Hello, Sarah Marshall. Hello, Alex. What are you going to talk about today? We're going to talk about Terminator two Judgment Day.
What is why your dad's about why our dads is about trying to understand our relationships with our dads and our culture, his relationship with what dads are by watching lots of movies and talking to our friends.
Is there anything special by way of guests? And this episode is We have my You're Wrong about co-host Michael Hobbs guesting on this episode. That's really cool.
Why did Terminator two come up is what we should talk about with Michael?
Well, it was his suggestion, but it's a movie that we all independently love and I think have a strong emotional connection to.
Do you think people know that they have strong emotional connections to Terminator two or that they just love it?
I think people in America have an amazingly hard time knowing what is and is not an emotion. So I don't know. But to me, it's a highly emotional movie. It's like land before time in terms of like having this lovely, steady parental figure who then has to be killed by lava and about just losing it and, you know, crying like the little boy that you are who's losing your robot daddy you only had for a few days. Like, I don't know.
I think that there are a lot of movies that do things that the people who love them never mention as a reason why they love them, but at least can't conflict with their love of it too much. And to me, another example of this is Scarface, which is a movie about being murdered in your own home. Inevitably, yes.
About the death drive of capitalist masculinity.
A lot of people might love Terminator two and they might think that it's a great action movie, like an elevated great action movie, which it is.
It's a great action movie, would no doubt. But I think they might also have no idea that the reason it is great is it makes them feel feelings.
Oh, yeah, I'm sure. And a lot of movies, if you ask what's the most memorable part you like, it's the part with the chase, with the motorcycle and the scooter and the samurai, which is like what you think of in terms of images, but it's actually in your heart too.
And the James Cameron made me feel bad feelings while he was addressing his own dad issues, right?
Yeah. And I think that is what makes James Cameron, James Cameron, that he has this wonderful technical obsession and ability and that as far as you know. Titanic, his masterwork, was concerned part of the appeal for him was getting to reconstruct the Titanic and then sink it and see what it had looked like and just be this engineer making a movie. But that he also was like and it's about love, you know, he just has that ability to connect our love of the technical, the dad viewer, his love of the technical and the vehicles with just very.
Easy to understand and connect with stories about powerful love between people.
Hmm. You know, we talk about how overt some of the themes are in the movie because they're explained to us by the protagonist in voiceovers. Even as unsubtle as it is, it's still so beautifully packaged and so beautifully wrapped and there's such a nice series of bows on it that a lot of folks might have no idea that it's there.
Like my dad would have would have watched this movie and had no idea that it was there, but it would have gone in like when you have to give your dog medication.
Exactly. You just just smear it in peanut butter. We should remind people that we have a patriot and there are bonus episodes. And this week they'll be a bonus episode with you and ICRA talking about things and answering questions from people. Listen to the show and there'll be some odds and ends that didn't quite make it into this episode because there are a lot of asides.
I like asides. You know, it's like I'm like Sally and when Harry Met Sally, you know, I just want everything on the side.
All right, let's watch Terminator two. Watching John with the machine, it was suddenly so clear. The Terminator would never stop. It would never leave him and it would never hurt him, never shout at him or get drunk and hit him or say it was too busy to spend time with him.
It would always be there and it would die to protect him. Of all the would be fathers who came and went over the years, this thing, this machine was the only one who measured up in an insane world, it was the same as Joyce, Joyce, Joyce, Sassiness, Joyce.
Welcome to my two dads. Oh, God. Although there's an Internet rumor that Alex is actually a voice that I'm doing. Yeah, I plan to nurture this conspiracy theory as much as possible for it.
Ideally, this will break it, but who knows? No, there's also a lot of people who, Alex, are convinced that I'm the one who tweets from the way our dads account. And you quite a few times have been like, no, it's me, Alex. And in the bio, it's like Alex is tweeting. And all these people are like, Sarah's having a conversation with herself. And I'm like, I'm not. But I feel like people really like picturing that.
And that's fine, too, in the mighty Dads thing.
Am I Paul Reiser or is it Michael?
I don't remember the other dad who's the other dad had the curly hair and really bad facial hair, but was super fun and he had a tiny earring.
I have no idea. I guess you remember Paul Reiser. Mike, did you ever watch this show? Yeah.
As with most of Sarah's references, I just try to laugh and move along. OK, that's all I got.
It was a show where, like a girl, this is a show from the eighties where a lovely, like 12 year old girl was court ordered to live with two men who could be her dad. Nobody knew, OK?
They both slept with her mom within the same week, we assume, right? Oh, just like me and Alex. Yes, it is true. Yes, exactly. Yeah. You and me, we both sat with the same ladies.
I had this weird thing once in high school with my mom where I had this. I made this random joke about like Warren Beatty being my real dad just because I thought it would be random and funny. But then it made her so uncomfortable that I became convinced that I was right.
And I was like, is Warren Beatty my dick? Do you remember in that show, Sarah, how the judge was basically Fran Lebowitz?
No. What was it like a feminist statement making jokes? No, it was like a judge character actress who just reminds of Fran Lebowitz.
Huh? That's great. Yeah. You should revisit that show. Yes. We should all watch it next time. But the point is that I do think that that comparison is in some way true because we were two of the most consistently affirming presences in my life. Each of you individually, which we have determined is one of the qualities of a good dad, which is what we are going to discuss and the capacity of Terminator two. Oh, running around.
You didn't think I could do it. We need like a little transition music, like, oh, she did it.
We got there just a little Casio keyboard. Triumphant sound Michael, who are you?
I'm Michael Hobbs. I'm a reporter for Huff Post. And I co-host a podcast called You're Wrong About with some strange women I met on the Internet.
I heard how soft kiss you have a wonderful new podcast, Michael. Oh, yeah. I'm forgetting about this because it just launched this week, so I don't even know I don't even know what I'm supposed to promote anymore. And I also have a new podcast called Maintenance Phase with another extremely cool lady that I met from the Internet. So go check that out.
I've learned so much from this podcast. Just as a listener, I think it's great. But the biggest thing that I've learned is how to spell maintenance without looking it up.
Oh, that's great. You should have another podcast called Mischievous Something because no one can ever smell this bureau judgement.
It really is an exceptional podcast. I'm glad you guys are doing it. I love it.
Thank you. So you're wrong about family is expanding every week. It's like you're wrong about on Mondays maintenance phase on Tuesdays. And are you guys Wednesdays or Thursdays? We're Wednesdays. Wednesdays, look at this.
And then we do our special episodes on Thursdays. We do our bonus episodes on Thursday about yeah.
See, we need we need to expand the family. We need we need all seven days covered. This should be the goal. Absolutely.
I don't think we need weekends. I think people need a break from us.
I disagree. Seven days a week. Should should we talk about Terminator two now?
I'm like bursting with Terminator.
Two thoughts. Why are we talking about Terminator two? I picked this movie because it's the ultimate 90s dad movie and this is me and Sarah's thing that we love together. The Nineties and you guys love adds together. And I thought this would be a fun crossover.
Someone on Twitter describe this movie as the queerest movie they've ever seen because it's about two Butches raising their son together.
No, I love that alone.
Sarah, what's your history with this movie? I had only seen this once before. I watched this with our mutual friend Michael Ista. So this is the first time I've come back to it since then, which is really nice because it's still quite fresh. Yeah, I had forgotten how explicitly Dad centric this movie is to the point where there's literally a voiceover. Yes, we're Sarah Connor is like as I watched my son playing with this robot, that was a reprogramme version of the robot that had tried to murder me while I was pregnant and had indeed killed his own human father.
I was like, well, he's the best dad that my son is ever going to have. So this is good every.
Someone suggest we watch that movie, they quote exactly that light that does the work, huh? It is kind of amazing. It's pretty, I don't know, kind of normal action movie stuff. And then all of a sudden there's this random voiceover out of nowhere that's like these are the themes of the movie. Like this is what you're supposed to be thinking as you're watching this slow motion, high fighting scene.
Yeah, James Cameron's not great at subtlety with regard to view.
I think that James Cameron is great at being unsubtle and that that's a different thing from being bad at subtle because he doesn't think he's subtle.
Yes, that's true. But it's subtle and unsubtle or two different things. Yeah.
There's never any sort of explanation for the voiceover. It's in the beginning and then we go like an hour without it and then we get like a couple sentences of dad's stuff and then we go like another half an hour. And she's like, Miles Dyson is sad. And then we get voiceover at the end. And it's not like she's writing in a diary. There's no framing device in which it would make sense that there's a voiceover. It's just like Sarah is going to tell us, like the themes of the movie now.
And sort of that's like the conceit that we're all just supposed to accept.
Women tell us themes. Yes, that's one of their jobs.
The movie, which I think is great when I think about what we're doing with the show, which is talking about complicated dad stuff by using popular movies, people like you and you have a woman named Sarah who tells us about the themes.
Exactly. I wish we had an opportunity to also recut movies where we just explained to people to be involved in the business.
Know how wonderful. If you could buy the Linda Hamilton voice overpack, like on Cameo, which maybe she would be down for, who knows? And you could get her to like watch Cabin in the Woods and then got her to do voiceover about the themes. So I guess like middle of cabin in the woods, she's like, this is the theme credit of this movie.
And Alex, didn't you say this was your favorite movie for like ten years?
Oh, God, yeah. This was my favorite movie until it was replaced with cinema.
Yeah. Fucking cinema, man.
This was my favorite movie from like whatever nine, eight or nine to 15 or 16, like John Connor age. Yeah.
I was thinking a lot about about this movie and my relationship to it and in particular, like feeling like I wanted everyone to love this movie because I loved the movie. But I also recognize how annoying Edward Furlong is as John Connor.
What this is the first time hearing this. No, no, please. So let me let me clarify this. I didn't think this now, but I remember as a kid thinking he was annoying and being worried other people would find him annoying and thus find me annoying.
Oh, OK. So no, OK, you know what I think about John Connor? John Connor in this movie played by Edward Furlong looks exactly like Judith Butler and also kind of behaves like Judith Butler. Oh, everyone is androgynous in this movie.
I mean, Arnold Schwarzenegger is not androgynous, but like everyone, everyone's gender is kind of androgynous when packaged.
But Arnold Schwarzenegger is a robot, so he has a different relationship to gender. Fundamentally, I was wondering as he walked into this biker bar in the opening, actually, does the Terminator have a penis? Yes. Does he have genitalia? So we do know that. OK, how do we know that? Because he has to blend in. Well, they have to pass. OK, yeah.
So they're like, if you're naked, you don't want to look like a Ken doll because then people will know that there's something amiss. OK, yeah. Yeah.
The Terminator check would be real easy at that point. That's a very good point.
And they say in the first movie that like the new Terminator living tissue organism, whatever, they have bad breath and they sweat and they pant when they run. And there's all kinds of sort of things that make them human upclose. And so I don't think that they would overlook a detail that large. I have been thinking about this all week, so I'm glad you brought it up.
What I like about the third movie is they even increase the realism about the Terminators because of their weight. Like Terminators are like 3000 pounds. They're made of metal.
And so, like there's like an independent like how can they drive in cars on trampolines? Like, that's so intense. There could have been a lot more hijinx in this movie, to be honest. Yes. That could be a whole other spin off.
But yeah, I mean, John Connor bonds with this robot and immediately starts teaching him to be more human. And it's like, well, I love you. You're my you're my father figure.
And it's clear that, like, Sarah's awkward voiceover is in recognition of that emotional reality, which I think is one of the things that makes it like fun, like ultimately emotionally not awkward for me. And so, you know, John Connor is like, well, the thing that is my dad is determined by if it behaves in a dad leeway to me and not so much on whether it's human on this go round.
I was thinking that one of the interesting sort of dad, you know, there's like the. The fantasy element of this, like a boy and his robot watching it as a teenage boy, you're like, oh my God, to be amazing, to have your own Terminator like, that's part of the wish fulfillment thing. But there's also a wish fulfillment thing of like having a father who's capable of learning and who's capable of growing up and who wants to and who's programmed to want to.
What I just couldn't get over this this time around was the idea that so many people have a relationship with their father that is really characterized by the failure of growth of you coming to terms with the fact that your father will never change, your dad will never be any different. You have to come to this revelation over and over again. And here we have a dad who, you know, is interested, like, you know, why do you cry?
And he wants to become more human and he's kind of becoming more the image of his son. And I feel like that's kind of part of the wish fulfillment fantasy for a teenage boy, too.
Yeah, absolutely. Not only to have a dad that will beat the shit out of two punks who very nicely just come over to try to help you out.
Totally. My dad can beat up your dad. Yes.
That part is such a weird switcheroo, too, because he's yelling in the parking lot and these two bruisers come over. He's six the Terminator on him, which is great. But yeah, you're you're right. This idea that this guy not just listens but is like fully interested. This guy is interested in you explaining Los Angeles lingo of the early 90s. And it's like earnestly like, I need to know this.
And you're Bart Simpson isms and he's kind of clunky at it, too.
I thought it was great that, like, the last thing he does in this movie is like a really bad dad joke. The thumbs up as he goes into the lava. You're like, all right, Dad, let's just let's everybody relax. Like, that's a little corny to add, but it's sort of perfect. And they're like, yes, he's turned into a dad and then he's making super corny jokes now.
I think this is the first movie that I watched where I understood grief, yeah. That I fully identified to the grieving character. And that being John, when at the end, I mean, I feel like we're not ruining anything for anyone. This movie has been around for 30 years. But in the end, when when the Terminator has to end himself. Yes. The murderer himself in front of his son, I can remember the tone and pitch of John's pleas, like they were like inside of me.
And I think that this is the first movie where I was like, oh, like, I'm going to lose people that are close to me.
Hmm. This is like a weirdly deep movie. It's not really the James Cameron loves him. Some themes. I wanted to talk about action and I wanted to talk about Gore as like things in movies that are maligned as just stupid and pointless, but which I think can be good, can be well executed or poorly executed. And I feel like the action scenes in this movie appeal to a part of me that I think is like a sincere and lovely part of humans that just like feels joy at the concept of like, oh, my goodness, that Selma is going to leap into that aqueduct.
Like, I've never seen that before. Like, I want to see that I do like what will happen. What is it like?
Because so much of this movie is done with practical effects, like they're actually flying a helicopter under an actual bridge, like this is real. They did it.
The special effects, everything in this movie has aged perfectly like nothing. The only thing that this movie is the make and model of the cars that they drive by that you're like, oh, this is the 90s and the fucking haircut on that red headed kid.
Yeah, you're like, oh, OK. This was mullet time.
That kid looks on Bobby Budnick from a salute. Your shorts on Nickelodeon. There's a couple of mullets in this movie. There's also one of the people who work at the place where Sarah Connor is imprisoned or she's got a just righteous mullet.
Oh, my God. Yeah. This is the time of the rattail to. Oh, yeah. Which I definitely had. I wouldn't say that redheaded kid. Oh, absolutely. Wow. Right. I thought rat tails were very cool.
I did too for like the six months that I had one. Oh, there's also a Confederate flag on the bar when they go in there.
Yeah. Oh yeah. They're rereleasing this movie, you know, and they're like digital like recently. They're doing this digital thing where they're going to put like Arnold's face on the like, really obvious stuntmen when he's doing the motorcycle stunts. I wasn't able to find this, but I do want to know if they're going to digitally remove the Confederate flag from the bar scene.
