"He's mean, and he'll blast through your screen!" but that's okay, you don't need a screen for Filmshake, cuz we're a podcast, and we're talking 1993's Last Action Hero on its 30th anniversary. We'll try to decide if this *DEEP BREATH* fantasy action comedy drama deserved to flop harder than Lebron James at the box office (that joke means two things now!), or if it's actually an unsung gem, like Space Jam: A New Legacy (lol, just kidding Lebron). To find out, we've brought on the world's preeminent Last Action Hero expert, Jackson Boren, to let us know if Arnold Schwarzenegger's venture into the meta should have been a hit (like Michael Jordan's Space Jam) and Jackson's brought a friend. That friend is our punishment film, Arnie's lone directorial effort, 1992's made for TV romantic comedy remake, Christmas in Connecticut. Does it stand on its own two feet, or does it fall violently to the ground at the mere sight of an elbow, like Lebron does? Only one way to find out! Listen to this episode (unless you're Lebron*)!
*Just kidding, Lebron, you can listen, but find a chair first.
Music Featured This Episode
"Jack and the Ripper" by Michael Kamen
"The Real World" by Michael Kamen
"River Chase" by Michael Kamen
"Premiere" by Michael Kamen
"Big Gun" by AC/DC
Nic: Grab your rubber baby buggy bumpers. It's film shake the 90s movies podcast. I am your host Nick. With me as always is Jordan Jordan How are you?
Jordan: I'm good Nick I think Arnold who
Nic: I'm talking to I don't know what happened there I feel like I got possessed Jordan
Jackson: were you Arnold or were you Jack Slater? That's a deep
Jordan: cavern of identity crisis here on film shake as usual Right, right.
Nic: So that was our guest Jackson boring. This was Jackson's choice as a patron of the show Jackson. How you doing buddy Nick?
Jackson: I am I'm doing great It is really good to be back on the show with the film shake boys since you guys are Firmly planted in covering the movies of the 90s I feel like this is like my home podcast for some reason like your your guys a show was one of the first shows I did when I started guesting on podcasts and I feel like we all have one Like-minded goal that is to spread the nostalgia for the 90s So it's just like coming back here is is a familiar place
Jordan: Well, you know what they say our film shake brings all the boys to the yard
Nic: For some reason I knew you were gonna say that Jordan. I don't know
Jordan: why he's a human nation. You just know me You know Jackson, I think a reason that we click well It's Twitter. I see people talk about things with the 90s ironically like I saw someone talking about point break the other day But they were doing so ironically I feel like the three of us we really enjoy this. I love point break not ironically I just love it right.
Jackson: Yeah, I mean as the official I guess a Twitter defender of Waterworld other people are like, oh, it's so bad. It's good And I'm like, no, it's good.
Nic: It's an enjoyable film.
Jackson: It's just good It's just good and that's the energy that I'm bringing to this show tonight the last time you guys had me on we were talking about speed and That was a really easy conversation to have because that's a very clear celebration of a widely appreciated Classic, but I'll say that this is gonna be a very different kind of conversation Because this time I'm coming on here to defend a movie that deserves its flowers Sort of tarnished in the shadow of its own box office failure and everyone just kind of like focuses on that But it's also a movie that the only guilty of was being released a week after Jurassic Park I mean that that's the the bottom line for me And so I'm glad I get to do it with you Nick and Jordan.
