Posts Tagged ‘ Arnold Schwarzenegger ’

They Live (1988)

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Ridiculous film with an interesting premise and a strong first act that quickly falls apart once the actual plot kicks in and all attempts at seriousness get tossed aside in favor of goofiness and stupidity. Was this meant to be so kitschy? And if so, why take the time and effort to make such a great, atmospheric, downright spooky and suspenseful first 15-20 minutes? Was it all a cruel joke on the part of the filmmakers to fool the audience into thinking they’d be watching something competently made, or did they just get lazy about a third of the way in and decide throwing the least amount of sensical scenes together and calling it a movie would be the  best way to go? I don’t understand.

Even the main character is great until he opens his mouth. He’s clearly more of a presence than an actor anyway, so why force him to act? Just give him a few stoic lines here and there ala Arnold Schwarzenegger and call it a day. Not hard. People won’t care. This isn’t a deep, emotional drama or anything. Not by a long shot. And what was with that **SPOILERS** fight scene near the middle between him and his reluctant cop buddy or whatever, god. **END SPOILERS** I’ve never seen anything so wacky in my life, and it just goes on and on. What were they thinking? Was it meant to be funny? And the film is full of such weird, idiotic moments of questionable humor and quality. Why put such bizarre, poorly thought out scenes like these in a film sporting such serious and important themes? Since when does the prospect of forced conformity and physical/psychological imprisonment gel with clunky, borderline slapstick comedy and goofy one liners? What in god’s name is going on here!?!? Arghh!

Overall, ugh. Like watching two different movies, the shorter first of which is great, while the second resembles something out of a children’s cartoon show. A shame. Avoid.

But, if you don’t believe me, you’re welcome to check it out for yourself here: They Live. Click the link! Stream the video! Obey!

 

Predator (1987)

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Wacky, action packed film with a thin, questionable plot but plenty of explosions and violence and big strong muscle guys shooting guns to keep things interesting. Oh, and the alien looks pretty cool too, at least when it removes its helmet. Very lifelike. Still, it’s a touch overrated, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s smug, cigar chomping, perfectly bronzed presence notwithstanding. And man is this film a product of the 80s. From the clothes to the haircuts to the big shiny muscles, it just oozes with pure 80s flair.

The plot doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Something about a rescue mission that turns into an all out assault for some reason, then turns into a chase film, then ends in a pretty cool face off of sorts. It’s a hodgepodge of skimpy ideas that fit together well if you don’t stop to think about them too much. Not exactly a brainless action film, but trying to follow the road this film lays out for you may leave you more lost than anything else. And yeah, though the alien looks pretty cool, all the other effects in this film for the most part are very outdated. This film came out just before the big CGI revolution took hold in Hollywood, and you can really tell.

Overall, an enjoyable film. Not the greatest or most intelligent action film in the world, and some of the effects are certainly questionable, but the acting is decent, Arnold is entertaining, the violence is over the top, the explosions/deaths are plentiful, and the concept is interesting. There are also a number of well crafted quiet scenes I particularly enjoyed; very unusual in an action film. And “Lethal Weapon” screenwriter Shane Black has a role in this too for some reason. Talk about weird casting.

A touch overrated, but a solid popcorn flick. Worth watching, if you’re a fan of such things.