In yet another quickie cheap DVD collection release, Lionsgate haphazardly throws together four Schwarzenegger movies and hopes that you will shell out your hard earned cash. The good news is this is a highly enjoyable quartet, with a good transfer and a very good set of extras at a price that’s hard to beat. If you are an armchair Arnold fan who hasn’t gotten around to purchasing these flicks yet, the time is now. My full review after the jump:
The films include the excellent T2, the pretty good Total Recall, the guilty pleasure The Running Man, and the nearly unwatchable drek Red Heat. Seemingly by accident Lionsgate has put together a tour de force collection which in the space of four movies shows us the very best and very worst of what made the Governor of California the action king of the box office for many years.
T2 was directed by James Cameron at what I consider to be the height of his career. He was still hungry for success and wasn’t trying to make great art, just well paced, well written and well executed fun. Excellent stuff. The comedy is natural, the relationships are believable and engaging, and Cameron even finds a way to make the pithy one liners make sense within the story. Why is the robot saying ridiculous but cool things that make no sense in a rational world? Because a 12 year old boy told him to. Awesome.
Total Recall doesn’t climb quite as high. Based on a very intelligent Phillip K Dick short story, most of the intelligence is taken out and replaced with violence and badassery. But the plot is cogent and more original than the standard sci-fi slug fest, and the effects and design are eye popping. And how can you argue with a movie that gives us a three breasted mutant prostitute?
The Running Man is not a good movie. Really, just not good. But God Almighty is it fun to watch. The plot has a decent basic idea (from a story by Stephen King) but it’s executed poorly, and has plot holes you could vacation in for weeks without feeling crowded. And don’t forget the laughably bad dialogue. The laugh out loud, I will quote this for the rest of my life, my wife made me sleep on the couch for a week, bad dialogue. Try to tell me you didn’t love this movie.
Finally, Red Heat shows us just how bad a movie can be. Not fun bad. In fact I damn this movie with the worst word I can find: Boring.*
These films feature more special features than you can shake a stick at. Really I tried. The stick broke. Deleted scenes, making ofs, commentaries. T2 and Total Recall have more than Running Man and Red Heat, but they deserve more. They’re better films.
As I said before. This collection is a steal for anyone who digs this kind of thing and doesn’t already own these movies. Go buy them, and eat up this glorious entertainment, and make sure you “leave enough room for my fist, because I’m going to ram it into your stomach, and break your goddamned spine!”
*A boring movie can be worth watching, but only if it is incredibly intelligent, thought provoking, or will get arty chicks to sleep with you. But then we just call it “slow.”