Ugh this movie


I was so uninspired by this movie I took a 3 month hiatus.  It’s that Jim Belushi, you guys.  He really breaks down a person’s will to blog.  Let’s get into this.

Title: Red Heat

Year: 1988

Arnold’s Character: Ivan Danko, square-jawed and serious Russian cop.  Pretty one-note character, pretty one-note performance.  He looks great, though.

Plot synopsis: Needlessly complicated, featuring an extraneous Gina Gershon.  Drug dealer in Russia kills Danko’s partner and flees to America.  Danko follows to apprehend him and has to team up with “loose cannon” Art Ridzik (Belushi) in Chicago.  There is a bunch of boring cat and mouse that I don’t feel like summarizing, bad guy is caught, escapes, gets shot to death on some train tracks.  The end!

Quick notes:

  • features a young Laurence Fishburne, who also looks great
  • the movie opens with a bizarre scene in a Russian bathhouse that culminates in Arnold beating up the obligatory Sven-Ole Thorsem in the snow.  Nearly nude.

  • The first words Jim Belushi utters in the movie are “funbag patrol” which is so thoroughly gross I don’t even want to discuss that sloppy charisma-vaccuum
  • it’s kind of fun to hear Russian spoken with an Austrian accent
  • this movie has three good scenes: the opening spa fight, a scene in a bar that you’ll see further down and a bus chase at the end where you see an actual train hit an actual bus. Very satisfying.

Best moment:  Fake leg fakeout! Just watch:

As you may have surmised, I didn’t much care for this movie. Boring, Belushi, slightly racist throughout.  There’s better movies behind us and better movies ahead.  To that end:


Running For Governors

IMG_2046  IMG_2054

And we’re back! This time with some sweet dystopian sci-fi for you to nibble on.  Let’s do it!!

Title: The Running Man

Year: 1987

Arnold’s Character:  The very American Ben Richards.  Very American until you hear him talk, I suppose.  Pretty bland character, most of the interest comes from the combat scenes inside The Zone.  There are a few good one-liners delivered with Arnold’s signature deadpan aplomb.


Plot synopsis:  A dystopian future.  A framed helicopter pilot.  A prison camp/iron mill.  A daring escape/attempted kidnapping of an innocent woman.  All this is window dressing for…THE RUNNING MAN!!!!

The #1 hit show on the ICS network (beating out such hits as “Climbing for Dollars” and “The Hate Boat”) is “The Running Man”, where convicts are dropped into a “zone” of sorts where they are chased by “Stalkers” who are basically pro wrestlers with deadly weapons (and a little car, in one case).  The audience, which is comprised of mostly old people, participates by choosing the stalkers.  Bets are placed and corpses are created.

Ben, framed for a food riot massacre, is brought on the show at the behest of the host, Damon Killian (played by a very sleazy Richard Dawson, former host of The Family Feud).  He enters the zone along with two of his fellow resistance members and prison camp co-escapees and they are stalked.  He defeats Sub-Zero (hockey themed Stalker with ice zone, net traps, exploding pucks and a razor sharp goalie stick) by choking him to death with razor wire.  This makes the audience go berserk and the tide begins to turn in Richards’ favour.

While this is happening, Amber (the woman Ben tried to kidnap) finds evidence that he was framed.  Unfortunately, the government of this particular dystopia doesn’t want this info getting out and she is sent into the Zone with Ben et al.  Now they are being chased by Buzzsaw (saws, motorcycle, sick guitar licks) and Dynamo (Lite Brite, electricity, little car where his head sticks out, general insanity).

Ben’s friends are concurrently trying to find a hub for some satellite bullshit so they jam the transponders or whatever.  But, more importantly, Buzzsaw gets chainsawed in the dick and sings soprano as he dies.  Also dead: one of Ben’s companions. Dynamo goes after Amber and the other BenFriend, and Ben surprisingly does not kill Dynamo.  This angers the audience of kill-crazy senior citizens. Fireball (power of fire.  And jetpack) is in the mix now, and he kills the other friend.  Fireball himself is quickly dispatched by Ben, who blows him up (two one-liners in rapid succession: “how about a light”/”what a hot head”)

Ben is offered a stalker contract by Killian but he refuses (Obviously.  He’s not a monster.)  Amber finds the bodies of former “winning” contestants and realizes the game is fixed.  The network brass decide to send in a retired Stalker, Captain Freedom, to clean house.  You may recognize the actor playing the Captain as one Mr. Jesse “The Body” Ventura.  He’s back!

