Arnold Schwarzenegger

TV News

Netflix Orders Spy Series Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Monica Barbaro

Netflix announced it has picked up the untitled Arnold Schwarzenegger spy project to series, a scripted global spy adventure that marks Schwarzenegger’s first television project and hails from Skydance Television and Nick Santora. The series stars Schwarzenegger (Terminator franchise) and Monica Barbaro (Top Gun: Maverick, Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas), with Arnold executive producing

Marvel Movie News

Kevin Feige Backs Marvel Theatrical Releases

Kevin Feige doubles down on theatrical releases for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which includes upcoming films such as Black Widow, Shang-Chi, and Eternals. Due to the pandemic, the MCU release date schedule (see updated version below) was forced to change and was pushed back, something that sees Black Widow now getting a simultaneous release in theaters

Video Game News

Rambo vs. Terminator Wins In Mortal Kombat 11 Trailers

Warner Bros. Games and NetherRealm Studios today revealed a pair of blockbuster Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate gameplay trailers featuring the highly anticipated showdown making its way to the Mortal Kombat universe – Rambo vs. the Terminator! This Klassic Konfrontation brings together the two popular culture icons in brutal fashion, pitting Rambo, the former Special Forces

Movie News Reviews

Terminator: Genisys Review


No More Years

A Film Review of Terminator Genisys

Yes, yes I realize this film has been panned enough by everyone that it has played itself out of virtually every cinema, but I was able to catch a screening at the cheap theater recently, and I was thinking it might have some redeeming value seeing how it still has some connection to the Terminator legacy.  As it turns out, the popular vote regarding this example of Hollywood haberdashery was more or less, right on the money.  As always, I encourage my readers to make up their own minds with as much information as they have available to them and certainly not to simply take my word for it, but not only would I recommend not giving this film one single viewing, I’d recommend not even acknowledging its existence.  Well, that just about wraps up this review in terms of cutting to the chase, but for those of you who’d like to accompany me on a short, cathartic journey of ridicule over this formerly beloved franchise let us venture forth.

It is a pure and simple fact that this franchise has completely lost its way ever since James Cameron relinquished control after Terminator 2: Judgment Day.  To this day, it remains as one of the best sci-fi thrillers that not only bench presses tons of action, effects and stunts, but has some of the best social commentary regarding unbridled scientific research into artificial intelligence and an over-dependency on automation.  Sequels since have tinkered with gimmicks to keep an aging “Ahnold” in the fold, brainstormed with different killer robots and considered focusing on different characters of this inescapable temporal loop.  None of the post T2 sequels had the desperate tone and raw impact of its predecessors.  The same is easily said about Terminator Genisys, a film completely dependent on CG for spectacle, nostalgia for interest and Schwarzenegger for anyone else wondering how a 68 year old man can still sell “killer robot from the future” in a spoof-free presentation.  There is so much gobbledygook going on from a story perspective of this train wreck on celluloid that really getting into it negates this new bullet point analysis I am experimenting with.  So let’s dispense with the pleasantries and get right to the specifics.

Action Style

If the strategy for the approach to the entire action scheme could be summed up into one theme, it would be a battering ram.  Burly men throwing each other all over the place is great for the testosterone, but gets old pretty quickly – no matter how much gunfire and explosions are filling in the empty spaces.


Action Frame

Since there’s no pressing need to explain what the hell is going on to the audience, this film keeps the pacing up as locations constantly shift along with the prescribed angles to keep the hectic motion accelerating.


Lead Performance

Arnold needs to stop making these films.  His Austrian strongman antics and charm left him when he ceased being a strongman.  If this is the best Emilia Clarke can bring over from her experience with Game of Thrones, then, yikes! 


Supporting Performance

Jai Courtney is a better robot than a human being playing a robot for a Hollywood film production.  Jason Clarke is an actor with 2 sides: one that is deep and emotional (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) and one that feasts on 2 dimensions (White House Down).  This film received the latter, but J.K. Simmons is a surprise cameo even if he’s used as a complete throwaway.



Average and respectable.


Sound F/X

See above.


 “Moving” = 16/33

Digital F/X

There’s a ton of CG going on throughout.  If it isn’t some kind of time travel effect, it’s some sort of robot battle or crazy chase sequence.  Not quite as plastic as the Star Wars Prequels, but that fake Arnold from the original Terminator sure was.


