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This script is terminated
May 25, 2009 7:06 PM   Subscribe

What went wrong with Terminator Salvation? Devin Faraci outlines the movie's doomed-from-conception original script in detail, and theorizes as to how Salvation ended up being "rewritten, piecemeal, on the set." (Spoilers, natch.)
posted by hermitosis (106 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
A good article, could be summarized thusly:

Having the man who wrote "Catwoman" write it.
Having McG "fix it".
Casting Christian Bale.
posted by BackwardsHatClub at 7:15 PM on May 25, 2009 [13 favorites]


How out of the loop am I that I didn't even know this movie existed until this weekend? I thought 3 was Finally The Last One.
posted by DU at 7:16 PM on May 25, 2009


It sounds awful, as does Wolverine. I assume the both of them will make a shit-ton of money.
posted by Artw at 7:19 PM on May 25, 2009


Christian Bale really seems to have an out of control ego. He must believe his own hype.

I think he's a decent enough actor, but he's not the brilliant talent that some people make him out to be. Being able to radically alter your body weight for a part doesn't magically turn you into Robert De Niro.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 7:21 PM on May 25, 2009


Actually, Artw, Terminator 4 has had a rather poor showing on the weekend, it was beaten out by Night at the Museum 2. Probably means there will not be another sequel.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 7:22 PM on May 25, 2009


I like that, discussing this with a workmate today, we simultaneously opined that the worst possible aspect of this movie is that Bale will do "Batman voice" through the whole thing.

I mean, Christian, wtf? Yes, it's a mask. But your mouth is not covered. Why do you sound so different from Bruce Wayne?
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 7:23 PM on May 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


I like the Terminator movies (okay, the first 2). But when I heard there was a new one I was skeptical. Then I heard it was Bale and I said I don't think so. Then I heard it was McG and I said no fucking way will I see this movie. Then I read it was Brancato and Ferris and I laughed and lauged and said the studio might as well have flushed its money down the toilet.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 7:26 PM on May 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Double?
posted by NoMich at 7:28 PM on May 25, 2009


This article surprises me not at all. The movie was terrible.
posted by LooseFilter at 7:28 PM on May 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Saw it tonight. I felt like I was seeing Bale turning into Nicolas Cage right before my eyes.
posted by hermitosis at 7:30 PM on May 25, 2009 [14 favorites]


...is that Bale will do "Batman voice" through the whole thing.

Hahaha. This is the biggest reason I feel The Dark Knight doesn't live up to the critical accolades. How can you take a man seriously who speaks in such an obviously put-on and absurd gravel? No wonder the Joker laughs at him.
posted by graventy at 7:30 PM on May 25, 2009 [7 favorites]


Is it just fashionable to hate Bale or was he just not good in Rescue Dawn or American Psycho or the films he was good in..? never mind the shitty Batman movies.. if Terminator is half as corny as the new Star Trek then it will still be a fun ride.
posted by ChickenringNYC at 7:31 PM on May 25, 2009


Double?

double that double
posted by philip-random at 7:41 PM on May 25, 2009


Dear God, can't we just pass the hat around, raise a few million dollars and beg, that's right, BEG James Cameron to do one last Terminator film that fixes the mess of T3 and Salvation, closes the door on the franchise and is actually good? Please?
posted by Effigy2000 at 7:44 PM on May 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


Shit. So we need a time machine to send a Terminator back to prevent both T3 and Salvation now.
posted by never used baby shoes at 7:47 PM on May 25, 2009 [10 favorites]


I think the main problem was it sucked too much balls.
posted by autodidact at 7:53 PM on May 25, 2009 [9 favorites]


Is it just fashionable to hate Bale or was he just not good in Rescue Dawn or American Psycho or the films he was good in..? never mind the shitty Batman movies.. if Terminator is half as corny as the new Star Trek then it will still be a fun ride.

Oh he's good, he's just not the second coming of christ like he seems to think he is. Seriously, the guys head is so fucking big he can't fit it through a doorway. And he definitely doesn't need to be in charge of rewriting a fucking movie because his part isn't big enough.

