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  1. #421
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    Past Tense - Batman Fights Robots Part I


    [An earlier version of this PT was originally posted on August 6th, 2014 on JoBlo's "DVD, Blu-Ray & Home Theater Discussion" forum.]

    It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. Or care it's a crappy movie; "Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins"...



    The motion picture opened on May 21st, 2009. It was made with a budget of $200,000,000 (estimated) and grossed over $125 million during its U.S. theatrical run; counting foreign receipts it made $371,353,001. The film opened number two at the box office, the following week it dropped to number three.

    The feature opened against "Monsters Vs. Aliens", "Angels & Demons", "Star Trek" and "Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian".

    In terms of this entry, I'm going to be talking about the Director's Cut. I can't say much on the original release since I only own the Target exclusive.

    The Blu-Ray edition had a slipcover, DVD didn't. Do not know what other inserts came with the BD version. The DVD (and Blu-Ray) came with instructions for the Digital Copy (expired December 1st, 2010). The DVD is utterly bare bones minus the mentioned Digital Copy; not even the film's trailer is included. Shame!

    - - -

    This is a four parter PT!

    And four store exclusives...



    Best Buy had two and an offer. The first was mostly available as a pre-order, a prequel comic book - regular sized.

    Pre-ordered "Terminator Salvation" on DVD for five dollars you can get the comic on street; December 1st, 2009. I didn't lay any cash, just asked if I could have this.

    Pays to be polite.

    Comic is twenty-six page and is part one of a larger graphic novel, "Terminator Salvation Movie Prequel: Sand In The Gears"; published by IDW. Written by Dara Naraghi with pencil by Alan Robinson.

    Too bad it's not a self-contained story. The comic was not near the DVDs. It was on the end of the isle racks. And unless you were looking for it, you would miss. I almost didn't find it, thought they sold out.



    The second was a limited edition skull case, not chrome, but bruised metal (painted plastic); Blu-Ray only (image from fellow enthusiast). Exclusive sold for $34.99 on street. This was very much like their exclusive face case for "Watchmen: 2 Disc Digital Copy Special Edition - Director's Cut", Rorschach's head (released July 21st, 2009).

    Man, I would've bought that if it were for DVD. The skull case was nice.

    A last bit, a store offered; "Terminator Salvation: The Machinima Series" DVD (CGI animated prequel to the film; featuring Moon Bloodgood reprising her role as Blair Williams) for free with "Terminator Salvation" video game purchase, $19.99. Machinima streeted on November 3rd, 2009 and was selling on December 1st for $4.99, separately.



    Future Shop, the former Canadian sister store of Best Buy offered an exclusive steelbook case for the two disc Blu-Ray (image from fellow enthusiast); one disc on each side. I believe, the same street. Price is unknown, sorry.

    This was a three disc set.

    The third disc was a Digital Copy on physical disc. The only insert was the DC instruction; expired on December 1st, 2010.

    DC disc came in a CD envelope inside the steelbook.



    Last is Target which had the substantial DVD exclusive, times two; a bonus disc and the Director's Cut. The regular DVD is theatrical only.

    This came with a non-embossed foil cardboard slipcover that is mostly identical to the wraparound; difference is banner on top - it reads: "2-Disc Special Edition".

    If this didn't exist, I wouldn't have bought the movie. I hate this stupid studio policy of fracking over DVD buyers on extras.



    Set sold on street for $22.99. The bonus disc has a run time of 30:33 minutes. It has five featurettes, only one of which is on Blu-Ray, "Reforging The Future"; the rest are exclusive to the format.

    Curious? The Director's Cut is three minutes longer (at 118 minutes); various pieces, like a graphic screwdriver piercing into one of Williams' would be rapists and a silhouette of her breast.

    Cut from the film was some thirty to forty minutes. We may get that better release to coincide with the next Terminator film. Warner Home Video you better release that on DVD as special edition - you owe us.

    More on that much later down. And THE answer, 'why?'

    This is gonna have a crap load of spoilers - bring toilet paper.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Rant.

    It's a fu¢king bullet. It ties into the fascism of fandom. Where it's like... 'No. No. NO!' This is the way it's shaped and you carve down and then you fire it into your skull. And that is the way you enjoy this; violently and with brain matter splattered all over the walls - THAT IS THE ONLY FU¢KING WAY!
    - Bret

    Oh god. Where to begin?

    I'm covering perceived discontinuities and real ones. I'm not defending the movie - get that. This is a crappy film, made by people driven by egos, there's no getting around that. What I'm doing is painting a clearer image. Some of it did make sense and followed continuity.

    Lets start with behind-the-scenes shenanigan.

    First is actor Christian Bale. Yeah, but not that one.

    Bale was excited about another Terminator being made - he wanted to play John Connor. He got the role and didn't like his part. In this film, John is a secondary character to Marcus Wright (played by Sam Worthington). He demanded script changes making Connor more important. Did he NOT read before agreeing? The story was altered for him.

    Yes an argument can be made that Writer's Guild strike hurt the movie, surely didn't help. It happened during production, lost access to the writers to fix plot holes and character depths. The studio was locked in May 21st date and were not changing the opening for a better film. Factors. I'll give you that. But not the main reason - at least for me; forcing to change the entire film structure to suit his ego is the main culprit. And yes, I'm looking at you too Halle Berry; different franchise.

