Terminator Salvation - Blu-ray Review - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 3 Old 01-20-10, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
Brandon Dimmel
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: London, ON
Posts: 89
Terminator Salvation - Blu-ray Review


Terminator Salvation

Starring: Christian Bale, Sam Worthington, Anton Yelchin, Moon Bloodgood, Common
Directed by: McG
Written by: John D. Brancato and Michael Ferris
Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 114, 117 mins
Blu-ray Release Date: December 1, 2009

In a way, Terminator Salvation is a lot like its famous villains, the T-family (T-600, T-800, T-1000, T-Whatever). Itís big, itís slick, it looks good, and itís really, really loud. Unfortunately, like the Terminator, this film just doesnít have much heart, sadly distinguishing it from the most memorable flick in the series, T2: Judgment Day. Instead, it's a more or less generic action movie that just happens to star someone named John Connor and take place in a dystopian America. Content-wise Terminator Salvation deserved its box-office mediocrity, but thereís a good chance that this incredibly gorgeous film will be a big hit for the Blu-ray format.

The bulk of Terminator Salvation is set in the year 2018, as series hero John Connor (Christian Bale) prepares for an assault alongside other members of the Resistance on a San Francisco Skynet base. We join John as the Resistance launches an initial mini-attack upon Skynet, a raid that discovers Skynetís imprisonment of humans for the purpose of constructing a new, more powerful Terminator called the T-800 (Arnieís Terminator). Narrowly escaping the crumbling Skynet base, Connor emerges the raidís only survivor Ė evidence that while Skynet is constantly upgrading its weaponry, human kind, despite its best attempts, is losing its war for survival.

Of course, Connor isnít the only survivor of the assault. Also making his way out of the wreckage is Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington), a murderer once condemned to death. His last memory is the night of his 2003 execution, but he awakens in the midst of a scorched earth and aimlessly wanders until stumbling upon the remains of Los Angeles. There, he meets Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin), who fans of the series will recognize as the eventual father of Connor. Wright and Reese then seek out other members of the Resistance and have a few wild encounters with Skynetís latest technology along the way, including skyscraper droids and motorbike Terminators. For Wright, the adventure is less about beating up on Skynet and helping Connor than it is a quest to find out who he is and how he seems to have escaped the long arm of the law.

Eventually, Wright finds the Resistance and slowly pieces together how it is he leap-frogged time from 2003 until the year 2018. You can take the name ďSalvationĒ any way you like (and there are a few applicable uses) but Iíd say itís mostly about Wrightís attempt to save his own soul by rectifying the many mistakes of his past life. In the end, he plays a critical role in a Connor-led offensive against Skynetís main headquarters in the not-so-sunny Southwest. Fans of the series will be happy to know that thereís plenty of wiggle room for seventeen more sequels.

This, by no means, is a rock-solid story. While, on the surface, the plot seems fairly straightforward (Skynet is ready to unleash a new, devastating weapon, while the Resistance wants to abort the project before itís ever unleashed), there are a variety of hap-hazard story streams that never feel particularly well conceived or resolved. Thereís much discussion of a radio frequency that can be used to interfere with the operation of Skynet weaponry, and itís used a few times, but the whole strategy seems to fizzle out halfway through. Also, the beautiful Resistance pilot Blair Williams (Moon Bloodgood) takes an awful shine to former murderer Marcus without really getting to know the guy. Iíve heard of love at first sight, but this is ridiculous.

My other knock against this movie will be more controversial: I just donít like Christian Bale as John Connor. Donít get me wrong, I love Bale as Bruce Wayne, but he just doesnít seem to have the same hero qualities Iíd expect from mankindís post-apocalyptic saviour. Maybe itís because Bale received a lot of criticism for his behaviour while on the Salvation set, but I just didnít feel particularly endeared to him or his character. In the end, Worthington is much more likeable as a lead, and given that heís supposed to be a former murderer maybe thatís a misstep, too. All I can say is that the acting performances are a bit weak here, and the relationships very shallow Ė not at all like T2, and closer to the disappointing T3: Rise of the Machines.

