Author’s note: this was a review that I wrote on facebook at the time of this movie’s release. After reading this again — two years later– I still agree with about 99% of what I had to say about it.
So, yeah, Terminator Genisys…
The short answer: Not as bad as I thought it was going to be be.
The long Answer: Considering the idea that just plain not doing another Terminator film was completely off the table, a reboot was kind of inevitable. The time travel continuity of the film franchise was so mangled after T2 that people eventually stopped caring (T1-T2 has Judgement Day set in 1997, then in T3 it`s 2006, then Salvation and the short lived Fox TV series pinned it to 2011). Genisys does us the favor of at least nuking that continuity sink-hole for good, but not before nuking L.A (again) to chronicle Skynet`s rise to power.
As its own film, Genisys is much better than Salvation; the latter mentioned film really just an example of Saving Private Ryan with robots, a.k.a Christian Bale: The Movie: The “We`re Fucking Done Professionally” TMZ Freakout World Tour. And when compared to Terminator 3, Genisys was, thematically-speaking, much better written than T3. Whereas Terminator one and two took the concept of “No Fate, But What We Make” and ran with it, Terminator 3 didn`t so much throw that idea out the window so much as stuff it in a rocket and shoot it at the sun. With the world once again ending in 1997, Skynet going full-blown Doc Brown in 2029, and the themes of free will and the idea that the future can be changed being brought back into the fold, Terminator finally gets the clean slate it so badly needed.
However, there are problems…Pop`s (Arnold as the T-800) origin and his reasons for helping the protagonists are a mystery. It`s one of the biggest plot-holes in the movie, not helped by the fact that there`s now a T-1000 running around in 1984 L.A looking to kill anybody who comes out of a time-bubble. How both cyborgs got dispatched to the more distant past– and in turn, beating out Kyle Reese whose original purpose for being sent back to protect Sarah Connor in 1984 is kind of negated — raises questions that not even the writers of Genisys may know the answers to. There`s also the fact that Sarah Connor and Pops already have a time-machine built, and sort of expect you to roll with it, while they get convinced by Kyle to use it to go into the future (2017) for no other reason except that Kyle saw a vision mid slip-stream.
In the end, the movie makes a creative effort to actually bring something new to the table and play with our expectations on the movie series itself. Using the idea of multiple, parallel realities, it also helps explain away most of the changes and gives new life to a franchise that was probably better off left alone after the second film. For better or worse, however, the Terminator franchise has become something that Hollywood producers and fans alike will keep coming back to despite every rational voice screaming “NO!” at the top of their lungs. With what Genisys is offering, perhaps, people will finally realize that James Cameron is not going to do another Terminator film, Hollywood won`t stop making these films as long as we keep going out to see them, and that Terminator Genisys is probably as close to perfect as we`re going to get in the post-Cameron movie series.
Another update on my book. I just finished editing it after nearly two months of painstaking work! Although it feels like two years ago, it actually wasn’t that long ago that I had completed the first draft on that fateful late August afternoon. Also the novel has a title now:
Might be a bit flashy, but it makes for a decent placeholder for now. As always, I’m going to take a few weeks off before digging into Rough Draft 2: Tokyo Drift, but I’ll still be posting things on Nocturnal Muse Sessions. I also found out that I have seven posts to go before I reach 100, so I’m going to take it to the next level and really deliver on 100 posts in 2017! I’m off to a decent start so far with my latest chapter in the Austin By Night series if you like creepy-dark crime serials. Check it out and watch this space for more updates!
Philip N.R Hauser
Author’s Note: you can catch up on the rest of the series here.
It’s midnight and the water is pitch black, even with the infrared goggles on. I can hear my breathing in the scuba suit as I swim under the waters of Lake Austin towards the yacht floating in the middle of the river. A heavy bass, some kind of techno music is vibrating from the boat hit my body. I take more slow deliberate breathes.
As I surface I try not breathe out give away my position, but the music is so loud that it might not be an issue. As I peek over the side of the boat, I fire my first bullet at a man wearing sunglasses who spots me coming over the side. The gun recoils for a moment as the whisper quiet of the silencer makes my gun sound like muffled whap and his death a soft thud.
I catch the spare shell in my left palm and pocket it. The sky is dark, no lights, no sounds except the bass coming from the main cabin. I kill another man. Whap, thud, catch, pocket.
