T2: Judgement Day, review

Terminator Genisys has made its debut around the World, and as an adamant fan of the classic franchise, it’s hard to commit to viewing the newest installment at the cinema. With unfavorable reviews rolling in left, right and centre, it appears that the thrill of the T-1000 and the Connor family, just doesn’t hold up like it did in 1991. While Terminator 2: Judgement Day was the follow up to the original 1984 sleeper hit, the sequel gave as good as the first did and held mass appeal to spectators around the globe. Phenomenally successful, presenting Edward Furlong for the first time, and starring Schwarzenegger in a role he was practically born to play, T2 was instantly a favourite. To this day, James Cameron’s mighty film still holds up as both innovative and original, witty and thrilling, and a classic in its own right. Forget Genisys, let’s remember Judgement Day.

T2 saw the return of the T-800 (or simply, The Terminator), but not as the malevolent killing machine that fans new of from film one. This time, Arny was back in protagonist mode, re-programmed by the future John Connor to travel back in time and save the future leader of the human rebellion from the newer, scarier – and stronger – T-1000 model. Along the way they pick up Linda Hamilton’s Sarah, who is locked up after attempting to destroy Miles Dyson‘s lab which will one day create an AI that leads to the destruction of civilization via a nuclear war. There’s a lot to swallow in terms of narrative, but Cameron’s follow up is able to stand on its own two feet and viewers unfamiliar with film one can go in completely unawares, with nothing left unanswered and everything of importance from its predecessor basically reiterated here.

Hamilton and Furlong lead the way in terms of acting ability, with the latter an incredible early talent. He’s feisty and confident, and the father-son bond that he shares with Schwarzenegger adds a level of emotion and charm that has been missing in following films. The fact that neither of the original actors cast to play members of the Connor family have returned definitely lends to a lack of enthusiasm for any new production after the first two. Furlong can be seen in bold political drama American History X, a heavy story of contemporary racism in the US. Since this epic turn, his performances have been few and far between. Christian Bale, Jason Clarke, Nick Stahl and Thomas Dekker have all portrayed the iconic character since Furlong, but none have quite stuck in the minds of audiences as much as Edward has. With an enthusiasm and lustiness that can only come from such a young actor, Furlong unintentionally steals so many scenes in T2, and will always be remembered for his participation in this classic narrative.

So, its 1995, and John (who Sarah was preggers with in The Terminator) is now ten years old – although he looks and acts more like a fourteen year old – under the supervision of his foster parents. Lashing out since the incarceration of his Mum, and having had to deal with that whole ‘One day John, you WILL lead the human race against an army of computerized robots’ malarkey, he spends his time robbing ATM’s and riding around in his souped-up miniature motor bike. Along comes Robert Patrick as the liquid-metal T-1000 and the battle  to save humanity begins. Patrick barely says more than two sentences in the entire 136 minute run-time, but since his impressive turn as a truly alarming antagonist, he has been in a host of diverse roles, some of which include The FacultyWalk the Line, Gangster Squad and HBO television series True Blood. So many years later, in a time now where the film industry is rapidly expanding in terms of the technology at the disposal of many production houses, Patrick’s T-1000 is still as hair-raising now today as it was upon release. And that’s what keeps T2 an unabashed thrill ride – its ability to keep up with the times, and stay relentlessly entertaining.

The team behind the astonishing mimetic poly-alloy effects were awarded the Oscar for Best Visual Effects and scenes of Patrick seeping into his environment have gone down as some of the most classic cinematic moments in the history of film. Shot on a somewhat modest budget, for the length and man-power which went into Cameron’s feature, of somewhere between $94-102 million, the film went on to take $519.8 million – a grand amount when we remember T2 is an 18/R rated film. Despite what many might call a weak script, and a slightly pretentious run-time, James Cameron’s classic story of a futuristic Robot and his rebellious companion will never be taken off of the number one mark.

Future films to get excited for

One of the best thing’s about being a film fanatic is the fact that there is an endless supply of new material to get your teeth stuck into. Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about the films to come at the end of this year, and the new year and this inspired me to write this post about those films! I would also love to hear about what up-and-coming projects have got you excited, so drop a comment and let me know! I’ve selected four films to chat about, all completely different, some with a release date in the next few months, some not until later on in 2015, but all unique and hella-exciting.

gosling on the set of lost river

gosling on the set of lost river

First up, Lost River, a film that has already been screened (at the Cannes Film Festival), to both positive and negative reactions from the audience. Lost River is the first directorial effort from actor Ryan Gosling, and has technically been released (but is yet to hit UK cinemas, so for the sake of this post, we’ll make an exception and include it!). Gosling is said to take great influence from directors like David Lynch and pal Nicholas Winding Refn, but the word on the street after its Cannes debut was that Lost River looked and felt all too familiar, meaning Gosling’s abilities as a director were definitely questioned by critics and film-goers alike. Despite this 50/50 reaction from the film’s premier in May (its said that some of the audience even got up and walked out), the trailer, and plot, definitely gave me reason to be both excited, and intrigued, to see what Gosling has to offer here. Starring previous co-stars Ben Mendelsohn (one of my favorite actors of the past couple of years), Christina Hendricks and Eva Mendes Lost River follows several characters (que some strange names including Bones, Rat and Bully) as they navigate life both above, and below water. All this seems pretty perplexing, and the trailer didn’t clear things up much more, but with a cast like this, and a director with a vision like Gosling’s, Lost River could be one of the best commercial art films in a long while (if Gosling can bring in a crowd for Only God Forgives, there’s hope).

