WonderCon 2009: 'Terminator Salvation' director works the crowd

Even with Christian Bale ("Batman") as John Connor, I've yet to get excited about this fourth entry in the series Terminator Salvation. At WonderCon on Saturday, the movie's director, McG yelled at me for a good 30 minutes to get me to change.

For a long time after its debut in 1991, I considered "Terminator 2" my favorite movie, with the first "Terminator" comfortably placed in my top 5. "Terminator 3," although entertaining, did not live up to that high James Cameron standard.

Even with Christian Bale ("Batman") as John Connor, I've yet to get excited about this fourth entry in the series, "Terminator Salvation". At WonderCon on Saturday, the movie's director, McG yelled at me for a good 30 minutes to get me to change my mind.

John Connor opening a can... Warner Bros.

Well not directly at me, but more at the gathered crowd. He actually did a very good job getting us all fired up. If this whole Hollywood thing doesn't work out for him, I think motivational speaking could be in his future.

He first yelled about the new trailer he was debuting for the movie. The trailer will be attached to "Watchmen" on Friday, and it included some pretty awesome action scenes as well as giving us more glimpses of the story.

From what I gleaned, there seems to be a terminator that thinks its human. While this has been done a few times in sci-fi properties like "Blade Runner" and more recently "Battlestar Galactica," this is the first time I've ever seen it used in the "Terminator" universe.

After the trailer, he showed off two new, unfinished scenes from the movie.

The first scene, called the gas station scene, was very impressive even with its unfinished CGI. It's a chase sequence involving a HUGE--like six or seven stories tall--terminator, with a shoulder-mounted plasma gun (probably in the 40-watt range) taking out everything human that tries to drive away.

Our heroes find a way to distract it long enough to get away, almost. It then releases two very cool-looking and very acrobatic terminator motorcycles to give chase. After the cycles are taken out, a flying HK (Hunter Killer) swoops in front of our guys just as they're racing across a bridge and knocks the bridge out with a missile strike. Then the clip ends.

I loved how the scene showed the tenacity of the terminators. Each time it's seemingly defeated, it has another trick up its sleeve. Though exciting, the scene could probably use some editing to tighten it up, as it went on a bit too long dealing with the motorcycles stuff.

The second scene was a more character-driven scene dealing with John Connor's distrust of what I believe to aforementioned terminator that thinks its human. Basically the terminator saves John's life but that's not enough to convince him that he can be trusted.

After the panel, my overall excitement level was raised, but not significantly so. When I can actually see and hear the trailer clearly from the comfort of my own computer, I'll be ready to make a more accurate judgment.

 

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