Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

Directed and Produced by James Cameron
Distributed by Lightstorm Entertainment

Over the ten years since the events of Terminator, Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) is in a mental institute because she refuses to accept that her visions of the apocalyptic future aren't real. Her son, John Connor, lives with his foster parents in Los Angeles, California. He is a trouble-maker, and often steals money from his foster parents and doesn't respect them at all. Via Sarah Connor's vivid dreams and hallucinations, the plot switches from present to the future often. In the future, John Connor (Edward Furlong) is general responsible for leading the human race in a world-wide fight against the machines. In Terminator, he sends a colleague, Reese, back to the past (1984) to seduce and impregnate Sarah. After he succeeds, and John Connor is born, the robots from the future send a machine back to the past to try to kill Sarah Connor, thus ending John Connor's life in the future. In Terminator 2: Judgment Day, the future John Connor sends a captured and re-configured robot, the T-101 (Arnold Schwarzenegger), to protect present John Connor. He must be protected from a new robot that the future robots send back to the present, the highly powerful T-1000 (Robert Patrick). Both robots appear at roughly the same time, and the race is on to find John Connor. The T-101 reaches him first, and the robots meet for the first time. After an intense car chase, the T-101 walks away victorious, and him and John go and hide. In an attempt to find out more about John, the T-1000 kills John's foster parents and scrounges around his room. There he discovers where Sarah is staying, and successfully predicts that John will try to save his real mother. At Pescadero State Hospital, there is another confrontation, but the T-101 escapes with Sarah and John, fleeing south into the deserts of Arizona. There, they meet up with Sarah's old friends. At this point, Sarah has a vision of the upcoming apocalypse, which is supposed to happen on August 29, 1997. She decides she must kill Miles Bennet-Dyson because he is the main scientist and technician working on robots at Skynet. They are able to work on these highly advanced robots because they found a chip from the last robot sent in 1984. John realizes Sarah is gone and he and the T-101 barely save Miles from Sarah's wrath. At Miles' house, they explain what will happen in the future, and he willingly agrees to destroy his life's work and go destroy all the files they can at Skynet. Arriving at Skynet, they break in and the police are called. While scouring Miles' house, the T-1000 hears of the trouble at Skynet and goes there. After a massive battle, the T-101, Sarah, and John hijack a police truck and drive towards a steel manufacturing plant. The T-1000 follows in a hijacked police helicopter. There is a huge confrontation at the steel plant, and both robots are damaged. John, who was sent to hide in the lower cavities of the steel plant, hears his mom calling for him, saying she's injured. He goes, but, due to a malfunction, he is able to realize that his mom is actually the T-1000. Just as he is about to kill John, the T-101 rises out of the mechanics and shots the T-1000 with a grenade launcher, and he falls into the molten steel and dies.

How It Applies to My Approach to Good and Evil
Why It is One of My Favorite Scary Movies

It applies to my approach to good and evil because the main "good-guy", the T-101, doesn't kill anybody throughout the whole movie because John teaches him that is morally wrong. Because he has learned the value of human life, he refuses to kill anyone, and therefore, he remains in the (X) category. The rules are different for what he can and cannot do to remain in the (X) community because of one central reason: he is trying to save the human race. Therefore, not all rules for rejection from the (X) community apply to him, e.g. he can still injure people because it helps the greater good. The bad character, the T-1000, on the other hand, displays every characteristic of a ruthless killer, and definitely qualifies to being placed in the (Y) category. In both cases, however, neither the good guy nor the bad guy are human, so the rules for rejection from the (X) community need to be taken with a grain of salt.

It is one of my favorite monster movies because it displays a lot of the characteristics of Cohen's Monster Theses. For one, the monster, the T-1000, dwells at the gates of difference because he is able to do amazing things that humans could never do. Additionally, he is an object of desire, at least for me, because I would love to be able to turn my hands into razor-sharp knives and be able to take repeated shotgun wounds to the face and be able to heal in an instant. He is also an object of culture that strives to make things more and more mechanically advanced, without looking at the potential consequences. But mainly, the reason I love this movie is because of the attitude of the T-1000; he acts so nonchalant and uncaring, in my opinion, he is the ultimate villain.

Starship Troopers (1997)

Directed by Paul Verhoeven
Produced by Jon Davidson and Alan Marshall
Original Novel by Robert A. Heinlein
Distributed by TriStar Pictures

Starship Troopers takes place in the future, during an interplanetary war between the humans and insect-like creatures, called Bugs. It focuses on three students, Rico, Carmen, and Carl, as they sign up for military service upon graduation. In this era, you are assigned to a post based on your test-scores. Rico is assigned to basic infantry because his test scores are bad, while Carmen is assigned to Flight School. Carl, because he is a nerd/genius, is sent to Special Intelligence. Carmen and Rico are boyfriend/girlfriend, but realize their career paths will separate them. Secretly, however, a girl named Dizzy, who is madly in love with Rico, joins the basic infantry because she wants to get with him. They go their separate ways, with the three friends promising they will reunite eventually. At boot camp, Rico discovers that he may have bitten off more than he can chew. During a training exercise, a comrade's helmet malfunctions. Against typical knowledge, Rico, the squad leader at that time, suggest the comrade take his helmet off to try and fix it. However, a bullet hits him in the face and he dies. This leads to significant disciplinary action against Rico, and he is whipped repeatedly. He decides the army isn't for him, but as he is about to leave, he hears an urgent announcement: Buenos Aires, his hometown, has been destroyed by an asteroid sent by the Bugs. He pleads with the military officer, who lets him rejoin the company. At about this time, Carmen announces she plans to go career with her flight school, effectively crushing hopes of them ever getting together again. On a mission to invade the Bug planet stronghold, Klendathu, the military force encounters a significantly stronger Bug force than anticipated. The results are catastrophic: 100,000 soldiers are dead within the hour. An immediate retreat is called. The military tactics are changed, and they move on to the next planet, Tango Urilla. This is a huge victory for the humans, and, because morale is high, Rico gives in and shares an intimate moment with Dizzy. Their next mission plunges them into a trap. They are sent to investigate an outpost on the suddenly-radio-silent Planet P. There, they find that everybody there has been killed, except for the captain. They try to ask the captain what happened, but he is crazy. They are able to learn that the Bugs are sucking the brains out of people to learn at a quicker rate. An enormous swarm of bugs then attacks, and the majority of the soldiers are killed. Dizzy dies in the battle, but Rico is barely able to be saved by a starship coincidentally piloted by Carmen. In the next battle, Rico is put in charge of the troops on the field. While on their way to Planet P, a shot of Bug plasma destroys Carmen's ship, and she is barely able to escape via escape pod. She somehow lands next to the queen Bug. Rico fights his way to the cave where Carmen and the queen Bug are, and he puts a nuclear device in the defenseless Queen's mouth. After escaping the cave, they detonate the explosive and the Bug threat is eliminated on Planet P.

How It Applies to My Approach to Good and Evil
Why It is One of My Favorite Scary Movies

It applies to my theory of good and evil in a few ways. For instance, just as in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, the good guys are fighting not for the safety of a few people, but the safety of the entire human race. The good guys in this case are the humans in general, and they qualify under the (X) category. The bad guys, the Bugs, definitely qualify as (Y) because their purpose is to destroy the invading humans. It is easy to see the concept of reification in this movie in two ways. One, they are insects, so they are naturally different looking. Secondly, they are portrayed extremely negatively as blood-thirsty creatures by the human-issued propaganda. It is important to note that they aren't evil, exactly, because they are simply protecting their homeland from invasion. However, this is brushed aside by the military officers and repeated attacks, both military and propaganda-based, are executed throughout the movie.

It is one of my favorite scary movies because I can imagine how terrifying the Bugs would be if I were really put up against them. It is a great adventure tale, and the fight scenes are second to none. While the movie is extremely gory, it does have quite a few "funny" scenes. For example, the propaganda videos are really funny because they enforce values that we as Americans find extremely old fashioned and backwards. For example, in one ad, it shows a group of little kids demanding that they get to fight the bugs, and a military general comes by and gives the little kids guns. They proceed to cheer and exclaim how much they hate Bugs. I think that the combination of intense action and comical propaganda scenes makes for an overall great movie.