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Radium_Angel

Discussion: Can the Terminator franchise be salvaged?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Fair warning: This discussion will have spoiler discussion for the latest in the Terminator films, Terminator Dark Fate. So if you haven't seen that, or any of the T films, I'd urge you to do that first before reading this thread.

 

So, having said that, let's begin.

I saw T:DF the other day and the writers and especially the vidographer should be banned from ever working in Hollywood ever again. In the case of the latter, they seemed to have only one lens or technique to work with, and that's "Super Up Close Shot!" to the point where in certain situations I could not tell what was happening. In the case of the former, the plot felt like it was written by a team that was no longer speaking to each other.

I get exposition, it's sometimes required to get the audience up to speed on a plot point, but wow was this dialogue clunky and awkward.

 

Case in point:

Spoiler

There is a scene in the motel room in Mexico where Sarah Conner and Dani dump Grace onto a bed, and then cover her in ice cubes. Dani asks if this wouldn't be better accomplished in a tub, which would be the logical idea. Sarah says, "Have you seen the tub?" but is bad enough in and of itself, but simply doesn't make any sense, given how Sarah has lived on the run and off the land for 20+ years and only now she's going to be afraid of a little dirt? Plus, Sarah already knows Grace isn't human, so again, what's the problem with a bit of dirt? The only reason this was put in there, was poor writing. And this was just one of *many* times where the characters acted contrary to logic.

 

 

Most of the actors involved in this film were phoning it in. I've watched a number of Linda Hamilton films outside the T franchise, and I know she is an excellent actor, here? She seemed drunk most of the time. The acting in this film reminded me of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, where every scene seemed to be done in the 1st take, regardless of quality. Hell, the only one who seemed to try to do well, was Ms. Davis, who played Grace.

 

In T1, We learn very early on, as does Sarah Conner, why she is so important. In this film, it waits until 3/4 of the way through for Dani to get even slightly curious why all this is happening. This was done for "the big reveal" from the writers, but again, makes no sense if this were to have been in the real world. Dani just goes along with everything she sees, and hears, and is generally simply another person to be tossed around during the big action scenes.

 

Speaking of action scenes, one in particular bugged me:

Spoiler

The big cargo airplane scene. They manage to get the plane off in record time (ding!) and after a brief fight with the Rev 9 Terminator, dislodge it from the plane, where it falls into a shed of a family having a backyard BBQ. Some dialogue happens, and they are approached rather suddenly by a pair of raptors for escort, which is shown briefly on the radar screen of the cargo plane and and exterior shot. Ok, fair enough, they are still trying to figure out where to go, when suddenly a DC-10 looking plane appears out of nowhere (ding!) and takes everyone by surprise (ding!). The pilots are still wondering what to do when the DC-10 squashing both of them physically (so many dings!) 

It was clear the writers had a scene in mind (you've seen it in the trailer, with the two planes crashing into each other) but had no idea how to pull it off, so they just winged it (sorry for the pun) and that was inexcusable. It was amateur writing hour for this film time and again and it really irritated me how sloppy this scene portrayed everyone involved. Radars would have caught the DC-10 miles and miles before it got even remotely close. Sloppy, very sloppy.

 

In any case, I went in to the film having read the reviews by both critics and fans, and knew what a hot mess this way, but I was unprepared for this. It was like a 1st semester film team was given the reins and said "ok, you have 10 days to make something", it was that poorly done. On opening day, in a major theatre in a major city, I counted 10 people (myself included) in a theatre that housed hundreds. Let that be a warning to you.

 

Naturally the film leaves open the room for another, but does it really need one? I posit there are still options in the T franchise, but care must be taken to right the ship, so to speak.

I could easily see one set days before Judgement day, in Afghanistan for example, where a spec ops team of Americans are tracking down a terrorist leader, with a shadowy soviet team there to confound the americans, and of course the terrorists know every cave and valley in the area. So why the teams play cat and mouse, Judgement Day happens and then the teams are forced to work together for a common goal of survival when the bombs hit and the HKs come swooping in followed by T-600s. 