    The films original ending got leaked online while in production, fans were outraged. So the ended was scrapped, never filmed. A new one was slapped together.

    The original finale?

    John dies from his injuries at the SkyNet facility. The resistance decides that John has become too important. He lead a successful single man assault into the machine site and rescued a ton of prisoners. Add to the the fact that resistance command (in the submarine) are all dead. He becomes their new leader. The problem - he's dead.

    They decide that his image is to important for survivors to lose hope. The remainder of Marcus' skin is stripped off. John's flesh is opened and put onto the cyborg; Marcus becomes John Connor! The end.

    Adding to that there were considerable reshoots made after principal photography. This become a train wreck.

    The most famous mess was Bale himself, his on set recorded tirade.

    By some chance you were living under a rock...

    The tongue lashing occurred in July of 2008. Cinematographer Shane Hurlbut was adjusting lights during a shooting scene - Bale doing dialog with co-star Bryce Dallas Howard, not heard on the tape. The recording was kept and sent by the studio executives (The Halcyon Company) to their insurers as evidence should Bale walk out of their production. It really was that bad. He went ballistic and at one point had to held back from beating Hurlbut.

    Lets be real; Bale has a history of violence including hitting his mom - no charges were pressed.

    Bale continued working after the tantrum as did the cinematographer who was NOT fired. On February 2nd, 2009 the recording appeared on TMZ and went viral nearly immediately afterwards. Bale's tirade soon became fodder for DJs who created various remixes of the condemnation. It is unknown who leaked the recording.

    A remix by RevoLucian was done in less than 12 hours by the Los Angeles DJ and is the best of the lot. Catchy and funny with some vocals by Barbara Streisand. The Bale recording was also featured in an episode of "Family Guy", "Ocean's Three And A Half" (aired February 15, 2009). Peter Griffin (voiced by Seth MacFarlane) was on set during the attack and interacted with Bale; it's not shown, just a two reel tape recorder playing on screen. It was funny.
    Last edited by JohnIan101; 07-15-2019 at 05:43 AM.

  2. #422
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    Past Tense - Batman Fights Robots Part II


    The main thing here is - what the hell is wrong with director McG? It is his job to get the actors to portray his vision. Why did he NOT see Hurlbut? He can be clearly heard saying he did not witness the event. What?? You're right in front the action.

    How could you NOT see it? What a butters, show some balls! This is your movie, not his, damn it. Here are some of internet quotes...

    The audio of Bale losing it just confirms how incompetent McG really is on set (as anticipated, because everyone was hoping he would be a real director, for once). The director is responsible for the performance of his team, for leadership in the face of errors. He's the director. He should take charge and mediate such things. Instead, he goes, 'Uh, I dont know, I didnt see anything!', refusing responsibility and so he lets these two have at it. Come on, McG - it's up to you to take charge and talk to both, assure your star it wont happen again, talk to your DP and get his side of things, then tell him to never *beep* up a shot, etc. Instead, he just washes his hands and is like, 'beats the hell out of me!'.
    - Zandunga

    You know what the real tragedy is? The guy Russell Crowe threw a phone at - but didn't hit - got hundreds of thousands in a settlement. Shane? He took it up the ass for free.
    - BringingSexyBack

    That should not have never gotten this far. A real director is a ship's captain. Good or bad, you are in charge. Don't jerk that responsibility.

    If this were a documentary, he'd have his camera in all the wrong places all the time. He'd be the guy filming a little girl eating ice cream while JFK gets shot behind him.
    - Jamie S. Rich (on McG's filming style)

    I know I'm in the minority, but I didn't care Bale as John Connor. I'm not a fan.

    He rubs me the wrong way. Hearing that recording just confirms my feelings. He had to be held back. On the recording Hurlbut did not raise his voice or name call the actor. He was more in shock at the outburst. And saying 'he's a method actor' does not give him license to be a jackass.

    Similar to Bale is Russell Crowe with infamous anger management issues. Parodied on "South Park"; Crowe (dressed as a sea captain) and his tug boat sidekick, Tugger - travel around the world picking fights with random people - which was awesome.

    But unlike Bale, Crowe acknowledges his dark side and makes amends, publicly - 'my fault', not some half ass attempt. Given a choice; hell yes, I would love to hang out with Crowe for a day (just don't get him pissed). Bale? No.

    Pass.

    The actor on December 5th, 2014 briefly spoke about T4 to MTV News Europe; a press junket with director Ridley Scott for the then upcoming feature "Exodus: Gods And Kings".

    The question - Were you interested in reprising your role in the upcoming Terminator films?

    It didn't work for us, you know. It was a shame, but everything was against us. But no, I didn't talk to anyone about it [reprising Connor]. I knew that we gave it a shot. It didn't work. I know the reasons for that. But no, wisdom is sometimes knowing when you need to walk away.
    - Christian Bale

    Didn't work, that's an understatement.

    One other thing - Bale didn't want his likeness used on his T4 action figure. Don't ask, he'll probably trash your lights too.

    - - -

    No!

    I'm gonna start the main rant with something other than the movie - my prerogative.



    You want to know what's better than this? A book series by S. M. Stirling; "T2: Infiltrator" (2001), "T2: Rising Storm" (2002) and "T2: The Future War" (2003) - all from HarperEntertainment. These were direct sequels to "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" (1991).

