Friday, December 30, 2011

Action Heroes.

There's thousands of these flicks, so, I'll just boil it down to the best of the action stars, and the best of their canon, and...further down to what I like.

Arnold Schwarzenegger 

Total Recall

The film-

A mainstream cyberpunk classic.
Good stuff, fun ride, back when that meant something a bit more than watching a video game. your miiiind...ooopen your miiiind...

The history-

Arnold in his prime made theater going fun, didn't he?
Golden days.
And they flew by....

Terminator Quadrilogy

The films-

The Terminator-

A classic.
 I like the gritty dark look of this, a similar aesthetic to the first Highlander.

Terminator 2: Judgement Day-

From here...

I was blown away by the effects then, but with enough years of hindsight, I think the first one is the superior film.

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

From here...

Had good parts, villain was good, not enough of her.
Bad films with good parts are more frustrating than flat out shitty ones.
Flat out shitty ones you can laugh at, like "Showgirls".
Arnold's film career kinda sputtered out on this one just before he became the Governator.

Oh, you know what I liked best?
The continuity nods that ended up in "deleted scenes", where they show the human the T-800 was based on, and he's Arnold with a dubbed southern accent, and someone watching the tape says "I don't like the voice though..", and a skinny guy with Arnold's voice goes "I'll fix it".
Best scene, and they cut it.
Pppt. Just goes to show.

Anyway, why include this stinker?
Eh, completeness.
I guess...

Terminator Salvation-

From here again...

Geez, where's the famous scene that Christian Bale had a meltdown on because he needed so much mental focus?..I didn't fucking see it.

Eh, Terminator peaked at 2.

4's still 10 times better than 3 though.

Okay, Arnold ain't IN Salvation....except facial scanned in, and age regressed to his 1984 self as the first T-800.
Close enough....

The history-


HBO, I was allowed to see it, Linda Hamilton tits and all, for some reason.
Worshipped it for awhile, especially the endoskeleton walking out of the flames scene.


Theater, flipped my fucking LID over this.
My uncle gave me a homemade bootleg of the first 2 flicks, it was one of my favorite present ever.
Sadly, it didn't survive degradation.
Well, I got my viewings out of it.


....think I saw it at the theater....funny...doesn't stick with me, this one...


I was right, it peaked at 2.

Conan Duology

The films/history-

See here.


The film/history-

See here.

Now for....

Sylvester Stallone 

The Rambo Quadrilogy

The films-

First Blood-

Iiiit's a looooong roooad...when you're ooon your oowwwn....

From here...

Pretty good thriller.
Gave my assessment of the sequel in the last one. 
Saw the newest fourth installment on Spike TV a couple days ago, wow.
They couldn't have censored much...lotta head splats, and blown off limbs.
But yeah, politically, I was impressed.
Long gone was Reaganomics/jingo-boy Rambo, he was more jaded and grizzled about war than I am.
It's how the character should be, and started out.
You could make a duology of First Blood, and Rambo "AKA John Rambo", and not miss much, if anything.
Same with Rockys 1, 2, and 6.
Thank you, Stallone, for revisiting these franchises.

Rambo: First Blood Part II-

From here...

Lump this in with my rant on G.I. Joe. 
And I liked First Blood, too. 
This one got all Reaganomics on me. 

So, the GI Joe rant also from here. (and also posted here)

Wasn't into it. 
Figured out pretty quick, even without the vocabulary to frame it, that there was something spooky and ominous about the Military Industrial Complex, and that this whole thing was a commerical for war. 
A big thing that clicked for me, against that whole "rah-rah!", deal, was noticing the playground bullies had that whole drill sergeant demeanor going on. 
Wasn't my vibe. 
I don't mind it now as a relic of the past, I can enjoy it as fiction, but at the time, lines were being drawn. 
I was very aware that various ideologies were competing for my heart and soul like divorcing parents. 
It was a queasy thing. 

Rambo III

Hated it.
Same reasons, plus it just wasn't made as well.
Plus, history wise, Mujahadeen as good guys, whoops...

Rambo (2008)

Loved it, see the First Blood rant above.

The history-


One of my childhood buddy's psycho abusive dad was WAY too into this, and it ruined it for me for the longest time.
Damn, howcome so many people I put up with growing up were so fuckin' stupid?
Anyway, seen it again recently, like it again.


