Thursday, May 21, 2009

Other: Trailer Park: Salvation

I saw Terminator: Salvation this afternoon. I figured, correctly, that by seeing an afternoon matinee on a Thursday in a very slightly-outdated theater, there would be fewer people. I was actually surprised by how empty the theater was, but then this multiplex was showing it on three screens. Anyway, first the trailers.

  • The Hangover: If your IQ was above 70 when you went to see this movie, it won't be afterward. Of course, if it was above 70 and you still chose to see it, you'd deserve it.
  • Sherlock Holmes: The masking wasn't right, so we had an icky split screen effect, but, I dunno, I'm hoping the film isn't as Hollywood-blockbusterized as the trailer looks.
  • Surrogates: I hadn't even heard about this movie before, but it looks like an interesting, if not totally original, science-fiction concept. And it also looks like one of those times where Bruce Willis actually acts instead of twittering in his performance.
  • Brüno: I am not a Sacha Baron Cohen fan and this film will definitely not make me change my mind.
  • 9: I'm sure this is heresy to some of my friends, but, eh.
I keep thinking there was one more, but I can't recall what it would have been.

  • ADDED: (the forgotten trailer) Inglourious Basterds: The Dirty Dozen meets Natural Born Killers. Spare me, even if it does have Maggie Cheung in a small role, but Brad Pitt is no Lee Marvin.
Anyway, now for the film. First, a slight digression. I was surprised when I saw that Charlie Gibson served as the visual effects supervisor. I met him at my first job out of school at Rhythm & Hues, where he was serving as effects supervisor for Babe, for which he won a much-deserved Oscar(tm or copyright or whatever). He was also a cool guy. Anyway, on with the show.

I will say that going in, I was a little tentative. The only films I could remember seeing directed by McG (what a pretentious screen name) were the Charlie's Angels debacles (I can't believe I'm admitting this -- I swear I waited until cable). I do like the TV show he produces, "Supernatural." But I hope you can understand how I would still fear a possible Brett-Ratnerization1 of the Terminator series. Well, my apologies to McG (I still think it's a pretentious, frat-boy nickname).

This movie was awesome. I've always liked the series, although I've never been rabid about it, but this one is, sorry Mr Cameron, the best. It's richer than the first one, better acted (that means you, Mr Furlong) and less schmaltzy than the second, and more intense than the third.

Visually, stunning. Mr Gibson did not let us down. Even the sound effects, particularly for the jumbo-Terminators, were impressive. And the machines were inventive and surprising without coming across as forced and excessive. The action was incredibly intense and some of the shots were inventive and to great effect.

Christian Bale may have top-billing as the legendary John Connor, but for me this was really Sam Worthington's movie. I'd never heard of him before, but his Marcus Wright overshadowed his co-stars. (Minor quibble: his American accent kept slipping into an Australian(?) tinge.) Even with an actor as talented as Bale2, the character of John Connor just isn't, well, that interesting. He's pretty much stuck with being a slave to his destiny and the burden that brings. It leaves no room for a multi-faceted personality.

Anyway, awesome, go see it. Plus, yeah, I got a lot of knitting done. I definitely knit faster during more intense scenes.

(Did you know that Gloria Steinem was Christian Bale's stepmother for a few years, until his father's death? Just a bit of trivia for the day.)

1Definition: Taking over and totally mangling a beloved franchise and making fans foam at the mouth. See, or rather don't see, X-Men 3.
2Even if he does seem to be replacing Russell Crowe as the most talented whackjob actor alive (at least he doesn't have a crappy rock band, at least that I know of)

1 comment:

spajadigit said...

I think Ratnerize or Ratnerzation should simplify your usage.

What an awesome movie, and yeah, I liked those saberesque sound effects too.

Sound design alone make this film great.