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Buster Keaton in Sherlock Jr., 1924

A Holiday to Matheran

As we left our holiday cottage, to return home in the city, my wife said, "Look over your shoulder before you leave so that we come back again." Read about our recent trip to Matheran, the forest on the head, and the smallest hill station in India, at B+ve.

February 17, 2014

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Do you have a favourite Arnold Schwarzenegger movie?

Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commando
Not such a tough question, is it? Well, I don't know...I'm still thinking. I liked the Austrian-born actor in many of his films like The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Collateral Damage, The 6th Day, Commando, End of Days, True Lies, Eraser, Total Recall, Junior, Kindergarten Cop, Red Heat, Last Action Hero, Predator, Twins, Raw Deal, and Conan the Barbarian and Conan the Destroyer.

I might also have seen Red Sonja and The Running Man but I can’t say for sure. I didn’t care for The Expendables 1 & 2. Schwarzenegger looked too old, as did Sylvester Stallone and Jean Claude van Damme. Who let the geezers out of the old-age home?

For me, Schwarzenegger is more than just an actor; he is also a huge entertainer. I can watch his films without my thinking cap on. I prefer him as an action hero rather than as a comedian with a stupid grin. Watch the final scene in Jingle All the Way where he is holding up the last of the Turboman dolls for his son. I wonder if he felt silly later. 


In Conan the Barbarian, Schwarzenegger is crucified to a barren tree in the middle of a desert, the nails hammered right into the centre of both his palms and feet. The vultures are moving in. Schwarzenegger plays dead and when one of the ugly birds attacks him, he turns and seizes its neck with his teeth, bites hard until it goes limp in his mouth, and spits it out. Soon after, he sees one of his men running towards him and Schwarzenegger launches into a bout of insane laughter. He looks almost freaky.

Coming back to my question (do we even need a favourite?), it’d be a toss-up between Commando and Predator. I loved the two films. If I’m forced to pick any one, I’d choose Commando for all-round entertainment—an equal dose of action and humour with plenty of one-liners that Schwarzenegger has honed into an art. Here's a popular one...

Major General Franklin Kirby (James Olson): Leave anything for us?
Matrix (Schwarzenegger, after killing hundreds of men): Just bodies.


He can deliver lines, deadpan.

20 comments:

  1. For me, Terminator 1 and 2 would be the top 2, followed by Predator and then Conan.

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    1. Charles, I think PREDATOR owes some of its success to the secondary cast of Carl Weathers, Bill Duke and others as well as the final battle between Schwarzenegger and the alien.

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  2. Not my scene at all but I do so enjoy visiting your blog.

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    1. Mystica, thank you for the kind words. I enjoy watching action movies.

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  3. If I was forced to pick I'd say Total Recall only because it's the only movie I truly enjoyed on all levels. Arnold as an actor never did much for me. He was a movie star first and foremost but never an actor IMO.

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    1. John, TOTAL RECALL is one of the films I haven't seen as often as some of his other movies. You have a point about him being more of a star than an actor. Either way I find his films entertaining.

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  4. Prashant: I have not watched many of Arnold's movie but would vote for The Kindergarten Cop. I remember being astonished watching it for the first time that he could act and his interaction with the children was amazing.

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    1. Bill, I agree, he was good in THE KINDERGARTEN COP as well as in comedies like TWINS and JUNIOR alongside veteran actor-comedian Danny DeVito. He carried the role of a pregnant man very well in JUNIOR.

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  5. I guess I haven't seen that many Schwarzenegger movies. I would have to pick TERMINATOR, but partly out of ignorance.

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    1. Kelly, I believe Schwarzenegger chose to play the bad guy in THE TERMINATOR which was a lot better than TERMINATOR 2. I watch his movies every now and then. No intellect required.

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  6. Oooh, one day you'll regret making that crack about old geezers, trust me!!! TERMINATOR is probably his defining role, just because the robotic characters suits his rather limited acting style, let's face it. I really liked it in Bob Rafelson's STAY HUNGRY but that is now a bit obscure I suppose. TOTAL RECALL, despite its rampant basurdities, is probably the most fun though I remember liking TWINS the one time I saw it - he has actually been in quitre a large number of comedies and this has often suited him well is seems to me.

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    1. Sergio, I'm glad you noticed that wisecrack! In my defence, it was only meant for THE EXPENDABLES and, on hindsight, for RAMBO (2008) where Stallone does look too old to play the war vet as one knows him. He also talks too much. Who knows, I might yet like the three musclemen in their future movies. Schwarzenegger does comedy well except I like him more as an action hero, especially in films like COMMANDO, PREDATOR, and COLLATERAL DAMAGE. TRUE LIES was a nice action-comedy where he paired well with Jamie Lee Curtis and Art Malik added to the humour.

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  7. PREDATOR followed by TERMINATOR followed by RUNNING MAN. Probably a better actor than he was given credit for. a bit like Stallone in that respect.

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    1. Col, I loved the duel between Schwarzenegger and the predator. I'm not sure about THE RUNNING MAN. I'm going to have to see it. As actors or stars I'd rate Arnie a touch higher than Stallone.

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  8. I enjoy a lot of Arnie's 80s/90s action romps, Prashant! The TERMINATOR films are good (esp. the first), but my personal faves would be COMMANDO, PREDATOR, TOTAL RECALL and TRUE LIES, and I think CONAN THE BARBARIAN is on a whole other level...but not so much due to Schwarzenegger; all the other components - the great score, the look and excellent production design - make that movie for me. But I can find some fun in most Arnie pics. ERASER is a good solid actioner that often gets overlooked. As for his comedies, I like TWINS and KINDERGARTEN COP but can't stomach JUNIOR and JINGLE ALL THE WAY.

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    1. Hi Jeff, I'm glad we're on the same plane about some of Schwarzenegger's movies. I enjoyed TRUE LIES, a crazy film with some fine shots and silly humour. I didn't like JINGLE ALL THE WAY either; I found it a bit like Jim Carrey's LIAR, LIAR minus the action. PREDATOR was a good example of how secondary characters can contribute to the success of a film. They're a real odd bunch. I'm with you on TWINS and KINDERGARTEN COP, though I liked JUNIOR too.

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  9. I enjoyed the Terminator movies, but favorites are Total Recall and True Lies. We watched True Lies over and over when it came out, but then we stopped watching Arnold movies when he was governor of California. I liked Expendables fine, but haven't send the 2nd one. I will watch just about anything with Bruce Willis in it.

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    1. Tracy, I liked TRUE LIES enough to have seen it more than once and I'll probably see it again the next time it is shown on cable. I liked Bruce Willis in the DIE HARD films though not so much in the most recent version as well as in THE JACKAL where he plays a villain.

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  10. Schwarzenegger - my favorite of his? TRUE LIES because of the humor in it and I generally watch a lot of James Cameron's movies. I enjoyed PREDATOR and thought it was the coolest movie ever at the time. Haven't seen it again in years and to be honest I don't go out of my way to rewatch it either. I remember watching all of his CONAN movies and even RED SONJA. Didn't care for KINDERGARTEN COP but different strokes. His TERMINATOR movies are good with T2 being one of his better acting roles to me.

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    1. Keishon, as I mentioned somewhere above, one of the reasons I like TRUE LIES is the humour in it. I also agree with your view on PREDATOR, a very well-made film. Every Schwarzenegger film that I have seen was on cable. I have never been to a theatre to see any of them. Indian cable telecasts some film of his or the other every week and, time permitting, I watch them in parts. You don;t have to sit through an entire Schwarzenegger movie.

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