Nic: All right tonight. We're talking 1993's last I Feel like there's this 13 year olds I did not appreciate it. I did this time but man this movie when it came out I feel like I was a little too cool for school for it I thought Arnold had this drop-off where he wasn't cool for a while And it took a really long time for him to come back from it But I'm looking at the movies that he released he had true lies the year after this which was a huge hit Obviously a James Cameron film. I thought this kind of knocked his career out in the 90s, but I wasn't thinking straight I don't know. What was Arnold to you guys back then y'all just a little bit younger than me I don't think you're maybe at the too cool for stage that I had just reached when this was released Did y'all love this movie
Jackson: this little time frame that this movie came out in and I'm kind of looking at the 1991 to 1995 window there is a time that I look back on as sort of the planet Hollywood era if you will This is sort of a very specific Window that carbon dates these movies that were released by the three public facing founders of Planet Hollywood so for me Bruce Willis it was last a last Boy Scout death becomes her pulp fiction diehard with a vengeance for Stallone It was like cliffhanger demolition man judge dread Assassins and then for Arnold it was like total recall kindergarten cop T2 and then this last action hero I mean it was the the height of their powers and it's where I've always described them as the last name club Which was they were the actors that had just their last names above the top of the poster so it's like Schwarzenegger Stallone Willis Van Damme etc and In the summer of 1993 this was like peak Schwarzenegger for me. I mean he's coming off of the two terminators in total recall I think Arnold was like the biggest star in the world at that point in my mind as a 10-year-old I think the people who don't remember it or weren't there It's hard for them to calibrate the magnitude of Arnold's celebrity Stature and his box office job And this was the status that you know last action hero is meant to sort of satirize and solidify the the marketing was Positioning it as this sort of new blockbuster It was gonna kind of go under the hood and look at action movies from a different angle And it was all built around Arnold's persona that's that's the craziest crazy thing. So for me at that age, I was like all in on this
Jordan: Yeah, I was all in on this as well at this age Love T2 love true lies loved everything I could get my hands on as far as Arnold goes and You know knowing me Nick and the goofy spirit that I am I'm just all about the weirdness and the spoof and the comedy mixed with the action here like this just hit so many Beats just the magic and the whimsy of it all the Graniostness and just you know, ultimately the the ridiculous 90sness of it all like just when we get into the theater with Austin O'Brien And he's watching Jack Slater for and the titles just keep blowing up and busting through those different walls Like how do you not love that shit? That's that's fun.
Nic: I have a thought I'm gonna throw this out there for both of you Austin O'Brien and I are exactly the same age So obviously when he filmed this him being on the screen at that point meant that he was younger than me So it was like I was watching a kid that was younger than me So I was especially like oh man this little kids lame look even though it's the same age Right, but his energy is is interesting. It's kind of different from other child stars at the time We're all just all in on Austin O'Brien when you were watching this as kids
Jordan: as kids I would say yes and watching it now I can see how some people would find him annoying or have that issue like that older brother Kind of looking down your nose at this this little kid and as a kid and like a teenager watching this I always found the the real world like New York Environment aspect of him and his home life and he's this lash key kid Always found that really compelling and kind of scary that whole scene where he his mom leaves him at home And then he's like gonna sneak out to go to the movie theater And then the thug like breaks into his house and like puts a switchblade to his face
Jordan: Yeah, it's totally unexpected for what you would think is like a
Jordan: goofy spoof movie of an action hero I know it goes some darker places which were really interesting
Jackson: I have heard in the past that you know Austin O'Brien is the That point of criticism that that some people throw out there. They're like, oh, I can't stand him or you know, whatever I didn't see it. I didn't see it in 93. I watched it again Last year the new Bev. I still you know as an adult He didn't irritate me because he's the audience surrogate. That's what the point of his character was so Didn't bother me at all.
He didn't really do a whole much else after this But I always look back on this and I felt like his performance is It works, you know, it does it gets the job done. Yeah, I had a question for you guys Have you guys ever been to plan at Hollywood? Yes.
Nic: Yes in Orlando.