I don't see why not, because I feel like it makes it seem more justified when Arnold stabs all those guys in like two minutes. Yeah.
So this is another tidbit from my childhood relationship with this movie is this was one of the few, I think one of the few action movies or popular movies that came out that didn't have a licensed soundtrack, didn't like a soundtrack that was like Guns N Roses, like whatever else in there. And it only has four popular songs, two of which are Dwight Yoakam songs.
Oh, no, I did not notice that at all.
And then also there's very few times that the age difference between my wife and I come out. But when we were watching it last night and Bad to the bone came on and she's like, she's like, this is the song that plays when the girls are playing poker in the Parent Trap.
Oh, yeah. You know what else it is, Alex? It's the song The Soniat in her exhibition Skate To at the 1991 World Championships.
And did she really? Oh yeah. It was huge because it was it was in this and it was also in Problem Child. So that's three huge plays. Oh yeah.
Problem child. It's just it's a good music cue song because it's like Linda Hamilton. It's like here's the theme of this scene.
I know. I hate it. I hate it. It's so clunky. When it came on I was like, oh, I forgot about this. Oh, it's so obvious.
But the point of bringing that up is I bought I like with confidence in order to get the Guns N Roses song, I bought the soundtrack, which is just the score of the movie, all the iterations of the score, the movie. And I listen to the shit out of the score.
So, yeah, James Cameron knows how to do a score. Man last tidbit of the ephemera of this movie in my my young life is I had a Zen when I was fifteen, which is how I started writing for anybody in our front was the Terminator two funds.
Oh yeah. That's a good fun classic.
Thought I would love to talk for a second about whether you think about James Cameron when you watch this or sort of the themes of his movies and this because this is the movie that he made after Aliens. Aliens is a fun ensemble movie where everybody dies. Is that a fair description?
Yeah, and themes. It's motherhood and motherhood. Yeah. There's a ton of motherhood in there. And I feel like I'm interested in James Cameron as a director who has some themes. And one of them also is that love will save you. And so, Mike, I was reflecting actually this morning that like the last significant thing I published before you and I started working together was a piece on Titanic. We've talked about James Cameron making. Tannic. Yeah, look at.
Thank you. And to me, this interesting concept of him having made this movie Titanic, which is clearly an action movie and is also a lot of other kinds of movies, but is remembered is like a tween movie, but clearly was a movie that like everybody saw because it was the number one movie in America for four months, which you do not get there based on. Tweens, like tweens do not have that kind of money. Like how much do you think babysitting pays?
It is not enough. I feel like Terminator two isn't maligned the way Titanic is, because Titanic is some of James Cameron's finest work as a director and as a director of action sequences and like stuff blowing up and falling apart, people dying in intense ways, all of which are hallmarks of his other films. But like unfortunately, men don't sit around watching Titanic for some reason.
I don't think you are men and a lot of people who, like would legitimately like it think that they wouldn't like it because it's been maligned. But also there is the fact that it's like it's very focused on a love plot and it's also really, really deathy. Like there's like hundreds of deaths and you really linger on it and you remember them. But I feel like this movie is I can feel the structure of Titanic. Kind of emerging from this and being rearranged from this because it is like a very long and yet somehow captivating sequence of events where like peoples bonds with each other derive a lot of action.
And I think that that's what James Cameron's really good at with regard to Terminator Aliens, Terminator two, Titanic, for sure. I did not care about or see Avatar.
Interestingly, I have not seen Avatar and I have no interest in seeing Avatar. It just seems like whatever strength is exhausting.
And in India, this is a little clunky in this arena. But James Cameron is exceptionally good at making you care about the people who drive the action, which I don't think people are very good at. Generally in action movies, it's hard.
I don't know if this is deliberate on his part, but I think that one of the things that characterises his movies is really good storytelling mechanics watching like Terminator three, for example, which I also did this week. And it's just on every level a worse version of Terminator two while doing nothing remotely new a lot of times. And this happens in horror movies, too, that you're like, why is this character walking up the stairs when there's blood pouring down it?
Like, why is this character doing this completely absurd thing? And because you're not really convinced of why anything on screen is happening at this fundamental level, it sort of pulls you away from it. You're like, well, all these people are being stupid, like I'm not going to be invested in them. But in every James Cameron movie, like Rose for Rose to jump from the lifeboat back onto the Titanic, makes no sense. But we've spent so much time with that character at that point.
We've gotten to know her. We know her personality, that it's like, yes, she would absolutely do this. We are with her when she makes this completely idiotic decision.
The rose I know would do. Yes, the rose I know. And also John Connor going and rescuing his mother from the mental institution makes no sense like the Terminator tells him, like we're probably going to die if we do this. And he's like, nope, we have to do this. And we're with it because we we know enough about this character. James Cameron has given us enough information that we are with John Connor. When he does that, we are with like we get emotionally why he has to go do this completely stupid thing and we get why Sarah Connor wants to go kill Miles Dyson, which also is a very high risk and very stupid thing to do.
But we know these characters enough. And you're like, yep, like that is what Sarah Connor would do. This is this is the defining thing of her life.
And by this time, the the the first go when the Terminator is like, we shouldn't go save your mother. Basically, this is messy. This is a bad idea. But they go anyway and they do it. And by the time that he realizes that Sarah Connor is going to go and kill Miles Davis and he has grown to understand humans enough to be like this might be a good idea and I love that. So why why does that stick out for you?
I think because it happens relatively rarely. And I think that I feel like people know horror by bad horror tropes and they also know action by bad action tropes and just the trope of like the unnecessary car chase or like the car chase cobbled together out of cliches. And, you know, I really love the like moped motorcycle semi chase in this movie a lot me to write and like.
And what's what is it that's great about that scene? Because we've all seen like 800 chase scenes in our lives. And like most of them, you forget immediately and you kind of enjoy them at the time because there's something exciting happening. But then if someone asked you what happened a day later, you'd be like, oh, why is this memorable?
I think what stands out to me about why that's so interesting is that the the body of what is happening represents the people so well. Right. So you have this kid on a moped. You have a child you can identify with sort of one of the three people that are involved. You have a child. And that was me. And I was like, if I run a moped, I'd be scared shitless. You have the brute force of TI one thousand and driving driving the semi and not giving a fuck at all and destroying everything in his way.
And then you have your cool daddy who's wearing a leather jacket and operating a shotgun with one hand to protect you, who comes in sort of outmaneuvers the situation and saves you like in the French Connection which is great and sets the standards for these kinds of races.
It's an equal match between two people. Right. But like the idea that you have these three personalities manifesting in this chase is glorious.
Yeah, I think a big thing that Cameron is also really good at is just genuine suspense, which I think has sort of over time morphed into this concept of action like action sequences in movies. But every single action sequence in this movie, they are outmatched. He's on a little tiny motorbike and there's a giant semi. They can go faster than him that's chasing him. They are up against this liquid metal creature that is totally impervious to everything at every point, like they could really die.
And I remember I forget who I'm stealing this from, but I remember somebody talking about how, you know, movies like Man of Steel or these other like Marvel movies where it's just like a bunch of strong people hitting each other. It's not clear. You sort of will does that hurt or are they, like, damaged by this or like you have nothing to really connect to, whereas if you're watching a movie and a character slams their hand in a car or you're going to involuntarily be like that because that's something that you can relate to.
And that to me is like the difference in action and suspense, that in suspense you can see yourself, you can put yourself on a motorbike and you're like, there's a pretty good chance I'm going to fucking die.
This guy. This guy is going faster than me. This guy is smarter than me. He's more powerful than me. And like in every action sequence in this movie, the bad guys could win. That, to me is why this works so well.
There's clear stakes and they illustrate the stakes very well, too, in that, like when Sarah gets stabbed, we see her get sewn up, which I think is really is an interesting choice because usually, like in a fight, someone in a in a modern action movie takes the damage that would liquefy your skull and has like a black eye in this and this. People bleed and they have to be sewn up. And it's it's it's messy.
And you just know they didn't have any local anesthesia on them at the time.
So, Sarah, we talked about this setup of why this is a dead movie down to Sarah Connor's narration, explaining she basically says, like, this thing will be loyal till the end, fight for the kid, listen to the kid and not hit the kid and not get drunk.
It's a dad movie for sure. But as a result, it's definitely very much a mob movie. I mean, it's Sarah Connor and the kid. And it has this interesting thing that happens that John has to go through at 10 or 11 or whatever, that I went through it like thirty two, which is realizing your mom was right.
Hmm. Oh, yeah.
He's written off his mom and says that she's crazy and she's shitty and batshit or whatever for all the things that she believes and then essentially says out loud to Arnold, he says that it's fucking with him, that he can't believe that this all is a real thing and that his mom was right. That's such an interesting reveal because it's poor. You know, this poor woman lives absolutely alone in not a delusion, but in her take on what's going to happen to the world, her clarity, you know, she's vindicated in a way that's not super fun because she has to go through all this action and drama again.
I feel like there's not a lot of movies in which, like Mom gets validated.
And also I was watching this and it was the part where, you know, and the final sequence, invading the factory with the chips and everything.
I don't know if it's a factory, the extremely convenient metal smelting factory that they happened to stumble upon before that.
When they go to the take out the like the parts and then they go to the steel mill, that's like next door or whatever.
So when they're beginning this final action sequence, I was just noticing, you know, that John Connor is like, you know, cameraman, mom, my mom and I was like, wow, there's really a dearth of movies with mother and child action sequences, isn't there?
Yeah, not that there's a lot of parent and child action sequences either, but I was like, this is great. I would like to see more of this. And like aliens is like working towards that because we have ripply and this little girl knew who she sort of becomes a surrogate parent figure for the period of this movie. But like, they don't have a pre-existing relationship. And just this concept of actually exploring parenthood in an action movie I think is really, you know, I mean that.
I love that and I also love that they have they have this vehicular chase scene and then pretty soon after follow it with Sarah Connor trying to escape from the mental institution where she has been basically incarcerated. And it's like Sarah on foot versus all of these security guards. And she is outgunned as her son has just been.
And so and I love that, you know, the movie bothers to be like this is exciting, too. You're excited. Watch this. You're excited about this woman. She is a character and we are not forgetting about her.
I also think there's something interesting in that she acts pretty dead ish, right.
That after they rescue her, they risk their lives to rescue her from the mental institution where she absolutely would have been killed by the 10000 in the car. She's like, you never should have risked your life for me. And she's kind of like a dick to him until they get to Miles Dyson's house.
Yes. And then that's why he cries. And that's why the Terminator first sees him crying. That's why he speaks through his bangs for the first half of the movie.
Oh, my God, the fucking bangs in this love.
And on that theme, can we talk about James Cameron? Androgynous, masculine women. Yes.
And androgynous, beautiful youths also with that haircut. Jack Dawson. Yes.
Oh, absolutely. With that specific haircut. Yeah. John Connor is pregame, Jack.
This is why every child watching Terminator two can identify with John Connor. I hope until someone pointed it out on Twitter.
I didn't realize that the foster mother in this movie is Vásquez from Aliens. I know.
Me neither do I think has a broad company now. And she's in Titanic. And who is she? Irish mother.
Irish mother. She's the land of Tirman. All the mom. Yeah, she was a better mom.
And that than in this everything pre avatar, there is a androgenous strong potential lead. Quassey Daddy. Mom.
That's why I don't want to see Avatar. Where's where's that for me.
Isn't the lead also like a nine foot lady? I mean, I don't know. It's there's some guy who's a space marine and there's a bunch of digitized.
They're not Native Americans, but they are clearly and I don't know if you have a lot to say about Avatar listeners, make sure to at all of us all the time. Oh, my God.
I would like someone to hard sell me on Avatar. There are people out there who are passionate about Avatar and they can tell me how they feel about it. But yes, no, that's a consistent theme. And like and, you know, I feel like we can see Terminator as his first movie and like his also the James Cameron heroine and original form, because we start off with Sarah Connor as this is like every average waitress struggling through. And, you know, he he also loves as a director to like show us a character who starts off knowing basically nothing that as a fast learner and can be resourceful and figure things out, which I love.
I love to see that all of his movies are about some progression of becoming butch. That's true with the Sarah Connor one from the first one in particular with Rose the lead in the abyss. It kind of is always a bit of a hard attack.
What do you guys make of the transformation of Sarah Connor between the two movies?
Trauma gives you great muscles.
I mean, I don't know what he intends, but there's so much imagery in Terminator two of this woman seeing her past feminine self getting burned to death, like literally burned to death. And so the only way that she can survive the way the world is and the way humans are to each other in this whole movie is a comment on how humans just can't fucking get their shit together and be cool to each other.
The only way she can survive it is to be what she has become. And even that's not great. Like even that message.
It is, I guess, somewhat of a metaphor for how parents expectations of their children turn them into bad parents, because it sounds like he spent his entire childhood being told you're going to be this great military leader.
And he's like, am I though? Like, I'm 12. I don't really know how to process any of this. And my mom might be cuckoo bananas and she's dating these like weird dudes. And she's constantly inculcating him with these, like, weird ideas and this dark shit about the future.
And it seems like I mean, she seems like a pretty bad mom, honestly, like borderline abusive. And she's like taking him around like South America and all this stuff. And he just doesn't have a normal childhood. I mean, there's something kind of interesting in that in first of all, this is probably the epilogue to every action movie we've ever seen. Like all of the all of the participants are like deeply traumatized and fucked up for the rest of their lives and deemed crazy.
And also just that, like you wanting your child or envisioning this particular future for your child can make things really unpleasant for them.
We also don't know that. All of that shit that she does to John is necessary for him to become a future resistance leader like in Terminator one world, and I know it's stupid to even get into time travel paradox stuff, but in Terminator one, when John Connor was just the son of a waitress and so he was going to become the resistance leader, whether or not she was hanging out with, you know, that whatever, like fellow gorilla who she goes in Green Berets.
We're like, wait, were they involved in, like, illegal arms smuggling, like with CIA proxies and stuff like that?
It was like, is that guy a leftist? Like, who is she hanging out? Right. Are they working for all north?
Michael, why did you as a kid relate to this, like what was it about this movie that made it your favorite for so long?
I mean, I was like the age of John. So all of this stuff about like a boy and his robot and sort of feeling like you're part of this much bigger story. I mean, this was just like tailor made to appeal to me. I don't think actually any of, like, the dad stuff resonated with me. But I did have, like, a major crush on the TI one thousand.
Oh, yeah. He's like one of my first celebrity crushes because he is hot as breakfast and then he looks so good.
Oh my God.
He's just like like he is really hot but in a scary way, like in a way that is coherent with him being a molten metal robot.
Oh yeah. I mean, he's like a total dick. He's like a skinny little dick, which is like everyone I've ever dated. I like the clenched jaw. Like, do you think that he got that he needed dental work after he got his hands fully clenched? There's just something. I mean, I also find it interesting that this movie has a total battle of the dads element because he's being chased by, like, the skinny, angry cop and the biker.
Right, right. Right, right. It has. I mean, that that sounds like the village people. I don't think they would let a skinny, angry cop. And though, I mean, I hope.
And his mother. Right. Like it's like a three way through for this kid's affection.
And I also love that. Like that he one thousand maybe this is strategic. Probably it is. But I love that he chooses to merge initially with a cop and now he can move freely around society, just like having car chases and killing people.
He becomes LAPD, which wasn't a commentary on anything. Yeah, not in nineteen ninety one.
It's like machines, machines will kill you and they'll do it by dressing up like a cop.
If only Sarah Connor had mentioned that theme, she just feel like as I watch the twenty one thousand I reflected on police brutality.
For those of you in the back row who can't, you know, hear the dialogue over the Twizzlers, it's the reason, obviously, also why all of us are terrified of that company that releases cute killer robot dog videos all the time.
Oh, Boston Dynamics or whatever. Yeah, those are going to be cops someday and they'll be 1000. As far as cautionary tales go, this movie really gets under your skin when you pay attention to it.
These movies, I think actually were probably overall good for society and that they made us all very wary of technology and the utopian future that technology would bring us. I mean, people still bring up Skynet.
People say Skynet in this totally household word way and people know what you mean. Even if they haven't seen a Terminator movie, they know what Skynet signifies, which is really amazing.
Yes, Terminator two is more influential than 2001, A Space Odyssey as like twenty first century sci fi ghost.
No one knows what that movie is about.
Monkeys, as far as I know, acid is James Cameron is dead at this time.
I think so.
I looked up actually last night because I wanted to know, like, is he working through some, like, actual dad stuff? So his dad is an engineer, which explains some of his sort of weird technical engineering prowess, stuff like the way his brain works.
Like he's obsessed with this stuff. Also, I found out that his dad after aliens came out. Right. And it's just like massive worldwide success and critical success and everything is going well.
A friend of his dad asked his dad, you know, have you told him that you're proud of him? You know, have you have you told him, like have you congratulated him on this great success? And apparently his dad said he's got enough. Congratulations. He doesn't need it for me.
Oh, no, no, no, no.
And it's just like, oh, it's that dad. Like you had that dad. So he needed a robot. He needed a robot dad. Oh. What if you could get a robot dad for all these traumatized men who just need someone to be like us. I love you, baby.
Taking everything you just said about Cameron's dad into context, what do you think he's saying about dads here?
Well, I mean, I do think that part of it I mean, everything we do is in some way working through our familial issues. But some of the things in his movie about the sort of motherhood and seeing mothers as these three dimensional characters would make sense if he was much closer to his mom growing up and he has this distant father figure. And then we have in this movie this fantasy of a sort of a gentle father who does nothing but be devoted to his son.
I see why James Cameron would find that image completely appealing. Mm hmm. If that's the kind of father that he had.
And also what's great about the Terminator is that he can affirm you in the way that you want to be affirmed. You're like, hey, Terminator. Like, I would like it if you send us Televista Baby. And he does it and he's like endearingly bad at it because he's a robot. But it's like very charming for that reason. And he's, like, programmed to care about your needs, which is like interesting to note that that is what.
Distinguishes him from his flesh counterparts. The fact that he's an engineer puts into context the line or the exchange that John and Arnold have about what he wants and can and can't do. And one of the things to you, 1000 can't do is replicate complicated machinery. Right. Complex moving parts.
My favorite thing, about 1000 is that. So he can't do that, but he can make his hands until, like, big knives are like big metal hooks. And there's a part where he's chasing Sarah and John Connor and the Terminator in a car. He's running after them and he can get one of his hooks into the car and then he gets thrown off. But we get to see him fall and roll over his hooks a few times and they make the cutest little sound, it sounds like when you drop your chopsticks in a Korean restaurant.
Yeah, I love the little Clint Eastwood. Thinks it's really cute. That really stood out to me on this watch, too. What is it about that?
That's another sound I remember in my being. I mean, I think what this movie does such a good job of for being a science fiction action movie is dealing with like macro and medo problems. At the same time, it's like you all are mucking around with technology in a way that's going to be real bad because you're doing it in a thoughtless way and it's going to land us in a nuclear holocaust, also maybe be cooler to each other.
Like these are the two things that are occurring.
Be excellent to each other and listen to your son, or else he'll love a robot more than he could ever love any human. And that's not great. I mean, the other thing that I love about James Cameron's vision of masculinity and I mean love in a complicated way, like I feel I just feel like James Cameron, who has been married like five times, is expressing something interesting in the fact that Sarah Connor is watching her son in the Terminator and she's like, he'll always protect him and he'll die for him.
And then in Titanic, you know, the major plot hole that people are annoyed by with Titanic is like to Jack, have to die, though. Like that was a pretty big fucking piece of wood, though, wasn't it? And like, I think they myth busted it and they're like, yeah, they both put their own. If they put some life vest under it, which were very available because of all the corpses floating around, they could have totally both been on it.
So and what I think people don't get is that that's not a science thing. It's a screenwriting thing because James Cameron cannot imagine a hetero normative relationship that doesn't end in trauma for everybody. And he I think he feels like the Jack Dawson is this beautiful, heroic being of pure love because he like he is like, you know, the Terminator and Judgement Day, because he appears in this troubled teens life and is like, I'm here to love you and die for you or to save you.
And, you know, and a boy and his robot, I guess, were to believe that they couldn't have a long term future together or, you know, he has to die because he has to destroy his robot chip and give the technology to the people who would use it to bring about an apocalyptic future.
So, like, that's better expressed through screenwriting than in Titanic.
But that I just feel like in the storytelling choices, there is this basic idea of like but these relationships are impossible in the long term. Obviously, you just have like four action packed days and then die for someone. And that's love.
It's almost like this weird, childlike version of love that if only I had uncomplicated parents, then everything about me would be fixed and the only way for them to be uncomplicated is to die.
Yeah, when I was a kid, I had this obsession with having a pet cougar really obviously was never going to happen.
I did not know this about I think it could happen in Wisconsin potentially, but in my head it was like all of my problems would be solved if I would have this pet cougar and I could take it to school and I'd be popular because all the kids would want to pet the cougar.
I think this is so exotic thought, right? Yes. But it was this idea of just like this unconditional love that would somehow save me and solve all of my problems. And I think that that is a childlike vision, that if I had this one entity that loved me completely, then everything would just be fine. And that's basically what the Terminator is in this movie, is that he he is completely 100 percent devoted to protecting John. That is his one purpose.
And this is sort of like the father that we all wish we had that. Like, that's that comes before anything else.
Oh, my God, do I wish my dad was the Terminator? That would be incredible. Like working today. Right now. I could be like Dad, like, did he listen to my show that I put out this week? He'd be like, yes, I enjoyed minute forty seven.
My thing is that in a different future where all of this worked out and like the ten thousand just like falls off a bridge and dies somehow and the Terminator is fine and they all they do form this like weird family. Yeah. It wouldn't work. It's a lie that having this entity that is complete. Devoted to you, but fundamentally has no personality is something that you can build a lasting, meaningful relationship with, this never would have gone anywhere because that's not how human beings work.
This thing that is completely devoted to you is not going to provide you with the emotional sustenance that you need.
This is also your argument against the Stepford Wives scenario, which is that ultimately these men are going to wither from like lack of emotional connection with these bots.
It's like they say in screenwriting, there's what you want and there's what you need. Yeah.
Also, Mick Jagger says that. Oh, yeah.
And it seems like like what a child wants is this pure, unconditional love. But what actual humans need is something more complex than that. Right. You can't just be talking to a robot.
Well, we need unconditional love and then also to have boundaries and for someone to have a personality. But I think unconditional love plus personality is an attainable human thing. Yeah. I also feel like it seems like the Terminator is like a Furby, though maybe over time he could develop a personality. Not the Furbies ever did that because it was all lies. But we were told that that would happen.
We develop our personalities in part by obviously our chemical makeup, all of the things in our opportunism. Right. Like how are we going to get from point A to point B? And if the if the Terminator is only goal is to keep Jon alive, like his personality just entirely formed to serve that purpose, that's exciting. I want to see that movie.
I mean, that does seem like something that people would want, but they wouldn't actually want that in real life because in real life, that's not a healthy relationship, codependent relationship.
I feel like this also speaks to the issues with sustainability and Titanic because like I think another reason I love Jack Dawson is that he's like the the highly rare and prized manic pixie dream guy. Oh, yeah.
Because he basically, like all of his attributes, are like designed in a lab to be able to, like, sexually awaken and emotionally liberate this protagonist's character that we have. So like he is like an advanced Terminator made for rose to it buchanon. So like you can also see why in the long term, like he needs to develop a personality of his own, like that's the same problems that we had.
Chanel has in 500 days of summer with Cameron's own personal inability to maintain a relationship for more than whatever three or four years. We're seeing that across the board in these movies and we're seeing that because he has an unhealthy, probably an unhealthy relationship with sustainability and long term relationships.
That's also like a positive thing, although he is doing well now. He got married with the lady he cheated on his girlfriend with when he was making Titanic. And they've been married for like twenty three years. So hurray. Yeah, for all of us.
And that woman he cheated on was Linda Hamilton. Anyway, yeah.
It's also a good recognition that just like some relationships last for as long as you need them to in the way that they're supposed to. Right. Like you grow in the ways that you grow and then it's over and your dad has to throw himself into molten metal.
Ideally, it is interesting to me how many pathologies that we have around relationships, I do think come directly from Hollywood movies, because as a screenwriting trick, this sort of you meet one person, you meet your Jack Dawson or you get your robot Terminator dad, and then all of your problems are solved. And it's like everything you need and it's this perfect counterpart to you. And then all of their problems are solved. Like this does not happen in the real world, but this happens in so many movies.
No, Mike, it's going to happen in my next relationship, actually. Yeah.
I mean, it's the thing I don't know to what extent these are like human things or if these expectations are created by Hollywood. But, you know, the number of movies in which you see characters like actually vibing with each other, like just two people who get along, which is something that you see in real life all the time. You watch a couple and you're like, oh, these people actually like each other. It's very rare to see that depicted in movies.
There's like like Out of Sight is one of the only movies or maybe before Sunrise where it's like, oh, these are two people who genuinely are just like clicking, but two people clicking in movies is actually really rare. It's much more common to have this, like, love at first sight thing or this manic pixie dream thing where it's like you're the vessel through which I can finally grow as a person.
And it just kind of a bummer that we don't have very many movies about like two people that just like each other. And that's it.
Yeah, that's true. It usually happens through like buddy movies, but there's no romance there. Like, we resolve that by having no romance, certainly where it's possible.
I watch Sleepless in Seattle recently. Oh me too. Which is way worse than I remember it being. And it's the whole maybe you know this too, but it's a whole thing. They're sort of flirting, dancing around with each other and like they're made for each other, whatever. They finally fucking meet at the end of the movie, the last five minutes at the Empire State Building. And they don't fucking talk. It's like we're supposed to see some connection.
Between them, surely, like you'd like to see even like a three minute conversation where they're like, do you like popcorn? I also like popcorn, something showing that these people actually click as people as opposed to just being physically attracted. And the movie doesn't give you that. They like they walk hand in hand at the end of the movie and they don't talk.
But it's so overdetermined that they can't express that in five minutes. So they just have to have them stare at each other because they both have this, like, cosmic realization that they are Mpho. And like the movie doesn't trust itself to show them actually clicking in a way that's significant enough to justify everything that's just happened.
Sleepless in Seattle, like the relationship that is actually depicted in that movie, is between Meg Ryan and Rosie O'Donnell. Yeah, that's exactly right. Between Tom Hanks and his son. And those are lovely relationships. Like it's a lovely father, son and like friend relationship and like, oh, no, I'm engaged to the wrong person.
I have doubts movie. But like, the central love plot is like a maypole that those are like wound around as an excuse to be there.
And so many movies, you get no sense of the relationship that are actually depicted on screen that it's going to last longer than like a weekend.
It's like, OK, these two women writing letters, she's like Loki stalking him. They finally meet and they don't really have anything to talk about. And it's fucking awkward. And by Monday, she's on a plane back to Baltimore like this is not going to work.
The only movie I've seen, I think everyone clicks in that way. Do you ever see this movie that this is not going to sound appealing on the surface? But it had Jason Sudeikis and Alison Brie.
Now, that sounds like something you would watch on a plane, but Jason Ben Tsoukas and Andrea Savage are in it, and they are not primary characters, but they play an older married couple. I mean, they've been married for like ten years. And their chemistry is is like a turnoff. And you're like, I didn't know this was what I do. Now that I'm married to someone, I feel that way. But like you were like I didn't know that this could be possible on screen.
It's really magical when that's how I feel about Stanley Tucci and Meryl Streep and Julia. Oh, yes. Oh, yes. That's another one. Right.
That is like a pretty weak movie structurally. But there I guess these parts for you, like, let's work. First of all, Stanley Tucci and Meryl Streep just eating each other alive, you know what I mean? The lunch break sex in that movie, like it's and they're both in their 50s. I think at this point. Stanley Tucci was around 50. I think Meryl Streep is around 60.
I think they both naturally super horny people, too. You just exude horniness, which is great.
They certainly do. And they certainly expressing that in this movie. Honestly, I think what happened in that movie is that Amy Adams kind of got short shrift because she got all the crappy parts of marriage to play. And they're like, here's your story. Yeah, you got to be disappointment and getting tired of each other. And this is an excuse to have all the conflict crammed into your parts so that Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci can just fuck each other and eat cakes.
Yeah, the experience of watching Hollywood mainstream movies is this experience of constantly watching relationships that, you know, will never work. But the characters don't. But you're like, oh, this is like, you know, like at the end of speed where they kiss you, whatever. And you're like this. What are you this is not going to work.
And they expressly acknowledge that it's not going to work. They say they're like this isn't going to work because of the trauma. I'm like, it's like, that's great. What a great set of every actually every movie should end in the James Cameron way where it's like, all right, we're done by everybody.
Say Bye. I was watching.
This is my boyfriend who has only seen it once, like ten million years ago. So he was basically coming into this movie fresh. And so every time there was any dad stuff, we would shout dad stuff.
How many times did you shout that? I'm going to ask for any one?
Well, this is the thing. So we obviously shouted at the voiceover, the big voiceover moment.
But then also when she goes to kill Miles Dyson and she's about to, like, completely kill him and then his son comes and is like, don't kill him.
I was like, Dad, stop. I think he says, don't kill my dad.
And that his life has saved initially by the fact that he like ducks to great like he has. What is happening, his son is on his little trick or something like that is a remote control toy.
And he ducks, he gets hit or something goes down. First of all, we kill a lot of cops in this movie.
Second of all, no, we just we just nail their kneecaps in this movie.
Yeah. They killed seventeen in the first one. This one that we just made them. All right.
That's the real that's the real Terminator three. It should have just been one of these cops going through years of physical therapy.
We haven't talked at all about Miles Davis and Miles Davis and throws away with very little convincing, honestly, a little convincing.
He's like, I'll throw away my life's work and do the right thing.
And the most refreshing way to and if I were him, I would be like, how am I to know that a rival company didn't just hire an amputee to pretend to be from the future?
Like, that's honestly what my first thought would be absolutely doable to fake what happened. I mean, if they can make that movie, then they could probably do that, so. And like, this mean lady is trying to kill me, but then, like her son is here and she's nice to him for the first time, how do I know these aren't just a bunch of racists with a robot arm?
The legendary nice. And this is this is clearly like a foster child thing, like from John's experience being a foster child. But when Arnold does the thing where he opens his arm up and shows and shows Miles, John takes the little boy and says, Will you show me your room? Yeah.
Yeah. I loved that so much. It's such a nice little detail. OK, so Sarah Connor's thesis about the Terminator is this will be a good read because it's not about this human man. Is that the thesis of the movie about dads with the exception of Miles Davis? And who can be good?
It's nice that he's able to do masculine things with my son. But the fact that he's not bringing my son into the culture of patriarchal masculinity as it is that he gets like is a man who listens and has car chases, although they are literally fixing a car together when she does this.
Voiceover I mean, it's still coded.
So, yeah, exactly. It's masculine, but like without cause to me, there's like the masculinity of fixing a car and then there's like the patriarchal toxic like impacted over generations masculinity that my dad has of like I'm not going to tell you how to notice a problem and fix it. I'm going to demean you for forty five minutes and prove that I'm bigger and smarter than you in this car is an excuse for that because well, I don't know a thing about cars and why they stress me out.
And he does that because he had a dad who raised him as a male child and nothing good came of it the entire time and passed the curse on like that thing that comes out of Jason and Jason goes to hell.
It's like, drag me to hell because slime barf from mouth to mouth between generations.
Patriarchy. I mean, if you want to get super Oberlin about it, she's also taught for Oberlin. Is that what you call cultural studies? Yes.
I can't persuade him not to. I love it so much.
Please get Oberlin about it. I want it. There's something in that voice over. You could also extend that to somebody talking themselves into getting into a relationship that is fundamentally bad for them. Right. It's like, oh, he's going to be a good father. He's what I need.
He's what my son needs, even though there's no actual chemistry between them, even though he's a robot who tried to murder me all those times. Exactly right.
Yeah, you and I have nice kind of like glass half full glass, half empty approaches to killer robot dad, because you can also see like this profoundly traumatized woman who is like has no idea what is like reality and unreality. And she's in the middle of a fucking time traveling paradox. It doesn't make any fucking sense. And she's like, oh, I like, oh, connect with this guy because, like, he's nice to my kid. Like, how many people have gotten into terrible relationships with exactly this kind of logic, like, oh, he's good for me in whatever X, Y, Z way.
And then they end up with somebody they basically don't like in her is double on top of that because she's not just a mother who cares about her son, but she's married. Who needs to bring Jesus into the world.
Oh, bring Jesus into it. Let's do it. She also has the pressure of being someone who she is responsible for the future of the human race on top of just being John's mom.
That's not even Oberlin. That's like Brigham Young. That's like you're going straight, like Liberty University, Ph.D..
Also, why this psychologist from the beginning of the movie that's in Terminator one, why doesn't he know Terminator is a real thing? But what do you mean? The guy who does all the work with her at the beginning? Yeah, he's in the first movie as a cop psychologist. He's the survivor of a mass shooting at the police station by the fucking Terminator. Why doesn't he believe, oh, where was he?
What? I haven't seen this in a while. What is. Oh, does he evaluate her, though? Oh, my God. The police station. Wow. I feel like that's a nice expression of how sometimes men deal with trauma by, like, going into profound denial about everything they witnessed with their own eyeballs and locking up a woman got to lock up a woman.
Yes. He shows up in the third movie, too, and he talks about how like, oh, you have to deny like you have to put your memories down deep. And I feel like that's the one funny scene in all of Terminator three is when he shows up again.
Who is the daddy in Terminator two Judgment Day? I mean, to return to probably the primary reason, regardless of all of the themes of this movie, that I was obsessed with it as a 14 year old boy. Thirty one thousand. He's like a mean little panther, like, I get it.
If you had the experience of, like, getting a T 1000 that have been reprogrammed to want to, like, date or whatever. What would you do? Would you use his, like, molten Alex Mack Arms to, like, go to the carnival or something like that. And when the games could be like turn them into little bullets, you know, for like shooting down those ducks.
I mean, one thing that I really have noticed on this watch is that it's a little fucking weird that he's like liquid metal can also turn into like clothes and shoes, but not bombs.
The cop radio and a gun like I mean, there's a lot there's a lot of sort of nit pick about in this movie. He would be the little my little cougar pet that would solve all of my problems when I could finally be fine.
Michael, I'm glad you're here, because this is the read of the daddy I'm looking for when we ask this question. Yeah. Who's the daddy for you guys? Oh, totally. The Terminator, because he's like big and strong and loving and stupid. And he's and he's I mean, he's super smart, but also, like, endearing. I think I want to marry someone like that. Yeah. I think this relates to just like my attraction to people who I think in a way that is similar to me.
And this involves me embracing who I am. I like very intelligent and attuned in some ways and like fundamentally clueless about other things in a way that's also nice because like, if you guys don't care about a lot of areas of human life, then like you don't put pressure on people you're in a relationship with about it, perhaps for no reason. So, yeah, I want to marry the Terminator.
Well, I mean, he's like really good at fixing cars, but he's emotionally vacant.
So you mean he's not a dick about it? No, because you can ask him to be emotionally present and then he will do that. I mean, I don't actually want a robot from the future because I think that that would be setting myself up for failure. He's a character who is fundamentally tragic because he is a robot. Yeah. He has one purpose in life. That's it. And is therefore afraid of the kind of I don't know, I feel like I see James Cameron imagining, like.
What would allow him to be the kind of protagonist that he wishes him to be a type of a thing, and I think that's one of the things that makes Jack Dawson so compelling. And with this one, he's like a character who has no pride, no self regard, like no ego, really. You need to have some ego, but like who basically is able to be fully in a relationship and like that and to live fully for another person.
And I think that's what makes it unsustainable along with the future war aspect of it. But also, you know, this is I think like I would imagine that this might be James Cameron's fantasy of like being one hundred percent for the other person in a relationship when really he would like to be like fifty one percent as opposed to whatever percentage he has managed to be on this marriage.
The Terminator, he fills the fluids in your car, but he doesn't give you a hard time about not doing it.
Oh, he does the dishes but he doesn't yell at you.
He literally does. At some point he fills the fluids and I'm like, what a dad move.
That's a great very conscious about.
Where do you find Arnold Schwarzenegger attractive, Sarah? I love Arnold Schwarzenegger. Girling said she was like, this was the governor of my she's in California. This was the governor of my state when I was a child. That's my relationship with this man. And it was like, oh, that really changes your attraction.
That was all I could think about when he was running for governor. And I remember someone pointed this out online and it became like the defining thing is that, like, he's he was naked. He was fully naked in a very lingered on and wonderful way and the start of the Terminator. And then he's naked again in this and like, I think a less sort of cinematic way, but it's just nice that he's naked again. And I imagine when this came out in the theater that everyone was like, well, you know, because, like, here he is, he's naked again.
This is how he time travels. He got to be naked. Yeah. And when he was running for governor, I remember there was actually a thing on rotten dotcom where they had a picture of him taken by Robert Mapplethorpe that was just like fully nude. This is the governor of California. And I was like, well, this is a new experience for all of us as Americans and we're not. And, you know, once you cross the governor decline, you don't come back.
And honestly, like, it's definitely weird, but it's also, I think, way more positive to have a governor who has like I don't think he did a good job as governor, but in theory, it's a better job to have a governor who has just like publicly had their dick photographed by an already photographer than someone who's going to do all sorts of weird covert stuff with it for lack of having it photographed in the 70s or who's had a zoom dick incident.
Do you find Pupper Schwarzenegger attractive? Sarah Arnold's dad? No, no, no.
Like modern, modern, older, older Schwarzenegger like the one who we know today.
Oh, like Paul Hollywood. Yeah. So it doesn't look like Paul Hollywood.
He looks like a robot with the greatest flesh coverings.
