1984: The Terminator

The Terminator, 1984

Image via Wikipedia

The Terminator, one of the most unique movies for its time, takes the place for 1984 in iHartMovies’ Monumental Movies Exclusive. I’m sure you all know the simple, yet effective plot to this movie, so to sum up, Arnold Schwarzenegger, plays a cyborg, all wired up, under living, human tissue, as a disguise, sent from the future, in an attempt to kill Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), before she gives birth to son, John Connor, who will ultimately grow up to become a leader of the resistance against self-aware machines who will inevitably take over the world. Amazing, I know. But that isn’t all; a man, Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) is sent to stop The Terminator.

In the end of the movie, with the help, yet unfortunate death of John’s father, Reese, Sarah manages to survive, destroying the Terminator. The scene shows Sarah recording a monologue for John Connor (of which some of the recordings can be heard in later movies, including Terminator Salvation). She then contemplates stuff about John and the future, before driving off into the distance. Although still a great movie, The Terminator was way ahead of its time, and as it is now, a classic. Arguably the movie that blasted Arnie’s movie career sky-high, this was the trigger for an even bigger particular movie released in 1991…

Although Arnie is clearly one of the most awesome, yet corniest actors ever, I always thought that he suited the role of the Terminator. His comical accent, mixed with a constant sense of seriousness, along with buffed up body, is the perfect combination for a killer cyborg…This movie has a simple, yet enjoyable plot, which was really something special for its time, and I suppose still is now. The special effects used, although somewhat rubbish now, were brilliant at the time, but still quite enjoyable to watch to this day nonetheless; and in particular, I’m talking about the eye scene. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, watch the movie.

Although I felt it was slightly slow to start with, once the movie picks up, it is thoroughly enjoyable throughout, filled with suspense, action, and beautifully crafted one-liners from our main man, Arnie. In fact, the one-liners that Arnie comes out with is one of the main reasons I like the movie, and many of his other movies for that matter. Either way, the movie is still a good one, and is one I would definitely recommend. Another great movie from hugely renowned producer, and director, James Cameron.

Also, recent movie news has it reported that Arnie will be returning to the big screen, in numerous movies, including the upcoming Terminator movie, so keep an eye out for further information. The movie of 1985 will be revealed next week…

By Manpreet Singh


1983: Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

Image via Wikipedia

Taking the spot for 1983 in our Monumental Movies exclusive, Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. The concluding episode in the epic Star Wars saga sees Luke Skywalker, along with everyone else, as they face their final battle with The Galactic Empire, in the hope to destroy the newly built second Death Star, and attempt to bring the malevolent, corrupted Darth Vader, from The Dark Side back to The Light Side, to which he once belonged, before he was turned by the ruthless Darth Sidious, also known as The Emperor.

The movie picks up from the end of The Empire Strikes Back, where the Rebels have received a huge blow from Vader’s fist. Luke has learnt the grim truth of who is father is, and whilst in the process, has his hand chopped off (like father, like son..). Han Solo (Harrison Ford), is rescued from Jabba the Hutt‘s Palace. The final battle takes place on the forested moon of Endor, on which the furry, lovable Ewok inhabitants decide to help the Rebels fight the Empire (although I’ve always found it a little weird, how a bunch of camp teddy bear lookalikes manage to kill Galactic Stormtroopers…).

At the same time, the final showdown ensues between Vader and Luke, father and son… the Light Side, versus the Dark Side. As the battle continues, Luke ultimately manages to bring out the good in Vader, as, after almost literally beating him to death, Luke decides to spare Vader, following the ways of the Jedi, and Vader then returns to the Light side, putting a stop to Sidious who is attempting to kill Luke. As Vader lays, ready to die, Luke sees his face for the first time, as do we for the first time (in the original saga anyway). After a few, final words, Anakin Skywalker dies, before Luke manages an escape from the Death Star before it is obliterated by Wedge Antilles and Lando Calrissian, before flying off, with the Death Star exploding behind them. The movie ends with a big celebration, with the uprise of the Rebel Alliance, and the neutralisation of the evil, controlling Galactic Empire, with the higher spirits of Yoda, Obi-Wan and Anakin smiling at Luke.

