I’ve never seen Alien.
Or any of its sequels.
Now as someone who is considered by those who know me to be a bit of a TV and Film buff, it’ll sound odd that I’ve missed out on watching one the world’s most famous movie franchises, but it’s a fact.
Last night at work, I brought this up and people couldn’t quite believe it. So they started asking me about other films that I’ve “surely” seen.
Some of them I have, some of them I haven’t and some I’ve maybe seen parts of at some point in my life.
There are a number of reasons for why I haven’t seen certain films; some I was too young to watch when they first came out and they then passed me by when I grew up, some never appealed to me and others I just can’t explain.
But I thought it would be fun to delve back into the archives and watch some of these supposedly great movies I’ve missed out on and pass judgement from a 2014 perspective.
And that process will start, not with Alien, but with one of the most famous movies of them all – The Terminator.
The Terminator Review: What’s This One About?
A bloke with an unhealthy crush on his mate’s mum – who he only knows from a Polaroid photo he was given – travel’s back in time to shag her.
Oh, and also to stop a Terminator robot from killing her and averting the course of history.
The Terminator Review: Does It Hold Up Well?
The Terminator is now 30 years old, so it would be understandable if it seemed dated now.
Watching for the first time in 2014, I’d say it holds up remarkably well. There are certain scenes and effects – like the one where the gas tanker explodes and the Terminator is engulfed in flames, or the design of the bare-bones cyborg – that wouldn’t be done without the use of CGI nowadays, and as a result probably come across better here than they would now.
But there are also some that are a bit clunky. The scene where the Terminator takes his eye out looks very cheap because Schwarzenegger is so obviously wearing a prosthetic mask, and then there are some stop motion/green screen issues towards the end where the cyborg is on the loose.
On balance though, I’d say it holds up pretty well. There will be movies made 20 years later that look far more dated today.
The Terminator Review: My Thoughts
Now I must admit, I have seen some of this before, including the famous “I’ll be back” moment and the final confrontation where the Terminator finally gets crushed.
Other than those bits and one or two others that seemed familiar, this was a new experience for me.
And it was pretty good; I can see why The Terminator is such a popular and enduring franchise. The premise behind it – that someone has come from the future to change the past – is one that has been done before it and dozens of times since but as a Dr Who fan, it’s always one that will get my interest.
There are other examples of that type of story done better of course – not least in Day of the Daleks from the aforementioned BBC series – but then again that’s not where the main appeal in this lies.
The Terminator is all about the brutality of Schwarzenegger’s cyborg ploughing through scores of people in his relentless quest to kill Sarah Connor. It’s dark, it’s grim, but at the same time it’s funny, even when it possibly isn’t supposed to be.
And for the most part that carries the film along at an enjoyably brisk pace. The only exceptions to that were the flashbacks to Reese’s past and history’s most awkward sex scene; those are parts this could have done without. Then again, without them, it probably wouldn’t have lasted much longer than an hour and thus wouldn’t have made it to the silver screen.
But I enjoyed it, and I’d watch it again.