FlixChatter Review – Terminator: Dark Fate (2019)

Hollywood has pretty much given up on producing any kind of original ideas when it comes to big budget event films. Franchises are the big money makers these days and one of the franchises that never quite make the jump to the $1bil club is The Terminator series. Three high priced sequels were made after T2: Judgement Day but none of them were box office hits. Yet somehow the studio executives are willing to write big checks to make more films in the series. The latest in supposed to be a true sequel to T2 since James Cameron is officially part of the production, he came up with the story and produced this sequel.

Sarah Connor is back!

Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) and her son John (Edward Furlong) has stopped Judgement Day and Skynet never happened. Unfortunately, the war between machines and humans are inevitable and a new threat has emerged. A lone warrior from the future name Grace (Mackenzie Davis) has been sent back to our time to protect our new savior named Dani (Natalia Reyes) from the new evil time travel Terminator (Gabriel Luna). With the help of Sarah and T-800/Carl (Arnold Schwarzenegger), Grace must figure a way to keep Dani alive and kill the more advanced Terminator. That’s basically the story, there’s nothing new here, if you’ve seen the previous Terminator films then you know how it goes. Lots of big chases and shootouts and machine hand to hand combats.

Arnie’s back to the role that made him a superstar

According to Cameron, we’re supposed to ignore the last three films, and this is a true sequel to Judgement Day. I didn’t care for the last three films and was curious as to what kind of story he came up with. Well as it turned out, there’s not much here that we haven’t seen before. It’s same storyline, there’s no creativity or any sort of effort in trying to create anything that resembles originality. I’m not a fan of McG’s Terminator Salvation but at least that film tried to come up with something new and move story forward to new territory. Here Cameron and his writers just rehashed the same tired storyline from the previous films and updated with new characters. It’s quite surprising how lazy script was to me.

Gabriel Luna as the evil Terminator

Director Tim Miller didn’t help much with his lackluster directing skills. He basically tried to mimic Cameron’s style and he failed on every level. The action scenes were huge but lack any excitement and I’ll say it again, it lacked creativity. Miller’s background is in art direction and design and the film looked great. But he’s not a good film director, he’s one of those Hollywood directors that can shoot beautiful shots but can’t put scenes together to make a compelling story.

Mackenzie Davis + Natalia Reyes

The only thing that saved this from being a complete disaster are the actors. It’s great seeing Linda Hamilton back as Sarah Connor and Arnold can play The Terminator role in his sleep. Just like the last film, he’s basically the comic sidekick. Mackenzie Davis is becoming one of my favorite actresses in Hollywood. She’s great here as the new action hero and she even able to deliver some corny lines with believability. I’ve never seen Natalia Reyes in anything before but she held her own against the more veteran actors. As for Gabriel Luna, well he didn’t have much to do except to look like an evil Terminator, basically he’s similar to Robert Patrick’s T-1000 in T2.

I’ve said in my review of the last film Terminator Genisys that this franchise needs to be terminated and I stand by that statement. There’s nothing new or exciting in this latest sequel and I would be happy to never see another Terminator film in the future.

TedS_post


So have you seen Terminator: Dark Fate? Well, what did you think?

FlixChatter Review: Terminator Genisys (2015)

Ted_review
TerminatorGenisysPoster

I initially had no desire to see this new Terminator flick; from the trailers that I saw I thought it lacked creativity and originality. But then a couple of weeks ago, James Cameron gave his blessings and said fans of the franchise will enjoy it. Being that I’m a fan of Cameron and love his two Terminator flicks, I decided to give this new sequel a chance.

Ignoring the events of the previous two films, things kick off in the future where John Connor (Jason Clarke), his best pal Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) and a bunch of soldiers are battling the evil Skynet’s cyborgs. Connor has found a way to defeat the cyborgs and shut down Skynet permanently. But Skynet has a plan in place to win the war, they have created a time machine and sent one of their terminator cyborgs back in time to 1984 to kill Connor’s mom. In order to stop the cyborg and help Conner’s mom, Reese volunteered to go back in time.

Basically this opening scene was meant as a prologue to the first film. Then the film jumps to 1984 where they recreated the opening scene of the first film, we see the Terminator (young Arnold Schwarzenegger) just arrived in L.A. and was just about to kill the three punks but an older Terminator (old Arnold) came to their aid. A fight between the two Terminators ensues and then the younger cyborg was put down.

TerminatorGenisys_ClarkeCourtney TerminatorGenisys_OldNewTerminator

We then see Reese arrived at another location in Los Angeles; he’s also met with another Terminator, the T-1000 (Byung-Hun Lee). When he’s about to get killed by the T-1000, Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) and the old Terminator came to his rescue. If you’ve seen the trailers then you pretty much knows how the rest of the movie will play out, our heroes gets chased by the evil cyborg and they have to destroy Skynet. The only difference here is that Sarah already knows what’s going to happen and she’s already prepared for Judgment Day. This is one of those films that think it’s smarter than it actually is. The writers came up with alternate timeline and time travel and just assume that the audiences have seen the previous movies. Sadly none of it made any sense and frankly I just didn’t care. The point of a reboot is to come up with something new and refreshing, here they just rehash elements of the first two films and threw in some “new” ideas. None of it worked and I was bored halfway through the movie.

TerminatorGenisys_Clarke TerminatorGenisys_Lee

Even though he gets top billing, Arnold was just there to be the action hero and comic relief. The main leads are Jai Courtney and Emilia Clarke. We’re supposed to care about these two characters like the first film but the two actors have zero chemistry. Jai might be the blandest actor since Hayden Christensen; he’s one of the current young actors that Hollywood is trying to make into the next big action hero. Clarke is no better, she’s trying to channel the brave and tough version of Linda Hamilton’s Sarah from the second film, but sadly she couldn’t convince me that she’s badass. As for the main villain, well if you’ve seen the trailers then you’ve already know that John Connor is the antagonist in this one and he’s also quite bland. If there were a great example of miscasting actors in prominent roles in a big film, this would be it. None of the actors fit into their respective roles. The only person belongs in the movie is Arnold and he’s great.

TerminatorGenisys_JohnConnor

On the technical side, the movie is flawless. Director Alan Taylor and his cinematographer did a great job of capturing look and feel of Cameron’s previous Terminator pictures. The 3D effects were very effective; the action scenes were well staged and best of all, no hand held shaking cam action sequences. Speaking of action, the franchise is known for its long action sequences but Taylor somehow decided to edit down the length of each action scenes, with the exception a helicopter chase, many of the action scenes were short and not really creative at all. Again here they tried to rehash elements of Cameron’s films and nothing else.

I guess the trend of this summer’s big films are reboots/sequels and Terminator Genisys is no different. While I thought the concept worked for Mad Max: Fury Road, it didn’t work for this movie. If you’re fan of the franchise then you might enjoy it, for newcomers you might get confused by all the references to the previous events in the past films. My two-and-a-half stars are only for the movie’s excellent Dolby Atmos surround sound and very cool 3D effects. I think it’s time for this franchise to get terminated.

2halfReels

TedS_post


So have you seen Terminator Genisys? Well, what did you think?

FlixChatter Review: SABOTAGE

TedSaydalavongBanner

SabotagePoster

Just like his pal Sly Stallone, Arnold Schwarzegger is trying to reclaim his glory days as the box office king of the 80s and 90s by starring in action films again in the 21st century. So far though, both them have had more duds than hits and I’m afraid this trend will continue with Arnold’s latest action thriller.

The movie opens with a group of elite DEA agents being lead by John “Breacher” Wharton (Arnie) raiding on some drug dealers’ fancy mansion. They found at least $100mil cash stashed away in the lower level of the mansion and the team decided to steal $10mil of that money and burn the rest so no one at the DEA will know they took the cash. Of course things didn’t turn out as planned, when they tried to retrieve the cash later, it’s nowhere to be found. Things got worse when the DEA found out that the $10mil is missing and they accuse Breacher and his team of stealing the money. All of them were under investigation and Breacher lost his team. About six months later, the DEA couldn’t find enough evidence to build a case against Breacher and his team, so the case will be close.