 

What are your thoughts on the franchise?


So rise up, all ye lost ones, as one, we'll claw the clouds

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spoilers for page 1 because a bad movie deserves a watch-through just to soak in every thing bad about it

Spoiler

what did i just say ಠ_ಠ

(unless you have watched this movie, then carry on)

Spoiler

 

The small things:

  • strange that this is set before Terminator 3. a break-off in timeline even. 
  • Dani doesn't feel like she earned that character growth. Like her family got murdered and she tapered off pretty quickly. then later suddenly NOPE MY NAME'S MOANA
  • speaking of which, damn that guy doesn't feel like his brother and their family got murdered
  • action scenes are a hot mess. H*******d. I know it's much easier on the actors, but please PLEASE review your cuts.

The big picture:

  • I can forgive the story to be thin on plot, but a lot of it feels like it's trying to bring back Terminators 1 and 2 (see arnienator's HUD and deathcam). Problem is a lot of things are different now.
    • for one: T1 and T2 existed in a time where the internet was slow and mostly a luxury, so you can manufacture a bit of suspense during the escape from the murderer. T3DF is set in modern-day network-interconnected tech, so running somewhere feels futile. the movie portrays that, but it's something we'd expect to be possible already, so there's not much suspense you can create from that.
    • although there's not much depth set up for "robots travel back in time to terminate their own hitlers", but I feel like you deserve better with other movies playing right now
  • the worst part: Why didn't Sarah Connor think of the events of T2 and lure their terminator to another metal foundry? If she has undercover connections to a high-ranking officer in the millitary (of a country that wants her found mind you), surely an arrangement could be made to get to one, let alone asking for Red Alert tech.

for those saying "but this movie is important because inclusion of minority race!", this movie squandered it. we should do better.

i'll repeat what i said in my status update:

 

i don't wish for a sequel. catch Dark Fate on your streaming service

 

EDIT: I'd rather they focus on attempting to tell the reddit story of Rome Sweet Rome, instead of refreshing their copyright claim to the T series.

(heck, an entire marines camp gets sent back in time to the time of the Holy Roman Empire. That leaves a lot of room for what-ifs. I'd be more interested in that)

 


 

EDITx2: okay I should answer the "can terminator be salvaged part". would be a challenge without going to existing Connor timeline (and it's basically making a pitch for a new movie at this point), but just in bullet points (may not all be the same movie at once)...

  • yeet and new story. maybe they don't have to kill the leader to friggin topple the resistance you know. maybe they can reach stonehenge and leyline the secret global communications network (that's hard to be rid of after setting up) without the neighbouring country launch nukes or something.
  • still have killer-robot-from-future, but drop the "victim is a conspiracy nutter" thing. I mean yeah it'll be hard to convince people, but having a man survive a stratospheric drop into a house party should be convincing enough. Maybe portray it around the futuristic killer in modern-day-2019.
  • go back in time and enable Nikola Tesla's ambitions. then steer towards-- no wait I want Atomic Robo to be a thing, let's not use this for the terminator franchise
  • why stop at one? make the movie a multiple-jump thing, where they still can only afford to send one at a time for a long period, but make it involve more objectives instead of one. at least portray the chess involved from the future
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Posted · Original PosterOP
22 hours ago, VegetableStu said:

why stop at one? make the movie a multiple-jump thing, where they still can only afford to send one at a time for a long period, but make it involve more objectives instead of one. at least portray the chess involved from the future

A risky proposition, but at this point in the series life, what have they got to lose?

Oh yeah, everything. Hollywood is terrified of ideas, and the more money on the line, the more they play it safe with known subjects and endless sequels.

I'd love to see JC (or the current right's holder) give the idea of the T franchise to independent filmmakers, and a budget of say, 5 mil, and see what non-Hollywood could do with it. I'm willing to bet it'd be better than a lot of what has already been put out.


