Release Date: July 1
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney, Jason Clarke, Matt Smith, Byung-Hun Lee, JK Simmons
Directed by: Alan Taylor
Official Web site:
When John Connor (Jason Clarke), leader of the human resistance, sends Sgt. Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) back to 1984 to protect Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) and safeguard the future, an unexpected turn of events creates a fractured time-line. Now, Sgt. Reese finds himself in a new and unfamiliar version of the past, where he is faced with unlikely allies, including a new T-800 terminator, the Guardian (Arnold Schwarzenegger), dangerous new enemies, and an unex-pected new mission: To reset the future...
See the trailer here:
Talking with the Cast and Movie Makers!
By: Derek Samms
[Possible SPOILERS ahead: we've tried to limit our information about the movie's plot to what's already been revealed in the trailer, but if you haven't seen either, you might want to read ahead with caution!]
Old. Not Obsolete.
That's the mantra repeated by the T-800 cyborg in Terminator: Genisys, and it could just as easily apply to the film's star. That is, only if you know his age. To look at Arnold Schwarzenegger today, you would never guess-without a little googling and some math-that he's been making movies for as long as he has. But the "Governator" has been at this game for over forty years, and when the time came for him to jump back into this particular classic role, he was more than ready.
He had to do some work to get to the precise shape though. In the film, while the T-800's exterior flesh ages, its robotic skeleton stays the same, so Schwarzenegger had to be in the same shape that he was for the original film. He described some of the training he had to do to prepare. "As a matter of fact, Alan asked me to gain ten pounds in order to have the same size as the skeleton always had in 1984, so I gained that weight, trained twice as hard, trained heavier and stuff to get more muscle size and so on."
But while the Terminator's body is the same shape, the character is quite different from before. That same killer cyborg shows up to destroy Sarah Connor, but he quickly encounters, as the actor describes it, "another terminator, one that has been around for a longer period of times, also the T-800 model, but he was programmed to protect Sarah Connor and the human race." Schwarzenegger, of course, plays both the original T-800 and the protector, who has essentially raised Sarah in this timeline.
"The one that has been around longer, he has already adopted certain human behaviors," Arnold says. "But also it creates great comic relief when the Terminator tries very hard to be like a human and he fails miserably."
The cyborg isn't the only one with a makeover. In the film, we get to see an all-new Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke of Game of Thrones) and Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney of Jack Reacher), whose relationship with each other and with the Terminator have all changed from what we witnessed in the original film. Thanks to some wild time-travel we get a few new twists, including a fatherly T-800 and a hard-edged Sarah who have to rescue a surprised Kyle from an ahead-of-its-time T-1000 (Remember the liquid-metal bot from T2? The machines did it again!). And that's all in the first twenty minutes of the movie.
These new elements meant some serious training for Clarke, who was new to the stunts and weaponry in spite of her tough persona on Thrones. As she describes it, "I definitely needed like a LOT of help." Everyone's favorite action movie veteran was there to lend a hand though: "So yeah, he was very helpful. I know that I spent most of my training just hoping that he would be impressed, and getting a good response from him was kind of the most helpful thing to give me the confidence to continue on."
Courtney suggests he was more impressed than intimidated. "He's the only man I've ever come across who can fire six rounds, six-shot gun shells off without blinking," he says. "It's really hard to achieve."
That training pays off in the film's intense action sequences. We even get to see Arnold throw punches with a younger version of himself, a feat that, according to Producer David Ellison, was no easy task for the hundreds of effects artists who worked for an entire year on that one scene alone:
"Creating a walking, living, breathing synthespian [a computer-generated image of a person] has always been a holy grail to achieve in visual effects, and we absolutely think they've achieved it for the first time in this movie."
That scene is definitely fun to watch, and while most people might find it a little disturbing to watch two versions of themselves at different ages duking it out, Schwarzenegger makes it sound like it was more fascinating than it was unnerving:
"I looked at the technical stuff and I just thought it was so seamless, and the technology has advanced so much, that it was really extraordinary to get this kind of entertainment in storytelling."
In fact, age itself seems to phase him about as much as bullets affect the nigh-indestructible robot he plays. When asked, he says, "I myself don't feel any older, you know, I think because I've stayed in shape and I exercise everyday." While stunt people performed when necessary, he still did the biggest part of the action himself, and in the end, "I was delighted to be able to do the movie without getting exhausted or feeling old or tired or anything like this. I felt I was in great shape, and I felt really young."
Arnold's attitude points to some of the issues raised by the Terminator franchise: What does the future hold? Is the future unavoidable, or is there truly "no fate but what we make"? Should we be afraid of where technology is headed?
The actor has his own thoughts on the latter of these questions. While he points out that the concepts in Cameron's original Terminator don't seem quite so far-fetched as they did then, he says, "I embrace technology... I think technology is good. It can be abused as everything else, but I think it is good."
We think technology can be pretty cool, too. But let's try and do without the whole Skynet-Judgment-Day-nuclear-apocalypse thing.
Terminator: Genisys is rated PG-13 and smashes into theatres Wednesday, July 1st.
Time and Time Again: The Terminator is Back!
By: Derek Samms
There’s no question: 2015 is the year for resurrected franchises. Between Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Jurassic World, and Mad Max: Fury Road, Hollywood is without a doubt in love with the 80s and 90s. This week, the latest of these revivals hits theatres in the form of killer cyborgs from the future. Terminator: Genisys promises a ton of action as it puts some well-known characters through an altered timeline of events for a new take on an old favorite.