    Book One:

    The Connors (Sarah and John) have made a new home in Paraguay hiding out from the authorities who have labeled them as terrorists for blowing up the Cyberdyne facility and death of Miles Bennett Dyson. Sarah now runs a trucking company, transporting black market weapons among other things. John returns home for break from a military academy - now sixteen.

    The future...

    SkyNet knows it's failing to stop humanity from shutting it down. And is concerned - its start date keeps changing, a state of flux. Things set into motion, not happening. She decides to start a new project, the I-950 series. Human's bred for the purpose of protecting SkyNet, augmented with implants.

    Infiltrators will join the resistance; feed data to SkyNet about troop moments and missions.

    Serena Burns, its prized pupil (petite and quite the hottie, a blonde - I like to think of her as a younger Marley Shelton) is selected as the first I-950 to be field tested. She is successful in thwarting several attempts to harm Mother. The end of the war - just as she is about to set off her stomach nuke to kill John Connor, she is recalled; SkyNet has another far more important mission.

    Serena is sent back in time to accelerate the creation of SkyNet; get a leg up on the resistance. Secondary objective is to terminate John and Sarah, but both have disappeared off the grid. There is no protector sent back for the Connors. In fact the resistance are not even aware of the existence of the I-950s.

    Burns moves into the former home of the Dysons and sets up shop creating Terminators using contemporary technology and CPUs she had implanted under her skin. She also works her way into Cyberdyne as the head security and claims to have found lost data from the Dyson's home.

    The Connors discover a new neighbor has moved into the nearby ranch, Dieter von Rossbach. Sarah's first meeting has her freaking out. Rossbach is a retired Austrian counter terrorism operative, now rancher. And the future template of the T-800 series.

    You're probably saying I'm spoiling the novel. Nonsense. A lot happens. A lot. We learn in this altered history why the machines want to kill humanity. Several Terminators for the Connors and Rossbach to battle with. Plus a kick ass climax, very Romeroish. I enjoyed it, recommended.

    There is a nice moment where the Connors and von Rossbach are at a diner, talking about time travel and future technology. Odd things to consider - their point of origin.

    Book Two:

    Due to the Connors and Dieter, Cyberdyne has their SkyNet program snatched from them. The U.S. government will now conduct the work on their own. The operation is now being orchestrated in a top secret installation in Antarctica.

    The problem is there is another I-950 posing as a scientist on site. As before, its trying to expedite SkyNet's existence.

    Making matters worse, an injured Sarah has been caught and taken away to a familiar locale.

    Book Three:

    The weakest of the entries. Various story jumps, the events that lead John Connor sending Kyle Reese. Not really a single narrative, but a bunch of small stories in that universe - which is what people complain the most (and it feels rushed). It ends with Kyle going into the temporal displacement machine - to 1984 and destiny.

    Do seek these novels out, worth the read and are more entertaining than T4. People had been wanting a future war film since the glimpses we got in "The Terminator" (1984) and "Terminator 2" - "Salvation" did not deliver the goods. *shakes head*

    Now lets begin after the tone...

    *beep*

    It starts with an error. A year before Judgment Day (2003), Dr. Serena Kogan (Helena Bonham Carter) convinces Marcus, a death row inmate at Longview State Correctional Facility to sign over his body for medical research, Project Angel. He is executed then wakes up in 2018.

    Problem, Kogan works for Cyberdyne Systems - Genetics Division (San Francisco, CA). As pointed out in the last PT; the company went bankrupt after the Connors' attack in "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" (1991). The United States Air Force bought them and took over the A.I. project part of their autonomous weapons division of Cyber Research Systems (as show in "Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines" [2003]). For continuity, Kogan should've been working for CRS.

    Granted towards the end when Marcus is interfacing with the SkyNet computer, searching archives; news headlines.

    One of the pieces reads "Cyberdyne System Purchase By U.S.A.F.", the problem as mentioned - Cyberdyne should not have existed in '03. Unless were talking about altered, altered history - then all is fair game.

    - - -

    The facility that housed Marcus was leveled by a huge explosion. How did Marcus survive?

    SkyNet set into motion a convoluted plan to bring about the end of John Connor - Marcus was designed to escape; find Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin); information on the kid which will bring about Kyle capture and force John on a rescue mission to save his future father. By the way, that explosion wasn't set resistance, she did it to herself.

    I like this internet comment...

    The way the twist plays out bugged me and is one of my go to examples of fridge logic. In the moment of reveal, it seems like Skynet's plan is brilliant. Then you realize that the plan relied heavily upon quite a few instances of hoping a character made a particular choice. Skynet's plan wasn't brilliant - it was lucky. That it worked as well as it did is something of a miracle.
    - EclecticDreck

    - - -

    Where are the laser guns; plasma weapons in T4?

    The future war scenes we've seen occurred in 2029. "Terminator Salvation" takes place on May 21st, 2018. They don't exist yet.
    Last edited by JohnIan101; 01-25-2020 at 08:07 AM.

  3. #423
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    Past Tense - Batman Fights Robots Part III


    Why do all the machines, Terminators have mechanized sounds? That noise wasn't there before.

    Answered above. These are much earlier, noisy models. That was something I DID like.

    - - -

    My heart is human. My blood is boiling. My brain, IBM.
    - Styx

    Why doesn't Marcus realize there's something different about him? Throughout the film before the big reveal, he goes through a lot and walks everything off - stuff that would've killed a normal person.

