The Terminator is one of my favorite movies. When my Windy City pals Adam Kempenarr and Josh Larsen announced the other week that they would make writer-director James Cameron’s low-budget, high-concept sci-fi classic the subject of one of their “Sacred Cow” reviews, I knew that the likelihood that Josh—a critic who generally seems to dislike action films, with the bizarre exception of the Fast & the Furious franchise, which to me represents the genre at its most derivative and least inspired—would rain on it. He hates Predator, people! Predator! A film I saw last year at the Library of Congress!
So I took action. To paraphrase Al Capone, you can get farther with a kind word and a quote from The Terminator than you can with a kind word alone. And the threatening voice mail I left for Josh opened last week’s episode.
I’ve been a guest on Filmspotting a few times since 2011, when I made my debut discussing the remake of Footloose, a film I recall fondly from 1984. So it seems appropriate that I barged my way back on for last week’s episode, wherein after splitting on The Terminator (Adam is Right, Josh is Wrong), the two hosts count down their Top Five films from that year.
Further reading/listening: That 2011 Filmspotting episode on Footloose and remakes, and my follow-up post on the stuff I forgot to say. A 2015 episode where I dropped in to discuss the James Bond pictures. A 2016 one where Pal-for-Life Glen Weldon and I called in to talk about Superman and Batman onscreen. (And my follow-up post on the stuff I forgot to say.) My 2014 essay about Terminator 2: Judgment Day for The Dissolve, may it live on in our hearts. My 2015 NPR retrospective of the Terminator film franchise, and my small-batch Pop Culture Happy Hour review, with Glen, of Terminator: Genesys (sic). My NPR essay, occasioned by the remake of Ghostbusters from last year, observing that 1984 was the movie-year in which franchises took over. And a thing I wrote in 2010 about my 2005 encounter with The Terminator and Aliens star Michael Biehn at the Goucho Grill on Ventura Boulevard in Los Angeles.