Just imagine this: You've just finished making Piranha 2, a pretty abysmal sequel to the Roger Corman cult classic. You lay down one night soon after and you have a visionÖa vision that has you imagining a giant metal man walking through a pillar of fire. Then you get $6 million dollars from a major studio to turn it into a movie. That film just happened to be James Cameron's sci-fi classic The Terminator, a film that completely changed time travel and Schwarzenegger cyborg action films forever.
Kyle Reese (played by Michael Biehn) is sent back in time as is the T-101, a human/cyborg combo killing machine (Arnold Schwarzenegger). Their goals are completely opposite. One is attempting to kill Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) while the other is trying to protect her and save the future of mankind. It's a violent game of cat and mouse throughout the entire running time.
Of course, every movie and sci-fi fan knows the film is much deeper than that. This is a classic story with perfect performances, almost flawless effects (the replica rubber Arnold face is painfully obvious), and action sequences that are only bettered by the films two sequels. Everything is explained in detail and it actually seems plausible thanks to the outstanding writing. The fact that this was made for just over a paltry $6 million is even more stunning with the visual effects that even some bigger budgeted films have yet to match. This one is a classic that everyone should have in their film library and is only slightly bettered by the perfect sequel. (**** out of *****)
This is the second time The Terminator has been available on DVD and thankfully this one is light years ahead of the previous featureless release. Presented in 1.85:1 widescreen, this is an amazing transfer and even more stunning print. Almost all scratches and specs have been cleaned up, only becoming a problem during some of the stop motion scenes late in the film. Some of the nighttime sequences suffer from grain issues, but these are entirely forgivable considering the age and lower budget of the movie. (****)
Remixed from a mono track, the audio has been fully remixed into a full-on Dolby 5.1 EX experience. This is one of the best mono-to-5.1 remixes to ever hit the format, only lacking some full on bass at times. Lasers and bullets will fly through the sound field, a massive change from the dull mono of the original recording. The soundtrack also immerses the viewer, right along with all the glass shattering, cars crashing, and things blowing up. The voices are occasionally drowned out with a minor layer of static, but again, considering the age, it's all very much acceptable. Also included are French and Spanish 5.1 EX mixes along with the original mono track. (****)