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Archive for the ‘Maria Conchita Alonso’ Category

How does one choose the best of greatness? How can I chose my favorite Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl victory, all five (that’s right Broncos fans, five wins,) are great.  How can I choose between my favorite Scotch because it’s all great.  I can go on and on but you get my meaning, it is hard to choose greatness when all of it is great.  Yet here is my dilemma, how do I pick a top 5 favorite Arnold Schwarzenegger film?  They are all nirvana (We now and forever will not speak of the abomination known as Junior.  Clearly this film was spawned by the forces of evil and it will never be seen, reviewed, or discussed in any fashion on my blog.) None the less, I have to endeavor to create such a list in order to celebrate the greatness that is Arnold Schwarzenegger.  I also have to do it because Benn Farrell lost the monthly review challenge in March so he has to write many things on Arnold because he lacks the special gift that those who know the greatness of Arnold have because he doesn’t see it.   When he has his list of Top 5 up I will link it here, but I can tell you that Last Action Hero will be in the top 5 as well as possibly Twins, maybe even Kindergarten Cop.  It’s shocking I know, especially the disgrace of Last Action Hero.  But like I said, he lacks that spark.  Anyway, I shall now produce a visual feast that shall make you warm in spirit and make you damn proud to be an American, by celebrating the work of an Austrian.Image: Arnold Schwarzenegger

running manNumber 5: The Running Man (1987)

“It’s time to start running!”  Ah what can you say negative about a movie where the bad guy is one time TV actor and longtime game show host Richard Dawson?  Oh and his henchman are a potpourri of famous football players, former professional wrestlers, and an opera singer.  Oh and the female lead in the film is Maria Conchita Alonso who in the 1990’s went to do what can only be described as Spanish speaking soft core porn.  How can you dislike this movie?  Oh and its based on a book by Richard Bachman, which is a pen name for none other than Stephen King.  Granted this movie has nothing to do with that book with the exception of the title and basic premise but still there is that too.  This is a purely guilty pleasure action film and one of my favorites.  Briefly the story is that in the future America a police helicopter pilot is sent to jail after disobeying orders to fire on a crowd of people who were starving and rioting for food.  He breaks out of prison and is caught again and forced to take part in a life or death game that is televised to the public.   If the prisoner survives the contest he is pardoned and sent to Hawaii…or someplace warm.  The contest is rigged as is society as a whole.  Well fortunately for this America that police helicopter pilot is Ben Richards who is played by the man Arnold Schwarzenegger.  The movie is glorious because of the violence of the film, the ludicrousness of the plot, and there is almost no acting in the film.  It is a vintage Arnold action film of the 1980’s.  Oh and by this point in time it is assumed that Arnold will have one-liners in his film and this has quite a few and they are all memorable.  I may be the only person on the planet who loves this film but I don’t care.  It is awesome and deserves to be on this list.

 

 

 

PredatorNumber 4: Predator (1987)

“If it bleeds, we can kill it.”  This was a wonderful movie on many levels.  It introduced a movie creature that has become an iconic part of American movie culture.  The movie put together some of the largest and biggest men on screen only to see them get torn apart.  Even Arnold can’t out muscle the 7 ft tall alien, but he can out think him, mostly.  It’s a typical 80’s action film with lots of blood and bodies.

You can read my full review here, but the Cliffnotes version of the story is that a group of Special Forces are sent to a Central American country to rescue some politicians.  It turns out the politicians are CIA and the previous groups that were sent to find them have disappeared.  Arnold’s unit finds the other military units slaughtered and begin to think that there is something larger at play then a bunch of rebels.  Things become clearer as they see something pick off his soldiers one by one and Arnold has to face the alien mono v mono to survive.

This movie was intense from beginning to end.  The minute they all jumped into the jungle I was on the edge of my seat until the final explosion.  The director, John McTiernan, did an excellent job building up the suspense and the slow reveal of the monster.  Plus visually this film was stunning with all of the shots of the Jungle.  McTiernan would put the experience of this film to good use when he would go to shoot another jungle film called Medicine Man.

This makes the list because it is full of action and Arnold’s humor.  It also created an iconic monster.  The special effects seemed amazing at the time but they do not hold up well over the long haul, with the exception of the creature costume itself.  Of course the costume was created by legendary special effects man Stan Winston.  This movie is a keeper.

 

conanNumber 3: Conan the Barbarian (1982)

Conan was his first starring movie and really began his career as the action hero he was born to be.  He didn’t have a whole lot of lines in this film and some said that was a good thing because it left all  of the actual acting to the big stars in the film like James Earl Jones and Max Von Sydow to name a few.  This is also one of the few films where Arnold found love and loss.  Again, I have a review of this you can find here, but if you didn’t know what this movie is about, Arnold plays the once and future King Conan and he is on a journey of revenge and redemption trying to find the men responsible for killing off his entire family and village.