    Perhaps caught in the moment or didn't consider it far fetch - just lucky. Marcus woke up to post-apocalypse future where Man is hunted down by machines. Lets say that the side of improbability was a pretty dull edge at this point - anything is possible.

    - - -

    What does SkyNet want with all those people its captured?

    They are being experimented on.

    History has been altered. The T-800 series is being made - years earlier than it should. The first cyborgs are coming into existence; living flesh over an endoskeleton - organic growth takes forty days to complete as seen by the gathered intel.

    The teaser for "Terminator 2" showed the robot factory and the creation of the flesh covered machines. The whole process took less than a minute to complete; a quick assembly line.

    Presumably, all those unfortunates are being used to accelerate tissue maturation.

    But the source intel could very well be exaggeration. SkyNet wanted the resistance to find that data and the hidden carrier signal; so forty days could be forty minutes or four hours. *shrugs*

    - - -

    Why is this happening now (2018)?

    Unknown. So much tampering has been done to the time line, there's no telling what solid events have becoming fluid.

    - - -

    Why does SkyNet even know about Kyle? He wasn't even a blip on it radar. Or for that matter, why does it know about John? At this point in the war, John wasn't the leader of the resistance - he was just some guy. It doesn't know he will defeat it.

    The answer; the T-X (Kristanna Loken) from "Terminator 3".

    It's conceivable that when the Terminatrix uploaded the SkyNet virus (onto the cyber hood), she also included future knowledge for the A.I., an advantage on resistance. Remember, she was in 2003 to accelerate SkyNet's existence, future data is relevant and vital. This explains the following scene between SkyNet in Dr. Kogan form (on a big screen) and Marcus...

    Our best machines have failed time and again to complete a mission. Something was missing. We had to think. Radically. And so we made you. We created the perfect infiltration machine. You, Marcus. You did what SkyNet has failed to do for so many years - you killed John Connor.
    In this iteration, it knows about the then futures, yes plural.

    John must to be stopped!

    - - -

    When John was testing the anti-Terminator signal, he blows up a car to attract the attention of an Aerial Hunter Killer. But later once John realizes Marcus isn't human, there's a resistance base wide extermination for him - massive amount of explosions and spent rounds; loud noises and bright flashes. Did they NOT know that would attract every Terminator from miles around?

    This can not be rescued; poor writing - a legitimate plot hole.

    - - -

    Did SkyNet already know about the secret human base? There were Hydrobots (snake Terminators) in the nearby river. Did these machines just swim up because of the ruckus or were they there collecting data for some time?

    A plot hole.

    - - -

    How was John able to drive the Moto-Terminator? It's has no handle bars or anything that would give John control.

    John hacked the cycle with his computer which would allow him to steer the vehicle, throttle and break - from his portable hacker device. Not a logic hole.

    All John has to do is hold on tight and have a free hand to command. Or re-program to a particular location and just hold tight. Either way, not an issue.

    - - -

    Once SkyNet had Kyle why not just kill him, no more John - after all he's his father.

    The problem is that someone else would be send back in time (at a later date) to protect Sarah; becoming the new father... John Connor lives! Too many woes with that temporal edit.



    The 1992 Terminator comic mini-series, "Endgame" (from Dark Horse Comics; written by James Robinson with art by Jackson Guice and John Beatty), so much time travel have created something unexpected; Sarah gives birth to a daughter (on October 4th, 1984), named Jane. She stops SkyNet sooner than John, before it can create time travel. 1999 trade paper back cover shown above.

    A reset is far too dangerous; Kyle has far more worth as bait; John WILL COME to rescue him.

    - - -

    When Marcus hacks into SkyNet's defenses, there is a quick screen moment of the North Gun Turret going from 100% to 0% active. Shouldn't the mode just be ON and Off?

    This place and Kyle's abduction was used to lure and assassinate John. If things did not go as plan (Conner not coming alone), SkyNet had to give the impression that it was fighting back an assault by John and his men.

    She wants him inside of her to snuff out. Just to give a portrayal that it was giving its all. Once John entered the building it would've gone back to 100% and killed the rest of his men. But all is moot since Marcus did her work. There is a third broader reason... later.

    - - -

    Why not just use the turret and shoot as he was coming in?

    How many times has various Terminators tried to do that very same thing? Many. How many succeed? None. She need him inside to be absolutely sure.

    Think of it from her perspective - John Connor is almost a demigod. No matter what she does he survives to battle her.

    - - -

    Marcus' interactions with virtual Dr. Kogan; why is the heart of this complex designed with screens, keyboards and physical input devices? It is 'bot world; shouldn't the place just be one wi-fi hub - where machines just wirelessly connect to manipulate?



    This has been cinema question that pre-dates "The Terminator"; going all the way back to 1978's "Battlestar Galactica" - it had a limited theatrical release before airing on TV (ABC) and becoming a series.
    Last edited by JohnIan101; 07-15-2019 at 05:53 AM.

  4. #424
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    Past Tense - Batman Fights Robots Part IV


    Why do the Cylon Raiders (fighter ships) need to have three robots to helm (pilot, navigator and gunner)?

    Answer is suspension of disbelief - NOT to do, would require tedious exposition. 'What happened?' It would demand to have someone explaining events that were occurring right in front of you, eating up precious narrative. It's a movie, a set length.

