You know why that annoys me? Neither 'Schwarzenegger' or 'Action Pack' are centred on that cover at all. They're not even off-centre-but-off-centre together. They're just all over the place. I asked my oul boy if he designed the DVD cover and he denied it but something like that must've happened. Somebody's da must have threw that cover thegither.
Anyway, what I'm expecting to find here is an overlooked postmodern masterpiece and a barrel of laughs, dripping wet scoopable laughs to scoop with my wooden spoon straight into my willing brainmouth.
First thing though is the absolutely necessary watchthrough of the accompanying AC/DC music video for "Big Gun" (one of my favourite AC/DC tracks and even that - the very act of liking it - wasn't enough to spare it from my absolute and final AC/DC iTunes cull just last yesterday). It has some awesome through-the-plastic-floor shots of Angus duckwalking and piles of Arnie being actually at the concert in the video, which I think happened in that Guns N Roses video as well. And then, right as the clock strikes holy fuck o'clock, Arnie turns round dressed as Angus Young, proclaims that "that's what I call action", and walks off not a lick concerned for the state he's left me in. Time for movie.
Does Columbia still make movies? I don't mind seeing that stuck up torch-holding woman in ages.The room I'm in smells a bit like Ikea. Ach there's Arnie walking across the rooves of cars, stogie at hand. This film is ticking AW FUCK ARNIE SAYS "WHEN THE GOVERNOR GETS HERE CALL ME" and my top lip is soaked from the steady trickle of melted mind. HE IS THE GOVERNOR. Anyway, the film is ticking a pile of action movie cliche, um, boxes. Clever bidness for a film that's not a Zuckers and Abrams spoof. It's always struck me as odd that this film nearly derailed Arnie's career and dropped straight through the box office floor like a big old elephant. This guy:
Has the worst face ever. I do not want to see him any more forever. I mind they had Last Action Hero toys, and sweet Beelzebub I just realised I have a Charles Cunting Dance action figure in the attic which actually belongs to our own* Four Dicker Luke's cousin but she ain't never seeing it again.
I love the minor exploration of the magic of cinema and the friendship between the little punky kid and the old fuck from Gremlins 2, and also that the films starring Arnie's character Jack Slater are just called 'Jack Slater', as in Jack Slater IV. I wish the same applied to James Bond. "JAMES BOND IN... JAMES BOND 3".
Also love that cool Arnie Moment when, in your wee lad's fantasy, he says "To be, or not to be? Not to be" and triggers a really really shit explosion in the background. This film might be too clever for Arnie. I'm wondering if he's just loving playing his usual hammy shit and John McTiernan's the one making the grand metaphysical statements about fantasy, violence and all that. Also this floppy fringed fuck ain't got shit on Fudge.
Maybe that's why he gets a knife pulled on him so soon into the movie. Seems a bit harsh.
To reiterate, I LOVE this movies-only reality where a young kid and an oul boy that works in a cinema can have a totally innocent friendship that allows them to hang out at secret midnight screenings and that. Big movies don't have a whole lot of that these days. Fuck this cynical world man, fuck it right in the ribs.
The credits for Jack Slater IV are AWESOME, and also in further mind melting it's revealed that Arnold is playing himself but the character that interacts with this young kid is Jack Slater. So Arnie's in the film but doesn't and in a way can't exist.
Then Charles Dance. He is the best one.
You know, this sort of thing has become really popular in the last few years, with the likes of Grindhouse, Black Dynamite and umpteen cartoons peddling this finely observed in-movie revelry of embracing ham and archetpyes and just play acting like big, rich kids. I'm all for it (as long as it's done right) but this film, much like the next year's Wes Craven's New Nightmare was a few years ahead in doing something that would become extremely popular and paid the price for being too smart for alllll the idiots.
Also Yuli from Die Hard's in it. I'm not sure if that's another well-observed thing (like this guy's in all the action films, cast him yo) or if it's like the honesty of Danny Trejo always being cast because he's cooler than fuck.
Minor observation 1: This film looks really nice.
Minor observation 2: I have such a crush on 90s Bridgette Wilson who, as Sonya Blade in Mortal Kombat, is my all-time number one sexy utterer of the word "bullshit" (number 2 is Ashley Jensen in the Lock, Stock episode of Movie Connections)
Minor observation 3: CAMEO SHARON STONE IN CHARACTER, ROB PATRICK IN CHARACTER CAMEOS
The "John Practice" gag is my favourite ever joke of the minute. The following exhange is even better still:
"I'm the famous comedian Arnold Braunschweiger" "Schwarzenegger!" "Gesundheit"
Best thing about all these movie references is that they aren't smart alecky, it's not smarmy. It's handled relatively tastefully and it's all nice and warm.
There's a shot about halfway through where Arnie stands in the middle of the road shooting at Dance's car and it's one of those real weird shots like in Die Hard has where it's like there's a moving camera and a camera's zoom working against each other. I've just realised as well that owing to your wee man's performance and the knowing nature of things the film has a touch of Eerie, Indiana about it. I mean, he's wearing a checked hooded sweatshirt under a baseball jacket.
No. That is NOT Oddjob. He did play PLAIN ZEHROOOOO in Running Man, though.
When the kid holds up the words that Arnie can't say because the movie is PG-13 and given that 'shit' is said a pile of times, me and Dominic's suggestions were "cunt flaps", "fucked nun" and "nasal rape".
The whole scene on the roof, from the Arnie comedy (he is a true master of comedy, easy points for accent aside) to all the ones pulling the guns out to the wrecking ball wrecking balls and beyond is just pure entertainment.
Now, the reprisal of the Rickman Fall from Die Hard is a little cheap. That'd be like finding out someone ELSE was related to Luke in the Empire Strikes Back sequel...
Also I like the change in the film later, the built-in potential of having a movie character in the real world and how Slater and Benedict deal with it. Also, you have Arnie acting all reflectively and giving the real him some grief in a moment of isolated poignancy.
Rick Ducommon is always welcome, unlike your man Belushi who just needs to realise he's not Bill Murray, fuck off, and die alone.
Easily the best scene in the film - anyone who sees this film and doesn't recall this fondly has minus worth:
When Slater quips "No sequel for you", it is said like a ghost would say it.
I lovehate it in films when people must never see each other again. It makes me want to blub my face off. It happens in The Pagemaster as well as other things that it happens in.
The blog is over now. Here is Macaulay Culkin being interviewed at the movie's premiere (!)
More of this and more of that at Rambleast, where I'll be waiting all smiles and cake.
*He's not ours, he's MINE and he always will be.