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Last weekend the remake of 'Total Recall' came out, sans mars, or charming 80's special effects, and this week we have the ageing action hero awesome fest that is 'Expendables 2'. This is all perfect since today I want to talk about Arnold Schwarzenegger. Not about his cheating scandal, or his time as governor of California, but about his career and how his fame actually works against him.
In the 80’s and early 90’s, Schwarzenegger was huge at the box office. He was the perfect action movie archetype. He was big and brawny, armed with killer one liners. His movies range from Fantasy, to Science fiction, from action to comedy.

He was a heck of a success for years as a performer, and has been parodied and impersonated to the point that it’s no longer funny. And that’s why a feel bad for him, not because he’s being mocked, but how being mocked has affected his reputation.
I’ve sat and listened to people impersonate Schwarzenegger, saying; “Get to the chopper!” or “Its not a tumour!” and endless other Schwarzenegger quotes. And when I’ve enquired, “What movies are those from?” I’m usually responded to with blank expressions. People love to mock Schwarzenegger, but have never been truly exposed to him outside of the parodies and impersonations. At this point, he is considered nothing BUT the parody.

The way Schwarzenegger is depicted in most places is as incomprehensible buffoon, because of his accent, and the face value appearances of his films. They’re action films after all, how can there be any depth or substance in a movie built around gun fights and car chases? And regarding his accent, how can ANYONE understand what he’s saying? (I’m being sarcastic there, since every narrative has a theme, and his accent isn’t as thick as people seem to think it is).
If you actually watch his movies, you’ll quickly realize Arnold Schwarzenegger is a comedic actor, stuck in an action stars body, and he KNOWS what he is. You can see it in his performances as early as ‘Commando’. He is not disillusioned into thinking that he’s a dramatic actor, he knows the movies he’s in are silly popcorn flicks! He is having fun with his roles, he is enjoying his job, AND it not only shows, but radiates through the screen and into your living room.
That is what makes him an excellent performer, and the reason I always preferred him over fellow action star, Sylvester Stallone.

Stallone has always appeared to me, as wanting to be a serious dramatic actor, and at times has shown he has what it takes, with ‘First Blood’ and ‘Rocky’. But in his action movie roles, even the humorous ones like ‘Demolitionman’ he comes off as stiff and joyless, where Schwarzenegger has fun.
People miss the fact that Schwarzenegger is having fun, and seem to refuse to have fun with him, like your above enjoying something as ‘stupid’ as a run of the mill action movie. But there is no shame in enjoying it as long as the film isn’t ashamed of what it is.
Lets for a moment personify film. A film that is self aware, knows what it is, and plays itself out knowing the score, is something to enjoy. A film that isn’t aware of the fact that its generic, and has no idea what it really is, is retarded, and I personally don’t enjoy.

Example, ‘Twilight’ is not original or unique as far as narrative is concerned. As a story it’s very derivative. And there is nothing wrong with that in itself. Everything is pretty much derivative of something else. But if you’re derivative, but package yourself as original, then you’re a hack.

To get back on point, is Schwarzenegger ever going to win best actor? No. But is he as bad actor as everyone seems to think he is? No. When you ignore the parodies, and look at him for what he is, he’s as good as most big name stars. The fact of the matter is, he is not the parody, he is a performer, and should be judged as such. And if you’re not willing to hop on, and ride the wave that is Schwarzenegger, then it is kind of your own loss.

 
Hey there, how about some old comic book movie news? How old? Like two weeks old. So recently (San Diego Comic Con... I said it was like two weeks old.) the announced Marvel Phase 2. Which is essentially post Avengers Sequels. So here are the titles with some thoughts.

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THOR: THE DARK WORLD... Wait, its not just 'THOR 2'? We aren't seeing, 'THOR: THE RETURN OF REVENGE RISING'? This is amazing. A personal pet peeve of mine is movie titles that just toss a number on the end. Its lazy. Get a little descriptive will ya? Though to be fair, there is a few words that should be avoided in the title, DARK is fringing.
What is 'THE DARK WORLD' in reference to?... I've only read 'Thor Masterworks volume 1' and Walter Simonsons run on the title (Which I highly recommend). So my Thor knowledge isn't a deep pool. But Dark World makes me think we'll be seeing some dark elves, maybe Malekith the Accursed, and MAYBE my favourite Thor villain Surtur. I at least want to see a shot of a hammer dropping onto the twilight sword, with a huge TANG! That echoes through the cosmos.
Something else I want to see in THOR:THE DARK WORLD is Beta Ray Bill, I love me some good old horse face. If he's not in this movie, he should be in the 3rd.
The film is being directed Alan Taylor, one of the directors of 'The Game of Thrones' television series on HBO. So hes no stranger to swords and sorcery. And speaking of 'Game of Thrones'... WINTER IS COMING!