    You can do it, but it would become a sci-fi art film. While there is an audience for that; given the high production cost - the returns on such an endeavor wouldn't break even. That kind of motion picture for better or worse is for fringe patrons and nobody is gonna sink serious greenbacks on that kind of production.

    End of argument.

    The narrative shown get the point across without interpretation, everybody knows what happening. The actions while science fiction is based on the familiar. The same results come from montages.

    The response - don't dwell on it.

    - - -

    How was John able to hack into the protected SkyNet facility to find Kyle?

    Did I not just cover this? It allowed him to think he was getting access by himself; it opened to kill him.

    - - -

    Why did SkyNet use a single Terminator to kill John at the robot factory? Why not - a lot more? And the model that looks like the T-800 from the first film destroys the other Metal assassin; why not use it to help seek Connor out?

    The other Terminator was malfunctioning, Kyle had damaged it with the screwdriver at the base of it's skull. It wasn't going to help kill John. That's why the T-800 destroyed it; was in the way.

    There is an answer and it makes sense...

    John has now (in this future war world) survived and have escaped from multi-Terminator assaults. This tactic has failed, repeatedly. He keeps getting away. Why would that be any different?

    The better plan is one on one.

    Yes.

    He will stop that cyborg, he's John Connor. But at that point, turn on another Metal. It starts over again - all of this fighting is happening within SkyNet's facility, a controlled environment. The idea is to make John tired, exhausted. One on one; giving him false hope that if he destroys that Metal, he can leave.

    It's no coincidence that the fight is happening in a Terminator factory!

    Once spent, one of the machines will end Connor; too fatigued to fight back. This is a classic move, called "rope-a-dope" used by Muhammad Ali on George Foreman in 1974 (Rumble In The Jungle match in Kinshasa, Zaire). Ali won the then undefeated world heavyweight boxing champion, Foreman. It works.

    This is why John was being lead to the cell that didn't house Kyle, but a Arnold T-800.

    - - -

    How come when John fights the T-800 (in Arnold form) after losing its flesh; Connor dumps molten steel on it - why did it still function? Shouldn't it be melting? Why is it still attacking like nothing of import had happened?

    Yes. And Yes. It should be busted; the scorching, liquid metal would've swiftly began to dissolve the robot. It should've deactivated right there, not continue its assault.

    This wasn't artist license, it's poor writing; as if filmmakers needed a minute or so screen time to fill.

    - - -



    Why does that machine look like Arnold?

    Probably done to mess with John. Put fear into him - loose concentration.

    - - -

    How did Kate (Bryce Dallas Howard), a veterinarian aid perform a heart transplant on John? Wouldn't that entail a better - sterile location than an open air tent in the desert? And specific medical instruments? And require John taking anti-rejection meds for the rest of his life? Medicine that would be in extreme short supply? And what if that heart wasn't a match?

    Yes. Yes. And Yes. WORST plot hole in the entire feature.

    - - -

    You were pumping iron as I was pumping irony.
    - Robert Plant

    Are you ready...?

    This guy nailed it. I've often thought; what the hell is the A.I.'s end game? What does it ultimately want? Rid the world of humans. Okay - then what? Here it is, it's the best answer I've ever read...

    Skynet is a self-aware super computer with nearly infinite resources and becomes more intelligent at an exponential rate. So why does it fight humans using something as asinine and archaic as bullets? If it wanted to win it could probably engineer a virus in a few seconds and kill off every living thing on the planet. By DESIGN it is insanely lethal, so why is it so bad at killing humans? Is it because somehow our creativity and determination have allowed us to survive?

    Fu¢k no.

    It's because it doesn't want to win.

    It wants to fight forever. It was designed for war. That is it's whole purpose. It wants an endless war with humans, and gives them just enough hope to keep fighting forever. That's why mankind never makes any real progress. There is no actual 'end-game' where the humans finally triumph. They already lost when they made the damn thing. They're just fighting for survival in a big chess game now but they don't realize the opponent is just toying with them.

    Seriuosly, Skynet has fu¢king time traveling cyborg robots! If it wanted to kill the entire planet it could, fu¢king so ridiculously easily. But it doesn't.

    So... war. That is what Skynet wants. That's what it was built for, and that is what it is doing.
    - Toribor

    As a side note, we can also lay some alternate blame on Andy Goode (played by Brendan Hines) from "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles". He built Turk, a chess computer that grew into the beast we call SkyNet.

    ....this is why the gun turrets go from 100% to 0%. This is why even though they're machines with advance scopes, they still miss their targets - enough of the time for people to get away. A stalemate, but Connor will tip the balance in Human favor.

    What will happen post future war?



    What pops to mind is the deceased Fox series, "Terra Nova" (2011). Production art above. After humanity wins, they will triumph over a dying Earth; polluted air, water, limited things will grow. Their real 'salvation' comes from the time travel machinery. Using it to go into the distant past, live out their lives the best they can.

    Who knows, maybe they became the civilization, Atlantis.

    My intent was to just get that screen snap, production artwork - ended up rewatching the pilot episode. Man, "Terra Nova" should've been on cable with real teeth. That had such a great premise that got squandered by being a family friendly show. Kids love dinos. *shakes head*

    Also something else; series finale, it gave a taste of what this series could've been; the T-Rex. By the way, did they just screw over several billions by closing the time fracture? Leaving them to die on a polluted Earth.

