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#021 James Cameron: Terminator 2: Judgement Day vs. True Lies

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In today’s episode Nate and Austin compare James Cameron’s best and worst rated films, Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991) and True Lies (1994), respectively. Nate talks about how much he hates the Terminator franchise and Austin is offended since he’s a life long Terminator fan. Oh and Happy Father’s Day.

Check back next Sunday at 7pm PST where we will compare David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and Breaking the Sound Barrier (1952), his best and worst rated films.


Also check out Bill Burr’s hilarious take on Arnold’s career:


True Lies Notes

Worst Rated

PLOT: A fearless, globe-trotting, terrorist-battling secret agent has his life turned upside down when he discovers his wife might be having an affair with a used car salesman.

  • Ratings: IMDb 7.2 | RT 72% C / 76% A
  • Released: 1994
  • Director: James Cameron (Aliens, Avatar)
  • Writer(s): Claude Zidi, Simon Michael, Didier Kaminka, James Cameron
  • Cinematographer: Russell Carpenter (Titanic, Ant-Man)
  • Notable actors: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Arnold, Bill Paxton, Tia Carrere, Art Malik, Charlton Heston
  • Budget: $115 million
  • Box office: $378.8 million
  • Fun Facts:
    • When Harry tells Gib that Helen is having an affair, Gib tells a story about his second wife taking everything when she left him – he says, “What kind of sick bitch takes the ice cube trays out of the freezer?” This is a reference to Tom Arnold’s divorce from Roseanne Barr – she was reported to have taken his ice cube trays when she left him, too.
    • Tom Arnold didn’t expect to get a role in the movie, and went to the audition mostly for the chance to meet director James Cameron. Cameron liked Arnold, despite 20th Century-Fox’s objections (Arnold’s reputation at the time wasn’t positive, mostly due to his public antics with then-wife Roseanne Barr), and Cameron threatened to not make the movie at all, if Arnold couldn’t be cast. When Arnold later learned about this, he was grateful to Cameron for taking a chance on him.
    • The set of bra and matching panties worn by Helen Tasker during the striptease scene were Jamie Lee Curtis’ own. Additionally, the fall that she takes in the middle of the dance was unscripted, and that is hinted at when Harry sits up in alarm, then relaxes.
    • Eliza Dushku broke some ribs during the filming of her Harrier jet stunt scenes.

 


Terminator 2: Judgement Day Notes

Best Rated

PLOT: A cyborg, identical to the one who failed to kill Sarah Connor, must now protect her young son, John Connor, from a more advanced cyborg, made out of liquid metal.

  • Ratings: IMDb 8.5 | RT 93% C / 94% A
  • Released: 1991
  • Director: James Cameron (Aliens, Avatar)
  • Writer(s): James Cameron, William Wisher
  • Cinematographer: Adam Greenberg (The Terminator)
  • Notable actors: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong, Robert Patrick, Earl Boen, Joe Morton, S. Epatha Merkerson, Dean Norris
  • Budget: $102 million
  • Box office: $519.8 million
  • Fun Facts:
    • Won Best Sound, Best Effects, Sound Effects Editing, Best Effects, Visual Effects, Best Makeup. Nominated for Best Cinematography and Best Film Editing
    • Until Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), this was the only sequel to win an Academy Award when the previous installment(s) received no nomination.
    • In the audio commentary, James Cameron says that not only was the biker bar scene filmed across the street from where LAPD officers beat up Rodney King, but that they were filming the night of the beating.
    • For the storm drain sequence, Arnold Schwarzenegger was in pain because, since he couldn’t wear a glove while cocking the gun, his fingers would get stuck in the mechanism. He tore the skin from his fingers and hand many times before he mastered it; and he achieved this while trying to act and control a Harley at the same time as James Cameron told him where to look. He couldn’t dart his eyes either because it would have ruined the shot. Shooting the gates also took weeks of practice because he had to also act cool while doing it.
    • Production took sufficiently long that Edward Furlong visibly aged during the shoot – he is clearly much younger in the desert, for instance, than in other scenes. His voice began to break and had to be pitched to one level in post-production.
    • A female passer-by actually wandered onto the biker bar set thinking it was real, despite walking past all the location trucks, cameras and lights. Seeing Arnold Schwarzenegger standing in the bar dressed only in boxer shorts, she wondered aloud what was going on, only for Schwarzenegger to reply that it was male stripper night.
    • Given Arnold Schwarzenegger’s $15-million salary and his total of 700 words of dialog, he was paid $21,429 per word. “Hasta la vista, baby” cost $85,716.
    • Special F/X guru Stan Winston and his crew studied hours of nuclear test footage in order to make Sarah Connor’s “nuclear nightmare” scene as real as possible. In late 1991, members of several U.S. federal nuclear testing labs unofficially declared it “the most accurate depiction of a nuclear blast ever created for a fictional motion picture”. For Sarah’s nightmare of the nuclear holocaust, some of the materials used in the miniature Los Angeles model that mimicked all the destroyed masonry were Matzos crackers and Shredded Wheat. After each take, it would take on average two days to set the model up to shoot again.
    • Linda Hamilton’s twin sister, Leslie Hamilton Gearren was used as a double in scenes involving two “Sarah Connors” (i.e., when the T1000 was imitating her), and in a scene not in the theatrical release (but on the DVD) as a mirror image of Linda.
    • Industrial Light and Magic’s computer graphics department had to grow from six artists to almost 36 to accommodate all the work required to bring the T-1000 to life, costing $5.5 million and taking 8 months to produce, which ultimately amounted to 3.5 minutes of screen time.
    • According to James Cameron, Linda Hamilton suffered permanent hearing loss in one ear during the elevator shootout because she had not replaced her ear plugs after removing them between takes.
    • The mini-gun used in the film was the same mini-gun that was used in Predator (1987) also starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.
    • This is the only Terminator film to win or be nominated for an Oscar. It won 4 and was nominated for 2 others.

 

Intro music: Calm The Fuck Down – Broke For Free / CC BY 3.0

 


 



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