The Terminator: Photofest
October 09, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT

The Terminator

Current Status
In Season
108 minutes
Michael Biehn, Linda Hamilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lance Henriksen
James Cameron
Orion Pictures
James Cameron
Mystery and Thriller, ActionAdventure, Sci-fi and Fantasy
We gave it a B+

Arnold Schwarzenegger is as big as a small house. When he walks into a room, you can’t help but notice, primarily because there’s measurably less room in the room. All of which makes it kind of remarkable that he was cast as the ultimate infiltration unit, a cyborg designed to pass as an average human: the Terminator.

Well, at least that was the initial plan, as related by The Terminator: Special Edition‘s crisp ”Other Voices” doc, which details the production of James Cameron’s sci-fi classic from inception to release. That’s the better of the two documentaries on the disc — the other doesn’t feature any new interviews and makes you wonder why they bothered including it — and the best of the supplements. Sadly, trailers and production stills all feel kind of also-ran these days, especially in the wake of super-extensive Cameron DVDs like The Abyss: Special Edition and Terminator 2: Judgment Day — The Ultimate Edition. Sure, the ”terminated” scenes with commentary from Cameron are informative and his original 40-page treatment does provide some insight, but it’s not the geek mother lode that we’ve come to expect.

Still, none of this detracts from the film itself: a marvel of low-budget innovation, a pinnacle of romantic sci-fi, and the best movie that Arnold Schwarzenegger has ever made.

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