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JAMES CAMERON RETURNS TO TERMINATOR

Canon Editor

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If this reasoning had been put in the movie, it would have made the movie better. @"TMBTM"
 

bionicbob

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TM2YC said:
This rather funny but full of spoilers so just for people that have already seen it, or have decided not to bother...


Hilarious!

And wow!  After hearing it re-summarized this way, I may have to re-evaluate my Terminator rankings.  Maybe GENISYS is better than Dark Fate?

Both are so problematic for me.   I do not like the casting in Genisys.  And both movies suffer from a sensory overload CGI bloat fest in the third act.  But Genisys is a better looking movie and better edited.  And I guess it tried something original...sort of...  :p
 

Moe_Syzlak

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I haven’t seen the movie and likely won’t (at least until it’s free to watch in some format), but the entire Terminator franchise has always been plagued by huge plot holes. I mean John’s very existence is a plot hole. And the whole reason Arnold has skin in the first one is thrown out the window in the second one. And on and on. I think you have to simply enjoy the ride with these movies and not think about them too much.
 

TMBTM

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Moe_Syzlak said:
I mean John’s very existence is a plot hole.

Not in the first movie. Kyle Reese always was John's father because there never was another 1984 than the one we see in the first movie. That's what the movie is telling us. That's the famous "grandfather paradox" turned into the perfect loop story I'm always talking about.
John's existence begins to be a plot hole at the moment the writters are trying to play with different timelines and don't know how to handle that paradox. That's why the Terminator franchise struggled to make coherent movies. They are movies about time travel that sadly should not play with different timelines because as soon as they do it they are fucking with the original concept.
 

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Spoilers... I mean, the thread is already full of 'em, so...

I hereby submit that Dark Fate can be summed up by this formula: "Good idea! But... too much."

- The new hope for humankind is a young Mexican nobody - good idea! But, she already works at a factory where machines threaten her future (get it, get it?!)... too much.
- The new terminator villain can split himself in two for more effective combat - good idea! But, it's also almost completely indestructible, and shrugs off multiple explosive and military-grade weapons hits with no apparent difficulty... too much.
- Grace's enhanced metabolism means she burns herself out and must be cared for - good idea! But, instead of being fed, rested, and nursed back to health, we get a scene of her robbing a pharmacy... too much.
- Sarah is a bitter, hardened loner with a prickly personality - good idea! But, she assumes the new woman's the mother of the machines' real target for no good reason, and she and Grace do little but bicker at each other, long after it becomes clear they're on the same side... too much.
- We get slam-bang freeway chase and detainee breakout sequences - good idea! But, we then break into and out of an Air Force base, casually steal a military cargo plane, have an altered gravity fight, parachute into a reservoir and fight underwater, then have a two-part battle royale inside a hydroelectric dam... way, way, way too much.
- A terminator without a mission grows a conscience, and becomes a family man - good idea! But... actually, this is the one area where we don't get nearly enough.

And for a "back to basics" movie that erases T3, it doesn't mind re-assembling the following factors: a liquid metal/endoskeleton hybrid that remotely commands other machines, humans other than the Connors being targeted, Skynet succeeding in killing John, Judgment Day being merely postponed, an action scene in an Air Force base which our heroes fly away from, arriving at a generations-old industrial site without bystanders, and killing the bad terminator with a gadget from our future hero. Even given that T3 is itself a shameless retread of the first two movies, that's a lot of borrowing from the movie you're essentially remaking with a new third installment.

To be sure, there were some great moments sprinkled throughout - okay, sprinkled throughout the first half - of the flick. But the second half was just too damn long, exhausting, and empty. It was fun seeing Linda back, but I'm a big fan of T3's Nick Stahl/Claire Danes, pairing, too. So, in the T3 vs. Dark Fate battle... Dark Fate has higher highs, but, due to its bloated, plot-hole-filled second half, I have to give the win to Rise of the Machines overall.

Dark Fate: B-
Rise of the Machines: B+

nick2.jpg


Stahl/Danes win! :p

...
 
bionicbob said:
T3 established Judgement Day in some form is inevitable, so I did not have any real issue with that plot point.

 Not necessarily. In T3, the T-850 said of the war: "You only postponed it. Judgment Day is inevitable." And then in the closing voiceover, John talks about his and Kate's destiny. Many took this as T3 the movie establishing Judgment Day as inevitable, but: A) the T-850 admits to lying elsewhere in the movie in service to his mission (even to his primary objective, Kate) to ensure John and Kate's survival, and B) at that point in time, the nuclear strikes were only hours away, so, if pressed, he might have clarified that they were only inevitable at that moment. Indeed, later in the movie, he says "There is insufficient time" to stop the war, which suggests that with sufficient time, the war could be postponed again, at the least. Ergo, the movie's overall take on the matter is murky, but T3 is now being ignored (again), so that's all academic, I guess.