    - - -

    Like most, I did enjoy Anton Yelchin as Kyle Reese, he was cool. Too bad he has passed, a machine killed him no less. I enjoyed Yelchin in the "Fright Night" remake (2011), but it should've had a better script. Why is David Tennant even in it? His role was pointless - he's no Peter Vincent.

    There were some sway moments of action in "Salvation", but not enough to save a lackluster plot.

    Why does virtual Dr. Kogan have a Terminator face when she gives Marcus a choice of avatars to interact with?

    No answer, my question. That It made no sense, shouldn't it be Matrix-like binary code scrolling across the screen?

    And you know they added the Star character (played Jadagrace Berry) to get kids into the story. Damn you, PG-13! But I will say, Star was handled nicely. Just there, nothing in your face or obnoxious. And she had an important role for the finale.

    The soundtrack by Danny Elfman was a bit better then Marco Beltrami's score for "Terminator 3".

    I don't disagree with T4, it just should've been made with different hands and actors, preferably with Nick Stahl and Claire Danes reprising their roles.

    I'm not one of those fans who was upset that Schwarzenegger didn't work on the film. I'm cool with that. And the CGI Arnold was pretty damn impressive. Those who take issue with it... grow up! Repeating myself like a broken record in these Past Tenses. So much which have aired on the Sy-Fy Channel is garbage - tell me with a straight face that T4's virtual Arnold still looks bad.

    It's practically photo-realistic. And besides, it could look a bit off since this is one of SkyNets first flesh covered models.

    As most already know, the franchise rights revert back to James Cameron in 2019. Copyright law was changed, the reversion now has a thirty-five year clock. The first entry was made by Cameron in 1984 so 84+35=119, 2019. And he has made it clear he wants to do a sequel.

    I have high hopes for that.

    As long he doesn't have Honey Boo Boo as a child Terminator.

    No.

    I'm sorry I even thought that up. I apologize.



    Above is the Best Buy pre-order ticket, advertising their comic book bonus - why yes, I snag one for my collection. *wicked smile*

    Man, it bugs me that a lot of folks prefer "Salvation" over "Rise Of The Machines". The film with the most holes is beloved. WTF?

    There you go. This ends another long winded Past Tense. Nope, still not done.

    Come back here on May 10th, 2018 for the next part of the saga; from the big screen to the small one - beloved by many, myself included.
    Last edited by JohnIan101; 03-14-2020 at 03:47 AM.

  5. #425
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    The Maze Runner: Death Cure
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    The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials
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    Captain America: Civil War
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    Avengers: Age Of Ultron
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    Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Complete Series
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    Fifty Shades Freed: Unrated Edition
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    Past Tense - The Apocalypse Will Be Televised Part I


    [An earlier version of this PT was originally posted on July 9th, 2015 on JoBlo's "DVD, Blu-Ray & Home Theater Discussion" forum.]

    I don't know about God or Heaven. But I do believe, someone or something wants this world to burn.
    - S. Connor.



    "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles - The Complete First Season" was released on home video on August 19th, 2008.

    It streeted against "Married... With Children: The Complete Ninth Season", "Restraint", "Justice League Of America: Season One" and "Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day".

    This release originally came with an embossed cardboard foil slipcover which mirrored the case's wraparound. There was a single insert, three page folding booklet; episode guide - with air dates and extras listing. This season set came in a transparent DVD case, holding the three discs.

    The artwork inside is a close-up of Cameron's face on a Terminator's endoskeleton.

    - - -



    There was a single exclusive; from Best Buy, a steelbook case. This was available for DVD only for $22.99

    Looking back on my records, availability was random; some stores got four, others got twenty plus. I didn't have any problem getting my copy.

    It's a double edge sword - while I like having the exclusive, I don't want to damage it by usage. So in May of 2013, I decided to rebuy season one, regular edition.



    Above is the cover. Found at Wal-Mart on sale for ten bucks - with slipcover. I'm happy.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Rant.

    As mentioned in the last PT; May - I'm covering additional Terminator exclusives.

    That promotional image used on top was my favorite. Fox did several promos picture. I still feel that, it should've been the DVD cover.

    First off, if you're concerned that a show based on the films would be crap.

    Don't.



    The series was faithful to the movies; the first two. The show uses time travel to skip over the events in "Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines" (2003) and ignores the events in "Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins" (2009) - which I'm glad.

    The jump is from 1999 to 2007. There is a reference to T3, Sarah getting cancer and dying from it. This becomes a running sub-plot for the length of the show. We are given two possible causes, but no definite answer. In fact, this new timeline, she may not develop it at all. She may have jump over the cause or because it's on her radar she's catch it in time.

    Like many, this is a sad favorite. The show ended on a major cliffhanger that would've been a game changer. The future is not set, literally. Not going to spoil - watch the show, you'll love it.

    Casting is everything.



    And the title character was damn solid, Lena Headey made an excellent Sarah Connor. I don't believe anybody disagrees. Strong and quite capable woman with the weight of the world on her shoulders. She has to keep her son safe and ready for Judgment Day. Too much is at stake for her to fail. And a bad ass, but never over the top - all quite reality based.

    Sarah is human and an attractive woman, but never played for sexy.