Jordan: Yeah, I went when I visited Disneyland So you have been there in California when it was still open
Jackson: Cool Yeah, cuz that's like aside from even like there's parts where they mention it later in the movie But like apart from that there's this experience that always like connects the plan at Hollywood thing to this movie for me And I can't separate that I've told on one podcast before but I feel like it's really important to include in this conversation So like one of my memories that crystallized the sort of plan at Hollywood era that I was talking about Is the experience of going to plan at Hollywood in the summer of 1993 with my parents and I was sort of a peak movie crazed kid at this moment I think I was like Austin O'Brien in that moment and so we're we're going out to Orange County To go to the mall or to the beach river and then my dad's like we're gonna go to plan at Hollywood So I'm on cloud nine or ready for that, you know walking and seeing all the props. I'm eating the Captain Crunch chicken I'm fully on board with this place and what it's selling and we finish our dinner and we're like Looking around there's there's noise coming out from the people walking in and it's obvious that there's something else going on Aside from just normal evening operations. So we kind of walk out. We see these crowds lining up So we asked what's going on and and they tell us oh, it's it's a last action hero Promotional event that we're having here at the restaurant They've got the red carpet rolled out and they say Arnold's coming to the restaurant with other cast members and the movies coming out next week So he's gonna come promote it here and by this time there's like a big crowd forming and As soon as I find out that I'm like dad we got to stay we got to meet Arnold and My dad's like, okay, okay. We'll hang out for a little bit. So we're standing there, you know against the railing Next to this red carpet and we have sure enough like a few moments later Arnold pulls up Marie Shriver. He's actually in the car from the movie.
Osno Brian comes He steps out as well. They've got these last action hero Letterman jackets. I'm like super jealous I'm like, I want one of those. It was an awesome memory that has never faded and just kind of highlighted and cemented my excitement for last action hero when when it would come out a week later and I saw it with my dad in theaters I was pumped to see it because this was like my first Arnold movie on the big screen I had seen kindergarten cop and twins and I think I'd even like Snuck a viewing of Terminator 2 and predator at like friends houses I wasn't officially allowed to watch this yet, but I was like I kind of see it So this was like a big formative experience seen it in the theater
Jordan: was Bridget Wilson Sampris at this
Jackson: event Unfortunately, she was not that was a formative crush for me. So I I didn't even know who she was before seeing this movie This was her first movie, right? So that was kind of cool, too. But this was a movie I didn't realize was a bomb until years later I didn't realize that it was a movie where you weren't supposed to like until I was in college. Yeah, and Like I said earlier, I've never wavered on my love for last action hero I'm always singing its praises and it's never ironic. I've just been like, yeah, no, this is a movie I
Nic: love Jackson that's an awesome story But it also leads to something that I wanted to ask you. So this is your second appearance here the first episode that we covered with you was The movie we covered was speed now we're doing last action hero These are both LA set movies and you're from LA is that kind of an influence here in your favorites?
Jackson: I Don't know. I didn't even think about that until you brought it up I don't think so because I'm a fan of a lot of other movies and other I think just just happened to be One of them that I was excited to talk to you guys about because I had an inkling that this was gonna be one that you guys would love as well Whether you would at least be Sort of on my side of the fence as to whether it was a good movie or not
Nic: You know, I thought really hard when I was going back and forth in my mind about that And then I thought you know what he's the biggest apologist in the world for the movie judgment night That movie does not take place in Los Angeles.
Jackson: No, no When I'm talking about this movie, I gotta say even you know, we we talked about seeing it back in 93 I saw it last year at the new Bev and I think it holds up incredibly It's better now than it was in 93. I think that um, you know before the meta self-referential stories and films that are super common now in in pop culture This did it really well. This was before scream ready player one Tropic Thunder deadpool last action hero was there and watching it through a 2023 lens It just adds so much clarity to why I think it was ahead of its time
Jordan: Yeah, I was gonna ask if you guys felt like maybe that was a problem For it being just kind of too far ahead of its time in the whole meta aspect in a way It did kind of pave the way And yeah, I just think it's it's incredibly funny and smart and playing with the genre and creative ways like all throughout its runtime I mean, even if you look at true lies just a year later That's a film that does some of the same kind of things as far as Satterizing the action genre. It's a little bit more subtle and less kind of over the top and goofy In the way that it does that but and that was a huge hit, you know, that made so much money You know was a big draw for a lot of people.
So I don't know I really feel like Coming a week after Jurassic Park is mainly what killed this like maybe more people would have, you know, given it You know, it's time.
