The Terminator

“I’ll be back.”

So the first film I’m going to do from The Reading List is The Terminator (1984) starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and directed by James Cameron.
The particular reason why it’s on the list is a bit complicated but it’s also why other films are on the list so bear with me while I explain. Before each screening at my campus cinema they show a montage of great movie moments – for example Darth Vader with lightsaber in hand, Forrest Gump on his bench, Harry Potter riding Buckbeak across the loch. I realised that, as I really agreed with the choices of clips, it was probably a good guide to films I should see. I’ll put all of these films in a category called ’Procrastinate a little more…’ as this is the cinema’s slogan, which speaks to me – a lot. The clip they use from The Terminator is (of course) “I’ll be back”. I once was in a room with it on the TV but I was working on an essay with headphones on so not much sunk in. I figured it was about time I watched it properly.
My first thought was that 2029 (the year they open on, where the Terminator comes from) really doesn’t seem that far way, I mean it’s 13 years from now which is a definite difference from the 45 years into the future it was at the time of the film’s release! While we’re on the dates I feel any film that features a dystopian future and was released/set in 1984  should be recognised for George Orwell’s sake not matter how irrelevant it may be. Another (unoriginal) thought I had near the end of the film was “Man, this Terminator just doesn’t give up, no matter how badly things go wrong for it, it’s determined to carry out it’s job” followed by a moment of wistful longing that my computer was more like this (not the murderbot bit, obviously) and didn’t abandon the simple task you gave it as soon as there’s a hint of something it doesn’t like. Whilst the film wasn’t the greatest I’ve ever seen, it was enjoyable, classic and now I’ve only got 1 to 3 more films to watch before I can go find out who Matt Smith plays and why I can’t find a single trailer he features in (plus, you know, watch the rest of the new film).

SPOILERish ramblings:

I’m going to mention the use of the phonebook as a recurring motif so I can pretend I’m doing this review thing in a (slightly) proper, intelligent way. I also think no person with the surname Connors should name their child Sarah – just in case.
I thought the use of the branding in parallel to concentration camp tattooed serial numbers was clever especially with the digital age update of making it a barcode.
The stop motion used to animate the Terminator’s ‘skeleton’ once the flesh has been burned makes the movement jerky, unnatural and way more scary. It shows that even if we can now easily rely on CGI for things, it doesn’t guarantee that it’ll be better.
Okay, final, biggest question: What the hell with the iguana?! I’m sorry but it serves no purpose to the plot (though for a bit I was expecting Pugsley to swoop in & save the day), there is no reason why Sarah needs a pet and even if you want her to have one for character development or something why on earth would you go for an iguana?!* And with that sage pondering I will leave you…


*No judgement on people who have iguanas, I know someone who does and it’s a perfectly nice iguana, I just don’t think it’s the obvious choice i.e. it’s incredibly random.