Movie 283 - My Favorite Arnold Schwarzenegger Movie (Or Why I Love Charles Dance)
The Last Action Hero (Dir. John McTiernan, 1993)
Whenever I see Charles Dance, who turns 68 today, I always get stupid excited. The reason? An action-comedy that was a punchline when it was released but has developed a cult following called “The Last Action Hero.” The Arnold Schwarzenegger flick about an action movie obsessed teenage boy, Danny Madigan (Austin O'Brien), who by way of a magic ticket enters into the latest film in his favorite series and meet its hero, Jack Slater (Schwarzenegger). The film’s villain, Benedict (Dance), gets a hold of the ticket and uses it to cross into the real world, and that’s when things get really interesting.
The first time I saw “The Last Action Hero” I had to have been about 9 years-old. We had free HBO or Showtime or something for the weekend and taped it off TV, and my brother and I watched it over and over again, and quoted it with my dad all the time. To this day I’ve seen it more often than any other Schwarzenegger film. Yes, even “Terminator 2: Judgement Day,” which will no doubt get me head shakes from my peers. Hell, I still love “The Last Action Hero” more than “T2!”
“The Last Action Hero” is “The Purple Rose of Cairo” crossed with “Hot Fuzz.” Its critique of ‘80s and '90s action movies, and Schwarzenegger poking fun at his star image, has only gotten better with age. Perhaps its humor is too referential to early '90s cinema at times, its humor too meta for its own good, but when it hits its satiric mark, it hits dead center. Schwarzenegger also gets to show off more of his range than he does when he’s play an android, and I find Danny Madigan less annoying than John Connor in “T2;” he’s slightly less smug and easier to relate to at any rate.
Then there’s Benedict. Dance plays him so cool yet sinister that when he’s cruel he’s undoubtedly a forced to be reckoned with and when he’s funny, he’s charming as hell. It upsets me that between how poorly “The Last Action Hero” and “Alien 3” did that Dance never had as strong a movie career as he could have had. Still, despite both films’ flaws, he’s brilliant in both.
If you love American action movies, but have never seen “The Last Action Hero,” why the hell not? Yes, the magic ticket premise is a bit silly, but that’s just a McGuffin. And tell me you don’t want one of those magic tickets? Yeah, that’s what I thought…
Oh, and the other lasting influence “The Last Action Hero” had on me is to this day whenever I see F. Murray Abraham in anything I feel compelled to say, “He killed Mozart!”
365 Movies in 2017|| 63/365 Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) Director:Steven Spielberg Starring:Harrison Ford, Kate Capshaw and Ke Huy Quan Plot: After arriving in India, Indiana Jones is asked by a desperate village to find a mystical stone. He agrees, and stumbles upon a secret cult plotting a terrible plan in the catacombs of an ancient palace.
365 Movies in 2017|| 52 Films by Women || 66/365 & 5/52 The Dressmaker (2015) Director:Jocelyn Moorhouse Starring:Kate Winslet, Judy Davis and Liam Hemsworth Plot: A glamorous woman returns to her small town in rural Australia. With her sewing machine and haute couture style, she transforms the women and exacts sweet revenge on those who did her wrong.
365 Movies in 2017|| 64/365 Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) Director:Steven Spielberg Starring:Harrison Ford, Sean Connery and Alison Doody Plot: When Dr. Henry Jones Sr. suddenly goes missing while pursuing the Holy Grail, eminent archaeologist Indiana Jones must follow in his father’s footsteps and stop the Nazis.
365 Movies in 2015 || 81/365 Battle Royale (2000) Director:Kinji Fukasaku Starring:Tatsuya Fujiwara, Aki Maeda and Tarô Yamamoto Plot:In the future, the Japanese government captures a class of ninth-grade students and forces them to kill each other under the revolutionary “Battle Royale” act.
365 Movies in 2015 || 121/365 The Crow (1994) Director:Alex Proyas Starring:Brandon Lee, Michael Wincott and Rochelle Davis Plot: A man brutally murdered comes back to life as an undead avenger of his and his fiancée’s murder.
365 Movies in 2014 || 206/365 Down Periscope (1996)
Director: David S. Ward
Starring: Kelsey Grammer, Lauren Holly and Rob Schneider
Plot: Lt. Cmdr. Tom Dodge is assigned as Captain to the USS Stingray, an old diesel driven submarine that has seen better days. With a crew that consists only of weird guys (and a gal), he’s headed against the atomic powered USS Orlando, with the mission to destroy a dummy battleship.
365 Movies in 2016|| 121/365 Watchmen (2009) Director:Zack Snyder Starring:Jackie Earle Haley, Patrick Wilson, Carla Gugino and Jeffrey Dean Morgan Plot: In an alternate 1985 where former superheroes exist, the murder of a colleague sends active vigilante Rorschach into his own sprawling investigation, uncovering something that could completely change the course of history as we know it.
365 Movies in 2013 || 100 Horror Movies in October || 362/365 & 46/100 My Bloody Valentine (2009)
Starring: Jensen Ackles, Jamie King and Kerr Smith
Plot:Tom returns to his hometown on the tenth anniversary of the Valentine’s night massacre that claimed the lives of 22 people. Instead of a homecoming, however, Tom finds himself suspected of committing the murders, and it seems like his old flame is the only one will believes he’s innocent.
Random Thoughts: I don’t think it’s a secret that I normally find Jensen Ackles attractive but holy shit him in this movie. There’s something about him at the end of this when he just flips his shit that is just panning dropping fanning my vagina so completely drop dead hot. I think that probably says some fucked up things about me that that is the most attractive I’ve ever found him. Although I will say lol forever at them trying to pass him off as a teenager in the beginning of the movie.
365 Movies in 2015|| 289/365 Mad Max (1979) Director:George Miller Starring:Mel Gibson, Joanne Samuel and Hugh Keays-Byrne Plot: In a self-destructing world, a vengeful Australian policeman sets out to stop a violent motorcycle gang.
365 Movies in 2014 || 269/365 American Mary (2012)
Directors:Jen Soska and Sylvia Soska
Starring: Katharine Isabelle, Antonio Cupo and Tristan Risk
Plot: The story follows medical student, Mary Mason, as she becomes increasingly broke and disenchanted with the surgical world she once admired. The allure of easy money sends Mary into the world of underground surgeries which ends up leaving more marks on her than her so called ‘freakish’ clientele.