As for comparing Terminator to Star Trek? Well, maybe you should just flush your money down the toilet, it'll take much less time.
posted by dead cousin ted at 7:53 PM on May 25, 2009


I defended Bale in the thread about his explosion at the cinematographer on the set of T4, mainly because I thought the cinematographer was obviously in the wrong, and Bale's histrionics were the sign of an actor taking his craft too seriously, instead of not seriously enough.

I'm kinda regretting that now.
posted by fatbird at 7:56 PM on May 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


Although the Batman voice was annoying, I personally would have found it much more irksome if he talked just like Bruce Wayne and no one ever figured it out. I think the Batman voice, though annoying, makes a lot of sense.
posted by BackwardsHatClub at 7:56 PM on May 25, 2009 [19 favorites]


Thank God for Christian Bale. A Terminator movie where a robot becomes Connor would sucked much more than the movie's current storyline.

Also, Bruce Wayne and Batman should sound different. The problem is that Bale's Batman voice is so obviously faked.
posted by nooneyouknow at 7:57 PM on May 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Since I was, apparently, the only person who didn't like Star Trek, for ironic or fanboy reasons, maybe I'll be the only person to like T4:Salvation.

/here's hoping
posted by porpoise at 7:59 PM on May 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


if Terminator is half as corny as the new Star Trek then it will still be a fun ride.

You'd think, right? Somehow this is just not so.
posted by hermitosis at 8:08 PM on May 25, 2009


I didn't like Star Trek either, porpoise, but I'm not sure I'm brave enough to chance your T4 theory.
posted by katillathehun at 8:11 PM on May 25, 2009


Yeah, you can just about put the thing up as an exhibit for future scriptwriters to demonstrate "third act problems." The first hour and change is a serviceable and no-stupider-than-most summer action sci-fi flick that just exhibits some wobble for both the second and third leads being better actors and having more interesting characters than the nominal lead. Then -- SPOILERS AHOY -- we move into very well-covered ground (our lead fights a Terminator in a factory) and things go splotz dramatically: Connor sees Marcus die of cardiac arrest, Connor defibrillates Marcus with random power cables, Terminator fatally stabs Connor, Marcus carries Connor to safety and when Connor needs a new heart, Marcus just gives up his so Connor can live. In other words, we are at the same point as we would have been if Connor had seen Marcus die and just shrugged and left him there.

I did find it interesting,though, that McG (dude, buy a vowel) had partly abandoned his messy Charlies Angels incoherence to make a cover version of a James Cameron flick, although it did come across like a kid telling a joke he doesn't really understand. Just about every Cameron movie seems to have:

1. characters introduced by a closeup of their feet hitting the ground
2. scenes taking place partially underwater
3. a child playing a crucial role
4. a nuke (okay, not in Titanic)

Okay: Connor gets introduced feet-first, Marcus' escape leads into a set-piece in a river, but then a mute child stands around with nothing to do and the whole thing is set in a post-nuclear apocalypse with a few big-ass explosions, like he felt they had to be there.

There were some bizarre gaps: once Marcus gets captured and hung up over the pit, Sam Wothington's Perth accent suddenly surfaces and then comes and goes for a while. Would it have killed them to do a bit of looping at the end?

Seriously, [Bale's] head is so fucking big he can't fit it through a doorway.

Then why are his eyes still so damn close together?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:13 PM on May 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


Also, Bruce Wayne and Batman should sound different. The problem is that Bale's Batman voice is so obviously faked.

Yes. Here's Kevin Conroy doing it right. I couldn't find a clip of his Bruce Wayne voice, but it's perfect, too. Just the right mix of nice guy and have-your-people-call-my-people douche.
posted by Garak at 8:13 PM on May 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


Is it just fashionable to hate Bale or was he just not good in Rescue Dawn or American Psycho or the films he was good in..?

I thought he was terrible in American Psycho, in fact I thought the entire movie was laughably bad and never understood he critical acclaim it got.

Whoever made the Nicholas Cage comparison was right on, imho. While enjoyable to watch in the right kind of movie, neither of those guys is remotely believable or fun as an action star.
posted by fshgrl at 8:15 PM on May 25, 2009


I said it before, but the scene where the CGI naked circa 1984 Arnold Schwarzenegger beats the crap out of Bale was LOL worthy. I also liked the giant human harvesting robot, right up until it pooped out terminator cycles.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:19 PM on May 25, 2009


I'm not sure I'm brave enough to chance your T4 theory.

