Jan. 20, 2021

Midweek Mention... Junior

Midweek Mention... Junior

In a single decade between 1984 and 1994 Arnold Schwarzenegger had a run of box office success that is hard to compete with. Starring in, amongst others, The Terminator (1984), Commando (1985), Predator (1987), The Running Man (1987), Twins (1988), Total Recall (1990) Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991), Last Action Hero (1993) and True Lies (1994), the Austrian oak typically graced our screens as a lantern jawed behemoth who repeatedly saves the world.

He also starred in 1994's deeply disturbing Junior as a scientist who ends up testing a pregnancy drug on himself. Is this Arnold Schwarzenegger/Danny DeVito/Ivan Reitman collaboration the most influential film ever? Probably. Amazingly we hadn't seen it. Now we have!



Sidey:  Riggs, something popped up on your Amazon prime video, watch list or something, or other, some little gem for us to catch up with. What was

Reegs: Well, I, I feel like I really. Explored the works of Arnold Schwartzenegger, but there was one glaring emission from my watch list. And that was junior. The second collaboration with Danny DeVito Arnold plays a genius fertility doctor and DeVito plays a wisecracking gynecologist. Both of them being really typecast.

I think.

Howie: it's such a McBain thing. This week you're playing an assassinated next week at advanced fertility talk the.

Reegs: So amazingly, I'd never seen this movie, which is why I've watched it. And then having watched it, you were asking, so ID for movies we should talk about in a midweek thing. And I thought, well, let's, let's talk about this one. And then it turned out you hadn't seen it

Sidey: I hadn't seen either. No. And I, I saw, I watched that when was it? Sunday night, I think. Oh,

Howie: it was made. It was made hot on the heels of the success of kindergarten cop and twins.

Reegs: Yes.

Sidey: was this the third one? Was it? I didn't realize that it was

Reegs: It's Ivan Reitman as well, which is really,

Sidey: all that. Any of those, to be honest trilogy.

Reegs: So Arnie plays, Austrian research geneticist, Dr. Alex Hess.  He and Danny DeVito have invented a fertility drug , delightfully punishingly called expectation. I wasn't completely clear on how this amazing miracle treatment worked, but it was designed to reduce the chances of miscarriage.

Sidey: They go to a FDA. Sort

Reegs: that's right.

Sidey: submission meeting don't they? And Arnold's Arnold, honor's very reserved just putting forward the facts and its submission to the board to be reviewed. Whereas DeVito was just being complete PreK about it. I suppose it's the little, a large thing playing against type, you know?

But they get rejected.

Reegs: Yes.  And in that rejection, they come up with a cunning plan,

Sidey: Yes, it's not at all sinister.

Reegs: not at all sinister and

Howie: forms the basis of all the movie

Reegs: ethically. You can't even say ethically gray can, you can just say completely wrong. So they steal a human ovum from the cryogenics

Sidey: Tuft out of the lab all night.

Reegs: Yes.

 Sidey: Emma Thompson moves in

Reegs: She is introduced in the movie in a sort of slapstick sort of slapping around of equipment and stuff. Just proving that she really cannot handle this type of script. I think it's fair to say, because she's dreadful in this

Sidey: uptake. And on the whole impression I thought throughout this movie,

Reegs: Yes.

Sidey: wardrobe is buried very Annie hall.

Reegs: Oh, yeah. Good take good. Take like that.  But yeah, DeVito steals one of her ovaries, not her ovaries, her.

Oh, them. They, they consider basically performing the experiment that they want to do again, complete a bit fuzzy on the details, but that's okay. The film was as well. So it doesn't matter. They need a volunteer, then they realize, or. DeVito suggests they don't need a female volunteer. And of course, naturally they convince the other ways, fairly laconic and restrained.

Dr. Harris, who's quite lonely, quite masculine and lonely and impersonal into taking the expectation. And then I think the plan is to grow the embryo in his stomach for the first trimester. And then. Kill it because there's nothing ethically wrong at all with.

Sidey: the plan of the movie was, was originally gonna end with an abortion scene.

Reegs: Wow.

Sidey: that was next by the studio because they deemed it to be too politically sensitive.

Reegs: You think

Sidey: presumably wouldn't have been as lighthearted or comedic

Howie: Ha ha look at the embryo Harley you fucking weak piece of

Reegs: are terminated, embryo.

Sidey: That the movie required extensive reissues to to make it work. I don't know why.

Howie: If there was a chance that you could become pregnant, which would you have done it?

Sidey: Oh, he looked like I am.

Reegs: absolutely not. Having seen it. Having seen my wife do it twice. That looks

Howie: What about pregnancy?

Reegs: Yeah. That too. It looks like hard bloody work. So thanks. But no, thanks.

