. I liked what he did with Deadpool and I hope he pulls this off. I like the look of Gabriel Luna, he was really good as Ghost Rider in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and I like that Mackenzie Davis is in this. I’ve only seen her in The Martian and Blade Runner 2049 but thought she was good in both, especially Blade Runner 2049. I’m looking forward to seeing what they both do in this movie.

There was what I think of as a reveal in the trailer. I’m not sure it’s a big one but why not keep it vague so people learn it when they see the film for the first time? This isn’t jut a problem with Terminator films, its something that needs to be made extinct.

I am anxious about this movie. I want to go into the cinema and have all my sweet spots hit with it, but I’ve been burned before (damn you Genisys), so I’m not going to let myself get too excited about Terminator: Dark Fate.

Terminator 2: Judgement Day. On The Big Screen

My favourite movie of all time is Terminator 2: Judgement Day. I saw it when it came out on home video and I was just at the right age for it to have a lasting effect on me. It blew me away. Everything from the story, to the acting, to the special effects. Everything about this movie I love. It is my Star Wars.

So when I saw it was going to be in the cinema’s again for one night only I was there. Seriously, the zombie apocalypse could have been erupting and I would still have been there.

Now, I’m not a huge fan of 3D but that wasn’t going to stop me either.

*****Spoiler warning*****

Was it good? YES! It was awesome! Seeing Schwarzenegger, Hamilton, Patrick, Furlong all on the big screen was fantastic. Everything that I love about this film, the T-800 against the LAPD place department at the Cyberdyne building, Sarah Connor’s nuclear  apocalypse dreams, the chase through the Los Angeles River. The T-800 with the Winchester shotgun and how he’s cocking it during that chase. Damn, there are so many scenes that seeing for the first time as a teen opened my mind up. The helicopter going under the overpass, the T-800 being lowered into the steel at the end of the film. Pretty much any scene where the T-1000 is killing someone, or rising out of the floor or walking  through iron bars.

The whole concept of time travelling cyborgs was fuel for my imagination as well.

With the sound system the cinema has that industrial beat the soundtrack has was brilliant. A few times it felt like it was vibrating through my bones.

I struggle to put into words just how much this movie means to me, so being able to see it on the big screen was very special and I’m so glad I did. It’s great watching it at home, but it is a film that is at its best on the big screen.

Terminator 2: Judgement Day

Terminator 2: Judgement Day is the second movie in the Terminator series, and really steps up multiple levels from the first film. In this movie instead of a Terminator being sent from the future to kill Sarah Connor its been sent back to kill her son, John Connor, while he is still a child.

Like with my post about The Terminator I’m not going to give a plot summery, its a film which is two decades old so I think it’s more than bled into pop culture enough for people to know what the story is.

Terminator 2 is probably my Star Wars. I first saw it when I was in my early teens and it took hold of my imagination and hasn’t really let go. It influences so much about me. Whether it’s my habit of inserting Mini Guns into my fiction whenever I can, or my love of post-apocalyptic stories right through to my crush of Linda Hamilton. Even now, about twenty years since I first saw T2 I’m still discovering ways in which this movie has influenced me.

Arnold Schwarzenegger comes back as the Terminator and he smashes it, again. Schwarzenegger really was born to play this role and he steps up into it for a second time with as much passion and commitment as he did in the first movie.

Linda Hamilton has almost a totally different character to play in this movie. She’s no longer the naive young woman that was told she would be the mother of a great military leader. In Terminator 2 she has embraced the mission of raising this child, protecting him, and preparing him, to an unhealthy level really. Add in the fact that she’s lived with the knowledge of knowing the date that the nuclear apocalypse will happen has sent her almost over the edge. Hamilton really steps up spectacularly here. The intensity she puts into the character is very impressive.

Edward Furlong plays the young John Connor. He’s been brought up knowing he’s going to be this military leader, but the life he’s been dumped in isn’t what he’d been brought up to think it was. So he’s more than a bit of a juvenile delinquent. Furlong is very good here, he’s got that snarky kid down well, but when the story needs to show hints of the man he’s destined to become Furlong is able to pull it off.

A new terminator is introduced into this movie, the T-1000 is an advanced prototype terminator that is essentially liquid metal. Robert Patrick plays the T-1000 and he does so beautifully. The T-1000 is cold, relentless, and efficient as it tries to fulfil its mission. Robert Patrick, in my opinion is as good in this role as Schwarzenegger is as the Terminator.

James Cameron steps up the action, and the storyline, and the performances, and the special effects of the first film to make what I strongly believe is one of the finest movies ever made. If I am ever to make a list of my favourite all time movies, then Terminator 2: Judgement Day will be at the top of it.

The Terminator

After watching Terminator: Genisys I decided to re-watch the previous four films in the serious and the TV series, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, as well. Obviously I started with The Terminator.

***Spoiler Free Zone***

The Terminator tells the story of a time travelling cyborg that is sent back in time to assassinate the mother, Sarah Connor, of the man who leads the resistance against the Artificial Intelligence, Skynet, that has all but exterminated the human race. The resistance sent back a fighter, Kyle Reese, to protect her.

That’s enough for the plot; let’s face it, if you don’t know it then I’d suggest stopping reading this post and go and watch it.

