Michael’s Review: ‘Terminator Genisys’- Arnold is Back, but is That a Good Thing?

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30 years after the iconic role that put Arnold Schwarzenegger on the map, the actor returns to the franchise with Terminator Genisys, the first in a brand new trilogy about an apocalyptic future where machines rules the Earth and humanity fights for survival. Alan Taylor (Thor: The Dark World) takes the helm on what Paramount Pictures hopes will be a resurgence of interest in a stale and uneventful franchise as of late. Can Ah-nold and his new cast members “reset the future”?
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The year is 2029,  John Connor (Jason Clarke), leader of the human Resistance, continues to wage war against the machines alongside his right hand man Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney), but the battle is coming to an end. Connor commands his forces to attack Skynet at multiple locations, one to strike at the main defense grid in Colorado, and a second, led by Kyle and himself, to destroy Skynet’s last hope weapon, a time machine hidden at a remote storage facility. Connor and Reese arrive, but just after Skynet sends back a T-800 to the year 1984 to kill John’s mother, Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke).

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Foreseeing this outcome, Connor sends Kyle Reese back in time to protect Sara, a young waitress who, at the time of her attack, would be vulnerable and unaware of the coming doom that would alter her life forever. Moments before Kyle disappears, he witnesses one of the Resistance fighters, Alex (Matt Smith), attacking John. Without knowledge of the outcome, and knowing his mission, Reese arrives in the year 1984 to find young Sara, but as he arrives, the machines were waiting for him. After being ambushed by a T-1000 (Byung-Hun Lee), Reese is rescued by Sara, who is not the Sara that he was told of, and her Guardian (Arnold Schwarzenegger), a reprogrammed T-800 who was sent back from the future by an unknown source, to protect Sara when she was young. Reese quickly realizes that the original timeline has been altered, and the mission has become more clear, destroy Skynet before Judgement Day.

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The trio has one chance to get this right. The Guardian has built a time machine similar to Skynet’s and Sarah plans to 1997 to prevent Judgment Day, the temporal point for which she believes to be where the final battle is waged, however, Reese, who has been seeing glimpses of memories from a time he does not know, persuades Sarah and the Guardian that they should travel to 2017 instead. But what awaits them when they arrive is nothing like they could ever imagine. As the fate of world rests in their hands, can they arrive in time to stop Skynet from going online?

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Alan Taylor does a fine job keeping this confusing story on track. From start to finish, this film does a very good job of walking a fine line between honoring the original film as well as creating its own new identity within this already established world. The script by Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier works well in explaining the appearance of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s aging T-800 and developing a fresh take on the Sara Conner back story which doesn’t appear forced or convoluted within the context of the universe. Speaking of Sara Conner, Emilia Clarke is fantastic in her first go as the iconic female freedom fighter, originally played by Linda Hamilton. The “Game of Thrones” star is no stranger to taking on high profile roles and she plays Sara with careful precision and intensity that will help her being accepted by long time fans of the original film. 

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Jason Clarke takes on the role of John Connor, now on the characters fifth actor in 30 years. Clarke, a rugged, strong actor, fits well within the role of the leader of the Resistance and plays the character much how I envisioned him in the brief glimpse we see of him at the beginning of T2: Judgement Day. Seeing Arnold Schwarzenegger as the T-800 again, to me, will never get old. I love the character and the way that the aging actor plays him with such wonderfully subtle detail. Schwarzenegger delivers yet again. Jai Courtney does an admirable job as Kyle Reese, a character originally played by Michael BiehnCourtney has a tendency to play the character a tad too wooden at times, but he recovers and delivers a sufficient performance.

Overall, Terminator Genisys is a fun walk down memory lane with a lot of new twists. With a variety if options for this franchise now, it will be interesting to see how they continue this story. Terminator Genisys is a far better film than the last two installments in the series, but just missed being included within the greatness of the original film and T2.

Stars:

3 out of 5

After Credit Scene?

Extra scene in the middle of the credits, no stinger after the credits

Trailer:

RED NOSE DAY USA is today! Live on NBC tonight at 8/7c

Red Nose Day, the U.K.’s #1 television fundraising event, is coming to America in a spectacular live star-studded special Thursday, May 21 (8-11 p.m. ET) on NBC.

redNoseDay_marketingBand_learnMore_1080x350Hollywood’s biggest stars, including Julia Roberts, Will Ferrell, Jack Black, Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Jodie Foster and more, are coming together to have fun, raise money and change lives in an incredible “fun-raising” special. Featuring great comedy, videos produced by Funny Or Die, incredible music performances and Hollywood’s favorite stars, the benefit event will help 12 charity organizations lift children and young people out of poverty, in the U.S. and throughout the world.