I am a fan of this movie for many reasons.  I love the action scenes and they are plenty.  I have always been attracted to the ancient world and its war making.  The concept of holding a sword and shield standing toe to toe with another person holding the same has always fascinated me in a primeval sort of way.  This movie does a wonderful job of tying the action with music and I am a big fan of this music which was written by Basil Poledouris who has written the music for such memorable movies as Hunt for Red October, RoboCop, and was arguably the best thing about Starship Trooper, besides the nudity.  Some of my favorite action scenes with music are the Orgy scene and the final battle on the hill.  But the music is great throughout the film.

The reason why it is my third favorite Arnold film is because it was one of the first ones I have ever seen and the old world background and the bloody action has always appealed to me.   It isn’t higher on the list because the story isn’t great and the acting is mediocre and the special effects are very dated early 80’s.  There is a scene in the Orgy battle where you see a stunt guy break open the very visible blood back after Arnold takes a swing at him.  That being said I have it at number 3 because whenever it’s on TV I will stop and watch it even though I have it on both BluRay and DVD.  The movie was kind of the launching point for his career.  I know some people will say his 70’s documentary Pumping Iron started him off but if this movie bombed I am not sure we get Arnold as the Terminator two years later.  As bad as this movie is, and it’s not horrible, Oliver Stone did write one version of this script, it’s always a fun watch and it has Arnold being a bad ass for most of the movie and you can never go wrong with that.

 

True LiesNumber 2: True Lies (1994)

This move for me proved that if James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger partnered together on every action movie they would own the box office record for action movies.  Unfortunately Cameron used his success to make the stain on the American movie culture known as Titanic and Arnold would never again have the same success as he had in this movie.   This is the third movie Arnold and Cameron worked together on and even though it is my second favorite Arnold movie if you were to tell me it’s his best movie I wouldn’t disagree with you.  This movie is that wonderful.

This movie, which I haven’t done a review for yet, has Arnold as a super secret agent spy who is a bad ass in every way.  However, he has not told his wife of 10+ years that he is a secret agent. She thinks he is a computer software salesman.  Well when Arnold’s character thinks his wife, who is played by the amazing Jamie Lee Curtis, is cheating on him, he creates a sting operation that will eventually and accidentally get them captured by major bad guys who will threaten the US by setting off nuclear weapons inside major cities unless Arnold can stop him.

There are so many things to like about this movie.  The two biggest reasons were Jamie Lee Curtis, who played the wife, and Tom Arnold who played his partner and side kick.  Curtis was amazing in what I would argue is her first action movie (I am ignoring her horror flicks when she was young because running and screaming isn’t action.)  She did a wonderful job of at first acting like the shy, quiet housewife, then getting turned into a sexy secret agent, and finally getting to throw around some punches and acting like a bad ass.  Tom Arnold on the other hand was the comic relief.  He was hilarious in every scene he was in and his timing was perfect.  I have never seen him be that funny and that good at it ever.   These were two excellent casting choices by Cameron.  But to be honest the entire cast was wonderful.

This movie is my second favorite only because I felt that while this was definitely the peak of his movie career, Arnold’s best movie had come three years before this one and that one cemented his place as an action movie icon.  This movie kind of just piled on that point.  This movie is the proof that you can have your cake and eat it too.

terminator2 Number 1:  Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)

This is the essential Arnold Schwarzenegger film.  He is an action hero that is allowed to show a little heart and kicks much ass.  While he is the straight man the others, mostly the kid actor, provide a little comedy, and you had a menacing bad guy that was as near indestructible as the alien was from the movie Predator.  This had great action, great characters, ground breaking special effects, and a nice story.  Terminator 2 is Arnold’s largest grossing film in his career and after his run of 80’s action movies this film cemented him in the same lexicon of action hero’s as John Wayne and Clint Eastwood.

Again another movie I haven’t reviewed, but the brief version is that Arnold once again reprises his roll as the Terminator from the first movie but this time instead of being sent back in time to kill Sarah Connor, played by Linda Hamilton, he is sent back to protect her son John, played by Edward Furlong, from the newest version of the deadly Terminators, the T-1000, played by Robert Patrick.  The story is a race against time to keep John alive, find some way to destroy the new Terminator, and destroy Skynet before it even starts.

I like this movie because I was on the edge of my seat from the beginning to the end.  You never knew when the new terminator would show up and every time you thought they had it beat the robot would rebuild itself and start killing again.  The special effects were amazing because they were able to create this robot using liquid mercury and stop action filming and many other techniques.  Computer graphics were still a few years away so what they were able to do in make this creature was amazing.

