Saturday, May 30, 2009

Read this if you want to live!

Okay, the big movie out last week: Terminator Salvation. I have to say, the preview looked great, and I was looking forward to it, but how did it stack up? The answer may surprise you.
I didn’t see it.
Hello, and welcome to the first Realms of Neldak Film Review! I’ve been wanting to do this for a while, but I haven’t gotten around to it today.
For this first review, I wanted to do T: S, but as I said, I haven’t seen it. However, I did prepare. Over the last week, I’ve seen all three terminator films, in an attempt to remind myself of every little plot point, and now I’m going to review them, one at a time, giving my personal thoughts on each, followed by a grade. I won’t be giving synopsis; if you want that, read Wikipedia.
So, without further ado, here’s Hrothmeir’s opinion on The Terminator.

The Terminator: I see three major problems with this film. The most obvious problem is the fact that it’s set in the eighties. Everyone has poofy hair, bad clothes, and is just… so darn 80s! It’s sickening! However, it’s supposed to be like that, so I can’t fault it. However, it was also made in the 80’s, so that presents a few problems of its own: The music sounds almost exactly like the music in the video game Dark Forces, and as those of you who have played it know: that’s not a good thing. In the 80s, everything was done using a synthesizer. Now in some movies, this was merely annoying (romantic comedies), while n others, it was mind-numbingly painful (Ladyhawke, any movie not actually set in the 80s). In The Terminator, the music mostly doesn’t work, especially when the movie goes into one of its many ‘running towards the camera in a dark alley’ scenes, when it’s just the music, and no other sound. However, by the end of the end of the film, the music doesn’t seem quite so grating. I’m not sure why, but I think it may have to do with the terror of the cheap stop-motion puppet chasing the protagonists.
Which leads us to the next major problem with the film. The special effects were just awful. No CG. Wow. The worst effects were when Arnold had any skin missing from his face. They would cover him with make-up and prosthetics for the robot parts, and then cover that with what appears to be Mike Myer’s face from Halloween. Luckily, these scenes were few and far between.
The last major problem with this film is the fact that it wasn’t aware of how big it was going to be. Arnold doesn’t get his black leather combat suit until halfway through; the lines “Come with me if you want to live!” and “I’ll be back.” were treated as just regular, throw-away dialogue. There was no momentous feeling when they were uttered. Arnold just didn’t feel like the terminator until the second half, and by then it was too late.
Despite these three problems, the film had a few ups. The scene were Arnold purchases weapons was great, and Rees’s many flash backs to the future helped to build the story and setting. Lastly, Sarah’s line when she kills the Terminator was simply awesome, but will not be reprinted here.
Overall, a clunky film but with promise and some good characters. I recommend it. B+

Come back later this week for the review of T2: Judgment Day!

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