The blood groove story.

Oh, and also, before even that, Mr. Walker got into a shrill liberal rant/argument with a kid in my class who loved it, and got him bawling.
That was shitty.
I didn't even care for the film, and I could see that.
Fuckin' college boy going after a little kid who can't mount a sophisticated philosophical defense.
Yeah, real big man.
That's how nerds are bullies.
Well, his ass got canned down the line for other shit, so, haha, fuckin' prick.
Swelled the cockles of my heart when that shit happened.


Rental, apathy.


Same as above, Spike, awesomeness.

Rocky Series

The film-

Rocky a superhero?

Well...he certainly is in part 4.
The surrounding films are the rise and fall.


Stallone at his best. A true American classic.

Rocky 2-

Easily as good as 1.

Rocky 3-

Starting to get a bit silly,'s got great parts.
The Survivor song, Mickey's death scene, the argument with Adrian on the beach, good stuff.
Not up there with the first 2, but, I loved it on HBO.

Rocky 4-

Yeah, full on comic book cheese at this point...but, it's delicious cheese!

Come on, like this doesn't get you totally pumped for exercise, or household chores, or scary tests.

Best. Training. Montage. EVER.

Rocky 5

Behind the scenes, eeeeverything went wrong.
Ed Wood wrong.
Would love to hear a commentary track of Sly slagging on this.

Rocky Balboa

From here...

Think I mentioned before in the Rambo rant (First Blood here) that I'm glad Stallone revisited these franchises.
Well, I reiterate that.
This one totally made up for Rocky 5.
You can make a decent trilogy out of 1, 2, and 6 now, ignoring the rest.
I saw this in the theater, and was pretty jazzed.
Not as much as "FvJ", and "Punisher", but, still...

The history-

Cable, rentals, R6 seen in the theater, great experience.

Demolition Man

The film-

Sly's Total Recall type picture, but way better, a cult classic.

The social satire gets more dead-on the older it gets, much like Robocop.

The history-

Rental, owned on VHS, gotta DVD upgrade this sucker, it's fuckin' great.

Yeah...somewhere around the Rambos, the critics turned on him, and not long after this, came Judge Dredd, and then they really pounced.
Looking over his career for this, I'm pretty sure now, it was politics, and the Mr. Walker incident was a microcosm of that whole thing.

Up next....

Bruce Willis

The Die Hard Quadrilogy

The films-

Die Hard-

Pretty Good.
Liked it better than the Lethal Weapons for damned sure.
The Cleveland Show did a parody of this just last Sunday that was a fuckin' eye roller.

Die Harder: Die Hard 2-

Mmm....*refreshes memory with Wiki*..right, right....yeah, about on par with the first one.

This was Renny Harlin's first Hollywood big-shot movie after Freddy 4.
He was the only "one who made it", who bothered to show up for "Never Sleep Again".
That wins me over, he's a cool guy.

Die Hard With A Vengeance-

I seem to remember this one being darker feeling than the first 2...and being turned off at first, then liking it a lot.
Especially with Jeremy Irons for the villain.
Had a hard boiled Sin City kinda feel to it.
Which, is fitting, cuz Willis ended up in that, so...these were preparation....

Live Free, Or Die Hard

It's so different from the rest, I have a hard time holding it in my head as a Die Hard.
Eh....not the best, but it's a good little rainy day flick when it comes on cable.

Lotta spidery little message board scumbags fancy themselves to be the villain in this.
People are so fuckin' ridiculous, it beggars belief.

The history-

VHS rental, borrowed DVD, borrowed DVD, TBS/Spike.

The Fifth Element

The film-

Bombastic, ostentatious, pretentious, ridiculous,....and a blast.

Pretty much launched Milla Jovovich's career.

Gosh, where did she end up, what's she doing? ;)

The history-

Not a fave, but...given the choice between this, and some Sex In The City reruns...I'll go with this.

Sin City

The film/history-

See here.


The film/history-

See here.

And...all of the above guys are in.....

The Expendables

The film-

I gotta fuckin' see this.
Ashamed of myself that I haven't.
First thing after New Years, promise.

