Arnold Schwarzenegger

Terminator Original

Arnold Schwarzenegger is old, which means he’s going to look old in the next Terminator movie. He’ll be a robot with wrinkles, and according to James Cameron, that’s okay. “I pointed out that the outer covering (of the Terminator) was actually not synthetic, that it was organic and therefore could age,” Cameron said at a 30th anniversary celebration of the original film. “You could theoretically have a Terminator that was sent back in time, missed his target, and ended up just kind of living on in society. Because he is a learning computer and has a brain as a central processor he could actually become more human as he went along without getting discovered.” So that’s that, except it doesn’t really matter. This is the kind of external explanation that you can hold in the back of your mind even while laughing at what’s happening on screen. Even if they offer it up as exposition, it’s still a cosmetic solution for a real-world situation we all recognize. Schwarzenegger is thirty years older, so now they’ve got to explain why he’s that way in the movies, thus reminding all of us that it’s something which needs explanation. It’s lose-lose. On the other hand, there’s a chance that aging will offer Terminator: Genisys a gruff, sullen robot, but on the other other hand, is there any real hope that Schwarzenegger can rise above his hammy delivery to pull that off to its full potential?

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Neo in The Matrix

Let’s call this pitch Filmography Expendables. Take an actor or actress, list his or her best characters and throw them in a movie together as a team of awesomeness. Or, since I’m still certain we’re heading into a “Vs.” movie trend — and the “Civil War” idea for Captain America 3, where Cap fights Iron Man, is further evidence — take a star’s best two characters and pit them against each other. We’re talking gold right there. The necessary effects are there and have been long enough that I’m surprised we haven’t seen more action sequences where an actor is fighting himself as clones or lookalikes or something like that. Oblivion gave us Tom Cruise versus Tom Cruise, but now the next step is to see Ethan Hunt go up against Jack Reacher (it could easily happen since both are from Paramount properties), and then of course they finish in a draw and unite, alongside Maverick, Lestat and Frank T.J. Mackey. I was inspired to think about this idea from two places. One is this week’s episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., in which Ming-Na Wen got to fight herself in the role of Agent May and a S.H.I.E.L.D.-turned-Hydra spy wearing an impossibly perfect Agent May mask. It was one of the best things ever seen on the show. The second thing is a tweet from my buddy Justin Robinson, who wrote: “I want a shared universe of Keanu Reeves characters. That way Neo, Ted, Johnny Utah, Jack Traven and John […]

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Expendables 3

The easy answer to what went wrong with the box office for The Expendables 3 is that everyone had already seen it. A copy of the movie was leaked online weeks ago, and unlike with most pirated new movies out there, this was a very high quality bootleg. So, the first piece of advice to the makers of this franchise regarding The Expendables 4 is obviously “don’t let it leak.” However, while I do think the piracy had an effect on not just the dismal US gross of $16m but also the international take so far in significant spots like Russia, I believe there’s more to it. X-Men Origins: Wolverine didn’t have such a terrible drop in interest compared to the rest of its series just because it was online before it opened in theaters. Not all potential fans of the Expendables movies are people who’d illegally download them. Maybe they’re just bored of the casting gimmick being the only thing given thought during their production. Or maybe another aspect of the casting turned moviegoers off. I’m not talking about the fact that Stallone let Bruce Willis slip away. Perhaps Mel Gibson is just too poisonous to be in a movie where audiences are expected to relish his performance, even if he’s playing the main villain. He is a lot of fun in The Expendables 3, but the role seems too much of a reward in connection with Gibson’s scandals and current reputation. These movies lean on the contexts of their stars, and his isn’t one that […]

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Demolition Man Poster Crop

For such mindless entertainment, the Expendables movies sure can get the brain working if you’re interested in the nostalgic samples they’re selling. Sylvester Stallone is a smart guy who knows how to work on multiple levels, and of course his most brilliant act is to make it all seem dumb as hell without pandering to the audience that can appreciate that. He’s the male modern Marilyn Monroe in a way. With this series he has assembled more all-star action heroes than good plot ideas, but the simplicity of the storytelling is just to provide a lot of bullets and explosions for the mindless crowd and a bunch of reflexive call-backs to the cast’s earlier movies for those who like to play the spot-the-allusion game. Most of the latter is cheap references through repurposed dialogue and slightly altered character names. But The Expendables 2 kind of beat that whole thing to death with its “I’m back!” and “Yippee ki-ya” lines and the entire role played by Chuck Norris. For The Expendables 3, the reflexive bits are more self-aware nods to the casting of these movies, not in a nostalgic sense as much as in a winking treat for anyone who follows their production. There are jokes referencing the reason Wesley Snipes couldn’t be in the series until now and recognizing that Terry Crews took his place and there’s a couple more regarding Bruce Willis‘s departure and recognizing, in case we couldn’t already tell, that Harrison Ford is finally having a ball in […]

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Arnold Schwarzenegger

Thank you, Arnold Schwarzenegger, for clarifying this important aspect of the next Terminator. Because we, the foolish fools who assumed that a film called Terminator Genesis would employ proper spelling for both title and subtitle, were dead wrong. Terminator 5 is not Terminator Genesis. It’s Terminator: Genisys. Never mind that the words “Genesis” and “Genisys” are pronounced identically — we think (we’re in for a fun surprise come trailer time otherwise). This new Terminator is a unique and special film that deserves a spelling unlike any other film in existence, not unlike those parents who name their child Caitlin, but spelled “Kaitlynn.” In both cases, those in charge of naming should be smacked upside the head with a dictionary.

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Arnold

James Cameron has fled the human world to spend a decade with his impossibly perfect space kittens. Arnold Schwarzenegger pretends he’s still thirty years old and in Mr. Universe shape, and that “pushing seventy” is nothing more than the body count of his latest film. Jamie Lee Curtis fell off the face of the Earth and reappears only to describe the pleasing effects of yogurt on her aching bowels. But twenty years ago today, these three visionaries came together for something truly special. That something was True Lies. Cameron’s 1994 Schwarzenegger action flick/rom-com/political thriller might not be as fondly remembered as The Terminator, nor as gleefully forgotten as Jingle All the Way, but it’s an important part of the Arnold Schwarzenegger canon. And it’s got at least one moment that will stand the test of time — the film’s thrilling conclusion, in which Schwarzenegger’s Harry Tasker keeps his daughter from falling to her death with one hand, while fighting terrorist menace Salim Abu Aziz with the other. Oh, and the whole time, he’s also flying a plane.

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Metal Gear Solid 3 screenshot

It’s interesting that we should get video game adaptation news the week when the best video game movie not based on a video game should come out. Hopefully everyone working on such adaptations will be looking at Edge of Tomorrow, as it could be something of a game changer (or should that be movie changer?). I have a feeling that Sony’s Metal Gear Solid, which is reportedly now finally moving forward with a seemingly strange choice for director almost officially attached, is a good property to follow its lead. About a year ago, I suggested that Jordan Vogt-Roberts would be the next great comedy director. I wrote, in a post highlighting his short film work, that the Kings of Summer helmer had what it takes to be the next Judd Apatow or the next spoof master. But the deal in Hollywood lately is that fresh indie comedy voices are the go-to guys for huge tentpoles rather than smaller, funnier studio pictures. We’ve seen Marc Webb land the Amazing Spider-Man franchise (which shares a producer with MGS in Avi Arad) and Colin Trevorrow head into Jurassic Park territory, for two examples. Now JoVoRo (as Vogt-Roberts should always be referred as) is next in line by going from a little teen movie out of Sundance to one of the biggest video game franchises of all time. Yet it doesn’t seem like an odd or shocking choice when I think about it.

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Arnold Schwarzenegger and friends in SABOTAGE

Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s post-Governor career is an interesting, if not wholly successful, mix of a little bit of new and a whole lot of desperate clinging to the past. The former will be on display in the upcoming Maggie where he plays father to a daughter infected with a zombie virus, and the latter has been evident in The Last Stand, Escape Plan, his appearances in The Expendables franchise, and upcoming sequels to past triumphs. His action films have been cartoonishly unrealistic and as interested in being “fun” as they’ve been in being exciting. His latest film though is a far more serious affair. Deadly violent, incredibly gory, and saturated with themes that echo both Schwarzenegger’s past as an action hero and the real life cost of fighting evil. Unfortunately, David Ayer‘s Sabotage also wants to be fun, and therein exists just one of its missteps. John ‘Breacher’ Wharton (Schwarzenegger) is head of an elite DEA assault team populated by the manliest of men and one gung-ho woman. Their latest bust involves infiltrating a known drug dealer dwelling, and it ends with numerous dead bad guys, one of their own down, and $10 million in dirty money missing. The team brazenly steals and hides the cash during the bust, but when they return for their payout the cash is gone. An investigation and suspensions follow, but when the team returns to work they find themselves prey to a violent predator with a taste for the grotesque. It’s the end of days and […]

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arnold schwarzenegger in sabotage 4

