100 Word Review – The Running Man (1987)

Arnie really is wonderful, isn’t he? If you were ever in doubt, watch this film.

Set in a dystopian future, Ben Richards (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is convicted of a crime he didn’t commit and forced to participate in a public execution disguised as a brutal gameshow.

Based on the novel by Stephen King (The Shawshank Redemption, The Shining), it was adapted by Steven E. de Souza (Die Hard, Commando). Think an adult 1980s Hunger Games, but with more gore and less characterisation. There’s explosions, plenty of shouting, people in leotards and enough exploding heads to keep any Arnie fan happy.

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100 Word Review – Last Action Hero (1993)

Arnie’s back.

Danny (Austin O’Brien) is a young boy with a big imagination, obsessed with his favourite action hero Jack Slater (Arnold Schwarzenegger). When he is given a ticket to the latest Slater flick he jumps at the chance, little suspecting that he might become part of the action…

Co-staring the magnetic Charles Dance (Tywin Lannister from Game of Thrones), this is lighter and more comedic than a lot of Arnie’s ouevre, but doesn’t quite fit in to his family-friendly-range (see Junior or Twins). It’s a joy to watch, full of the ridiculous one-liners and explosions we’ve come to expect.

100 Word Review – Total Recall (1990) 

Based on Philip K Dick’s story, We Remember It For You Wholesale, this is Arnie at the very peak of his brilliance. 

Douglas Quaid (Arnold Schwarzenegger) can’t afford to go to Mars, but he can afford to have an adventure implanted into his memory of being a spy on Mars. But is it really a false memory? Why are people trying to kill him. He must get to Mars!

Full of the paranoia typical of Dick, and the explosions and shouting you get in every Arnie flick, all tied together by the satirical vision of director Paul Verhoeven (Starship Troopers).

100 Word Review – Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)

This might be my all time favourite film. Who wouldn’t love a film with scenes like this in it?

t-1000-terminator-2

Arnie is back. But this time he’s the good guy.

The T-800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger) has been reprogrammed by John Connor in the future and sent back to defend his younger self (Edward Furlong) from the latest terminator, the T-1000 (Robert Patrick).

Linda Hamilton is back as Sarah Connor and, far from the shy waitress of the first film, she is kicking serious butt.

It won 4 Oscars in 1992 including Best Sound and Visual Effects and is unsurprisingly currently voted number 41 on IMDb.

100 Word Review – The Terminator (1984)

One of the few examples of the first in film franchise not being the best.

Don’t let this put you off. It is a brilliant movie and a corner-stone of 1980s action Sci Fi.

An indestructible cyborg (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is set back from the future to murder Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), a waitress who’s unborn son will lead the humans in an war against the machines. Meanwhile a soldier from the future (Michael Biehn) is determined to protect her.

James Cameron’s casting is sublime. Arnie’s unsurprisingly realistic as the emotionless robot. Complete with stop-motion animation, this is an epic action.

Galaxy Quest (1999) – Quote-A-Long

I love sing-a-longs, so when I heard that the Sci-Fi convention I was attending would include a “Quote-A-Long” screening of Galaxy Quest, my excitement was beyond words.

Galaxy Quest, for those of you who haven’t seen it, is a joy to behold. It stars Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tony Shalhoub, Daryl Mitchell and Sam Rockwell as the play the crew of the spaceship NSEA Protector on a TV which has since dried up, and are stuck on the comic-con circuit surrounded by the shows devoted fan-base (cue a cameo from a very baby-faced Justin Long). When an alien race who has mistaken their TV show for Earth’s “historical documents” teleports them to their spaceship, they find themselves in the midst of an intergalactic war.

This film is one of the funniest Sci-Fi comedies out there. Throughout the film there are huge hat tips to Star Trek and shows in the genre, but they do not detract from the storyline. Whether you are proud Trekky or have only seen half an episode once by mistake, you will be entertained.

The two major quote along lines (in the ilk of “Live Long and Prosper”) are “Never give up. Never surrender!” and “By Grabthar’s hammer, by the suns of Worvan, you shall be avenged!”. I was anticipating that these would be shouted out with some gusto during the screening, but I was honestly not prepared for what followed. I have never felt more involved in a film. We were cheering for the crew of the NSEA Protector, we were boo-ing the locust-like aliens. It is something I am simply not used to, but I will definitely be trying at home. Admittedly, there will be some films that this doesn’t work with. I can’t imagine that films like Moon or V For Vendetta would be improved by this. But next time I watch an Arnie film, you better believe I’ll be yelling along!