Monday, June 8, 2009

Soundtracks - The Terminator (1984) / The Terminator 2 (1991)

This theme, in my opinion, is one of the best sci-fi themes that have been written. Composer Brad Fiedel compliments this movies technological overtone with his electronic synthesized score, which signatures the clanking metal of the Terminator itself. It gives the audience a sense of danger and horror and forebodes an unknown menace.  It also creates the sensation and essence of science fiction, machinery and a post apocalyptic atmosphere. Overall, compared to the “Terminator 2” theme, this score is a lot more ominous and threatening.

When “Terminator 2” came out, it redefined the entire theme from the original. What we got was an orchestral theme played in D minor, which creates a very desperate, mournful and melancholy tone. It captures the sense of destiny and loss, which is exactly what the movie is – their destiny is to destroy Skynet and save the world from total destruction, yet John Connor looses the Terminator, his only father figure. It overwhelms the audience with an array of emotions; both fear and hopeful at the same time. Then, ultimately at the end, rather then just fading out, it suddenly stops with a loud metallic sound… which in the end is very dramatic.

What we can also compare is the relationship between the theme and the Terminator. The first theme was stiff, electronic and very almost monotone much like the first Terminator; he was just an emotionless mindless killing machine. When “Judgment Day” was written, the score was more orchestrated and it had personality, it changed and sounded less computerized like the T-1000; he changed from just a machine to something more and he had some understanding of human emotions and in some way, he was a lot more human. 


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