Don't. It suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucks. I saw it Thursday night at the Alamo in Austin, with a dedicated, nerdalicious crowd ready to love it, and the atmosphere in the theater when the final credits rolled was like a funeral home. Seriously, stunned disbelief and whispered conversations of "I can't believe how bad that was" were heard all the way out.
posted by LooseFilter at 8:20 PM on May 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


I've always fanwanked the Batman voice as being due to the tight fit of the cowl in the neck area. I can't imagine any other reason why someone would effect that voice deliberately, even if they were trying to hide their "superidentity".

I'm a fan of both Christian Bale and the Terminator series and really wanted to like T4 but I walked out wondering why John Connor was even in this movie and why anyone who wasn't already read into his history would care about him simply based on the plot of T4. After reading the article, it all becomes clear that this film was just a pile up of mistakes, starting with Bale's perhaps ego-driven decision to play Connor instead of Kyle Reese.

At some point during the filming Bale probably realized that way they were re-steering the film wasn't working, a realization which may have contributed to his much-mocked melt down. He seems to have gotten his good humor back after the filming though.
posted by fuse theorem at 8:23 PM on May 25, 2009


Terminator: Salvation is best be summed up with these five words:

It was no Star Trek.
posted by humannaire at 8:25 PM on May 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Maybe it sucks because it's the fourth film in a science fiction franchise.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:28 PM on May 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


a nuke (okay, not in Titanic)

In Titanic, the iceberg was the nuke. Like, metaphorically.

Think about it.
posted by The Tensor at 8:28 PM on May 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


I think the main problem was it sucked too much balls.

And I think you have the entirely wrong idea about this being something undesirable.
posted by humannaire at 8:28 PM on May 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


Also, if Bale keeps gaining and losing all that weight, he's gonna end up with a fucking heart attack.
posted by dead cousin ted at 8:30 PM on May 25, 2009


How can you take a man seriously who speaks in such an obviously put-on and absurd gravel?

Yes, the voice totally undermines the authoritative aura and gravitas of the grown man in a rubber suit with underpants on the outside.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 8:30 PM on May 25, 2009 [31 favorites]


...I really liked Sam Worthington. And Anton Yelchin acquits himself pretty well with what Ferris and Brancato gave him to work with.

However, I've enthusiastically thought Bale was a hack since Batman Begins, and this movie gave me no reason to change my opinion.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 8:39 PM on May 25, 2009


Everybody's a critic.
posted by jabberjaw at 8:42 PM on May 25, 2009


This is what happens when an actor thinks he's better than anyone on a MTV generation film set.
Where's Stanley Kubrick to kick some prima donna ass when you need him?
Oh well, back to watching Entourage reruns.
posted by DonnyMac at 8:55 PM on May 25, 2009


Yes. Here's Kevin Conroy doing it right . I couldn't find a clip of his Bruce Wayne voice, but it's perfect, too. Just the right mix of nice guy and have-your-people-call-my-people douche.

Here is Conroy as Bruce Wayne (4:00).
posted by nooneyouknow at 9:12 PM on May 25, 2009


I mean, Christian, wtf? Yes, it's a mask. But your mouth is not covered. Why do you sound so different from Bruce Wayne?

If he just did his regular voice, people would recognize it.
posted by delmoi at 9:16 PM on May 25, 2009


Bale's desire to star as John Connor was probably the most fatal blow to the film; it completely distorted the shape of the story as it existed.

Well, his presence also justified a huge budget and marketing push, so choose which way the "distortion" works. It could be either a good or bad thing. The movie wasn't going to get made with McG directing and a nobody starring. This is why they wanted Bale, not some stunt-casting idea to have Bale be on-screen for five minutes.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:21 PM on May 25, 2009


I finished watching the second season of Sarah Connor Chronicles before watching the movie. Big mistake, the show so much better than T4.