 

 

This is a gritty, non-stop, action film that has a deep and layered story. It has equally deep, and complicated characters. You seriously begin to feel for Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese as the film moves along. Neither really has the time to get their bearings; you’ve got Sarah, who is just trying to lead a normal, everyday life and Kyle, who is not of the time. So it must all be alien to him, and it’s a testament to his ability to survive and endure as well as he does without having a huge meltdown. It’s clear throughout that he’s suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, yet he fights his way through it because he has to. His mission needs for him to.

Linda Hamilton really kills it as Sarah Connor, she plays the confused twenty something whose wold is torn inside and out really well. She does the deer in the headlights well, but soon she’s rolling with the punches as they start coming thick and fast.

Michael Biehn doesn’t hold back as Kyle Reese. Biehn is scrawny, edgy, and pretty intense. His character is covered in scars and appreciates his mission to protect Sarah Connor in a way that I don’t think Connor herself really understands. As I said the character clearly has PTSD and Biehn plays it well, almost subtle for the most part.

Now, Arnold Schwarzenegger. I really don’t need to say much about this man playing this role do I? But I will, he was born for this role. Theres not many actors that can be as blank as Schwarzenegger is in this movie, and it feels like he doesn’t get the credit in this day and age that he deserves for it.

All three of the main actors really did throw their heart and souls into their roles, and it shows throughout the movie. For me it’s one of the qualities that make the film for me.

James Cameron, and everyone else behind the scenes deserves all the accolades the movie garners. The script is beautiful, and tight; there’s not a lot of fat there to be chewed on. The special effects are really beautiful and I think they still stand up; Stan Winston and his team did a fantastic job in bringing the terminator to life.

The Terminator has a great feel to it. It’s raw, gritty, fast paced, and is just quality. Very few films hold my attention like this one does.

Movie Monday: Alien Vs. Predator

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Alien Vs. Predator is the mash up of two movies series that. Any fans had been waiting for a long time, but I don’t think this 2004 movie was what they wanted.

Me, I like it. It’s not by far the best movie involving out of all the Alien and Predator movies that have been made, although I would like to say that the Alien Vs. Predator sequel is one of the worse films I have seen. Back to this film though. A team of experts is taken to an area near the Antarctic to investigate a sudden heat signature that has appeared under the ice. Once there a hole appears in the ice that leads down to the source of the heat signature. This allows them to get to the source quicker.
Once there they have a little look around, tripping a pressure switch as they do. This activates a series of mechanisms at the deepest point of the pyramid that is under the ice which raises and awakes a frozen alien queen that has been held there. Above ground three Predators have killed the support team and have made their way underground.
In searching the pyramid the team find a sacrificial chamber and many human remains that show signs of ritual sacrifice, although one of the team points out that it looks like something has broken out of willing sacrifices. After this the team split up and half go further down into the pyramid and find the Predators weapons and remove them from the stone case that they were in. This is when all goes to pot. Once the weapons have been removed it activates the pyramid. Alien eggs move up into the sacrificial chamber and, well you can guess. The walls in the pyramid also start to move around as well trapping different characters in different areas. People start dying and so on.

I can see why a lot of people do not like this film. It does not have the feel that any of its predecessor movies have. Sanaa Lathan is good as the lead but not entirely convincing. Raoul Bova is okay too. There is some good work by the support cast, Ewen Bremner and Colin Salmon especially. I loved seeing Lance Henriksen as Weyland too.
I like Paul W.S. Anderson’s work too but this felt like it missed something. It did not hold the horror edge that Alien did, or the intensity or aliens. The rawness of Predator was also missed. I think it lacked a lead. Sigorny Weaver, Arnold Schwarzenegger really took the reins of the earlier films and I think that having had a more powerful lead would have helped the film hugely.
It’s one of those films that I can watch frequently, its easy too watch and does not leave me scratching my head. The visuals in the movie are beautiful and the script is well worked.
It is deffinately worth a watch though, just don’t expect it to be as strong as Alien, Aliens or Predator.

Movie Monday : Predators

 

I am a huge fan of the original Predator movie, the Arnold Schwarzenegger one.  This was one of the earliest sci-fi movies like this that I can remember seeing.  It had so much to try to take in I watched it more times than I care to admit.  I loved how the Predator took Dutch’s  (Schwarzenegger’s) team of soldiers apart leaving only Dutch to fight the alien hunting them.  This was followed by Predator 2, and later on Alien vs Predator, which was not as bad as a lot of people say it was.  Although don’t get me started on the sequel to Alien vs Predator.  Then we had Predators, which many say is the worthy sequel to Predator (I half agree, but I did like Predator 2)

Predators starts with our protagonist (Adrian Brody) falling through the air, thankfully a parachute opens and he lands, albeit with a little thud.  There with Brody is I think seven or eight other people.  All are some sort of fighter.  One is a Columbian cartel enforcer, another is a member of the Yakuza.  Another is a Spetznaz soldier and you get the picture.  This little group slowly try to figure out what is happening to them and they soon find out that they are in a game reserve for the Predators.  As the film carries on we meet Noland, played by Laurence Fishburne, and I think that Fishburne has a lot of fun with this role.

This film does not mess about, the action is good, there is a nice level of terror and a couple of good little twists.  Adrian Brody and Laurence Fishburne are not the only faces that you will recognise which helps the strength of the film.  The soundtrack is taken straight from the original movie too which tugs at the nostalgia strings in our heads.  The visuals are stunning, although I don’t think that the jungle in the movie is alien enough for an alien planet but it is still very much worth a watch.