Posts Tagged ‘Arnold Schwarzenegger’

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Total system failure: “Terminator: Genisys”

June 28, 2015

Terminator-Genisys-poster-final
[NOTE: This reviews contains some spoilers, though nothing that wasn’t given away in the trailers for the film. Still, if you’re totally unspoiled about Terminator: Genisys you may want to avoid this review.]

Few things are worse today than the were in the early ‘90s: music, fashion, technology are all much, much better than in, say, 1991. If you don’t believe me, just take a wander down memory lane that is the Internet and behold that INXS-rocking, tortoiseshell glasses-wearing, Discman-listening-to moment in history and you’ll likely feel the same immense relief at being alive in this point in time as when you read an article about, say, medieval medical practices. But there is one thing the early ‘90s had over today, at least 24 years ago we could get a decent Terminator movie, as opposed to the one Hollywood just coughed up. Yep, I’ll just say it: Terminator: Genisys is even dumber than it’s title.

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Criminally Overlooked: “The Last Stand”

September 23, 2013

Poster

In hindsight it’s not hard to understand why The Last Stand tanked early in 2013. Headlined by Arnold Schwarzenegger—who is heavily played up in the trailers—it was a part of the failed “1980s action-star renaissance” Hollywood producers seemed to be trying to will into existence out of whole cloth. This mini-trend included The Expendables 2 and Sylvester Stallone’s Bullet to the Head (which had the added nostalgia bonus of being directed by ‘80s action mainstay Walter Hill). All these films pretty much crashed and burned at the box office (domestically, anyway–Expendables did well enough overseas to justify a third installment), and that’s too bad in the case of The Last Stand, because it’s a light, fun action movie that steadfastly refuses to take itself seriously.
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Arnold Schwarzenegger is not a cow: “Raw Deal”

September 6, 2012

Raw Deal has been referred to as “the lost Schwarzenegger” film by some. Well, by me. Last night when I watched it. Still, I think it’s a pretty accurate description, since it’s almost never referred to when the big man’s filmography is reviewed. We remember Commando (1985) and Predator (1987), but as far as most people are concerned, Arnie just took 1986 off. True, Raw Deal was an underperformer, but so were many of his movies. No, the reason this movie has slipped from memory is pretty much the same as the reason no one remembers   1988’s Red Heat: Both of these movies appear to have been written as, well, real movies and called upon Arnie to play someone other than himself. You know, like an actual person, and let’s face it: if there is one thing Schwarzenegger does not in any way, shape, or form resemble it is an actual human being. I mean, I still have trouble believing the guy really exists.
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The ’80s ride again! (again): “The Expendables 2”

August 22, 2012

So, summer has ended with a throwback to a simpler time. A time when women wore their hair big, and their shoulder pads bigger. When men didn’t believe in sensitivity or child-rearing, because they were too busy doing lines of coke and destroying small companies on Wall Street. When our country’s enemy was a monolithic power bloc, that we could make war against for five decades without ever, you know, actually fighting. It was time when the cinema landscape was dominated by immense, steroid-driven beasts that stalked the countryside and struck fear into their enemies’ with their war cries of “Aaaeeeooouw!” and “Ahgagagaggoggle!” It was, in short, the 1980s. Yes, the ’80s are back in The Expendables 2. Alas, not the best of ‘80s—Lambourghinis, and knit ties, and trashy women—but the action cinema of the 1980s, and that’s pretty good too.
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1982, Best Summer Ever: “Conan the Barbarian”

August 6, 2012

Here’s my idea for a scathing satire that will take on Hollywood and American culture. Ready? Okay, so you have a crappy, pulp-fiction property receive a big-budget (in 1982 bucks) treatment. Rather than star a big-name actor, though, the lead is played by an amateur–a nigh-unintelligible foreign bodybuilder of ludicrous proportions. And the director is a right-wing gun-nut who sneaks his anti-Hollywood, anti-leftie messages into the film.  And despite critical revulsion, the damn thing becomes a respectable hit, remembered and liked thirty years later, when the musclebound leading man has married into the most powerful families in the US and served as governor of California. Wouldn’t that be an hilarious idea for a novel? Yeah, except it all really happened, and the movie was Conan the Barbarian.
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The lamentation of the remake: “Conan the Barbarian”

August 29, 2011

Is there any good reason to remake Conan the Barbarian? Of course not, but that’s never stopped Hollywood before, right? I mean, the original still holds up, is still a beloved cinematic relic from the ‘80s and launched the career of one of the most remarkable movie stars of all time (yes he is…just accept it). But, let’s not forget that Arnie is too old to do a sequel, and—this part is paramount in Hollywood’s thinking—it’s just a lot easier to remake that movie than, you know, create something new. So…we get this: a padded out, surlier version of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.
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Christmas Movie Round-up!

December 23, 2008

bad-santaSo, recently Kassandra the Work-Wife told me “You need to review something new. I’m tired of the looking at the poster for Midnight Meat Train. It’s boring.” As I was in the multi-day process of returning home from Iraq, I told her it might take awhile. “Oh, stop being such a baby about things. All of a sudden you’re so self-centered: ‘Wah! I can’t review movies because I’m traveling for the next 72 hours! Wah! I can’t keep texting you internationally because my phone bill was $500 bucks this month! Wah! I can’t talk to you right now because we’re being rocketed and I have to run to a bunker!’ Jeez, find your balls, cowboy up and review a freakin’ movie will you?” Unfortunately, I’d have to get around to seeing one worth reviewing, and that hasn’t happened yet. Instead, I thought we’d do something a bit more seasonal. I mean, it’s Christmas and all, why have some horrible B-movie’s poster plastered on my site over Christmas? So, here’s a quick holiday movie roundup. Just a quick (and easy) way to celebrate the season. So, in no particular order:

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