A few months ago – in what then seemed a little foolish, but now seems like an act of pure clairvoyance – I invested in a home theater. And when I say that, I mean an actual movie screen that is installed on a wall, with an HD projector and a sound system. I even bought a miniature popcorn maker that looks like the kind you see in theaters. What made this foolish was I live in Manhattan and it’s not like there’s a ton of space to go around anyway, let alone an entire wall devoted to a 92-inch projector screen. To be fair, it’s a nice looking screen. My thought process was that, for work, I watch a lot of movies at home and wouldn’t it be nice to basically have my own screening room?
Like a lot of these kinds of projects, I did use it quite a bit at first during awards season with all the screeners rolling in but, then, I started using it less and less. Honestly, sometimes I just like the idea of building something more than I do the finished project. Anyway, the point is, this week, as we all practice social distancing, the home theater has been getting quite a workout. Movies right now are a literal escape from reality. And what I mean by that is: if I’m not watching a movie in this makeshift theater room, I’m watching the news. With no sports anymore, it’s now basically either a full-length feature film or hour after hour of nonstop virus coverage. We all have to take a break from the news sometimes, even for this.
The last couple of nights we watched the original Terminator and then Terminator 2: Judgement Day. With Terminator: Dark Fate now available for your home viewing pleasure a movie I liked quite a bit, I’ve been thinking more and more about why these first two pretty spectacular movies can’t seem to quite nail the third one. And a third movie has been attempted four times now.
It’s weird, I’ve never watched Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgement Day back to back before. Or, at least, over the span of just a couple days, giving them my full attention. When is the last time you watched the original Terminator? Like really watched it. This isn’t a surprise, but it’s pretty incredible. And, yes, the headline of this piece that calls this a “hot take” is for the most part sarcasm. What makes it so great is that it’s just so simple. You see, there’s an almost indestructible bad guy and he won’t stop until he kills Sarah Connor or she, somehow, kills him. That’s pretty much it. Yes, there’s a pretty nifty backstory about a future war and how Sarah’s future son, John, becomes an important leader. But my favorite scene is when Michael Biehn’s Kyle Reese is trying to explain to Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Connor the ramifications of the future, she just kind of stops him and says something about how this all makes her head hurt. Yes. And it’s good they don’t take too much time trying to flesh out the World Building of all this. That’s where the...