The Return of The Jedi is a brilliant conclusion to an amazing saga, bringing together the whole story, right from the beginning in The Phantom Menace, all through the rest of the episodes. The story shows how the innocent, young Anakin, was tainted by the Dark Side, before finally going back to his good roots, once again becoming what he’d always dreamed of as a child, a Jedi, before dying. This episode gives a great finish to the story, tying all the loose ends to the storyline, whilst allowing comparisons to be made between the characters as they’ve developed over the episodes. This episode is just full of memorable moments, and moments that will put a smile on any true Star Wars fan’s face, with the triumph of the Light Side, and the restoration of the exemplary Anakin Skywalker who should have been.

For me, the only downside to this movie is that it means the end of the Star Wars saga, which truly is one of the best set of movies ever created, if not the best. Full of epic battles, ruthless villains, wookies, odd humour, great storylines, and of course, light sabers, this movie, along with the whole saga, is everything you could want from a sci-fi genre, plus more. This is definitely the movie of 1983 for me, and generally one of the best movies ever, too. If you haven’t seen it, watch it. And if you’re not into Star Wars, get into it, and watch this.

The movie of 1984 will be revealed next week…

By Manpreet Singh

1982: First Blood

First Blood, the first in the well renowned Rambo collection, takes the place for the movie of 1982. John Rambo (Sly Stallone), is a Vietnam veteran who managed to escape from a prison camp, and is now a lone wolf, a drifter, moving from town to town. Once Rambo learns of the death of a former Vietnam war friend, he travels to the town, to be greeted by the Sheriff, Will Teasle (Brian Dennehy). After some time, it becomes clear to Rambo, that Teasle is deliberately showing disregard towards him, and Teasle soon makes it clear that drifters are not welcome in his town.

Rambo refuses to leave, and soon enough is arrested. After basically being treated like shit for no apparent reason, Rambo finally decides to put a stop to this prejudice,  and retaliates, and this is where the awesomeness of John Rambo really begins. Rambo steals a motorcycle and escapes, ultimately ending up in the woods, having lost Teasle who had been tailing him, only to find that Teasle has assembled a party to hunt him down.

From here on, it’s all adrenaline-fuelled action, from a merciless war veteran who has nothing to lose. The movie eventually ends with a full on war right in the middle of the town, between Rambo and literally, an entire army. However, the movie concludes with Rambo finally tipping over the edge, before inevitably breaking down into tears, releasing his bottled up frustrations and life-scarring memories, which have permanently affected him psychologically as well as physically. After this huge release of anger and frustration, Rambo surrenders himself to main antagonist, Trautman (Richard Crenna), before he is taken away.

This movie is great. It has a storyline good enough to not only keep you interested, but also stimulates the viewer to produce an emotional connection to the character, Rambo, throughout the whole movie. Although at first, he doesn’t seem like the friendliest guy you’ve ever seen, you feel sorrow for him, and realise the hatred that is being directed towards him for no reason. You soon feel the sheer satisfaction and adrenaline rush, as he obliterates those trying to bring him down, in brilliant yet brutal ways, with this movie being a very violent one for its time, and still quite violent to this day. Rambo shows the true meaning of being a lone wolf, surviving in the world – with the aid of his trusted knife (which I’m sure everyone wanted to own by the time they’d finished watching the movie..).

Rambo is a classic, and the first in a great set of movies; and to this day, is still going strong, with a fairly recent release of a 4th installment in 2008, titled, ‘Rambo’, both created by, and starring Sylvester Stallone; and there are even talks of a 5th installment. If you haven’t seen this yet, definitely watch it; and if you’re a fan of  highly graphical violent movies, such as myself, definitely watch the aforementioned 4th installment, Rambo, which will be sure to satisfy your gory needs. But watch First Blood first. You won’t regret it.

Watch out next Saturday, for the movie of 1983…

By Manpreet Singh

1981: Indiana Jones and the Raiders of The Lost Ark

Cover of "Indiana Jones and the Raiders o...

Cover via Amazon

So, claiming the spot for 1981 in Monumental Movies, is Raiders of the Lost Ark, the first in the current Indiana Jones quadrilogy ( I say current, as there are talks of a storyline for a 5th installment). The movie is set in 1936, and our beloved archeologist, Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford), has been assigned by the U.S. Government to retrieve The Ark of The Covenant, an incredibly powerful, biblical artifact, which is believed to hold the key to the existence of the human race. Travelling to a range of countries and well-known locations, including Egypt, Indy, must find The Ark of The Covenant. But it’s not as easy as it sounds, as the legendary adventurer must also beat the Nazis to the artifact in a race against time,  as well as villain, Renee Belloq (Paul Freeman).

