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9.4 24 10
Extended Edition July 06, 2012 8479
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Here's an example of an already-great film given a total new dimension with the addition of the deleted scenes. Usually such a move as this is hit or miss - sometimes it can be a revelation, sometimes you clearly know why the director deleted them in the first place. In this case, Cameron missed the moat by not including at least one pivotal scene that changes the entire context of the final act and the mood the film takes into its closing credits.

The first 2/3rds of the film doesn't benefit too much from the additional scenes - most of it is with the two cops. None of it is "in the way", or interferes with pacing, it's just "there". If it was included in the original we'd take it for granted. Most of these scenes are less than a minute long and inconsequential. The dying Traxler giving it up for Reese is interesting - probably the most interesting moment of the first part of the film.

There are 2 or 3 big additions that, for me, make this edit my all-time go-to for this film. A quick breakdown of the good stuff in order of importance:

3) The "tickle" - if for no other reason than to see Reese further "loosen up" and to establish just that much more rapport between Sarah and Kyle.

2) The Cyberdyne revelation with the guys who find the chip. More on this w/ #1

1) There are a number of additions at the motel scene that forever change the arc of the story. First off, mom at the cabin has some context, as Sarah is established to getting her mom to go there before the 2nd phone call in the motel. Secondly, there's the big moment (which also serves to illustrate Hamilton & Biehn's actng chops) where Reese and Sarah find themselves at each other's throats, and Reese has a sort of breakdown when confronted with the beauty of the natural world. This is a totally different, and needed, dimension for the character, establishing him as vulnerable, after all, but locked into a life of strict military adherence. There is a beautiful dynamic here in the scene where Reese holds a flower and can't bear its fragility (believe it when you see it!); there is now more context for Sarah's eventual falling for Reese in the motel.

More importantly, Sarah suggests to Reese er...basically the entire plot of T2! Let's blow up Cyberdyne! Now we know why they go and get their mothballs to make the pipe bombs. Beforehand we took it for granted they were going to use the bombs against Arnie, but now it makes a LOT more sense. In retrospect it seems weird without the Cyberdyne arc. That moment in the truck when Sarah shows Reese the bomb and his eyes dart around ("Oh yeah, the bombs! Let's use these!") makes so much more sense now than if their plan was to use them in the first place.

It also makes sense that Cyberdyne was an established, somewhat creepy and ethically shaky business venture which got lucky with the finding of the CPU, as opposed to the idea that Cyberdyne as an IDEA was established by that CPU. They were on their way there to blow the thing up, so it makes sense the final battle is fought in the very lab they were going for.

In the end, Sarah has failed the mission. What's interesting now, as she drives off to the desert, is wondering that knowing now the destiny of the world is DUE TO HER FAILURE and, more telling, getting the terminator into Cyberdyne in the first place. She, in essence, is indirectly responsible for the nuclear war! Does she make this connection? Is she fleeing from her own conscience as well as from the mainland? These are fascinating questions the original, minus these scenes, left us curious about.

So, definitely check this one out. The scenes that are deleted are easy to pick out due to audio problems, but those aren't *too* distracting. Still, given their lack of remastering as opposed to how the rest of the (updated) soundtrack sounds, it sometimes pulls us out of the action when we stop to think, "oh yeah, deleted scene". Maybe after repeated viewings this will start to all blend in. I've seen this edit twice now, and consider it a total treasure. The Terminator was the only fully-realized film Cameron ever did, in my opinion, but seeing how much better it could have been with the Cyberdyne arc makes me wonder just how talented the "king of the world" really is. He should have absolutely left all that in.

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