Jackson: I agree 100% I mean we can talk about the things that went wrong in the making of and the release of this movie because there's a lot of that Stuff too, but I also really wanted to talk about Just being happy with the movie that we got flaws and all because I think the aspects of it that work for me Outweigh the issues and so I know there's a lot of behind the scenes and and everything that led up to that but it's a movie that I feel like is a good movie legitimately and I think it's the first movie I saw growing up that was about the love of movies and the trope of tropes of movies and just Kind of openly commenting on those things and the truth is that this movie really loves movies, right?
Jordan: And I think that's why Inevitably I love this movie too. Yeah, just like you said being that Austin O'Brien him as a surrogate just being that kid who grew up loving movies going to the theater and just treating that Literally as a magical experience and being transported into the actual movie I mean I'm a type of person that when I watch movies the Surrounding world that I'm in kind of fades away and I get so sucked in to the story and to the characters as if I am Experiencing that myself sometimes and so to watch a movie where that's literally happening to a young boy That you can relate with and who's so excited You know, he's obviously such a fan and has so much appreciation for the Jax Lader character Just that whole universe for me It's hard not to be in love with this movie and to be sucked in and just have fun with it and appreciate it on so many levels
Nic: Since we mentioned the flaws and I'm the the local hater. I don't hate the movie. I think it's alright I don't love it, but I don't think it's a bad movie the main issue And I think it's the one that director John McTiernan would take the biggest issue with with the film too is They were filming this sucker right up until it was released He needed more time to edit the movie his main complaint is that there was no time to edit it They basically just kind of threw the footage together That does kind of show for me really that's my biggest problem with the film because I like the idea of the film a lot I love all the meta stuff. I mean Arnold's Arnold There's so many moments in this movie where I just wrote down damn that guy's a movie star He's incredible in this But does the editing does that stick out to y'all at all to a degree?
Jordan: I mean maybe even more so Reading about it and knowing about that being an issue But just watching the movie itself I feel like I just get kind of caught up in the characters in the story So it's it's not really that big of a distraction
Jackson: Yeah, the editing wasn't wasn't a huge issue for me. I don't know like I was looking at the Sort of the craft behind McTiernan's directing He's a director that I've always had in my action director Mount Rushmore based off of Predator diehard The hunt for October is a trio of classics that I feel like would mint any director But then he goes on to before he does this he does medicine man Which is one that I have done complete 180 on in the past year I had to watch medicine man as part of my my rewatch of Hollywood pictures catalog and Really feel like I was like turned around on that and saw a lot of things that I really liked and you know with his reunion with Arnold On last action hero I feel like he does some incredible stuff with cinematic language and creating this Diverging world like we talk about between the movie world and the real world and Towards the latter half of this filmography. I mean like rollerball and and basic were not great 13th warrior was the miss mix bag Diehard with a vengeance is incredible Hot take it's my favorite diehard. We don't have to go down that rabbit hole But I know
Nic: it is the best 90s diehard.
Jordan: I agree I can agree with that and we are a 90s show where only the 90s exist.
