30 May 2013


Terminator 1984
  • Director: James Cameron
  • Based on book: No
  • Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Michael Biehn, Paul Winfield, Lance Henriksen
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor/actress in:
    • Arnold Schwarzenegger –Dave, Twins
    • Linda Hamilton – Dante’s Peak, Hill Street Blues
    • Michael Biehn – Aliens, The Rock, Hill Street Blues
    • Paul Winfield – Mars Attacks!, Presumed Innocent
    • Laurence Henriksen - Aliens
  • Why bought: A classic. Fun
  • Seen: twice. First time: awhile ago. Now: March 15, 2013

Why doesn’t someone make a movie about cyborgs who are nice? Who are helpful, kind, loving, supportive? Who love humans in spite of all our weaknesses and who can play the most difficult piano sonatas without blinking?
I guess because it would be kind of a boring movie, huh?
Whatever Terminator is, it isn’t boring. Well, a little. All the car chases are a bit been-there-done-that. Even in the 80’s car chases were already standard, weren’t they, after Steve McQueen in San Francisco?
One more complaint. How did they conveniently end up in the one place where there were the only kind of industrial machines that could possibly destroy the Terminator?  After all that running and chasing they just happened upon…?
All that aside – at nearly thirty years of age this movie deserves its status as a classic.  It’s a bit hard to realize how new it was back then with all the copies made since, but it made quite an impact. As usual I didn’t see it until years later but even I knew that “I’ll be back” was forever eternalized as meany threat number one.
The acting? Well, Schwarzenegger didn’t act, he just walked around being Schwarzenegger but that’s why they chose him, I guess. Michael Biehn as Kyle was a bit boring but cute. It was Linda Hamilton who carried the film. Very believable transformation from drifting partying young working class woman to tough, resourceful savior of the human race with headband á la Rambo and Springsteen to prove it.
I enjoyed the film both times and probably will again someday.  I’m looking forward to the next three.
And I love those 80’s hairdos and clothes. I still have some jackets with padded shoulders. Hope they come back into fashion soon.

3 * of 5.

1 comment:

  1. Update - Hal wanted to see the film again so we watched it yesterday evening. I agree with myself. This review still applies.