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Thank the Maker for Moon Bloodgood!
on 9 January 2010
Produced by the team of Warner Bros, The Halcyon Company, and with the supervision of both McG(who directed the movie) and cohorts such as Mic Rogers(Director Universal Soldier 2), this collection of six short 15 minute animated chapters is one of many related Terminator Salvation spin-off products to be cast as a `prequel' story to the events of that picture. We have already had two pulp paperbacks and a graphic novel, now we have the Salvation DVD itself and this little curio - The Machinima Series. Machinima.com produce the animation for numerous computer games' in-game movie segments as well as the game play movement itself. Previously available on the internet around the time of the movie, this 6-part animated story has audaciously bagged itself a DVD release. It is surprising that this was granted considering the animation is not really up to the standard of what you would expect, even for a straight-to-DVD production. That this DVD has received little advance word or publicity is perhaps acknowledgement by it's distributors that they are aware of this and have merely put it together as an added extra (and revenue raiser) for the Terminator fans. One element in the production's favour however is the presence of Moon Bloodgood again portraying her character of Blair Williams, though only in vocal form this time.
The story follows her character as she narrates her own story of existing amongst the ruins of post-judgement day earth and fighting Skynet and it's Terminators. She appears to be very much a Lone-Wolf, fighting on her own and not bowing down to any bureaucratic command. Her mission after inexplicably having to bail out of her trusty Thunderbolt II (nicknamed Warthog) aircraft is to locate and destroy a target known only as `The Ghost', a source that appears to have been responsible for a series of mechanical and electrical failures in a particular area of the city. After wasting a hearty number of Skynet's various drones; Moto-Terminators, Aerostats, T-600's, Hunter-Killers and bizarre spider-like contraptions, Williams finds herself rescued at the last moment by the deployment of a killer signal that appears to interrupt the cognitive systems of AI units long enough for them to be destroyed or, at least, long enough for a resistance fighter to make their escape. Realising that the signal was responsible for her aircraft's crash, and is in fact man-made - That the `The Ghost' is in fact a person, both needing to be extracted and taken to central command, Blair ignores orders to `terminate' him and drags him through the post-apocalyptic ruins to the extraction point. The idea of the `killer' signal of course will become the major plot point of the Salvation movie when it becomes entrusted to the care of John Connor.
As a fan of the Terminator series I was very keen to order this and add it to my collection. To slot it on the shelf next to the other DVDs'. For those of you who are not Terminator fans - though the story and vocal talent are of good quality - you may very likely find this rather amateurish due to the basic animation on show. Though you have relentless HK's hovering through spooky misty cityscape landscape engines and some cool backdrops, coupled with consistent action - the limits of this budget animation gives little reaction in terms of emotion. Indeed you may spend some of the time distracted by the zombie eyes of the principle characters. But this does explain the low key nature of this release (I had never heard of it until I viewed it on Amazon). Any higher a profile and any criticism may have seen it laughed off the shelves. This series would have benefitted greatly from a little emphasis on motion capture. But that is not really the point. All this is a minor concern to those who would buy the DVD: The Terminator fan. We are, let's face it, the only ones who are likely to purchase this anyway. For us the fan, its great to spend as much time as we can in this world. There are 2 documentaries on the Disc. One focussing on the production, and one looking at the character of Blair Williams. The contribution of the gorgeous Moon Bloodgood is most welcome here!