cross-posted from my tumblr
sometimes a movie with no plot can be better than a movie with a bad plot - such is the crux of my terminator salvation > star trek argument. both movies are incomprehensibly stupid, but whereas that cripples the latter (being that it’s a plot-driven film), that any semblance of a story has been edited out of mcg’s terminator film renders this flaw somewhat moot in the former (the characters just sound like rejects from gears of war). that the intimidatingly gregarious mcg was able to get so enthusiastically behind such a monosyllabic script (written by jonathan nolan, no less) into the world is remarkable, but not quite as bizarre as the fact that the movie is more concerned with winks to previous films in the series and grade-school philosophy than it is to affording the narrative any forward movement. but that’s okay, because the tactile, cg-lite approach mcg took towards the set-pieces and stan winston’s remarkable animatronics provide such a visceral kick that the movie works more often than not as a cinema of attractions… at least in the first 2/3 (the last bit - save for an obvious highlight - is rote, dull, and encumbered with the dubious duty of announcing that the story is never going to kick in). methinks the forthcoming blu-ray cut, which is supposedly 30 minutes longer, is going to do a WORLD of good here. but the moments that work provide the only real thrills this young summer season has offered me so far.
but seriously, if you haven’t had the unique opportunity to be in mcg’s presence… the man is one hell of a show-man, by turns disarming and offensive. his passionate manner is certainly welcoming, his insinuation that the cattle cars in his movie are deeply evocative of scenes from schindler’s list, complete with the full heft of those genocidal undertones… not so much. and can someone other than lars von trier give bryce howard something to sink her teeth into? she’s always wonder on screen, and is just waiting for a career-making role. also world, please stop casting common. thanks.