Terminator Salvation: The T4 Cut

 
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(Updated: March 26, 2016)
Overall rating 
 
8.2
Audio/Video Quality 
 
7.0
Visual Editing 
 
9.0
Audio Editing 
 
10.0
Narrative 
 
8.0
Enjoyment 
 
8.0

Agent 9's audio work in this edit is great, replacing the soundtrack in parts of the movie with more classical Terminator-tunes, really heightens the enjoyment. I also liked the new colour for the movie.

Audio/Video-quality could have been better though, a bigger filesize (maybe even 1080p) and more bitrate for the audio-track (128kb/s is imho a bit too little for stereo, 320 kb/s would have been better).

Narrative wise, it all works and makes sense mostly, and the pacing is faster. But it felt like it was over just a bit too fast, maybe here and there a bit slower pacing would have helped. What I missed a bit was a bit more scenes for Marcus and Blair to help with their relation, so that it becomes more beliveable that she would help him escape.

I recommend this edit, especially because of the new soundtrack and colour, and if you like a fast pacing, you'll love this edit.

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Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
MP4/AVI/etc. (HD)
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Overall rating 
 
8.5
Audio/Video Quality 
 
10.0
Visual Editing 
 
10.0
Audio Editing 
 
9.0
Narrative 
 
8.0
Enjoyment 
 
8.0

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.

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(Updated: February 07, 2014)
Overall rating 
 
8.5
Audio/Video Quality 
 
9.0
Visual Editing 
 
10.0
Audio Editing 
 
8.0
Narrative 
 
9.0
Enjoyment 
 
8.0

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.

AV QUALITY
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.

VISUAL EDIT
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.

AUDIO EDIT
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!

NARRATIVE
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.

ENJOYMENT
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.

Well done, Agent 9!

User Review

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Yes
Format Watched?
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Overall rating 
 
8.6
Audio/Video Quality 
 
9.0
Visual Editing 
 
10.0
Audio Editing 
 
9.0
Narrative 
 
9.0
Enjoyment 
 
8.0

I really, really, really wanted to enjoy myself with this edit, to experience the magic of T1 & T2 all over again, or the magic of watching Uncanny Antman's sublime version of T3.

And Agent9 did a great job of hosing away tons of crap—needless scenes, useless dialogue. The addition of classic terminator tunes also improved the tone of the film, though the volume was a bit high in some places.

Unhappily, the theatrical version has so many issues that it would be difficult to hose them all away. It's like the movie has a core crap holding chamber, ginormous and sealed and possibly impervious to fanediting. A monstrous terminator appears silently out of nowhere to snatch resistance fighters in the desert, apparently in the mere service of a surprise moment and a cartoony action sequence (which made me yearn for the brilliance and natural flow of action in the first three terminator films); John Connor throws caution to the wind and mentions the names of his mother and father to a machine he suspects is a terminator, for the sake of dumb exposition (but without Connor's indiscretion, the whole rescue-Kyle-Reese plot cannot be set in motion); terminator worms are swimming not far from Connor's base, even though such machines should have alerted their heavier-duty brethren long before the movie started; resistance air bases are out in the open where any aerial survey could find them. And why aren't terminators continually syncing their data with the network, i.e., why isn't any contact with a terminator shortly followed by a wave of killing machines coming down on a human's ass? Is it wise to detonate nuclear devices while hovering in a helicopter over prime mushroom cloud territory? And how much of this silliness could be removed without disrupting storytelling coherence?

I applaud Agent9 for doing a tremendous job salvaging what he could from a serious mess of a movie. Terminator Salvation gave me a headache; The T4 Cut was very watchable. I'd rank the theatrical release a 2/10 on the enjoyjoy scale and Agent9's version considerably higher, which has me very much looking forward to his future fanediting projects, especially if they're based on better substrate.

Enjoyjoy: 7.5 pelvic aerothrusts, rounded up.

User Review

Format Watched?
MP4/AVI/etc. (HD)
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Overall rating 
 
8.6
Audio/Video Quality 
 
10.0
Visual Editing 
 
10.0
Audio Editing 
 
10.0
Narrative 
 
8.0
Enjoyment 
 
8.0

This is a great fan-fix, and a big improvement over the original.

Agent9's cuts are smart and well integrated, removing a lot of unnecessary filler and keeping the essential throughline of the story. The visual edits are excellent, but special mention must go to the audio work. The integration of music from the first 3 terminator movies is handled very professionally, in terms of balance, removal/masking of the original score, and placement in the film. Fantastic work!

As a film overall, it's still nowhere near as good as the first two, although I much prefer it to the abomination that was T3. The movie takes itself far too seriously, and the references to Terminators gone by ("Come with me if you want to live", "I'll be back") feel very forced. Also, giant plot holes remain intact through no fault of Agent9's (Really? Cybernet sends one Terminator to kill John? In a Terminator Factory?).

I'd say this is about as good as this film can get. Nothing removed from the original cut was missed, and the new music was a nice throwback to Terminator 1&2. Congrats on a great first edit on fanedit.org!

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