The movie ends with Belloq capturing Jones, and opening the Ark, only to find that the spirits within it release a mass of energy, obliterating Belloq and the Nazis. However, Indy,  and old love interest, Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen), who are tied up, are spared, thanks to an ancient code they so luckily remembered, that is, not to look at these spirits that have been freed. The bad guys are dead, and the spirits and energy go back into the Ark, before it re-seals itself. The movie ends with Indy arguing with army officers, to whom he explains that they have no idea as to how powerful the Ark is – however, perhaps they do understand, as the Ark is then stored away in a crate in a government warehouse, never to be heard of again…

Raiders of The Lost Ark is a classic, and definitely got Ford’s career up and going (thanks to Star Wars too, of course). It was a new and exciting thing for its time, and to this day, still is exciting, with an interesting and clever storyline, great action sequences, memorable quotes, and of course, legendary action scenes, including the one we all know – the boulder scene, which sees Dr. Jones trying to retrieve a valuable artifact by trying to replace it with something of equal weight, in order to avoid the activation of deadly booby traps. He fails. And as he instantly makes a run for it, a huge boulder is released, rolling right being him. But good old Indy manages to escape in the nick of time, with his hat, of course.

The whole movie is full of classic scenes and dialogue, and ultimately led onto the great prequels we all know and love – The Temple of Doom, and The Last Crusade…and also The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which, although received huge amounts of bad press, did very well at the box office, and I personally, thought it was awesome. Raiders of The Lost Ark is another brilliant creation from a brilliant direction, Steven Spielberg, and, of course, with help from George Lucas, who can’t go uncredited, and is definitely up there with some of the all-time classics.

Watch out next Saturday, for the movie of 1982…

By Manpreet Singh

The Dark Knight Rises – Plot Leaked?

You read it, the latest is that the plot details for the upcoming blockbuster, The Dark Knight Rises, have been leaked. Fan site ‘Batman-On-Film‘, has reported that the storyline will entail Batman’s battle against The League of Shadows, controlled by Talia al Ghul. The League of Shadows was also involved in the events of Batman Begins, run by Ra’s al Ghul (Liam Neeson).

Villain, Talia al Ghul, is supposedly known to have links with muscle-monster Bane, who will be played by Tom Hardy. Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Inception) will be a member of The League, while Catwoman (Anne Hathaway), although a villain, will join forces with the Dark Knight towards the end of the movie, and battle it out with the League of Shadows.

Although the website insists that these reports are accurate, with comments from site viewers agreeing with this information, many are still skeptical. I know I am. But who knows? Either way, I’d like more proof on this before I accept any of the above information. And if true, who knows, perhaps Ra’s al Ghul will return from the dead, as he says in Batman Begins, “But is Ra’s al Ghul immortal?’. Not to mention that the character lived for centuries in the comic book stories, never known to have actually died. I think it would be nice to see Neeson return as Ra’s, but for now, I think we should further speculate on the events which may occur in The Dark Knight Rises, until we receive some more reliable information.

By Manpreet Singh

Superman Update: Viggo Mortensen is General Zod?

Viggo Mortensen at the 2008 Toronto Internatio...

Image via Wikipedia

So, the latest on the upcoming Superman reboot is that Viggo Mortensen (The Lord Of The Rings), will be playing villain, General Zod. Although director, Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen) denied reports that Zod would be the main villain in the upcoming movie, reports had it that actresses Alice Eve, Diane Kruger, and Rosamund Pike were all being considered for the role of Ursa, a member of the trio of criminals led by Zod.

Recent reports are now strongly suggesting that Mortensen is first in line to be cast for the role of Zod, but although being highly considered for the role, Mortensen and Snyder are yet to meet one another. Who knows what will happen. Personally from movies I’ve seen with Mortensen in, I respect him as an actor, and if he were to be chosen, it would be interesting to see how he portrays the character of Zod, particularly in comparison to the portrayal in Superman II from actor, Terence Stamp.

Stay tuned for the latest news and info.

By Manpreet Singh