RND_Tonight_350x467_v1Julianne Moore, Jack Black, Coldplay and Neil Patrick Harris will also appear, along with John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Michelle Rodriguez, Gwyneth Paltrow and music sensations John Legend and “Voice” coaches Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Christina Aguilera and Pharrell Williams. Sienna Miller, Paul Rudd, Olivia Wilde, Eddie Redmayne, Benedict Cumberbatch, Sir Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom, Leslie Mann, January Jones and Simon Cowell will also be joining the fun, as well as Matt Lauer, Carson Daly, Nick Offerman, Elizabeth Banks, Chris Pine, Jeff Goldblum, Billy Eichner, Martin Short, Laura Linney, Anna Kendrick, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, John Michael Higgins, Bill and Melinda Gates, Stephen Merchant, Naomi Campbell, Anna Camp, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Yvette Nicole Brown, Retta, Natalie Morales, Danny Pudi and Rob Huebel.

In addition, the star-studded event for charity will feature “Game of Thrones” cast members Kit Harington, Peter Dinklage, Iwan Rheon, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Emilia Clarke, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Mark Addy, John Bradley, Rose Leslie, Alfie Allen and Charlotte Hope.  “Orange is the New Black” cast Dascha Polanco, Samira Wiley, Yael Stone, Selenis Leyva, Lea DeLaria, Adrienne C. Moore and Jackie Cruz will also be part of the charity special.

Nick CanonDancathonNick Cannon will kick off the festivities for NBC’s broadcast of “Red Nose Day” with “Red Nose Day Danceathon with Nick Cannon,” streaming live on NBC.com beginning Wednesday, May 20. “America’s Got Talent” host Nick Cannon will attempt to dance non-stop for 24 hours in honor of the inaugural Red Nose Day celebration in the United States, leading into the “Red Nose Day” telecast on Thursday, May 21. Streamed live from the NBC Experience Store at Rockefeller Center in New York City, the day of dance will be filled with guest DJs and musicians, celebrity drop-ins, and a variety of dance acts and troupes. Viewers can support Cannon’s endeavor through sponsorship and donation.

DonateThe money raised during Red Nose Day will be used to fund programs that address the immediate needs of children and young people living in poverty in the U.S. and internationally in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The money will be split between domestic and international poverty issues. The pre-selected charity partners are Boys & Girls Clubs of America; charity: water; Children’s Health Fund; Feeding America; Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance; the Global Fund; LIFT; National Council of La Raza; National Urban League; Oxfam America; Save the Children and United Way.

In the U.K., Red Nose Day has been a tradition for 30 years and is an inspiring cultural phenomenon that unites people from all walks of life in the interest of saving and changing lives across the globe. With superstar presenters and comedians, original sketch comedy, hilarious film parodies and amazing musical performances, Red Nose Day has been one of the BBC’s highest-rated Friday night shows for many years and raised more than $1 billion in donations so far for organizations addressing poverty.

Created in 1985 by Oscar nominee and Emmy Award-winning writer-director-producer Richard Curtis (“Four Weddings and a Funeral,” “Bridget Jones Diary,” “Notting Hill”), Red Nose Day was built upon the foundation that mass media and celebrities can help raise money and increase awareness of poverty in order to save and change millions of lives.

Curtis is an executive producer for the NBC telecast (a Universal Television production), along with Hamish Hamilton and Ian Stewart of Done + Dusted Productions. Henrietta Conrad and Lily Sobhani will also serve as executive producers, as will Mike Farah, Anna Wenger and Joe Farrell from Funny Or Die. Hamilton is set to direct.

New ‘Terminator: Genisys’ Trailer Has Arrived!

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Paramount Pictures and Skydance Production have debuted a new trailer for the upcoming Terminator Genisys and we have it for you below!

In 2029, John Connor (Jason Clarke), leader of the Resistance, continues the war against the machines. At the Los Angeles offensive, John’s fears of the unknown future begin to emerge when John is notified by his army unit, Tech-Com, that Skynet will attack him from two fronts, past and future, and will ultimately change warfare forever.

On the verge of winning the war against Skynet, Connor sends his trusted lieutenant Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) back through time to save his mother’s life and ensure his own existence. However, Kyle finds the original past changed. After being orphaned at age nine by a T-800, sent to kill her when she was young to prevent the future in which Skynet is defeated, Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) has been brought up by another Terminator T-800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger) programmed to protect her. This Terminator has then trained her to face her destiny, which she adamantly tries to reject.

Now, Kyle and Sarah have to escape the T-800 and the recent T-1000 sent by Skynet to kill them, as well as John Connor himself, who has been converted into a human/cyborg hybrid, with the help of the old Terminator and find a way to stop Judgment Day from ever happening.

The movie also stars Academy Award Winner J.K. Simmons, Dayo Okeniyi, Matthew Smith, Courtney B. Vance and Byung-Hun Lee. Directed by Alan Taylor (Thor: The Dark World)

Terminator Genisys will hit theaters on July 1, 2015