Father/Son Movie – “Terminator Salvation” (2009)

The 7th annual Father/Son Movie outing also included Friend and neighbor Chris Smaling. Chris enjoyed being included in our long-running tradition and has already been invited to the next event, whenever it occurs in 2010. In a few years, these mostly annual outings, will most likely include another generation as well – Tobey!

Terminator Salvation was the fourth installation in the futuristic nuclear holocaust story where robots decide to take over the world. There have been a few movie franchises that have borrowed from this storyline, but this is the one that helped make Arnold Schwarzenegger a household name way back in 1984.

My favorite part of these outings, other than the movie itself, is heading to a nearby restaurant to discuss the movie over a beverage. We saw Terminator on the Giant screen at the Regal Continental (the best place to see the big action movies in Colorado) and then went to Chili’s next door for our roundtable discussion.

The majority of the reviews that I scanned before our movie night were unfavorable, but all 3 of us ended up enjoying the movie at some level. The tone of the movie was similar to several other recent franchise reboots (i.e. Batman) in that they choose a gritty, more real and realistic feel that seems to resonate better with current moviegoers, rather than maintaining the same kind of storytelling from the 3 previous movies. Casting Christian Bale in the role of a finally grown up John Connor was a good choice. The movie is set in 2018, in the early stages of the war between man and machines. The opening third of the movie is intense with great action sequences. We come to learn that the future has taken a slightly different path than Connor had been told about and Connor is not the full-on leader of the resistence, but just a voice more behind the scenes. The mysterious Marcus character creates some interesting moral dilemmas, and the climax to the story has some surprises as Connor and Marcus end up in the heart of Skynet operations.

I’m looking forward to seeing it again when the DVD/Blu-Ray comes out in early December.

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