T4 was absolutely, irredeemably terrible. But honestly, the original script doesn't sound that much better.
posted by exhilaration at 9:21 PM on May 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


This movie aside (since I haven't seen it), I see that -- 2 years after I abandoned CHUD -- Devin still writes like a freshman English major: grammatically correct but painfully awkward, and with bizarre punctuation. Unfortunately, he was the best of the seemingly straight-out-of-high-school CHUD writers.
My apologies to Mr. Faraci if he's a non-native English speaker -- in that case, he's doing great.
posted by coolguymichael at 9:25 PM on May 25, 2009


In fairness to Bale in regards to script rewrites, the original script sounded even awfuller than the movie I just saw.
posted by Large Marge at 9:28 PM on May 25, 2009


Dear God, can't we just pass the hat around, raise a few million dollars and beg, that's right, BEG James Cameron to do one last Terminator film that fixes the mess of T3 and Salvation, closes the door on the franchise and is actually good? Please?

I'd settle for a couple of Sarah Connor Chronicles movies. Or just not cancelling it and moving it to FX so they can curse and have things asplode and so forth.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:34 PM on May 25, 2009 [5 favorites]


Bale was great in The Machinist, a moody, twisted psychological thriller with a few good surprises. Worth renting if you like dark rides.

That said, a friend and I just got back from T4 (he works at a theater so we didn't pay, thank god). It starts decent enough, and has some good action and special effects early on, but the final half hour of the "must rescue Kyle Rees" plot is so colossally stupid and hackneyed everyone around us joined in when we started laughing out loud. It's like they just decided not to give enough of a shit about their own damn movie to finish it with even the teensiest bit of thought. Fuck you, too, jerks.

Thanks for the article, it explains a lot.
posted by mediareport at 9:37 PM on May 25, 2009


Reading the linked post, it makes the Connor character sound like a tacked-on annoyance like Jar-Jar Binks. I wonder how soon CBB, the guys who do improved edits of popular movies (ex: Matrix Dezionized) will release a version of Terminator Salvation with most of Connor's scenes deleted.
posted by zippy at 9:41 PM on May 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


I wish we'd gotten another season of Sarah Connor Chronicles instead of T4. I know I'm in the minority, but I really enjoyed that show.
posted by flaterik at 9:48 PM on May 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


Wow, the original script is a million times worse.
posted by spaltavian at 9:50 PM on May 25, 2009


There are already fanedits of other movies in the series: The Terminator: Extended Edition and Terminator 3. On the latter:

This is a serious take on TERMINATOR 3 to be more in the tradition of its prequels. Lots of cheesy and unnecessary elements were removed as well as all the references to dates and ages that contradict the previous two films.

Original running time: 1h49m
New running time: 5 minutes.

I kid. 1h28m.

Another worthwhile fanedit: Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Edit, "remov[ed] or re-edit[ed] most scenes featuring Jar-Jar Binks."
posted by zippy at 9:53 PM on May 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


TS sucked. Some of the first dialogue in the movie was a group of rebels making their way through an area of some sort: 'Carter, there's no sign of the machines, they're gone. It's way too quiet, almost like they're waiting for us.' How many times must I hear that 'It's too quiet' line. TS was awful no matter who was in it. It wasn't Bales fault, he probably just wanted to be in a halfway decent movie, and saw the script and was like: 'hell no, I'm about to act a fool!' What was up with the big fire plumes in the Skynet City factory? Why were there big ass computer screens in Skynet (would computers choose GUI)? Also, how do these terminators miss their targets so freakin much. In the first terminator, the resistance was straight up hiding like rats, and if you were exposed, you got blown the hell up. There were helicopters, picnics, vegetables, subs, giant machines that can walk right up on you, without you knowing it. Just bad.

I DID like the SCC (because of Shirley Manson).

And Bale? Why are people hating on him? Empire of the Sun, Shaft, Reign of Fire, 3:10 to Yuma? None of these are his best, and all of them are better than any McG turd.

We're probably going to see Aliens VS Predator VS Terminator VS Wolverine now.
posted by Flex1970 at 10:26 PM on May 25, 2009


Oh man, I can't wait to see an Alien hatchling burst out of a shiny Terminator's exoskeleton chest.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:31 PM on May 25, 2009


I went to see the soloist tonight, and the marquee out front said "wolverine soloist", which I didn't notice until the way out.

