I just came back from watching an exclusive 20 minute screening of TERMINATOR SALVATION at the Time Warner Center in Manhattan, New York. I love that area, but that's a whole other conversation.
The director of the film McG, yes the same guy who produced the TV series 'O.C' and 'Pussycat Dolls Present: Girlicious', was there to present and introduce 4 never before seen clips. Before I get to that, I must say, I think the guy gets a bad rap (I'm at fault too). Today he impressed me with his presence, orator skills and humor. Compared to director Zack Snyder, from Watchmen, he's a savant. McG essentially pitched himself to the 40 some-odd film critics as why he is the right guy to direct this film. He was convincing, but even more, the clips he showed had me at hello.
Here's a breakdown of what I saw followed by some commentary (spoilers!):
Scene 1: A snipett of the film that felt more like a :30 second trailer.
Scene 2: All out action. Looks like McG went for the jugular on this one... and he got me. We see actor Sam Worthington as Marcus Wright, I'm still trying to find out what relevance his character has in the film, with Anton Yelchin as Kyle Reese, arriving at what seems an abandoned gas station. There they are surprised by several refugees who are aiming guns at them until... a thunderous thud comes roaring through the roof in the form giant robotic claws and... GASP! people are torn to shreds! A truck chase ensues between the gigantic robot and our two heroes. Robot motorcycle drivers are spit out from the legs of the behemoth machine and then... KABOOM! Many of the CGI scenes presented were still unfinished so we couldn't get a full grasp of the clips, yet, it was enough to remind me of T2's action sequences. I was entertained to say the least.
Scene 3: Here we see Bale crashing his helicopter into a lake. Hydrobots come rushing like piranhas to mutilate and dismember what ever they can get their fiber optic wires on, only to be confronted by "B.A.B" (Bad Ass Bale) who plays John Connor. Sam Worthington then comes out of the lake like the Predator and stands toe to toe with Bale. Drama ensues. Fade to black.
Scene 4: This clip looks like an extended theatrical trailer wich lasted like 3-4 minutes. It's essentially a summary of the movie and all the clips that were exhibited.
Here are my thoughts of the presentation and the film:
McG was an appealing and engaging presenter. He hinted at 'The Governator' making a cameo. The director talked about how 'big budget action meets quality acting' will be seen here á la Dark Knight and Iron Man. He loves Sam Worthington and he thinks he's going to be a BIG star. He mentioned that Bale's talent is the reason the movie will be a hit. He also mentioned that 'Bruce Wayne' spends 6-8 hours in the editing room with him to make sure it doesn't turn out campy. It was referred to in the Q&A that there is a part 5 in the mix and it will incorporate the time travel theme. Danny Elfman was picked over Oscar winning Argentinian composer Gustavo Santaolalla from Babel. He chose him because of his delicateness and bravura.
The action scenes we saw are the real deal and I can't wait to see this film in IMAX. I'm gonna flip out! There was so much action compacted into the 10 minute clip that my head almost exploded. That's what a summer action movie is all about. I thought Bale sounded like BATMAN, you know, the hoarse, husky, grating voice I'm talking about. To me that was the single reason The Dark Knight was not perfect. The raspy voice has got to go! I feel that apart from that, there will be enough acting chops from Bale to distinguish this from a contrived, generic action summer flick. From the looks of it, we can count on Terminator Salvation to be an entertaining and frolicking good time at the movies this summer!
Check out some of the pictures we collected at the press event:
McG presenting an animatrics T-800 and cussin' up a storm
New unknown robot
The destruction of Earth