The characters were wonderful in the film with the one exception of Edward Furlong.  This was his first film and it showed.  He had the makings of a talented career if he worked at it but he went the wrong direction with drugs and alcohol and has been a B movie, direct video king, ever since.  In this film he was a little annoying which I suppose since he was supposed to be 10 or 11 I guess that’s ok.  Interesting side note: while filming this movie, Edward hit puberty and his voice started to change which created issues with the continuity of the movie.  After it was filmed Furlong had to go into the studio and redo some of his lines in order to fix his voice track.

The biggest change made by a character in this film was Sarah Connor.  In the first Terminator she was basically your standard damsel in distress.   In this film we have her full on bad ass female that has become an icon of strong woman in films.  She was no nonsense, decisive, woman who needed to rely on herself and didn’t need a man.  Linda did a great job at it.  Arnold was Arnold in this film doing the roll that was made for him.  His change from killing machine to body guard led to some fun moments with John but his best stuff was his action scenes.  To this day the scene where he is walking out carrying that mini-gun makes me all gooey inside.minigun

The best part about this movie was then ending where Sarah and John were forced to lower the Terminator into the vat of liquid metal in order to destroy the chip in his head to kill off Skynet once and for all.  I would argue that most of the men in the audience had watery eyes as they watched John hold on to the Terminator crying to him that he had to say and the Terminator in that thick Austrian accent saying, “I’m sorry John.”

It’s my favorite movie because I can remember what theater I was at, even though it no longer exists, and the great time I had watching it.  I went with some girl, hell I don’t remember who, she could have gone naked and I wouldn’t have remembered.  When you have that move that kind of reaction to a movie it has to be a favorite.  At least it is for me.

 

Honorable Mention in no particular order –

Commando (1985) –

I have this in my top 80’s movies list which you can read here, but it is an honorable mention because of the shear ridiculousness of it.  It is the very definition of a guilty pleasure because so many things don’t make sense about it.  It is the very definition of 80’s action movies that require lots of dead bodies, no plot, unrealistic timelines, and the good guy winning in the end by killing the bad guy and getting the girl.  It’s fun movie to watch if you’re a guy and better to have.  If your wife or girlfriend ever made you watch The Notebook then this is something you make her watch.

Red Heat (1988) –

This was an odd buddy cop movie that worked with Jim Belushi as his partner.  It’s a fun watch but not the complete action movie you would expect of an Arnold film.  This actually has some detective cop drama to it as they try to solve the pieces of the story.  That being said the car chase between two busses is absolutely glorious in ever since of the word.  Doesn’t make by top 5 list just because the action is a little slow and the humor isn’t a strong.  But a good time none the less.

Terminator (1984) –

It must seem like a heresy for an Arnold fan to not have this movie on his Top 5 list.  It marks all the check boxes in action, intensity, great characters and a fun story.  It is the backdrop of this film that creates my number one Arnold film.  Well it doesn’t make my top 5 list for one reason:  He is the bad guy.  Arnold is great at the Terminator and it is his master roll, but in celebrating his greatness I can’t include a movie of his that involves him being the bad guy.

Total Recall (1990) –

This movie is just over the top in its action and special effects.  The whole concept of Arnold having to go to Mars is just a delightful trip to excessiveness.  I am a fan of this movie and it almost made my Top 5 because it did give us the lovely actress Sharon Stone when she was just starting.  Who knew she would become a tired hag.  And listening to Arnold say, “Get your ass to Mars,” is a delight.  But I couldn’t do it just because I though the special effects were a little uneven.  Some of it was great, like the body scanner X-ray machines.  But the prosthetics that involved fake faces, breasts, and aliens, just didn’t work for me and as much as I liked the movie, this was a draw back for me.  That is the reason why it didn’t make my Top 5 but still is a fun movie.

Red Sonja (1985) –

This movie is pure guilty pleasure even more so than Commando was a guilty pleasure.  This movie is actually just absolutely God awful.  But it does have Arnold doing Conan the Barbarian things as a Conan light character.  The movie is basically a female version of Conan called Red Sonja and the main character is portrayed by Bridget Neilson.  If Arnold wasn’t in this movie then I was put this on the list of worst movies ever.  It still may belong on it but whenever it comes on TV, which hasn’t been in 15 years at least, I would watch it.  I have it on DVD and that’s embarrassing.  Not sure if it’s on BluRay yet and nots sure if they are making it on DVD anymore.  It’s one step above Sharknado level.  But I can’t not watch it when I see it and I won’t even tell you it’s fun.  But I’ll watch if you put it in front of me.  So it goes on the list.  Plus 6th day, which is a way better movie, was released in the year 2000 so I can’t use that one.  And there is a movie Arnold did called Raw Deal that I have never been able to finish so it can’t make the list either.  So Red Sonja it is.

Hope you enjoyed my list. I did.

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