Saturday, July 04, 2015

"Terminator: Genisys": The Arnold is indeed back; the younger Aussie makes a sacrifice

I’m not a big follower of the Terminator genre, and I have a bit of a problem with a premise based on backward time travel, because of the time arrow of physics.
Nevertheless, that’s the premise of “Terminator: Genisys” (directed by Alan Taylor).  In 2029, in a wrecked world, a time machine has somehow been built, and cyborg warrior John Connor (Jason Clarke) sends an unaged Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) all the way back to his boyhood home in the coast mountains of California in 1984, to reinvent himself, protect Sarah (Emilia Clarke) and change the future.
At this point, it’s important to note the first checkpoint of history.  On August 29, 1997, the day of Princess Diana’s accident and before I started my own move to Minnesota, the artificial intelligence of our missile silos turned on us and destroyed most of the country, rather like a Cuban Missile Crisis II.  Kyle will get past that and wind up at another breakpoint in 2017, with a new ally Guardian (Arnold Schwarzenegger, back to making movies after paying his dues as GOP governor of California) and another in an aged O’Brien (Whiplash’s J. K. Simmons). 
The nemesis is a company called Genisys, which had started as a gaming company in 1984, on the new Apple, and become a morph of Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple. It was somehow responsible for the 1997 meltdown (a likely story).
Kyle’s journey back to his youth costs him – his chest hair, and even arms and legs at times, as if he ha done a Justin Timberlake (or, for that matter, Freddie Smith in the past on “Days”). The movie also presents some paradoxes:  people meeting their earlier selves, or kids older than their parents. 
There is something like that in “The Age of Adaline”, as well as, for that matter, “Interstellar”.  The whole film has a Christopher Nolan feel.  Hans Zimmer was the executive music producer for the film, and the music has some of the style of “Inception”, but there were other composers.  Is this a way for classically trained composers and musicians to make a real living?
The official site (Paramount and Skydance) is here
I saw the film at AMC Tysons in Imax 3D, before a fairly large audience.  The aspect ratio stayed at 2.35:1, rather than filling the entire vertical space of Imax.

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