The film itself might lack a certain something (coherence, for example), but the opening credits of Terminator Salvation offer a lot of food for thought, especially if you like to think about names. Which I do!

I was mildly surprised by the very title of the movie, which I had assumed was Terminator: Salvation, with a colon. That's how sequels are usually styled (e.g., Terminator 2: Judgment Day), but this one appears onscreen -- twice -- as simply Terminator Salvation. What does that mean? Does the story tell of how the Terminators were saved? (Spoiler: no.) Is the film about the salvation of the Terminator franchise? (Certainly not.) The only way the title would make sense is if it had the colon. Terminator: Salvation would mean that it's an entry in the Terminator series of movies, and that this entry is called Salvation. I'm sorry, but these things are important. (After some googling, I see that NPR's Linda Holmes has made a similar observation. So I'm not the only one.)

Then there are the names of the cast members featured in the opening credits, some of which are truly awesome. Moon Bloodgood! Jadagrace! Michael Ironside! Common! Some of those aren't even real names, but they still sound cool, especially when displayed in a futuristic techno font.

Finally, we come to the name of the director: McG (pictured). His real name is Joseph McGinty Nichol; he chose McG as his professional name presumably to prevent people from taking him seriously. Now he spends most of his time complaining about it, as if the name that he chose is a burden to him. A profile in last week's Entertainment Weekly discusses it at some length: