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You. Not. Expendable. Part 2: Arnold Schwarzenegger Revisited!! RAW DEAL, RED HEAT, and COMMANDO!!



What’s up, Contenders? Terry Malloy here reporting live from the Waterfront.


You. Not. Expendable. Will revisit some of the classic (and not so classic) films starring the various and sundry cast members of The Expendables 2 in order to open up a conversation about action cinema in general and to prepare us all for the carnage that Expendables 2 will (hopefully) reap upon us all. 


As we approach the August 17th theatrical release date of The Expendables 2, You. Not. Expendable will highlight different cast members, singling out a few of their feature film endeavors. The jury is still out on whether you, too, will want to revisit each of these films.



Arnold Schwarzenegger AKA Trench


The first installment of You. Not. Expendable [HERE] featured Dolph Lundgren just because of how hard I fell in love with his RED SCORPION. Well, I’m pretty firmly committed to covering each major cast member of EXPENDABLES 2 with no discernable, logical reasoning other than what exists in my head. And so we move on to Arnold. Although he was just a glorified walk-on in THE EXPENDABLES, Arnold’s role promises to be significantly expanded this time out, and seeing Sly and Arnie on screen kicking ass together is an ‘80s child’s dream!


Now, as stated above, this column just intends to visit or revisit SOME of the movies in the massive filmographies of these various action legends. If you guys want an in depth retrospective of every single film from each of these hunks of man flesh, make your voices heard and maybe coverage that deep can happen around these parts! But for now, my plan is to focus on some of the lesser seen or lower profile films of these action stars, and then maybe throw in one higher profile title.


For instance, Arnold Schwarzenegger has such an enormous catalog of iconic characters and massive blockbusters that many of those films don’t really need to be revisited, because we watch them all the time. And so I’ve chosen to eschew some of the mega-hits (and some of my favorites) like Predator, or The Terminator franchise, or even Conan The Barbarian. Instead, lets dive in to some of Arnold’s non-franchises and see what we find.







Tag Lines

  • If there's a mission that no man could survive...then he's the man for the job.
  • Somewhere... somehow... someone's going to pay


Notable Supporting Cast

  • Ray Dawn Chong, Dan Hedaya, David Patrick Kelly, Alyssa Milano, Bill Duke, and TINY speaking role for Bill Paxton!


I’m frankly a little shocked to find that COMMANDO was the first film shot in this little retrospective. I would have certainly imagined that a film like COMMANDO, which is a finely tuned Arnold vehicle hitting on all the ingredients of the Arnold formula, would have come a little later in Arnold’s career, once the mold had been cast. It instead appears that COMMANDO is the patient zero. The die was cast here for what would ultimately become the trademark Arnie movie.


COMMANDO’s John Matrix storms onto the screen (carrying an entire tree trunk on his sweaty bicep) almost immediately after Arnold’s turns as Conan and The Terminator. Neither of those characters necessarily traded in 1980s excess or quippy one-liners quite like COMMANDO does.


COMMANDO tells us the story of the improbably named John Matrix; a retired Col. Who lives an idyllic existence with his daughter in an incredible cabin in the mountains. We know his life is idyllic because we get a montage over the opening credits which culminate in, I kid you not, Arnold and young Alyssa Milano hand feeding a deer and laughing as the sun sets behind them. Amazing.


The action begins 3 seconds after the montage ends, when a lone helicopter interrupts a lunch of mystery sandwiches and Col. Trautman, or COMMANDO’s version of Col. Trautman, arrives with a warning. Matrix’s men have been getting iced, even though they’ve all retired with false identities. Literally ten seconds after this information is conveyed, bodies start piling up and Alyssa Milano gets kidnapped. COMMANDO runs on constant forward momentum from that point on with a well used but effective device: the watch timer. Instead of Arnold going to kill a dictator, which is the kidnappers’ plan, he escapes from the plane undetected, and then has 11 hours to find Alyssa Milano before his plane would have landed. An insane amount of death happens in those 11 hours. Are you not entertained?!


I’ve seen COMMANDO upwards of a dozen times, but I usually forget exactly why the film bounces from airplane, to mall, to enormous island assault sequence in between viewings. It all makes sense, though, and never once takes itself seriously. Arnold sets his watch, he knows he has to both find his daughter and hide the fact that he isn’t on the plane he was supposed to be on. I really like the ballsyness of the scenario here: Matrix never once does anything that the kidnappers think he will. He just immediately starts killing dudes and assumes his daughter will be plucky enough to survive until he finds her. And we keep getting to look at his watch to be reminded about how tense we should be feeling!


But what about that Arnold formula I talked about above? Well, COMMANDO has arguably the greatest assemblage of cheesy one-liners in all of 1980s action cinema. After dropping The Warriors’ David Patrick Kelly off a cliff, he tells his (ridiculous and shoe-horned) sidekick Rae Dawn Chong that he “Let him go”. After snapping a man’s neck and bundling him up in his airplane seat, he tells the attendant not to bother his friend because he “dead tired”. And, in probably the most epic of verbal gags, he utters, “Let off some steam, Bennett” after shoving a steaming pipe through the lead villain’s heart! My favorite thing about the last zinger is that Bennett is dead, like 20 times dead, and no one else is even standing around! Arnold might as well look at the screen and zing that one right at us, because no one else is there to listen!


Other elements of the Arnold formula include required scenes of shirtlessness (check), a lock and load montage (check), and massive shootouts which scoff at the value of human life (check). A DVD bonus feature offers up a body count of 81. So yes, COMMANDO kind of has it all. Lay a friggin’ amazing steel drum score by James Horner overtop of all this insanity and just press play already.




RAW DEAL (1986)


Tag Lines

  • The system gave him a raw deal. Nobody gives him a raw deal.
  • His trigger has all the answers.


Notable Supporting Cast

  • Darren McGavin, Robert Davi, and Ed Lauter


While RAW DEAL is probably the most generic of the films I’m covering in today’s column, I actually kind of think that it is a better film than COMMANDO. While I enjoy the Arnold-y goodness of COMMANDO quite a bit, RAW DEAL feels like a lower profile cops and crooks movie that just happens to star Arnold Schwarzenegger, so it has maintained at least a small level of clout. Sue me, but I really like it.



RAW DEAL introduces us to Arnold as a small town sheriff chasing down a petty criminal. Somehow Arnold is supposed to be a folksy everyman upon our first introduction to him, even though we still meet him mid-jeep-chase. Soon (through an amazingly orchestrated expositional scene in which Arnold’s drunken wife lays out their entire life scenario while baking a cake, only to throw it at him) we learn that Arnold and wife are in a small town because of a case gone bad 5 years ago. Seems Arnold is a former FBI agent who was forced into retirement by a sniveling politician who will clearly play a role in the film later. (NOTE: That role will be: to get killed by Arnold Schwarzenegger.)


When Arnold’s former co-worker Darren McGavin contacts him, he comes with an offer of a shot back into the FBI if he’ll just go undercover to bring down a major mafia head. So, of course, Arnie drops his belligerently drunk wife, slicks back his hair with a little grease, and transforms into Joey Brenner: Low Level Mob Enforcer. Hmm, I would actually watch a movie titled that.


What I love most about RAW DEAL is the 30-minute gunfight that wraps it all up. But what I love the second most about RAW DEAL is how little it all makes sense. Darren McGavin basically wants vengeance for his son (gunned down on duty while protecting a mob informant), so he hires Arnold to go undercover and waste some dudes. There is really never any indication, or proof of any kind, that Darren McGavin CAN reinstate Arnold into the FBI. At all. Then Act III happens, in which Arnold literally single handedly kills the entire Chicago mafia. It would be challenging for the most legitimately decorated agent to explain the carnage he has wrought to his superiors, much less some dude who was undercover on a vendetta. But this is an ‘80s action movie, so instead of fallout from the gangland massacre, we close out the film with a scene of Arnold inspiring his injured mentor to walk again so that he can be the Godfather to his recently conceived son! No joke, RAW DEAL never actually shows us a glimpse of Arnold’s post-genocide life. He just pep talks Darren McGavin with a little exposition and some guitar rock!


RAW DEAL is that awesome breed of action film in which every single action beat is preceded by an electric guitar score, with some electronic drums thrown in for good measure. It is the kind of film where Arnold doesn’t so much have a lock and load montage, but rather a five-minute long sequence in which he loads guns, dons a leather jacket, and wraps it all up by LOOKING AT HIMSELF IN THE MIRROR! RAW DEAL is the type of film that makes sure “Bullet Proof Glass” is written in bold type on a limo’s windows during a chase scene, because it knows we need that visual cue. And while the body count in COMMANDO almost has to be higher than here, it can’t be by much. As I’ve alluded to before, once Arnold is fully loaded, this movie’s entire third act becomes mobster-pocalypse, while also being hugely satisfying.


In my fantasy reality, Arnold’s upcoming THE LAST STAND is actually a sequel to RAW DEAL in which his character once again settles back into the life of a small town sheriff after dumping his lush wife and completing a long and successful career in the FBI, and after countless waking nightmares of having killed one hundred men single handedly back in the ‘80s.





RED HEAT (1988)


Tag Lines

  • Moscow's toughest detective. Chicago's craziest cop. There's only one thing worse than making them mad. Making them partners.


Notable Supporting Cast


  • James Belushi, Peter Boyle, Laurence Fishburne, Gina Gershon, Brion James


My favorite of the three films in this piece by a country mile. While I am such a huge action fan that I can’t claim any sort of objectivity for how good this movie is in comparison to normal people movies, I can say that Red Heat is kind of a forgotten gem of buddy cop films. Once I drop the knowledge that Walter Hill directed this movie, I probably don’t need to write anything else. Walter Hill’s name on an action flick is all a discerning action connoisseur needs to hear.


But why is RED HEAT such a good time at the movies? Well, for one thing, let’s talk about the different approaches one can take when casting Arnold Schwarzenegger. Our beloved Arnold is not what one would call “method”. People write roles for Arnold, or wrap roles around him once he is cast. Arnie doesn’t exactly disappear into a role. Both COMMANDO and RAW DEAL follow the formula of casting Arnold to be physically over the top and verbally quippy. Movies like that use Arnold’s larger than life personality to further a brand. The Arnold brand. But there is another way to cast Arnold. And James Cameron struck gold by casting him in Terminator as a wooden, imposing, relentless figure. Let’s face it; Arnold being called The Austrian Oak applies to both his physique and his acting chops. And so, Walter Hill followed James Cameron’s lead and cast Arnold as a stoic and buttoned down Soviet detective, Ivan Danko.


Casting Schwarzenegger as a shark-like Soviet law machine was ingenious. And in the next corner we have James Belushi as the wisecracking Chicago cop tasked with babysitting Danko as he attempts to capture drug dealer Victor Rosta. I’ve seen a TON of buddy cop films over the years (maybe all of them?), and frankly, I really can’t get enough of them. It is a go-to sub genre for me. And while many fail at capturing magic, my take is that the chemistry between Schwarzenegger and Belushi was amazing in RED HEAT. Belushi has never been funnier than he is here. Probably 90% of his wisecracks totally work for me. And that is in no small part because so many of them are at the expense of Arnold. Arnold is the straight man in this comedy duo, and Belushi riffs off of him like a master. “You look like Gumby.”


But my guess is that between the chemistry of the leads, a decently beefy script and the directing genius of Walter Hill, RED HEAT became a lot more awesome than it really had any right to be. All you have is one bad drug dealer and his minions versus two tough guy cops. That is the movie. 


But some of the creative touches here are crazy effective. The evil Rosta (who we know is evil because he has one of those sliding wrist guns hidden in his coat sleeves) has teamed up with a Nation of Islam-style prison gang Stateside, and so our heroes have to contend with an army of Black men with shaved heads waging war on the system. Great touch, and the script sells this development well with a prison scene that is kind of magic. You’ve also got the obligatory angry police chief stuff with Peter Boyle playing the pissed chief this time around, and Larry Fishburne as his right hand man. This cast just sells the thing and I feel like there is a real city operating beyond our story, and that these are real cops with lives and families. 


The only thing missing in RED HEAT is an enormous shoot-out at the end where Arnold kills at least 100 dudes. But, since this film tries to ground itself in a (mostly) real world, a kill fest like that isn’t possible. Instead, we get to see Arnold and Rosta destroy half of Chicago in a huge bus chase. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen two crazy Russians playing chicken with buses! “This whole thing is just… very Russian.”



NEXT TIME:  Van Damme!




- Terry Malloy




Readers Talkback
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  • July 30, 2012, 9:27 a.m. CST

    Today is 'Talk Like Arnold Day'....You Sunnova Bitch

    by Dr. Francis B. Gross

  • July 30, 2012, 9:32 a.m. CST

    only Red Heat has aged well, the other two are unwatchable

    by MoneyGrabSequel

  • I stand by said statement.

  • July 30, 2012, 9:36 a.m. CST


    by ilovemichealbay

  • July 30, 2012, 9:37 a.m. CST


    by ilovemichealbay

  • July 30, 2012, 9:38 a.m. CST


    by ilovemichealbay

  • July 30, 2012, 9:38 a.m. CST


    by ilovemichealbay

  • July 30, 2012, 9:38 a.m. CST

    because I love Arnold Schwarzenegger.

    by crazy4dragons13

  • July 30, 2012, 9:42 a.m. CST

    Thank you!

    by Bill Howard

    I love the extreme cheese that is Commando, no film does nostalgic cheese like it. Raw Deal is a more serious cheese, but so bad it is a gem. And possibly contains the greatest single line ever. "You should not drink...and bake." But Red Heat is the pinnacle, a genuine treasure that is wholly under appreciated. Tension, great action, great comedy, Arnold at his best and a fantastic bad guy with Ed O'Ross. Thanks for giving these films their due.

  • it would crush

  • July 30, 2012, 9:45 a.m. CST


    by JMoe

  • July 30, 2012, 9:46 a.m. CST

    Why has he not won an Oscar yet? It's a crime

    by kidicarus

  • saw it for first time in like YEARS the other night and the last 30-20 minute shoot out was so much like a T1 shoot out. if they ever need to adapt and CG Arnie stuff for a T800 shoot out scene in Terminator 5 they should look no further than Raw Deal...

  • July 30, 2012, 9:47 a.m. CST

    I'm a cop, you idiot!

    by kidicarus

  • Robert Davi in Raw Deal then in Predator 2, the hot hispanic Running Man woman - also in Predator 2, Paxton in Terminator then P2, Bill Duke in Commando then Predator, Jesse V in Running Man/Predator, the 'got to score some steroids' Running Man security guy in Raw Deal and loads of other stuff mustve been like 'hey Arnie is it ok if i use you as a reference for future work?'....'yes dat is fine'

  • July 30, 2012, 9:50 a.m. CST


    by JMoe

  • July 30, 2012, 9:56 a.m. CST

    Joseph P. Brenner. ....What's the "P" stand for?



  • July 30, 2012, 10:02 a.m. CST

    T1 references in Raw Deal....?


    -driving the truck into the building(I'll be back) -last shoot out scene with the two guns (like the police Massacre) -Robert Davis sunglasses

  • we would prank call people and cry because we laughed so hard . . . wish we would've recorded them.

  • July 30, 2012, 10:05 a.m. CST

    Cartmanez - Totally!

    by Ed Travis

    Arnold's body building friend Sven Ole-Thorsen is in both Raw Deal and Red Heat, but my article was already too long so I didn't want to take the time to bring that up. That dude has been in a ton of movies, not sure which other Arnold movies though.

  • July 30, 2012, 10:05 a.m. CST

    how many people you kill?

    by CARTMANEZ want names and addrasses?

  • July 30, 2012, 10:07 a.m. CST

    Today is also Arnold's birthday

    by positivelySlime

    For the record.

  • ...are the same guy (except, of course, CONAN and RED SONJA). That guy is Doug Quaid. See, all of the movies are previous trips taken to Rekall. See? "Ah wan doo fight ehn eh-lee-in monstah in deh forest" BOOM. Predator. "Ah wan doo fight duh devil" BOOM. End of Days.

  • July 30, 2012, 10:14 a.m. CST

    RED HEAT is also notable for one of the screen writers


    British writer Troy Kennedy-Martin who also wrote episodes of Z Cars, Sweeney and the Edge of Darkness mini series plus such movies as The Italian Job, Kelly's Heroes

  • July 30, 2012, 10:16 a.m. CST

    COMMANDO = awesome. RED HEAT = so so. RAW DEAL = crap

    by the_rising

    COMMANDO is the funniest action of Arnold's career and almost as funny as DIE HARD. It has non stop terrific one liners and actually made you laugh out loud, unlike 99% of the action films since.

  • July 30, 2012, 10:16 a.m. CST

    How do you Soviets deal with all the tension and stress?

    by rjl1138


  • July 30, 2012, 10:25 a.m. CST

    terry_malloy - Sven-Ole Thorsen


    "Has been in virtually every Arnold Schwarzenegger movie to date, after arriving in the US in the early 1980s. He has acted in many of the films (including an uncredited performance in Predator (1987) as the Russian General), and has also done many of the stunts and provided training for the actors in most of Schwarzenegger's films. " so that was the guy that blew the hostages brains out in Predator. i never knew that... plus didnt know he was the big mask guy Maximius fights in Gladiator (which apparently was originally supposed to be Lou ferrigno so itd have been Crowe vs Hulk)

  • similar posters, Arnie as Rambo. it confused me.

  • July 30, 2012, 10:35 a.m. CST

    I haven't seen RAW DEAL since I was kid, I've meant to revisit it

    by Spandau Belly

    COMMANDO is pure class. Not Arnie's best movie but probably the most Arnie of Arnie's movies. It feels like he wrote it himself.

  • July 30, 2012, 10:36 a.m. CST

    I enjoyed reading that

    by Thunderbolt Ross

  • July 30, 2012, 10:40 a.m. CST

    i love it when he kills the guy from Street Hawk at the end


    the street hawk guy thought he could kill terminator after hed wiped out the entire mafia! he shouldve waited abit longer maybe he would popped one in back of T800s head someone should do an alternate end on utube where he succeeds bahahahaha

  • July 30, 2012, 10:40 a.m. CST

    The Hobbit WILL be 3 movies!

    by D.Vader

    Spread the word, here ye here ye!

  • July 30, 2012, 10:46 a.m. CST


    by Cletus Van Damme

  • July 30, 2012, 10:47 a.m. CST

    Sosa and David Warfield went out like heroes at the end


    'call the cops'..... 'what?'.... 'CALL THE FUCKING COPS!!'

  • July 30, 2012, 11:09 a.m. CST

    Cahmaaaan, Harrryyyy!!!

    by SonOfChiba

    RAW DEAL has never had the love it deserves, I think. It’s always kinda had a, ahem, raw deal. It’s a cracking good flick – great, tough guy cast, awesome director (the late, great John Flynn), funny lines, brutal action – awesome stuff. And yeah, the whole T1 look Arnie sports at the end? Simultaneously homaging T1 and making the look part of his “good guy” image: he’s effectively burying the bad guy connotations the costume has. Plus, how can you ever hear “Can’t Get No Satisfaction” and NOT think of this film? BTW, has anyone else seen the UK BD of this? It actually has a featurette on it where a guy who’s written a book on Arnie’s films basically spends 10 minutes or so saying what a complete piece of shit the film is. Bizarre.

  • July 30, 2012, 11:29 a.m. CST

    The scene from Commando where Arnold jumps from the landing gear...

    by juice willis

    ...of a passenger jet in mid-fucking-takeoff, only to have the scene cut to a stuntman falling straight into some water from only 1 or 2 stories high = Genius in its sheer lunacy! That jet would've been moving in excess of 100 mph, and anyone jumping from the forward landing gear would've skipped like a stone across the water, straight to their death as their limbs were torn from their body. I love Commando for how unapologetically retarded it is. Moreso for the fact that I was 10 when first saw it, and it all seemed perfectly plausible.

  • July 30, 2012, 11:50 a.m. CST

    Let's break these down.

    by MattHooper

    Enjoyed Commando because it was a lot like a comic book. Violent for a comic book of that era, but very comic-book'y nonetheless. Raw Deal felt like a bad Steven Seagal movie. Enjoyed Red Heat as a replay/rehash/reboot of the 48hrs. formula. ... and that's that.

  • July 30, 2012, 11:52 a.m. CST

    Thunderbolt_Ross - Thanks, appreciate it!

    by Ed Travis


  • July 30, 2012, 11:54 a.m. CST

    Juice Willis

    by Ed Travis

    That is exactly why I love revisiting these movies and comparing them against the way I saw them as a kid. Pretty much all movies morph when we revisit them at various times in our lives. I love that!

  • July 30, 2012, 12:11 p.m. CST


    by Jared Parker

    still do. and i HATE!!! HATE!!! HATE!!! RAW DEAL movie sucks donkey balls

  • July 30, 2012, 12:18 p.m. CST

    I LIED.

    by A_Banned_Apart

  • July 30, 2012, 12:25 p.m. CST

    Arnold The Destroyer.

    by Darkness

    Duping his mrs, aside. "Conan The Barbarian" suited Arnie's persona due to the monosyllabic aspects of the character, and the obvious. And there the iconic action-man of the 80's was born. If you look at his resume, you'll will find some iconic, and some cheese-fest, guilty pleasures. Not many contemporary action-stars of todays current crop have films so diverse, richly textured, crowd-pleasers in their filmographies. The Killer-Machine, "The Terminator", the one-man army,"Commando", The mercenary-turned-alien-hunter,"Predator", A russian cop,"Red Heat", rounded off with two very distinctive epic sci-fi classics, "Total Recall" and, "Terminator 2: Judgement Day". He is obviously not notorious for his shakespearean acting skills, but the Austrian-collossus sure had enduring charisma, which pretty much lured our asses into movie theatres when the name SCHWARZENEGGER hit the marquee Not even the likes of Stallone, Van Damme, or Seagal could compare with these career choices. Todays breed of action stars, Jason Statham, jet Li et'al - as good as they are - just seem to be replaying the same old tricks with every movie they make. I guess they just don't have the material to work with these days. As for the likes of Dwight Johnson and Jason-my vacuous attempt at Conan-Momoa: the futures not bright - it's just fallen back into the hands of the old-timers...And that's probably a good or disparaging thought. It will be interesting to see, "The Tomb" and "The Last Stand" to see if he still cut the mustard in todays action cinema...

  • July 30, 2012, 12:39 p.m. CST

    You should not drink and bake!

    by Keith Maniac

    Vintage Arnie.

  • July 30, 2012, 12:42 p.m. CST

    Terry Malloy

    by strangewool

    You sir, are a contenda! Best thing i've read on this site in ages. Well done!

  • July 30, 2012, 12:49 p.m. CST

    Raw Deal and Red Heat suck

    by Turd_Is_Floating_Underneath_The_Gravy

    Far too generic and small scale for Arnold, like cheap straight to video action flicks. The last ten minutes of Raw Deal are good, but the rest is like a made-for-TV gangster/ cop movie. Red Heat is just a 48 Hours redux, without the edge. Arnold has one of his best haircuts in it, though. Commando is still gloriously stupid, OTT and great fun. Arnold should have done a Commando sequel, and Sgt. Rock, directed by John McTiernan, instead of these two - although I understand the only reason he did Raw Deal was due to a contractual stipulation he had with Dino De Laurentiis.

  • July 30, 2012, 12:53 p.m. CST

    CRAZY fact

    by Nice Marmot

    I love both Arnie and Walter Hill to death and STILL haven't seen Red Heat.

  • July 30, 2012, 12:54 p.m. CST

    Expendables 2 is rated R.

    by Volllllume3


  • July 30, 2012, 1:34 p.m. CST

    never seen raw deal or cobra for that matter

    by rakesh patel

    should i ?

  • July 30, 2012, 1:37 p.m. CST

    Raw Deal and Red Heat are mediocre.

    by Puñeta

    Commando is great, one of the best 80s action films.

  • July 30, 2012, 1:58 p.m. CST


    by Darth Busey

  • July 30, 2012, 2:05 p.m. CST

    arnie doing a japanese commerical part one

    by emeraldboy

  • July 30, 2012, 2:08 p.m. CST

    arnie doing a japanese commerical part two

    by emeraldboy

  • July 30, 2012, 2:09 p.m. CST

    arnie doing a japanese commerical part one

    by emeraldboy

  • July 30, 2012, 2:19 p.m. CST

    you thought "mold had been cast" was right....

    by Waka_Flocka


  • July 30, 2012, 2:23 p.m. CST

    Fuck Yes

    by Mr. Lahey

    Best scene in Commando: when he rips the phone booth out of the ground, with Sully in it, and flips it over. Pure madness. Actually, that whole mall fight sequence is Arnold overload.

  • July 30, 2012, 2:29 p.m. CST

    Truly Wretched Movies all.

    by Mike Soiseth

    I think I saw each of them at the movies and walked out feeling like I just watched something that was akin to sitting through a Knight Rider episode. Just bad bad bad crap-not even nostalgic crap but shit all around. God, the 80s had truly awful music, movies and TV.

  • I love it! But, I can understand how it's embodiment of the Regan '80's is off-putting to some, ridiculous to others.

  • July 30, 2012, 2:31 p.m. CST


    by reaper28

    No need to miss them anymore ... Go forth and prank once more, ma boy ...

  • July 30, 2012, 2:31 p.m. CST

    arnie enjoys the trailer from Cowboys and Aliens


  • July 30, 2012, 2:34 p.m. CST

    Commando Script

    by Sunhawk7

    I read the original Commando script back in 1985 and it was interesting in the way it was written and the story was much more a straight told action film with Matrix trying to rescue his wife and daughter. It ended a final action sequence by Matrix making a make shift hangglider from a couple of lounge chairs and sailing off a cliff with his family to safety. What I found unique was the way the script was written to move your eye down the page to focus on the important aspects of what was on screen. It seems that they later threw out the entire script and rewrote it with Schwarzenegger in mind. I don't think they saved anything from it, but created a movie legend instead with lines that are still quoted nearly 30 years later. I was disappointed that it appears they filmed the bulk of it around the area of Sherman Oaks where I had lived a year prior. I would have liked to have seen Arnie tearing up the galleria.

  • ...Raw Deal is Arnold's gangster movie. It is no master piece, but it sits comfortably amongst the most watchable, "so bad, they're good," movies. The ending is flat-out hilarious, ditto some of the dialogue they put Arnold through, "murdered, mutilated, and molested," comes to mind. As was stated above by a few supporters, Red Heat just holds up. One of the great buddy cop films, and the first naked shower fight to boot (a staple of Russian gansterism, *spoiler* for those who missed Eastern Promises).

  • ...Stallone's close in terms of iconography, but he spent the '80's and '90's in the role of poor man's Arnold. The rest of these guy's are absolutely awesome, but they are a tier down from Stallone even. Jet Li is the cream of the rest of the crop, but only because his Hong Kong work is amazing. Chuck Norris is, literally, a joke now, and was sub-Stallone at his peak. They need to use Arnold and Bruce very wisely to make this one work.

  • July 30, 2012, 2:55 p.m. CST

    We haven't had a good Arnold shoot-em-up in like 15 years.

    by Christian Sylvain

    Expendables has to put him back on the map, because this article is making me all too nostalgic.

  • July 30, 2012, 2:55 p.m. CST

    Nice post Archiebald!

    by ThulsaBoom

    May I add True Lies & Pumping Iron to his list of indisputable classics, with the Running Man being only slightly disputable. Sadly, I'm in wait and see mode for this next crop of Arnie films. I mean, the best he could do a decade ago was "Collateral," "The Sixth Day," "End of Days,"etc. Although, I pretty much love T3. Especially after Salvation. Fingers crossed. Hopefully cinematic absence has made the heart grow fonder and he will get some more finely crafted scripts.

