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Scott Roberts
Terminator Genisys
on Jul 15, 2015 at 3:37:34 pm







Premise: I saw this movie two weeks ago and haven't had much time to write anything about it until now, but that has kind of confined my memory to basically remember it being a rehash of the first Terminator's plot, but then with more robots and stuff later on. Also, cell phone app updates are bad and could lead to a nuclear wasteland where the survivors are being imprisoned by tyrannical robot overlords. Remember that the next time you're asked to update Angry Birds Seasons.



Pros:

-I mean, I was entertained and whatnot. It didn't bore me.

-The one mental note that I've really held on to since I watched it: there were SO MANY shots of people getting thrown through walls, or running through walls, or just being mean to walls. The fake wall budget on this movie must have been insane. This movie is going to put the owner of Jerry's Drywall in Pasadena, CA's kids through college. I would watch, and hope to watch, a three-minute compilation of just the wall destruction in this movie on YouTube. And that drywall exploding sound put through IMAX speakers... So good.

-I'd say it's better than Rise of the Machines (which I don't mind) and Salvation (which I didn't hate but don't want to watch again). I want to say that it's a nice compliment to the original two movies, but, I mean, I don't even really remember what happened in the third and fourth one other than "lady terminator" and "Christian Bale". So, I will just assume that the alternate universes and time paradoxes will all work themselves out... [slowly backs out of room]

-At least they didn't force Arnold to say "Hasta La Vista, baby." Hey, they even tried to give him a new catchphrase to carry on to the 6th movie ("Theoretically.").

-I liked the MRI machine gag.

-The new style of robot was pretty cool, I guess.



Cons:

-If you picked apart Jurassic World for the island's bad cell phone reception, lack of gyroball override commands, and other small grievances to the point that you hated it; I don't even want to know how you will react to the GIANT plot holes to pick apart in Genisys... It's not even stuff like "Hey, that car battery wouldn't start after sitting there for so long...", it's more like "That character doesn't have a very justifiable reason to even exist..."

-This movie has to have the most spoilery trailer in the history of spoilery trailers. Way to undercut the tension of like three or four scenes because you gave away the mid-movie twist on every commercial you shoved in our faces, marketing department.

-I like Emilia Clarke as an actress on Game of Thrones. I did not like Emilia Clarke as an actress in Terminator Genisys.

-I also don't like having to spell it "Genisys" every time.

-I also don't like Jai Courtney's name.

-ALSO, Jai Courtney is basically Sam Worthington 2.0. Ok, I had to look it up, Sam Worthington has been in 5 films I've never heard of since I last saw him in Wrath of the Titans in 2012. So look forward to that prolific output eventually, Jai. I'm not sure Suicide Squad is going to write your meal ticket for life. PROVE ME WRONG.

-I don't know whether J.K. Simmons was simply wasted in the role he was given, or if his character was just hokey and lame, or both?

-I feel like I already saw the same Golden Gate bridge action scene in Rise of the Planet of the Apes? But with like, robots, instead of apes...?

-The 3D sucked. I wish they could just release non-3D movies in IMAX like they used to. I wish 3D would go away. No one likes you anymore, 3D. The only time I ever go into 3D movies nowadays is when the only show time convenient to me *happens* to be the crappy, expensive 3D show time. AND TRUST ME, I FORK OVER THE EXTRA THREE DOLLARS BEGRUDGINGLY.



Final Thoughts: It's a movie that you can pay to see and you may or may not enjoy it. You might not hate it, you probably won't love it, but it has things you easily recognize and a bunch of explosions and gunfire. It's kind of a watchable middle ground between the successful nostalgia of Jurassic World (in my opinion it was successful) and the pointless exercise in trying to print money with a familiar concept like Poltergeist '15.

7 out of 10; but will probably give it a second chance on HBO next year.


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Tim Wilson
Re: Terminator Genisys
on Jul 15, 2015 at 7:36:08 pm

[Scott Roberts] "-If you picked apart Jurassic World for the island's bad cell phone reception, lack of gyroball override commands, and other small grievances to the point that you hated it;"

COMPLETELY unfair to my JW savagery.

For the record, to make this perfectly clear: I despised, to the core of my being, every single thing about this movie besides the title, the reprise of the original theme music in a single scene, and two control room nerds.

ALL OF IT.