Most aging movie stars today seem content on doing sequels to their long ago hits. Sylvester Stallone with further installments of Rocky and Rambo, Bruce Willis with Die Hard, Harrison Ford with Indiana Jones (especially now that certain rumors have been denied), everyone who’ll be returning for the next Star Wars installment. And Arnold Schwarzenegger might be joining them, given that there’s talk of him returning to the Terminator, Conan and Twins properties. But aside from the Terminator franchise, he has never been one for sequels (I don’t count his Expendables work yet, as they’re not really his movies), and even with that series he basically opted out of the last one, although part of the reason was because he was busy with his new career as Governor of California. Now that he’s back in the action, there’s been an easy inclination to compare his new movies to his old. It’s understandable, as we’re curious if he’s still got what he had in those ’80s blockbusters we love. It’s not that different than what we do with his peers, comparing those guys’ new sequels to the start of the franchise and other prior installments. Our associative minds may want to to align the tendencies and look for heyday Schwarzenegger movies that most relate to the current releases, as if these new movies are sequels, too. I did it with his first real starring vehicle since leaving office, noting in my review a link between his characters in The Last Stand […]

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Jai Courtney

The character that Michael Biehn made awesome, Anton Yelchin made dumb, and Jonathan Jackson made boring, is returning to the big screen, as Jai Courtney has been cast as human resistance leader Kyle Reese in 2015’s Terminator: Genesis. Skynet’s worst enemy has had quite a crisis of identity since Biehn nailed the nuance of the role in James Cameron’s 1984 sci-fi action masterpiece, The Terminator, and his lasting imprint on the character will insure that Courtney has some substantial boots to fill. Courtney’s slim resume may make fans of the Terminator franchise, and Reese in particular, nervous about his capturing the role. His closest competition was model-turned-actor Boyd Holbrook, who while building an increasing film profile, has similarly not had his breakout role as of yet. Nailing Kyle Reese would go a long way in helping audiences forget his wooden performance in John Moore’s A Good Day to Die Hard, an all-around awful experience for most all.

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Arnold Schwarzenegger continues the post-gubernatorial Hollywood comeback that started with 2012’s The Expendables 2, with the one-liner laden Sabotage, which appears not to be content until it has checked the box of damn near every action flick standard. I have zero problem with this. Co-written with screenwriter Skip Woods (Hitman, The A-Team) and directed by David Ayers (Training Day, End of Watch) the film features Schwarzenegger as John “Breacher” Wharton, the hard-ass leader of an equally hard-ass crew of elite DEA operatives. When Breacher and his team stash a 10 million dollar haul after being sent to take down the safe house of a drug cartel, they’re slowly picked off one by one for their dirty deed. The premise is interesting, because they’re definitely not straight up good folks. Still, audiences will be rooting for them plenty all the same. Hardcore bros and hot ladies with guns slinging awesome zingers and fist bumping between battles with baddies is almost always fun times, right? Check out the red band trailer (courtesy of IGN) for Sabotage below, and being that it’s the weekend, feel free to make a drinking game of the liberally used f@#ks scattered throughout.

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2013 reject awards

Another year, another creeping sense of dissatisfaction with the standard awards program. Sure it’s important to celebrate the best of the best of the best in the usual categories, but it all becomes a bit stale when the Oscars will be the dozenth major body to denote a best actor or cinematographer or score. Instead, we offer this alternative: a look at the strongest work of the movie year through the lens of odd trends and pure randomness. To wit, a header image that features our task-master-in-chief Neil Miller wondering if he forgot to send out invitations to the gala (he didn’t). We’re repeating an award from last year because you demanded it, but 2013 gave us enough weird and wonderfulness to fill up a whole new ballot otherwise. Please feel free to make up your own awards in the comments section.

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Volvo

“Here’s a trailer for the latest Arnold Schwarzenegger movie.” These are words we’ll continue to hear for decades. Schwarzenegger’s physical and mental abilities may fade, and eventually, like the rest of us, he will shuffle off this mortal coil. But centuries from now, citizens of our expanding space empire will still find Arnie at the local space-multiplex, composed of stock footage and CGI and still performing the same basic action shtick in movies that are just OK. So allow me to continue a grand, cultural tradition that will echo on through the years: “Here’s a trailer for the latest Arnold Schwarzenegger movie.”

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1200

It may not be the biggest hit at the box office this weekend, but Escape Plan could wind up a cult favorite. As our review states, it’s “entertaining” and “gloriously silly.” And truth be told, it’s the first movie for either Arnold Schwarzenegger or Sylvester Stallone in about 20 years that deserves a sequel. Or needs one, because personally I found the team-up of these two 1980s action heroes a little less fun than I’d hoped. Honestly, I dozed off a bit in the middle. But Escape Plan 2 could be bigger and even more entertaining and much sillier in an even more glorious way. For starters, I’d like to see a follow-up where the actors are actually equal, dual protagonists rather than seeing Arnie as a sidekick along for another one of Sly’s adventures. Maybe the sequel could instead reverse the premise and have it be Schwarzenegger’s character’s story. Instead of coming up with original ideas to pitch to the makers of Escape Plan, and potentially just have them stolen, I’ve selected 10 plots that already exist in other movies, which could be remade for Escape Plan 2, Escape Plan 3, etc. And the good thing is many of these titles are already in line to be remade. Just tweak the scripts with some one-liners referencing both stars’ past hits, and you’re good to go!

