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Josh Enjoys Seeing Terminator 2: Judgment Day Back on the Big Screen!

As I have written here before, I love the idea of revival showings of great classic movies.  It is a special treat to get to see a terrific older movie back on the big screen, where it belongs!  I wish this was done more often.  It’s a pleasure whenever a studio gets behind this sort of thing.  In the past two weeks I was delighted by the chance to see two wonderful movies back on the big screen: a new 3D version of James Cameron’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and a 40th Anniversary showing of Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind.  Both were fantastic!

Let’s start with T2, which I saw first.  I didn’t need a 3D conversion; I would have jumped at the chance to see this blockbuster back on the big screen in its original form.  But that being said, the 3D was fun.  The 3D conversion was done exceedingly well.  No surprise, since it was overseen by James Cameron, who launched the modern wave of 3D films (a wave that has already mostly died out) with Avatar in 2009.  The 3D is subtly done, adding depth to the image without ever being distracting.  The new 3D effects are most exciting in the brief “future war” sequence at the start of the film; it’s a ton of fun to see the Terminator robots and all the exploding ships and trucks in 3D.

I love T2, and it’s incredible how well this 1991 film holds up more than twenty-five years after its release.  It’s a great story, with vivid characters and spectacular action.  This could be Arnold Schwarzenegger’s greatest performance (though I am also partial to his work in True Lies, another great James Cameron film).  Some of the story beats are a little cliche twenty-five years later, but I still found this story of a killer robot learning to care for a human boy to be remarkably affecting.  Linda Hamilton is terrific as this hardened version of Sarah Connor (a far cry from the waitress damsel in distress she played in the first film).  I know some people don’t love Edward Furlong’s work as John Connor, but I think he does a great job at embodying this young nineteen-nineties kid.  And the action — wow.  There are few directors better at crafting extraordinary action sequences than James Cameron.

I was pleasantly surprised by how well this film’s groundbreaking-at-the-time CGI effects held up, projected on the big screen, twenty-five years later.  Often times I find that films that are the most cutting-edge can age poorly, as their pioneering effects are improved upon by other films and filmmakers who stand on their shoulders.  I was worried that, … [continued]