Terminator Genisys (2015) Review

IMG_1104

Terminator Genisys (2015)

Directed by Alan Taylor

Starring:
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Jason Clarke
Emilia Clarke
Jai Courtney
J. K. Simmons
Dayo Okeniyi
Matt Smith
Courtney B. Vance
Lee Byung-hun

Running time: 126 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
John Connor sends Kyle Reese back in time to protect Sarah Connor, but when he arrives in 1984, nothing is as he expected it to be.

IMG_1135

My Opinion:

First of all, The Terminator is a favorite movie of mine and Kyle Reese is one of my biggest movie crushes (he’s in second place on that list although, at my current age, I’d put him at number one as I’m still totally in love with him). In fact, for years I had planned on naming a son I might have “Kyle” until South Park came along & ruined that idea. Second of all, sequels and remakes annoy the hell out of me (well, some are good – like Terminator 2 and Aliens! Yes, I was in love with Michael Biehn in Aliens too…). Anyway, my point is that I do NOT like favorite movies & favorite movie characters of mine being f*%ked with. It pisses me off! Finally, I hate stupid spellings (screw you, “Genisys!”). So I was feeling very unsure of Terminator Genisys. On the way out the door to see this, I said to my hubby “Let’s go see this shitty thing”. But I still had to see it because of my love for the first two Terminator films. Well, shit. I didn’t hate it….

IMG_1140

Really. I kind of enjoyed this movie. I did! WTF?! I was expecting to hate it. I actually liked it much more than the third & fourth films that I can’t even remember the titles of at the moment because I so completely put them out of my mind. Now, I should make it clear that this movie isn’t that great and it sure as shit doesn’t come even close to matching the brilliance of the first two. However, if you go into it without expecting it to be as good as the first two, maybe you’ll at least get some enjoyment out of it. I’ve watched this one much later than the rest of you and I’ve seen all your reviews pop up but I have yet to read any so I’m not sure what the general consensus is but I’m guessing that most of you don’t like it. That’s fine! I wouldn’t argue with anyone who hates this movie as I can understand why. But, sometimes, even grumpy old movie lovers like me can enjoy a movie that they know they probably shouldn’t. For me, it’s probably just because I liked seeing the characters of Sarah Connor & Kyle Reese once again in the same, yet somewhat altered, situation. I love their story from the first film so I got to kind of relive that again in a different sort of way. It should piss me off but it didn’t and, luckily, I don’t think it’s ruined the first movie for me as I’ll still only really ever think of the first two films when I think of Terminator. To me, I’ll always just see this one as more of a “reimagining” than as a part of the series.

IMG_1129

IMG_1131

The thing I was most worried about with this film was that they wouldn’t get Sarah Connor or Kyle Reese “right”. How can they top the original people to play them?! They can’t, of course. However, I thought they were both fine. Sarah Connor is so different in the second film to how she is in the first but I never had a problem with the wussy, girlier Sarah in the first movie – they actually almost went overboard in T2 in making her a little too tough (for me. believe me, though, I like a strong female character!). Clarke’s Sarah is somewhere between the two and I liked her just fine. I do love Clarke as Daenerys in Game Of Thrones, yes, but I didn’t find that distracting as she looks & acts quite different in that than she does in Genisys. Yeah – I was fine with Clarke as Sarah Connor… I bought into her more than I did when Lena “Ceresei” Headey played her in the TV show. However, I was more worried about how Jai Courtney would do as Kyle Reese. I’d only see him in Divergent and hadn’t taken any notice of him. I was prepared to pretty much hate him in Genisys. Well, he’s no Michael Biehn and I don’t want to have his babies like I wanted to have “original timeline” Reese’s, but… Hell, he was fine! I ended up liking him. He’s not super hot but neither was Biehn. And, to be fair, Biehn was never exactly going to win any Oscars, was he? Biehn got the damaged, sensitive thing so right, though – he was perfect in that role and defined Kyle Reese for me. Courtney doesn’t quite manage the “damaged” thing as well but he’s likeable and someone you can imagine this new, tougher Sarah falling for. He even has a slight sense of humor, unlike the first Reese, which at first made no sense but then did when you think about the timey-wimey time travel thing going on (I’ll avoid spoilers as always but these aren’t the exact same characters we already know). There was actually quite a bit of humor thrown into this, mostly involving Schwarzenegger, and it worked fairly well. At least, as well as in T2 where it was also a little cheesy in a couple places.

