#208: The Terminator (1984)

When and how did I watch this?

October 16th, 2015, on Netflix.

Had I seen this film already?


What did I know about the movie before watching it?

Another big-deal thriller from the latter half of the century,  this one was a big X on my road map of movies. I had seen portions of Judgment Day, but I wasn’t sure how that tied into the prequel.

What do I know about it now?


It was rather intense throughout — not unlike Jaws, but with a robot guy as the antagonist and a much higher body count.  The premise was unique, and the plot had a few nice twists in it.  However, at times I was turned off by the “let’s pause and reveal the plot” moments, along with some of the corny one-liners, but I guess this is stuff one should expect in an action film.  This is a film that does not benefit from HD televisions; the Terminator in his robot form probably looked way better in 1984, but the stop animation was obvious when fine tuned for 720i or higher, and I couldn’t help but laugh. Nonetheless, this was a non-stop thrill ride that is admirable for its ability to stay fast while having a cogent plot.

Did this affect me personally?

It’s hard to unsee Arnold pulling his own eyeball out.

Why is this ranked #208?

The originator of the classic lines, “I’ll be back,” and “Come with me if you want to live,” Terminator is pretty much every dude’s ideal film: post-apocalyptic society, time travel, car chases, guns and robots and gore, and Arnold being Ahnold. It’s hard not to give this movie a high rating if you’re a male.

Did my wife watch/like it?

She missed this one.

Would I watch it again?

Sure! Pass the popcorn.

Would I recommend it to a friend?

It would probably be unsettling to anyone uncomfortable with constant violence, but otherwise it’s an interesting watch.

Does it deserve to be on this list as one of the greatest films of all time?

It has numerous “moments”, a handful of lines echo through time and have been plastered on memes, and it’s the precursor to one of the best movies ever made, likely inspiring others like it.  It deserves a spot in posterity somewhere — perhaps not as an all-time great film, but as a favorite among IMDB voters.  That’s kind of what happened here.

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