So...what is it about Arnold?

joker-scar

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I just finished watching TOTAL RECALL. Great Popcorn movie..despite the over acting by most of the cast, especially Michael Ironside. I found it amusing that Arnold comments on his good acting skills in the commentary. :lol Anyway...I’m finished watching it and thinking, the movie would have worked just as good with just about any number of other actors in the role. Arnold IS the Terminator and Conan...no doubt about it. :thumbsup But any other role he has played...could have been done better by other actors. So...what is it about Arnold that made him so popular, besides the obvious? :confused There are other muscular actors around, but the only other is Stallone that has risen as high... why Arnold? :confused His accent is still heavy (and funny when he utters certain dialogue :lol ) and by all logic he shouldn’t have become “a star”. Is it simply his personal charm :love overpowering his limited acting skills? I remember in the day watching his films as well, but then again back then I saw almost everything. What are your thoughts........ :confused
 
His performance worked best for the target audience.
Think about it - Hookers with three breasts, action, wisecracks, girl-on-girl combat... Perfect Arnie stuff.

I don't think any of the more serious actors could have matched the intent of the film. Stallone takes himself a touch too seriously, even in his own comedies. Bruce Willis is either too light-hearted or too serious an actor. Van Damme is.... Van Damme.

I totally disagree with your comment about Ironside overacting, though. A lot of his best moments are very, very subtle and what he did here was fantastic. Re-watch the film, but from the perspective of Richter being the 'good guy'. He's a complex man, in love with his wife and dedicated to the cause he believes in. Ultimately, he gives his life fighting to protect what he feels is the right side.


As for the rest of Arnie's films - I think he was really the trend-setter in all this. He helped create and define this niche of cheesy 80's action flicks within which the likes of Dolph Lundgren (another actor I quite enjoy) were then able to prosper. The 70s were about hard men. REALLY hard men. Dirty Harry types who you'd never want to **** with. The 80s had a far more light-hearted, almost comedic enjoyability to it's gratuitous violence that you could almost share with the whole family.

Van Damme tried to follow, but crap line delivery ("Whay dorn't you tek... your beeg steek... end yuh boyfrendt... end find a bus to ketch?") and limited trademarks ("watch me do the splits") stalled his progress and kept him in the upper B-grade releases. Steven Segal just quickly got very boring (ex-CIA/SpeciaL Forces Buddhist who never gets hurt, in every single film).

But yes, Arnie's charm and character was also a factor. In several Special Features of his films, his co-stars rave about how professional and dedicated he is on-set, but how he also tries to showcase his co-stars acting as well as his own. He goes out of his way to help them look good on screen with him.


In short, it's the combination of things that he brings to films that makes it work the way it does.
 
It was a time when bodybuilding and the fitness craze was skyrocketing, and you can thank Arnold for that too.

People wanted to see muscle, and Arnold had the biggest ones on screen at the time.

And there was something infectious about Arnold's confidence- he owned every room he walked into. He was arrogant, however he threw in just the right amount of "quick wit" (and a big smile) that made him seem approachable and not an a-hole.

I think his actual persona translated well onto screen- aside from his muscles he was known for his one liners; some of which are considered top 100 memorable lines. Essentially he was both larger than life in the real World and the characters he played.

He showed that he could do comedy (limited, but comedy none the less) with Twins and Kindergraden Cop (though personally he should have stopped doing comedy after those two). It was a refreshing change of pace.

I think Woody hit the nail comparing him to Eastwood films of the 70s. He was the Eastwood of the 80s and early 90s.

In an interview (perhaps Letterman) he tried to answer why The Terminator (despite being the bad guy), was so popular.

He boiled it down to this- Everyone at one time in their lives dreams of being a Terminator (unstoppable) and "getting the job done" (not necessarily commiting crimes, but just being invincible). To compare it with Eastwood- Eastwood's appeal was "screw the rules- let's do what's right".

I think it is that appeal that sold Arnold's films- wanting to live vicariously through this seemingly unstoppable character.


Kevin
 
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Hey if somebody could figure that out, they would.

Timing. That's all. He hit at the right time for him.
 
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Money and power period.

At least that was the case for Recall.

That project had been shopped all over, Arnold saw it, liked the script and had it bought so he could do it.
 
Apollo's right - Arnold made most of his own opportunities. In the 80s and early 90s he had an incredible knack for knowing what people wanted to see him do. Who would have guessed Twins or KC would be good vehicles for him? They did great business, though.

The guy was talented, driven, intelligent (I know, doesn't always seem it outwardly), and ambitious. He came to this country to become a movie star, marry a Kennedy, and get into politics. Quite a list to tackle, but I'll be d@mned if he didn't check off each item...
 
I think Terminator worked because Arnold didn't have to speak much or emote. It was mostly physical, so Arnold followed Cameron's direction methodlically and robot-like, and pulled it off wonderfully.

Conan also worked wonderfully because of his size, his look, and his accent could, I suppose, pass for Cimerian.

He did well in comedy like Kindergarden Cop because he was being a parody of himself..
 
Say whatever you want about Arnold, but at least hit fit the roles. Now we have super heroes that look like girly men (Thor, Capt. America, etc.) compared to their comic versions.

And if three breasted space hookers are wrong, then I don't know what country I'm in anymore! :lol
 
He picked good movies to be in. Just like any popular actor. If you went to an 'arnold movie' you were going to enjoy yourself.

Why is Johnny Depp so popular? A skinny little guy who does weird parts. Because it's entertaining.

Humphrey Bogart? A balding middle aged man with a lisp.
 
Who else could jump out of a 747, land in a swamp and come out clean and dry.