So rise up, all ye lost ones, as one, we'll claw the clouds

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2 minutes ago, Radium_Angel said:

Oh yeah, everything. Hollywood is terrified of ideas, and the more money on the line, the more they play it safe with known subjects and endless sequels.

this frustrates me because Mouse Guard got axed for being too fresh a story (despite being... an adaptation of a story)

 

maybe the future is Netflix et al. maybe the streaming companies would start buying cinemas to premiere their movie stuff. hopefully those who pay the bills and only believe in stretching out old IP longer than it should would stay where they are and not be able to buy into services with indie development

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terminator has been played out. they really need to stop because they are just making it worse..sarah is back? she fing died. but hey lets bring her back no one will remember that (facepalm).

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1 hour ago, circeseye said:

sarah is back? she fing died. but hey lets bring her back no one will remember that (facepalm).

Yeah, but IIRC James Cameron mentioned that this story was going to be on an alternative timeline.  They changed the future in T2 by warning Myles Dyson and blowing up the Cyberdyne labs, remember?

They had to come up with something that justifies completely ignoring T3. Then again that's not new, they already did the "alternate timeline" thing when they made Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (from here on referred to as "TSCC")

 

 

 

I for one won't be watching it, especially after watching the trailer.  It's yet another attempt to milk some extra life out of a franchise that should have remained buried.  Apparently it's full of political agenda too, which I completely detest.

Hollywood really is out of ideas and/or going for the quick cash grab.  It's all "revivals" of old stuff and those ridiculous superhero movies (yuk!) nowadays. 

 

Oh, and I know I'm going to get tons of flak for this, but ... even if the last half of TSCC's Season 2 didn't make much sense story-wise, Lena Headey's portrayal of Sarah Connor was much more believable than this geriatric version of an 80s action movie star that Linda Hamilton has become. 

 

For me the timeline will be : T1 -> T2 -> TSCC ... and that's the end of the franchise as far as I'm concerned.  And I'm not even sure about the latter. 

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Terminator movies: Terminator & Terminator 2

 

That's it.


I tend to reply with memes because I lack social skills and don't know how to express myself correctly.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
27 minutes ago, Ehmc130 said:

I’m in the theater now watching trailers so I’ll let you know.

We will have much to discuss then.

38 minutes ago, Caroline said:

Terminator movies: Terminator & Terminator 2

 

That's it.

If only it were so easy to forget the others. For the record, I quite like T:Salvation. it at least tried to do something fresh and on repeated watchings, does okay. I can even handle T:Genesis simply based on the "hey, let's try something completely new" idea. If you step it out of the main line, and offer it as a soft reboot, it's not that bad. If you try to shoehorn it into the current timeline, you'll have issues.

 


So rise up, all ye lost ones, as one, we'll claw the clouds

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Posted · Original PosterOP
41 minutes ago, Captain Chaos said:

Apparently it's full of political agenda too, which I completely detest.

The funny thing is, for the most part, that wasn't really "in your face" (but then again, I am pretty easy going about many things. I certainly didn't get the "woke" aspect, or controversy about this...until almost the very end when there is a flashback (or flashforward?) scene that was so hamhanded it looked like it should have been on a PSA about treating everyone nicely.

 


So rise up, all ye lost ones, as one, we'll claw the clouds

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The whole Film Industry is just a Joke at this Point. One shit Movie after the other.


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theres a saying if you really love a series then you will let it end and i think this applies to the terminator. they should have just let it end where it was

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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 hour ago, Praesi said:

The whole Film Industry is just a Joke at this Point. One shit Movie after the other.

I would posit the mainstream (Hollywood) industry is a mess, but as small channels on youtube like Alter and Oats Studio show, solid ideas can still be found, when you are not under the control of the bigwig purse strings.


So rise up, all ye lost ones, as one, we'll claw the clouds

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