Thursday, September 24, 2009

#38 - The Terminator

The Terminator (1984)
Extremely Trashy

Directed by: James Cameron. Written by: James Cameron and Gale Anne Hurd.

In the future, the world has been taken over by robots. They are opposed by a small group of human survivors led by a guy named JOHN CONNOR. Apparently, the resistance is tough enough that the robots can’t just nuke the fuck out of them, so instead they opt for something a little more complicated, sending an indestructible killing machine (Arnold Schwarzenegger) back to the present to kill JOHN CONNOR’s future mother, SARAH CONNOR (Linda Hamilton) in the past. The resistance sends back their own guy (Michael Biehn) to protect SARAH CONNOR and stop the Terminator. He also ends up fathering JOHN CONNOR, creating a sort of paradox or something. The mind boggles!

Review: I saw this movie at a tender young age and it’s always held a special place in my heart. I think that most people have T2 in that space. Something about the father-son relationship. Guys wish they had a robot slave when they were little. Me? I hope that some day Michael Biehn will come from the future/past and rescue me from robots and then we can hide out in a bunker or something. Like, say he got blasted into the future in the past, so he’s still kinda young now, or whenever he comes to rescue me. Actually, he‘s not looking too bad now. He‘s still got a certain something. He could totally come rescue me now. I mean, he's 53, but really... well... I guess he is a little old for me. What's the rule? Half your age plus seven? Shit.

Okay, I’ve already spent way to much time on that. God, I need another hobby.

Um. Yeah. Where the hell was I going with this? T2 is more of an action movie, where as this is more horror/thriller, meaning slower, darker, nastier. Less cool for cool’s sake.

Granted, the Terminator is a machine which runs on cool, but this movie is a lot more dirty and unpleasant than the sequels, which are all a bit more on the flashy side. This movie is still pretty flashy, but it is less so. The Terminator is way scarier in this than in any of the sequels also. He just runs on total brute force. The T101 or whatever the hell was in the second movie, he was sneaky in that he could be anybody, but he wasn't very smart. And the TX... well... something about Kristanna Loken is just not very intimidating.

Also there isn’t quite so much driving in this movie. I dunno, there’s a lot of driving nonetheless but I swear to Jesus, T2 and 3 both take place almost entirely on the road. And there's the sound of tires and things exploding... very loud.

Whatever. This is probably one of the bestest time travel movies, and definitely the best killer robot movie ever. It does kick a lot of ass.

The script is also pretty witty, which I like, and the special FX are pretty good (the FX in 1984 were way better than the FX today). And you know, Linda Hamilton is the fucking shit. She kicks so much ass that even when she’s not kicking ass, she's still kicking fuckin ass. There’s something immensely likeable about her. I dunno, I totally want to go out for a beer with her. Not SARAH CONNOR, Linda Hamilton. I’ve read a bit about her (mostly out of boredom) and she sounds like a genuinely interesting person.

Seriously, though, she should be in way more stuff. I mean, she was SARAH fucking CONNOR. That should count for something. Arnold Schwarzenegger got to be fucking governor of fucking California. Linda Hamilton deserves at least some respek.

Anyway. Dick Miller was in this movie also. This is because all of Roger Corman’s former minions are required by law to use Dick Miller in at least one movie. That’s just how it goes.

Favourite Scene: The first scene I ever saw from this movie was the scene in which the Terminator removes his faulty eye, when I was probably around eight or so and it made me really want to see the rest of the flick. So that’s always the scene that pops out at me when I watch it. It pops out for other reasons too, I guess. But it’s really well done, even though Arnold’s head is all waxy. I like wax.

Other versions: None.

Sequels: Terminator 2: Judgement Day (the only valid sequel as far as I'm concerned), Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (crap, although I did like Nick Stahl as JOHN CONNOR for some reason. The fact that Clair Danes was in it kind of made me sad, but it pissed me the hell off that they replaced her with Bryce Dallas Howard in the fourth movie. I mean, JOHN CONNOR gets older as time goes by but Kate Brewster (or whatever her name was) gets younger? How does that make sense? Fuck), Terminator: Salvation (have not seen).

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