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Terminator 2 - Judgment Day (Extreme DVD) starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong, Robert Patrick, Earl Boen A Nice Addition For The Terminator Fans! Arnold Schwarzenegger returns as The Terminator in this explosive action-adventure spectacle. Now hes one of the good guys, sent back in time to protect John Connor, the boy destined to lead the freedom fighters of the future. Linda Hamilton reprises her role as Sarah Connor, Johns mother, a quintessential survivor who has been institutionalized for her warning of the nuclear holocaust she knows is inevitable. Together, t he threesome must find a way to stop the ultimate enemy - the T-1000, the most lethal Terminator ever created. Co- written, produced and directed by James Cameron (The Terminator, Aliens, Titanic), this visual tour de force is also a touching human story of survival. I got blasted for pretty much panning Cameron's 1984 `The Terminator'. I was crucified to put it nicely. It's funny, because I still feel the same way. It's a film that just doesn't hold up well as the years have come and gone. Cameron's 1991 sequel, a film that I nearly didn't see because of my feelings on the '84 film, is drastically different. Thanks to recommendations from friends I finally took the time to check this one out, and I have to say that it totally blows the first film out of the water in ALL AREAS. You see, I attacked `The Terminator', not only for its graphics (yes, they were great for the time and paved the way, but the don't impress now, at all) but also for the density of the story and the acting (I over praised Hamilton; definitely reaching for something to praise). I don't know if I have enough praise for this film though. The acting (even from the Schwarzenegger) is leaps and bounds better than the '84 film (even if young Furlong has his moments of cringe inducing overacting) and the graphics are nearly as good as things we see today (I prefer these graphics to Cameron's overrated mess of an `Avatar'), but it is the depth of story that really impresses me the most here. This film doesn't feel like your average action junkie film. It has a beating heart, and while the whole idea of man being mans worst enemy has been explored many times (two years before this film Cameron expressed similar feelings in `The Abyss'), it is a subject that lends itself to many variations and thus has a long shelf life. The film picks up YEARS af ter the first left off. Sarah has gone crazy (or so the government would have you believe) and has been locked up. Her son, John, is living with neglectful (or maybe they are just tired) foster parents. The Terminator returns, except this time he is not the savage killer he was initially. In the future, John has rewired him to be his protector, and he ventures to rescue John from an advanced killing machine sent to destroy him. Madness ensues. The underlying morale of violence and it's claws in huma nity are embellished in many ways, from the overlaying plot regarding the future and the machines, to John's own views of The Terminator's knack for killing to his simple yet powerful observation at a gas station ("we're not going to make it, are we?"). The film really understands how to rise above its own genre, creating something truly powerful within all the explosions and bloodshed. I kind of attacked Arnold for his lack of acting skills, and while some protested that that was the way he was supposed to play it, I still kind his performance in the first film to be rather ridiculous (but a lot of that was the script). It's amazing what a little brain power can pull off. With the advanced script work, this particular performance reaches all new heights. Arnold, while still awkward and unintentionally comical, carries a human heart here, slowly learning how to adjust to the human world. Robert Patrick makes a better villain than Arnold (and thus Arnold makes a much better `protector' than `terminator'). He has the suave viciousness needed to make him less robotic (he is an advanced model). I mentioned already that Furlong has his moments of `ouch', but he also has many moments that work. He is surely the films weakest link, but I won't fault him too much. He works (and his work in 1998's `American History X' is sheer genius and proves that he had the talent). Linda Hamilton is a goddess here. She grapples EVERYTHING to perfection. I don't truly understand why so many consider her a supporting actress here though. Some may argue that the machines (the terminators) are the leading characters, but that's like saying Shia LaBeouf is supporting in `Transformers' because the main characters are the transformers. Anyways, no matter where you put her, she deserves to be somewhere. I didn't think that anyone could knock the `Thelma and Louise' ladies from the top of my ballot, but Hamilton has done it. The way she balances the macho with the insane with the tenderness is just astonishing. She never f linches in her delivery, proving to transcend the genre and just deliver brilliance. This may be taking a lot of you by surprise (it has me) but I tend to believe this may be the perfect action film and surely one of the best ever made. With heart, soul and a TON of fantastic action sequences (the initial chase scene, through the mall, on the street, OMG), this film is a must see, not just for the action junkie, but for the film lover in us all! 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