After the good news, Breacher tracked down his old teammates and try to get them back to doing what they do best, kill lots of bad guys. Unfortunately things didn’t come back to normal for the team, three of them were killed and this lead to the involvement of a homicide detective Caroline (Olivia Williams). Caroline suspects the drug cartel is behind the killings but Breacher and his team aren’t willing to help her with the investigation. The trailers let us to believe that this was a non-stop action adventure but it’s really a procedural thriller with some shootouts and a car chase. Not the usual Arnold’s flicks from the past.

SabotageStills1

The script by Skip Woods and David Ayer was pretty good, nothing too deep or over the top. Instead of giving us one liners after another, some of the dialogs were quite witty and Arnold delivered them perfectly. The script might think it’s smarter than it’s actually is but I went along with the plot. Ayer made a name for himself by writing Training Day and the first Fast & Furious film, so don’t expect anything new or original from this movie. I’m not the biggest fan of his directing style though, he basically incorporated the look and feel of his last movie (End of Watch) into this one. I’m sort of getting annoyed by some directors who think that by shooting their movie digitally, they think it will look more “realistic”. I don’t get why they couldn’t add some effects in post production and make the movie look more cinematic, I can’t stand watching a movie that looks like it’s shot with a home camcorder. Despite the flat and uninspired cinematography, Ayer did shoot some good action scenes, particularly the climatic car chase and shootout.

Performance wise, I thought Arnold did a pretty good job, again it’s Arnold we’re talking about here so don’t expect an Oscar caliber acting. Olivia Williams pretty much played the second lead and I thought she’s good in the role, I couldn’t remember the last time I saw her in a movie. The rest of the cast including Sam Worthington (I guess he’s already lost his leading man status now), Mireille Enos, Terrence Howard, Joe Manganiello and Josh Holloway did a serviceable job in their respective roles.

SabotageStill2

For a movie like this, I think most people expect to see lots of shootouts and explosions, so it’s a nice surprise that it does have some sort of a plot and kept my attention without something blowing up every 10 minutes. I think I might give it a higher rating had Ayer and his team made the movie look more like a real movie instead of home video. But I’m glad they didn’t scale back the blood and violence, I think this is a good rental.

threereels


TedS_post


What do you think of Sabotage?

Question of the Week: 80s/90s aging movie stars still in action – Love ’em or Hate ’em?

Tonight I’m going to a screening of 3 Days to Kill. Yes the trailer looks ridiculous and the director is McG so the likelihood of this being good is pretty slim. But y’know what, I’m still going to see it for the nostalgia factor as I quite like Kevin Costner as an action hero, whom I first saw in a spy thriller No Way Out in the late 80s. I’m dating myself here, but those who grew up in the 80s like I did likely remember these stars in their prime. Costner’s getting a career resurgence since winning a Golden Globe for his performance in the TV miniseries Hatfields & McCoys. Interestingly, he’s only one of a slew of 80s/90s movie stars who’re still in demand in today’s movies.

3DaysToKill_NonStop

In fact, within a week of each other, 59-year-old Costner and 61-year-old Liam Neeson have a new movie coming out with each of them getting top billing. Both are action movies, which seem to be the genre these old, err seasoned movie stars get hired for, strangely enough. I just came across this NY Post article last night where I read about Neeson’s reaction why he took those action roles: “Because they’re dumb enough to offer them to me … It’s like, I’m 61 years of age. I mean, come on. It’s a joke. It’s like [mimes talking into phone], ‘How much? OK, I’ll be there.’” Ahah, you gotta love his honesty!

But hey, there are economic reasons why Hollywood would rather offer action roles to familiar names. That NY Post article also talked about how foreign audiences actually love ‘stars of immediate past’ and the universal appeal of an action adventure is easier to market than a decidedly more culturally-relevant comedy or drama. The Expendables 2 only grossed $85 mil domestically but made well over $200 mil in foreign markets total. Even the relative dud like Escape Plan with Sly Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger which only earned a paltry $25 mil here in the US made over $100 mil in foreign markets. So they may be old but certainly not flat-lined yet at the box office.