IMG_1124

Oh yeah! Arnold Schwarzenegger! I’ve not even mentioned him. Lol! I’m such a girl…. Yeah, I clearly love the Kyle/Sarah story. So sue me. I have to be girly sometimes. 😉 Schwarzenegger was good! He was his usual self, really. It wasn’t “weird” seeing him older (which they quickly explained with one little line thrown in). It was great seeing him in this – I always preferred Schwarzenegger to Sylvester Stallone. Schwarzenegger was in far better movies (Terminator, Predator, Kindergarten Cop!). I would think male Schwarzenegger fans will love seeing him in this. But what do I know? I’m a girl who just spent ages talking about Kyle Reese. Oh! We get a little of this:

IMG_1126

Awesome. Love it. One of the most iconic things in movie history. We also get plenty of action – the action is similar to the level we got in T2. I enjoyed all that “boy stuff” too. The (first two) Terminator movies kick ass and I love them. I also love the “simplicity” of the story in the first film whereas Genisys is getting too convoluted. Plus.. they didn’t use the Terminator MUSIC until the end credits. How can you not use such greatness?! One of the best ever movie themes! But, as a lover of the first film, I loved all the little references plus certain scenes are re-enacted as some things are still the same in this timeline (although I do have to admit that seeing one iconic scene re-enacted poorly was just a bit too weird). I sure did love seeing Kyle in the same clothing again, though! Shit… I’m talking about Kyle again. It was fun seeing J. K. Simmons – he sure is popular at the moment but he sure was wasted in his role. I did not like Jason Clarke as John Connor. I’m not talking about what they did with the character (although I wasn’t really a fan of that either) but I don’t think he was the right actor for the role. And, speaking of John Connor, WHY oh WHY did they spoil that big reveal in the movie’s trailer???? Seriously! I won’t say what the big reveal is as some people don’t watch trailers but that has to be one of the biggest spoilers in a trailer ever. Ridiculous – the reveal isn’t even until the final third of the film. Oh well – at least this film’s main three characters worked out okay as that was the most important thing to me. I don’t actually care so much about the story in this – the story has already been done to death. But the relationships worked well, the action was fun (although it’s certainly no Mad Max: Fury Road), and I could possibly fall in love with this Kyle Reese if the first movie didn’t exist.

IMG_1133

Summary:

Terminator Genisys: I enjoyed it! I’d actually rank it higher than a lot of other big blockbusters this year, such as Jurassic World and Avengers: Age Of Ultron. I’m not saying it’s necessarily better – I just enjoyed it a lot more. I make no apologies. These things happen! I can’t be snobby all the time… 🙂

My Rating: 7.5/10

IMG_1138

IMG_1137
*sigh*

Is There A Scene After The Credits?: There’s just a mid-credits scene that’s really nothing too special – just one of those annoying “we’re setting up a sequel!” moments. You wouldn’t be missing much if you missed it.

Advertisements

Divergent (2014) Review

20140508-085050 pm.jpg

Divergent (2014)

Directed by Neil Burger

Based on Divergent by Veronica Roth

Starring:
Shailene Woodley
Theo James
Ashley Judd
Jai Courtney
Ray Stevenson
Zoë Kravitz
Miles Teller
Tony Goldwyn
Maggie Q
Kate Winslet

Running time: 139 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)

The story takes place in a dystopian post-apocalyptic version of Chicago where people are divided into distinct factions based on human virtues. Beatrice Prior is warned that she is Divergent and thus will never fit into any one of the factions and soon learns that a sinister plot is brewing in her seemingly perfect society.