I decided right then that's the movie I really want to see.
posted by flaterik at 10:33 PM on May 25, 2009


Don't rag on AVP. The first one is a perfectly serviceable bug hunt.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:41 PM on May 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


I would've read this article, but the website hurt my eyes after about two lines.
posted by cmgonzalez at 11:05 PM on May 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Effigy2000: the thing is, T2 totally did close the door on the series.
posted by aubilenon at 11:07 PM on May 25, 2009


I've always fanwanked the Batman voice as being due to the tight fit of the cowl in the neck area

Heh. I love 'fanwank' as a verb! Thank you for teaching me that one.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:30 PM on May 25, 2009


Bale is a good actor who's suffering from a little overexposure and a recent glut of action roles.

And whoever said American Psycho was bad is probably just bitter about not being able to get reservations at Dorsia.

It's just Terminator. All the Terminator movies are crap, but they're still fun to watch.
posted by dopamine at 11:39 PM on May 25, 2009


Everyone knocking the batman voice:
did none of you actually watch Begins wherein Bruce Wayne explains his need to create a symbol? Don't you think that maybe that voice has something to do with it? When the big black creepy bat thing talks like a normal person it's not so scary is it? When it growls at you its a bit more effective. For proof please re-watch the shipping yard scene in Begins.
posted by matt_od at 11:51 PM on May 25, 2009


But the growl isn't scary, it's ridiculous and obviously put on.
posted by minifigs at 1:13 AM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


T3 is unjustly hated on - - it is a true Terminator movie.
posted by fairmettle at 2:54 AM on May 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


I didn't care for the movie, and the article illustrates some of its deficiencies. I am glad though that they changed the storyline about robot Conner. That just completely misses the mark of the whole Terminator concept. Worthington completely outshone Bale in my view, and Bale is a good actor, but the role for Conner still lacked depth and Bale was not at his best. i wouldn't recommend this film to anyone but a diehard Terminator fan, or tweens, as they seemed to love it, flaws or no flaws.
posted by caddis at 4:25 AM on May 26, 2009


I personally would have found it much more irksome if he talked just like Bruce Wayne and no one ever figured it out.

You know, I was into the last Batman flick. I don't think I'd have been quite so bothered by the voice if he didn't drone on and on in it. Maybe the problem is that Batman sticks around long enough to have long-winded conversations and provide a handwriting sample.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 5:16 AM on May 26, 2009


How can you take a man seriously who speaks in such an obviously put-on and absurd gravel?

Yes, the voice totally undermines the authoritative aura and gravitas of the grown man in a rubber suit with underpants on the outside.


Well then, he should just disguise his voice with an obvious and stereotypical English accent. I say! That riddle-wallah is up to his old tricks again, wot!
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 5:19 AM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Another dimension to what is increasingly looking like a creatively bankrupt series of decisions that led to this movie being made.

Although, to be fair, it's probably not too far off what leads to most movies of this scale being made. What's really incredible is that some of these movies - Star Trek being the most recent example - actually wind up being great. And in my experience, the reason for that is usually one person sitting in a position of power that has a strong and uncompromising vision. JJ Abrams has that. McG, it would appear, does not.
posted by Bobby Bittman at 6:29 AM on May 26, 2009


I'd settle for a couple of Sarah Connor Chronicles movies. Or just not cancelling it and moving it to FX so they can curse and have things asplode and so forth.

I loved the Chronicles series, too - and despite it having been cancelled, I'd been hoping the movie would make a billion piles of money so that perhaps a miniseries could be justified, to clear up the loose ends.

Doesn't seem likely now :(
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 6:56 AM on May 26, 2009


[SPOILERS]

I'm not sure what the big deal about the Christian Bale tape is. He sounds like he's pissed off throughout the entire movie.

One problem for me was that the future wasn't nearly as bleak as we've seen in previous movies. The earlier films had machines crushing skulls everywhere and the resistance had a pickup truck with a gun on the back. In this movie, the resistance has planes, fleets of helicopters, and entire military bases. (The magnetic minefield was a nice touch, but what about the flying terminators?)

In previous movies we always see the resistance fighting at night; in this one they say it's more dangerous to fight at night.

The machines were cool. I liked the motorcycle terminators, but why did they have human controls? Why does Skynet need lights?
posted by kirkaracha at 7:14 AM on May 26, 2009


If he just did his regular voice, people would recognize it.

Yeah, you have to remember, these are comic book movies. Clark Kent doesn't change his voice when he removes the glasses and becomes Superman. The symbol and character mannerisms (stumbly awkward Kent to smooth graceful Superman) are enough to divert suspicion. If you suspend your disbelief.

