The Terminator


By Drew Turney

One of those films that breeds not just an iconic hero and signature lines like “I’ll be back”, but spawns cheap and nasty homages for years to come, redefining science fiction as action when the world was still in the grip of space princesses and starship battles.

Launched the stellar careers of Cameron, Schwarzenegger, Henriksen and Biehn (who for some reason didn’t run with his and has appeared in increasingly cheap TV movies ever since) and became a filmmaking milestone.

Deceptively simple idea of a brutish android sent back in time to kill the mother of a future human resistance leaders in a war against the world’s computers, the freedom fighter sent back to defend her, and the bewildered twentysomething girl caught in the middle of it all. Set new benchmarks not just in storytelling but all sorts of technical disciplines, owing to the legendary control Cameron applies to everything from lighting to editing and soundtrack to writing.

Exactly what teenage boy (and teenage boy at heart) audiences wanted – a killer robot, lots of guns and violence, crashes and explosions. Showed Cameron’s talent for writing early on, and directing ability that was destined to cement a major Hollywood powerbroker later on.

The company he founded on it’s success, Carolco, couldn’t replicate a winner quite as big and bankrupted before he formed Lightstorm with partner and then-wife Gale Anne Hurd. Look carefully for Paxton in an early role as one of the gangbangers the Terminator steals clothes from.

Blu-ray details and extras :

Not much else on offer here that wasn’t on that initial 2006 “Terminator” Blu-ray – well, besides a nice little collectible booklet. Most disappointing is that the print itself hasn’t gotten an upgrade at all, so we’re still stuck with that just-passable transfer that’s made friends with grain and dirt; the audio transfer, a PCM 5.1 uncompressed track, isn’t much better.

Extras-wise, same stuff that was on the previous Blu-ray release – deleted scenes, featurettes and a retrospective documentary (that is worth a watch, should you not own the previous BD release).