T Nation

Terminator 2 is 20!


Well, not until July, but I had a dream about it last night and wanted to post about this before I forgot.

I remember when T2 came out in the summer of 1991, that it had seemed so long since the first Terminator. The world and film seemed to have changed so much. The difference between Terminator and T2 in terms of how they look and are shot and the effects are astronomical.

Part of that is budget, of course, part of that is the incredible growth of the effects industry during the time. The first Terminator came out in 1984. The seven years between the two films seemed long,and looking at the differences in the two, it seemed like eras had passed. I should mention I turned 18 the day T2 came out too.

And now it's been 20 years since that 2nd film came out. And the amazing thing is, in terms of it's effects and how it looks? It still holds up. Maybe it's blind nostalgia, maybe it's bias...but I think the film could've come out last year the way it looks and I still would have been impressed. I just watched the DVD a few months ago and think it looks fine. 20 years ain't what it used to be!

I saw it on opening night and remember some guys who were probably 20 or so going up before the front row and taking their shirts off and flexing and people clapping politely or nervously, before the film started.
I remember the T-1000 effects being perfect. I remember when he reformed after being shattered and thinking "Are they going to have to continue this in another movie?!?!"


First and only movie I have seen in IMAX, Thanks Nards for reminding me my 20 year HS reunion is this year. FML


So 20 years ago this July, James Cameron should have retired from the movie industry...


I remember the previews/teaser for T2 on a VHS tape that I had rented. The special effects were great on older movies. At times, you tell something looked a little fake but it was real. It had to be created on smaller scale and effects personnel had to use optical illusions to make it work. Everything now is done with a blue screen background.

I think the Computer Graphics (CG) industry has somewhat ruined movies. Movie makers seem to be trying to "WOW" us by including a lot of CG effects. In my opinion it takes away from the focus on the characters. If you compare older movies to new movies, newer movies have wider shots that show a lot of background effects and older movies had more close ups on the actors faces and what they had to say.

Occasionally an older movie would throw in a wide panoramic shot to show off a little but it cost so much to do so back then. Now, it's like every shot is somewhat panoramic.



But then we wouldn't have had True Lies (and JLC's awesome dance routine) and Dark Angel ^^

Unfortunately I don't remember seeing T2 for the first time. Saw the first one at the drive-in and can remember it vividly but I reckon i must've missed out on the T2 opening.

However I do agree that some films really do stand up well against modern effects. It's easy to judge cosmetic and prosthetic effects vs the digital medium, but when you compare 20 year old digital effects to the current video effects industry without laughing - you know someone did something right!

Interestingly enough my girlfriend, a prop-maker and scenic artist, has recently just finished a research project on the impact the visual effects industry has made on film-making. And while the VEI is constantly evolving and 'improving' - people like me still love the good ol' days of squib effects! :slight_smile:


I would agree and even go so far as to say that's it's like the difference between photo-realistic art and impressionistic art. Each has their merit - but giving the 'impression' of something actually engages the brain on a level that photo-realism normally can't.

Aged effects gave an illusion of an event - they didn't strive to define an event with every detail. It was about an impression which still left a little to the imagination- the 2 second head shot in Scanners, for instance. Very simply done and very effective. Were this film to be remade I've no doubt that scene would suck simply for the fact that it wouldn't be about being clever and using cuts; they would show the whole thing, from start to finish in every gory detail where, unfortunately, our brains recognise the impossible and disbelieve the eyes.

Good effects in my opinion should enhance the story, not define it.


Check out The Hurricane (1937) for some hurricane special effects that would hold up surprisingly well today.


Lanky those werent special effects that was an actual hurricane.




This seems relevant:


WTF?!!! I've never seen that scene from T2!!


My folks took me to see the midnight sneak peak a couple of days before the movie actually premiered. I was 9 at the time, but I remember a HUGE crowd waiting for the movie and everyone being completely blown away by it. I also remember people giving a standing ovation when the movie was over. The first two Terminator's are so good it's ridiculous. I really hope that no one tries to remake 'em, 'cause it just won't work.


I was 4.5 years old when T2 came out


My son was .5 years old.


20 years ago. Damn. Hate to cut this reply short, but I need to take some Geritol and chase those pesky kids off my lawn.


My brother snuck me in to see this when I was a 5 year old tyke. One of the best action flicks ever, and also one of the very very short list of sequels that were better than their originals =p


It's a deleted scene or something that's included on the director's cut or whatnot.


Yep, from the director's cut. There's actually a lot of scenes that were removed. There a scene with Kyle Reese (Sarah is dreaming), the scene here, a couple of scenes with the Dysons, a scene where the T-1000 is malfunctioning due to damage (in the final battle). Worth seeing if you're a fan of the movie.


You're old.


Because it wasn't in there.