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Old August 29 2008, 12:11 PM   #1
MyCylon
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What's up with the more recent Arnold movies?

I've been re-watching some Arnold Schwarzenegger movies recently, including Terminator 2, Total Recall, Running Man, as well as Last Action Hero and The Sixth Day.

One thing that's striking, I think, is that the more recent Arnold movies just weren't on par with what had come before. The Sixth Day, for example, has an interesting concept but, somehow, it just falls falls in my view. It just seems to plod along much of the time and just isn't as powerful as Total Recall, for example.
I remember watching Eraser and End of Days not too long ago, and they seem to suffer from the same kind of problem, really. Looking at box office results as well as some ratings and reviews seem to indicate that many people feel the same way. The major exception is Terminator 3 which simply has a brand recognition that none of the other more recent movies had (it didn't get rave reviews but didn't too badly either and did pretty well at the box office).

What I'm wondering is: What exactly happened? Did Arnold lose his touch when it came to picking movies? Did he work with the wrong directors (wrong for him because it's not like they were total nobodies, many of them, anyway)? Was he simply not offered the really good movies from a certain point on?

P.S.: One question slightly more specific question has been occupying me for a while as well. How come Arnold only ever worked with Paul Verhoeven once? It think the result was amazing and, in a way, they seemed like a match made in heaven with Verhoeven's extreme (and often comical) portrayal of violence and Arnold's physique and screen presence to back it up. They seemed to get along pretty well, at least judging by the audio commentary on Total Recall.
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Old August 29 2008, 12:50 PM   #2
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Re: What's up with the more recent Arnold movies?

Well out of all the movies big Arny did there is only two i don't like, the horrible Kindergarten cop and the cringe worth up the wazooo junior.......apart from that i have and do enjoy all the big mans movies right up until the quit the movie business.

I am actually sad that the big man has turned his back on movies and moved to politics as i still miss my occasional mindless arny romp movie released every few years.
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Old August 29 2008, 03:02 PM   #3
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Re: What's up with the more recent Arnold movies?

True Lies seemed like his last great movie. I thought Eraser was OK, bu felt like a Chuck Norris movie that could've been made in 1986.
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Old August 29 2008, 05:35 PM   #4
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Re: What's up with the more recent Arnold movies?

The later Arnie movies aren't as great as some of the 80s ones, but to me they're still pretty watchable. Having Arnie on the cast list usually meant I was going to enjoy the movie.
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Old August 29 2008, 05:53 PM   #5
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Re: What's up with the more recent Arnold movies?

I believe Arnie left a number of projects "in development" too long, and they became diluted by second guessing and focus groups.
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Old August 29 2008, 06:18 PM   #6
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Re: What's up with the more recent Arnold movies?

Haggis and Tatties wrote: View Post
Well out of all the movies big Arny did there is only two i don't like, the horrible Kindergarten cop and the cringe worth up the wazooo junior
I thought Kindergarten Cop was entertaining but I didn't have the courage to watch Junior. I can't even begin to imagine how weird that movie has to be.


Haggis and Tatties wrote: View Post
.......apart from that i have and do enjoy all the big mans movies right up until the quit the movie business.
Even Batman & Robin?


Haggis and Tatties wrote: View Post
I am actually sad that the big man has turned his back on movies and moved to politics as i still miss my occasional mindless arny romp movie released every few years.
I'll echoe that sentiment. I miss new Schwarzenegger movies. Though I'll add that while I also miss the mindless Arnold films, I miss the ones with that bit more substance even more (for example Total Recall or The Terminators 1 and 2).


Nardpuncher wrote: View Post
True Lies seemed like his last great movie. I thought Eraser was OK, bu felt like a Chuck Norris movie that could've been made in 1986.
I'm not that big a fan of True Lies but I tend to agree with you. True Lies simply feels 'bigger' than any of the movies that followed (maybe with the exception of T3). In a way, a film such as The Sixth Day, for example, could almost be made for TV. It just doesn't have that larger-than-life feel that characterized Arnold's 80's and 90's movies, I think. I would say the same is true of Eraser or End of Days, for example.


Holdfast wrote: View Post
The later Arnie movies aren't as great as some of the 80s ones, but to me they're still pretty watchable. Having Arnie on the cast list usually meant I was going to enjoy the movie.
Don't get me wrong: I'll take a mediocre Arnie flick over many other movies. He's got great presence and is fun to watch. It can simply be a bit jarring if you've just watched a movie like T2 and then go to Collateral Damage, for example.


ManOnTheWave wrote: View Post
I believe Arnie left a number of projects "in development" too long, and they became diluted by second guessing and focus groups.
That's interesting. Which movies are thinking of in particular?
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Old August 29 2008, 06:46 PM   #7
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Re: What's up with the more recent Arnold movies?

Justtoyourleft wrote: View Post
ManOnTheWave wrote: View Post
I believe Arnie left a number of projects "in development" too long, and they became diluted by second guessing and focus groups.
That's interesting. Which movies are thinking of in particular?
The End of Days springs to mind. I'm not saying it was ever going to be high art, but the ending in the script, and the one they shot first, had his character duking it out with the devil and shooting him. It was changed when the film was screened for a panel of religious experts.

In Collateral Damage, which came out in 2001, he doesn't fire any guns. Several scenes were removed, including a plane hijacking.

And, this may be more of a personal hunch, but it struck me that Arnie was resorting to lesser more easily shootable scripts like CD and EoD (he apparently owns a lot) because he couldn't do pet projects like Crusade which has been bogged down for years. (This was the project he and Verhoeven wanted to do together.)
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Old August 29 2008, 07:07 PM   #8
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Re: What's up with the more recent Arnold movies?

