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Terminator 2: Judgment Day

In the part of my brain dedicated to Favorite Movies, James Cameron’s TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY sits on the top shelf with all the best and strongest. It was the definition of knock-you-through-the-back-of-the-theater summer blockbuster when it arrived in 1991, and my love for it has only deepened in the intervening quarter century.

Some big budget FX movies arguably get by on technological gimmicks that lose power as years pass, but not this one. It matters nothing that the groundbreaking, reality melting digital effects of the liquid metal T-1000 (Robert Patrick, THE MARINE) no longer cause jaws to drop, because in fact T2 is more impressive as a document of the time before computer imagery largely replaced old school stunts and sets and locations. No matter how many times and ways people and vehicles and buildings and cities and countries and planets have been elaborately destroyed by computers in the summers since, the thrill of T2 is not gone. For example the semi vs. motorcycles, helicopter vs. truck and other attempts to quash the relentless pursuit of the T-1000 are still exhilarating.

Rewatching every few years doesn’t wear out T2’s spectacle. Instead it amplifies the themes that animate the movie’s soul.

To me, the central theme of T2 is the capacity for change – for the robot designed to kill to become the good guy, the protector, the best friend John ever had. For the scared waitress to become a fierce asskicker, and then become a more caring, optimistic person after that. For the man whose work will doom the world to learn his error and fix it. For these people, together, to change the future, from certainty of catastrophe to hope for a better tomorrow.

It’s also about the potential of the next generation. John Connor (Edward Furlong, PET SEMETARY 2), the future leader of the human resistance, current kid with a Public Enemy t-shirt, is nicer than his mom (Linda Hamilton, Beauty & the Beast). He feels the need to rescue her from a potential T-1000 attack in the hospital, against her wishes. He demands that the Terminator not kill anyone, and gets worked up about it multiple times. He rushes to stop her from killing Miles Dyson (Joe Morton, BROTHER FROM ANOTHER PLANET). When the Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger, AFTERMATH) points out that killing Dyson might save the world, John doesn’t care. He insists it can be done morally.

It’s also about the importance of friendship. In one of her occasional bouts of hard-boiled narration, Sarah compares The Terminator favorably to all her ex-boyfriends when it comes to being there for John. The poor kid has had a turbulent childhood, he’s never known a father, he doesn’t seem to have great foster parents (and now they’re dead), but does the Terminator really fill that hole by being like a dad?

Recently, long time outlawvern.com commenter Master Troy made a very astute observation about the number of people around here who are touchy about the subject of fathers because of a death or an absence or a bad relationship. And it made me wonder how much our strong connection to action movies could be related to that. My late father wasn’t a huge action fan or anything, but I do remember sharing certain formative movie experiences with him, and I know there’s some nostalgia for that that enhances my love for, for example, DIE HARD. I also believe that Bruce and other action icons served as models of masculinity for me alongside my dad, and I bet it’s even moreso for many kids who didn’t have dads around, or ones that they liked.

But The Terminator doesn’t show John how to act – it’s the other way around. When I wrote about the first three TERMINATOR movies ten years ago I compared T2 to E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL – two very different stories, both about a young bike-riding boy from a broken home having a limited-time friendship and life-and-death adventure with a being from another world.

I mean really, he acts more like an exchange student than a stepdad. John doesn’t so much learn from The Terminator as learn from teaching him. He passes on important lessons about dumb slang, high fiving, why humans cry and the value of human life. It’s soul-strengthening to have someone to share his values with, and to talk to about his fucked up life, but even just to goof around with. He uses The Terminator to harass some random, innocent bodybuilders in a liquor store parking lot, for example. Not cool, but better than robbing ATM machines, I guess.

I would be honored if we could be each other’s Terminators around here. Cool looking badass men and women (we wish), sometimes not knowing how to act like regular humans (we admit), but enjoying each other’s company and learning from each other and becoming better and more human together until the inevitable, hopefully far away day of the molten-metal thumbs-up of farewell.

But if you think that last paragraph was the warm-fuzziest thing ever written in an essay about T2, just wait until this next point. I am here to tell you that T2 is also about the power of hugging. This is the thing I was most newly attuned to during this viewing. When John rescues Sarah from the hospital his entire life is changing. He spent years hating her, thinking she was crazy and had brainwashed him. Now he knows that her story was true and he’s reunited with her after all these years and for the moment they’ve escaped danger. As they drive away she turns to him in the backseat and reaches for him. He smiles huge, so happy for this moment of affection… until he realizes that she’s not hugging him, she’s checking for wounds, and then she chews him out for risking himself to save her, says she doesn’t need his help. Totally oblivious that he just wants a damn hug from his mom. Makes him cry.

Later, when Sarah has invaded Miles Dyson’s home, shot him in front of his family, having intended to murder him until his little son shielded him, and has relented and broken down… she has sort of reverted to a child state, sitting on the floor, crying, and John comforts her with a hug, like he’s the parent.

At the end, when the Terminator demands to be terminated to destroy his CPU, he hugs John. The more contact “Uncle Bob” has with humans the more he learns from them, and it seems he has picked up on hugging.

Finally, when it’s all over, when there are no Terminators and there is hope that Judgment Day won’t arrive, Sarah does hug John. Maybe she has a learning CPU too, maybe she learned it from the Terminator. Anyway, now she gets it.

From the T2 comic book adaptation. Art by Klaus Janson.

Hamilton as Sarah Connor in this specific movie is among the pantheon of iconic cinema badasses. At the time we all marveled at her buff arms and the scene where she does pull-ups in the mental hospital, but she’s not just the product of a good Hollywood workout. She also moves like the trained warrior she’s supposed to be. When she runs, she runs like someone who’s gonna kick your ass. Her hospital escape is something to behold, a well-planned sequence of brutal maneuvers to incapacitate the people she needs to, take a hostage and get through the locked doors. You gotta love her methods of using a mop handle and a syringe as weapons, but my favorite part is just the little ready-for-action skip she does down the hall after she gets a hold of a security guard’s club.

But – just like Ripley in ALIENS – Sarah has had experiences with bad robots, and this has created trust issues with good robots. So when she comes face to face with the Terminator again that soldier exterior melts away and she slips to the floor like she’s helpless in a nightmare and becomes part 1 Sarah again.

An April 1991 Fangoria column featuring “first news” of T2 described the then-secret plot like this: “TERMINATOR 2 picks up in the year 1997, 13 years after the final image of Sarah Connor driving off into the Mexican desert. While preparing for the imminent nuclear holocaust that will mark the machines’ rise to power, Sarah once more encounters the unstoppable cyborg with a mission, as well as a few of his ‘friends.'”

I’ve long regretted that I never got to see the movie like that, assuming Arnold is another Terminator sent to kill her, and that the T-1000 is a human sent to help her like Kyle Reese was. I guess it was too hard to advertise without giving those things away.