Genisys begins in the future during the war between the humans and the machines, just before the time traveling that kicks off the first film. (That leads one to ask whether this film is technically a sequel, a reboot, or something else. But there are enough difficult questions in the movie without thinking too hard on that one!) From here we get to see some things that we had only heard about or seen quick snippets of before, like the nature of the war, John Connor rallying the human resistance, and the time machine itself. (If you’ve seen the first two Terminator movies, the rest of this summary will make sense; if not, good luck!) John Connor leads Kyle Reese and his troops into the compound that houses the device, where the machines have just sent a Terminator back in time to kill his mother. Of course, John already knew this would happen because his mother told him about it, so he is all ready to send the loyal Kyle back to protect her. John also knows that Kyle will fall in love with his mother and become his father but can’t tell him in case it would affect his decision to go. What he doesn’t know is that both the machines and the humans will send (or have sent?) other cyborgs back to other points in Sarah Connor’s life, making things pretty interesting. And just as Kyle is about to disappear, someone else (perhaps from even further in the future?) starts to cause problems. That’s when Kyle bumps his head and starts having memories from two different timelines, both of which will affect what he does in the past (his future). But that’s as much as we can say here. Besides the risk of spoilers, it would just be too hard to explain in text.
The Cool Stuff:
As you can see from our brief description, this film requires a lot of thought to follow its complex science-fiction concepts. For this reviewer, that adds to the fun. If you like sci-fi, particularly time travel, you’ll have a great time just following all the twists the writers have managed to work in. If you can avoid spoilers beforehand (and there are a few small ones in this review, so be warned), this film is one surprise after another.
The altered timeline—not to mention a big budget—allows the audience to see some things we never did before. What if a Terminator’s learning chip were on for decades instead of days? What if Kyle and Sarah had more than just two days together? What if they both knew their fate? What if the tough-as-nails Sarah from T2 had that attitude sooner? Many who have seen the first two films have probably thought about these things at some point, and the screenwriters for Genisys were undoubtedly part of that camp. They give us a taste of what else could be if these characters were thrown into slightly different circumstances. And it’s great fun.
Besides that, the cast is sure to please fans of various franchises. Emilia Clarke sets aside her blond wig and medieval glory from Game of Thrones to don an American accent and a shotgun as Sarah Connor. Jai Courtney, the Aussie who appeared in Jack Reacher and A Good Day to Die Hard, plays Kyle Reese, Sarah’s protector and love interest. We also get to see Jason Clarke of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes bring new dimensions to John Connor. Even Matt Smith (the eleventh incarnation of the Doctor on Doctor Who) makes an unforgettable appearance.
And of course, what would a Terminator movie be without the titular cyborg himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger? (Okay, we know. The fourth one. But that’s beside the point.) Not only do we get to see the Governator at several different stages of life. Not only do we get to see a fatherlike T-800 trying ever-so-hard to smile like a human. We also get to watch as post-politics Arnold gets into an epic battle with his Mr. Universe-era self. We get massive explosions, fights on helicopters, and one transformation after another for the killer bot. Few films can set such high standards in action and visual effects and then meet them, but this one pulls it off with style.
The Less Cool Stuff:
Almost everything you loved about The Terminator and Terminator 2 is back for Genisys. Almost. Even now, the original 1984 film holds up for its solid storytelling and directorial choices. Stylistically, the relatively low budget lends it a certain enjoyment that you don’t often find in the epic CGI-fests you see today. And thematically, the David-and-Goliath conflict and cat-and-mouse plot provided a visceral simplicity that was engaging and moving at all levels.
This movie is many things, but simple is not one of them. (Were you confused by our synopsis earlier? That was just the first ten minutes!) While some will enjoy the wild twists this movie takes us on, others may find themselves confused and frustrated as they try to make sense of the altered, intersecting timelines. Still other viewers will follow the convoluted “temporal nexus” (as Arnold’s friendly Terminator calls it) only to become annoyed at the inevitable loose ends such a plot leaves behind. For a geek like this reviewer, a mixed-up timeline is fun, but the contradictions can be distracting.
Another potential distraction is the comparisons many fans will make with the original film and its actors. Sometimes a franchise reaches the point where there have just been too many sequels, and none live up to the artistry of the first—or in this case, the first two. Given the new approach the filmmakers took with this movie, it will almost certainly be received better than the less popular Rise of the Machines and Salvation, but die-hard fans of the original might prove hard to impress without James Cameron at the helm.
Whatever some might say, this reviewer loved it. It may not be a perfect film, and it’s hard for any sequel to live up to the expectations of such an iconic franchise, but Genisys gets so many things right that even the pickiest of viewers can have two hours of summertime blockbuster fun.
What stands out is how well this movie follows in the footsteps of T2. The first of the sequels flipped the 1984 film on its head by making the Terminator a protector; a slimmer, trustworthy-looking police officer the killer; and Sarah Connor an oppressed warrior in a mental hospital. This new movie reverses the situation again by changing Sarah’s whole life, re-introducing the T-1000, and even altering the role John Connor comes to play. Some sequels try to tell the same story again with just a few small tweaks, but like Judgment Day, Genisys turns what came before it on its head, delivering plenty of twists and suspense to keep the audience guessing along the way.
In the end, while it may not blow you away quite the way the first two films did, most will agree that Terminator: Genisys is a significant improvement over the films that came in between. For this reviewer, it’s a great choice for the summer movie season and an awesome throwback to a favorite from the past. If you liked the original, if you enjoy good sci-fi, or if you just want a well-conceived adventure that you can munch a large tub of popcorn to, you’ll have an incredible time.
Even if you don’t care for any of those things, you’ll definitely enjoy seeing the different ages and looks that Arnold Schwarzenegger plays. Just like he promised, the Terminator is definitely back.
Clips and More From The Film
Get a Sneak Peak of the Movie and Go Behind the Scenes Here: