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Posts Tagged ‘Brad Fiedel’

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (30th anniversary revisit)

Thursday, July 1st, 2021

July 3, 1991

There are a few interesting summer of ’91 movies – STONE COLD, THE ROCKETEER, HARLEY DAVIDSON & THE MARLBORO MAN – that I skipped in this series because I’d already reviewed them in a form I felt satisfied with. If I had more time I would’ve like to revisit them for completism, but you know how it is.

TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY is one I wrote about in 2007 (with a pretty good comparison to E.T.) and more definitively in 2017 on the occasion of its 3D re-release. But when I decided to do a summer of ’91 series I knew it was the summer of T2 and it had to be included. So this is meant as a supplemental review about its place in 1991, but I think I’ve come up with some pretty meaty stuff to discuss (in addition to silly stuff about toys and video games and crap if you’re more interested in that).


(read the rest of this shit…)

The Terminator

Thursday, June 24th, 2021

“Your world is pretty terrifying.”

Summer of ’91 origins: THE TERMINATOR

The only review I’ve written of the original THE TERMINATOR was in 2007 – so out of date it was combined into a review of the “trilogy” and framed as a response to THE TRANSFORMERS. There are some good observations and funny lines in that review, but I’m a smarter person now and I think there’s way more to say about the movie. So I thought I should take another crack at it before we get to its sequel in this Summer of ’91 retrospective.

In the fall of 1984, director/co-writer James Cameron exploded into filmgoer-consciousness with a stylish and imaginative little sci-fi chase movie called THE TERMINATOR. Made on about a fifth of the budget of the recent hit GHOSTBUSTERS and released by outsiders Hemdale (VICE SQUAD, TURKEY SHOOT) and Orion Pictures (MAD MAX, THE HAND, ROCK & RULE), it nevertheless immediately announces itself as a force to be reckoned with. The quiet, world-establishing text, the nightmarish glimpses of futuristic combat between man and machine, the absolute all-timer of a theme by Brad Fiedel (JUST BEFORE DAWN) and the slow reveal of the logo (title design by Ernest D. Farino, who later did GODZILLA 1985, CRITTERS, NIGHT OF THE CREEPS, ALIEN NATION, THE ABYSS and NEMESIS) all set the mood for a genre movie of unusual ferocity. Not bad for a guy who had only directed PIRANHA II: THE SPAWNING. (read the rest of this shit…)

Nowhere to Hide

Tuesday, May 7th, 2019

The humble 1987 action drama NOWHERE TO HIDE opens with soldiers playing war games in the woods, wearing camo and motorcycle helmets, shooting each other with paint pellets. One participant is clearly dominating, creeping around, popping out of hiding places, “killing” them all off one by one. And there’s no point in a dramatic de-helmeting – we can already see that this is a woman winning this game. A small one.

Did she even have a team when they started? Or was this some major handicapping? I don’t know, but she wipes the other side out and takes their Major captive… and then the two of them take their helmets off and kiss. This is Barbara Cutter (Amy Madigan, THE DARK HALF) and her husband Rob (Daniel Hugh Kelly, CUJO).

Before they get into their helicopters to leave, Rob looks up into the hills and muses that “He’s up there.” We will later learn that he’s talking about his hermit brother Ben (Michael Ironside around the time of EXTREME PREJUDICE and PROM NIGHT II), who indeed lives with a couple of dobermans in an isolated cabin on the edge of a cliff above a waterfall, accessible by rope bridge. (read the rest of this shit…)