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T4 footage seen!

01.16.2009

Last night we got a chance to screen some footage from the upcoming TERMINATOR SALVATION: THE FUTURE BEGINS. But it's McG, you say? Didn't he do Charlie's Angels? The OC? What business does he have doing a Terminator movie? I admit it. I thought the same thing. But now that I've seen the footage, I'm pretty convinced that it's going to be incredible.

First we were shown a 30 second bumper from the beginning of the film. Amid explosions and robot heads being crushed under tank wheels in a post-apocalyptic landscape, we meet Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington) a mysterious man, obviously confused about where he is. He's told that it's 2018, post Judgment Day. We see shots of fighting and Christian Bale as John Conner jumping off a cliff, shooting something huge. Director McG spoke between each clip, giving his take on what we saw. He told us about the look he was going for and explained that he used older lenses and aged film stock to achieve it. He talked about how much he respects the original material...well, maybe not the third film, but then who could blame him?

The next clip shows Wright, a young Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin) and a child, driving into a destroyed 7 Eleven to find food. What they find instead is a group of humans pointing guns at them. Their leader, a tough old woman, overrules the group and gives the kid some food...when suddenly, a massive terminator called the Harvester grabs her and rips her through the ceiling. The three attempt to escape in a tow truck and blow up the 7 Eleven in spectacular style. While the Harvester is grabbing people and depositing them into a ship, it releases robots on motorcycles who chase the fleeing heroes. The effects were not finished, but we certainly get the sense that the action scenes are going to be pretty bad ass. There is no way to avoid the Transformers comparisons when the giant Terminator opens at the knees and motorcycles come whizzing out, but as McG put it, these are not manga-colored Michael Bay robots. (McG also joked that Bay's work is an example of what not to do...and quickly mentioned that he was joking, having spoken to him an hour before.)

McG told us that Bale originally didn't want to hear about the film until the script was good enough for a staged reading. He said Bale gives a powerhouse performance, even doing 2 pages of dialogue in one take, though what we were shown was all action. We also learned a bit more about the story line. We are post-Judgment Day and Skynet is harvesting humans for R&D to create the T-800 model. (Remember Arnold Schwarzenegger?) Sam Wright, who fell asleep as an inmate on death row in modern times, has woken up in 2018 and is saved by Kyle Reese (who we all know is John Conner's father). Reese is taken prisoner and Conner has to save his father from Skynet or...as McG put it, he'll disappear from the picture like Marty in Back to the Future. To get to Skynet, Conner has to make a Faustian deal with a half man/half machine, which we see in the next scene from the midpoint in the film.

Conner is on a helicopter over a lake, and under attack by Hydrabots who look like metal water spiders. After his fellow soldiers are killed, he jumps out and fights his way to shore. A half man/half robot comes out of the water saying he can get Conner into Skynet. He says that he needs to find out who did this to him. Conner reluctantly agrees and asks him what he is. I don't know, he says, walking back into the lake. We were then shown what appeared to be a new trailer, showing a glimpse of Skynet looking white, stark and clinical, clips of Blair Williams (Moon Bloodgood) fighting pretty much everyone she comes in contact with, and a hand on a stomach, appearing to indicate a pregnancy. We hear John Conner broadcasting a message to the Resistance and saying that this is not the future his mother warned him about.

McG told us that this is still a work in progress and asked what we thought of a Linda Hamilton as Sarah Conner voiceover to lead us into the film. That certainly got a reaction and it was implied that this will be the case. If anyone wasn't impressed by the footage, they were most likely won over by McG's obvious enthusiasm for the material. He practically bounced when he spoke about the nods to the original films (for instance, we find out how Reese gets his shoulder holster) and all the different types of Terminators we'll get to see. The film will be shown in IMAX, though the old film stock and shooting style means that nothing was filmed specifically for it. He wasn't sure if they were getting a PG-13 or an R but said he wasn't really concerned. The run time is looking like 2 hours.

I've got to admit, I went in expecting something, well, something very McG. I left incredibly excited to see more. TERMINATOR SALVATION hits theaters May 22nd, 2009.

Source: JoBlo.com

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