I sincerely apologize if my list of specifics obscured this much larger and more important point: I had not a single "minor" grievance about Jurassic World, EXCEPT as data points in objections that individually and collectively were all bigger and had more blood dripping from their fangs than the biggest, meanest dinosaur depicted therein.

(Okay, I didn't HATE the VFX, and I'm always going to be happy to see Irrfan Khan, but they weren't even close to redemptive.)

The "minor" things I included in my post were simply SPECIFICS about WHAT I hated in the basic plot, every story point, every characterization, and every single bit of casting and miscasting.

I'll try to be less specific next time. LOL And there will BE a next time. I'm not even close to finished talking about how very, very much I hated EVERYTHING about that movie....other than the title, a single reprise of the original theme, and two control room nerds.

Are we clear on this now? With those very few exceptions, I hated evvvvvvvverything about it.

Now then....



[Scott Roberts] "I don't even really remember what happened in the third and fourth one "

It seems to me that, in this universe, those stories never happpened. Not only a GOOD solution, but the BEST solution.

In that sense, there's nothing about this one that's rebooty in any way, other than casting a new Sarah, John, and Kyle. Otherwise, this is the sequel to T2, right? Set maybe 10 or 15 years in the future for the human characters, tops, albeit leaving no real explanation for why Arnold is so old.

See? THAT's a minor quibble. It doesn't take away from the pleasures of his performance, or the movie as a whole. In fact, the use of old Arnold AS old Arnold, rather than ONLY using un-aged CG-rebuilt Arnold the whole time was maybe the best thing in the movie.

So it's not a quibble after all, with no ill consequences. On the contrary, they used what could have been the movie's stumbling block into its single greatest strength. Very clever. I can't think of another movie that has pulled off that sleight of hand quite as well.

I do still feel a need to remind Terminator aficionados -- which I'll also concede may not actually exist -- that the set isn't complete without the very, very good Fox series, The Sarah Connor Chronicles. It's definitely set post-T2, but spiritually, it's much more akin to the first one, in that it's more talk than action, which is to say, very much rooted in relationships.

Sarah is played by Lena Headley, which is worth 23 hours of your time, no matter what.

There's no love match with a time traveling Kyle of course, (him having already fathered John and been terminated...although Kyle's older brother briefly appears) but the story begins with Sarah and John living with a truly decent guy, an EMT played by the guy you NOW know as "Mayhem" in the Allstate commercials, but this being before that, he's just a decent guy. They bail on him for his protection once a new terminator arrives, but he winds up finding ways to help as the story unfolds.

My favorite part is that Arnold is replaced by....Summer Glau! There's also a budding Terminator in training played in a weirdly moving way by Garret Dillahunt. He's NOW more known for the wacky Fox comedy Raising Hope (which would start after this show ends), but THEN known for his staggering, staggering performance as Roman Nevikov, the Big Bad on Life (one of the all-time great broadcast shows imo), which was still on as Sarah Connor Chronicles begins. In fact, Garret's two roles briefly overlapped.

Anyway, I highly, highly recommend it. Wired recently ran a pretty good binge guide that you'll probably enjoy more once you start watching the show (see? THAT's a minor quibble) but is still a nifty starting place.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Terminator Genisys
on Jul 16, 2015 at 2:28:32 pm

Nerd point: based on the first Terminator movie, the Terminators before the model 1000 have an outer skin of actual human flesh. Which WOULD look aged, after all the damage and time that's gone by, so an older Arnold IS believable as an aged Terminator.

How the T-1000, with its mutable liquid metal form factor, managed to be transported thru time, is a contradiction to that. unless they first covered it with skin before sending it through...


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Fernando Mol
Re: Terminator Genisys
on Jul 16, 2015 at 2:49:58 pm

I don't remember the movie explanation, but if I try to "fix it in post" I'll say if you send a human and some metal, the human will not survive the time travel, but if you send a machine that don't have vital organs, it could do it. Maybe with a little toasted muscles, but fully funciontal and ready for a frenzy kill.

https://vimeo.com/fernandomol


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Tim Wilson
Re: Terminator Genisys
on Jul 16, 2015 at 4:06:55 pm

My point about Arnold aging wasn't that he wouldn't age at all. As I said, him aging is my favorite part about this movie. I had just been thinking that if this is indeed the follow-on to T2, he'd have aged much more quickly than John Connor.