There’s practically a new sub-genre of *aging stars in action* movies with a cast that pride themselves of being older, wiser and still very much bad ass. It has spun several successful franchises like Taken (Neeson’s vehicle), RED aka Retired Extremely Dangerous (Bruce Willis’ vehicle) and The Expendables, kick-started by Sly himself, easily one of THE biggest action heroes of all time, and starring the who’s who of 80s & 90s action.

Expendables3

The Expendables‘ strong point is truly in the cast [I’ve seen the first film, it’s definitely NOT the script] and the possibilities seem endless. If you’re somewhat famous in the 90s and can still walk properly without a cane, there’s a chance Sly’d offer you a role [that is if you didn’t demand $1 mil/per day pay check like Bruce Willis]. It turns out he IS expendable after all ahah, though he’s not exactly running out of work. This Summer he’s reprising his role as detective in Sin City 2, which guess what, opens just a week after Expendables 3 😀

So long as the demand is there, I think we can expect relative *young’uns* like Tom Cruise, Keanu Reeves and Johnny Depp, who are in the early 50s or will hit it this year, would be around for at least another decade or so.


So what do you think folks? Do you wish these aging stars would retire already or are you loving the perpetual trend of aging stars in action?

FlixChatter Review: Escape Plan

TedSaydalavongBanner

EscapePlanPoster

Sly Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger ruled the box office throughout the 80s and most of the 90s but have never shared a screen together until they appeared in the two Expendables films. But Arnold’s appearance was more of a cameo in those films, now finally the two action hero icons are together for the first time in a prison set action thriller that reminded me of Lock Up, Tango & Cash and John Woo’s Face/Off.

Ray Breslin (Stallone) is a structural-security expert, what he does is basically pretends to be an inmate in some of the highly secured federal prisons in the country, he breaks out and tells the warden that his prison has security flaws. So after another successful breakout to start the film, Breslin and teammates which includes his partner Lester Clark (Vincent D’Onofrio), his lover Abigail Ross (Amy Ryan) and a computer hacker expert Hush (Curtis Jack aka 50 Cents), were approached by a CIA lawyer named Jessica Miller (Caitriona Balfe) for another big project. Miller wants Breslin to go into a highly secured prison known as The Tomb, a place so highly secured that not even the US government knows about it. Miller suspects that there are some security flaws and wants Breslin to find them. Breslin and his team were hesitant at first since they fear it might not be safe for him to go there but when Miller offered a payday of $5mil, they all said yes.

Once Breslin arrived at The Tomb, he realized he’s in over head and have to deal with the sinister warden Hobbes (Jim Caviezel) and his right hand man Drake (Vinnie Jones). Knowing that he might not be able to get out, he decided to partner up with another inmate named Emil Rottmayer (Arnie), it seems Rottmayer has something that Hobbes wants but he refuses to give it to him. Most of the movie took place at the prison and both Breslin and Rottmayer are trying to figure a way to escape the place. I think anyone who have seen prison set action thrillers in the past will know what you’re getting into. Expect to see lots of fist fights, shootouts and big explosions. Originally the film was called The Tomb and was supposed to open back in August but with the box office failures of The Last Stand and Bullets to the Head, the studio decided to push the release date back to the less crowded fall season. I think it’s a good decision to change the title since The Tomb sounded like a movie about super natural or something.

EscapePlan_Stills

Since this is a film starring two of the biggest action heroes, you don’t expect to see any Oscar caliber performances here. And I thought Sly and Arnold did a great job of playing their roles, Sly did try to be this super smart kind of person but of course he’s still Sly aka Rambo aka Rocky to me. As for The Terminator, he appears to have a great time playing his part, he’s sort of the side kick to Sly’s character. Some people in the crowd at the screening I went to actually started cheering when the two started kicking ass and shooting down bad guys. Caviezel was convincing as the main villain but again he’s the usual one-dimensional character in an action flick so don’t expect much from him. As for the rest of the cast, well they didn’t have much to do, just fillers. Although I think 50 Cents needs to take some more acting classes since he seems to just have one facial reaction throughout the movie.

Swedish director Mikael Håfström did a good job with the pacing, there’s no slow moment in the film that you may have to look at your watch. I did like the way he shot the action scenes, no shaky cam or fast editing which always a big plus for me, as most of you know most action films today seems to go overboard those shaky cam sequences. But I did think he should’ve staged some of the shootout scenes with more creativity, there’s too much standard shootouts that we’ve seen way too many times in the past but they’re still fun to watch. Since this is an R-rated movie, there’s blood, torture and of course lots of f-bombs.

I’m a huge fan of both Sly and Arnold so to finally see them teamed in a big action picture, it’s a real treat. If you’re a fan of both then you’ll likely enjoy this movie too. It’s pure fun and you won’t be disappointed by spending an hour and a half in the theater.

3 out of 5 reels


TedS_post


What do you think of Escape Plan and the pairing of Sly and Arnie?

Question of the Week: Are you looking forward to AVATAR sequels?

AvatarQuadPoster

It just dawned on me that it’s been over four years since AVATAR was released. I remember it was quite a big deal back in 2009. I remember getting advanced screenings (this was before I was on the press list, mind you) and I was soooooo excited! I even had a countdown post like I did before Man of Steel came out. I had barely any blog followers back then either, so most of you probably never read my review of the movie. Yes, I actually loved it. Yes I know it’s basically the story of Pocahontas with blue people, but I couldn’t help being caught up in the spectacle of it all. Visually, it was a thrill that at the time, I hadn’t experienced before. My hubby and I even went to the Avatar exhibit at EMP Museum in Seattle, so yeah, I was obviously a fan 😀

But it seems ages ago now. I haven’t even rewatched it in a couple of years though we did get the Blu-ray. It’s not as exhilarating visually when you didn’t see it on 3D or IMAX, and this is one of those movies where the visual does matter. In any case, I sort of have forgotten about this movie, but yesterday I saw a bunch of tweets about Arnold Schwarzenegger possibly joining Avatar 2 as a villain.

I’d think Arnie’s probably playing a general/leader role similar to Stephen Lang. It’s been a while since he collaborated with Cameron in those Terminator movies and True Lies (which I’ve been wanting to rewatch for some time!), though at this point I don’t really care. Heck, I used to actually like Sam Worthington, he was even on my list of 10 Notable Foreign Actors to Watch, but apart from maybe The Debt, I don’t really care for him as an actor anymore. Yeah, blame it on the abominable Clash of the Titans!

TheAbyss_pic
The Abyss

What I am curious about is if Avatar 2 would actually take place underwater as was reported early this year. This is what Cameron said to LA Times Hero Complex about what the setting of the sequel,

Part of my focus in the second film is in creating a different environment – a different setting within Pandora. And I’m going to be focusing on the ocean on Pandora, which will be equally rich and diverse and crazy and imaginative, but it just won’t be a rain forest. I’m not saying we won’t see what we’ve already seen; we’ll see more of that as well.

Of course they’d use the latest technology for the motion capture and stuff, that’d be interesting to see how that’d work underwater. The Abyss is one of my favorite sci-fi, which was filmed underwater. Surely the technology has improved tremendously since 1989 that we should expect something even more breathtaking.


So what do you guys think about AVATAR sequels, are you a fan of the first film? 

The Flix List and a Poll! Vote for your five favorite Arnold Schwarzenegger Movies

Top5AhnuldMovies

The Austrian former body-builder has got 50 titles under his belt…  though the only one stretching his acting skills is probably playing the Governator of California, ahah. But after a decade since he played his iconic role that catapulted him to stardom, Schwarzenegger has reportedly confirmed he’ll be back for the next Terminator movie. I thought his comeback in The Last Stand was fun to watch, harkening back to his action hero roles of the 80s and 90s. Unfortunately it tanks at the box office, earning a paltry $7 mil so far. Don’t cry for him though, I don’t think Ahnuld’s going to let his career go down without a fight 😀

So just for the fun of it, I partnered with my pal Ted S. to list our top five fave of Arnie’s movies all the way back to the early 80s.

Please vote at the end of the post for YOUR top five favorites!

