For all its flaws, the best looking of the Terminator flicks, featuring the best battle bots. The story seems written by a drugged out chimp, however. Comments about the ham-fisted direction are unnecessary. Agent9 tries to improve this with slight structural rearranging and heightened focus on “Marcus.”
Video - MPEG-4 1280 X 532p. Earlier reviewed mentioned issues with blacks and resolutions, but I detected none of that. Then again, they also referenced a 720p size. This is clearly much larger. Perhaps a V2. Contrast is sharp throughout.
Audio - 2 Channel AAC. 128 Kbps. Subtitles? No and yes. According to IEDB, editor commentary subtitles were available. Not muxed in, no link on the “unaffiliated site.” They would have been nice, but I didn’t want to contact and wait. The range is quite robust. Conversations and hollered commands often indecipherable. Audio levels fine for action, which is about 75% of this version.
Narrative - The plot in the original was poor, this version is better, though still not great. One cannot overcome the problem that Connor, leader of humankind, is more a cult figure, There are plot holes, and an utter lack of consequences for ignoring chain of command. Story, “find and rescue Reese,” far from compelling.
Enjoyment - One of those edits I “wanted” to enjoy. And while viewing, I did enjoy. Appreciate might be a better definition. I like the thought Agent9 gave to this, the subtle shift of the POV. Music alterations were imaginative and appropriate. The pace of this edit rocks!
Nevertheless, I still dislike the characters in this. Every - single - one. Connor has a memorable bit of speechifying where he says, “... we are not machines. And if we behave like them, then what is the point in winning?" Yet all characters are little more than bots. There is neither personality nor humanity in any character. Worse, Connor is a dick. The action sequences blaze and explode, very diverting, but in the end, I couldn’t care less if humanity gets wiped in this movie.
So, I enjoyed this on a brain-slumber level, giggling as things go boom! Far as people, exterminate.
Agent 9 has done a great job with this edit and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It really is better in every way compared to the theatrical release and will be go to copy moving forward. I echo many of the other reviews in the technical improvements this edit provides, but most importantly for me this "feels" like a proper Terminator movie and that's the point. Well done!
Terminator Salvation is a really cool movie. And I'm inclined to say it's good. I think it's a little underrated - there was a lot of good set up in the film. I believe they could've made a fantastic sequel to it, but unfortunately that won't be happening. Of course, the filmmakers only have themselves to blame for making such an undercooked product. The action sequences are fantastic, along with the whole world they've created, but they've populated it with uninteresting characters and a near brain-dead plot. But many fun blockbusters have doldrum plot lines. It really is the characters that ruin this movie.
See, the problem is that they lack basic character development. Which makes us not care about them, which makes us not care about the movie. Unfortunately this brings me to my biggest criticism of Agent9's fan edit. He cuts out many of the very few scenes in the film that actually divulge character points. Worst off in this edit is Marcus (worst off is actually John Connor who barely has a single dimension; but that's present in the original film). While cutting the prison flashback and some of his talks with Kyle and Blair might work in making him appear to be a wholly new Skynet invention (rather than the brain of a human placed in a Terminator), it robs the film of its only interesting character (well Kyle's good but he has little screen time), in a way. Agent9's new version of Marcus is interesting, but there isn't material to properly flesh him out, so to speak. Plus, we never get to really see why Kyle and Blair become friends with him.
But here I am talking about the negative, when I should really be talking about the positive, considering the high score I'm giving this. I'll be brief, though, much of my feelings have already been covered by other reviewers.
Like I said before, Terminator Salvation is cool movie. That's the best thing it has going for it. So well done to Agent9 for making it even cooler. Firstly, he's removed the glaring plot hole that is the hit list, along with some other stupid bits. Secondly, he's recolored the film, and added some choice musical selections. All this amounts to a pretty awesome edit.
While characterization has been made worse by this edit, nearly everything else has been made better. What's left is a fast and action packed Terminator thrill ride. And maybe that's the best that can come from Terminator Salvation. If so, you'll be glad to know that Agent9 has done a fine job.
Agent 9's re-working of key scenes in this edit does a lot to help resolve the many issues this film has. Marcus' new "origin" works well (The less we know about his past the better IMO) and the narrative flows a lot better. The original music cues are a nice touch, and the removal of Star as the walking talk Swiss army knife also works well. What I like most though it the re-colouring. It looks a LOT better. Thumbs up for this one.
Warning: I watched this edit in 640p. Please take that into account when reading this review.
There are three problems with the initial release of Terminator Salvation. One: the far from airtight (even for a Terminator movie) story that took itself far too seriously. Two: Sam Worthington. Three: despite some awesome Skynet monstrosities and a surprisingly great depiction of the T-800 it just didn't feel like a Terminator movie, despite heavy handed and misguided attempts to do just that.
Agent9 ended up taking these issues and wiping them out.
A/V Quality: 10
-Video Editing: 10
The cuts were numerous and welcome. That goofy "musta heard the music" gag is gone, as is a lot of Worthington's introduction, which was only a plus and almost made Marcus an interesting character despite Worthington's mighty effort in dullness. Oh, and Star isn't a walking Deus Ex Machina anymore. That deserves nothing but praise.
The color correction was probably my favorite thing in this movie and really added to a much needed bleak atmosphere. When I first saw the green filter I immediately thought, "Now this is a Terminator movie."
The reinsertion of the original music was one of Agent9's best decisions for this cut and injected some emotional depth better than around half the actors in this movie. Hearing Sarah Connor's actual line from T2 was a nice touch. The removal of some silly lines was seamless. I couldn't find any inconsistency at all.
The pacing has been greatly improved now, but certain decisions are still baffling (through no fault of your own, Agent9). For example, Skynet's system not immediately shutting down Marcus after he came back and, you know, the idea of sending him in the first place. Sadly these were both pivotal things that were impossible to fix without deleted scenes that, from what I know, simply don't exist.
Was this edit still better than its source, though? Oh God yes.
The quality of this originally bland as all hell film has skyrocketed. Where at first it was pretty much on par with Terminator 3, it's now about twelve steps above it. If I ever feel the need for a Terminator marathon, my DVD copy of Salvation will continue to collect dust. This is my go-to copy from now on.