Jackson: So Alright, there we go. We all agree no, but um So, yeah, I mean the editing didn't really I didn't didn't catch a lot of that But I could see how some people would have I say I think complaints about it being Seeming like a little bit of a Frankenstein and the reason why I say that is because the script was Definitely a bit of a Frankenstein because went back and looked into Some of the history of it Zach Penn and Adam left where the guys who wrote the original script They ended up getting a story by credit But their original script that they wrote after they I think they were like fresh out of like Wesleyan University or something And they binged a bunch of 80s action movies and they said we want to make you know an homage to Action movies that we've grown up with but that is also sort of you know taking that apart They said they I think the quote was from Zach Penn. He said the Simpsons inspired us We thought if this show can destroy genres even as it embraces them Why can't we do that with live action? So we created the story of this disillusioned kid knocking around New York His father died and he turned to the movies obviously for his fantasy life and Fulfillment of the kind of powerslessness that he feels in New York that whole thing You know, I mean you can totally see it in this but their script was called extremely violent and in their words It was a complete opposite of the the purple rose of Cairo And it was about this movie fan that was sucked in his fictional world It's it's a lady lady 80s action movie where he encounters an LAPD super cop that's sort of an amalgamation of dirty Harry and John McClain and Arnold I mean this is even before they knew he was gonna be in it and it gets crazier because Extremely violent. What happens is that you know, he encounters this projectionist That is sort of helping him get into the movie but the projectionist in this is the devil
Jackson: Did I did read that? Yeah? Yeah, and in this story
Speaker 5: This one he's given
Jackson: a handgun and he's pushed through a tear in the screen in this movie theater So that he can meet this Charles Bronson Clint Eastwood type who can teach him how to take vengeance there was gonna be a scene where Danny makes a phone call to his dead father I mean it's insane and it's so different and so dark and it highlights that much more I think the sentiment it's about the movie that we got That I ended up loving so it's just crazy that it was this insane dark story But even with all those things that I described to you It still ended up getting all distraction because there was this guy named Chris Moore who was Basically a champion for these two guys He was an up-and-coming agent and he met Zach and Adam and said okay, this script is crazy We got to get this, you know shopped around in town so he takes the script and Tries getting it out there until finally try star in Columbia both take interest and they're unwittingly Bidding against each other on it even though they're both owned by Sony and as soon as they pick it up It's like damn the ball gets
Nic: rolling That's wild and I can kind of move the plot along from the opening scene from that because there are two moments in the early parts of this movie And it's one of my issues with the movie with the editing is I think sometimes the tone is just a little bit off There are two moments in this movie where the tone is also no Brian's character is about to get raped The first time is whenever he goes home and Jordan mentioned the scene where the guy breaks into the house He Grives him into the bathroom while he's been over while holding a pair of handcuffs And I couldn't remember the beginning of this movie and the first time I watched it was on NBC So I thought holy shit. He's gonna get raped this movie is dark and then that didn't happen Of course, I'm watching that now as a parent of a 13 year old to where you're always worried about your kid all the time So I guess I'm worried more about this kid than I was when I watched this when I was 13 But then again later when he goes back to the movie theater and the the movie taker guy Well, he has the same name as me, right? If Nick isn't yeah, yeah whenever Nick is gonna give him the the magical ticket He shuts the door right the way that the shot is framed Austin O'Brien is backing away from him and again.
It's like okay. It's late at night This guy is like groomed him to come to the movie theater at night when no one else is around But the two of them is he about to get raped here? That tone for me was that that's how I felt watching it And maybe that was kind of a holdover from the darkness of the earlier script Not that they intended you to think he was going to get raped, but just that there's so much menace in those two moments
Jordan: Yeah, no, I mean I didn't see the the rape aspect at all and my mind didn't go there. There's definitely darkness in those two moments and actually Like I said kind of enjoy that the movie goes there and it's an unexpected turn I mentioned him being attacked in his home earlier and yeah I just saw that as like a pure like robbery I'm gonna chain you up in the bathroom kid and then like, you know, the guy's like looting through his house He's like, I don't have shit But then yeah later when he's in the movie theater with Nick and he closes that door And there's like a close-up on this like freaky looking face on the on the door and it says Pandora You're like, oh no the Pandora's box has been opened now Yeah, and he starts kind of like walking towards Austin O'Brien's character and he's kind of like backing away from him a little bit He's talking about Houdini and everything. Yeah, there there's some like Menace there in a way like to me it it was kind of capturing the danger of The possibility of this magic in a way maybe a brief fake out for the the Nick character like oh Is this dude gonna turn bad? But I don't know I didn't see it as like a sexual thing at all But
Jackson: I felt like in those moments McCharen was doing, you know, incredible work at giving us these visual Indicators and illusions of the real world versus the movie world and I don't think he gets enough credit for the way he builds this sort of dark and dreary Abel Ferrera New York City this latchkey kid Danny Madigan sneaks away to the movie theaters to find peace when he's you know He's in this life of pain and darkness and you know, you don't blame him Danny wants to escape and You can relate to that to that desire when you're immersed in the hell that he's in and so he has to kind of create a little bit of darkness at the beginning there and Danny's always alone, you know, he's he's on his own in this life that we see at the beginning in the movie we see Sun soaked beachfront mansions and palm trees and then in the real world It's this rainy like pre Giuliani man half Where like you guys were saying crime is literally like busting down the door of our main character's home The other thing I noticed is that on his apartment. I don't know if you guys caught his apartment number It was 3d.
