Episode 29, April 21, 2017: The Terminator

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We kick off Terminator month with the original. Chad gets nice and drugged up as we discuss the film, our lack of 80's trivia knowledge, and Cameron's potentially misogynistic portrayal of Sarah Connor.


Warning: Spoilers, adult humor, and harsh language ahead. Listen at your own risk.



Show Notes:


2DudeReview - Episode 29: The Terminator

I. Introduction
- Discuss site, Twitter, etc.

Ia. Our bet

II. First Impressions of The Terminator

III. Origin & tidbits

- James Cameron had a dream about a metallic torso weilding knives pulling himself from an explotion which launched that concept. His initial concept was a horror film.
- Cameron's agent didn't like the concept and was fired.
- Cameron was living in his car when he wrote the script.
- Cameron recruited his friend Bill Wisher to help with the script. Wisher wrote the Sarah Connor parts and the police department scenes. This was pre-Internet so they communicated through tapes and the phone.
- The original concept did have the liquid Terminator but it wasn't technologically feasible so he shelved the idea for Terminator 2.
- Gale Ann Hurd (who has done a ton of stuff including Walking Dead) bought the project for one dollar with the promise that she would produce and Cameron would be able to direct. Hurd would marry Cameron in 1985.
- The prodcution company wanted the Kyle Reese role to be Arnold Schwarzenegger but Cameron said they would need someone bigger to play the Terminator. They offered the part to Sylvester Stallone and Mel Gibson but both turned it down.
- The studio suggested O.J. Simpson but Cameron felt he was not believable as a killer (oops).
- Cameron ended up convinced that Shwartzenegger would be better off as the villain and Shwarzenegger was not thrilled with that role. When asked about his next project while filming Conan the Destroyer he said, "Oh some shit movie I'm doing, take a couple of weeks."
- Schwarzenegger worked with guns for a month to prepare for the role teaching himself to become ambidextrous.
- Suggestions were made for the role of Reese including Sting but Cameron chose Michael Biehn.
- Rosanna Arquette, Lea Thompson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and a slew of others were considered for the role of Sarah Connor. Cameron chose Linda Hamilton.
- Filming was delayed so Schwarzenegger could finish filming Connan the Destroyer. In the interim Cameron was contracted to script Rambo: First Blood Part II and the sequal to Alien.
- The studio wanted to include a robot dog for Reese but Cameron shot that down.
- The studio also wanted a romance between Reese and Connor which Cameron accepted.
- Hamilton broke her ankle which limited her during filming.
- The Terminator would know if he killed the correct Sarah Connor by checking for surgincal pins in her leg. Cameron originally had the pins inserted during a figure skating injury and the novelization had the leg hurt during the fight with the Terminator. Either way, SkyNet knew about them.
- Schwarzenegger tried to change the line, "I'll be back" because he couldn't pronounce "I'll" very well.
- The studio felt the movie would flop. It opened at number one.
- Because of the studio's assumption of the movie's failure, they wanted the film to end after the tanker blows up cutting out the robot factory and the epilogue. Cameron fought for the complete movie.
- Harlan Ellison believed the movie was based on his Outer Limits screenplay and threatened to sue. It was settled out of court. Cameron stated he would have gone to court to argue it wasn't but the studio decided to settle.

IV. Points to discuss

- Did Cameron write the character of Sarah Connor as mysognistic or was he looking towards the sequel?
     - The movie was intended to bomb so the role of Sarah Connor in Terminator 2, we can assume, was not a thought
     - A man was sent back in time to protect and impregnate her so she give birth to the future leader of the world (who also was a man)
     - No woman in the film has much of a career (Connor/server, roommate/none discussed, only other woman took her money to get into the disco)
     - Her roommate has no character except to be the sexual object for the boyfriend (which we see during the phone call)
- Why is Cameron so bad at directing sex scenes (Terminator sex scene, Titanic sex scene, etc.) and what is his obsession with hands?
- One psychoanalyst claimed that movies such as RoboCop and The Terminator that man requires something more symbolic than a biological body hence a machine.
- The potential dangers of AI and rebellion.

V. How rotten is The Terminator? The Terminator was given an % by Rotten Tomatoes. Do the following films fall higher or lower than %?

VI. Mention next film, plus reiterate the Web site and social media feeds

VII. Final Grade of A-F

Chad's Grade: A
Brian's Grade: A+
Karina's Grade: A+