(Speaking of Kyle Reese, the column also quotes Cameron saying, after filming had already begun, that he was bringing back Michael Biehn. Not sure what that would’ve been, or why it didn’t happen, or if he would of been one of the “friends” that are mentioned.)

Years later, other people made a pretty enjoyable part 3, a part 4 that deserves more credit for its good parts than it gets but that doesn’t work, and a part 5 that just pissed me off. One problem they have is that the liquid metal Terminator was such a never-been-done-before idea that nobody has figured out a comparably envelope-pushing gimmick. All they can do is add different types of morphing for each sequel.

But that’s the least of it. They’ve also never matched the John and Terminator/John and Sarah relationships. Cameron set the bar about ten miles too high.

Whatever your mileage on those sequels, it would be hard to argue any are on the level of T2 or improve the story by adding to it. Now there’s talk of Cameron getting the rights back and possibly producing one or more sequels based on his ideas. The question of what that would be about is intriguing, but it will probly always be best to think of T2 as the end of the story. They proved that the future can be changed, maybe without even training a little boy to lead an army. There is always hope. The rest is up to us.

In another Fangoria article, this one from July, 1992 (“T2: A Judgment In Steel” by Marc Shapiro), co-writer William Wisher (JUDGE DREDD, THE 13TH WARRIOR) seems to feel the same. “This isn’t so much a sequel as it is part two of a very fascinating adventure,” he says. “We’ve finished that story, and as far as I’m concerned it should stay finished… Everything we had to say about the Terminator has been said. One of the things Jim and I talked a lot about was whether there should be another follow-up. And we made our decision in the way we wrote TERMINATOR 2. There are no back doors in this film. We wrote this movie so that the fat lady sings.”

T2 is a perfect sequel because it takes some of what was great about the first movie – the cool idea of it, the two leads, the theme music – but puts it on its head. Sarah Connor and the Terminator have, quite intentionally, become completely different characters, for the better in both cases. So it’s an all new template, in no way a rehash. And it does it bigger, WAY bigger and louder and cockier, and yet much more grounded in human emotions and relationships. Some people prefer the smaller, tighter, simpler original, and that’s legitimate. But on the other hand, come on though. Dude. Be honest with yourself. Look in the mirror. T2. You don’t have to admit it. But you know it. We all know it. T2. Case closed. No takebacks. Chill out dickwad.

P.S. I wrote this on the occasion of seeing the T2 re-released in 3D, so I’ll say a bit about that. I was excited just to have a chance to see it on the big screen again – last time I did was at Cinerama’s 70mm Film Festival quite a few years ago – but as a fan of 3D I also really enjoyed the conversion. I think THE PHANTOM MENACE might be the only other old film converted into 3D that I’ve seen, but that was a disappointing experience where I rarely even noticed it wasn’t flat. But due to improved technology and Cameron’s perfectionism, this is a really well done conversion with consistent depth. Since it wasn’t meant to be 3D there aren’t any gimmicks, but there are plenty of guns pointed out at the crowd and explosions sending debris and flames outwards. The opening montage of L.A. traffic looked particularly cool because it’s grainy and blurry, very much emphasizing the film stock, and therefore looks very different from any films made in the modern era of 3D.

It also, obviously, holds up as a fun movie to see with an audience. There was some dumbass couple talking and laughing at the emotional parts but, you know, fuck ’em. Not only does the movie not feel dated in a bad way, but this was the first time I watched the nuclear holocaust nightmare scene and pictured it as an actual possibility of something that could happen to me. It was actually upsetting.

Anyway after the credits they showed the T2 3-D: BATTLE ACROSS TIME movie ride film from Universal Studios, so that was pretty cool.

Okay, that didn’t happen, and I never went on that ride. Was it cool?

Even without a movie ride, I think the depth really added something to the high speed chases, emphasizing the feeling that you’re there on the vehicle with them, and that you may hit the various obstacles in their path. If you like 3D movies and T2 3D is still playing when you read this, rush the fuck out there and see it. And then email me if you want my address to send the thank you card to.

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 6th, 2017 at 10:39 am and is filed under Action, Reviews, Science Fiction and Space Shit. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

74 Responses to “Terminator 2: Judgment Day”

  1. Great words as usual Vern. Upon initial release I was just a tiny bit too young to get to the cinema to watch this. So seeing it now as a thirty something man was a joy to behold. Finally, as the Rock would say, The Terminator has come back to the cinema.

    A few observations. The 3D was decent enough. No surprise there as the best 3D film to date is easily still Avatar. You gotta love that 4K restoration though. It looked astounding. This looked like a modern, new film. You could see the scuffs on the leather, cracks in glass, all sorts of wondrous detail.

    I too wished to have seen it without any knowledge that Arnie was the good guy. It’s certainly set up that way, with both terminators colliding at the same moment. Hell, you can see that Cameron tried to make the T-1000 look like the good guy, by being nice (“he’s a good looking boy”) and not showing him kill (which we all know he did do) that cop at the beginning. Arnold fucked those bikers up instead, and stole that guy’s wheels. Bad man.

    Michael Biehn/Kyle Reece was included in the extended version. He only appears in a dream sequence. Totally unnecessary, and mercifully cut (though I got a lot of love for Biehn).

    When this came out on VHS I watched it to death, absorbing every part of it. But I didn’t fully “get it” until years later, after a long period of not seeing it. Then one day at University, like a thunderbolt, the “I now know why you cry, but it’s something I can never do line”, made me realize the depth of this film. The humanity of the character. Just brilliant. And the action….so good, even now.

    To end on my own tale of Terminator and an imperfect Dad (who is now also sadly gone) – he was a graphic designer all his life. He used to brag that he could tell if a film was going to be good just by looking at the poster and the type face/font of the title. He used to mock a lot of the crap I used to watch at the time. But I remember showing him T2’s opening fire storm and seeking his opinion. “It’s gonna be a good one son”. Yes it was Dad.

  2. Total agreement with you on this one. Such a great movie and it’s kinda maddening that (post-AVATAR) there has been this weird movement to say it’s nowhere near as good as the original and is ‘okay at best.’ Also a few people who argue it’s terrible because it neutered Arnie’s character.

    Proof that this movie is a masterpiece, my 3D showing there was some kid who took selfies for every iconic scene and as much as that pissed me off and has me still debating whether or not I want to go to the theaters anymore, I still greatly enjoyed the movie and was (mostly) fully absorbed into it’s world.

    Even with Cameron supervising some new sequels I can’t get excited about them. T2 was such a perfect ending I can’t see another one being anything other than ‘just another one’ but if anyone can prove me wrong it’s Cameron.

    I can confirm Cameron’s 3D conversion of TITANIC was A+ as well. JURASSIC PARK’s 3D conversion was decent but one of those ones where you forget about the 3D after a bit. Never saw THE PHANTOM MENACE’s 3D even though I planned to.

    One correction: Michael Biehn IS in the film, just that he’s only in the Special Edition as his scene was cut. As nice as it is to see him and the scene (which is a dream naturally) is moody and well-directed, it’s not needed and one could make an argument that it weakens Sarah’s character as the dream features Biehn urging her on to be stronger as she is starting to breakdown.

    I can also confirm that T2-3D: BATTLE ACROSS TIME was/is awesome. It’s not a ride really but a show. Sometimes or at least recently as of 10-years ago the pre-show with the Cyberdyne tour-guide hams it up but it’s still cool (from memory).

    Surprised you didn’t mention the giant shit-fit the woke-Internet elite threw after Cameron dared say that WONDER WOMAN wasn’t the ultimate pinnacle of feminism and didn’t bother to actually discuss his points or read the full (very good) interview where that ‘hot-take’ came from.

  3. Oh yeah forgot to mention, when I showed my nephew both films about two years ago and he had no clue that about ‘surprise’ of Arnie being the good guy. He figured Robert Patrick and him were BOTH sent to kill John Conner. So he let out an verbal shock when it’s revealed that Arnie is his protector. Was such a great feeling to vicariously experience that rush through him.

    Almost or just as good or maybe even better: showing him PSYCHO and him having absolutely no clue about the ‘twist’ in that one. He legit thought it was the mom who was murdering them and he got a huge shock when that was not the case.

  4. I love that everyone on here loves the shit out of this, a film is so unstoppably great it should be re-released every goddamn year on the big screen.

    Shit, we need this movie and it’s message now more than ever before.

    Recalling the news from magazines about T2 back in 1990/91, am I the only one who remembers a story about Billy Idol being mooted as the bad guy? And not only one, but a shit ton of Billy Idols? That would’ve been…something.

    Man, how awesome must it be to see T2 and not know Arnie is now the good guy?

    And yes, like many on here, I grew up with no father -he’s dead now – or indeed any kind of father figure at all, and yes, I do honestly believe that I learnt a lot about life and how to conduct myself from the film characters I love.

    If there is any family member I could point to and say yes, there was someone whose love of action films resonated with me, it was my late grandmother – a tiny little thing who just adored Sly, Arnie, Bruce, and basically anything with a gunfight in it. You guys would’ve loved her.

    And if a terminator can learn what love is, I can learn not to hold any ill feeling towards my father, and I can learn not to be bitter, but just have love and gratitude for having such an awesome nana in my life for as long as I did.

    Here’s to dads, real and celluloid, and those that fill the gaps.

  5. With it’s perfect ending, lackluster sequels (I am a little interested in Cameron’s idea of it being about Arnold as the man the machines was based off of), and me being a little underwhelmed by the original, I cannot personally think of another sequel that stands so much apart from it’s franchise than this. It still holds up, for all the obvious reasons laid out here.

    I heard two things recently of interest regarding this. One, that in 1989 just before Orion relinquished the rights for this that Cameron was in talks of producing a sequel, with John McTiernan directing. And, in what’s much more likely, that Billy Idol was almost going to play the T-1000. I say it’s more likely because there are storyboards of the character looking much like him. In theory it was a good idea, but I’d imagine it never would have gotten the past few days filming because Idol was such a wreck from drugs and alcohol. It was an actual wreck that put away any notion of him doing the movie (or a larger part in Oliver Stone’s THE DOORS according to Idol. He still has a brief cameo in it).

    Robert Patrick was obviously the best choice, as he nailed down completely what was required. Not since Scarlett Johannson in UNDER THE SKIN has there been a more perfect performance portraying the kind of dead-eyed otherness that lays beneath a human façade. Underneath the flash and bang there are actually good performances here, or at least what the framework of the film could allow. Hamilton is likewise perfect in what she did as well, something that can now be considered a landmark in what we’re seeing now with women heroes in film.

  6. Just a few weeks ago Robert Patrick said in an interview that Billy Idol was originally cast as T-1000, but then had to get surgery on the arm or leg, which of course prevented him from taking that very physical role. Not sure what Billy Idol would’ve brought to the table (other than a shit-ton of 80s/90s bad boy charisma), but I’m glad Patrick got the part. He is one of those actors who are enjoyable in everything.

    Man, I wish 3D wouldn’t automatically lessen every moviegoing experience for a bit (Remember: I’m almost blind on one eye and unlike it’s shown with one of those electronic shutter glasses, it never works for me. [And even then it’s not really a good experience]), because this is one of these movies that I would love to see on the big screen, with the phat Dolby Digital or whatever soundsystem of a movie theatre.

  7. I saw Battle Across Time back in the day at Universal Studios and I remember the 3D being very good (the stunt spectacle, uh, not so much). There was one moment when T-1000’s face stretches out into the crowd where I can recall being legitimately scared. I just looked it up and there are two reasons why the 3D was probably really good: 1) James Cameron actually directed it, and 2) they dumped 64 million into it to get the best 3D tech available, making it the most expensive film ever per minute of screen time. I saw a bunch of movies during the 3D renaissance in the late aughts and can remember thinking it all looked pretty shitty compared to Battle Across Time.

    Anyway, I wish I could see this in 3D before it leaves theaters but it’s not playing anywhere near me. Cameron is one of the only people I would trust with this sort of 3D conversion of a classic film.

  8. I need to get out to see this before it disappears. It just so happens that I came back from Universal Studios FL last week so I just saw Battle Across Time. Unfortunately, as good a short as it is the attraction has suffered significant wear and tear, even in the the two years since I saw it last. When viewed in ’15 the 3D was crisp and the animatronics on the Gen 1 Terminators were excellent. Last week the Terminators moved very little, the targets they shot no longer “fell apart” and the 3D was brutal. I don’t know if it’s a screen issue or some projection problem but both my father-in-law and I saw doubling and blurring of the 3D images. However the pre-show Cyberdyne lady still hams it up with the best of them. Much like when I rode Twister one last time in ’15 I’m glad I rode but they either need to dump a bunch of money into “Battle” or make way for something new.

  9. See this is why I’m glad CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND’s re-release didn’t need 3-D. Shouldn’t the movie alone be a good enough reason to watch it again? (Granted CE3K has been 4K re-mastered, whatever that means.)

    Of course here’s my thing about 3-D for re-released films: With T2, JURASSIC PARK, and A NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS I was impressed with the technology adding false depth/perception to what originally were 2-D films. But each time by the halfway point I’ve quit noticing the 3-D and stuff popping out and fully engrossed in their plots. Its wasted on me quite frankly.

    Jeff – If its like they did for BACK TO THE FUTURE ride, I know exactly what they’re thinking: why spend a reburish a ride when we could use that money to replace it with a new ride off a new/fresher IP?

  10. RRA: Not mention the replacement ride will be much cheaper to maintain. That’s the main reason their main attraction KONGFRONTATION was retired. It was due for a refurbishing and they saw that as an opportunity to get rid of the ride with the most expensive upkeep. A lot of people bemoan the death of animatronics at these parks (and CHUCK E CHEESE I guess) but up-keeping screens is WAY cheaper than up-keeping robots that require very specific skills to work-on.

  11. Its funny but T2 works for me a lot like JURASSIC PARK from that same early 1990s period: summer blockbusters (specifically the ones that dominated their respective summers) that were heralded for revolutionizing digital FX and yet don’t contain as much CGI as most people remember and that was the case only because it was still early days thus the filmmakers had to supplement those CGI shots with practical FX like puppetry and even low budget tricks like identical twins. And yet this is why those two movies have aged gracefully well when it comes to FX. Contrast with lots of late 1990s which went all out on CGI and they haven’t aged well in terms of look. (THE MUMMY especially comes to mind. Still good dumb pulp fun, but the CGI is cringeworthy now.)

    And they share another thing: both I don’t think are great films. They’re damn good movies, even borderline great but not “great” films. The same flaws and nitpicks they had back in the day, they’re still there. Here’s the thing: both inspired scores of movies (blockbusters and not) whether directly or not. Clearly LOGAN shares DNA with T2. But blockbusters mostly were inspired, and those 2 movies still hold their own against today’s blockbusters…and in some cases, still spanks several of them. Sometimes age does improve a film and truly turn them into stone cold classics.

    Vern – I think another clever thing about T2 was this: surely Cameron realized by then that despite most of his movies up to that point being R rated joints, a large demographic that was part of Arnold’s fanbase were children, especially boys COUGH like me COUGH. Cameron in turn pandered directly to them by using this Boy and his Dog template and have a kid-surrogate character have Arnold as his buddy. It’s booking genius. The equivalent of taking a super popular heel wrestler (Ric Flair, Chris Jericho, w/e) and forced to turn them face because the crowds after a certain point refuse to boo them.

  12. Any fans of THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES here?

  13. Nice review, Vern. Every time I come back to T2 I feel like I notice something new. Last time it was the scene where John and Terminator are fixing a truck together in Mexico. John is talking about his parents’ relationship, and conjectures that his mom still loves his dad based on the evidence that sometimes she will stare into space and start crying a bit. He thinks she is daydreaming about her dead lover. The film immediately cuts to Sarah’s famous apocalyptic dream about a nuclear holocaust, after which she wakes up panting with tears on her face.

    I think that’s a clever, even understated in its own way, little scene that gets a lot of characterization done. We see that John is still a boy, and whatever his future achievements and importance, he still lives in the fairly circumscribed world of a child. It’s also kind of comical for us to see how poorly our future savior has misread his own mom. Sarah on the other hand is the one who currently carries the burden of the world that will eventually fall to John. She is the leader without anyone else being ready to follow.

  14. I also find myself even more drawn over time to the scene where the group is letting Dyson in on his role in armageddon. Sarah is just sitting there on the counter chain smoking with predatory intensity but also kind of strung out, and she launches into this vehement diatribe about motherhood and how men like Dyson don’t know what it’s like to carry a life inside of them. It’s a really good short speech and John interrupts it in a very cute way. That scene just does it for me.

  15. That Carolco logo and opening credits sequence were destined to be shown in 3D. That was cool. My only real issue was that green filter noticeable in some scenes like the arcade (I think my glasses were wonky cause I wasn’t supposed to notice it) but overall it was a gorgeous transfer. It was a pleasure to see it on the big screen again after 2 decades and change. Definitely took me back except it was missing the people who walked in from another movie sitting on the “aisles” fire exit hazard be damned like my original viewing had back in 1991. Most importantly Vern I’m glad it finally gave you a reason to give the movie it’s own and I must say very poignant review. As opposed to also having to dedicate space to the 2 other movies in the trilogy (yes I typed trilogy).

    Felix – That was actually my favorite piece of post-T3 fan fiction. It was like the LETHAL WEAPON in that initially I thought I would hate the thing but was surprised by how charming and engrossing it actually was. I was upset when they cancelled it. Especially since the reason it got canned (to make space for further fan fiction movies) wasn’t even worth it by comparison.

  16. I first saw this on VHS circa 1997, I grew up with the image of Arnold as The Terminator already in my brain because of cultural osmosis but the first time seeing this completely blew me the fuck away, I watched it over and over and over.

    And yeah I saw it before I saw the original, but I made a note to go back and watch the original right after.

    Another thing that was interesting about T2 to me is I had seen plenty of 80s and 70s movies as a kid and was aware of when something was retro, but T2 was the first movie I saw from the 90s that had a retro feel even though I was watching it circa 1997, it taught me that the early part of a decade could be very different than the later part, which is true today too, 2011 is a whole different world than 2017.

    But Vern, I find it a little odd that you say the nuclear holocaust nightmare never upset you before, you grew in the 80s, right? Even as a kid in 1997 that scene scared the shit out of me, I agree though that it has a newfound relevance in an age where we have a maniac for a President.

  17. Phillip – that’s a great point about the dream sequence. I never made the connection to John’s dialogue. I love it.

    Griff – I remember being scared of nuclear war in the ’80s when THE DAY AFTER came out, but by 1991 I don’t think it was something I thought about much. I’m sure that scene was always intense, but I took it more seriously this time.

  18. Oh yeah, and Geoffreyjar – the WONDER WOMAN thing really bothered me because I think it’s mainly a case of clickbait headlines intentionally riling up a bunch of people who don’t even know about movies to grandstand about a quote they didn’t understand from an article they didn’t read. I didn’t want to permanently memorialize such a dumb controversy in a review that I will link to every time I mention T2 in future reviews.

    (For what it’s worth, I don’t really agree with what he said about Wonder Woman, but think he has every right to feel that way and be biased toward the way he approached characterization in T2.)

  19. My father and I used to watch a lot of action stuff together. First one I remember was WITNESS and some of my fondest memories were watching LETHAL WEAPON and BEVERLY HILLS COP with him on Laserdisc when I used to go visit his pad in the weekends. I have some great Seagal memories with him too especially HARD TO KILL and MARKED FOR DEATH when they first hit VHS and the time we went to see ON DEADLY GROUND at the old United Artists that used to be in Times Square. Also remember that time we sneaked into TRUE LIES with my cousin after he took me to see NORTH (yeah I know) cause he had not seen it yet and loved Arnie. Since he moved to FL though and I barely go down there I think the last time we saw an action movie at the cinema was SHAFT (2000) but everything from AIR FORCE ONE to LETHAL WEAPON 4 I remember going to the movies with him for. Action movies were definitely a great past time for the both of us.

    He also introduced me to MR. MAJESTYK, ENTER THE DRAGON and The Dollars Trilogy as a kid because those were his favorite movies growing up and REMO WILLIAMS because it was his favorite 80s movie. The only flaw with my dad was that he hated Sly (outside of FIRST BLOOD he LOVED FIRST BLOOD and hated the sequels cause they weren’t FIRST BLOOD) and JCVD cause “they always get beat up to the brink of death and then make an impossible comeback”. He preferred the omnipotence and untouchable nature of Arnie and Seagal’s characters. He did grow to appreciate them later on though. Nowadays he especially likes CLIFFHANGER and TIMECOP.
    So it really kinda bummed me out that so many people here who I dearly respect unfortunately did not have equally awesome experiences with their dad. I however hope that if any of them have sons one day that doesn’t let them stop them from sharing our favored genres with the juniors. Believe me fellas they will love you for it more in the end.

    Shout out to my mom though she was no slouch either. She introduced me to RAIDERS and was so dedicated to the genre at one point that she took me to see UNDER SIEGE when she was almost 9 months pregnant with my kid sis and walking around with swollen feet because she wanted to see it even more than I did.

  20. Oh and is it true that The King said he wants to give ALIENS this same treatment? I’ve been seeing that online but haven’t been able to track down any interview where he actually said it. I’d love it if he also did it for THE ABYSS.

  21. Hey, didn’t see anybody here mention this several times yet or anything but did you know Billy Idol was in talks to play T-1000?

    Just kidding! These things happen. Telepathy!

    Vern, this is a beautiful piece that I want to share and discuss with those dear to me. (Much as I have done with many of your meaningful works, I dunno if you are aware of this but I have been quoting you with proper citation, waving copies of your books in friends’ faces, direct linking to fav pieces, stocking your books at a store I worked at and sharing and discussing your influence with many friends over the years.)

    And personally, I’ve considered you a friend through your meaningful words since I first learned of you.

    Thank you for this review.

    “Co-starring in the USA”,
    A longtime fan
    P.S. “The Power of Hugging” is your best words on the subject since you said Chewbaccas are “taller for hugging” than Ewoks, who are more into growling and roasting people on a spit. A dear friend of mine in another city quotes that one all the time.

  22. My one complaint about the 3D is that you didn’t see that brief flare as the chip is thrown into the hot stuff at the end.

    Phillip: Same thing happened to me seeing it and kind of discovering the deeper context of the relationship. I didn’t even connect to what you said about her crying until just now. The dream sequence was just so disturbing that the build-up was kind of bulldozed over by it. It’s maybe even more disturbing now, with all that business in North Korea going on.

    I saw this film (like almost all of us I would imagine) at a pretty young age. My brother actually had a nightmare about the nightmare sequence, describing it in ways I can’t even bring myself to here now. I don’t think I was as disturbed by it but that scene was certainly scary. I can’t remember if it was then having any idea of what permanent and total damage nuclear weapons can cause, but looking back I probably didn’t have such an a-ha moment about it.

  23. It’s especially disturbing given it’s a nuke hitting LA, which is one of the cities North Korea could target.

  24. I never had a father but I did have a stepfather, a real mean piece of shit who didn’t like anything enough to want to pass on that love to anybody, particularly the bookish little stepson whom he must have suspected hated his guts. That said, my memory of T2 is tangentially related to that thankfully dead and buried deadbeat motherfucker, because it was the first movie I saw in the theater after he’d grounded me from seeing movies for six months for like no fucking reason. So you can imagine how much I was jonesing for a movie fix after all that time, and how thoroughly T2 scratched my itch. I loved it so much I saved my ticket stub, which started the collection that I am still maintaining to this day. I have hundreds of stubs from dozens of theaters, but the T2 one is still my favorite. It’s a great movie, a great memory, and it reminds me of all the toxic bullshit I had to overcome to become the kind of man that shithead was too weak to be. I’m not perfect but I’m a decent dude, and T2 had way more to do with that than any man in my life. I’m turning 40 on Saturday and I’m still trying to be better. And that’s okay. As long as the ol’ neural net processor isn’t set to read-only, I know the future isn’t set.

  25. Happy early birthday brother majestyk. May your new personal new year bring you everything you ask for and more.

  26. Griff: I was given no consulation by the fact that Cameron said that nuclear experts told him he pretty much nailed what it would look like.

  27. That is indeed pretty frightening.

  28. I definitely associate Stallone with my dad. Maybe because we saw the most Stallone movies together, and also I think Sly’s sensitive side most resembles my dad. Bruce was always sort of the cool guy I wish my dad could be but I don’t think my dad has any interest in being. Arnold seemed like the God so unattainable I couldnt dream of having him for a dad.

    Even I loved the 3D conversion. Lotta depth in the river chase and helicopter sequence, and I even saw the guns sticking out. Always loved the Universal show too.

    And yes I adored Sarah Connor Chronicles. Did everything I could to keep it on the air.

    Last time I warched T2 I had a weird experience where I had it so memorized it almost seemed rote watching it again. So very glad this rerelease gave me an opportunity to reexperience the film as majestically as it is.

  29. ****WARNING – WANKY AND LONG RECOLLECTION OF WATCHING T2 FOR THE FIRST TIME AND THE EMOTIONAL IMPACT – TOTAL SHINFO APPROACHING****

    I remember my dad taking me to the cinema to see this when it was first released in Northern Ireland. I was 6, loved Ahnuld, and walking into the cinema my eye caught a cut-out display for……Naked Gun 2.5. Needless to say, we saw Naked Gun that day.

    Fast forward a few years and my love for Ahnuld had grown exponentially. I made it a point to learn how to spell his surname. I watched Predator, Twins, Red Heat and Commando religiously. I did a poster presentation on his work for my year 3 English class. He was the big brother I never had. My idol basically. Then I saw T2. I loved every minute of it. It was filled with action, had great one liners, and I loved seeing myself in John Connor with Ahnuld as a surrogate. My dream realised on film. Then….the ending. I fucking lost it hard. Scarred me. “….now I know why you cry”. Jesus. I was crying so hard I was doing those hyperventilating gasps little kids do when they lose their shit, because I was. Why can’t he stay with John I kept asking? It was a harsh lesson that not all endings are happy.

    From then on, I also watched T2 religiously, but always skipped the ending. As soon as the T1000 goes into the molten steel, I shut the flick off. I’m now married with a kid, and my wife (shes Japanese) had never seen T2. She just knew Ahnuld from his goofy commercials over there. So we sat down, her, and me, a grown man now. The ending approached. I figured I’d be fine. I’m a lot older. I’ve seen death in real life, up close and personal. I know Ahnuld is just an actor. It’s make believe. But fuck, as soon as he uttered that there’s one more chip and gestured to his head, I got a lump the size of a tennis ball in my throat. My breath escaped me. I could feel the torrent building at the bottom of my eyelids, and once the levy broke it was a tidal wave. My wife was pressed into my chest absorbed in the film, my arm around her. Until she felt the cascade drizzle over her head. To this day, she never lets me forget. But I don’t care. What a flick.

    TLDR: Harsh ending, too many feels

  30. My dad was never much of an action fan, but he liked naval history so there were movies where our interests overlapped, like the massively underappreciated MASTER AND COMMANDER. Sadly, at 50 years old he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and six months later he was gone. I was in my mid 20s at the time, an adult but still young enough to feel like I had a whole life ahead of me that would have a dad-shaped hole in it. Now that I’ve got kids of my own I’m determined make my time with them count, because you never know when it’s going to end. Hopefully not by fiery nuclear apocalypse.

    I totally agree about the central theme of T2 being about the capacity for change and the future not being set in stone. I love the ending, the dark road ahead of them, scary and unknown but full of possibilities. So glad they cut that cheesy epilogue. This is what annoyed me so much about TERMINATOR 3, an otherwise enjoyable movie in which Judgement Day is inevitable and can only be postponed because of reasons. Sure, the whole point of T2 is that there is no fate but what we make, but what TERMINATOR 3 supposes is… maybe there is?

  31. Just a few things to add:

    1) My dad is also responsible for taking me to far too many inappropriate for my age action movies in the theaters, and I am so grateful for it. (Saw Cobra in theaters at age 7. Nowadays I’d scoff at parents bringing a kid that ypung to a film that violent) Any stallone, arnold, bruce willie, van damme, seagal, or dolph flick was usually an opening night event. (Saw Stone Cold opening night and cheered the hell out of it)

    I’m upset they dont really release the b-movies in theaters anymore, my dad would love scott adkins on a big screen.

    2) Cameron’s movies are so re-watchable he needs to be studied more. When i first moved to L.A. i was amazed that the Arclight would show older movies, so i was thrilled as hell to finally catch Terminator 1 and Aliens on a big screen. And even though I’d seen both countless times, i found myself getting wrapped up in what was unspooling before me.

    Seriously, there was a moment where i thought that Bishop wasn’t going to make it off the planet in time before the reactor blew.

    3) Have you heard that Billy Idol was supposed to be John Connor?

    4) Last thing: thank you Vern for both this terrific assessment and for confirming something yhats been bugging me for years. The Fangoria article actually says the events in T2 take place in 1997! Ive wondered that for so long, even asked one of the EPs of it if that was the case, and he had no idea. But it makes sense given John”s age.

    I’m finished.

  32. I caught this on (I believe) the last day it was being shown in 3D in the UK – Judgement Day, no less. T2 has been my favourite film since I was about 13, but I’d never seen it in a cinema. It completely lived up to expectations, particularly the sound.

    Have to admit, though, that I really missed the Special Edition scenes: I hadn’t seen the theatrical cut probably since I first saw the film about 15 years ago, and to me the film seems to lack a little something in their absence. I think the garage/CPU scene is quite important to the T-101/Sarah relationship, and another thing I missed is the extended version of the weapons cache scene.

  33. Great review Vern, and thanks for the mention! Made my day.

    Mastor Troy - Google+

    Mastor Troy - Google+

  34. Billy Idol almost playing the T1000 is fun, but what blows me away is that OJ Simpson was floated for the Terminator part for the first one. Cameron mentions it in the same Guardian interview with the Wonder Woman quote; guess it ties in with him wanting a leaner, wirier terminator before he found Schwarzenegger.

  35. dread: One of those ‘ha!’ stories after the fact. He said no one would buy OJ as a stone-cold killer so started courting Lance Henrickson for the part. Then met Arnie and changed the whole direction/dynamic of the whole thing. What could have been. I’m confident with Cameron it still would’ve been special and we’d still talk about it but would it have made AS much of an impact if it was Evil Lance vs Good Arnie (a lot of the idea(s) from that version got used for T2 though)?

    Andy: I used to be big on the Special Edition but I’ve since come around to agreeing with Cameron that the Theatrical Version is the better one. Though I must admit there are some images burned in my mind from that version that even though I’ve seen this movie so many times I’m still given a bit whiplash when I don’t see them. Oddly another movie like that is THE TOXIC AVENGER, every time I watch it I’m expecting to see the deleted scenes and am surprised when I don’t see them (this problem was solved when I bought the Japanese cut of that one).

    Crust: I second the love for MASTER & COMMANDER. Shame it’s so overlooked, it’s not the dull Oscar-bait it was being pushed as at all. Also, that iconic ending to T2 was pretty much a last-minute thing when in the editing bay and they realized how horrible (and wrong-headed) that epilogue ending was/is.

    John_Matrix: About the ending. The ending never really emotionally affected me (in regards to showing any, of course it worked as intended to me) all these years watching it.. until my 3D screening. ‘I know now why you cry.’ never made me overly emotional but damn did it make me misty eyed this time.

    Also guess I should maybe stop pushing off SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES. I avoided it because it didn’t sound like a good idea at all. Then people said it was good. So when I was gearing up to give it a shot, it got canceled and I decided I didn’t want to watch it, get attached it, and then be mad/sad it didn’t have a ‘proper’ ending.

  36. The scene when they take out the chip and Sarah and John have an argument I think was an important scene that wasn´t in the theatrical. Without it, it made it unlikely that Sarah would have gone along with everything that happens so fast. It is a turningpoint for her character, I think, when John argues that since he is supposed to grow up to be the saviour of mankind maybe he should start to actually take responsibility-. In fact, I think it is an important scene for both of them.

    And the scene with John teaching Uncle Bob to smile is a nice moment I will never want to be without.

    With that said there are a lot of minor moments that are superfluous but I still prefer the special edition. None of it actually detracts and make the film slower. In fact it is the only version I´ve ever owned on dvd come to think of it.

  37. Shoot: Cameron has stated that the chip-reprogramming scene is the only thing from the Special Edition he regrets cutting and if he could/chose to do it over-again it would have been left in. I agree, the scene is great and is both thematically and emotionally important.

    And yeah, the goofy smile moment is pretty great. Especially so since the rising number of people who claim T2 is crap love to point to that scene as proof that it’s shit and does nothing but shit all over the perfect original. So it’s inclusion is fine by me.

