Sunday, January 21, 2007

Schwarzenegger Sunday: Overview

Arnold Schwarzenegger literally burst onto the scene when he appeared in 1977’s Pumping Iron. He’s starred in over twenty-five films since then, most of which were tremendous box office successes. Whether it’s because he started as a weightlifter, has an accent, or went into a career in politics, people have never respected him as an actor and generally thought him to be unintelligent. But if that’s the case, how could one explain his work’s such tremendous popularity? Every two weeks, we’ll examine a different Arnold vehicle and utilize the following criteria:

Quality of “Ahnold” lines: These are oft quoted in our culture, and we’ll examine the strength of these efforts in each film. The better the lines, the higher the quality.

Plethora of “Ahnold” lines: Quantity has to count for something.

“I’ll be back.”: Schwarzenegger’s most famous line reappears in most of his post-Terminator outings.

Smarmy Villain: I’m not sure if smarmy is going to end up being the right word. We’ll see, but nearly every Arnold movie has a top villain who is so evil and sinister, yet a bit sleazy.

Rough and Tumble Henchman: The villain almost always has an unfailingly loyal tough-guy who can take the heat and go toe to toe with Arnold. He is a man to be feared.

Diminutive Sidekick: There have long been rumors about Schwarzenegger’s true height. He’s listed at 6’2”, but many question it. I vacillate on the issue myself, and my roommate’s dad once shared a drink with Arnold and claims he’s about 5’8”. In any event, in most of his movies, he has a buddy or sidekick who would, well, let’s just say Arnold would look tall next to the guy and leave it at that.

Rejected hot love interest: Arnold is often presented with a ridiculously hot woman who he usually rejects for…

Not nearly hot enough love interest: For a big Hollywood movie, you’d think some incredibly good-looking starlet would have the female lead, but it rarely turns out that way.

Arnold yelling: I just love it when he hollers. We’ll see a lot of this.

Arnold cursing: He often throws out a poignant curse word, be it humorous or powerful or both.

Arnold crazyface: Arnold makes the most ridiculous faces. He's like the Bill Cosby of action movies. You'll see what I mean.

Superfluous Explosions: It's a near guarantee that something is going to blow way up.

Director: Arnold rarely works with directors just once. We’ll note the other collaborations.

Franco Columbu: Arnold’s weightlifting partner makes his way in to many a movie in a bit part.

Sven Ole-Thorsen: Another body-building buddy of Arnold’s, he’ll show up often as well.

Shirtless Arnold: I suppose the saying goes, “when you’ve got it flaunt it.” Since Arnold has more of it than any human could possibly need, he tries to show it off whenever possible. I assure you I am not attracted to Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Severely brutal killing of rough and tumble henchman: Prepare for arms being ripped off, brains being splattered and many other types of brutality.

Even more severely brutal killing of villain: Double that.

Implausibly plausible plot: Or is that plausibly implausible? Either way, it seems that there is always some extremely farfetched adventure involved, yet we end up believing all of it. Something about these movies is compelling enough to win us over, even though on its face, the storyline doesn't make sense.

Ambiguous ending: We don’t always get to see this one. Or do we? It’s up for the viewer to decide.

So there you have it. All of our criteria. Each will be rated on a ten-point scale. When we're all finished, we'll crown the most Arnold-est movie of all time. I’ll also post a summary and/or extra comments because I can’t shut up.

This list of reviews we've done:
The Terminator
Raw Deal
The Running Man
True Lies
Pumping Iron
Conan The Barbarian
Total Recall
Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Last Action Hero
Roundup, Part I
Roundup, Part II
The George W. Bush Administration

1 comment:

Unknown said...

This sure looks fun, I don't have time now but I'll definitely come back to read all of this entries.

I'm a big fan of Schwarzenegger and I think that he's does not receive proper credit in most of the situations. Of course there're exceptions, his depiction of Bane in Batman & Robin is probably the worst think he's done in his life... but the movie is so bad that shamed not only him but everybody that was involved in that fiasco.