  • -Predator 3 written by Robert Rodriguez(1994 - instead of True Lies) -Paul Verhoevens Crusade (1995 - instead of Junior) -J Camerons R rated Terminator 3 starring Michael Biehn & Arnold - with Furlong, Hamilton & Patrick cameoing - the future war blue night plasma battles, time chamber finale etc (1996 instead of T2 3-D: Battle Across Time, Eraser, Jingle all the Way) -Olivers Stones version of Planet of the Apes (1997 - instead of Batman&Robin) -Ridley Scotts I Am Legend (1999 - instead of End of Days) -Total Recall 2 directed by Cmdr Riker (2000 - instead of Sixth Day) -King Conan: Crown of Iron directed by John Milius (2003 - instead of CDamage/Mostows T3) -Alien 5 -written/produced by Cameron, directed by Ridley Scott - Arnie as head Colonial Marine uncovering the origin of the aliens - like Prometheus but set post Alien 4 and including xenos and Ripley8 as well as the SJs (2004 - instead of AvP, and being govenator)

  • July 30, 2012, 3:24 p.m. CST


    by Sandy

    I don't believe that Matrix was supposed to kill a "dictator". The dictator is the guy who wants Matrix to go kill the president of Val Verde who Matrix helped to overthrow the dictator who is now kidnapping Matrix's daughter to blackmail him into doing the job. Dan Hedaya's character, the kidnapper, IS the dictator who wants his old job back from the current president. You've seen the film a dozen times and you never put that together? Really? Perhaps you should watch with subtitles on....maybe then you'd pick up on those bits of dialog that seemed to escape you the previous 12 times.

  • July 30, 2012, 3:48 p.m. CST

    I always hoped that John Matrix's wife's name was Dorothy

    by in6087

    "Dot" Matrix

  • July 30, 2012, 3:52 p.m. CST

    Mmm Alyssa Milano at her hottest.

    by Mugato5150

  • July 30, 2012, 4:07 p.m. CST

    by cartmanez.

    by emeraldboy

    the guy who does that impression is spot fucking on and his other arnie enjoy trailers are equally hilarious.

  • July 30, 2012, 4:10 p.m. CST

    Bullshit...Arnie had far better quality control than Sly

    by Turd_Is_Floating_Underneath_The_Gravy

    At least up until True Lies, anyway. Outside of the Rocky and Rambo series, Sly's films were mainly many failures, from Cobra to Judge Dredd. Arnold's great films: T1 and 2, Predator, Total Recall, True Lies, Conan the Barbarian, Pumping Iron (ok, it's a documentary, but still). Sly's great films: Rocky, First Blood...that's it. Most of Sly's eighties flicks - Cobra, Rhinestone, Tango and Cash, Over the Top, etc. were pure cheese. Part of the reason is that Arnold was smart enough to work with great directors like Cameron, McTiernan, Millius, and Verhoeven. Sly never worked with 'auteur' action directors, only with easily-controlled hacks like George Pan Cosmatos, Menahelm Golan, etc. and often ghost-directed these films poor effect. Arnie has about five films you could say were legitimately great films PERIOD outside of just being enjoyable to aficionados of the action genre; only the first Rocky fills this position for Sly....and no, Rocky Balboa and Copland are massively overrated. They don't count.

  • all 6 Rockys, all 4 Rambos, Tango and Cash, Cobra, Judge Dredd, LockUp, Demolition Man, Cliffhanger (seriously?? Cliffhanger!!!), Assassins, The Specialist....ALL really good films....I WOULD agree that the Terminators and Predator and maybe True Lies had a better quality but that is all....Sly put out WAY more good stuff.

  • July 30, 2012, 4:26 p.m. CST

    cartmanez, great list

    by Turd_Is_Floating_Underneath_The_Gravy

    What might have been, eh? But you forgot these: 1988: Sgt. Rock, directed by John McTiernan (instead of Red Heat) 1989: Watchmen, directed by Terry Gilliam (Arnold as Dr. Manhattan) - almost happened due to the superhero resurgence caused by Batman. 1993: Spider-Man, directed by James Cameron (Arnold as Dock Ock) instead of Last Action Hero. 1999: Doc Savage: Man Of Bronze, directed by Guillermo Del Toro (I Am Legend was actually scheduled for summer '98) 2001: True Lies 2, directed by James Cameron 2002: With Wings as Eagles, directed by Frank Darabont, instead of Collateral Damage (this film could still happen). All genuine projects that came close to happening, not just fanboy conjecture. With smarter choices, Arnold could have easily stayed the biggest movie star in the world post-T2.

  • Ok I'll give you Tango & Cash only because of Kurt Russell. And I'm slightly biased because I believe much like there are Elvis vs. Beatles people, there are also Schwarzenegger vs. Stallone people. Each have merit. I just happen to be Schwarzenegger people.

  • July 30, 2012, 4:27 p.m. CST

    mugato5150, Alyssa Milano was 12 years old in Commando

    by Turd_Is_Floating_Underneath_The_Gravy

    For shame.

