The Future of the Terminator Movies

A couple of weeks ago a few articles began to appear on social media that James Cameron will be regaining the rights to the Terminator movies in 2019, and that he is eyeing Deadpool director Tim Miller to play a part in future instalments.

Now, from what I can make out this is just all rumours, but if there is some truth to it then it could be a game-changer for the Terminator movies. Cameron was the man who built the universe in the first two movies, and I’d like to think that he could take them back to that dark and gritty universe that he created. If we look at the films that he wasn’t involved in, Terminator 3:Rise of the Machines, Terminator: Salvation, and Terminator: Genisys, none of them hit home. Each one failed in one way or another (although I’m quite fond of Salvation as it took the story to the future, after Judgment Day, and it almost hit the mark), and didn’t have anything that really matched up to Cameron’s original two movies. I’ve got a special distaste for Genisys as it erases almost all of those two original movies, and T3 and Salvation, from the timeline. I’ve tried watching it multiple times, and will most likely try multiple times again, but I can’t see me ever liking it. I know filmmakers don’t go out to make a bad movie, and I hope they didn’t write the script with the intention of pissing fans off with what they done in the movie. I personally think they just wanted to get away from the original films and do something different to what we’d seen before.

If Cameron is coming back to the series he could still make something that doesn’t match up to what he did with the first two movies, but I’ve got more faith that he’ll give us something that has depth, quality, consistency, attention to detail, and some respect for Terminator 1 & 2.

We’ll have to wait and see though.

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Terminator Salvation

Terminator Salvation is the fourth film in the Terminator series and takes place after Judgement day. John Connor is not commanding the resistance yet, and is viewed by some as a prophet for his knowledge of the machines. We see his efforts against Skynet, and as he’s trying to find Kyle Reese, and as he’s trying to deal with the Marcus Wright character. Wright is trying to discover why he’s alive after being executed decades before.

I seem to be in a minority when it comes to Terminator Salvation, in that I like it. I love the post-Judgment Day setting, it was something that we got teased in The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgement Day and it was always something that I wanted to see more of. Although what we see here isn’t the post Judgement Day world we saw in the first two movies I still liked what I saw. It’s set in the early days of the war against the machines and there aren’t a lot of terminators roaming the ruins, there seem to be more aerial hunter/killer drones that probably locate any survivors and then send in the ground based terminators to deal with them.

From what I can make out this was meant to be the first in a new trilogy of films in the franchise but it just did not do well enough for the next two to be made. This is something that I’m genuinely gutted by as I would have really liked to see where the story went. I’d imagine they would have ended up with the discovery of the time displacement equipment and sending Kyle Reese back to protect Sarah Connor. To me that would have been a beautiful way to end the trilogy.

To the film though, I do like it but it does have its issues. One of the biggest is that it didn’t feel like the director was able to put his stamp on it.  I was worried about McG directing Salvation as I’d seen his Charlie’s Angels films and wasn’t impressed, that said I was surprised with what I saw from him here. Some of the shots were beautifully put together and the look of the film was very good, very genuine. The action looked good too. It just felt a little safe, a little by the numbers. Now I’m not sure if it’s a case that McG hadn’t quite got the directing chops to put his stamp on it, of if the studio or others involved in the film reigned him in too much. Either way it didn’t have a strong identity which I felt left the film missing something to make it stand out.

Christian Bale was good as John Connor. I thought he showed good intensity, and the pressure from what he knew, well. I liked that they didn’t make him too cold and isolated. There’s a couple of sweet scenes between him and Bryce Dallas Howard, who plays his wife Kate Connor, that shows that he doesn’t carry all of this burden himself. She’s become his rock by this time and although Howard doesn’t have a lot to do in the film, what she does she looked natural doing.

I could have done without the Marcus Wright storyline. It felt forced, like they needed to one up the previous films. Aside from the odd accent slip, I can’t fault Sam Worthington, though. I thought he had a good vibe and showed a decent range as his character tried to figure out what the hell was going on. If the Marcus Wright storyline hadn’t of been there then there would have been no need for the Moon Bloodgood role of Blair Williams. She plays an A-10 pilot who gets shot down and meets Wright and takes him to Connor. Bloodgood was okay in the role, but like the Marcus Wright storyline, her character felt a little forced in some respects. It felt like she was only there to help the Marcus Wright character grow. It feels a little like they wanted her to be the strong female warrior character that Linda Hamilton pulled off so well as Sarah Connor in Terminator 2, but the character wasn’t given the freedom to take that mantle.

Anton Yelchin as Kyle Reese was good. I liked the youthful urge to fight and rebel that he put into the character. He was jokey and hadn’t been through the toughest parts of the war yet, in fact I don’t think he’d seen much combat at this point in his life. I think that would have come in the next two films and I think we would have seen that enthusiasm to fight diminish as his character saw so much death and suffering. The character of Star really wasn’t needed. She was sweet, but again, felt a little forced into the story.