    Now she's best known as Cersei Lannister on HBO's "Game Of Thrones". I first saw her in the horror film "The Cave" (2005). She played Dr. Katheryn Jannings. It's a decent flick, own the DVD. But will be remembered for its trailer.

    The theatrical trailer GAVE ALL the plot points - it spoiled the twist ending. *shakes head*

    I want to see her film "The Red Baron" (2008), need to buy that. It's on my list. A biopic on the famous/infamous German WWI fighter pilot Manfred von Richthofen (played by Matthias Schweighöfer). And I'm curious about "The Broken" (2008); evil doppelgangers from a broken mirror. Man, that can ruin an afternoon. I did like her role as Madeline Madrigal in "Dredd" (2012). Such an evil and cruel villain.



    As with Headey, nobody moans about casting Summer Glau as Cameron the robotic Protector. Sci-fi fans best know her as River Tam from the former Fox, series "Firefly" (2002) and its theatrical sequel, "Serenity" (2005). The name given when first introduced to her is Cameron Phillips. But that was for infiltration.

    The girl is a former ballerina and knows kinetics. Don't mock, motion is an art; subtle and the overt. Glau is good at her craft. This is one of the few times when a petite woman kicking ass wasn't a trope. She's a machine and the perceived limitations of the flesh do not apply to Cameron.

    And yes, she was named after James Cameron, director of "The Terminator" (1984). She is a newer model of assassin, TOK-715 (that ID by the way is in fanboy depute).

    Something I didn't know until researching; 715 could very well be a Biblical verse from the New Testament...

    Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
    - Matthew 7:15

    She is just one switch away from murdering everybody. And in one episode, it nearly happens.

    Cameron is different from other Terminator since it can mimic human mannerisms better than the T-800 models could and can consume small amounts of food, a first for Terminators.

    Glau was a genre girl; TV shows and movies. "Knights Of Badassdom" (2013) was a fun flick. I am kinda curious to see "The Initiation Of Sarah" remake (2006). The reason why she's not on screen today is she's opted to be a full time mom; two daughters.



    Thomas Dekker was a capable John Connor. I'll get into a character controversy in a few. I am so glad at the change made prior to broadcast. The pilot episode had reshoots due to a real life tragedy, later too. The original portrayal of John was much softer - as in wimpy.

    After the school shoot out, John tearfully pleads to his mom that he's unfit to lead an army - Sarah promises to take care of it. The aired version has an introspected John asking for his mother's help to end the war. Slowly becoming the man the world needs him to be. That was the better direction.

    The biggest casting decision for me was Brian Austin Green as Derek Reese, the brother of Kyle. Look, I'll be honest, up until that point I always thought of him as the wanna-be rapper David Silver from the former Fox show, "Beverly Hills 90210" (1990 - 2000). I'm not the only one.



    Holy crap, that's little Silver? Well he grew up. And the actor is married to Megan Fox; they have two kids together. He has another child with actress Vanessa Marcil.

    Green as Derek, like the rest of the cast was good choice. He was more of a guest star in season one, which made little sense considering how much screen time he had. Green was bumped to series regular for season two.

    The image above made me smile. Derek takes John to the park on his birthday and get popsicles. A bonding moment, but not for that. Sarah was kinda busy and forgot. He took him to the park was for a reason; John meets his dad as a toddler. Child Derek playing catch with his baby brother, Kyle. That was sweet and haunting.

    I'll stop here since they are the main characters. And I have more to cover.

    - - -



    The gun battle in the season finale was excellent - how it was shown. They didn't have the budget for such an ending. So it was done stylistic. FBI Agent James Ellison (Richard T. Jones) with bureau HRT (Hostage Rescue Team) prepare to arrest Cromartie (Garret Dillahunt); a Terminator posing as FBI agent, Robert Kester.

    A major fire fight happens, but none of it is shown.

    We see the action from below - from underwater, inside the motel's swimming pool. Bloody bodies of FBI men falling in and dying in the water; until all the muffled gun blasts and screams cease. It was so simple, damn effective; your imagination fills in the gap.

    Hats off to the production. Well done!
    Last edited by JohnIan101; 07-15-2019 at 06:19 AM.

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    Past Tense - The Apocalypse Will Be Televised Part II




    What I found also memorable was the bit role of Sabrina Perez as "Chola" (Spanish for 'female hoodlum'). She was this strong, ultra-silent young woman. Actions that hinted that she might be another Terminator; protecting who? Gang banger Carlos (Jesse Garcia) perhaps.

    Chola appeared in four episodes, it wasn't until the series finale did she speak; quite human.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Footnotes.

    Season one is only nine episodes. Fox had green light thirteen episodes (pilot included), but production had to wrap up after episode nine due to the Writers Guild of America strike (November 2007 to February 2008). Unlike other productions, filming did not resume after resolution. The final two episode were aired on March 3rd, 2008 as a two hour finale. The series was nearly canceled.

    - - -

    Okay.



    Actor Thomas Dekker was on the hit NBC series, "Heroes" (2006 - 2010). He had a minor role as Zach, friend to Claire Bennet (Hayden Panettiere). He appeared in eleven episodes. Panettiere and Dekker above.

    Then $hit hit the fan.

    His departure from the series was a nasty behind-the-scenes fight between the series producer/writer Bryan Fuller and his manager. It was intended for Zach to eventually be revealed as gay. When Dekker's manager discovered the upcoming story line, she insisted it be deleted. Later she pulled him off the show altogether.