I think that for everyone growing up watching Arnies movies through the 80-90s, he always played a larger than life character; Conan, the Terminator, an ex Green Beret in Commando, an elite SpecOps warrior in Predator, a double agent from Mars... he played a character the kicked ass, took names and made it all look easy.

His later roles in Collateral Damage, 6th Day, End of Days, he seemed more of an average joe (or as much as Arnie could be an average joe). His characters were certainly not cowards and came out on top in the end, but they never seemed larger than life like Conan, the Terminator, John Matrix or Dutch.

I also think that he made a decision at some point to portray somebody that uses his brains to fight the bad guys and not his brawn. Maybe as a man with kids he didn't want to rip peoples hearts out of their chest or fling a sawblade through some poor shmuck's skull.

While I don't like Arnie as a politician, I loved (and still love) him as an actor. There are very few people that have the screen presence and charisma that Schwarzenegger has.
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Old August 29 2008, 08:04 PM   #9
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Re: What's up with the more recent Arnold movies?

The landscape of action movies changed. Sometime in the 90s, respected dramatic actors started getting into the full-blown summer blockbuster action flicks. People still wanted to see big explosions and serious ass-kicking, but these actors (Cage, Snipes, etc.) could actually bring more to the role, even if it wasn't on the page.

The limited ranges of Van Damme and Seagal made them obsolete, especially since the good actors were getting all the good action roles. It even affected Stallone, though the way he picked one bad movie after another had more to do with it.

Now Schwarzenegger's range was about the same as Van Damme and Seagal, but he had massive on-screen appeal and his smart selection of roles made him one of the biggest movie stars in the world, even allowing for him to alternate between comedy blockbusters and action blockbusters.

But the changing landscape, which may have slowly began with Bruce Willis' "everyman" in Die Hard, meant that these action hero parts were doing more, you know, acting. And Arnold is larger than life (he didn't exactly look worn down and suicidal in End of Days no matter how hard he tried) when he's at his best (or at least most popular). I actually think he was pretty successful at playing an average joe in The Sixth Day, but look at the audience response to Junior -- people want to see him taking life, not creating it.

I think it was a combination of him not being talented enough to roll with the changes and the projects he took on simply not being as good as they used to be. Just ask Charlie Sheen what happens to all your cred (Platoon, Wall Street) when you put together a string of bad movies.
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Old August 29 2008, 08:28 PM   #10
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Re: What's up with the more recent Arnold movies?

zephramc wrote: View Post
I think that for everyone growing up watching Arnies movies through the 80-90s, he always played a larger than life character; Conan, the Terminator, an ex Green Beret in Commando, an elite SpecOps warrior in Predator, a double agent from Mars... he played a character the kicked ass, took names and made it all look easy.
This has always been my conclusion. I love just about every Arnold movie, but the ones that are good are the ones where his character is larger than life.

If we don't get a 62nd ammendment or Arnold as Secretary of Energy/Environment/Green Stuff, then maybe we will get Crusade or True Lies 2. I could go for any of these options.
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Old August 29 2008, 08:38 PM   #11
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Re: What's up with the more recent Arnold movies?

Ometiklan wrote: View Post
If we don't get a 62nd ammendment or Arnold as Secretary of Energy/Environment/Green Stuff, then maybe we will get Crusade or True Lies 2. I could go for any of these options.
Very nicely put.
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Old August 29 2008, 11:38 PM   #12
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Re: What's up with the more recent Arnold movies?

Justtoyourleft wrote: View Post


Haggis and Tatties wrote: View Post
.......apart from that i have and do enjoy all the big mans movies right up until the quit the movie business.
Even Batman & Robin?

I have to admit i do enjoy the movie, but can i add i enjoy it because as part of the whole Batman films franchise thing......Love the first, enjoy the second, through the third was brilliant, enjoyed the forth and was amazed at how the 5(Batman Begins) makes the whole thing so fresh and very enjoyable again.
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Old August 30 2008, 11:45 AM   #13
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Re: What's up with the more recent Arnold movies?

zephramc wrote: View Post
I think that for everyone growing up watching Arnies movies through the 80-90s, he always played a larger than life character; Conan, the Terminator, an ex Green Beret in Commando, an elite SpecOps warrior in Predator, a double agent from Mars... he played a character the kicked ass, took names and made it all look easy.

His later roles in Collateral Damage, 6th Day, End of Days, he seemed more of an average joe (or as much as Arnie could be an average joe). His characters were certainly not cowards and came out on top in the end, but they never seemed larger than life like Conan, the Terminator, John Matrix or Dutch.

I also think that he made a decision at some point to portray somebody that uses his brains to fight the bad guys and not his brawn. Maybe as a man with kids he didn't want to rip peoples hearts out of their chest or fling a sawblade through some poor shmuck's skull.

While I don't like Arnie as a politician, I loved (and still love) him as an actor. There are very few people that have the screen presence and charisma that Schwarzenegger has.
This is a very good point. You hit it on the head. Arnie just shouldn't play normal Joe in a problem.
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Old August 30 2008, 01:11 PM   #14
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Re: What's up with the more recent Arnold movies?

He's the best terrible actor ever.
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Old August 30 2008, 11:24 PM   #15
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Re: What's up with the more recent Arnold movies?

Pingfah wrote: View Post
He's the best terrible actor ever.


I loved Arnie.
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