A minor character I wanted to see more of was that of Barnes, played by Common. I think Barnes may have been Connor’s second in command, but regardless of that I just wanted to see more of him. Common looked good on screen and there seemed to be a lot going on with him.

And just a final shoutout to Michael Ironside. Fantastic actor and I love seeing him pop up in places like this.

Overall, I like Terminator Salvation a lot. It’s a fun film to watch that has more than a few nods to its predecessors and set a few seeds for future films that we never saw. Easily my third favourite terminator movie.

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.

Terminator Genisys

I am a huge fan of the first two Terminator movies, I’m not as fond of the third film but I liked the fourth movie a lot. I seem to be in the minority about Terminator: Salvation, and I can understand some of the critism of the movie. I was hopeful if another Terminator film was made then we’d get another film set in the future after Judgement Day had happened. I would have liked to have seen where the battle with the machines went before the humans had them all but beaten and the machines had to send a Terminator back to kill Sarah Connor. Instead we’ve got a film which looks like it goes back to before the first Terminator film took place.

Now, obviousy I haven’t seen the film yet, but this does make me a touch nervous. After watching one of the trailers it looks like they’ve made this film in a way that will allow them to start again from when the film takes place, which looks to be mainly taking place in the 80’s, which was when the original film took place.

I would have loved for them to carry on after Salvation, as I said earlier, but this is the way the movies are going and I really hope they pull it off. I have my reservations though. The RoboCop reboot was good, but it didn’t match up to the original film and I fear this Terminator reboot will be the same. I know the director, Alan Taylor, director Thor: The Dark World and a number of episodes of Game Of Thrones (I know he has done more than that but those are what I know him best for) so I’ve got some hope that it is going to work out well but I still fear that it won’t match up to the first two movies.

I am looking forward to seeing Emilia Clarke as Sarah Connor though. She’s a dead ringer for Linda Hamilton and after seeing Clarke in Game Of Thrones we know she can act.

Despite my reservations I will be in the cinema to see this movie. I hope they can pull it off.

Shifting Expectations

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook you may have seen that I had a bit of a meltdown yesterday after watching the trailer for the RoboCop remake which is due to hit our screens next year. I did write a blog post about this but I’m not sure if it came across just how much of a meltdown I did have yesterday. In case you missed it here’s a link to it on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INmtQXUXez8

 

Now I had a lot of reservations about this remake, mainly because I love love love the original. RoboCop and RoboCop 2 were movies that were part of my childhood (yes I was watching incredibly violent films when I was young, but boys will be boys and it hasn’t made me a psychopath or anything) and both of which had a massive effect on me. I love the whole idea of robots and Cyborgs and I used to argue with a friend who would win a fight between RoboCop and the terminator (that was before I’d seen The Terminator or Terminator 2).

 

I am going to discard the third RoboCop film a little because I have only recently seen it. I knew it did not have Peter Weller in it so I had no desire to see it. The first two movies though are iconic to me, I didn’t take away the violence from them, I took the integrity of Alex Murphy from them. How despite everything his will and who he was came through time and time again. They also taught me that the world was generally a corrupt place and those in power do anything they can to stay there.

RoboCop was not someone who compromised, if you were a criminal you deserved to be punished. Kind of like Judge Dredd in that respect. When I heard that they were remaking this movie that I adored I was not entirely happy about it. Firstly RoboCop was a great reflection of the era it was set so I didn’t think it would translate well to today. There were rumours that Michael Fassbender was going to be playing the lead and this did perk my excitement a touch, but the next thing I knew he was not going to be in it. I did not recognise the new lead, Joel Kinnaman so I lost all interest and my expectation dropped to nothing, despite Gary Oldman, Jackie Earle Haley and Samuel L. Jackson being in the cast. I’d also heard that its going to be a PG-13.

 

Then my mate mike text me saying the first trailer is out, and it looks pretty decent. So during my lunch break I watched it on my iPhone…And I was blown away! The trailer indicates that it is going to focus on how Murphy copes with going from being human to a cyborg and it looks like he is going to still have more of his personality then the original. Visually it looks stunning and it reminded me a little of how Mega City 1 looked in Dredd.

I will also admit that I almost jumped out of my seat when I heard the line “Dead or alive you’re coming with me.”

I also had not realised that Michael Keaton was in it either which is a plus for me.

There were parts of it that do cause concern for me, particularly the suit. It’s too black for a start and it doesn’t look as intimidating as the original but after being so impressed with the trailer as I have been I’m willing to ignore it for the moment.

 

This trailer has sent my expectation of this film from nothing to through the roof! I will be gutted if it doesn’t match up but I’m actually looking forward to it now.