When I was in Walmart the other day picking up The Road on blu-ray, I noticed a DVD in the $5 bin called Terminator Salvation: The Machinima Series and I figured for that price, it didn’t matter what it was, and just grabbed it.
It turns out it’s a series of six short episodes, totaling a little more than an hour, set a year or two before Terminator Salvation, and created with the graphics engine used for the Terminator Salvation video game.
The episodes tell the story of Blair Williams, the A10 pilot from Salvation, as she is sent on a ground mission to discover, and terminate, the source of a disruption in Resistance communication.
She finds that the source is Laz Howard, a young computer hacker who is able to disrupt not only Resistance communication, which he did by accident, but also the internal communications between Skynet and its Terminators. Williams realizes his skills might be useful to the Resistance, so disregards orders to kill him, and instead tries to bring him in.
I’ve never been a gamer, so really had no idea what video game graphics look like. I suppose they’re ok when you’re controlling the action in a game environment, but when used for a full length movie, they’re a bit lacking. The buildings and streets of post-nuke LA were great, but the main characters’ faces were like mannequins; they never had any facial expressions and their lips barely moved when they were talking.
But unfortunately, even worse than the graphics was the story. Again, it was very video game like; the T-600s couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn, even with their miniguns blazing, and the airborne hunter killers were good for pretty much nothing.
But overall, even with it’s faults, I’d say it’s a worthwhile watch. The story is nothing to write home about, but the settings and background visuals were not bad at all, and how many full length animated post-apocalyptic movies are out there? And for the price, I guess you shouldn’t expect much anyway. In addition to the DVD, episodes are available on iTunes, Amazon, and download on XBox Live or Play Station Network.