Monday, July 27, 2015

The Terminator (1984)

The special effects in James Cameron’s “The Terminator” have aged terribly. Stop motion jitters. Robo Arnold Schwarzenegger head during the self-operation vibes snickering fake. But we can only blame (thank) James Cameron for the huge leap in special effects since then, including his remarkable “Abyss” (1989) and “Terminator 2 (1991). But this is still a crazy daring film that rest sci-fi standards. In grimy Los Angeles, two men –- Schwarzenegger and Michael Biehn -– appear naked inside a blue-like orb, lightning pops and crackles. Silent types, they quickly find or steel weapons and hunt after one woman, a waitress (Linda Hamilton) destined for greatness. Schwarzenegger to kill. Biehn to protect. Watching this recently, I thought back to the first time I saw “Terminator” how I had no idea what was happening, who was good, what Schwarzenegger was, and how the action would end, and I loved the VFX. Thirty-one years ago, wow. Cameron made his own career and christened Schwarzenegger a star, and that’s with a scene where he massacres several dozen LEOs. (Made today? Not a chance.) Cameron sells it. You know near every frame was fought over and after, beat into perfection of the time. Exhilarating. A

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