20 April 2010


Arnold Schwarzenegger Movie Smackdown, Round 2
(Revisit Round 1)

Someone who runs a movie blog started following me this week. It's probably because some of Schwarzenegger's natural coolness rubbed off on me. This smackdown is gold!

Round 2
"Hasta La Vista, Baby!" Eight

True Lies vs. Conan the Barbarian

This pairing doesn't make sense to me, either. It's the logic of Random.org. True Lies may be great fun, but it's really Helen Tasker's story--and James Cameron's transition movie bridging his Schwarzenegger period and his Chick Flick period. And now that I think about it, Conan the Barbarian was a kind of transition movie for Schwarzenegger, too, bridging his B-movie body builder period and his Hollywood heavyweight period. So there's really only one way this choice can go . . .

Winner: Conan the Barbarian--because I could listen to Basil Poledouris' score all night, but fall asleep if I had to watch Cameron's tiresomely expensive Harrier sequence again.

Terminator 2 vs. Last Action Hero

This feels like John Connor vs. Danny Madigan. Young John learns that all the impossible stories his crazy mother has been telling him for years are true, after all; young Danny discovers what it's like to step into an impossible story and make it come true. But as always, Schwarzenegger's character is at the heart of both movies: as the T-850, he has to learn how to blend in a little more ("Talk to the hand"); as Jack Slater, he has to learn how to come to terms with being a freaking fictional character ("I'm the famous comedian Arnold Braunschweiger" . . . ROFLMAO!!!).

Winner: Last Action Hero--because I'm seriously looking forward to watching it again.

Total Recall vs. Kindergarten Cop

So . . . should I get my ass to Mars or to Astoria, Oregon? For, yes, this is all about setting: Quaid/Hauser's adventures are essentially Martian and futuristic, while John Kimble's redemption could only have been forced upon him in "the single mother parent capital of the world" at the end of the Single Mother Parent decade.

Winner: Total Recall--because I have yet to sit through a viewing which doesn't show me something new and amazing . . . and because I think I'm kind of done chewing on that single motherhood bone.

The Terminator vs. Predator

This pairing makes me weep. It really does. I wish these two had come together in the next round instead of this one so that I could have watched them both. For "Kyle Reese vs. the T-800" and "Dutch vs. the Predator" are both truly excellent face-offs deserving serious consideration from any Action Movie buff. Of course, now that I think about it, Reese isn't the one who takes the T-800 out at the end, is he?

Winner: The Terminator--because Sarah Connor makes the difference.


Sullivan McPig said...

I must say I actually agree with all your choices.

Enbrethiliel said...


Thanks, Sully! You just may be the last of my readers to say so . . . ;-)

christopher said...

Yeah, you lost me knocking out Predator... and it was tough matchup True Lies vs Conan, can't argue though - will have to go Conan from here on out. Surprised you put the axe to Kindergarten Cop, but I do like Total Recall as far as his flicks go :) (never understood the Last Action Hero fascination or Running Man for that matter).

The Mike said...

Hooray for Last Action Hero! I'm a little sad seeing True Lies and Predator go, but the other 4 you've bumped up are amazing too. Good stuff!

Paul Stilwell said...

"The Terminator vs. Predator"

And so my savoured future vote blows up in my face.

But you make very good reasons for your choices. Hard to argue, and I need to re-watch the Conan movies.

Enbrethiliel said...


Christopher: Our complete agreement was too good to last, wasn't it? But now I can't wait to discover what it is about Conan that moves your soul so much.

Mike: Thanks! True Lies was easy to axe; Predator, very, very difficult. And yet I've still managed to have a Final Four dominated by SF/F films!

Paul: It would have been very nice to have had them in the finals, aye? I still think Predator would have been great in the Final Four (which I'm trying really hard not to think of as the "F*** You, A******" Four . . . trying really hard and failing), but not even the combined mojo of Mac and Blaine can put down Sarah Connor.

ninjapeps said...

as the T-1000

I'm disappointed in you, Crissa. Robert Patrick was the T-1000, not the governator. :p

Enbrethiliel said...


I am in sackcloth and ashes right now. My hands are quivering . . . I can barely go back and edit the post . . .

Enbrethiliel said...


Okay, it's fixed . . . but I will be wearing the yellow cross of a penitent for the rest of this smackdown.

Congratulations on being the first person to read this post and notice!