Well hello there folks.
Welcome to my 73rd Film Flare entry. We've been through so much together but now it is time to review a film that is (in my eyes) pretty much perfect. Luckily then I watched it this week so I can pop it into an FFFD entry.
The Terminator (1984)
Famed Soviet director Andrei Tarkovsky (of Stalker and Solaris fame) once remarked that the only commerical film that impressed him was The Terminator, he was quoted as saying that its 'vision of the future and the relation between man and its destiny is pushing the frontier of cinema as an art'.
To be fair, whilst Terminator 2 is the better known film, thanks mainly to its epic storyline and stunning CGI with the T1000 (liquid metal guy), it is an inferior film for several reasons. First of all, although Robert Patrick makes a chilling villain, having Schwarzenegger in the villainous role on The Terminator against a human, Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) gives far more emotion and tension, despite the 'thumbs up' scene at the end of T2. The smaller budget and tighter running length means that the plot of The Terminator flies past, the film developing into one long chase scene between an unstoppable killing machine and a confused human soldier sent back in time.
But if we go into more detail, I find that the plot of having the mother killed before the robot's enemy was ever born to be a far greater narrative force than having the child killed when he is already born. The idea that Sarah Conner is being punished for something that hasn't even been set in motion yet gives her story a more tragic tint and as a character, Sarah Conner slowly becomes the hardcore, militant mother that she is throughout the whole of T2.
On top of this, you have the growing relationship between Sarah and Kyle Reese, his character softening up considerably once he gets more accustomed to the past. Add to this good supporting characters as Lt. Traxler and James Cameron stalwart Lance Henriksen and you have a small cast of great characters.
You also have fantastic action, incredible music, stunning practical effects (Schwarzenegger's bionic eye for one) and tight direction which gives Terminator a real visceral quality which gets lost in the larger scale of T2.
To be fair, the second Terminator film is fantastic too but it just loses out to the inferior The Terminator and its uncompromising vision of maternal instinct, destiny and the future.
A stone cold classic.