    Also re: the Special Edition. I will admit I like the T-1000 malfunctioning during the climax. There are so many cool visuals that I kinda miss them. That said, I agree with removing that plot-point. It ratchets up the tension that they are damaged and exhausted and the T-1000 is doing just fine. Worse, the addition of the shot of T-1000 Sarah’s feet melding with the floor ruins one of the best dramatic-beats (John knows his mom would never ask for his help). Though the malfunctioning plotline explains why he can’t reform after getting blasted as fast as he could the entire rest of the film but I think that is very forgivable.

  38. Totally agree. T2 is one of the greatest adventure movies of all time. It’s in the conversation for being THE best. And anyone who says T1 is better (I know a few) is kidding himself and/or not paying enough attention when watching T2.

  39. Comparing T1 to T2 is like comparing ALIEN to ALIENS, both are two different animals, made with two different means, but the very best at what they set out to do. The first is scifi/horror, the sequel is scifi/action, and all four are genre-defining moments.

  40. Funny enough just after somebody mentioned the T2-3D ride, Universal just announced they’re closing it.

  41. That’s not funny… THAT’S NOT FUNNY AT ALL!!

  42. I finally took in the Terminator 3D thing at Universal (in Florida) last year and I didn’t really like it. The 3D effects were good, but the live stage stuff didn’t work for me. The guy they had playing the Terminator on stage just didn’t match physically with Arnie on the screen (for those who don’t know, the Terminator purportedly comes in and out of the screen at various points).

  43. Grimgrinningchris

    September 7th, 2017 at 5:27 pm

    When all of the effects are working and working in sync (and beyond that when there is a really game Cyberdyne tour guide that isn’t just phoning it in) Battle Across Time is fantastic.

    When one or more variables fails, it starts to fall apart. And though it’s been up and down the last decade or so-mostly dependent on maintenance schedules and the rotating quality of all the live actors- it’s been more down than up.

    When everything is working right, the part where the T1000 literally comes out of the screen on a motorcycle is seriously one of the coolest effects in any theme park attraction anywhere.

    Sad to see it go. But I guess it’s time.

  44. All this T2 talk has led to all my memories of playing shitty T2 videogames comes flooding back. The absolute worst was the Commodore 64 version on cassette tape. Jesus Christ you had to play the entire Side A just to get to the intro sequence. And if you died you had to rewind Side B to get to the Game Over and High Score screen.

    Needless to say I never spent much time with that timewasting sonofabitch.

    That Arcade cabinett with double UZIs was pretty dope with its digitalized graphics. I just wished the cabinet had 40 Watt Plasma Rifles instead.

  45. I had the Game Boy T2 video game. It was atrocious. The arcade game and the pinball machine were the only ones worth playing.

  46. Really? I thought the Game boy game was easily my favourite. At least it was playable. Somewhat.

  47. CJ: it’s a little laughable the idea that Billy Idol, a raging alcoholic and drug user by this time, would have even attempted to do some of the physical things required for the character. Let alone do take after take of the kind of running and fighting he did. Hell, it takes a lot of effort to just walk and stare like Patrick does, for as long as it was required for him to do I imagine. Especially for James Cameron, who’s rep for being difficult with actors was well-established by then.

    Jim would have been better off, if he was still attached to the image of the T1000 that he envisioned in storyboards, Sting would have been a better choice. Whether or not he still had the taste in his mouth at all to do a big sci-fi after DUNE is another story, though.

  48. Geoffrey – Good news, The Sarah Connor Chronicles actually does have a proper ending. I don’t want to give away too much about the series (there’s a HUGE surprise right before the end that I literally could not believe), but I’ll just say it ends in a way I think most people will find satisfying. It respectfully works within the parameters that the original trilogy set up – (for example Sarah does have the cancer that was briefly mentioned in T3), and they somehow find ways to keep things fresh without stomping all over the canon.

    Which brings me to another point/rabbit hole – I remember how McG said Sarah Connor Chronicles “wasn’t canon” back when he was making T4, and it got me thinking, who exactly decides what is canon? (Yes, with all the Texas Chainsaw I’ve been watching lately, I can’t believe my big takeaways from that franchise are philosophical questions about auteurism and ownership) Does McG get to decide just because he’s directing a film instead of TV? Is one medium more “legitimate” than another? And if film is the only legitimate medium for a Terminator movie (I think we’re ok w/ agreeing comic books and video games aren’t canon, right?), what happens when said film is poorly received by critics and audiences? (I would argue more people consider T:SCC more “canon” than T:Salvation). Shouldn’t James Cameron be the one guy who decides what is and isn’t canon? I mean he did create the first two, but does that mean Ridley Scott gets to decide Aliens isn’t canon because he directed Alien? (Which I hear kinda happens in Alien:Covenant) And then what happens when Cameron gives his stamp of approval to Terminator: Genisys, a movie I find pretty entertaining but is unquestionably a giant slap in the face to the entire series and its canon in general?

    Anyways, all this talk about the T2 Gameboy game made me remember the Angry Video Game Nerd series on Terminator games (the T2 games are addressed in Part 2). Boy am I glad I didn’t subject myself to most of these.

  49. What thing started the whole Canon thing? Star Wars?

  50. neal- you are not a true T2 fan if you never subjected yourself to any of these shitfests of property exploitation. Here are some of my further reflections.

    T2 on NES. I rarely got passed the part where you just punched people. And if I did I never got passed the part when you went into the canal.

    T2-The Arcade Game on Genesis( or is it fucking Genesys?)/Megadrive. Hard to play if you never had a Scope or a lightgun. Impossible with just a gamepad

    T2 on Amiga 500- Saved by the disk system versus the C64 cassette deck. But still rotten. Saved somewhat by a peculiar puzzle game in which you had in between the actionstages had to rearrange T-800 face

  51. I never ever got to see T2 in cinemas so most of my early impressions of the film came from shitty videogame adaptations since the VHS never came until a year later after the theatrical release. Sure, I am a bit bitter. But now I feel a bit better.

  52. John Matrix, I wrote an American Civics paper on Arnold in high school. I think they gave me an A just because there was no way any teacher could argue I didn’t know the material.

  53. neal: That’s good to know! Get sad/disapointed when I get into a show that has an over-arching story and it just ends due to cancelation. That makes me want to watch it way more. I’ll try and and gear it up this weekend maybe.

    Shoot: I concur with all you say about the awfulness of T2 video games. LGN was a bane to ’80s/’90s kids. Though you’re more hardcore than me, never played the Commodore or Amiga ones. So Broddie is right about the Arcade and Pinball machines being the only worthwhile ones.

    Stern: Had to be the grandaddy of all nerddom STAR TREK I think? I asked my brother and he concurs since he was on the ground-floor for all that. He said for proof look up old Trek fan-zines from the early-70’s where there was MUCH debate about what was and wasn’t ‘canon.’*

    *He said there this one guy who argued that every episode is it’s own canon. He said after it being debated for years in these things it ended up being (mostly) agreed upon that canon is whatever Roddenberry said was canon. Man, no WAY fandom of anything today would take what the creator said as final-word anymore.

