Predator

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Predator (1987)

Director: John McTiernan

Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Elpidia Carilla and Kevin Peter Hall

Synopsis: An elite team of Commandos headed by Major Dutch Schafer (Arnold Schwarzenegger) are hired by an old teammate of Dutch’s, Dillon (Carl Weathers) to rescue a Cabinet Minister whose helicopter has crashed in South America. Once in the jungle the team realizes that there is something much more sinister with them than just an army of Guerrilla soldiers. After a while they begin to realize their Predator (Kevin Peter Hall) is not from this world and is picking them off one by one. Now Dutch and Dillon with the help of the remaining team members and Anna (Elpidia Carillo), a local rebel, to try and kill the Predator before it kill them.

Trivia: An attempt was made to get shots of the Predator swinging from tree to tree using a monkey in a red special-effects suit. However, the monkey kept removing the suit and the idea was abandoned. The original “Hunter” model was a large creature with a long neck, a head shaped like a dog and one big eye in the middle. This can be seen on the camouflage demo’s on the DVD. It was only when Stan Winston moved in that the complete design of the now “Predator” changed, along with the title.

How scary is this really?: Predator is not very scary anymore after the hundredth viewing but when I was a kid this scared the crap out of me. This is the best non Terminator film that Arnie did and it is still a great sci-fi film. Kevin Peter Hall is amazing as the Predator and remains to his day he best actor to don the Predator costume. This is another good October film to watch and a great guy’s movie.

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Films to See Before You Die: #12 Terminator 2: Judgment Day

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Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

Director: James Cameron

Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong, Robert Patrick

Synopsis: It has been ten years since SkyNet sent a Terminator back in time that failed to kill Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) and her unborn son John. Now in the year 1994, a newer and more lethal model of Terminator, a prototype of the T-1000 model (Robert Patrick), has been sent back to kill John Connor (Edward Furlong) as a young boy. The resistance has once again sent a protector this time it is another Terminator a class T-800 model 101 (Arnold Schwarzenegger), that they have reprogrammed. John is in foster care living with a foster family, while Sarah has been locked up in a mental institution for trying to blow up a computer company and claiming a cyborg came back in time to try and kill her. The T-1000 finds John at a local mall where the other Terminator intercepts and gives John a chance to escape. The T-1000 is the superior of the two models and quickly dispatches the other model and continues after John. John and the T-800 are able to get away and it is later learned that the T-1000 is made of liquid metal and can form stabbing objects as well as copy other humans. John begins to panic when it becomes obvious the T-1000’s next target is his mother and that after copying a human the subject is then terminated leading to an epic rescue attempt by John and the T-800. After Sarah is safe they make their way to Mexico where Sarah plans to murder the creator of the SkyNet program Miles Dyson. John and the T-800 race to stop Sarah before it is too late Johna is continually trying to show the Terminator the value of human life. When what the implication of his actions are explained to him Dyson agrees to help them destroy SkyNet which leads to final confrontation with the T-1000.

Trivia: The original script did not call for the top of the truck to be ripped off during the chase through the storm drain beside/beneath the freeway, but when they arrived on location they found that the cab wouldn’t fit under the overpass so director James Cameron decided that the roof was going to have to come off. The sound used for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s shotgun is actually two cannons. The name of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator is the Terminator Series 800 (shiny metal endoskeleton) model 101 (Arnold’s actual skin on that skeleton).

Why I think you should see this: This is one of only a handful of series where the second movie is far superior to the first. This has to be one of the biggest budget for a sequel to a modestly budgeted first film James Cameron turned the dial to 10 with this one. Arnold Schwarzenegger is awesome in his signature role but this movie really belongs to Robert Patrick who gives us one of the most cold and calculating villains in film history. Both Linda Hamilton and Edward did a pretty solid job as mother and son. Check out the extended cut which has some interesting scenes including the T-1000 experiencing glitches after being frozen. This is a classic that explodes out of the screen at you so check it out sometime.

Films to See Before You Die: #34 The Terminator

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The Terminator (1984)

Director: James Cameron

Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Michael Biehn, Paul Winfield

Synopsis: In the year 2029, a computer called Skynet is fighting against a human resistance, after having nearly destroyed the rest of humanity in 1997. Skynet has been beaten by the human resistance led by John Connor. In an attempt to take Conner out of the picture Skynet has found a way to send a cyborg known as the Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger), back to 1984 to terminate Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) before John is even born. Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) is sent back by John to protect Sarah from the Terminator. The Terminator is relentless in it’s quest to kill Sarah as it will stop at nothing to find her it even attacks and wipes out an entire police station in an attempt to get her. This leads to a final confrontation between Sarah, Kyle and the Terminator which will determine the fate of humanity.

Trivia: Arnold Schwarzenegger was considered so indispensable to the film that when he went off to do Conan the Destroyer first, they were prepared to wait, rather than recast him in the interim. The laser aimed handgun was specially built by Laser Products Corporation (now Sure-Fire). This was in the early days of laser aimed weapons and the what was seen was actually not a complete assembly. Only the laser was mounted but the required battery pack was hidden from view. In those days the battery packs were very large, about the size of a TV remote control. A wire was hidden underneath his sleeve.

Why I think you should see this: The Terminator was my introduction to Arnold Schwarzenegger and after that I was hooked he is the king of action heroes. This is a great overall film and is one of Cameron’s best and probably his most iconic. I loved Michael Biehn in this as Kyle Reese and he is in my opinion one of the most underrated actors in Hollywood. Linda Hamilton is great in this one but really has her chance to shine in the sequel. The effects are very dated but it kind of adds to the atmosphere. Check this one out it’s a masterpiece.

Films to See Before You Die: #61 Predator

predator

Predator (1987)

Director: John McTiernan

Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Kevin Peter Hall, Elpidia Carillo

Synopsis: An elite team of Commandos headed by Major Dutch Schafer (Arnold Schwarzenegger) are hired by an old teammate of Dutch’s, Dillon (Carl Weathers) to rescue a Cabinet Minister whose helicopter has crashed in South America. Once in the jungle the team realizes that there is something much more sinister with them than just an army of Guerrilla soldiers. After a while they begin to realize their Predator (Kevin Peter Hall) is not from this world and is picking them off one by one. Now Dutch and Dillon with the help of the remaining team members and Anna (Elpidia Carillo), a local rebel, to try and kill the Predator before it kill them.

Trivia: According to an interview with director John McTiernan, the “hole in the jungle” appearance of the Predator was played by Jean-Claude Van Damme in a “blue screen” (actually red) suit. Van Damme quit after two days, unhappy with being cast as an uncredited special effect, but can be seen as the Predator in If It Bleeds We Can Kill It: The Making of ‘Predator’. The alien was scrapped, redesigned and was eventually played by Kevin Peter Hall who was 7’2″ tall.

Why I think you should see this: I remember seeing this movie when I was only 9 years old and I loved every minute of it and 15 years later I still love it. This is one of Schwarzenegger’s best as well as the movie that made John McTiernan famous. This is a big time mens film but I still will recommend it too anyone. I also suggest you see the two sequels Predator 2 and Predators if you really love the seires you could check out the Alien vs. Predator films but that isn’t necessary. The score from composer Alan Silvestri is one of my all time favourites. Check this one out sometime.