Kindergarten Cop

Kindergarten Cop. Imagine Entertainment 1990

Before watching the movie:

I feel like this is the peak of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s bankability. He went from a bodybuilder of little note outside the body building circuit to a breakout action star overnight, and now a few years later, he’s in a family-ish comedy about how he’s out of his element and toddlers are too much for him to handle.

I’m expecting a fun, snap-together vehicle comedy. Nothing that breaks ground, but fun worth coming back to. It seems to have stood out among his comedies as one people love.

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Pumping Iron

yesterdocs

Pumping Iron.  White Mountain Films 1977.
Pumping Iron. White Mountain Films 1977.

Before watching the movie:

Way back in the beginning of this blog, when I was still feeling out what it was and what it covered, I reviewed one documentary. And in the years since, I have had one lonely post in the Documentary category (and one in Mockumentary, which I made a subcategory, but that’s another story).  I like documentaries. I’m just never in the mood to watch them, and I swiftly came to the idea that this blog should only cover scripted films. Maybe I’m better equipped to discuss scripted cinema, maybe it comes more easily. But lately documentaries have become a bigger part of my life, and I’ve been piling up docs in my to be watched list. I decided it was time to do something about it. So this month, not only am I reviewing four documentaries on this blog, I’m also trying to watch a total of at least 20 in the entire month, which I’m keeping track of on Tumblr.

I should probably discuss a little bit about this particular movie, even though I’ve gone on about the theme of the month for one whole Schwarzenegger. I get the sense it probably would have been forgotten if it hadn’t been the screen debut of a model about to become an actor known for being buff and not saying much. I don’t think I knew before now that it also profiles Lou Ferrigno, who also transitioned into acting in roles on his physique. It sounds like Arnold is more of the bad boy superstar of the movie, while Ferrigno has a more, perhaps sympathetic portrayal. They might be positioned as rivals in the narrative, or they might just be competitors in the same circuit, but the former seems more likely unless I’m missing an option for how the narrative may be constructed.

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Total Recall

Total Recall. Carolco Pictures 1990.
Total Recall. Carolco Pictures 1990.

Before watching the movie:

Why is it that Hollywood seems to like Phillip K. Dick more than any other SF writer? Off the top of my head, there’s Minority Report, Paycheck, A Scanner Darkly, Total Recall, and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. Looking it up, I was surprised to learn that the recent The Adjustment Bureau is another adaptation of his, as well as almost as many more I hadn’t even heard of, including two television series.

I recall the short story this is based on “We Can Remember it For You Wholesale” as a cerebral thriller, while this movie seems to be positioned as an action-packed blockbuster. To be fair, I can certainly see the room to open up the plot with action sequences.

I feel like this is one of those movies that if it wasn’t rated R I would have seen it ages ago. It came out only two years after I was born and its staying power has only been diminished by having a recent remake. If I’d been 17 in the 90s, I probably would have been invited to watch it with someone before the decade ended, or been invested enough to make the effort myself. However, in the last ten years it’s just been on a shelf or digital shelf somewhere, with no particular reason to make “I’ll watch it someday” into “I’ll watch it now”, until well, now.

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Twins

Twins. Universal Studios 1988.
Twins. Universal Studios 1988.

Before watching the movie:

The intent to depict contrast is very overt here. Separated at birth, a pair of twin babies grow into Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito, from completely opposite walks of life. A series of comic misadventures happen when they finally meet that probably has a “not so different” or “family is stronger than upbringing” theme.

I thought this marked my entry into Schwarzenegger’s infamous comedy period, but technically Last Action Hero is infamous and a comedy also, even if I liked it. I’ve also seen Jingle All The Way, which is frequently derided, but doesn’t get lumped in with the infamy surrounding Twins, Kindergarten Cop, and Junior. Hopefully I’ll like this better than the conventional wisdom as well.

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Last Action Hero

Last Action Hero. Columbia Pictures 1993.

Before watching the movie:

I don’t remember where I first heard of this film, but I liked the idea immediately. I like metafictional stories, and I don’t see them often applied to movies, especially as straightforwardly as this seems to be doing.

Action movies may not be my favorite, but I usually enjoy them, and they’re certainly ripe for parody, which is another thing I’m drawn to, if my blog history doesn’t show that.

The main thing that I keep forgetting when looking forward to this movie is that he’s a contemporary hero, a Die Hard, Rambo, or Schwarzenegger/Van Damme (big surprise) type. I always picture a more fantasy-style action hero, probably because there was a dragon movie right next to it on whatever page I first heard about this.

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Batman & Robin

Batman and Robin. Warner Brothers 1997.

Before watching the movie:

Once again, here’s a film that lives in infamy, a fate that befalls far too many superhero movies. Often derided for being the campiest movie of the Batman series, it’s… well, it broke the franchise. Look at it this way, though: between it and Catwoman, it made Batman Begins possible. I’m hoping to find more reason to appreciate it than that, but if George Clooney is allegedly giving refunds on people’s tickets, how great can it be?

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Hercules in New York

Hercules In New York, RAF Industries 1970

Before watching the movie:

According to the blurb, this movie is pretty much its title. Hercules gets bored of Olympus and goes to New York City, where crazy things happen. I found this movie looking through YouTube’s movie collection, and I’m interested in seeing if the fact that it’s not listed under Comedies is an oversight on the part of Youtube, or on the part of the writers.

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