Tag Archives: Arnold Schwarzenegger

The Set of 400: #57 – My Favorite Elevator Police Horse

Today! Because I remember the first time I got shot out of a cannon –

True Lies (1994)

Directed by James Cameron (x4)

Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger (x3), Jamie Lee Curtis (x3), Tom Arnold, Tia Carrere, Bill Paxton (x6), Grant Heslov, Eliza Dushku (x2), Charlton Heston (x2), Art Malik

I have a tendency to forget how balls-out insane the climax of this movie gets, because the brilliant middle section of the film pulls the action-adventure epic so far into straight comedy. In a lot of ways, True Lies is the ultimate ’90s action film, while somehow working as a terrific parody of the genre and cinematic era in general. It’s hard to tell if the movie builds toward the utterly ludicrous final showdown as a way of satirizing the bombastic action movies of the day and before, or if it just wanted to try and top them all. Amazingly, it works in either fashion, from certain points of view.

Schwarzenegger’s recent forays into full-on comedy with the likes of Kindergarten Cop and Twins served him well playing secret-agent-disguised-as-computer-salesman (albeit a super jacked one) Harry Tasker. His James Bond/Rambo operative gets off plenty of jokes and light-touch comic moments, amidst the daring and derring-do, opposite great comedy turns by Tom Arnold and Grant Heslov as his team members, Jamie Lee Curtis as his unsuspecting wife, and especially the late, great Extreme, Bill Paxton, as the oily car salesman gaslighting as a secret agent himself. When this middle section of the film starts, it feels like a wild left turn in the plot – up until then, we are just following a fun but routine spy-centric plot about smuggled weapons and Tia Carrere’s revealing eveningwear – but quickly resources are diverted, attention is shifted, and Paxton’s sleezy Simon is full center. While this whole sequence does open the door for all the wacky complications that lead to the film’s kidnap escaping/nuclear explosion/helicopter-limo rescue/Harrier jet-skyscraper third act, it also is the true genius stroke of the film, even if it only tangentially matters to the story. Without Simon trying to seduce Helen, you’d have an undoubtedly fun but pretty standard Schwarzenegger romp. Forever MVP the Extreme! Continue reading

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The Set of 400: #110 – My Favorite Nude Biker Bar Contretemps

Today! Because I need your clothes, your boots and your motorcycle –

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

Directed by James Cameron (x3)

Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger (x2), Linda Hamilton, Robert Patrick (x2), Edward Furlong, Joe Morton, S. Epatha Merkerson, Earl Boen, Jenette Goldstein (x3), Xander Berkeley (x2), Leslie Hamilton Gearren, Don Lake (x2), Dean Norris (x2), Castulo Guerra

Look, if this was a list of the Awesomest Movies, Terminator 2 would be way higher. Hell, it might be #1. This movie is awesome across the board. Schwarzenegger was just hitting the awesome peak of his career, following his string of rote ’80s musclebound shoot-’em-ups, Robert Patrick makes for an even awesomer terminator than we got in the prequel, 1984’s The Terminator, Linda Hamilton is crazy awesome in her unhinged return as Sarah Conner, there are bigger explosions, bigger chases, cooler effects, and no matter what the casting of Edward Furlong did in attempts to dampen the awesomeness, it didn’t work. This is all mind-blowingly awesome.

So awesome!

You know, I’m just gonna say it – it’s too awesome. There’s too much greatness packed into this movie – from the near constant stakes and wild action sequences, to the phenomenal ending in the goddamn smelting factory or wherever. This was the ultimate R-rated summer blockbuster, and without question the last good movie in this seemingly endless series. We don’t need any more of these movies! Hang on a minute – there’s another Terminator in 2019?! I just ran across this. Was it any good? Couldn’t be, right? None of them are good. And it all comes back to Terminator 2 being too damn awesome. How were they going to top this? By all appearances, they haven’t even tried! And now this nonsense strategy where you pick a film from the series to halt the timeline at and throw a new sequel in, à la Halloween and Superman Returns and whatnot. Stop this lazy nonsense.

Unless you’re bringing back the awesomeness of Robert Patrick, you’re fucked

I remember getting this movie on VHS, and being informed by numerous classmates that this received their highest recommendation, which – as we seemed to say a lot back then – “It’s the best movie ever the first time you see it.” The first time you see it was a key qualifier to a lot of movies for some reason. Like, me still being a huge Batman fan in ’91, the biggest knock from everyone around me was that it was great the first time, but then what? It gets predictable and dull? And the older you get, did this phenomenon go away? I haven’t heard anyone say this about any movie since like ’93, so it must’ve dried up. Anyway, remember the first time you saw Terminator 2? It’s still that awesome. It’s totally holding up.

