Vital Signs

Creations Great and Small

Produced by Stuart Oken and Daniel A. Sherkow
Directed by James Lapine
Screenplay by Sarah Kernochan
Distributed by Hemdale Films

Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Produced and directed by James Cameron
Screenplay by James Cameron and William Wisher A Carolco Picture
Released by Tri-Star

Sumer was icumen in. The air conditioners were humming and the monstro-humungus blockbusters were opening. The biggest of the monsters, the Mount Pinatubo of the summer releases, was Terminator 2, the costs of which the producers denied were in excess of $100 million. Nobody argued, though, that this wasn't the most expensive film in history. Arnold Schwarzenegger's fee alone was considerably more than the $6 million that represented the total budget of the original Terminator. But as the slogan in the ads explained, in naked and indifferent menace, "It's Nothing Personal."

Art, though, wants to be personal, has to engage something in the souls of those of us in the audience who are not bankers and accountants. Indeed, it was in a search for something to go with my discussion of Terminator 2 that I went to see Impromptu, which wasn't a great movie in any sense, but was charming, intriguing, pretty to look at, fun to think about for a while—in other...

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