Captain Freedom refuses to Stalk in the body armour they want him to wear, so the ICS people sidestep him and use stunt doubles and CGI to fake a fight where Captain Freedom appears to kill both Ben and Amber.  Those two meet up with resistance inside the Zone somewhere and they jam the whatevers and broadcast the video proving Ben’s innocence.  Amber kills Dynamo and the resistance forcefully takes over the ICS studio to broadcast the truth and topple the government.  Or something.

The movie ends with Killian being shot out of the studio and through a Cadre Cola billboard.  Final shot:  Ben and Amber kiss, a power ballad plays.

Best moment:  Anything with Dynamo.  You just really need to see it.  It’s worth seeing the movie just to check out the perfect strangeness of Dynamo. DYNAMO!!!!

Quick notes:

  • The actual book “The Running Man” is written by Richard Bachman aka Stephen King (the name was inspired by Bachman-Turner Overdrive)
  • The opening credits are shown over footage of Arnold carrying a huge girder, because what else is he good for, right?
  • The prison camp with it’s “high-tech” security system has an awful lots of folding tables and computers that are just big briefcases with keyboards and wires coming out of them.
  • Mick Fleetwood IS Mick!
  • We also have our obligatory Sven-Ole Thorsen role.  This time he actually gets a line, though.

  • Strong whiff of 80’s with these glass bricks.  Oh how I hate glass bricks.


  • There’s a scene where Ben gets caught in a literal net.  Just throwing that out there.  It’s just after we are introduced to this shirt:


  • Jesse Ventura (as exercise show host and former champion Stalker Captain Freedom) is really good in this role.  Probably because he is playing what is essentially a professional wrestler.  The skills transfer, is what I’m saying.
  • The extras in the audience are very entertaining.  So many bloodthirsty old people!
  • The opening dance reminds of Showgirls in a big way.

IMG_2061To sum up: lots of fun!!!!! DYNAMO!!!!!!!!

Next time:

I won’t lie, I’m not super excited about this one.

Jungle Madness

Hi gang!

I’m back from my summer hiatus!!!!  Here’s an ode (in list form! It’s a listicle!) to one of my favourite movies of all time.

Oh, Predator.  How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

1.  Your perfect cast, of both actors and characters.

It’s just the best.  The ragtag group of mercenaries or whatever they are (their job is irrelevant, because what they really are is Predator bait), each with their own special quirk.  Mac’s shaving, Hawkin’s vulgar jokes, Billy’s being a Native American.  And of course their fearless leader, the Austrian man we call Dutch.

Plus Carl Weathers!

2. The brisk pacing that gets right to the point: Predator murders and lots of ’em!

I just love it.  We go right into the guerilla camp raid where almost everything blows up and then straight into Predator country.  Once he starts doing his thing, he don’t stop.

3. Sheer quoteability

“God damn sexual Tyrannosaurus”

“I wouldn’t risk that on a broke dick dog”

“If it bleeds, we can kill it”

And of course:

4. ‘Splosions!

Seriously, that whole guerilla camp scene.  One day, if you’re lucky, I may give you the keys to the kingdom and let you see my “Predator: Jungle Madness” drinking game.  A quick taste: there is a rule where you drink for every explosion and I physically couldn’t make it through the camp scene.  It starts with Arnold lifting up a Jeep (classic move) and just goes crazy from there.

5.  High-impact soundtrack

I totally dig the Predator theme music, it’s so spooky and atmospheric.  And the one non-instrumental song that is used is played to perfection in a beautifully minimalist scene.  I can’t link to the scene for unavailability reasons, but seriously go do yourself a favour and WATCH PREDATOR NOW!!!

6.  A surplus of future governors

There’s two! Most movies don’t even have one!

7.  One of the best movie villains of all time, hands down

The Predator is so badass.  He’s big, he’s scary, he’s got all the coolest technology.  Even though it may look a little dated now, I think the Predator vision and invisibility effects still look pretty neat.  It’s just such a cool concept.  The alien hunter who only lives for the kill up against a human being armed only with his wits, a will to live and the body of the strongest man in the world.

