During my Christmas break I watched all four films in the Terminator series. I was actually quite impressed. Here are my reviews:
The Terminator (1984)
This film was noticeably made in the '80s. The music, the special effects, the styles...all '80s. That being said, this movie was not overly cheesy. The film is about a Terminator (Schwarzenegger) sent back in time to kill Sarah Conner (Linda Hamilton) to prevent her son (John Conner) from being born and becoming a threat to Skynet's existence. Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) is sent to protect her. Arnold was a nearly unstoppable force and the acting overall was sufficient, not great. There was a bit of language, otherwise I generally liked this film.
The Terminator runs 108 minutes and is rated R. Don't show this to kids, there is a lot of language and a sex scene (with unnecessary nudity). I give this first film of the series 6 ramheads out of 10.Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)
Arnold's back (as promised), but this time as a reprogrammed (by future John Conner) older model Terminator sent from the future to protect young John Conner (Edward Furlong) from the newer (unrealistic) shape-shifting Terminator (Robert Patrick). The good Terminator and young Conner end up bonding and this film is much more complex and deep than its predecessor. There is still a lot of language--mostly from Sarah Conner (Linda Hamilton).
This film runs 137 minutes and is rated R. Again, there is a lot of language and some violence, so I wouldn't show this film to children. I give it 9 ramheads out of 10, because it has a heart.Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)Terminator 3 follows John Conner (Nick Stahl), in his 20s and living off the grid. He was sent another older reprogrammed Terminator (Schwarzenegger) from the future for his protection. This time, for whatever reason, the new Terminator--a female Terminatrix (Kristanna Loken)--does not have the shape-shifting abilities of the terminator in the previous installation, but she can control other machines. This third installment of the series is probably the weakest in terms of acting performances. Stahl doesn't capture the character of John Conner as well as Furlong did in T2, his character doesn't have as much fire, he isn't as memorable. Arnold's Terminator is also a lot weaker than in T2.
I liked this movie, despite some acting issues. Terminator 3 runs 109 minutes and is rated R, but I would be ok with showing this to my younger brother, it is mostly for the action/violence. I give this film 7 ramheads out of 10.Terminator Salvation (2009)I was first introduced to Sam Worthington in Avatar, but I didn't realize he was in Terminator Salvation first. His character, Marcus Wright, is a surprisingly deep character: a rebuilt victim of the death penalty, who meets Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin) and is determined to save him after he is captured by the machines. The film takes place in 2018, featuring the Resistance and John Conner (Christian Bale) fighting Skynet and the machines. They are determined to find Kyle Reese, because if he is killed Conner will cease to exist (Reese in Conner's father). The plot is interesting, the acting is good, and the action is awesome.
Terminator Salvation runs 115 minutes and is rated PG-13. This is more tame that T3, kids would be ok watching this. I give it 8 ramheads out of 10.
P.S. I heard there is a fifth Terminator installment in the works, starring Christian Bale.