|The Terminator was the film that cemented Arnold Schwarzenegger's place in the action-brawn firmament, and both his and the movie's subsequent iconic status are well deserved. He's chilling as the futuristic cyborg that kills without fear, without love, without mercy. James Cameron's story and direction are pared to the bone and are all the more chillingly effective for it. But don't overlook the contribution of Linda Hamilton, who more than holds her own as the Terminator's would-be victim, Sarah Connor, thus creating--along with Sigourney Weaver in Alien--a new generation of rugged, clear-thinking female action stars. The film's minimalist, malevolent violence is actually scarier than that of its far more expensive, more effects-laden sequel.
Rejoice, The Terminator is back, better looking and louder than ever. After years of inferior VHS versions, the cleaned-up print of this DVD is a revelation, as is the digitally remastered Dolby 5.1 soundtrack: from the opening MGM lion's roar to the crunch of Arnie's boots and the pounding of Brad Fiedel's techno-industrial score, both picture and sound are of a quality that belie the movie's age. The first disc has the movie plus a DVD-ROM feature containing three different versions of the screenplay, which can be read scene-by-scene along with the film. On the second disc there are seven deleted scenes, including a fascinating foreshadowing of Sarah Connor's mission in T2, as well as trailers and TV spots. There are also two "making of" featurettes, one being an 18-minute piece from 1992 based around a friendly at-home chat with Cameron and Schwarzenegger ("We did the first Terminator for the cost of your motor home on the second film", jokes director to actor). The hour-long "Other Voices" featurette is an in-depth montage of cast and crew reminiscences covering all aspects of the production from its initial genesis as a fevered nightmare to the "guerrilla" filmmaking of getting the final shots. Script collaborator Bill Wisher neatly sums up the movie as "It's a Wonderful Life, with guns". The second disc also contains a stills archive of production photographs, James Cameron's amazing original conceptual artwork, plus his first story treatment. If you own a player, how can you resist? After all, the Terminator movies are what DVD was invented for