Having watched two movies in The Regent, Blackpool’s independent cinema, previously and enjoyed the retro-experience immensely, it was with a certain trepidation that I entered its hallowed portals in the knowledge that a new projector had been installed in time for the evening’s screening of The Terminator. Although the sound had been a bit dodgy, particularly in the rather mumbly Pulp Fiction, the grainy picture had added previously to the atmosphere of both this and Alien.
My fears were swept away: the vast improvement and full screen coverage that has been achieved outweighs any loss of retro-experience concerns. The screen image was crystal clear and the sound competitive with the multi-plex.
As to the film itself, it was every bit as enjoyable as I remember from watching it on a VHS tape over twenty years ago. Arnold Schwarzenegger cast in his ideal role, a cyborg with a limited vocabulary. Linda Hamilton as the innocent plunged into a nightmare. Michael Biehn as a soldier from a dystopian future, with improbably nice hair. Indeed the ’80s hair and clothes in general. Not a mobile phone in sight. People having their names in the phone book; how many went ex-directory after watching this movie? The almost incessant chase structure and constant shooting. The Arnie catch phrases: ‘I’ll be back’; ‘Uzi 9mm’; ‘f*** you asshole’. Some of the special effects look slightly ropey now, but overall hold up pretty well as does the film as a whole. It’s a violent and pretty grim picture if one thinks about it, but there is humour to leaven the bread.
This was the last in The Regent’s sci-fi season and Blackpool’s independent cinema is now moving on to a new set of black and white movies, starting with Some Like it Hot on 1st September 2017, voted by many as the funniest film of all time. Now the monochrome image will be sharper than ever.
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