I see the white container on the bow of the yacht and I open it. Towels, these are what I’ll need. I open my hit kit and I see the lighter fluid. This will do just fine.
“Hey, Tom is that-“
Whap, thud, catch, pocket. I breathe deeply. I allow the let the medication take control. It’s better now. The voices inside me are no longer distracting me, but I still have nightmares. I wonder if there’s a pill that can keep me from dreaming.
I open the cabin. The heavy bass that I have been hearing is getting louder. A woman who I’ve seen before is surprised to find me here. She is the target and she knows it. Her eyes widen. Whap, thud…pocket. She tumbles down the stairs after the bullet exits her. The recoil is easier now. My body is not shaking anymore. More deep breathes.
It’s so bright inside the cabin that I have to remove my goggles. I hear a man screaming as the woman’s body rolls down the stairs and onto the floor. I sleuth down the railing of the narrow, white stair case and land in the cabin. I see a man digging into a drawer for something. His movements are slow and awkward. His face as he looks up at me seems to confirm something for him that I can’t understand. I fire at his chest twice and he falls to the ground.
I look in the drawer and see that he was going to grab a pistol. It looks bored sitting there. I look at the body in front of me as it flops around. I’m getting bored with this. I can’t feel anything anymore.
I watch him struggle. He rolls over and continues to bleed as he takes out his phone, but he drops it twice. He can’t even dial for help. A part of knows I should end him now, but I can’t help but be entranced by him and his struggle. His eyes are green. He has large green eyes. I can’t tell if it’s me or the medication that’s doing this to me. After about a minute of this, he movements start to get slower and slower until he finally stops. I then remember what I have to do. I soak the towel in lighter fluid and I light it on fire using the man’s zippo. I toss the flaming towel on his face and walk up the stairs.
It’s still pitch black outside. The lake is dark, the sky is dark, the coast and trees are dark. The white yacht rocks back and forth as I wait for the fire to spread to other parts of the boat. The light is all there is to see. I can’t help but find it fascinating: the fire growing larger and larger. I then get a phone call from my employer.
“Hello?” I answer.
“I saw your progress, tonight,” she tell me, “very impressive.”
“How were you watching me?” I ask, suddenly paranoid.
“Surveillance drone,” she answers, “the pharmaceutical branch within my company is liking the test data. They can use it to argue the medication’s military applications.”
“But, you wanted me to wipe out the competition here in Austin, right?” I ask her.
“Yes, that too,” she confirms, “as soon as you’re done, meet me back at the Austonian. We have other matters we need to discuss.”
“Yes, ma’am,” I tell her, “is it another competitor?”
“No, a possible employee,” she says, “have you heard of a man by the name of Logan Webb.”
“I’ve heard of him,” the name vaguely registers.
“We’ll need to do a background check on him,”
“Will do,” I answer back, “see you soon.”
I hang up the phone and continue to watch the fire engulf the yacht. I watch it until it sinks into the lake.
Copyright © 2017 Philip N.R Hauser
You can buy the graphic novel here!
“Are you ready, Mrs. Wilks?”
“I’m as ready as I’ll ever be, doctor,”
Patricia Wilks was 95-years-old. She was ready for her final journey. She had already finalized her will, as well as had her last dinner with her son, daughter, and the rest of their extended family. She wasn’t worried. Not unlike the dying from centuries past; but even so, her children couldn’t help but cry for her that night.
“Oh, don’t fret my loves,” she assured them tenderly, her voice a rusty calm that far eclipsed the sensuality and insecurity of youth that was once with her from decades past, “you’ll see me again. That’s a promise!”
“I just want to reiterate what we discussed earlier,” said the doctor, “your body will die, but your consciousness will be transferred to the satellite and will be sent out into space.”
“In order to see if there’s intelligent life out there, yes?” answered Patricia, “I’ve always wanted to travel into space.”
The doctor smiled. Charmed by her excitement.
“If anyone finds the satellite and opens me up,” asked Patricia, “what should I tell them? You’re already including a detailed history of humanity to go along with me.”
The doctor looked up for a moment. Contemplating the question with a pious air that didn’t do justice the level of thought and reverence that he gave it. He soon had his answer:
“Tell them about your life,” he said, “Tell them what it means to be you, to be human. That will be the one thing that these books, histories, sciences, and pieces of art will not convey. For if humanity can’t succeed to meeting those of you out there in space, there will be a record that we tried. That’s all we ask of you.”
“And I accept,” Patricia answered.