Special F/X

A Terminator film has a prerequisite amount of gunfire, explosions and car crashes, but digital effects lifted a heavier burden regarding all these categories.



Everyone is in street clothes all the time, but I guess I can be thankful they didn’t decide to over-sex Sarah Connor with combat jeggings.


Hair & Makeup

No, no, no.  Arnold looks too old and his hair looks too white and sparse.  I don’t care if the script calls for an acknowledgement of the organic elements of his Cyborg design as being worn over time.  They could have looked a hell of a lot better than that!



Lots of places to get transported to yields a bevy of contrasting locales.



Adequate, but also a bit simplified.  I feel like if I were planning a sewer ambush for that many years, I’d have a Mad Max film on steroids waiting for them – not what the audience witnessed here.


“Picture” = 22/33


So we have to go back in time to go forward in time because this time around things are different thanks to a McGuffin overshadowed by a new evolution in John Connor.  Is that right?



Humans vs. Terminators, Yay!  But this Storm Shadow Terminator is using the same liquid metal gags from 1991?  I don’t know whose tactics are more predictable, humans’ or Skynet’s?



A cool upgrade finally happens, but of course it’s too late to have any impact on the action and none of it really matters because the whole journey seemed to go from nowhere to nowhere.



Arnold’s robot is far too high on the talky-talky, which sets a self perpetuating trivial tone with how just about every character addresses each other.  I thought this was the end of the world people?!? 



Why the hell were we going back in time to go forward in time again?  Why couldn’t we have found a better way and destination with our own time travel device?  Where did Pops come from?  These are not the droids you’re looking for.


Character Uniqueness

Same Terminator Protector, same Sarah Connor, same Kyle Reese – simply played by less effective and talented actors.  Yes, 1991 Arnold was more talented than 2015 Arnold.


Character Relatability

For a ragtag group pulling out all the stops to save humanity, they sure struggle to ground their cause in any humanity.  No, I didn’t buy that shoehorned “romance” between Kyle and Sarah nor did I buy into the Terminator’s “paternal” relationship with Sarah.  Linda Hamilton did more with one scene staring into space with voiceover than everyone else did in this whole movie.


“Story” = 10/34

Overall MPS Rating:  48/100

Ugh!  Terminator Genisys?  More like Terminator Exodus, as in, never return to this franchise again unless James Cameron or someone who actually wants to say something meaningful is in charge of the production.  Of course, what will probably happen next is a stop motion, claymation Terminator voiced by Arnold because no amount of Futurama will be able to CG him walking across the screen, let alone blowing up the bad guys and saving the day.  Do yourselves a favor and just get T2 on Blu Ray and just watch that.

Movie News Reviews

The Expendables 2 Movie Review

Yo G.I. Geriatric Joe!

A Film Review of The Expendables 2

By: Lawrence Napoli


Wow, these guys look old now, but I really enjoyed the first Expendables film.  The reason (and I do mean only 1 reason) I relished in it was its particular blend of nostalgia with awe over the fact that so many marquee action stars were united in their efforts to shoot, maim, explode and knife their way into our hearts in one, contained, Hollywood production.  The Expendables 2 attempts to do this once again by featuring an influx of additional marquee action talent to this franchise with the presence of Jean-Claude Van Damme and Chuck Norris [no, Liam Hemsworth a.k.a. Mr. Miley Cyrus doesn’t count even if he happens to be the real life brother of Thor!].  Once the final credits rolled, I shrugged my shoulders and admitted that I had certainly seen worse, but was glad that I used my free Regal Cinemas pass for admission as opposed to actual cash.  The sequel to The Expendables falls prey to the common syndrome of “going-through-the-motions mediocrity” because everything the audience sees has been done by the same people in the previous film.  I dare say that even animating Mr. Norris’ beard to punch someone in the face (of its own accord) could not have generated enough charming intrigue to justify dropping bills to see this film.  As such, I’d only recommend this as a Netflix/On Demand rental or in 7 months time from now when it’s playing back-to-back-to-back on FX.

And that’s it for my review.

No, just kidding.  I have a few other things to say.

