Reviewed by Nomad
Starring Christian Bale, Sam Worthington, Helena Bonham Carter, Anton Yelchin
Directed by McG
Distributed by Warner Home Video. Terminator: Salvation – Available on Blu-ray, DVD, On Demand and Digital Download 12/1/09.
If you don’t know the story by now, you are on the wrong site. The military hooks a giant computer up to all their best war toys in an attempt to make their actions more efficient, cutting down on loss of life and random destruction. In the brief moments that Skynet is online, it becomes self aware. Seeing the only threat to its continued existence as the human race, it fires first, with horrific results. Those who survive the bombing must now stand and fight against the coming of the machines whose only purpose is their extinction. This is a story of the resistance.
On another level, this is the story of two men. One, John Connor, raised all his life to know what horrors the future holds and unable to stop it from coming to pass. To at once feel a helpless pawn of fate and the leader of the last pockets of human forces is a terrible burden that shows on his face. John is also forced to work under the last remaining representatives of the world’s political and military structure, who are still acting as if they are waging war against a known enemy and worse, believe very little that John Connor will lead them to victory. The second man is Marcus Wright, seemingly dropped in the middle of this war zone with little knowledge of anything but a life in a simpler time. From the get go, it is obvious that there is more to him, as he jumps into battle to save those he does not know and survives despite insurmountable odds. This man is either very lucky…or something else. They are two men of two different worlds. Two men who don’t exactly fit into the time in which they find themselves.
In comes the action … nonstop and jaw-dropping with as much practical FX as was possible. The Terminators are numerous and diverse, swatting humans aside like bothersome gnats. The bots themselves are eye-candy enough, but when seamlessly blended into a believable apocalyptic future where the humans battle back as best they can, then you’ve got the installment to the series I’ve always wanted. Issues are bound to arise when you pack that much action into a film, and T4’s are laughable enough to blend right in. Bale seems to spend most of the film talking in a whispery version of his Batman voice and Worthington lets loose his primal scream all too often. I won’t even go into plot holes because over analysis of this film is exactly what would ruin the fun. I’ve picked up this new movie for the promise of humans finally going head to head with all sorts of robotic monsters. Terminator: Salvation delivers that times 10.
We are looking at the Blu-ray version of this release, which is the perfect way to view a movie with so much bang for your buck. The cover boasted a “Director’s Cut” but honestly, I can’t see very many differences. The difference in running time between the standard release DVD and the Blu-ray is a whopping two minutes. I’m betting all of that lies within a scene where super-hotty Moon Bloodgood has an awkward moment in which she practically flashes Sam Worthington. Sure, that’s worth the price of admission alone, but one side boob does not a director’s cut make. We still don’t see the insanely creepy latex faced T600’s roaming the wasteland (with their faces hanging off of them), or the armies of black T700’s alluded to on the toy packages, or better still the T-R.I.P. the licensors made such a big deal about keeping a secret before the film’s release. Hell, show us Marcus without his skin, since his design is unique. Throw me a bone!! Those little extra gems would have sent me over the edge…but are painfully absent.
With great FX comes great responsibility to show me how it all works. The extras on the Terminator: Salvation Blu-ray stack a nice pile of behind-the-scenes clips showing everything from the napalm bombing run at the resistance camp to the Harvester battle at the smashed up 7-11 in a section called Focus Points. Re-Forging the Future takes elements from those same clips and adds more behind the scenes action in a full on featurette. Finally we have The Moto-Terminator, showing how the film makers teamed with Ducati (makers of killer motorcycles) to create a terminator built to seek and destroy. These features move fast, are highly enjoyable and sometimes show elements of the movie that, oddly enough, didn’t even make it to the screen … like that DAMN LATEX FACE TERMINATOR!!! There he is … in the extras. Sigh. At any rate, show me what goes on inside Stan Winston Studios and you’ll have me glued to my seat for the duration. The Salvation Blu-ray delivers. Could they have provided more of the goods? Absolutely. I still wake up at night in a cold sweat thinking about the entire day I spent watching all the extras on the Iron Man DVD … and that was a lowly DVD!!! With the effort put into Terminator: Salvation, they could have gone another two hours into special effects, a complete timeline of the Terminator series and even a step-by-step on how the stunt guys in the Tron suits make the Terminators seem more realistic.
Terminator: Salvation was a killer time on the big screen, so grabbing the Blu-ray or DVD is a no-brainer. Gather the family around the flat screen and tell them to watch closely. We’ll be fighting our appliances soon enough.
Disc 1: Theatrical Version of Film (114mins, PG-13)
Disc 2: Director’s Cut of Film (117mins, R Rated)
3 1/2 out of 5
3 1/2 out of 5
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