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Old November 20 2010, 01:08 AM   #808
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

262. Summer with Monika [B+]
263. The Terminator [B-]

SUMMER WITH MONIKA: This film is technically terrific, but the Monika character can be, at times, so grating that it's hard to watch. In the end, the film is downright cynical, so don't be distracted by the summer mentioned in the title--by the end of the picture, summer has come to an end, literally and figuratively. I think I still prefer PERSONA and SMILES OF A SUMMER NIGHT, but this is a solid entry into Bergman's extensive filmography.

THE TERMINATOR: Cameron's debut feature (at least, his debut feature where he had any semblance of creative control) is an outstanding work of exploitation, whether the conditions of shooting (which were very tough) are considered or not. And yet, its grunginess at times gives way to cheapness (besides the stop-motion effects in the finale which don't quite hold up, the Future War sequences often feature over-sized Terminators that look like toys, as well as plenty of unconvincing rear-projection) and there are a pile of side characters who don't amount to anything (basically, any of the cops, including Paul Winfield and Lance Henriksen).

On the other hand, the dark, gritty camera work is excellent and the principal cast are all terrific in their roles. Michael Biehn manages to sell us on a character who fell in love with a photograph, for goodness' sake.
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