Jordan: I didn't see that. Yeah, like versus the 2d world that he's in within the movie Yeah,
Jackson: yeah, so I thought that was an interesting nod to the other thing I was gonna mention so I was talking earlier about the the story coming from Zach Penn and Adam Neff But the reason why it became sort of a Frankenstein before it even got to what we saw was that having committed this $60 million budget to a conceptually really promising script Columbia sent Last Action Hero through a bunch of different revisions. So what they did is first they kind of dismissed Penn and Neff and and told them, okay, you guys are good we're gonna move this over to someone else and They brought on Shane Black and David are not who took the original script and they sort of pumped up the violence and the Snarkiness and jokes and things like that But then they also threw out a lot of the other you know the devil stuff and the more supernatural elements and kind of Made it a little bit more magical. So that's how that's how that happened and then Adam and Zach They basically said that at that point they were brought into a meeting with Arnold and the execs at Columbia and then Shane Black and David are not and they were like, oh, this is we're gonna be part of this process but in actuality they were being fired and At that point, you know, it's 1993 there's few screenwriters that are really like on top of the conventions of these Action blockbusters like Shane Black You know, this is sort of his his bread and butter. He takes it on from there and does a little bit more Molding to the story and everything but then they still don't officially have Schwarzenegger and Mcturning on like Schwarzenegger has had meetings with them, but he's not officially on yet And what happened is the way they were able to get Schwarzenegger's He said I'll do it if you hire William Goldman to do sort of a polish of it and basically Soften out the edges and so that's what they did They they gave William Goldman like a million dollars or something and then they brought him in and said, you know You got to give this the princess bride treatment and make it sort of a little bit more magical and warmer and something that is for kids and for adults and so that's what William Goldman did but even after he did it they still had a few more revisions from people like Larry Ferguson and Carrie Fisher and so everybody had their hands in this and and that's something that I feel You know, I know Nick mentioned sort of, you know, it was a little bit of radical spots I think that might have been part of what impacted the story and made some parts feel darker and lighter and and all over the place Tonally
Jordan: well, I feel like the darker stuff is really just in those New York moments in the real world, right? And I think that's just necessary to have such a contrast between Those moments like you said this able for era early 90s Just graffiti on the walls like the theater that he's in is ripped up and like just decrepit Yeah, just a bad lieutenant meets the princess bride or something Oh, it's like this old crazy if you may, I'm just telling him the story through the grungy, like Grindhouse or whatever. But once he gets into that other world, into the movie world, then like you said, it's all palm trees and sunshine. So I do give credit to McTiernan for that contrast and for really world building in that way, which is really fun and exciting and dynamic. So I'm all here for it.
Nic: That kind of wins me over a little bit more to these portions because you guys talking about that is reminding me of when I was a kid and I watched Wizard of Oz for the first time and I hadn't watched a lot of black and white films up to that point. So when it goes from her kind of dreary black and white life to that really vivid technicolor when she gets to Oz, that's kind of how I felt with this movie whenever he jumps in the movie.
Cause I kind of went from like, God, his tone is weird. I don't love this kid very much to even watching it the first time back in the day when I didn't like the movie as much as I enjoyed it now. It's a whole new ball game whenever he goes inside Jack Slater for the movie. I loved everything, especially the first 15 to 20 minutes of him being introduced to this movie world. I thought was cinematic magic. I loved it. Yeah.
Jordan: Those titles do a lot of work too. Like, and then just the closeups on his face, smiling, eating the popcorn, and then you've just got Charles dance. We haven't mentioned yet, but freaking Charles glass eye dance in this movie has Benedict the bullseye villain. We love Charles dance from alien three. I've always loved this Benedict character, just his snark and his, you know, very British wit and him always like looking down kind of sending Lee on the Vivaldi who's just this kind of over the top Sicilian schmuck as he calls them. I just love that whole dynamic between those characters. The glass eye with the bullseye and the smiley face and everything is just iconic. Yeah.