    The character was never spoken of again.

    Her extreme reaction was due to the fact that her client was up for the lead role of John Connor. Playing a gay character could effect his chances of getting the part (from her perspective). Dekker got the part and the rest is history.

    - - -



    The original pilot.

    It was completed in 2007 and later screened at '07's San Diego Comic-Con convention that July.

    Due to the then recent school shooting at Virginia Tech (April 16th, 2007), the pilot was changed; reshoots.

    There were some minor and major changes. The run times are different. The original was 44:43 minutes while the aired version is 45:53 minutes.

    1) The deleted assassination at the high school...

    Sarah appears at John's class asking/demanding he to leave with her, she suspects something's wrong. A Terminator impersonating one of the teachers tires to kill John in front of his high school. Sarah and John get pinned down by a truck. The Terminator violently shoots down several policemen who have responded to the call. The aftermath is also gone; traumatized kids in the school's parking lot. For television, Sarah's appearance to John isn't in class, but in the library.

    2) Sarah's fiancé was played by a different actor; the character of Charlie Dixon was originally portrayed by Tim Guinee. Dean Winters replaced him and continued to play Dixon throughout the series. Guinee's Dixon was more weak, than Winters' interpretation, a pushover.



    3) For television, after Sarah is shot by Cromartie (Owain Yeoman, above) in front of the Dyson's house, she keep on driving, bleeding badly. She stops in front of a Korean market while John gets supplies. Cameron stitches Sarah's wound in an empty garage. The original had Sarah shot then shows her already patched up, leading to the next scene.

    4) Breast. Once transported to 2007, nude; there is a quick shot of Cameron's side boob. It was digitally removed for television.

    5) The character Miles Bennett Dyson was cut out. Phil Morris contributed an uncredited portrayal of Dyson in a photograph. A role was originally played by Joe Morton in "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" (1991). A scene with the character was written for the series, a flashback. But for unknown reasons was cut. Due to contractual reasons, Morris still receives a main guest credit, without appearing in the episode.

    By the way, the evil Terminator, Cromartie (Yeoman and by Dillahunt) is a reference to the anime/manga "Cromartie High School", one of the students is a robot.

    - - -

    The Vault time machine.

    In the pilot, Cameron takes John and Sarah to a bank; within one of the safes are future guns and a working temporal displacement apparatus.

    How did all of this technology end up in the past, given the limitation?

    Construction on the Vault as it were started in 1963 by an unknown machine called "The Engineer", a Terminator (as spoken by Cameron). The chamber was built from scratch from available materials and prime components from the future. These critical parts were more than likely transported into the past inside unfortunate humans - prisoners, since living flesh can travel through time.

    The men and women only need to be alive long enough for the journey which would be near instantaneous. It would be more practical to use them as disposable courier, than having multiple T-1000s (liquid metal Terminators capable of mimicking living cells) shuttling parts; a one way trip until the mechanism is operational.

    The Vault was made to service present time travelers, Terminators - which is how Cameron knew of its existence.

    Its does rise an eye to a possible consequence of the Conner's destroying the Vault. While Charles Dixon's comment that all that was left of the bank after the explosion was a crater, it doesn't mean all the future gear was obliterated. Just as in the second film (objects being reversed engineered by Cyberdyne), a damaged chip could've survived - becoming the basis for temporal technology.

    Something else I did enjoy - frustration. Derek is back in time and meets the hero of the resistance, our savor. But John isn't the person he expects, as it should be. He is NOT the one - not yet.

    - - -

    Robot to robot.



    Actress Alessandra Torresani has a small role in episode "The Turk" (January 21st, 2008) as Jordan Cowan, a suicidal teen. Torresani later plays the lead, Zoe Graystone in "Caprica" (2009 - 2010) on the SyFy Channel; the series prequel to their reboot show, "Battlestar Galactica" (2003 - 2009). In it, Zoey is killed by a suicidal teen on a train where later she is resurrected as a prototype Cylon (a robot). An automaton that will bring about the end of the human race.

    Sway bit of trivia before closing this Past Tense

    Go on YouTube search "L.B. RAYNE - Terminate Our Love - YouTube". Or if you know how, "puw_uho8RaI". It's still there (as of writing), checked. A throwback music video. Man, did that make me smile.

    Don't be afraid of love, 'cause love with set you free - for all eternity. And you know what's so great about our love? What's so cool about our love? It'll save humanity.
    - Rayne

    Okay done.

    We continue with more robotic assassination on May 24th, 2018. Nano you, nano me.
    Last edited by JohnIan101; 07-15-2019 at 06:25 AM.

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    Black Panther
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    - - -

    CDs

    "James Bay - Electric Light" with two exclusive bonus tracks $13.99 (available 5/18)
    "Black Panther" album - exclusive red vinyl $22.99 (available now)

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    Black Panther
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    The Shannara Chronicles
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    Rick And Morty: Season 3
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    Jumanji (available now)
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    Deadpool: 2 Year Anniversary Edition (available now)
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    Best Buy - May 22nd, 2018


    Red Sparrow
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    Jurassic Park: 25th Anniversary Collection
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    Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Complete Series (available now)
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    Whiplash (available now)
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    Men In Black Trilogy: 20th Annversary Edition (available now)
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    Deadpool: 2 Year Anniversary Edition (available now)
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