  • July 30, 2012, 4:39 p.m. CST

    Cliffhanger, Demolition Man were good...

    by Turd_Is_Floating_Underneath_The_Gravy

    Sly had Arnie licked in '93, no doubt. And Nighthawks is a good film that doesn't get talked about much...but I don't see how anyone could say films like Cobra, Judge Dredd, The Specialist, etc. were good. They are enjoyable in a cheesy way, but I wouldn't exactly recommend them.... Now, as I was saying, imagine Stallone put away his ego and DID want to work with top action and sci-fi directors back in the day? Imagine an R-rated Judge Dredd directed by Paul Verhoeven, with no Rob Schneider, no love interest, no taking off the helmet, and filled with mega-violence and political commentary? Awesome, right? Imagine if Cameron actually directed Rambo 2, from his original, much more serious script, and sans the right wing bullshit that Sly later inserted? Would have been THE best pure action film of all time. Or if John McTiernan directed Cobra? Sly's films often had good premises, but the execution was lacking. If he had surrounded himself with other talents, instead of trying to take over everything himself, he would have had a resume to match Arnold's.

  • July 30, 2012, 4:44 p.m. CST

    Red Heat > Raw Deal. Commando > Both.

    by adeceasedfan

  • July 30, 2012, 4:45 p.m. CST

    turd_is_floating_underneath_the_gravy - Wings as Eagels


    i knew i was forgetting something. that wouldve been awesome (and still would)

  • !!??

  • July 30, 2012, 5:28 p.m. CST

    Arnold as Manhattan would have SUCKED

    by Autodidact

  • July 30, 2012, 5:29 p.m. CST

    I have all three of these on DVD of course

    by Autodidact

    Only COMMANDO has been upgraded to blu-ray so far. I don't really love RAW DEAL. It's Schwarzenegger's weakest action movie of the 80s, which means it's still better than everything he did after ERASER.

  • I'm not sure if that's still true when you adjust for inflation against some of the old time epics.

  • July 30, 2012, 5:33 p.m. CST

    Just found the link to part one. I.. am an ass-face.

    by Autodidact

    That's how you own up to being an assface kids.

  • July 30, 2012, 6:01 p.m. CST

    I've got an 18" Commando in my...

    by adeceasedfan

    attic. Awesome toy, but I played with my 6" Commando way more. In no way do the above statements refer to my anatomy. They didn't make a G.I Joe sized Commando.

  • July 30, 2012, 6:08 p.m. CST

    And, uh...

    by Sandy

    Raw Deal "doesn't make sense"? Raw Deal makes perfect sense. What planet are you from, anyway? Now, as to whether the movie is realistic? That's a different question to which the answer would be a resounding 'no'. But then it isn't supposed to be. I mean how many people would go see an 80s action film starring Arnold and somehow expect to have an answer as to whether the character who recruits him actually has the power within the Bureau to arrange to have him fully reinstated? You need to know that, do you? My questions would, in response, be....why and who really cares? It's a fun, butt kicking Arnold movie (one of my favorite Arnie movies, too, by the way). Stop nitpicking, pop some corn and put on the movie!

  • July 30, 2012, 6:30 p.m. CST

    Arnold eating french fries in RED HEAT always makes me hungry

    by Autodidact

    Unlike the mystery sandwiches in COMMANDO.

  • July 30, 2012, 6:43 p.m. CST

    @ the_moseph + Raw Deal/T1 Connections

    by Ed Travis

    I don't feel I was nitpicking. Overall really enjoy the film! I just feel like Arnold's CHARACTER should've probably asked a few more questions before signing his life away to an undercover operation that was a long-shot at best. Maybe a paper trail or something? Maybe if we had wives like that we would sign up for the first undercover mission that came our way, too. I just find that element of the movie humorous and it in no way reduces my enjoyment of the film! Also, on another point, it is interesting how many folks have pointed out similarities between Raw Deal and T1. Hadn't thought of the connection specifically since I expect Arnold to do all those things in EVERY movie he is in. But good observations, for sure.

  • July 30, 2012, 6:45 p.m. CST

    LAST ACTION HERO is one of Hollywood's most interesting failures

    by Autodidact

    That's something they should think about remaking. Not with Arnold. But use the same concept and title and do it right this time because it was pretty close last time. This should be how remakes are chosen... I understand why it's not. But it should be.

  • July 30, 2012, 6:50 p.m. CST

    Name wrong in raw deal

    by Stephen

    Arnold's old friend in Raw Deal was named Harry Shannon. I remember because it was fun watching Arnie butcher the name trying to say it. Everything else was spot on.

  • McTiernan has said he had so little time to finish editing on LAST ACTION HERO that some scenes are pretty much assembly footage straight out of the camera, with no real editing.

  • July 30, 2012, 7:09 p.m. CST

    Did it perhaps occur to you...

    by Sandy

    ...that they would at the end, pretend that it was the real "Joey P. Brenner" that had committed those "murders" (seeing as how there are NO witnesses) in order for Arnie to be reinstated by a man who OBVIOUSLY by default has a powerful position in the Bureau? I mean, he wouldn't suggest it if he couldn't deliver, right? Also, since the man who had brought the original charges against Arnie's character in the first place is now dead at the end of the movie, don't you think someone with the authority to reinstate Arnold could also have those charges erased from his record and wipe his record clean so as to be able to reinstate him? You're saying that NONE of this stuff EVER occurred to you? Really?

  • July 30, 2012, 7:16 p.m. CST

    LAH would have been poor no matter what

    by Turd_Is_Floating_Underneath_The_Gravy

    The trouble is that it purports to be a spoof of action movies, very specifically, but it really isn't. There are all kinds of references in there that have NOTHING to do with action movies. Seriously - cartoon cats? ET homages? Sharon Stone from Basic Instinct cameos? And it's not even a good spoof of Arnie movies, either. Arnie didn't usually play burned out cops except on a few occasions, and his public perception certainly wasn't for that - that was more Lethal Weapon/ Die Hard Willis/ Gibson territory. Arnold usually played military or special forces types (when he played his human, non-fantasy characters, of course). John McTiernan was all wrong for the project. Last Action Hero would have been much better if helmed by Steven Spielberg (or even Chris Columbus or Ron Howard - gasp!) because it was intended to be lighter and more family-oriented. Eraser would have been a much better fit for McTiernan, since it seemed to be trying to be a throwback and tribute to Arnie's 80's hard-action ouevre, but with modern special effects. Probably would have been a much better film that way.