  54. I never blamed LJN. I blamed Ocean. they were the publishers of the games rather than programmers, but an interview with a composer to a lot of classic C64 games put it this way:

    “Ocean made a lot of shit and used the consumers as toilet paper”

  55. You know the funny thing is AVGN goes through all those Terminator games and yet I still remember another one for Terminator 1 for the PC where you played the Terminator and drove around LA shooting cops and looking for Sarah Connor. It was way ahead of its time in terms of being a first-person shooter and an open-world video game (I think it even came with a poster/map of Los Angeles you kinda needed to get around).

    Re: canon- I’m sure Star Trek was probably the beginning of canon arguments, as that and Star Wars are certainly the easiest examples when trying to explain the concept to someone. What’s funny is stuff that contradicted earlier canon was unforgivable to me when I was a kid – but either I’ve mellowed out or Hollywood has just conditioned me to not give a shit anymore, as evidenced by me not being entirely outraged by the ridiculous Terminator Genisys. I think the X-Men series and its “we’re not even going to try to explain why there’s two Emma Frosts or two to three Angels or two Moira McTaggarts or how this character came back from the dead” showed that the average person doesn’t really care about that stuff. I’m sure none of us here cared about the contradictions to canon in Fury Road, for instance.

  56. Great, poignant essay, Vern, that delivers some bona fide new and compelling insights on this classic.

    With the morphing and the budget, and Arnold being at his absolute peak, and him not usually being the type to do sequels (Conan notwithstanding), I remember this movie was being hyped as the big event of the summer, and, boy, did it turn out to be far more than just that. This is greatest action film star of all time at the pinnacle of his powers, and this is the best and most enjoyable film of his career.

    It goes without saying, then, that T2 is absolutely the superior film between this and T1, but in some ways, that’s not a fair or particularly meaningful comparison. T2 stands on the shoulders of T1 and the mythology, iconic characters and images, and cinematic goodwill that it bequeathed. Also, they’re such different films, not only budget-wise, but they’re practically different genres. Sure, both check the action and sci-fi boxes, but T1 is dark, grim, and relatively small-scale–something of a stalker horror-thriller, where the broader Skynet/future war mythology is very much in the background. Regardless of the weightier implications that Kyle Reese prophesies, our primary concern is in seeing final girl Sarah Connor escape this evil bodybuilding robot for the sake of her own life.

    T2 has set its sights much higher. It looks, feels, and is bigger, slicker, broader in scope, and more ambitious in every conceivable way. And it nails it across the board, achieving everything it sets out to do, and paying off every risk it takes. It is more intimate, human, epic, thrilling, funny, emotional, and thought-provoking than T1 and most any other film. Also, it is in my opinion the single greatest palpable-to-the-viewing-audience leap in special effects technology in, um, maybe ever. It is nothing less than a triumph.

  57. Sad to hear about the ride closing, and that it already closed in Hollywood years ago. Fortunately folks have preserved it very well on YouTube. The video of the final Hollywood show is amazing. The audience is super into it.

  58. @Sternshein: “What thing started the whole Canon thing? Star Wars?”

    Aside from the Bible, it turns out the first nerds to use it in the context of a fictional universe were Sherlock Holmes fans, with the first article to use “canon” in this way dating back to 1911: http://mckitterick.tumblr.com/post/163817855935

  59. Hypnosifl – thank you for that link! It’s hilarious to know the term “canon” was first used ironically to show how not a big deal it is, since reboot/sequel culture is so pervasive now that you kinda have to use the term in a jokey way, especially regarding non-nerdy properties. I mean, I’ve been making jokes for years about whether Hannah Montana: The Movie was canon, since the next season of the show never addressed the events that happened. Or wondering is My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 canon, as it negates the events of My Big Fat Greek Life the TV series, which may not have been canon anyway since it starred the exact same actors playing the exact same roles from Greek Wedding 1, but inexplicably with different names?

    So now that they’ve announced the Will & Grace reboot will ignore the events of the series finale, and that the Roseanne reboot will apparently star John Goodman despite the fact that he died – it makes me smile that now the average Joe on the street can finally have spirited discussions about ownership and alternate timelines like us nerds have been doing for years.

  60. Okay, now they have my interest again.

    Linda Hamilton Set to Return to 'Terminator' Franchise (Exclusive)

    With James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger involved, it's a reunion more than 25 years in the making.

  61. James Cameron out here putting someone else’s money where his mouth is. respect.

    wishful thinking but if this trend continues maybe i’ll get my dream Long Kiss Goodnight sequel after all.

  62. This is some snake oil shit. I am not convinced.

  63. MIXALOT I been writing Renny Harlin about that for year and always receive the mail back with a “RETURN TO SENDER” tag.

    I could get jiggy with anything that brings back Linda Hamilton.

  64. Hamilton agreeing to join along with Cameron being involved has me way more optimistic. Cautiously optimistic but that’s a hell of a lot better than it was not too long ago.

    RE: LONG KISS GOODNIGHT: The world needs more Geena Davis. Even though I’m not sure I’d want a non-Shane Black LKG movie, Davis participating would still get me in there. She is the only reason I’m going to give that EXORCIST TV series a shot.

  65. I don’t know how to process this. Getting Sarah back and in her creator’s hands sounds too good to be true. I’m afraid to hope. The world doesn’t love me that much.

  66. Broddie – we should really co-ordinate a joint letter-writing campaign attack on the Rennywood compound. there’s no way that motherfucker would have the sand to withstand that kind of assault.

    Majestyk – i keep reading over these latest Sarah Connor related updates and although my mind is telling me no, my body, well…

  67. Terminator 2 is the best movie, is better than every other movie and is also the best of all movies.

  68. Some bad news about KILLING GUNTHER. Apparently Arnold only shows up at the 70 min mark and he only has 10 min of screentime.

  69. Well, this is not that much of a dealbreaker for me, I just fear a backlash over wrong marketing, even if the movie turns out to be damn great.

  70. Surprise surprise Arnold confirmed that TERMINATOR MEGADRIVE will be completely ignored going forward. They should just go all out and call the new one TERMINATOR 3 without a subtitle. I feel the same way about HALLOWEEN 11.

  71. I guess the special edition Blu-ray that was supposed to follow up the theatrical release has been delayed, with no street date as of yet. Looks like the world must endure the rest of the AVATAR “cadence”, so to wait for his classic films to be released on the best physical media.

  72. If that’s the case then they should re-release it again theatrically. It’s only right.

  73. It’s coming out December 26th, but just on 4K Blu and no 3D as originally announced. No surprise there since 3D at home is dying out anyway.

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