You know what was really missing from The Expendables 2?  Acting was missing.  Now before you all pan me for criticizing a muscle bound, meat-head of an action/explosion blockbuster for lacking decent performances, let me explain.  If all it took was muscles, then any ”˜roided out bum could be a Hollywood star.  What made the action stars of The Expendables legendary was the ability to produce performances to make audiences care about their characters throughout their careers.  If no one ever cared, no one would cheer for the hero and action films would be pointless.  If I need to explain why the audience cared for the likes of John McClane, Rocky/Rambo and even a reprogrammed Terminator then there’s no hope for you.  Realizing this, however, is the key to unlocking the secret of making a great movie (let alone action film).  The first Expendables had three such examples of performances generating empathy: 1) Mickey Rourke’s overall performance as Tool, 2) Jason Statham’s (Lee Christmas’) side story with his girlfriend and 3) Giselle Itié as the daughter of the evil/wanna-be-reformed warlord.  Stallone, Crews, Couture, Li and Lundgren are there to kick a$$ and blow sh*t up and guess what?  The same holds true for the sequel minus the aforementioned quality acting.  There is no Mickey Rourke this time around, Jason Statham’s role is severely reduced and the quota filling presence of a woman was bequeathed to Nan Yu who only manages a valiant attempt at being seductive and sympathetic. 

Failed performances are the fault of shoddy directing, but all things being equal, I did not envy Simon West’s (Con Air & The Mechanic) task in telling so many alpha males where to go and what to do.  Perhaps it takes an action star to relate to action stars?  Say what you will about Stallone as a filmmaker, but you cannot deny the savvy of his specialty.  His work as the director of the first Expendables is severely overlooked in getting the most out of his larger than life cast.  Stallone was so personally invested at just about every level of production for the first film that it not only showed in his performance, but in the rest of the cast as well.  The sequel features too many hands in the cookie jar and everyone was looking to kick back, Ocean’s Twelve style. 

Another culprit of this sequel’s fizzling is easy to identify: the writing.  Let’s just say if people’s brains were exploding over the plot gaps and convenient twists in The Dark Knight Rises, people will certainly be convinced that the world is flat after seeing The Expendables 2.  Such is the randomness of most of the plot and action of this film, but the worst part about it was the complete lack of character development between films.  No one seems to have learned a lesson in regards to their lives or how they approach their dangerous jobs.  They all fight like they want to live, but shouldn’t they be getting more help or even using a little something I’d call strategy to win?  I thought these guys were pros and the only way to survive the lifestyle of a professional mercenary is to adapt and evolve. 

And speaking of “evolution,” the action and effects for this film demonstrate a lack thereof.  Expendables 2 continues to feature animated kill shots to accentuate physics defying brutality so often that it started to feel like I was watching a Bugs Bunny cartoon.  Can someone’s head really be taken off with a thrown knife?  Since Jet Li is featured even less than Jason Statham, the lack of choreographed fisticuffs places too much of the action burden on gunplay which isn’t particularly diverse seeing how everyone sticks to the same weapons they have from the beginning.  I was pleased to see the return of Terry Crews’ popular automatic shotgun, but it makes the same exact sound from the first film and I swear it looked like the audio dub for the sound f/x was not in sync with the video of that gun firing.  If there’s one thing you could count on for a movie like this, it would be the explosions, right?  Even those seemed a tad muffled as they didn’t come close to the amalgam of auditory chaos that wreaked havoc on the audience in the previous film.  Don’t get me wrong, the body count was very impressive and blood was gushing galore, but I simply could not describe the action as intense and certainly not as good as Expendables 1

Liam Hemsworth does not belong in this movie.  He is not his brother (who, by the way, is still coming into his own).  His presence is a shameless attempt to money-grab some attention from teenage girls who know about Miley Cyrus and The Hunger Games

The Expendables 2is very average as far as action films go, but the names tied to this franchise generates the kind of buzz a film like this normally does not enjoy.  If this franchise has a future, it had better consider being a better action film before adding Clive Owen, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Bradley Cooper, Steven Segal and the ghost of Brandon Lee to its roster.  Simply adding the cast of The Avengers to The Expendables won’t yield a better movie or some additive boon at the box office.  It will, however, expose your franchise as a one trick pony that can’t do much else besides name dropping.

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