  • July 30, 2012, 7:23 p.m. CST

    The Commando opening credits are the funniest in film history.

    by BigTuna

    Look he's feeding a Deer! Now he's eating ice cream with his daughter! Wait..She just stuck in cone in his face! Hilarious! Dad and daughter hijinks...

  • July 30, 2012, 7:23 p.m. CST

    How could anyone think Raw Deal is better than Commando?

    by BigTuna

    Raw Deal is a boring, cheap, no-thrills movie. Commando is a masterpiece you can watch weekly and never get bored.

  • July 30, 2012, 7:24 p.m. CST

    Commando is a comedy masterpiece


  • July 30, 2012, 7:32 p.m. CST

    Correction bigtuna.

    by adeceasedfan

    Watch daily.

  • July 30, 2012, 9:11 p.m. CST

    Was Red Heat Hill's last good film? I'm too lazy to check his bio.

    by Stuntcock Mike

    That bath house towel fight in the snow at the beginning................... S O N O T G A Y


  • July 30, 2012, 9:24 p.m. CST


    by Jared Parker


  • July 30, 2012, 9:30 p.m. CST


    by Jared Parker

    i loved TWINS, i did. but every comedy he did afterward were fucking dreadful. KINDERGARTEN COP, JUNIOR, LAST ACTION HERO and lets not forget JINGLE ALL THE WAY!!! what the fuck was arnold thinking

  • July 30, 2012, 9:33 p.m. CST

    You know... you look like Marvin Hagler.... I LOST MONEY ON HAGLER!!!!

    by The Great One

    Red Heat is a fun, underrated movie, right up there with 48 Hours imho.

  • July 30, 2012, 9:39 p.m. CST


    by Jared Parker

    walter hill has had a good number of films in the 90's. ever seen TRESSPASS? ICE CUBE AS AN EVIL GANGSTER? HELL YEAH!!!

  • July 30, 2012, 9:40 p.m. CST

    by Jared Parker


  • July 30, 2012, 9:47 p.m. CST

    Be thankful there was never a Commando 2

    by Phimseto

    There was supposed to be one. I read the script for it, and it wasn't good at all. Commando is a stand-alone masterpiece. Question: why is Commando better than Man on Fire? Answer: because MoF is two hours of treacle and drama and only 45 minutes of baddassery. Commando takes care of all that weepy stuff in the opening credits. As soon as it is over, the rest of the film is pure, delightful mayhem.

  • July 30, 2012, 10:17 p.m. CST

    @phimseto Commando 2 became Die Hard.

    by death metal batman

  • July 31, 2012, 3:37 a.m. CST

    I saw that Arnie has a autobiography coming out.

    by hallmitchell

    And it's called Total Recall.

  • Seriously, I will have to do some testing this evening, but I think LAST ACTION HERO on a DVD from 1997 has more going on in the rear channels than almost any of my blu-rays.

  • July 31, 2012, 9:15 a.m. CST

    Sorry make that "surround" channels

    by Autodidact

    I know you're know really supposed to call them rears.

  • July 31, 2012, 10:53 a.m. CST

    Terry Malloy rips off Ruthless Reviews...fuck this guy!

    by Lukes Lost Hand The original and best look at 80's action films.

  • July 31, 2012, 3:26 p.m. CST

    turd_is_floating_underneath_the_gravy - Regurading LAH

    by DarthBlart

    LAH was spoofing Lethal Weapon/Die Hard/Cobra mostly. Hence the burnt out cop like Riggs/Cobra. And the villains like Hans Gruber. The action scenes were mostly ripped right out of Lethal Weapon; the foot/car chase, falling out the window, helecopter shooting up funeral. It almost ripped it off entirely, luckily it has Shane Black and McTeinrnan in the credits to back it up. And it's still relevent with the horrible acting kid being added in. I wasn't so keen on it back when it came out, though I was excited when it hit VHS, but later on I come to appreciate the Arnold in almost everything he does, including the prank calls. It's actually a pretty awesome idea, and has lot of memorable stuff about it. A lot of details. And Charles Dance, Anthony Quinn and especially F Murray Abraham are just precious in it. The kid was the weakest link but I don't really ahte him in the movie, he knows he's the chump and he does hit on Jack's daughter.

  • SDDS is Sony Dynamic Digital Sound, their competitor against DTS and Dolby Digital. Remember the days of the mid-90s when "DIGITAL SOUND" was a selling point of movie theatres, and it really did make a big difference?

  • 'Last Action Hero' had the distinction of being the first movie released theatrically in the SDDS 7.1 audio format, Sony's competition for Dolby Digital and DTS. The latter debuted a week earlier with 'Jurassic Park' and stole most of Sony's thunder. Many of the theaters equipped with SDDS experienced technical problems; for several years, the format was jokingly referred to as "Still Doesn't Do Sh*t." In order to show off their 7.1 channels, the film's mixers loaded up the soundtrack with lots of zinging directional and surround activity. Bullets whiz all through the soundstage repeatedly. Even as mixed down to 5.1 channels here, the track is still very aggressive. It also matrixes well into 7.1 configuration with Dolby ProLogic IIx processing.

  • So you have to manually switch to the second audio track if you want digital 5.1