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Escape Plan

The best comedy bit in Escape Plan, an action movie filled with amazing comedy bits, occurred before a single camera rolled. It happened when someone somewhere said the following and others agreed: “You know what would be a great idea? Casting Sylvester Stallone as a genius escape artist, a man who gets by not just on brawn but on pinpoint smarts? And, for good measure, let’s have Arnold Schwarzenegger play his sidekick.” The idea that Stallone could possibly, convincingly play an intellectual type isn’t just farfetched. It’s so utterly logic-defying when you consider everything about the man’s image that it comes fully around the bend and starts making a whole lot of sense.

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news terminator thumbs up

The Terminator franchise is about as indestructible as an Austrian bodybuilder with a cyborg endoskeleton. No matter how many times you shoot it, run it over, blow it up or put McG in the director’s chair), it’ll pick itself up and continue marching ominously in your direction. At least the new Terminator reboot will likely have an authentic Arnold Schwarzenegger and an authentically non-McG director in Alan Taylor. Taylor, who Variety reports to be in talks for the project, has directed episodes of nearly every great TV series in the last 20 years. Oz, The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, The West Wing, Deadwood, Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones- all have, at some point in their lifespans, courted Taylor to do an episode or two. Now he’s got Thor: The Dark World coming out this fall, and it seems those in charge of the Terminator franchise feel Taylor could do for time-traveling cyborgs what he’s about to do for Norse gods and dark elves.

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IntroActorSpoofs

When an actor nails a certain role in his career it can be both a blessing and a curse. Anthony Perkins, for a no-brainer example, rarely picked up any roles after Psycho due to being typecast as the lunatic he so exquisitely played. That’s why it’s also great to know when actors have a sense of humor about their more iconic roles – taking up the burden of spoofing themselves so no one else has to.

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trailer escape plan

One of the initial draws behind The Expendables was seeing Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger popping caps together, but while the first film only gave us a brief cameo scene the second upped it slightly with a single shared action scene. The two aging icons went on to make their own individual action films, but fans were still apparently clamoring for the two to work together on something with a bit more substance. Well that’s never going to happen, but in the meantime we are getting a movie featuring the two in more than a single scene. Escape Plan, formerly known as The Tomb, is focused on Ray Breslin (Stallone), the world’s top authority on prison security. He basically makes his living escaping from jail, but his latest gig sees him locked up in a high-tech super prison with, unsurprisingly, a sadistic warden at the helm. You think he’d use his one phone call to get a hold of Lt. Gabriel Cash for help, but instead he turns to fellow inmate Swan Rottmayer (Schwarzenegger).

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schwarzenegger

What is Casting Couch? It’s the casting news column that’s catching up on some developments that occurred over the weekend while preparing for tonight’s huge Stanley Cup Finals game. Find out what’s up with Adrien Brody and Felicity Jones before the puck drops. You’ve already seen him save the world from terrorists, aliens, and killer machines, and now it’s looking like you’re going to finally get the chance to see Arnold Schwarzenegger save the world from the oncoming creep of the zombie menace. Or, at least, he’s going to do his best to get his daughter through a zombie apocalypse, as that’s the plot of the latest project he’s taken on. According to Variety, the movie is called Maggie, it comes from a Black List script by strangely-named screenwriter John Scott 3, and it will see Schwarzenegger playing a father who is helping his daughter, “come to terms with her infection as she slowly becomes a zombie,” in what sounds like the most family-oriented role the action star has taken since he was in Junior.

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You can tell Man of Steel is the movie of the summer because none of us can stop writing about it. Would it be more or less covered if the Superman movie actually got mostly favorable reviews? It’s hard to say, as much of our and other outlets’ think pieces are a mix of pre-planned stuff on the character in general as well as superhero movies in general and reaction posts both about what the new movie gets wrong and right. All I know is I could have devoted this week’s whole Reject Recap to the ol’ Caped Kryptonian (is that not one of his nicknames?). Let me just point out that it’s deserving. While the official FSR review is fairly negative, I’ll admit that I love it. And it’s definitely worth seeing even if you have problems with much of it. As is clear, there’s so much to talk about. There’s a bunch to discuss on other topics and movies, too. We had two big stories involving the future of Hollywood, thoughts on some older favorites and some other characters’ announced returns, an update on real-life versions of characters from one of this week’s new releases and also a geeky comparison between video game consoles complete with their relevance to movie fans. Before we get to your week in review, here’s some trivia regarding the headline above: all are tied to Superman. Steven Spielberg and Arnold Schwarzenegger were both linked to Superman: The Movie and, well, some interns probably […]

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published: 12.23.2014
B+
published: 12.22.2014
C-
published: 12.19.2014
A-


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