Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

Terminator_2_posterStarring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong, Robert Patrick, Earl Boen, Joe Morton, S. Epatha Merkerson, Castulo Guerra, Danny Cooksey, Jenette Goldstein, Xander Berkeley

Directed by James Cameron

Expectations: I’ll be back.


You shouldn’t need me to tell you that Terminator 2: Judgment Day is an incredible movie. One of the greatest blockbuster films of all time, T2 is a total thrill ride that, like the Terminators themselves, never stops. It is expertly paced and written in such a way that it is both a perfect sequel to the original film and completely self-contained and accessible to anyone in the audience. And does it hold up nearly 25 years after its original release? No problemo.

T2 brought revolutionary FX to the screen, and honestly they still look fantastic to me. Due to the limitations of the time, the CG is used exactly how it should be: to augment real footage to create incredible illusions of fantasy. The grounding in the real world makes the unreal feel all the more real because it’s seemingly happening in the same world we live in. The physical FX work is top-notch as well, with the scene when Arnold tears off his skin to show Miles Dyson his cyborg endoskeleton remaining my favorite. It blew my mind when I was a kid, and it still looks so real to me. I guess that’s what you get when your movie has a crazy budget and you’ve got Stan Winston on the case. Practical FX work may have gone out of style, but I stand by the claim that it does and will continue to age much better than CG.

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Mac and Me (1988)

AKA Mi amigo Mac, Mac – O Extraterrestre, Mac, a földönkívüli barát, Mick… mein Freund vom anderen Stern

Starring Christine Ebersole, Jonathan Ward, Tina Caspary, Lauren Stanley, Jade Calegory, Vinnie Torrente, Martin West, Ivan J. Rado, Danny Cooksey, Laura Waterbury, Ronald McDonald

Directed by Stewart Raffill

Expectations: I have high hopes that this will deliver some B-Movie fun.

On the general scale:

On the B-Movie scale:

OK, hear me out! If you’re a child of the 80s like myself, you most likely saw this movie when you were a kid and have some vague memories of how it did a horrible job of ripping off Steven Spielberg’s slightly more famous stranded alien film, E.T. The Extraterrestrial. Like fine wine, time has been very kind to our friend Mac and his zany adventures through the Los Angeles basin, resulting in one of the most unexpectedly fun re-watches in a long time.

The film opens on a distant planet in our solar system. Which planet is never revealed, but the foreboding presence of Saturn overhead suggests that it might be one of the ringed planet’s sixty-two moons. I guess now is a good time to state that it’s important that any sort of analytical or critical thinking must be turned off for the remainder of the film or used simply as comedy, as anything else will only result in sheer disappointment with this cinematic gem. OK, where was I? The planet is inhabited by weird creatures with eternally surprised looks on their faces, doing their best to survive. The dad (or Big Mac) busts into the soil and inserts a makeshift straw, sucking out the life-giving water inside. Due to their surprised facial structure, their mouths are always ready to go for straw-drinking, and with mouths like that I’d imagine the straw would’ve been one of the first tools this species invented… or maybe their world is populated with straw trees and in order to survive the creatures evolved and adapted to use the tools given them by the area they inhabited. It’s questions like this that we’ll never have a definitive answer for, as the promised sequel unfortunately never materialized.

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