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.
OK, first up I didn't see this movie in theatres and the Blu Ray has been sitting on my shelf unwatched since I bought it. This fan edit gave me the push to finally sit down and watch the thing, and I'm glad it did.
The 720p MP4 I watched looked and sounded lovely throughout. In a couple of the shots of the command submarine I got some contrast gradient artifacting uncharacteristic of my setup, and the one really dark night scene (where they test the signal) was just this side of comfortably visible - but both were extremely minor issues in an otherwise flawless encode. Kudos on the crisp visuals and punchy sound.
Absolutely top drawer. I honestly wouldn't know this was a fan edit from the visual editing - it's extremely professionally put together. The cuts are clean and natural; and as everyone else has commented, the colour correction is wonderful. It lends the whole movie a pitch perfect atmosphere, at once post-apocalyptic and yet extremely reminiscent of the franchise. And the pacing is spot on.
If I were feeling critical, I might dock half a point for the cut to the seeker drone after they fix the car engine - something about it was visually *ever so slightly* jarring. But I think the fact that that's the WORST example of visual editing is testament to the skill employed in the edit. All round, it's visually pretty freaking seamless. Seriously nice work.
This one is actually the trickiest for me to score, oddly enough. I'm in love with the soundtrack - it totally brought the whole thing together as a Terminator flick for me. Amazing sound and musical cues, good soundstaging and brilliant little touches like the restoration of Sarah Connor's voice on the tape. Ten out of ten, right?
Unfortunately, it was let down just a little by some off levelling in some scenes. Now, as I say, I haven't seen the theatrical cut so I can't attest to how much of this is present in the original - but on the strength of this edit alone, in some scenes I definitely could have done with a little more volume on a voice here, a little less on a sound effect there, a quieter score over there. So much so that in some scenes I had to turn the volume up to catch a bit of dialogue, and then in others turn it down so as to not terrify the neighbours.
In short, it's a beautiful sounding edit which smacks the nail right on the head in terms of overall tone, but which is just a tiny bit rough around the edges. Nonetheless, I couldn't honestly say those minor issues detracted from the experience - and I'd almost certainly recommend this cut for the sound alone!
I feel like, from reading previous reviews, I should have something negative to say about the plot. But based solely on this cut, it totally worked for me. Everything I'd been worried about... I forgot. It took me on a crazy Terminator ride. Marcus was an intriguing element, it was largely believable (well, y'know), there weren't any glaring plot holes, it was a bit Hollywood in places but never more cheesy than awesome, and generally the machines and the humans both came across as knowing what they were doing.
I especially liked what Agent 9 did to convey a sense that the machines didn't yet know the significance of Kyle Reese - it genuinely felt like that was an ace the resistance had up their sleeves, what with Skynet being so singularly obsessed with John Connor. (I actually got that sense during the movie, and only on reading the cut list afterward realised no-one who saw the theatrical cut would have felt the same - how cool is that!?) Sublime.
As if I need to say more here. Still not the best movie ever made, and not even close to being the best Terminator movie - but I like it a lot more than the theatrical cut of T3, and might even, as I'm feeling pretty stoked about it still, place it pretty much on a par with T1. And that's pretty high praise indeed.
Pretty much exactly what ssj wrote.
The intro credits were very well done.
Some music changes were too obvious and distracted me from the movie experience.
The bitrate of the 720p version was not high enough in the darker scenes, which caused very visible artifacts.
This was a good fanedit, the changes all improve on the original, but it does not make this a great or even good movie and this will have been (if there is not another even more daring fanedit) the last time I have willingly watched any of it.
Perhaps my expectations were too high on this one; the superhigh ratings from the others, who watched it, tempted me.