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PCR #478 (Vol. 10, No. 21). This edition is for the week of May 18--24, 2009.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
"Terminator Salvation"

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

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"Terminator Salvation"  by Mike Smith
Standing in the Lonely Light of the Silver Moon  by ED Tucker
Around The Watercooler .... Universal Healthcare Is No Longer A Conspiracy .... Medicare & Social Security Going Bankrupt…fast .... Enemy Of The State: Rick Scott .... Montana Breaking Free .... Gps Tracking .... ....  by Brandon Jones
I Did Not Know That .... Do Be Do Be Do .... Now What? .... .... .... .... .... .... My Favorite Films, Part 2...  by Mike Smith
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Warner Brothers     
Starring: Christian Bale, Sam Worthinton and Moon Bloodgood
Directed by: McG
Rated: PG 13
Running Time: 1 hour 55 mins

Name the movie: A cyborg is sent back from the future to change the past only to fail and be destroyed. If you said “A Matter of Time,” congratulations. You are one of the very few people who saw this film, which I made in high school in 1978. For those of you who don’t live in Tampa, I will also accept as the correct answer “The Terminator.” The 1984 film made a star out of Arnold Schwarzenegger in front of the camera and director James Cameron behind it. Two more films followed, each one dealing with protecting the man who would lead the resistance against the machines, John Connor. Now an adult and in the middle of a war he’s been anticipating since he was a teenager, Connor (Bale) prepares to meet his destiny.

Death Row. Convicted murderer Marcus Wright (Worthinton) is strapped onto a gurney and presented to those there to witness his death. He has been persuaded to donate his body to the Cyberdyne Corporation to be used for cancer research. Declining to utter any last words he closes his eyes as the needles are depressed.

2018. On a barren battlefield strewn with the skeletons of both man and machine, John Connor and his squad comb the area, destroying the rogue cyborgs that attack. Connor is both revered by his followers, who believe that he will be the one to lead them against the machines that enslave them and frowned on by his superiors who don’t believe the legacy bestowed upon him. Each night, Connor gets on short wave radio and gives those that believe a reason to continue. When not fighting Connor spends his days looking for the man who is destined to return to the past and become his father, Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin). A device has been discovered that may destroy the mechanical monsters. Will Connor be able to fulfill the prophecy?

Packed with action and brimming with outstanding performances, “Terminator Salvation” is a worthy companion to the first two films and a notch better than part three. Credit must be given to two people for this success: star Bale and director McG. After resurrecting the “Batman” franchise Bale here breathes life into a character that has always been played as aloof (Edward Furlong in “T2”) or moody (Nick Stahl in “T3). And it’s not just because he’s a great actor (Val Kilmer and George Clooney, who played the caped crusader previously are no slouches). Bale has always managed to inhabit a role…to the point that you really can’t see anyone else playing the part. McG (real name Joseph McGinty Nichol) has done films as different as “Charlie’s Angels” (action) and “We Are Marshall,” (drama). Here he combines his talents to produce a film that excels in both areas. And the acting kudos don’t stop with Bale. Worthinton and Yelchin (also on screen now as Chekov in “Star Trek”) get high marks, as does Bryce Dallas Howard in a supporting role. And anytime you have long time character actor Michael Ironside chewing the scenery you know you’re in for a treat. The special effects, designed by Stan Winston, are outstanding. Winston had worked in some capacity on all of the “Terminator” films and passed away shortly after completing work here. The film is lovingly dedicated to him and it’s an honor well deserved. The tone is perfectly set by Danny Elfman's musical score, which wisely incorporates Brad Fiedel's original main title score.

On a scale of zero to four I give "Terminator Salvation"


This week's movie review of "Terminator Salvation" is ©2009 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2009, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2009 by Nolan B. Canova.