 
Moe_Syzlak said:
I mean John’s very existence is a plot hole.

Again, not necessarily. It's entirely conceivable that there was an original timeline in which Reese wasn't John's father, and Sarah's upbringing was the deciding factor in his future leadership, not the source of half his chromosomes. Time for my Terminator Time Chart again!

TTT.jpg


So... did Dark Fate's Air Force major have a hand in pulling the plug on the military's Skynet?! ;)

...

From a Deadline article a while back:
Did Cameron go back to dissect the three Terminator films made without his participation? Yes, he and the project’s writing team did revisit the third, fourth, and fifth movies in the killer cyborg series, which Cameron says revealed some things that would need to avoid if Dark Fate is to have any chance of a bright destiny.

“One of the things that seemed obvious from looking at the films that came along later was that we would need to get everything back to the basics and that we would need to avoid the mistakes of making things overly complex and that we needed to avoid stories that jumps around in time and one that goes backward and forward in time,” he said. “Let’s keep it simple in the relative unity of time. With the story, let’s have the whole thing play out in 36 hours or 48 hours. In the first two movies everything plays out in less than two days in each one so there’s energy and momentum.”​

Er, that's all true of T3 also, Jim... ;)
 

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I was kind of awaiting your review. Thanks Gaith. 

I actually agree with you, to the extent that I don't believe Dark Fate had any great moments at all... it was fine or good at times, but never great. 
I mean, the movie's not really about anything. It has no punch, no through-line. It serves the franchise on a plot level, but doesn't tell us why we needed it in the first place - and that is, in my most humble opinion, perhaps the biggest sin for a movie. For all that's worth, T3 tells us something more; justifies its existence one way or another, and it does so with a strong ending. 

Just my two cents.
 

bionicbob

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Nice review @"Gaith"  :)
Many solid points.

T3 is a far better film imo.  Like you, I loved onscreen dynamic of Stahl and Danes.
Too much humour, but @"Uncanny Antman" edit takes care of that.
 

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Yes... I'm definitely waiting for Uncanny's Terminator 3 to put my dreams of a perfect (almost) trilogy for the franchise to rest. I like how that movie closes the loop (as it allows for the first two movies to happen again, and again...) but also keeps the hope (sorta) for humanity's victory... The finale transmits that fantastically... in the edit.
 

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Canon Editor said:
I was kind of awaiting your review. Thanks Gaith. 

I'm honored! :)

 
Canon Editor said:
I actually agree with you, to the extent that I don't believe Dark Fate had any great moments at all... it was fine or good at times, but never great.

Fair enough. As a huge T2 fan, maybe I was a bit high from finally seeing Linda and an R-rating back, but, while they were OTT, I rather enjoyed the freeway and detainment center battles, and really enjoyed the sequence in Carl's cabin. I assumed that after three good terminators, Arnold would finally be playing the human Model 101 template, so the reveal of Carl's character was a thrilling surprise, the scene where Sarah talked about forgetting John's face was great, and Carl's calculation that humanity will probably devolve into barbarism even without a nuclear/machine war was a wonderfully subtle callback to Uncle Bob's pessimistic observation that "it's in [our] nature to destroy [ourselves]." For a few minutes, it seemed as though we were about to head off in a bold new direction... instead, we got a replay of T3's second half with Genisys' Pops 2.0.

Side note: in the end credits, there's a footage credit for Sin Nombre, Cary Fukunaga's 2009 masterpiece thriller about Latinos trying to cross the US-Mexican border; Dark Fare must have borrowed a few shots. Sin Nombre indeed feels more in line with Terminator 1 than arguably any of the non-Cameron films; and I can't recommend it enough. Sadly, it never got a US blu release, but it can be rented from the usual streaming sites.

 
bionicbob said:
T3 is a far better film imo.  Like you, I loved onscreen dynamic of Stahl and Danes.
Too much humour, but @"Uncanny Antman" edit takes care of that.

You probably know this, but Mostow says in his commentary that that film's humor was intended to help lull the audience into a false sense of security, so the ending would take them by surprise. Indeed, I watched UA's edit once and didn't much care for it; I personally enjoy T3 on its own terms, humor and all. (Except, of course, for the audience hand-holding moment where John thinks the T-850 is Uncle Bob. That moment just sucks balls.) It's a solid popcorn flick to be sure, but isn't great enough to make the downer ending worth the voyage without the humor, IMO.
 

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COMPUTER: Please enter program.

SCOTTY: The android at the bar said ya could show me my old Terminator. Let me see it.

COMPUTER: Insufficient data. Please specify parameters.

SCOTTY: Terminator. Show me Terminator, ya chatterin' piece a ...

COMPUTER: There have been six Hollywood pictures with that name. Please specify by registry number.

SCOTTY: T1 & T2. No bloody T3, TS, TG, or TDF.

COMPUTER: Program complete. Enter when ready.
 

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All hail Linda Hamilton, giver of zero effs! Just watch how she replies when asked how Dark Fate is, at the five-minute mark:


She passes it off as a joke a (long) moment later, but... I see you, Ms. Hamilton. I see you.  :cool:

...

So Tim Miller has said: "The things they seemed to hate the most about the movie, were things I can't control. I can't control you didn't like Genysis or you felt betrayed by Terminator 4. I can't help that." Maybe not, Tim, but you didn't have to show the future war in daylight as Salvation did, and you didn't have to overload the second half of your movie with just as much meaningless, OTT action noise as Genysis. And Carl is pretty much Genysis' Pops 2.0 - as much as I enjoyed the character, you didn't have to do another cuddly Arnold, assuming you were required to include him at all. (He could have played the human T-101 template, for instance, which due to the Sgt. Candy scene being cut from T3, has never appeared on the big screen.) It can definitely be argued that to bring Linda Hamilton back but keep Arnold around is to miss a great opportunity to emphasize her return even further.

As for the future war, I've been thinking that surely the night battles of T1/2 don't make logical sense - wouldn't human bodies be much easier to spot with infrared (which Reese mentions in T1) at night? So surely humans would be better off fighting during the day, when they themselves could see - and yet the flash-forward nightmares of night fighting is vastly more atmospheric and cinematic. It's one reason to show the future as little as possible, to avoid getting caught up in that paradox. Indeed, the scene of future Dani winning over the murderous drifters was meant to be a key dramatic moment, but it was just weak.

(In Cameron's original T2 screenplay, much of the human army that ultimately prevails over Skynet is South American, from regions not as hit by the Cold War nuclear targets, which is why the American flag in T3's flash-forward is so out of place. Dark Fate finally brings a Hispanic flavor to the future war proceedings with Dani, but still falls short in that regard...)
 

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I'd never seen this crazy T3 deleted scene before...


That fact that it was even considered for more than a nanosecond (never mind being actually filmed) tells you everything about why this franchise has gone off the rails so badly.
 

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TM2YC said:
I'd never seen this crazy T3 deleted scene before...

Couldn't agree more, that scene feels like it belongs in one of the RoboCop sequels.
 

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TM2YC said:
That fact that it was even considered for more than a nanosecond (never mind being actually filmed) tells you everything about why this franchise has gone off the rails so badly.

As one who unapologetically loves T3, iffy humor and and all, I can only proffer that in comedy, one sometimes has to go too far to see where is far enough...  :cool:
 

Moe_Syzlak

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Moe_Syzlak said:
I haven’t seen the movie and likely won’t (at least until it’s free to watch in some format), but the entire Terminator franchise has always been plagued by huge plot holes. I mean John’s very existence is a plot hole. And the whole reason Arnold has skin in the first one is thrown out the window in the second one. And on and on. I think you have to simply enjoy the ride with these movies and not think about them too much.

I finally watched this as it’s finally free to me. I thought it was fine. I’m not a huge fan of the series and after T3, I’m not even sure I’ve seen the other movies. T2 has always been the best for me by a wide margin. The original works, of course, brilliantly well, but is more of a straight slasher movie with a twist. T2 feels weightier. And that is generally my issue here. For folks that just want the over-the-top action sequences held together by a thin plot, I think it’s fine. And honestly, beyond some early allusions to machines taking jobs, it doesn’t really feel like it aspires to be anything more. Which is fine. But it does feel like a missed opportunity. Machines taking jobs would’ve been a good theme (particularly if it was expanded) for 1992, but in 2020 (or 2019 whatever) when social media and bots are arguably controlling our thoughts, it feels like a missed opportunity. The whole movie, especially given its desire to supposedly right the wrongs of other sequels, doesn’t seem to have a reason to exist beyond a thrill ride.
 
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