Sidey: I thought that this, when Arnold does become pregnant was a really sensitive and very insightful portrayal of pregnancy and how it works.

Reegs: Really.

Sidey: a really ham-fisted stereotypical look

Howie: I'm so upset.

Reegs: W w w we get given two of the most freakishly horrible scenes, I think ever in movie history, which is the first was baby Arnold. Yeah. Baby with Arnold Schwarzenegger's face on it. And then later in the movie we get Arnold in drag.

Sidey: I'm all woman.

Reegs: just looks horrendous. Yeah. I mean, we basically then go through

Sidey: It's just all the stereotypes that you've seen

Howie: easy stereotypes.

Sidey: women are like when they're pregnant, which is such bullshit.

Reegs: sore nipples. It starts talking about walk, walking and having a nap. And he starts crying when things on TV, although let's be fair, his body is now flooded with all kinds of hormones. So maybe that would be making you feel a little bit all over the place.

Sidey: that's possible.

 Reegs: I think the main thing here is that the premise sounds like it sets up such an absurd and silly comedy. I was probably 45 minutes into the movie before I realized I don't, I'm not even sure if this is a comedy. I don't know what this movie is.

Sidey: well, it

Reegs: There weren't really any jokes were there. And then it's mostly just Arnold playing up the stereotypes.

Although I have to say a surprisingly nuanced performance from the Austrian Oak. Well, I mean everything by degrees. See though, you've got to,

Sidey: But he didn't shoot anyone.

Reegs: he didn't shoot anyone. That is

Howie: He's he's at least got to put that performance in. Cause it's quite dangerous territory playing an Austrian geneticist. There's obviously potential pathways that that film could go.

Reegs: Did you hear originally the movie was going to be called the experiment until somebody pointed out the Austrians have got problems yeah. In that area? There's a

Howie: thinking about, I'm starting to think about this. He was in a film called twins. He then his next film is an Austrian geneticists. What's the next one? Him in fucking Argentina producing lots of villages.

Reegs: amazingly, the next one is the lung ingestation, but still apparently on the table, sequel to twins. Does anybody want to guess what the sequel to twins might be called? It's triplets. And does anybody want to guess who the third triplet is going to be?

Sidey: Okay, hang on.

Reegs: That's a very good guess. It's much more offensive than that when you really start

Howie: Wesley Snipes.

Sidey: It's going to be a black man.

Reegs: it is any Murphy, so offensive. It's written by Oh, left Fiddler, Josh GAD.

Howie: And is it, is it a film that's actually

Reegs: it's in development. Hell I think it has been for years. Anyway, back to this movie, there's a subplot where DeVito's missus has been fucked by one of the members of the Arrowsmith touring party, which is really amazing.

Sidey: at the Arrowsmith poster and stuff in there.

Reegs: And then she is also pregnant. Now they hadn't been able to get pregnant.

And that was part of the reason of the breakdown of their marriage. Wasn't it?

Sidey: Yeah, but it was all fine at the end.

Reegs: Yeah. At the end there's a sort of resolution to the plot where DeVito's Mrs. Goes to have her baby in front of the pepper Ratzy so that Arnold can be smuggled in the back door.

Howie: is that euphemism?

Reegs: To have a C-section I really, my mind was just reeling with the, how the fuck does this work though? You can't like, where does the umbilical cord go?

And, you know, just none of this stuff that the movie bothers to even think about for even half a second, Frank Lang gala was also in this, but I don't know what he was doing. Really something evil.

Sidey: Yeah, he was a debt against it until he realized that they could make a lot of money out of it. And then he was, he was game on. He should have just still been at skeletal. I would've made it a lot better. I thought.

Reegs: there is a sort of pivotal moment near the end of the film that turned out to be fairly controversial. When Arnie shouts out, what does he shout? He shouts my body, my choice which in the America, which is obviously heavily politicized around issues of abortion that, that, that kind of choice in a, in a movie is fairly risky actually to see something like that come down very hard or one side of the

Sidey: while you're talking about that, then the budget for it was 60 mil, but did you think it made any money?

Howie: yeah, I saw only carries.

 Reegs: Yeah, I'll probably say the army factor carried it. Yeah.

Sidey: it did. It made 108 million, but I think that's probably quite low for her. Oh on a film

Reegs: Yes. Did you feel, what did you think about the scenes of Arnold in a dress?

Sidey: that was fucking preposterous.

Reegs: And being around a lot of expectant mothers, it was quite sweet. No,

Sidey: No, apparently he did hang around a lot of these waiting rooms.

Reegs: He'd been doing that for years.

Howie: I met the doctor.

Sidey: the, the the way these ladies behaved so that he could really nail this performance. That's true. He did do that. I thought it was fucking ludicrous. Thought it was just so stupidly stereotyped but not funny.