Video

Say what you will about the plot, this is an incredibly gorgeous film. The 1080p VC1 encode with 2:40:1 aspect ratio is awesome, with textures (such as character clothing and the caked dirt and grime on their faces) finely detailed. There is some graininess to some pictures, but all of it appears intentional and is usually limited to backgrounds in certain instances where bright light meets midnight dark. Hands down one of the better-looking Blu-ray films Iíve seen.

Audio

Also spectacular is Salvationís audio. Some excellent decisions went into even basic sound effects; for instance, the skyscraper Terminator emits a harrowing hum and beep that one might imagine being emitted from a crashing Commodore 64. There is plenty of intense action in Salvation, and thankfully the audio always intensifies events even further. Danny Elfman, famous for his Simpsons theme tune and many other more important but less noted projects, provides a good but not great score.

Blu-ray Extras

There are discs for both a Directorís Cut and the theatrical release. Sounds good, right? Well, the former is just 3 minutes longer Ė thatís right, they included a second disc for 180 seconds of additional material. It really only boils down to a few extra lines. More attractive is the Maximum Movie Mode, which includes periodical commentary from director McG (great name, huh?), along with interview clips, storyboards, and more. Consider it a semi-virtual commentary track, making it an improvement on the standard stuff.

Overall

While Terminator Salvationís story is hardly as earth-shattering as its action sequences, the pure thrill of the many encounters between man and machine Ė and the detail within every explosion Ė make this a worthwhile pickup for anyone, and not just fans of the series.

Last edited by Brando; 01-20-10 at 06:39 PM.
Brando is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 3 Old 01-20-10, 07:39 PM
HTS Hillbilly
HTS Administrator
 
Sonnie's Avatar
I'm a redneck!
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: L.A. (Lower Alabama)
Posts: 22,554
My System
Re: Terminator Salvation Blu-ray Review

Nice review!

I really enjoyed this movie... definitely a keeper. I am looking forward to watching it again soon.

I actually like Christian Bale as John Connor, but I agree he does make a better Bruce Wayne.

Cedar Creek Cinema

PremierHomeAudio: Denon, Marantz, Onkyo, Yamaha, Sony, Pioneer, Def Tech and more. Shoot me a PM!
Sonnie is offline  
post #3 of 3 Old 01-21-10, 12:34 AM
Elite Shackster
 
Jon Liu's Avatar
Jon
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Irvine, CA
Posts: 1,489
My System
Re: Terminator Salvation Blu-ray Review

Nice review, Brando! I saw this in theaters and didn't much care for it then. I gave it another shot on Blu-ray recently and ended up liking it a bit more than I initially did. I agree about Christian Bale as Conner, though.

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx
Jon Liu is offline  
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
blu-ray , review , salvation , terminator

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now




PLEASE COMPLETE ALL REQUIRED FIELDS BELOW... THANKS!

REQUIRED FIELDS ON THIS PAGE
YOU MUST COMPLETE ALL OF THESE

Username
Password
Confirm Password
Email Address
Confirm Email Address
Random Question
Random Question #2




User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
PLEASE READ BELOW PRIOR TO ENTERING AN EMAIL ADDRESS!

ATTENTION!

YOU MUST ACTIVATE YOUR ACCOUNT!

Activation requires you reply to an email we will send you after you register... if you do not reply to this email, you will not be able to view certain areas of the forum or certain images... nor will you be able download software.

AN INVALID EMAIL ADDRESS WILL CAUSE YOUR ACCOUNT TO BE DELETED!

See our banned email list here: Banned Email List

We DO NOT respond to spamcop, boxtrapper and spamblocker emails... please add @hometheatershack DOT com to your whitelist prior to registering or you will get nowhere on your registration.


Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML is not allowed!
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 


For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome