As many of you know I am a total Arnie fan-girl, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I have watched the three part Netflix series Arnold. I have always had a lot of respect for him and after watching this series that respect has grown.
This series is pretty much Arnie talking about his life and how he got to where he is today. I have read his autobiography Total Recall a few times so a lot of what he shared wasn’t new to me, but the emotion that he conveyed in the series really brought the events closer to home.
Arnie talks about his politics and what he did as governor of California. I moved out of California about four months before that election so I didn’t get to vote which bummed me out! Yes, Arnie is a republican but he has never gone down the far right rabbit hole. He has more sense than to do that. When he talks about loving Reagan it made me wince a bit, but I can understand where he is coming from. He was an immigrant to the US, who bought into the whole ‘American Dream’ lie. What I really, really respect him for is that in this series he denies that he is a self made man. Rather, he says that he was very lucky to be surrounded by people who helped him to achieve his dreams.
He talks about how he was sexist back in his body building days and that he really regrets it. There is no glossing over the facts when it comes to some of the crap things that he did through the years. He takes full responsibility for his past actions, including cheating on Maria and fathering a son with their housekeeper. That son by the way looks a lot like him and Arnie loves him and is in his life. That part got me teary because some men would have just walked away from that situation and he didn’t.
If you are a fan of Arnie, or are just curious about his life, I would highly recommend watching this series. It’s really good and is how TV biographies of famous people should be done.
This is definitely one of the films that shaped me into the post-apocalyptic loving weirdo that I am today. I am going to assume that everybody who is reading this has seen this film already, especially since it’s approaching its 40th anniversary fairly soon. If you haven’t seen it in a while it’s up on Prime for free. Since we are in the midst of living in a dystopian hellscape I find this film to be rather comforting. Yeah, the world really sucks at the moment but at least we don’t have marauding cyborgs hunting us down to extinction. Sometimes you have to look on the bright side of things.
There is one huge question that this film poses. Would you really want to live through a nuclear war? Machines hunting you down is bad enough but having to live in absolute squalor while being dosed with fatal levels of radiation really brings the reality that this film creates to a whole new level of misery. The aftermath of a nuclear war that this film depicts is in no way sanitized or glorified. It looks depressing, because more than likely you would be scavenging for food and dressed in rags. Personally, I would only want to live in that timeline if I was located far away from a major population centre.
This was made near the end of the Cold War, a time in which nuclear annihilation was a real possibility. Back in 1984 the truly sci-fi aspect of the film was the depiction of cyborgs and drones going around hunting people. The really scary thing to me is that we now live in a world in which drones fly around dropping bombs. Drones controlled by humans who are thousands of miles away from where the action is taking place. These machines look a whole lot like the ones depicted in the film, which freaks me the hell out sometimes. Recently there has been news that the British MOD have created a drone that is equipped with dual shotguns that uses AI to assess targets in dangerous situations. Who the fuck thought that this was a great idea? People who have obviously never seen this film.
Would humans from around the world really band together to try to save all of humankind? The current pandemic has taught us that there are governments out there who just really don’t give a shit about their own citizens let alone people located in different countries. If there was a threat of a nuclear war the heads of such governments will bunker down and leave all the survivors to fend for themselves. I think our current situation has proved that when it comes down to it you have to prepare for emergencies because the government won’t be willing or even able to help you when the time comes. Be a Sarah Connor.
One of my favourite scenes in the film is the entire police station sequence, because it really shows how arrogant the police can be. The police think they are at the top of the food chain and that they can easily defeat anything thrown their way. Then a T-800 series of Terminator enters the picture and slaughters pretty much the entire station. If the film were to be re-released right now that scene would probably get a standing ovation. When the film was made it was still widely believed, by white Americans in particular, that the police were the good guys. These days it has been shown again and again that they are anything but the good guys, so it is only natural to cheer for the T-800.
Some people may find this film a little dated but I think it is actually timely when it comes to the crap we are living through right now. Always keep an eye on the news so that you aren’t totally surprised when something horrible happens. In other words always be aware of your surroundings, whether it’s your neighbourhood or the country that you live in. The rise of the machines in the film took people by surprise and that is why Skynet had such an easy time annihilating humans. Our current pandemic took a lot of people by surprise because they weren’t paying attention to the reports coming out of China. Reports that were fairly easy to find online. I, and a lot of others, knew about the virus even before our governments made official announcements about it.
As you can tell I am a huge fangirl of this film and for me it really stands the test of time because, as I have shown, its theming can easily apply to the times we are living through right now. If you have somehow never seen this film do yourself a favour and watch it because it is definitely one of the best post-apocalyptic themed films ever made.
It’s not very often when the sequel to one of your all time favourite movies ends up filming some scenes in the really boring Californian suburb where you are living. The principal photography for Terminator 2 took place from October 9th 1990 to March 28th 1991, so it happened within that time frame, but I quite honestly don’t remember the exact month. Camera phones had not been invented yet so I do not have any photos to prove it, so you are going to have to take my word on it. I’ve told this story so many times through the years that I’m sure that if you have known me in real life for any length of time you have heard it before.
I heard about T2 being filmed in a local office park through word of mouth. All of the weirdos in the Fremont area knew all of the other weirdos, and there was talk about whether anybody could actually manage to sneak onto the set of the film. It was kind of a dare type thing, and since I was a huge Terminator and Arnie fan I took that to be a challenge and ventured forth.
There were two other people with me as I made my way to the Valhalla of Terminator fandom. I remember knowing the general area where it was happening so I didn’t really have to drive around looking for it. Once there is was quite a site to behold. There were a bunch of cop cars in front of the building, the same as in the film, and there was maybe a group of twenty people in lawn chairs on a grass strip located outside of the yellow taped off area of the front of the set. From what one of them told us there was going to be a helicopter sequence filmed later that night. There was indeed a helicopter in another area of the large parking area. It was very evident that there was no way I was going to make it onto the set from the front area because of the lawn chair brigade and the film crew milling about.
We got back into the car and drove around the business park. To our amazement the back entrance to the set had only yellow tape guarding it, there was no security! It still kind of trips me out that there wasn’t any. I guess Cameron and the producers thought why bother since the set was in a boring suburban business park. I parked my car and the three of us snuck under the tape and walked very slowly along the right side of the Cyberdyne building. There was absolutely nobody there, and after a couple of minutes we came upon some really giant fans that were going to be used for the helicopter scene. We almost made it to the right corner of the building before we decided to head back because we were within twenty feet of the cop cars, and there had been some crew milling on the other side of them that we had seen before.
I ended up being the only person in my friend group who actually got onto the set, which I have worn as a badge of honour for almost thirty years! Yeah, I’m a total film nerd and Arnie fangirl.