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Terminator Salvation: The Movie Companion Paperback – April 28, 2009
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"Dynamic film stills, production photos, storyboards, and other illustrations appear throughout." - School Library Journal
About the Author
Tara Bennett is the author of a variety of movie and TV companions, including 300: The Art of the Film and several official companions to the hugely successful TV show 24. She also writes regular articles for many publications including SFX and Lost: The Official Magazine, as well as contributing to popular website SciFi.com.
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Top Customer Reviews
The book overviews the brilliant techniques used to bring about what should be called the fourth in a series of Terminator movies, these movies having a major impact not only on general audiences but on research and commercial use of artificial intelligence (but usually not acknowledged). This latest installment of the Terminator is the most realistic one in that it emphasizes the practical constraints the both human and machine would have to face if they are to make war on each other. The availability of energy will be of major importance to both, and the eventual victor will be one who decimates the other's power supplies and sources.
Humans that fight wars are always ordered to do so by those who do not, and it takes strong characters to effectively wage them. The choice of actors and their uniforms emphasizes this strength, and it does so convincingly without making them appear pompous or arrogant. The machines are also portrayed as somewhat more vulnerable than they were in previous movies. Typically rusty and dirty in appearance, they represent the "first generation" of machines that Skynet has constructed to be used against humans. Like all intelligent entities, Skynet cannot be automatically omniscient, and must be subjected to a learning curve in anything that it does.
The demonic appearance of the bi-pedal humanoid-like robots exemplifies to great effect the horror that would be experienced when confronting machines in actual battle. To be effective in war, the machines would have to dominate the air, land, and water. The movie creators realized this and they incorporated not only flying machines, the famous "hunter-killers" or "HK's" appearing in previous movies, but also some new machines that are worm-like in appearance and that inhabit creeks and other waterways.
There is no doubt that facing these types of machines in battle would be a terrifying experience. The movie's creators saw to it that terror should be the predominant emotion for the audience. This fear of intelligent machines has leaked into all areas of contemporary culture, despite artificial intelligence being pervasive in the same. It is easy to imagine a scenario where a close approximation to the events of this movie is realized. Cognitive networks, automated manufacturing, and autonomous weapons systems are just a few of the currently available technologies that could make it so.
In between those sections are features on the characters John Connor, Marcus Wright, Kyle Reese, Kate Connor, Blair Williams, Barnes and Dr Serena Kogan. The writeup is on casting and the characters role in the movie.
Strangely, there are no quotes from Christian Bale in the book. So anything that's written about him are in the lines of 'Christian Bale is this' and 'Christian Bale is that'. They can't even get an interview with Christian Bale for the book. Seriously? And no, there's nothing on the heated argument Christian Bale had with the lighting guy.
Lots of set photos are included, with a handful of concept art. Much of them are actually behind the scenes photos and very few film stills.
In the section on the Terminators are photos of the many models of Terminator: T-1, T-600, T-700, Marcus and Hydrobot. Plenty is written on creating, modeling, making them gritty and textured for the movie. Looking at the set photos reveals how the Terminators are shot -- there are actors wearing skin tight blue suits below the metal skeleton costumes.
Much of the book talks about achieving the look required for believability. Production stories are plenty, like how the workers set up close to a hundred sets for filming, picking costumes, post-processing the film, etc.
The book also doesn't talk in depth on the plot of the movie so there are no major spoilers.
In essence, this is like an oversize magazine, great for some light reading, recommended more for Terminator fans. Note that there are both paperback and hardcover editions.
(Check out my Amazon profile for other books I've reviewed.)