I don't know what it is about Arnold but i like most all of his films. Terminator, Predator, Eraser, Total Recall, Commando, Last Action Hero, True Lies. Great no brain entertainment. If any of these are playing on tv i usually watch them. Maybe thats it. His movies are easy to watch with little brain input and sometimes thats the right ticket. He has a nack for picking good stories for his persona too.
 
I read some where recently that in the 1980's the movie star was the many attraction to movie goers. ie. Stallone, Gibson, Willis, etc. In the 90's and 2000s it was the attraction of ILM and other special effects. Now its the brand, studios are rebooting everything.

But about Arnold, I think he lost his mojo now. Look at the last couple of movies he has done. Terminator 3, End of Days, Jingle All the Way :) Especially with this mistress scandal in the news lately. I really would love to see him back in movies.

I'm looking forward to seeing this new Total Recall. Especially with Jessica Biel and Kate Beckingsale in it. I watched the original over the weekend. It is a good story that would be interesting to see with all the updated special effects that is available now.
 
He made a few movies that were considered successful. From there he was typecast as the big, muscular action star. Action movies were huge in the '80s... Arnold simply became famous. He was cast in roles to be the name on the movie. When you saw a movie poster that said "Arnold Schwarzenegger" on it, you were excited to go see a kick ass movie where there'd be lots of action. Since he was already a big name, crossing over to comedy wasn't a complete disaster for his career... though his comedies were not as successful as his action movies. However it was a good move because action movies phased out in the early '90s. They still obviously exist, but are not as big as they were.
 
So what happened with LAH?

My opinion...

Bad marketing. People believed they were going to see a typical Arnie action film. How could they not with a title like "Last Action Hero"?

What they received was a (bad) comedy in which Arnold (embarrassingly) parodied all his action characters. So everyone walked out thinking, "what the hell?" :confused


Kevin
 
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Flashback but this time Maria has a grip on Arnies ballz.
 
So what happened with LAH?
Jurassic Park happened, I believe.
IIRC, LAH was released around the same time and NOTHING was going to compare to the hype that film had!!

Personally, I loved LAH! One of teh best films Arnie has ever done.
Most critics didn't get it and said it was way too over the top - WHICH WAS THE FLIPPIN' POINT - but hey, they're also remaking Girl With The Dragon Tattoo because the plot of the original is "too complicated for people to follow"....

I thought Arnie did very well to make such excellent fun of the roles he's normally famed for. It was family friendly and wonderfully executed. It was a real fun ride and I quote quite a lot from that film. If you even think of trying to take this film anywhere near seriousness, you will have yourself an epic fail!

Plus it has Charles Dance in it - How could you go wrong with that!


I'm looking forward to seeing this new Total Recall. Especially with Jessica Biel and Kate Beckingsale in it. I watched the original over the weekend. It is a good story that would be interesting to see with all the updated special effects that is available now.
Kate Beckinsale is cool, but that's where this project ends for me.
I don't give a flying @~%$ about special effects. They do not make a movie and rather than continually re-doing the same films, Hollywood should ****-off back to the writing desk and come up with more original films, which is what we're paying them to do.
If they must make movies of tales that have gone before, there are THOUSANDS of stories in history that no-one's either made a movie of, nor based a movies on the tale (ie, how O Brother Where Art Thou was supposedly a re-imagining of The Illiad).

If they really, really have to feck about remaking a film that's already been made, then they should at least have the common courtesy to make it better than the original!!
Bourne Identity, fair play. That was different and in many ways much better than the Chaimberlain version.

Clash Of The Titans can take it's silly SFX and go kiss Harry Hamelin's backside, begging for forgiveness!!
 
I don't give a flying @~%$ about special effects. They do not make a movie and rather than continually re-doing the same films, Hollywood should ****-off back to the writing desk and come up with more original films, which is what we're paying them to do.
If they must make movies of tales that have gone before, there are THOUSANDS of stories in history that no-one's either made a movie of, nor based a movies on the tale (ie, how O Brother Where Art Thou was supposedly a re-imagining of The Illiad).

If they really, really have to feck about remaking a film that's already been made, then they should at least have the common courtesy to make it better than the original!!
Bourne Identity, fair play. That was different and in many ways much better than the Chaimberlain version.

Clash Of The Titans can take it's silly SFX and go kiss Harry Hamelin's backside, begging for forgiveness!!

AMEN!!!
 
I don't think any of the more serious actors could have matched the intent of the film. Stallone takes himself a touch too seriously, even in his own comedies. Bruce Willis is either too light-hearted or too serious an actor.

I disagree. I think Bruce Willis would have done a good spin on the part, especially after doing DIE HARD 1 & 2, he would have tried to create a new character away from McClaine. I can totally see Kurt Russel in the part, and even Stallone. It would change the spice, not the meal. The film would still be good. Period.

I totally disagree with your comment about Ironside overacting, though. A lot of his best moments are very, very subtle and what he did here was fantastic. Re-watch the film, but from the perspective of Richter being the 'good guy'. He's a complex man, in love with his wife and dedicated to the cause he believes in. Ultimately, he gives his life fighting to protect what he feels is the right side.

Lets just say our interpretation of "subtle" may differ, my friend. A complex man doesn't spray bullets into a crowd to hit one target, that has the ring of a socio-path, well to me anyway. :lol Also he's totally insecure/jealeous about his relationship with Stone's character, which is not a healthy trait. Ask any woman who has had a destructive past relationship like that. Don't ask women who have "severe baggage", cause "THEY" love the attention. :rolleyes
I love complex bad guys....ie. Alan Rickman in DIE HARD. A great bad guy makes the hero look better...sorry, but I still think Ironside is the poor mans JOHN SAXON. :lol
 
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