CAPTAIN AMERICA: WINTER SOLDIER
WHA! Another title with a subtitle!? Well the first film had a subtitle, so its not that surprising that the second would also feature a one as well. I'm just surprised they're taking a subtitle from the comics, not going with 'CAPTAIN AMERICA: FOREVER'
I know exactly what Winter Soldier is. Its a story line that broke what was considered one of the holiest of marvel comics rules. I don't want to spoil anything, but I'll be honest I'm excited for this now.
What I want to see from this one? the return of the Red Skull, and a more defined power set for Cap. In the first, and Avengers, we don't really see Captain do anything to impressive. I want to see less of the soldier and more of the SUPER. There's that part in the first where he love taps a guard with his shield and the man goes flying, that was awesome. I also want to see him be more of a gymnast too.
This one is being directed by the directing duo of Anthony and Joe Russo. Like Alan Taylor these two are usually television directors. Responsible for such television classics as, oh wow, 'the Community', 'Arrested Development', and 'Happy Endings'? Wow that's awe-... Wait a second... Sitcoms? Great sitcoms yes, but sitcom directors are doing 'CAPTAIN AMERICA: WINTER SOLDIER'? Alan Taylor made sense but these two? Lets have a look at these guys.

What a couple of dopy looking fuckers. Anthony is the one with the goofy looking grin, and Joe is the clone gone wrong of Jason Segel. (Being serious, these guys being on board makes my excitement shoot through the roof, these guys pretty much guarantee a fun movie).

Lets continue with the movie everyone is probably most excited for...



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IRON MAN 3... oh come on! IRON MAN, IRON MAN 2 and now IRON MAN 3. Okay, so I'll know the proper sequential viewing order, but they couldn't have called it 'INVINCIBLE IRONMAN', or are they saving that for the reboot when Robert Downey Jr. Abandons the character? Okay fine. Rumour is they'll be following Extremis story line, then IRON MAN EXTREMIS could be your title!
CAPTAIN AMERICA is following the Winter Soldier storyline, and has that in his title, then why not do that with Iron Man?... Sigh. All I want to see in this movie is FING FANG FOOM. Bring it on! Giant Dragon!
Directing this is Shane Black who directed 'KISS, KISS, BANG, BANG'. Shane is apparently really good friends with RDJ, and director of IRON MAN and IRON MAN 2 Jon Favreau (who also plays Happy Hogan in the films).
This film should be fine. Apparently Shane advised the guys on the first two films, and now Favreau is advising Shane.

And what movies has Marvel announced?

ANTMAN fuck yes! I know most of the general non comic book readers are probably thinking 'Who? What the fuck does Antman do? Talk to ants?'... Well not just talk to them... Don't roll your eyes at me!
Antman not only can communicate with ants, but shrink and grow! And I love characters that can shrink for some reason (subconscious relation to penises?)... but beyond that, Antman is just an awesome character. He's my favourite character on the Earths Mightiest Heroes cartoon, and a character I've really wanted to read more of.
Edger Write, director of 'SHAUN OF THE DEAD', 'HOT FUZZ', the television series 'SPACED' and of course the comic film 'SCOTT PILGRAM VS THE WORLD' is handling this one. Hes a guy that knows how to handle his action and his comedy.
Rumour is the story will follow Hank Pym the first Antman in the 1960's, then flash forward to the second Antman Scott Lang. I'm actually mostly familiar with Eric O'Grady... the Irredeemable Antman AKA the worlds most unlikable super hero.
What I want out of Antman, is the set up for a villain for avengers by the name of Ultron. Also some good old fashioned Antman and Wasp!

And then there is...

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Again, you probably responded with, 'Huh? Who?' Well let me just say... Rocket fucking Raccoon. An alien Raccoon. GROOT a sentient tree man! Need I say more?