The thing is, the timeline is out of whack, for obvious reasons. Taking into account that the ACTUAL age of actors has little to do with their SCREEN ages (famously, Jessie Royce Landis playing Cary Grant's mother even though she was only 7 years older...although she claimed to be one year YOUNGER at the time...and more recently, Allison Janney as Melissa McCarthy's mother in Tammy despite being only 11 years older), it's hard to tell exactly where slip comes.

Maybe around 1997? Which is 6 years after T2, but we've clearly gone back before that...maybe a little pre-1984, which helps account for Sarah being younger here than in T2.

For example, Sarah Connor in TG is 3 years YOUNGER than Sarah Connor in T2...but they've jumped forward from 1984, which accounts for that.

John Connor would have been 40 in 2015 if he'd aged along "our" timeline, but he's nearly 50 here...which makes sense since he comes back from 2029. So he actually HAS aged on "our" timeline from T2 forward.

And Kyle Reese, dead in the timeline from T1 of course, comes back earlier than he'd first left, and has a talk with his even younger self at one point.

What I failed to take into account is that Arnold in TG has been on the scene since SARAH's childhood, making him 10-15 older than if he'd aged on "our" timeline forward from his most recent arrival in 1991.

This is pretty good for a time travel movie where EVERY character is on a different timeline. Pretty impressive in the scheme of things actually.

In any case, I wasn't really sweating it because of how much I was dreading an entirely unaged Arnold, and how much fun it was to see him in his "true" age, if not a little older. They stuck the landing on him for sure, and did so with more wit (not just quips, but actual WIT) than most other summer blockbusters from the past few years.

Coupla quick actor notes.

Jai Courtney was very well cast John McLain's son in Die Hard 5, which was actually a far better movie than it needed to be. That was first major film role, although he's been really terrific in the Divergent series, and in I, Frankenstein which wasn't as fun as it should have been, but was still pretty dang fun. I'm waiting for the sequel. He was also in the short-lived but actually pretty good Starz series: Spartacus: Blood and Sand.

FWIW, Jai Courtney is is his birth name.

Inasmuch as JK Simmons has done some heavy, high-profile stuff, he has also treasured smaller, quirky roles. Most notably, J. Jonah Jameson in Spiderman, and Juno's dad, which I adored him in.

On TV, Oz and Law & Order of course. He was also a much-put upon chief in The Closer, who had briefly been lovers with Kyra Sedgwick (the titular Closer) back in the day, for 109 episodes on TNT.

(The show started off great, devolved, but after Kyra stepped down, was rebooted as Major Crimes with Oscar-winner, BSG alum, and all around awesome Mary McDonnell, already 50 episodes in. Do u ppl not watch cable?)

After the semi-high profile Juno and blockbuster Spiderman series, he had quite a few minor roles in movies of varying quality (I Love You Man, Up In The Air, and Jennifer's Body, the latter of which was a lot of fun). He's also done lot of TV one-offs and super-short arcs (ER, Raising Hope, NTSF:SD:SUV, Men At Work, all 13).

You know what he's done most of, by far? Cartoon voices. Not just things like a few episodes of American Dad, but more remote cable stuff like Robot Chicken, and kid stuff Phineas and Ferb, Adventure Planet, and Bojack Horseman.

I'm skipping video game voices, of which he's done many.

You know what else he's done? Broadway musicals. The man has a FANTASTIC voice, starring in a 1992 revival of Music Man, and a more recent revival of Carousel. He in fact has a degree in music from the University of Montana, where his father was the director of the School of Music. (The University of Montana has a school of music????)

He also doesn't show any sign of giving up the Farmer's commercials, and why should he? I suspect he won the Oscar almost as much for those, Oz and Juno as Matthew McConaughey won his for True Detectives. They're also kinda fun and I bet they pay really well.

They've also let him have some special fun. There's one spot where a thief is getting away on rollerskates, and JK throws a loooong football pass to knock him down. First take, no digital enhancements.

A huge sports fan too. Something of an authority on Ohio State football, and he's been coaching his son's baseball team for 7 years.

My point being, calling JK Simmons as wasted in ANYTHING is far, far beside the point of his career, and his life as a whole. I think he's really prized the breadth of his work, not just because he thinks of himself as a journeyman, but also for the pleasure of staying out of the rut of high profile work.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Terminator Genisys
on Jul 16, 2015 at 9:01:01 pm

He'll always be Cave Johnson to me....







