THE TERMINATOR (1984)
The Terminator is one of those movies that is always on TV, and I always watch snips of but never actually sit down to view it in it's entirety. Not being the biggest sci-fi fan, I've never given it much more attention than mildly amusing background noise. However, after actually giving it my full attention, I found it mesmerizing.
The future seemed not too distant and not too far-fetched as I watched a post-apocalyptic man vs. machine. When the movie was released the population was just beginning to distrust and resist the impact computers and machines were having on their lives. Blaming machines for our destruction seemed almost the natural discourse, because we could still blame the government for their blind trust in the artificial intelligence they created.
James Cameron used the physicality of Arnold Schwarzenegger brilliantly. By keeping him the stoic, determined killer that never has to speak, his body language is all that's needed to scare and intimidate. He projects the unquestionable knowledge that he will not ever stop until his mission is carried out, and he gives us one of the most unforgettable villains of all time.
The movie still finds time in the action for a sweet but subtle love story that has crossed decades but is fulfilled for only a short time...
Sarah Connor, becomes a strong character with the fate of the world in her hands. But first she must get passed the fact that it is a machine trying to kill her, and the physically and emotionally scarred soldier sent to protect her is on her side.
Great visuals and music give you the 80's punk/cult feel and set the scene for an action-packed ride with a nasty streak. Once you give it you're full attention you "will be back".
Noteworthy: From truck driver to the first man to direct a $1o0 million and $200 million film, The Terminator was James Cameron's first movie and the theme recurs in his later films.