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Tagline: The thing that won't die, in the nightmare that won't end.

The movie we watched is now 22 years old. The lead character was a murderer who was supposed to be played by O.J. Simpson. Know it yet? Okay, how about now: "I'll be back!"

Yes, RMC kicks 2006 in with THE TERMINATOR. A low budget, raw, and at times charming movie that spawned so many copycats I wish I could go back in time and kill some studio decisions. Even the sequels (although T2 sounded amazing) were knockoffs. THE TERMINATOR, a tightrope walk between pleasing sci-fi and bombast, is arguably the only real satisfying entry in the genre, which is ironic since it wasn't original (the lawsuit with writer Harlan Ellison was settled out of court).

Sure, people remember The Catch Phrase and Termy's demeanor, but when you get under the fake skin and break it down, T1 is really a pretty smart movie. It's Man vs. Machine in a really fake, low budget future. For the Machines to win, they send back a killer robot to kill Sarah Connor, who will mother a child named John, who in turn will grow up and one day lead The Resistance against the Machines. With her dead, no John, and the Machines win. So Man sends a man back in time (apparently, 23 years from now, in 2029, we'll be able to time travel) to stop The Terminator so John can be born. The story holds up nicely, but the action sequences have been done to death so many times since, they don't fare as well. Yet the movie manages to give you the feeling that the studio had no part in the creative process, and let them just make their little movie. Here's $6 mil, Jimmy, go out and play. I just read that James Cameron had the image of the metallic skeleton killer robot first, and worked backwards from there. And because of budget constrictions (he couldn't have a future that looked all that good, in the movie, not in real life), so he made it a time travel story so he can shoot in present day. Pretty cool, if it's true. I wonder if that happened to him with TITANIC?

So like I said, some of the movie doesn't kick the way it did in 1984. For that matter, what does? David Lee Roth? Anyway, the good far outweighs the bad, and if you haven't seen it in decades, you should watch it again.

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