Next up, a change in direction, and a look at a film that there is little to no information about. But this next offering is something to certainly get excited about; its Jurassic World! So, what do we know? The initial release date was said to be May, but now it looks like June 2015 is when it’ll hit (hola Summer blockbuster), Colin Trevorrow is taking the helm as director (an interesting choice here, bring Spielberg back!) and there’s an array of up-and-comers starring (including The Kings of Summer Nick Robinson and Twilight‘s Bryce Dallas Howard). So, a different director, and a whole new cast, but what of the story? The title seems to be pretty self-explanatory so far – Jurassic World will be set on Isla Nublar, twenty years after Jurassic Park (I don’t think anyone needs to be reminded what went on there), now a theme park open to anyone who wishes to visit (did they learn nothing?), it looks as though the dinos are gonna team up and take back the island for themselves. Filming wrapped in August so a teaser trailer can be expected soon, hopefully with a feature trailer to follow early in the new year. If Trevorrow can bring back the intensity of the original, and if there’s a new spin to the story, Jurassic World could patch up the wrong-doings of Jurassic Park 3. Watch this space.

the first poster for jurassic world is released

the first poster for jurassic world is released

Third up, another franchise re-working. Terminator: Genysis, has been on the cards for a while, and is finally in the works. A release date of Summer 2015 is expected at the moment (a little competition between this and Jurassic World perhaps?) and the film will welcome back Arny as the beloved (and equally hated) Terminator. Again, we have a bunch of up and coming actors to get ourselves info-d up on before it hits screens and a whole new look at a world full of killer robots. Sounds fun, right? Right now, I’m not sure whether to be excited or weary about the thought of a new Terminator film considering the franchise took a dip somewhat after Judgement Day, but with not a lot to go on right now my hopes are high that we’ll see a return to form (that form being the days when the Terminator films had witty humor, awe-inspiring effects and an original and unique storyline). Alan Taylor, director of Thor: The Dark World is taking the lead here, and with the success, and size of that, Taylor taking the helm could be pretty promising. Get ready to expect a re-imagining of a robot-lead world, time-hopping and lots of snazzy one-liners.

Last, but most certainly not least (this is actually the film I am most excited for), is Entourage, yes that’s right, there is going to be a film version of one of the funniest (and personally my most beloved) television shows to grace our screens. HBO, we love you. Not a lot needs to be said story-wise if you’re clued up on the series (if you’re not, you have until June 2015 to catch up, and trust me, it’ll be worth your time), as the film is going to take off exactly where things were wrapped up (in short, the boys all achieved what they had been after all along, and Ari discovered he didn’t need the business to be happy – or did he?). Dillon, Grenier, Piven, Ferrara, Connolly (plus more) are all to return, and expect some well-known celebs playing alter-egos of themselves, for your humorous effect of course. Whether you are already a fan, or completely oblivious of Entourage, you wont watch to miss what will be one of the funniest films of 2015. Never afraid to be controversial, and wonderfully adult, Entourage is a project to be excited for. Go and get that box-set, to either discover (or re-discover) the boys as they find their feet in Hollywood and become a permanent fixture on your T.V screen (and soon to be cinema screen).

These are just four of hundreds of films that will grace mine, and your, screens in the next year. There are so many more to research, mark in your calender, love/hate and discover from war drama Unbroken to the Bards Macbeth and adaptations like Tulip Fever. Enjoy!

 

Terminator: Genisys – what we know so far

The Terminator franchise is one of the most beloved, and arguably popular, in cinematic history. Starring Arnold Schwarzenneger in a role he was born to play and originally directed by one of the most successful directors of the past twenty years, James Cameron, the first two Terminator films sparked a frenzy in audiences’ around the world. Thirty years after the success of the first film, which contained some awe-inspiring effects for that time (1984, if you aren’t familiar) Skydance Productions are now teasing fans with a new installment, which so far promises a return to the spectacular form of Judgement Day.

So, what do we already know? Well, not a whole lot thus far, but some educated guesses can be made. Genesis means origin, so with some canny re-spelling the Terminator team have given us Genisys; that’s right – we’re heading back into the past, before liquid metal T-1000 came about, and before the end of the world occurred. A step in the direction of happenings audiences’ are yet to see means a new cast (always controversial). In a franchise that has spanned thirty years, a new cast for each film is generally to be expected (particularly because of the time span of the narrative), Arnie is always on hand to provide that familiar face though (phew). So right now you can expect to see Emilia Clarke (or Daenrys Targaryen to most of you), Matt Smith (of Dr Who fame, of course), Jason Clarke and Lee Byung-hun (the star of the cinematic masterpiece A Bittersweet Life). With an up-and-coming cast that are more up then coming, what can be expected of the plot you ask? Again, shaky. But expect elements of re-writing the wrongs that have been done, lots of blowing up of motorcycles, cars and robots and some stonking one-liners along the lines of “I’ll be back”, (its OK to dream, right?). With a rumored release of July, 2015 there’s plenty of time for artwork to be released and teaser trailers to be pondered on. Can’t. wait.