Monday, August 3, 2009

The Terminator (1984)

Last Friday I saw a double feature of "The Terminator" and "Terminator 2" at the Aero Theater.  It was a great experience.

"The Terminator" is a story about a young woman named Sarah Connor.  In the future, she will have a son who ends up leading an army of people after the world has been destroyed by machines.  Kyle Reese is a soldier in the future world and he is sent back in time to protect Sarah Connor.  She needs protection because the machines sent a Terminator back in time to kill Sarah.  Reese does whatever he can to ensure the safety of Sarah Connor.

"The Terminator" is a great sci-fi movie.  It is very interesting to see the way they handle time travel and it all sort of makes sense in some strange way.  The film is also very scary due to Arnold Schwarzenegger's role.  The Terminator role is perfect for Arnold.  He is menacing and he is very machine like in his speech delivery and actions.  

My favorite scene has to be the scene where Arnold repairs himself in a hotel room.  His eyeball has been destroyed, so he uses a razor blade to cut the eyeball out, which reveals his natural machine eye.  For much of this scene, a mechanical robot stood in for Arnold, so the effect could be pulled off.  It is a very good robot that looks very much like Schwarzenegger.  

James Cameron does a great job in directing this film.  It is exhausting by the time you get to the end.  The Terminator can not be stopped.  Every time the audience thinks he is dead, he comes back.  He is relentless.  "The Terminator" also has a nice love story between Reese and Sarah Connor.  Reese has been in love with Sarah since her son first told him about her.  They end up having a night of passion together.  It is a very nice love scene.

The special effects in "The Terminator" are a mixed bag.  Some of the effects really hold up, but the stop motion effects do not.  Stan Winston did an incredible job creating the Terminator endoskeleton and the make-up on Schwarzenegger is great.  During the final scenes when the Terminator driving the truck, chasing Sarah and Reese, Schwarzenegger looks so scary.  The cuts go from "Real Arnold" to "Machine Arnold" many different times, but it all looks great.  It is during this time that I think the Terminator is most frightening.  

"The Terminator" is a great start to a wonderful franchise.  The film started the careers for both Schwarzenegger and Cameron.  It is obvious why.

B+  I recommend it.

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