Even the credits were awesome!

So why isn’t the Awesomest Thing Ever On-Screen higher on this list, you might ask? I mean, #110 is nothing to sneeze at, but I’m lofting a ton of praise at this thing. Well…I guess it’s a little long, and it is pretty grim for pretty long stretches, so while it’s awesome it’s rarely feel-good awesome, over those two-and-a-half hours. But, on the other hand, I haven’t seen the regular length version of this movie in a long time – those director’s cuts/ultimate edition whatevers are super long – so maybe that’s on me. But also, you know, Edward Furlong – that kid is plenty annoying. And, I mean, the character is kinda annoying, so it’s not entirely Furlong’s fault, I’m sure, but still – he grows up to be the savior of mankind? Edward Furlong? Pretty hard to swallow. James Cameron is not exactly an actor’s director, by all indications, and I think Furlong just needed some guidance.

He was pretty solid in American History X, in all fairness

In addition to being the top film at the box office in 1991, Terminator 2 also won the second most Oscars that year – four (Sound, Visual Effects, Sound Effects Editing, and Makeup) in six nominations (also Cinematography and Film Editing), only trailing Silence of the Lambs’ five wins. It was followed by Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines in 2003 (woof), Terminator: Salvation in 2009 (booooring), and Terminator: Genisys in 2015 (a mishmash of ludicrous nonsense, but not nearly as bad as everyone makes out). Allegedly the ’08-’09 FOX series The Sarah Conner Chronicles starring future Cersei Lannister Lena Headey was pretty good, even if it only ran two seasons, but I’ll admit I didn’t watch a minute. And now there’s another Terminator apparently – it’s directed by the guy who did Deadpool, so maybe? I’m not getting my hopes up.

Cameron joins the directing Three-Timers, following #222 Aliens and #296 Titanic, and there are a bunch of new Two-Timers acting-wise, but only one Three-Timer – Aliens alum and MVP, and #163 Fear and Loathing’s terrorized maid Jenette Goldstein!

So awesome!

Coming tomorrow! You’re a complex Freudian hallucination having something to do with my mother and I don’t know why you have wings –

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The Set of 400: #192 – My Favorite Stallone Terminator Movie

Today! Because I’m the famous comedian Arnold Braunschweiger –

Last Action Hero (1993)

Directed by John McTiernan (x2)

Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Austin O’Brien, Mercedes Ruehl, Charles Dance, F. Murray Abraham (x4), Anthony Quinn, Robert Prosky (x2), Art Carney, Frank McRae, Tom Noonan, Ian McKellen (x3), Joan Plowright, Bridgette Wilson, Tina Turner, Rick Ducommun (x4), Michael V. Gazzo, Colleen Camp (x2), Leeza Gibbons (x3), M.C. Hammer, Little Richard, Maria Shriver, Angie Everhart, Jim Belushi, Chevy Chase (x2), Robert Patrick, Sharon Stone, Jean-Claude Van Damme (x2), Damon Wayans

I would normally start by telling you all to SHUT UP, but seriously, I need some input. This movie was a famous disappointment at the box office in the summer of 1993, and critically didn’t fare much better. It’s the weird resume blip for Schwarzenegger between Terminator 2 and True Lies. But, like, I legitimately love this movie, and simply don’t understand the hatred it seems to bring out in people. Really, why don’t more people like Last Action Hero?

Was it this?

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John McCain Claims He Was in Predator, Too

With various polls showing him trailing Democratic Presidential hopeful Barack Obama by a substantial margin, Republican nominee John McCain made a stunning announcement yesterday that he too appeared in the 1987 sci-fi action hit Predator, along side future governors Jesse Ventura and Arnold Schwarzenegger, with hopes that this would convince young voters that he was not only qualified for the Presidency, but also that he was “cool,” “hip,” and “with it.”

“I have been reluctant to share the details of my involvement in the film for many years,” McCain told a surprised crowd at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver.  “This is mostly because filming occurred during my first run for the Senate, and I thought it would reflect badly if the people of Arizona knew I was skipping off to Mexico for weeks at a time to make this action film.  But yes, I too was in Predator.  No one has recognized this all these years because I, in fact, was the Predator.”

"Six hours in the make-up chair, every day."

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