It was fucking long. It seemed this film.

Reegs: well, this movie was over two hours long and there's just no need for that at all.

Sidey: No, it was a 90 minute film that they should have whittled down to fucking half an hour.

Reegs: Emma Thompson is a good actress, but she's excruciating the bad in this. It rather hinges on the idea of whether you consistently find that Arnold Schwartzenegger pretending to be more feminine, funny or not.

Sidey: We spoke about this because the very first top five we ever did was an Arnold Swartz, just an honor sort of nugget film

Reegs: That's right. Yeah.

Sidey: and I rallied against him varying away from action movies then, and I'm going to do it again. He should stay in his lane and. Do what he's good at this sort of shit is it's not good.

Reegs: I think Stallone's stop or my mum will shoot was the better of the eighties hard man does kids thing.

Sidey: it's funny because when it, and it ended you get on prime, you know, you get below all the other films that it then recommends that it was just a treasure trove of utter pish.

Howie: the weather some van

Sidey: one

Reegs: Mr nanny, the whole Kogan one probably would have been in

Howie: VIN diesel's nanny one that he does. There's that older probably popped up as well.

Sidey: this complete an artist shot.

Reegs: Essentially Jr. Is the polar opposite of the Terminator where the Terminator exists only to destroy life. And specifically a pregnancy in the Terminator Hess in this movie, Arnold's character, the opposite of the T 800 is, you know, he's only there to create and defend.

Sidey: that's true. Actually. I didn't think of it that, and it's, that's good.

Well, you mentioned that this is the effect to be a trilogy of movies that Ivan Reitman and Arnie may together. Ivan Reitman cited this as not his best, but his favorite. Of the three, which sounds to me like something you would say to defend something that you actually know is a load of shit.

Reegs: what are the three you've got twins, this

Sidey: this and kindergarten cop

Reegs: Hm. Twins is probably the best out of all of those.

Sidey: not seeing it.

Reegs: All right. Okay. Well that we might have to, and then kindergarten

Sidey: about a million times.

Howie: is twins is excellent.

Sidey: Is it.

Reegs: Excellent might be stretching it, but

Sidey: Have you seen any? It's always sunny in Philadelphia.

Reegs: yes I have. And

Sidey: DeVito is fucking brilliant in that.

Reegs: yeah.

Sidey: How you check it out? It's on Netflix. Fucking good at

Reegs: Have they done an episode where DeVito's like, Oh my brother's coming to town and then Schwartzenegger shows up. Is that one that feels like a missed opportunity if they haven't.

Sidey: better do. I don't have much more say bias from other than it was fucking crap.

Reegs: it's really bad. It's, it's terribly written and badly acted. What is quite amazing is that it's not wildly offensive by today's standards and considering it's a movie made in 1994 about a subject that is bound to be, you know, difficult to talk about. It's surprisingly sweet and tender.

Sidey: Shit.

 Reegs: I thought they asked some interesting questions. Is it, does it mean something different to be a father than the mother or, you know, those sorts of things that might be interesting?

 Arnold is effectively reborn and he's when he's introduced he's lonely and unliked and through becoming more feminine and experiences that he goes through having this pregnancy, he sort of reborn, but for the love of his child, which surprisingly sweet. But now it's it's

Sidey: get that dreadful battle of the beach down here at the end where they're there. They're there. It's all fucking lovey-dovey happy families are God. No, go and kill

Howie: that's what happens at the end of twins as well.

Sidey: Oh, spoiler alert.

Reegs: I, I, yeah, I didn't really like this idea. You weren't particularly keen. Some people were keener Miranda Riemer on Google reviews said. Very taste. I big smile, a film to watch with the children. Yummy. I have the field's mood and Seth Cox said I've never seen it, but awesome. And I need 30 characters, so I'm typing randomly, and he gave it five stars.

So thank you. Miranda and stuff. Yes.

 Sidey: I'm glad I watched it now. Just hear those two reviews. I wasn't a fan. I got to be honest. I thought this is one of the worst things I've seen since Brighton rock was fucking dreadful. There's this, that thing in the nineties of, of there being zero. I don't know if I particularly hate on the nineties, but there just seems to be a. It was so easy to just put a star in any sort of film and expect people to just turn up and watch it. And it's this thing. This is fucking lazy and shit. And it's not even funny. It's not even so bad. It's funny. It's just boring. And it goes on for fucking ever.

Reegs: two hours. There's no, there's no reason for it to be, as long as that.

Howie: Yeah, dip in the fortunes of Arnie with this one, but not necessarily at the box office, but at least we know we went onto a usual fare after this. 

Reegs: Arnie pregnant, not good film.

Howie: And that is

Sidey: that's a wrap.