So you're not in there? Oh no. I'm into it. I'm very into it. That's my way of expressing that. I'm into it. No, I used to teach pumping iron. He's a complicated person and he's done like, you know, some pretty unethical stuff in his life. But my impression of him from pumping iron, which I find honestly meaningful to me in my own pursuit of putting together like a life that I want to have, he's someone who found a career that he was perfectly suited for and excelled partly because of his self-knowledge, you know, and just like his absolute joy and being and just in bodybuilding and like going out and winning and like greasing himself up and posing when you bows, like, you got to hear that accent of his, which is wonderful.
And and I love Conan the Barbarian.
It's just his utter joy, just the act of, like, lifting heavy things and like changing the shape of his body in different places. It's just like I'm very bonded with him as he was and pumping iron. And I feel like you can see that sort of like joy, like waking up inside of yourself every morning and his work.
And that's like very charismatic. You're like, how do you do that? How do I learn to do that?
Like, I think pumping iron is fascinating, too, and that he has this weird sort of Tom Cruise confidence, I guess, almost like cluelessness and drive like he just wanted to be a movie star and then he fucking did it. There's something appealing to some, like lizard American dream bullshit. Part of my brain that I know logically is like not a typical story, but there is something amazing about this guy that just finds one thing that he's good at and then somehow finds like the one movie role that he can actually do.
Right. Like The Terminator, which requires no acting at all.
Well, no, he did Konan first. And for that one he like his accent was so heavy they only gave him like six lines.
Hercules in New York first. And they dubbed over his voice. Yeah. He also sort of tying over to one of your other podcasts lives. Michael, isn't wasn't he the the face of the physical fitness test? Yes.
No, he betrayed me. He famously spent his own money to fly around all 50 states and meet governors and get them to sign up to do more physical exercise, like try to get kids fit.
Like he actually believes in stuff which is in some ways, you know, just the son of a Nazi just trying to get going and having a secret child with your housekeeper to so you down.
But also what's amazing, though, is that he goes around to all of these governors and he's trying to get them like he he was interested in the policy, like he was actually trying to get kids to be fitter in this extremely limited way, of course. But then he goes around at all. These governors just want to take photos with him and put the photos in their offices and he realizes like this is his political education, realizing that, like, no one actually gives a shit about the health of children.
They just want to have a photo with Arnold Schwarzenegger, the way that his celebrity poisons the things that he actually wants to do. Like I think this defines a late stage Arnold Schwarzenegger, where he's like, oh, yeah, this is all bullshit. And nobody actually wants to hear what I have to say about anything. And it's like, yeah, we just want you to have big pecs.
Yeah. The 90s were his wilderness decade.
Use that and know that. So my daddy is Sarah. We often end up doing this is like strong lady ends up being the daddy. That's the case. Although Luke, who's the listener of our show, pointed out that John is the one who teaches the Terminator to do everything. So he arguably could be the daddy. But, you know, I think we should acknowledge the fact that poor Sarah has had to be this kid's dad. Yeah. And the dad of humanity's survival for years and years.
And that's a heavy burden for her to have had to have lifted.
And the actors basically had an eating disorder the entire time they were filming this, that she.
What happened? Yeah, I mean, she was eating like sticks and her calories a day and working out like three hours like, oh, my, there's something about sort of roles like this where it's like it's the only way to achieve a body like that at that age is with extremely disordered behavior. And so every time I watch this, it's like you're marveling at how buff she is and the pull ups and everything else. But also it's just like something feels weird to me about sort of making an actress do that, even though it seems like she was a willing participant in this.
But also, movies are an excuse to torture women, you know, and just like a lot of directors commentaries, especially in horror, but not even especially in horror, it's just that I watch a lot of horror movies. There's something about how like this actress who gave this to her force performance, like, had to suffer so much and it becomes part of the story. And men do it, too, like Christian Bale loves doing this. And like Vincent De Niro gained like 70 pounds for Full Metal Jacket and stuff like that, like actors do stuff to their bodies in ways that, like, could very likely cause permanent damage quite frequently that Tom Hanks talks about getting Type two diabetes as a result of Castaway.
Did he? Oh, my God. I mean, that's what he says. I think it's probably more things are complicated. You never know the reasons, for one thing.
But, yeah, it's like various factors. But also, he did gain a bunch of weight for that movie and like doing that suddenly gaining or losing a bunch of weight very suddenly in a calculated way. We're like, you know what Anne Hathaway did for Lamees? It's interesting that we've normalized that as much as we have. That's how you get Oscars Oscar bait. Yeah, totally. It's Oscar time.
Yeah. Is doing these things that have nothing to do with acting. You're like, look, I'm in pain. I scarred my body for this stupid movie.
I mean, they film this movie for something like six months because it was so technical. And I just think of Linda Hamilton on that set like probably freezing cold with two percent body fat and having to maintain this absurd body of hers for the entire time that they were filming. And like it's her husband kind of making her do all this. I mean, there is something about like James Cameron being like the difficult genius who's also just a complete fucking asshole, it sounds like.
I mean, consistent stories from people that have worked for him, of him doing just atrocious behavior on set. And so we all we all repeat like the worst attributes of our parents. And so not to, like, cancel James Cameron or anything, but that's always like in the back of my head when I watch this movie, the way that they film this is just like her suffering and James Cameron being just like a total dick.
What are your final Terminator endorsement? What do you what would you tell someone to watch Terminator? Sarah, have they seen Terminator one? Yeah, Terminator two. Judgment Day. Yeah. I mean, like Terminator one, definitely.
Now has a lot of moments where you're like, OK, you tried, but there's a three minute recap on YouTube you can watch, right? Yeah. It's not a complicated story. It is a good movie. I love Terminator one. I love the story of how James Cameron made Terminator one. Ultimately, after years of like working on Roger Corman films and like during lunch breaks when he was building alien spaceships outside of McDonald's boxes, he would like tell his fellow workers, including Bill Paxton, the story idea he had about this robot from the future who tries to kill a.
Pregnant women, so like that whole evolution is wonderful, but you can also, yeah, you can come in to judgment day, having seen nothing before and. Enjoy it at Ton, and I think you can. I would recommend watching it if you want to actually feel a lot of adrenaline and like some fun action sequences and be taken out of the present moment and then end on a note that gives you a sense of convincing hope for humanity. If you're that kind of a crazy person like me worked for me.
I would say if you have a thing for Lean Panther ish, mean that also. And the 90s bangs people doing line readings through an incredibly intense Bang's. This is the movie for you.
And if you like seeing an adolescent protagonist, because I think it's hard to have child characters who aren't there as excuses for plot to happen. And like this is to me, a well-written character who's probably like 12 or 13, an active protagonist.
And you like Los Angeles malls in 1991.
This is the movie for you already, everybody. That is it for this episode of Why are Dads. I want to thank you for listening and I want to apologize in advance for any noise you hear right now. I'm next to a highway and a street sweeper. My car fixed. Not very professional, I know, but it's how it is right now. I want to thank Caroline Kendrick for producing this episode and creating all of the original music in the sound collage that you hear in here.
I want to thank Michael Hub's co-host of You're Wrong About and of Maintenance Fees and a reporter for The Huffington Post. I'm so glad he came on and we were able to talk about our favorite movie when we were kids. Me and Michael Hub's loved this movie as children. And that's such a funny thing to know and talk about now. Oh, there's the street sweeper. Let's hold so loud, you can support us unpatriotic, if that is the thing that you'd like to do.
We put out bonus episodes, hopefully weekly. We'll see. But there will be one out this week with some bits and pieces from this conversation that got left out and some other odds and ends and find us on social media. Do that whole thing. Next week, we will be talking with Talia Levin, author of Culture War Lords, about Borat. It's very relevant for this moment. If you haven't seen it, maybe check it out so you can be ready for our conversation next week.
I think that's it for now. We appreciate you. Thank you so much. Again, you hand your vote in hand your ballot to a human being. The mail is being tampered with by people who don't want us to vote. We'll talk to you soon.