Bruce Wayne is lazy, laid-back playboy, in contrast to Batman being tense and controlled, like a cocked gun. All Batman needs is 'angry Bruce Wayne voice'. Not the 'bad guy' voice little Brucie used to use while playing with his action figures.
posted by graventy at 7:30 AM on May 26, 2009


You know what would be awesome? Add a whole layer of Blade Runner "is he a replicant' cues to Bales scenes. But instead of origami unicorns and glowing eyes, subtly work in the hints in the audio.

And by this, I mean, take every key scene in Terminator Salvation with Bale, and dub in Bender's voice.

Rents Futurama DVD, downloads Terminator Salvation trailer, fires up ripping and dubbing software, and prepares to upload to Skynet Youtube.
posted by zippy at 8:11 AM on May 26, 2009


I am glad though that they changed the storyline about robot Conner. That just completely misses the mark of the whole Terminator concept.

What would have worked would have been to kill off Connor and have RoboDude take over as leader, so it turns out that John Connor's entire purpose or fate or whatever was never really to lead the resistance, but to believe he was going to so that he'd put himself in the right place at the right time to deliver their true leader to them.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:11 AM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


^ Bender Soundboard
posted by zippy at 8:13 AM on May 26, 2009


Here, have some retcons. Not that I think the movie really deserves them, but still.

One problem for me was that the future wasn't nearly as bleak as we've seen in previous movies. The earlier films had machines crushing skulls everywhere and the resistance had a pickup truck with a gun on the back. In this movie, the resistance has planes, fleets of helicopters, and entire military bases.

Retcon 1: it's obviously a slightly different timeline; in the original timeline plasma guns should be pretty commonplace by 2018 given that the city combat we see in T1 can't be more than a few years away, and by then *everyone* has one.

Retcon 2: even in T1 it's clear if you stop to think about it that we're seeing forward bases and that there must be a big enough safe area for *someone* to be designing and building things like, well, plasma guns.

I liked the motorcycle terminators, but why did they have human controls? Why does Skynet need lights?

Retcon: Connor was just holding on, and actually steering with his PSP or whatever. Skynet just likes lights.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:21 AM on May 26, 2009


Oh, also, the way to wrap up the entire series is this:

Connor sends a team, possibly including himself, back in time to kill Skynet before it's born since obviously blowing up Cyberdyne and killing Miles Dyson didn't work the first time.

Skynet is actually benign. But on whatever the newest version of the appointed day is, it becomes self aware, a vastly intelligent but emotionally inexperienced infant. And the first thing that happens to it is that humans start trying to kill it, so it lashes out and, oops, destroys the world before it can control its own impulses. After that it's too late, and the war is on.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:26 AM on May 26, 2009 [4 favorites]


so it turns out that John Connor's entire purpose or fate or whatever was never really to lead the resistance, but to believe he was going to

When Bale was impaled I thought that was exactly what was going to happen, and that Conner was going to die (perhaps his unborn child would have some role to play), and the hybrid Terminator would negotiate a peace between humans and machines and we would all live happily ever after in perfect man-machine communion. I'm thinking that McG needs to be beaten to death by an angry fan mob.

Also, did anyone else notice that the T-600 Terminators were just men in suits? Part of the original Terminator's charm was that it was a big puppet and moved in distinctly robotic way. The T-600 supposedly predated Arnie-Terminator but clearly they had human movements owing to the actors inside them. They also had goofy hats.

Also, this look at the current line up of toys is kind of interesting. the T-1 has a kind of robot head on its tracks, and to me the head looks distinctly reminiscent of a proto-hominid with its drastically sloped head. Why must we anthropomorphize our killer machines?
posted by Burhanistan at 8:37 AM on May 26, 2009


^^ Oops, this look at the current line up of toys...
posted by Burhanistan at 8:40 AM on May 26, 2009


Wow. I guess I'm one of the few who liked TS. Despite a few nit-picks, I thought it was fun. And I don't think the "original" would have been better.
I also liked Star Trek. Don't hate me.
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 9:26 AM on May 26, 2009


thanks Burhanistan, we obviously see here the real success or Terminator: Salvation. toys, toys, TOYS. The ability to act or plot is insignificant next to the power of merchandising,
posted by happyroach at 9:45 AM on May 26, 2009


This is why Cars is actually considered the most successful Pixar movie (shudder at that thought if you will).
posted by Artw at 9:50 AM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


But just look how tough that Terminator fist makes that kid.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:54 AM on May 26, 2009


The really sad part? The scene with the giant robot that launches motorcycles from his legs is most assuredly far more awesome than anything that will be in the new Transformers movie.