This guy, this is the guy:

So, I know you’re all waiting on pins and needles to know… do I recommend it? OF COURSE I DO!!! It’s super fun, it moves along at a clip and every scene is it’s own special little pocket of awesome.  Find your friends, grab some beers, strap on your mini-guns and head to the jungle!

Next time:

The two governors are back for another adventure!

“You should not drink and bake”

Words of wisdom, everyone!

So, this was a movie.  It was ok, had some decent moments, employed the most Illinois-looking middle-aged man extras I have ever seen. Let’s do it.


Title: Raw Deal

Year: 1986

Tagline: Nobody gives him a Raw Deal (OMG that’s the worst tagline)

Arnold’s Character: Mark Kaminsky/Joseph P. Brenner.  This character is a pretty basic law enforcement type, then he becomes more a wise guy type of dude to inflitrate the Chicago mob.  Arnold is trying to be a little more slick and sarcastic, with the quipping and the sleek hair and I kind of like it.  It’s a pretty different performance from the humorless-yet-hilarious John Matrix in Commando.  He also has good chemistry with Robert Davi and they end up having a little frenemy thing happening, which I enjoy.

Plot Synopsis: There’s a lot of boring mob stuff, which I don’t car about, so I am going to breeze over that. Mobsters kill a guy, an FBI dude who knows Arnold (who was chased out of the Bureau for beating up a child molester) recruits him to get vengeance for his dead son.  Arnold summarily leaves his drunk wife (Blanche Baker aka Ginny from Sixteen Candles) by herself and very efficiently fakes his own death.  He tears apart a gambling den with his bare hands (and a bulldozer) to get in good with his mob boss of choice.  It works, he joins up.

He meets a lady (Monique, who seems to be a shiftless gambling addict) at the super-tacky nightclub/casino thing that the mob guy runs and she takes him home and then they both pretend to be drunk.  There is pre-recorded snoring involved. Monique turns out to be passing information about Mark/Joseph to his mob rival, Max (Robert Davi) so her gambling debts will be waived.  Despite this, she kind of falls in love with Mark-Joe.  He buys her things.

Mark-Joe and Max go out on various mob errands (including a visit to a gay bar with a very half-hearted drag show going on, just like in Eraser).  Eventually, Max ends up shooting the guy that sent Arnold out to avenge his son and the deception begins to unravel.  There’s bomb threats at a police station for some reason, a really boring car chase and then Arnold goes full John Matrix and shoots up a gravel pit.  This is followed by the climactic shoot-out at the casino bar which ends with Arnold dumping a bowl of candy on a corpse (after killing everyone).

The movie ends with a ridiculous scene of Arnold’s friend (the guy who was shot in the graveyard) refusing to get out of his wheelchair and try to walk until Arnold tells him that he and his drunk wife are expecting a baby.  Freeze frame on a hug. Freeze frame on a hug.

Best moment: The bulldozer scene.  I gasped in joy when I saw the bulldozer because, having recently seen Commando, I knew what was coming. Guys, he drives it right through the building.

(this clip is a compilation of the action scenes, so if you want all the good stuff, just watch this)

Quick notes:

  • I love the music. Mr. Justbuttz was not a fan, but I totally dug it. It’s way 80s and super cheesy
  • The editing could be…how you say….tighter.  Some scenes end way after than you think they would and it gets a little awkward.  Especially when you’re forced to confront a crying FBI agent.
  • There is a scene where Mark-Joe commandeers a limo carrying a mob girlfriend, and she looks like me when I was Miss Piggy at Halloween

IMG_1810 IMG_1268

  • The tacky 80s offices are on point.  So much black lacquer and grey carpets.
  • There’s a whole scene of a conversation between two people where one of the actors has their back to the camera the entire time.  It’s not even for a sweet reveal or anything, that’s just how they chose to shoot it.
  • Speaking of choices, the director of this movie also directed the partially-Chicago-set Next of Kin, starring Liam Neeson’s hillbilly accent (it comes and goes) and Patrick Swayze’s double ponytail.
  • Monique’s black and gold mall dress. I love it.


  • I think one of the reasons this movie is so shitty is because they spent all their money licensing the Rolling Stones’ Satisfaction (also because it was a cash grab to make money for Total Recall. So, don’t hate, celebrate.)

Final verdict: meh.  For the completist only, I would say.

Up next:

Maybe the best movie ever made.

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