But yeah,he made an excellent J.J. Jameson for the Spidey movie.


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Scott Roberts
Re: Terminator Genisys
on Jul 21, 2015 at 5:14:58 pm

[Tim Wilson] "Are we clear on this now? With those very few exceptions, I hated evvvvvvvverything about it."

Haha alright, I was just giving you a hard time. :)


[Tim Wilson] "Set maybe 10 or 15 years in the future for the human characters, tops, albeit leaving no real explanation for why Arnold is so old."

They explain why he's old in Genisys. It kinda makes sense. It's because *that* particular model was was sent back even further in the timeline. The 1980's Arnold actually meets the old Arnold in a pretty fun fight scene. It's what Mark said. At least, that's how the movie explains it. He was sent back to when Sarah was a kid, and his human outer-flesh aged by the time the 80's timeline rolled around.

The thing that doesn't make sense, and hasn't ever really made sense, is how John Connor can even exist to begin with if he personally sent back a future person to be his own father. It works in a dumb, circular kind of way; but how can the FIRST, ORIGINAL John ever have existed if John *personally* sent back his own father? There's a chicken and egg kinda thing going on there. If you have an answer to this, I'd genuinely love to hear it.


[Tim Wilson] "My point being, calling JK Simmons as wasted in ANYTHING is far, far beside the point of his career, and his life as a whole. I think he's really prized the breadth of his work, not just because he thinks of himself as a journeyman, but also for the pleasure of staying out of the rut of high profile work."

Ok, so his character in Genisys was just hokey and lame. I love J.K. by the way. I've been going through HBO's Oz lately, and he's great/scary as the white power jerkwad Vern Schillinger.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Terminator Genisys
on Jul 21, 2015 at 5:24:18 pm







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Tim Wilson
Re: Terminator Genisys
on Jul 21, 2015 at 7:57:44 pm

[Scott Roberts] "He was sent back to when Sarah was a kid, and his human outer-flesh aged by the time the 80's timeline rolled around."

Yeah, I kinda got that, but it makes more sense when you say it. LOL


[Scott Roberts] "There's a chicken and egg kinda thing going on there."

Here's what I don't remember from the earlier Terminators? Does John actually know that Kyle Reese is his father? Does Kyle know? John was conceived just before Kyle died, but there's no way he could have known that.

In the extended version of the T2 dream scene, Kyle appears to encourage Sarah to protect "our son," but it's Sarah's dream. SHE knows, but did she ever tell John? Did she ever tell Kyle in one of their later crossings?

Maybe this is resolved in Genisys....or maybe it was already and I just forgot.

I'm my own grandpa notwithstanding, one of the agreed-upon rules tends to be that, apart from moral considerations, you can't physically conceive yourself, but I think that otherwise, this isn't seen as a problem.

That is, one reason why time travel is viewed as a hazard is that you what you do back there could change the future in unpredictable, potentially catastrophic ways. (See: the fantastic Ray Bradbury story, "A Sound of Thunder." Do people read Ray Bradbury anymore? I sure hope so.)

The point of THIS kind of time travel is specifically TO change the timeline, something that every time travel narrative agrees is possible. That's why it's plausible to me that John can send Kyle back in time to become his father...but only if he says, "Dude, no kidding, you HAVE to do my mom, or she's not my mom, I'm never born, and we're doomed."

Otherwise, Kyle could just say, "Yeah, sorry John, I hopped back into the future to tell you, we just don't like each other THAT way, so ima change the timeline so that you never existed, and I'M in charge of the rebellion, and I do a better job of it than you do, because I never got distracted by getting romantically entangled with your mother. So I don't know when you're going to flicker out of being, but if there's anything left on your bucket list, you might should get on it."

In Ray Bradbury's world, stepping on a butterfly in the past basically destroyed the future, but in Terminator, they kill people willy nilly, add at least one new one, with more or less impunity. And they keep circling back to do it again and again, and the future stays more or less the same.

Presumably one side or the other in this conflict will figure out that, the more people you send back, the greater your chance of success. Sending 50 guys back would seal the deal quicker than just one, right?


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Mark Suszko
Re: Terminator Genisys
on Jul 21, 2015 at 8:24:31 pm

Sorry for the bad quality, was the only relevant clip I could find:







Plus, you have to remember, Fry is older than Farnsworth and is like his uncle, 50 times removed, or something.


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