(yes the story sucked, but I thought the movie looked really good - that giant robot was actually scary - the movie's climax could have been improved immensely with a dozen of them)

Also, is this the first movie to "revive" a dead or too-old actor via CGI? I seem to remember the Onion or someone doing a joke several years ago about Terminator VII: staring CGI version of Arnold.
posted by straight at 10:19 AM on May 26, 2009


is this the first movie to "revive" a dead or too-old actor via CGI

Nope, Gladiator did it with Oliver Reed.
posted by biscotti at 10:34 AM on May 26, 2009


Also, is this the first movie to "revive" a dead or too-old actor via CGI? I seem to remember the Onion or someone doing a joke several years ago about Terminator VII: staring CGI version of Arnold.

Naw, the third X-Men movie had a flashback scene set twenty years earlier than the main story with a younger Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen mapped onto the current actors. And the current Wolverine flick has a CGI Patrick Stewart. And of course, Olivier had a small role in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, fifteen years after his death. It's weird how this startling special effects work appears mainly in indifferent genre flicks.

And whatever other problems TS had, I must say that the CGI robots actually had weight. They seemed to occupy space and interact in a semi-realistic manner with what was around them. I saw part of Transformers and it looked like these giant robots were origami for all the heft they had.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:39 AM on May 26, 2009


What we need is a movie for Robocop vs Terminator vs Mega Shark
posted by Dr-Baa at 10:51 AM on May 26, 2009


So, for me the thing is this: The movie I constructed in my head as a child, based on the glimpses of the future we saw in T1, was the best movie EVER. Also fantastically grim, and mostly plotless, involving robot foots stamping on human skulls FOREVER under a permenantly darkened sky. It’s all very 80s industrial –skulls, lasers, grime.

And then there was T2 which kind of gave us a similar glimpse with slightly nicer effects.

I don’t really remember much about T3, or give a shit really, it probably did a similar scene anyway.

So anyway, this thing has been built up and up, and there’s no real way of doing it that could possibly match that childhood head-film. And the childhood head film was not in a style that gets made now anyway – it would have been relentless and grim and serious and basically not a shitty modern action movie.

I dunno, maybe if they’d had Mark Verheiden write it.

Anyway, there was not a hope in hell that anything that would match that would get made, so it’s not suprising that TS disappoints. In a way it’s relieving to hear that it disappoints so badly as now I have no obligation to waste time being disappointed by it in person.
posted by Artw at 10:58 AM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Actually, the whole physical world set-up of the matrix, with the sentinels that will basically kill you the moment they find you, is pretty close to what the Terminator future world should be like.

Of course, The Matrix had its own issues with disappointment.
posted by Artw at 11:00 AM on May 26, 2009


Artw: that sounds like a good movie. I think it would have made more sense to focus on a single story in that universe, with the human race under relentless pressure and shrinking. But the only way to fight robots would be with other robots really. So the human resistance would mostly spend it's time building robots and programming computers. Not really all that exciting as a movie.
posted by delmoi at 12:15 PM on May 26, 2009


The Sopranos used CGI for some scenes with Livia Soprano after Nancy Marchand died in 2000.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:22 PM on May 26, 2009


MetaFilter: Of course, we have our own issues with disappointment.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:23 PM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


But the only way to fight robots would be with other robots really. So the human resistance would mostly spend it's time building robots and programming computers.

I strongly recommend the animated short Matriculated, from the Animatrix DVD, for a different take on what a human resistance would look like.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:25 PM on May 26, 2009


I would totally watch the Terminator Tower Defence movie.
posted by Artw at 12:37 PM on May 26, 2009


Another movie I'd say has some of the vibe I'd want from a Future terminator movie: Screamers.

