Wednesday, April 29, 2009

He'll be back

I showed TERMINATOR to my cousin for the first time last night.
He was aware of the franchise, and had seen most or all of TERMINATOR 3 online, and we talked about time travel the other night until nearly three.

I love THE TERMINATOR. I first saw it when I was a kid, on its first television broadcast on NBC. I remember being totally absorbed by it, and that it was unlike anything I had ever seen before.*

When I got to high school, I met a guy who actually had a copy of the movie (taped off HBO or something), and he knew it back and forth. When T2 was coming out, he and I and my two best friends all loaded up in his little Dodge Neon and drove to the city to watch it on opening night.

There was a new theatre that had just opened up in 1990, and was state of the art for its time (though, sadly, that four-screen theatre has already closed, to be replaced by a sixteen-screen building a block away), and it had a life-sized cardboard cutout of Schwarzenegger on his motorcycle with a red LED light on his left eye, and we all got our picture taken standing next to it (though, sadly, I never got a copy of that particular photo).

We all enjoyed T2 greatly, but I was disappointed it didn't have Kyle Reese in it, even though I had seen a publicity photo with him and Linda Hamilton for the movie. TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY was the biggest hit of that summer, and was, until recently, the biggest-grossing R-rated film in history (I believe it's now MATRIX 2). But I always loved the original, and treasured its memory.

And the next year, when TERMINATOR was released on sell-through videocassette, I bought my own copy.* Around 1995 or '96, I bought it again, this time on widescreen tape (does anyone remember that brief fad?). I bought it a third time when it was released as a special edition DVD in the '00s. And when my DVD collection was stolen in 2004, it was one of the few films they left (they must have been distracted because they/he left a big shopping bag he was carrying them out with, abandoning all the movies after the S's). I don't have a Blu-Ray player, so that's still my go-to copy of the film.

So, cut to 2009, with a new sequel about to hit theatres, and my cousin suddenly interested in the franchise. He had asked me to borrow the Terminator series many times in the past, but I had refused, knowing he'd get in trouble if he borrowed them (and I'd get in trouble if I lent them to him), and after months of putting it off, I finally watched the flick with him last night.

I tried not to build it up too high, since that almost always backfires (I once described a flick to my chum Matthew as "maybe the best horror film ever made" before we saw it, and afterward he said, "You know, I wish you hadn't said that," as he expected something much better than what I showed him), only hoping that he'd dig it as much (or almost as much) as I did.

It is one of the films I defend most vigorously, since so many people chide its "primitive" special effects nowadays (and I hate people who can't appreciate just how good the effects of the Eighties were, or who compare 1982 films to 2007 CGI extravaganzas), and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I enjoyed the movie now as much as I ever did. My cousin didn't say much throughout, but when the film was over, he said, "You know, that was one of the best movies I've ever seen."**

There was this odd sense of satisfaction and pride in hearing that, almost as though I had made THE TERMINATOR rather than James Cameron. I feel like it brought my cousin and I closer as friends.

But maybe that's just a natural feeling of sharing anything that you love/are close to, and finding someone else who enjoys it. It's probably the whole basis for Browncoatism.

Rish T-001 Outfield

*I took it with me to college, and I remember one roommate (my first roommate, I suppose he would've been) freaking out that I owned an R-rated movie. He told me I should get rid of it, and made something of an ass of himself acting so pious, especially when I caught him watching scrambled porn on my television a little while later.

**Next week we'll watch TERMINATOR 2, and I'll ask him which he liked better. If he's like me, he'll prefer T1. If he's like you, it'll be the sequel. But I do hope it's not T3.

1 comment:

ryanlb said...

I intend to post some comments about it in my blog one day soon, but let me just say this.

If I had to choose between never seeing The Dark Knight again, or never seeing Terminator again, I don't think I could choose.