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The Terminator

James Cameron's 1984 sci-fi action film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.

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" It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, it doesn't stop for coffee or check it's Twitter....."

  • Oct 11, 2010

The original Terminator.  The cold blooded killer from the future.  You could give him a date with Brazilian and Swedish supermodels, give him an Aston Martin full of gold Krugerrand, promise Peace in the Middle East or give him a whole Caribbean island to himself, and it wouldn't matter.  He has one job, he will find you and he will kill you.

In the near future, mankind was hit with a nuclear war by intelligent machines.  Humans were rounded up into death camps and things are really bleak.  The leader of the human resistence is John Connor and the machines see him as a threat, deciding to commit a little bit of "retroactive abortion" as is said by a character, they send a Terminator back in time before John was born to kill his mother.  The Terminator blends in flawlessly in society with real hair and skin, even body odor and bad breath it is said.  It's also very strong, learns how things work and unflinching in it's duty to kill it's target.

His target is Sarah Connor a young and happening woman with a crummy job but rather footloose and unburdened with the normal world around her, that is till the Terminator shows up.  The Terminator doesn't know what Sarah really looks like or where she lives, he just goes through the phone book, finds the addresses of Sarah Connors and guns them down.  Hearing this news freightens Sarah a little but what alarms her while out at a club is a man following her, unaware that he is in fact her savior, Kyle Reese.  He too is from the future and has fought the Terminator's before and knows that fighting one in the past is an uphill battle given the primitive weapons of the time.  Sarah thinks hes crazy at first but slowly comes to realize that Kyle may not be lying, especially after The Terminator slaughters a police station full of cops.  Kyle needs to keep Sarah safe and slowly but surely they fall in love, in the scope of danger and with a killer looming.

The Terminator wasn't JUST another action movie even though it is how it is best remembered.  It's elements of time travel and changing the future are definitely touched upon and explored.  I don't want to delve too deep into them but it is one of those things you think of as you watch.

DVD editions show again what I've said of James Cameron that he knows that people want deleted scenes but just not to integrate them into the movie forever and ever.  Some scenes include Traxler realizing that Kyle could be right about the Terminator but there are nice scenes that are left out and for a good reason.  One scene has Kyle almost ending up SHOOTING Sarah which REALLY derails the relationship they had started to form.  The final deleted scene shows something important and I'll leave it a surprise.  None of these scenes are cardinal to the movie but it is nice to see them.

While the sequel, Judgement Day painted a cleaner and shinier look to these characters.  This more modest film had a gritty look.  It's darker, moodier and scarier in many places.  The special effects were cruder and muddier but that served for the film's more ugly nature and it's violence which is also more ruthless.  Think of Kyles dream of the future in the movie and contrast that to the opening of the second and you can see what I mean.  When people say that this minimalist effort is a superior film, I can look at what this movie does have over it's sequel and see what they mean.


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October 11, 2010
Another excellent Arnie review, and I love the title.
October 11, 2010
Yes it is. That part in the title about his Twitter and the coffee was in he review till I realized I had no title yet. Thanks for reading.
More The Terminator reviews
review by . December 20, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
The Terminator has been one of those movies that I've been a fan of since the 90's, and it seems like with age, you end up loving it even more. With Arnold Schwarzenegger's movies, I consider this among his absolute best, second only to the mighty Total Recall.      It's also interesting to note that if you ask around a lot of Terminator fans, most will tell you that Terminator 2: Judgment Day is their favorite movie. If you would have asked me this question about …
Quick Tip by . October 19, 2010
Great memorable scenes and lines. A classic with room for thought behind the action.
Quick Tip by . August 01, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Chilling and grim look at a machine future with a lone warrior protecting a lone woman from a lone killer. Arnold's acting muscles get to flex here and it's minimalist violence and budget impress people more then it's flashier but still terrific sequel.
review by . July 29, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Well before James Cameron was making movies about giant smurfs he sent a body building cyborg back in time to kill Sarah Connor. In the year 2029 a war between the humans and the machines (Skynet) rages on. Led by the series' messiah, John Connor; the humans hand a crippling blow to Skynet insuring their victory. The machine's solution, of course, is to send a robot that looks like Arnold Schwarzenegger back to 1984 to kill Connor's mother, Sarah Connor, before he is born. Connor responds …
Quick Tip by . July 17, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
This movie is a movie I will always cherish as my dad always quoted this movie!
review by . November 13, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
I should have known that when a blu-ray disc was selling for under $10 that something was wrong. Sure enough, the picture quality is pretty much the same as a regular DVD. The fact that it's selling for such a low price probably means that somebody is wising up and will soon issue a better quality blu-ray version. My advice is to pass up on this offer and instead wait for the definitive treatment.
Quick Tip by . September 29, 2009
Dark sci fi action film about a hero sent back in time from a bleak future to protect a woman who's child will save man kind. Awesome film.
review by . November 02, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
The French language edition of this cult classic.  You know the movie, here it is in French.  It is amusing to listen to Arnold speaking in the language of love, killing machine that he is. ;']  Enjoy - Amusez-vous bien!
review by . June 09, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
Alright, The Terminator is a classic that helped proppel Arnold S and director Cameron to fame, so I won't bother reviewing the movie because I give it 5 stars all the way, even though I prefer T2.     Okay let's be serious. If you're expecting to get a new DVD edition you're wrong. This is still the same DVD as the last release. Nothing new except now it has a nice sleeve. Now if you don't own a copy and you want the sleeve (Like me) this is good, but if you already own the …
review by . January 27, 2005
posted in Movie Hype
I remember going to this movie thinking it would put me to sleep. After all, back then Arnold was just a muscle guy who had made Pumping Iron and then the not too good, Conan the Barbarian. Boy was I wrong! This movie hooked me from the opening scene and even Arnold's stiff sounding dialogue was perfect for the cyborg he was playing!     The chase scenes and narrow escapes had my heart pounding throughout the film!    There were many scenes in this film that …
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John Nelson ()
Ranked #8
Born in Wausau Wisconsin. Move at an early age to Ventura California and lived for 8 years. Growing up in a big city landscape didn't prepare me for my next move: Archbold Ohio with a population of … more
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James Cameron's THE TERMINATOR is one of the tightest, tensest sci-fi films ever made and a landmark in the genre. In the year 2029, battles rage between the super intelligent machines that rule the world and the last vestiges of humanity. In late-20th-century Los Angeles, Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) suddenly finds herself stalked by an unstoppable killing machine--a Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) sent from the future to kill her and her unconceived son, John Connor, the future leader of the human resistance. Sarah can rely only on Reese (Michael Biehn), a soldier sent from the future to protect her from the seemingly indestructible Terminator and save humanity. This low-budget masterpiece was the breakthrough film for director Cameron, who weds special effects, thrills, and understated romance to create one of the finest action films of the 1980s, which spawned many imitations but few equals. Science fiction author Harlan Ellison sued over the film's similarities to his own works, especially the OU...
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