The first (of four) Terminator movies was released in 1984, when I was 9 years old. I think I saw it when I was 10. . I've actually watched that movie quite a bit (in the distant past) and correlate my early exposure to it with my affinity for apocalyptic media. Watching the Terminator series is mindless but is also a walk through time. The four movies span the time between 1984 and 2009, getting progressively worse. But the 1980s culture in the first one is pretty priceless.
Ok, if you don't know about the Terminator series, the first movie (directed by James Cameron - the same guy that just put out Avatar) is described as such:
A cyborg (Schwarzenegger) is sent from the 21st century to present-day  Los Angeles to assassinate a seemingly innocent women [character Sarah Connor played by Linda Hamilton] whose child [character John Connor]will play an important part in the world from which the killer came.By today's standards the movie is bad and there's no way around that. For 1984, however, it was awesome. For example, a Variety review from that time says, "The Terminator is a blazing, cinematic comic book, full of virtuoso moviemaking, terrific momentum, solid performances and a compelling story." Twenty-six years later, it's not that impressive.
The next three movies are like this:
- Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991, also directed by James Cameron):
- Sarah Connor's kid, John Connor, is a teenager. Schwarzenegger returns from the future (still as a cyborg - model T-800) this time to protect John. A more advanced cyborg is also sent from the future (a shape-shifting metallic T-1000) to kill John.
- Christian Bale plays John Connor but not well. I start to think that Sam Worthington is hot. Sure, I saw him in Avatar but didn't really find him attractive. Can't put my finger on it but in this movie, he is hot. However, the movie itself is really, really bad. John Connor tries to save his dad (who is actually a teenager at the this time) - the one who impregnates his mom in the first Terminator. It's incredibly ridiculous.