The history-


Um...who else?
Mel Gibson? Nah....fuck that crazy drunk Nazi....well...the Mad Max's are good...okay, fine....

Mel Gibson

The Mad Max Trilogy

The films-

All great in their own way.

Thunderdome is my fave, cuz it's so over the top, and comic-booky.

The history-

HBO, VHS, TBS, Spike.
And...oddly enough, Film History class in High School....


The film-

Yeah, you can see seeds of the meltdown in this in hindsight, but...this is still one of the great costume epic films.
Up there with Conan.

The history-

VHS rental.

Yeah, that's it...I hate the Lethal Weapons...hate em....

Mm, how about....

Harrison Ford I can work in....

Blade Runner

The film-

Yep, said it before, this, Robocop, and Tron predicted the future better than any other sci-fi.

A visual masterpiece.
Dictated how tons of anime, and anything "cyberpunk", would look for a couple damned decades, that's for sure.
Literally changed the shape of sci-fi over night.
You can definitely see its mark on 5th Element.

The history-

Another one bought sight unseen, and glad I did.

The Indiana Jones Quadrilogy

The films-

Yeah, what the hell, I did Star Wars...

Raider of the Lost Ark-

A bona-fide classic.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom-

Not as good as Raiders. Has its memorable moments.
None of them involve the bimbo the director was poking.
Didja know that if you compare the dates, this is actually a prequel to Raiders?

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade-

Back up to par with Raiders.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull-

Eh.... definitely not as bad as South Park made out, but...a bit of a letdown.
Hmm...better than Temple, not as good as Raiders and Crusade, how about that?
Anything you could really nitpick you can go after the others for.

Really comes down to, we've all gotten older, and most people just can't hack that.

The history-

HBO, HBO, theater, theater.

Um...there, that's a shitload of movies, that's good enough for ya.


Diacanu said...

Fixed the link to "the blood groove", story.
Got it off of "some times of my life", and it was broken there too.
Now I gotta tear the whole blog apart looking for if it's duplicated elsewhere...

Paladin said...

Great list. I'm in almost total agreement. You missed one of Arnie's greats: Commando (1985). "Remember when I said I'd kill you last?" "That's right, Matrix! You did!" "I lied." LOL.

And, yes, Expendables is well worth the effort. I think the sequel is going to overflow with 80's-vintage testosterone...

Diacanu said...

Re: Commando. D'OH!!
I was bound to slip up somewhere...

Well, glad you liked it. :)

hyla2 said...

Ahh, Commando.

I used to have the Arnie action figure from that!

He was like a big GI Joe, the kind with 'real' clothing. Had a rubber-plastic flak jacket, a bunch of guns, AND a minicomic of the movie, like he was a He-Man figure or something! Only thing he didn't come with was that boxy four barrel rocket launcher (tsk).

hyla2 said...

'nother Commando tangent:

What the hell ever happened to Rae Dawn Chong, anyway?

Diacanu said...

Re: Arnie figure.

Oh, shit, first, I had him too, second, I remember being over your house, and Spencer had him dragged out, and went off on this riff that he wanted to make a punk band just so he could have a box of Arnies to throw at the audience, and they'd all have different outfits, so it would be like "fucking Arnie!!" *toss* "fucking Arnie in a dress!" *toss*

Re: Rae Don Chong.
Yeah...she didn't take off into stardom...unfairly, like Sandahl Bergman, cuz, they were good.

Wiki says she's still floating around in indie dramas, and shitcoms though...

hyla2 said...

I . . . almost remember Spencer doing that. I can certainly SEE him doing that, in any case.

Re the Rae Dawn:

Yeah, that sucks. Not that she's still getting work somewheres, I mean, but that she isn't still visible. Well, she will ever remain an '80's immortal, I guess. Last thing I remember seing her in was that gargoyle story Unca Stevie wrote in the Tales From The Darkside movie.

Speakin' on Rae Dawn and Unca Stevie, my brain always cast her as Odetta/Detta/Susannah when I read the Dark Tower books, pre 'Wizard And Glass'. After that? ALLLL Gina Torres, baby. ;)

Diacanu said...


Always forgetting stuff.

Forgot to mention in the review that First Blood resembles "lonely are the brave", so much, it's spooky, and if it's not a ripoff of that, i'll eat my hat.

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