Welp, they did it. They blew the whole damn thing up, yo!
What’s the deal with modern marketing, huh? Why does it feel like there is an incessant need to lay out all of the cards, like, the whole duckin’ deck, in trailers and clips only months before release? It confuses the hell out of me; it really does. Do they really think that showing people large swatches of the plot will somehow increase ticket sales? Is it based on some type of algorithm that analyzes sales data of past releases, and the marketing campaigns that surrounded them? Probably, in all honesty. I have a hard time believing that a bunch of marketing executives get together and say, “Fuck it! Show ’em everything! They’ll see this movie, even if they don’t!”
To be fair, I’m not the type of moviegoer that requires a ton of marketing to get me into a theater. Honestly, I make up my mind pretty early. If something interests me, I’m most likely going to give it a shot, regardless of coverage and reviews. Sure, trailers definitely get me excited and remind me that a flick’s release is imminent, but that’s about it. Marketing, on a fundamental level, is about creating awareness for a product. What it shouldn’t be about is begging me to come see the flick.
Human beings, on a very basic level, are attracted to confidence to a degree. I’m not talking about hubris fueled cockiness, but rather the idea that something imbues a sense of “I’m here. This is what I’m about. Experience it, if you like.” On the opposite end of the spectrum, you have desperation, which is something of a turn off for most, and is, what I feel, the biggest misstep in this Terminator: Genisys trailer. It feels really desperate for our attention.
From what I understand, the response to the marketing for this new movie has been tepid at best, which makes sense. This flick is coming off the back of two pretty mediocre movies. So, as a franchise, people are uncertain, I guess you could say. Either that, or maybe the newer generation of film goers just don’t care about The Terminator franchise. It’s all about superheroes, and hungry games these days, and that doesn’t leave a lot of room for their parents’ equivalent series. Listen, I say that while being only 28, and I by no means am saying that younger folks don’t love these older franchises. I was raised by a father that was a big fan of 70’s and 80’s science fiction and fantasy, so, it has dictated a lot of my tastes. I have spent a lifetime watching and re-watching these movies. We, the younger, earnestly sincere demographic actually do, in fact, exist! But we are probably a smaller group than some would think. It’s hard enough keeping up with all the genre stuff that comes out every year, never mind going back and watching older stuff. There was a time when that wasn’t true, my hey-day, so, if you were a genre nerd, or just a regular nerd, there wasn’t much else to watch. Also, my dad was just awesome.
So, John Connor is a human terminator hybrid thingy, and looks to be the villain! I’m not a spoilerphobe, but, man, I would’ve really liked to have been able to experience that in the theater. They could have, at the very least, given me the opportunity to roll my eyes in the theater, dammit! Well, okay, that’s not really fair. It could work just fine. Hell, it’s not even the first time they’ve tried this kind of thing. It echoes the original Terminator: Salvation ending, wherein John Connor dies, and they take his skin and slap it on a terminator skeleton. The reason this, way more interesting, original ending was abandoned , was due to a leak, and when the fans found out they rioted in the streets; Either that or they went on a few message boards and said such incendiary things as “Stupid,” and “Not my JC!”(Pro Tidbit: “JC” is also the initials of Jesus Christ, our undead Lord and flavor saver. Coincidence? C’mon, James Cameron never met a direct allegory that he didn’t try to put into a story with his blue, avatar controlling, ham fists.)
To be fair, this is just a trailer after all, and they could totally make this plot point work. It’d a time/franchise hopping story line, and I’d be really surprised if that wasn’t somehow a factor. You know, like alternate timelines, and parallel universes type of stuff. I mean if you’re going to be convoluted, you might as well go all in, if you ask me. If it all ends up being as straightforward as it appears, that’s just… Well, that’s just dumb.
Bluntly put, this isn’t a franchise that shouldn’t have continued after Judgement Day. That movie said all that was needed to say, and everything that has come after it is forced to constantly contradict and retcon the earlier movies. Honestly, Genisys has a neat “newer” approach to the material, given that they just decided to go all in with the power of time travel. It’s kind of similar to what was done with the first of the new Star Trek movies. By using time travel and, potentially, alternate universe stuff, it’s able to stay in continuity with the rest of the series while doing it’s own thing. Good or bad, it will be at least kinda interesting, maybe?
Beyond all that, this movie looks really cheap to me. It looks more like an episode of a SYFY channel show, than a bloated budget action flick. From the cinematography to the bad attempts at humor, it reminds me of something more akin to Warehouse 13 than The Terminator. Yeah, there’s always been moments of levity in the series, but this is Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines levels of awkward. You know what I’m talking about. Don’t be coy.
Also, Jai Courtney? I have nothing else to add to that. Just… Jai Courtney?
For better or worse, I’ll most likely go see Terminator: Genysis. Yeah, morbid curiosity is definitely a factor in that decision, but, hey, I’m a glutton for cinematic punishment. The thing is, I was always going to go see it. This new revelation didn’t change that, and I think most people that were going to see it fall into that boat. Stop pandering to people that don’t care about these movies. Especially considering that they don’t even know why they should be excited about what they’re being shown. I really hope this flick has more to offer, but I’m not feeling too optimistic this afternoon. Good thing I have a few months to stew, and find my courage, liquid or otherwise.
“You know what I’m talking about. Don’t be coy.”
Me, From Earlier