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Monday, July 18, 2011

Revisiting Terminator 2 almost 20 years later...

Over the past few months I've had the desire to re watch T2 since it has been a few years since I've seen it. I first saw it in the theaters when I was 12 and of course it was one of my favorite movies since then. What I didn't realize was how much this movie affected me as a child and throughout my life.

As the movie opens up we see a few scenes of a modern day Los Angeles with children playing. All of a sudden the movie does a quick cut to L.A. 2029: a world destroyed by war and ruled by machines. It was these first few scenes that shaped a large part of my childhood. After seeing this movie I came to accept the 'fact' that one day in my lifetime "Judgment Day" would become a reality and I would need to be prepared for it. I thought that everyone who didn't see this reality was only deluding themselves and I would need to be smarter than that. Unfortunately as I grew up this belief never really left me. On the morning of 9/11 my first reaction was that it was the beginning of the end and I needed to pack up as much food as I could and head into the country. Of course all of this was nonsense but it took me quite a while to realize it. I was always waiting for the day when I heard the news. I was always in a rush to get everything done so I would be ready. I just couldn't accept that it might not happen. It still amazes me to this day that one of my core beliefs stemmed from a movie and I had a hard time separating fiction from reality. Although I was a very impressionable young child so perhaps it makes a little sense.

At any rate, the movie continues along with the Terminator finding and protecting John Connor and his mother and the eventual showdown between the T-800 and the T-1000. When I was younger the main draw of the movie was the action and special effects. But as I've grown older I've found more meaning and depth in the movie that I hadn't found before. The weight of the world on a small child who isn't ready to take it on; the determination of a mother to protect her son; and the attempts of a machine to grow and learn and become more. This movie is also full of come beautiful cinematography that holds up very well after 20 years. Some of the shots are just downright beautiful and the filters work very well. James Cameron knows how to make a movie look good that is for sure. The same is true of the original Terminator movie. The result of these shots is a definite 'feel' and vibe that the movie emits.

This will always be one of my favorites, but at least I've finally matured enough to understand how much something like this can affect a young mind, especially when it is my own.

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