20140508-085949 pm.jpg

My Opinion:

See that up there in the plot synopsis? “Dystopian post-apocalyptic“! I freaking love dystopian. And post-apocalyptic. And especially the two together – dystopian post-apocalyptic!!! And in my usual anal list-making ways, I already did a list of My Top Ten Post-Apocalyptic Movies HERE. I also love current YA fiction so Divergent is right up my alley, which is probably why I enjoyed it more than it may have deserved.

20140508-090503 pm.jpg

First of all: I’ve not read the books. I used to read a lot more and I always try to read a book before seeing the movie if it’s the type of book that interests me. But I just don’t have the time to read anymore (I’ve been reading Doctor Sleep since December. I’m finally almost finished – should be done by June!). I LOVED The Hunger Games books (and the movies have been very good adaptations, especially Catching Fire, review HERE). But as good as they are, I never quite fully enjoy the movies as much when I’ve read the books since the books are better 90% of the time. So, with Divergent, I thought “screw it!”. It might be nice to just sit back & enjoy a movie series without having to overanalyze and constantly compare it to the books and to not know how it’ll all end. So I quite enjoyed this story even though it’s a not-as-good Hunger Games with a story that doesn’t come together as well and characters that aren’t as well-developed or acted. I know it’s YA fiction but it feels more “shallow” than The Hunger Games, which does make you think a bit. I don’t know if maybe it works a bit better in the books but the story was at least entertaining enough that I do want to see the rest of the movies to see where they go with it.

20140508-090605 pm.jpg

I liked Shailene Woodley but don’t think she’s as strong of a lead actress as Jennifer Lawrence is in The Hunger Games (sorry – it’s VERY hard to not compare the two). The hubby especially didn’t seem to like her for some reason so… I don’t know. I think she may be one that female viewers like more than male viewers do whereas both sexes seem to love J-Law. I would think Divergent will have far fewer male fans than The Hunger Games does, which seems to appeal to everyone. Divergent FEELS more like young adult fiction aimed mostly at girls than The Hunger Games does. Well, I don’t care what the hubby says – I’ve liked Shailene Woodley so far in what I’ve seen her in & she at least seems like a “real world” teenage girl. I think she also has very lovely, expressive eyes & I’m looking forward to seeing how she does in The Fault In Our Stars (another YA book I loved. Review HERE). I think that type of thing may suit her more than something like this, which has a lot of action and far more violence than I was expecting. (It’s actually very violent, for any parents who may be reading this & wondering. The content is as violent as The Hunger Games and there’s a lot more hand to hand combat, almost making it feel even more violent than The Hunger Games).

20140508-090657 pm.jpg

As for all the other characters, I found them a little weak & underdeveloped compared to Woodley’s. Ashley Judd as Woodley’s mother was one of the better characters but we don’t get to see as much of the two of them together as I’d have liked. Her brother & especially father may as well not even be IN the movie for as little as we learn about them. And, I’ll keep this as spoiler free as I can but… One character has a secret yet has a tattoo that gives away that important secret?! Whaaat? That seemed stupid. And Kate Winslet was fine but a total cookie cutter character. Zoë Kravitz wasn’t too bad and she’s pretty cute (it helps to have really attractive parents, I suppose). I just really felt no connection to anyone beyond Woodley – hopefully we get better character development in the sequels so I don’t have to read the books.

20140508-090741 pm.jpg

Summary:

I enjoyed this movie but it definitely has its faults. The story is a bit of a mess and doesn’t come together all that well (I was a little confused at times). I’m hoping the sequels will be better and that the characters will be further developed. Basically, it’s just not as good as The Hunger Games and feels more “YA”. But I do like the overall concept and the amount of good YA fiction these days with strong female characters is a great thing to see.

My Rating: 6.5/10

20140508-090824 pm.jpg