Ted’s Picks

After several years of serving the public as the governor of CA, Arnold’s back on the big screen and as a fan of his work, I’m pretty excited to see him kicking ass on the big screen again. I’ve seen every single one of his films, even the awful Hercules in NY, that’s the film I wish I hadn’t seen, seriously don’t ever see it.

Anyway, here are my favorite films he starred in:

5. Conan the Barbarian

Arnold_ConanBarbarianJohn Milius’ 1982 film is kind of underrated when it comes to Arnold’s filmography. It has everything you want in this kind of genre, magic, swords play and lots of blood. Also, Basil Poledouris’ score was pretty great.

4. True Lies

Cameron and Arnold teamed up for the third time in this loosely remake of a 1991 French film, La Totale! As with most films directed by Cameron, it was the most expensive ever produced around that time, the budget was around $120mil. The film wasn’t as big hit as the studio had hoped but it was a fun action/adventure summer tent pole. Plus Arnold played a super spy and blew a lot of sh*t up; you can’t go wrong with that.

3. Predator

Arnold_PredatorThis was Arnold’s first major big box office hit and it’s one hell of a film. Under the direction of John McTiernan (Die Hard 1 & 3), this modern day telling of The Most Dangerous Game was filled with big shootouts and explosions. Keep an eye out for young writer/director Shane Black (Lethal Weapon series, Iron Man 3), he played one of the soldiers on Arnold’s team and he told a pretty funny and dirty joke in the movie.

2. Total Recall (1990)

Originally David Cronenberg was going to direct this film and Patrick Swayze was in talks to play the lead role. But when the producer couldn’t raise enough money, Arnold decided to buy the script and brought Paul Verhoeven on board to direct it. In an interview Verhoeven said he decided to ditch the more serious tone of the script because he knows that Arnold doesn’t have much range when it comes to acting, so he decided to make the film a little campy yet fun. Filled with shootouts, blood and a three breasts mutant hooker, the film was one of the biggest hits in the summer of 1990.

1. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

Arnold_T2posterJames Cameron’s epic sequel to his first sci-fi hit, The Terminator, is one of my favorite films ever! I’ve seen it countless times and bought many editions on home video, from VHS, DVD and Blu-ray. The film was filled with great special effects, long and spectacular car chases and shoot outs; it’s truly a great summer event film.


Honorable mentions:

  • The Terminator: This one didn’t make my top 5 because well, Arnold’s the villain and he’s hardly in the movie. Originally Cameron wanted OJ Simpson to play The Terminator and Arnold was going to play the hero Kyle Reese, but upon reading the script, Arnold wanted The Terminator part. In a documentary about this film, there’s a funny story of how both Cameron and Arnold agreed that he should be The Terminator, give it a watch if you some free time.
  •  Red Heat: Walter Hill’s version of buddy cop action of the 80s, Arnold played a hard-nosed Russian cop who came to Chicago and had to team up with Chicago detective, James Belushi, to track down a Russian drug dealer who killed his partner. I thought Belushi was pretty funny as the not so friendly side kick and of course the film contained some good shootouts and a crazy bus chase on the streets of Chicago.
  •  Eraser: Warner Bros. thought they could start another famous one liner by having Arnold utter the words “You’ve been erased”, fortunately it never took off because when the trailer of the movie came out and audiences heard Arnold said that line, they bursts out laughing. So Warner decided not to use it as part of the promotion for the film. Besides that bad one liner, the film was actually a lot of fun. Filled with big stunts and shootouts, it’s the usual Arnold’s summer flick. Unfortunately it didn’t do as well as the studio had hoped since it opened in the busy summer of 1996 against heavy weights such as Mission: Impossible, Twister, The Rock and ID4. It was actually the last film of Arnold that earned $100mil domestically.


Ruth’s Picks

5. Kindergarten Cop

Arnold_KindergartenCopI quite like Arnold in action comedies, he should stick to this genre. Something about his acting style just lends itself to hilarious moments! He plays a tough city cop who has to go undercover as a kindergarten teacher in order to catch a drug dealer. The moment he went berserk watching kids being well, kids, yelling ‘SHUUUUUUUUUUT UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUP! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!’ is quite a hoot.

