3rd: “The Terminator”
These 2 time-traveling, guns blazing, car chasing, action packed movies are so iconic and mind shattering that I could not choose one out of the two, so we will be talking about both movies. We will start with the “original” that set the tone for the entire franchise, even though the last 2 were disappointing.
A mysterious looking man with no clothes on, emerges out of nowhere in L.A. in 1984. He seems to be hunting a woman named Sarah Connor. Similarly another man also emerges who is also looking for the same woman.
As it turns out this latter guy is there to protect the woman from the earlier mysterious guy who isn’t actually a man but machine called a ‘Terminator’ a.k.a T-800 whose mission is to kill Sarah. Both are sent from a post-nuclear war future where man and machine are fighting, and the fate of Sarah is very important in the whole premise.
Even if the effects looked very dated, still it’s an evergreen classic which will be remembered for a long time. The dreadful and menacing ‘Terminator’ played stylishly by Arnold Schwarzenegger is one of his career defining roles. It feels like he was destined for the role.
The Terminator Theme by Brad Fiedel with the clanging metal matches the character of Terminator perfectly and is one of the best themes of all time alongside likes of “Star Wars”. James Cameron makes skillful use of low-budget effect with a wonderful story.
Keeping aside the time-travel the movie’s spotlight is its horrific and suspenseful pursuit of Sarah by Terminator. Machines have no feelings like emotion or fear, thus the ruthless Terminator has become like a horror icon!
Also there are scenes of the future earth where the nuclear war destruction and the terror of the machine ravaging the lives of humans.These make us think of the path the human race is headed. Brad Fiedel score makes the atmosphere even scarier.
Here we have another blend Sci-Fi-horror like the ‘Alien‘ only with more action. But what makes Terminator a classic on its own is its characters and story.Both Linda Hamilton and Michael Biehn were excellent.Without any doubt Arnold was bad- ass and the best.
Also I got to enjoy the famous dialogues like ‘I’ll be Back‘ or ‘Come with me if you want to live‘ which have become so iconic that all the terminator sequels use them so as to entertain the fans of this original film. The pacing is slightly slow but suspense keeps you engaged.
Overall if you think of time it was released, it is a classic and breakthrough film in its genre. Despite not having great effects (for our times) and us watching it at a time where sci-fi movies aren’t that rare ‘The Terminator’ entertains a lot. It is because it has great story and splendid characters and acting. The thing many special-effect driven sci-fi movies miss nowadays.
2nd: “Terminator 2: Judgment Day”
It’s rare to have a sequel that outdoes the first movie. James Cameron does it bigger, better, and louder with more memorable one liners, and with awesome jaw-dropping special effects that still remain spectacularly impressive years later.
High Standard Movie
Like with James Cameron’s previous sequel “Aliens”, “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” expands on the original while staying true to itself rather than repeating and rehashing the story.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day set the bar extremely high for all movies, sequels, and special effects. In fairness to Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and Terminator Salvation, although they failed to reach the same standard as Terminator 2: Judgment Day, regardless of the end result it was going to be a very hard act to follow.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is back in his iconic role as the Terminator. This time in a complete role reversal, he is now the good guy and has been reprogrammed and sent back in time to a modern day Los Angeles to protect John Connor, the future leader of the human resistance who led his side to victory over Skynet which was responsible for wiping out three billion human lives on August 29, 1997 in a nuclear war.
In contrast to his original Terminator which was sent back in 1984 to kill his mother Sarah Connor before John was born, the Terminator is now a bodyguard/father figure to John Connor who also stays true to his promise that he would not kill anyone. Without a doubt this is a movie that Arnold Schwarzenegger will always be remembered.
Robert Patrick is the T-1000, an advanced terminator made up of liquid metal that is sleek, lethal, devoid of any human emotion, seemingly unstoppable, and can instantly form knives and stabbing weapons as well as assume the identity of those killed.
The T-1000 appears as a Los Angeles Police Officer who can interact with other humans but little does anyone know, he has been sent back to seek out and terminate John Connor. Like a stealthy shark searching for his prey, the T-1000 is relentless in his pursuit to terminate John Connor and must also face off against The Terminator.
Linda Hamilton returns as Sarah Connor. Since the first movie, she has transformed herself from a mousy, timid waitress to a muscle bound, fearless and ferocious warrior who wants to pass on the skills for her son to lead the resistance in the future. However, she has become very violent and almost mentally unstable during this time.
Her fear and paranoia of the impending nuclear war as well as the events from 1984 such as her encounter with the first Terminator and the death of Kyle Reese has her institutionalized in a State Hospital for the mentally insane. Her psychologist, Dr. Silberman (in an ironic twist from the first movie), fails to believe her repeated warnings and prophecies.
Therefore, she remains at the State Hospital until she escapes with the assistance of the Terminator and John Connor. Although she remains distrustful of The Terminator (who she thought was going to kill her at first), she later trusts him after she witnesses the strong bond formed between John and the Terminator while at the same time reconnecting with her son John.
Edward Furlong will forever be remembered for his first role as a young John Connor.Before John Connor was the future leader of the human resistance, in the present day he is a 10 year old delinquent who openly defies his foster parents as well as commits petty crimes such as hacking into an ATM to steal money in order to go to the arcade with his friend.
Little does John Connor know there have been two terminators that have been sent back for him which will forever change his life.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day shows that James Cameron (who also wrote and directed The Terminator) is a brilliant director and writer along with William Wisher. The story and screenplay is top notch.
Rather than having a sci-fi movie with action for the sake of action, the action is interwoven with action and character depth as well as James Cameron’s impeccable eye for attention to detail including events from the past (the original movie), present and the future that take place during this movie. The visual effects still stand the test of time and all of the action sequences including the car chases, explosions and fight scenes are spectacular, almost being passable as a 2015 film, and superior not by much, story wise, from the 1984 original The Terminator.
1st: Back to the Future
A combination of science fiction and nostalgia, the movie touched a chord with contemporary audiences and continues to resonate with viewers thirty years later.
The movie’s protagonist is Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox), a teenager who is accidentally sent back in time thirty years. After he unwittingly prevents his parents’ first meeting he must make things right or else he’ll nullify his own existence.
Although the premise is science fictional, the treatment is more or less fantastical, with only a superficial attempt to explain the technology behind time travel. Regardless, the souped-up DeLorean and its flux capacitor make for an iconic time machine.
Meanwhile, the Oscar-nominated original screenplay offers something for everyone. In addition to the overall element of science fantasy spectacle there’s action, adventure, romance, comedy & even surprising dramatic depth at times.
However, the story may not have come to life so vividly without the movie’s well-assembled cast. Replacing Eric Stoltz after shooting had already begun, original choice Michael J. Fox was thankfully able to accept the lead role at that juncture.
Today, it is difficult, if not impossible, to envision anyone better suited to the role of Marty McFly. In support, Christopher Lloyd is likewise irreplaceable as Doc Brown. The icing on the cake is Marty’s parents, enthusiastically played by the lovely Lea Thompson and the always interesting Crispin Glover.
Zemeckis’s direction also leaves little to be desired. The movie has an attractive look throughout and even the thirty year old special effects have held up pretty well. Musically, the movie benefits greatly from Alan Silvestri’s rousing orchestral score. The pair of soundtrack contributions from Huey Lewis and the News is also memorable.
Overall, “Back to the Future” offers high concept thrills backed up by considerable film-making prowess. Iconic in many respects, the movie is among the best, and the most entertaining, of the 1980’s.