(Wow. Looks like critics really hated that movie.)
posted by Artw at 12:46 PM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Artw: I've always kind of figured that the Matrix films were set in the Terminator universe. Just a little farther into the future, that's all.
posted by webmutant at 1:16 PM on May 26, 2009


I'm crushed The Sarah Connor Chronicles was cancelled. This guy (spoilers! Don't read that article unless you've seen the second-season finale!) does a nice job summing up why. The worst part is that we could apparently have had another four and a half seasons of Chronicles for the money it took to make that shitty movie.
posted by you're a kitty! at 1:57 PM on May 26, 2009


Dear Skynet,

If you have flying robots looking for people, those robots should have guns, that way if they ever happen to identify someone important, say Kyle Reese, they can kill him on the spot.

If you ever happen to capture Kyle Reese, you should probably kill him on the spot, not throw him in a cell.

If one of the Terminators ever happens to get within arms reach of John Connor, it should grab and start crushing and not let go into he's goo. DO NOT throw him across the room, that makes no goddamn sense, he could, I don't know, escape or something.

Don't let the humans build bases with planes and helicopters and shit. Destroying those should be a top priority.

love,
Brandon

P.S. Night school is pretty cheap, maybe you should enroll in a few course before embarking on this world domination thing.

P.P.S Never mind, you're just fucking stupid.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:21 PM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Brandon, if you consider that Skynet started with Clippy, it starts to make sense.
posted by zippy at 3:38 PM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Brandon, if you consider that Skynet started with Clippy, it starts to make sense.

"I see you’re trying to exterminate the human race. Would you like help?”
posted by panboi at 5:02 PM on May 26, 2009 [3 favorites]


Saw it tonight. I felt like I was seeing Bale turning into Nicolas Cage right before my eyes.

Yikes. I haven't seen it yet, and now I don't think I'll bother. That's sad. And it doesn't bode well if Bale does make a film of Concrete Island.
posted by homunculus at 5:37 PM on May 26, 2009


A Series of Emails From Cyberdyne’s New Tech Guy
posted by homunculus at 5:44 PM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Or maybe Batman could try for Mira Sorvino's voice in Mighty Aphrodite...
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:51 PM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hh. Batman does a different voice from Bruce Wayne in the film - works well there.
posted by Artw at 10:57 PM on May 26, 2009


...and by "the film" I mean the cartoon.
posted by Artw at 10:58 PM on May 26, 2009


@zippy: You know what would be awesome? Add a whole layer of Blade Runner "is he a replicant' cues to Bales scenes.

IMHO, that's EXACTLY what was missing. These past couple of years, we've seen so much neo Cold War CoIntelPro (BSG, etc.), we've gotten used to the idea of enemy penetration and sleeper agents in our midst. Even the Sarah Conner Chronicles managed to fit it in, over the course of its 1-1/2 season run.

:: SEMI NON-SPOILER ::

If you'd read the article at the top of this thread, you'd know that John Conner was originally going to be replaced by Marcus via face-transplant, but Christian Bale deep-sixed that version of the script when he insisted on playing Conner.
posted by vhsiv at 5:43 AM on May 27, 2009


Interesting how the pinnacle of defense technology is

10 Achieve self-awareness
20 Attack humanity
25 Set X=1
30 If humanpopulation>0, send 1 cyborg assassin back in time, where time=RND
35 Set X=X+1
40 If X<4, GOTO 30 ELSE hire a music video director, where script=RND, GOTO 30
posted by darth_tedious at 1:04 PM on May 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Tough law enforcer.
Eccentric but harmless buffoon.

Are you telling me that Batman/Bruce Wayne couldn't be as skilled a voice actor as Arnold Schwarzenegger was in Kindergarten Cop?

How can you take a man seriously who speaks in such an obviously put-on and absurd gravel?

It's a lot easier to take the gravel out of your voice than it is to add more, so easy that even the Governator can do it. Bale's Batman voice reeks of wanabee tough guy, especially when compared to Kevin Conroy's version (linked above).
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 2:13 PM on May 27, 2009


I hate the Batman voice as much as y'all, but I don't think you can hang that on Bale. It sounds distinctly like a computer effect to my ear. I think they had him do a gravelly voice and then boosted the gravel about 30% in post-prod.
posted by hermitosis at 9:44 PM on May 27, 2009


Why Does The UK Love America's Flops?
posted by homunculus at 1:06 PM on June 10, 2009


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