4. The Last Stand

As you’ve perhaps read in my review, I enjoyed this movie and it’s one I actually don’t mind watching again. Ahnuld is not the usual invincible action hero, unabashedly poking fun at the fact that he’s no spring chicken anymore. Fun action filled with plenty of humor, I thought it was a pretty decent comeback vehicle for Arnold. I really think action comedies suit Arnold the best, I do hope this wouldn’t be his last in this genre.

3. Eraser

Arnold_EraserI know it’s not the most brilliant action thrillers out there, but I quite enjoyed this one. It’s Ahnuld doing what he does best, that is to protect a damsel in distress, even if that means fighting a slew of bad guys… and an alligator? Once again an evil corporation is involved, with James Caan as the villain. The damsel is played by Vanessa Williams, she’s not a good actress obviously, but she was sympathetic enough to make you care. I’m glad they didn’t force a romance between the two of them though. The special effects team was actually nominated for an Oscar, and the shootouts and car chases make for a pretty fun thrill ride. Plus I like the ending… yes the “You’ve just been erased” line isn’t quite as iconic as his other lines, but it actually works to great effect here.

2. Terminator 2 (1991)

This is easily the best Terminator movie of the bunch and perhaps one of the best sequels ever in the history of movie franchises. It’s got everything we love about the first movie and more! I like the relationship between Sarah Conor (the bad ass Linda Hamilton) and her son John (Edward Furlong), and the unlikely father/son bond between John Connor and the Terminator himself. There’s a lot of humor, such as when John teaches him phrases that became iconic, like ‘Hasta la vista, baby.’ Plus we’ve got a fantastic and terrifying villain in the form of a more advanced and deadlier T-1000, played in a scene-stealing performance by Robert Patrick. This is one of those classic sci-fi movies that not only entertain but actually make you think. “It’s in your nature to destroy yourselves.” Sadly, that’s not far from the truth.

1. True Lies (1994)

Arnold_TrueLiesThis is easily one of my favorite movies from the 90s as it’s so wildly entertaining. It’s yet another Arnie’s collaboration with James Cameron. It’s decidedly more lighthearted than the Terminator franchise, but just as action packed and packed with humor as well. Jamie Lee Curtis is perfectly cast as Arnie’s wife who’s kept in the dark as her husband leads a double life. There are tons of memorable scenes between this husband and wife, and Arnie + Jamie Lee share a strong chemistry! Plus there’s Moses himself Charlton Heston as the secret agency’s big boss!

This is a quintessential big, loud, popcorn Summer movie, and it absolutely works. It’s a fun thrill ride from start to finish, even though the terrorist villains are hilariously cartoonish. I also love the Tango he did with Tia Carrere, even though she does most of the dancing, ahah. It remains one of my favorite movie Tangos of all time!

Honorable Mentions:

  • Conan The Destroyer
    This is one of my childhood favorite, I don’t know why I loved it so much. I must’ve watched it over a dozen times! I haven’t watched it since though, but I put it here for nostalgia sake.
  • The Last Action Hero
    The fantastical time travel element makes this a fun action flick, and Arnie’s never been shy of self-parody. It’s a great spoof of his go-to action genre, playing on all the cliches and stereotypes. He plays a larger-than-life action hero Jack Slater, worshiped by a young boy who ends up being transported into Slater’s world where the good guys always saves the day. John McTiernan of the Die Hard fame directed this and it has a similar absurd rock ’em, sock ’em sensibilities that please action fans. I remember seeing this on the big screen with my brother and we both had a good time.
  • The Terminator (1984)
    As Ted said, Arnold didn’t have as much screen time here compared to the second movie. Still, it’s one of the most iconic action sci-fis – full of memorable over-the-top scenes and one liners. “Come with me if you want to live.” I love Michael Biehn as Kyle Reese in this one, and of course Linda Hamilton is just perfectly cast. The idea that humans would be overtaken by the very things they created is intriguing and it’s been used many times over in various medium, but this franchise shall remains a classic even to this day. I haven’t seen this in a while, so I might rewatch this and T-2 sometime soon!


Now it’s YOUR turn! Cast your vote below.


Thoughts on our picks? Feel free to chime in about Ahnuld and his movies in the comments!