I ran this poll a little longer, but the result was never really in doubt. According to you guys, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s best movie is:
- Terminator 2: Judgment Day: 11 votes
- Predator: 5 votes
- The Terminator: 4 votes
- True Lies: 2 votes
- Conan the Barbarian: 1 vote
- The Running Man: 1 vote
- Total Recall: 1 vote
- Kindergarten Cop: 1 vote (no joke)
Can’t say I am terribly surprised by this one, as the early consensus seemed to be T2 all the way. Great to see Predator get the runner-up position (my vote), as well as a few scattered nods for his other films. What do you guys think? Happy with T2 winning, or do you prefer another film from Arnie?
THIS WEEK’S POLL:
What is the best “Best Picture” winner from the 2000s? I don’t think this one will be as lopsided, though I could see one particular film taking control of the #1 spot. I am not sure what I will be voting for, though.
The Expendables  Director: Sylvester Stallone Genre: Action Language: English Country: USA
On paper, The Expendables sounds like a pretty badass movie. Sylvester Stallone leads a group of mercenaries that is comprised of basically a who’s-who of recent action movies: Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Jet Li, Randy Couture and Terry Crews. Couple that in with brief cameos from Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and a small role for Mickey Rourke, and there is quite the recipe for the ultimate action flick. Balls-to-the-wall action movies are a bit of a rarity these days, so I was excited for Stallone’s latest directorial effort. Unfortunately, The Expendables does not live up to its hype.
The movie’s cookie-cutter plot is to be expected, as it is rather meaningless in the grand scheme of things. After all, most action fans just want to see crazy fight scenes, massive explosions and gruesome deaths. In this regard, The Expendables succeeds. There are some great action sequences using guns, knives and martial arts, and the frequent explosions are rather impressive. My main problem with the movie stems from its half-assed writing job. The great action movies of all time are loaded with funny one-liners and generally interesting characters. This is not the case here. The writing is incredibly weak and void of any humor. There are one-liners, but they all fall flat. Character development is nearly non-existent for most of the main guys aside from Stallone and Statham. And what ultimately happens with Dolph Lundgren’s character is downright laughable, and not in a good way.
I really wanted to love The Expendables. There is just so much potential for a movie featuring all of these great action heroes. While it is definitely cool to see all of them on screen together, the lack of cohesion and the embarrassing writing really leave a lot to be desired. For a mindless action flick, this isn’t bad, but it just could have been so much more.
Predator  Director: John McTiernan Genre: Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi/Thriller Language: English Country: USA
It’s hard to believe, but I saw Predator for the first time this past weekend. I went to a small midnight showing, eager to see an action classic that has somehow eluded me all of these years. Perhaps the midnight venture was not the best idea (due to one guy in particular laughing at scenes that were not funny), but I was glad to finally have seen John McTiernan’s 1987 masterpiece.
Predator is essentially a tale of two stories. A group of commandos led by Arnold Schwarzenegger are sent deep into a Central American jungle to rescue a group of diplomatic hostages. This plotline serves as a straight-up action flick and segways into the next portion of the film. In the second part, the commandos discover that there is something unhuman lurking in the jungle, something that is killing off people one-by-one in particularly gruesome form. This killing machine is, of course, the Predator.
The Predator is easily one of the most badass villains ever seen in cinema. In the first half of the movie, we never see what “he” looks like. Instead we are periodically shown infrared-like glimpses from the Predator’s point of view. This brings a certain sense of dread to the viewers, in that we know that there is something evil out there (whereas the characters have no clue, at least at first). When the Predator is finally shown on screen, it is hard not to be impressed and worried about the commandos’ future at the same time.
Arnold has a good group of guys with him, led by Carl Weathers as his old friend/rival and Jesse Ventura (who has many of the movie’s best one-liners). These guys are all muscle-bound and riddled with testosterone, and provide some great bantering amongst each other. There are several great action sequences with numerous explosions, and there is never a dull scene in the movie. The dialogue is often hilarious, as are many of the one-liners. My favorite exchange:
Poncho (Richard Chaves): You’re bleeding, man. You’re hit.
Blain (Jesse Ventura): I ain’t got time to bleed.
Poncho: [Confused] Oh… Okay…
Poncho: [Poncho shoots a bunch of grenades up to the top of the cliff] You got time to duck?
There are plenty of great snippets of dialogue like that. Obviously, this movie is more about balls-to-the-wall action and suspense rather than trying to be anything deep or meaningful, and that’s why it turned out so well. Viewers can’t help but love this group of characters who end up fighting for their lives against an alien creature with unbelievable power. Predator is a highly entertaining film, and it is an absolute must-see for any fan of action/sci-fi.