Jackson: Charles dance made a big impression on me early on between this and alien three. And I feel like Anthony Quinn, he brings this sort of prestige and gravitas to the movie. Even when he's kind of playing this sort of bumbling character that Charles dance is having to sort of constantly just rag on and then actually kind of reveal himself as the main villain. It's interesting because apparently they wanted to get Alan Rickman for the Benedict role and they couldn't afford him. And so Charles dance comes in, but I feel like he brings something to the role that I was just like, I can't imagine Alan Rickman in this now that I've seen Charles dance, you know, the glass eye and the tribal tattoos and everything. And he's just like his own beast in this. And I love that.
Nic: As much as I love Rickman, there's a certain physical menace that dance has that Rickman doesn't have. I mean, even a diehard, it's his mind that's scary and his plans that are scary. He's not like a physical menace, but Charles dance is menacing here, but also as a third generation Sicilian when he calls Quinn, you spaghetti, slurping idiot. That pissed me off. I wanted to punch him in his fake eye.
Jordan: Yeah, I agree. I can't imagine a different actor in this role. And I just love everything about Charles dance and this and just the whole personality that he brings like in so few words.
Jackson: What did you guys think of Arnold's performance overall on this one?
Nic: This has always stood out, but now that I understand it more, it's just like I mentioned it before. If you really just have never heard of an Arnold Schwarzenegger and you're from another place where there's no such thing as Hollywood or movies and you hear him talk or say these lines, you might be like, God, this guy is not like a great actor or his line readers are kind of weird. But in the context of our world and looking at him on the screen, no one can do this. No one before him or since him can do what he's doing in this movie. He has this presence that is so singular and so special. It's incredible.
And I have to go back to what you were saying earlier, too. This feels like him at his peak. I know physically he was more imposing in the early 80s when he was coming off of the bodybuilding career and doing Conan and stuff. But just as a star, it feels like he's at his apex, even though this movie kind of flops.
The critics didn't love it at the time, even though it's been reappraised a lot more lately. But it doesn't matter. He's just on the top of the mountain in this movie.
Jackson: Yeah, you know, the fact that they were really centering in this movie around Arnold, you could tell. I mean, look at all the things about the lead up to this.
And it's it's clear. Arnold was like on top of the mountain. He was in his apex. I love his performance in this because, well, it may not be like a traditionally like compelling performance. It's him playing a character.
It truly is. He's like playing himself in a way. But I don't know. It's just like you can tell he's playing a character who is obviously a version of himself. It's it's it's like a secondhand thing. You know, it's he embraces his own sort of larger than life action hero persona while also showcasing sort of these comedic talents and leaning into these things. And and I'm like, you know, like how much was he in on the joke of this because his portrayal is both a celebration and a deconstruction of the characters that he's he's been playing throughout his career, you know.
So that was something that stood out to me. But then on top of that, we talk about him being sort of at his peak, as well as the lead. He this is the first time he's ever the executive producer on a movie. So he's he's got his hands in everything. And from what I read, this was where he really wanted to kind of soften his image and make himself someone that, you know, families could could see his movies, too. So he was really heavy on I need this movie to be a PG 13.
And so he was trying to keep it family friendly. And even down to the most of my new details, like the action figures, Arnold stepped in and told them the action figures cannot have guns. And I'd forgotten about that till a couple of years ago, because I had a few action figures from this.
And I was like, oh, yeah, that's right. This movie has tons of guns, but the action figures do not have any. Like each action figure has like a random item, like, you know, like a wrench or a chair or something that he he would just use that to like beat someone up. I don't know. But it was just funny. Yeah.
Jordan: Talking about going back to his performance, I think it is kind of astounding that he could be both spoofing himself and I guess pulling punches in a way about his persona in real life. But at the same time, Jack Slater is still a badass, you know, like you still root for him and can like look up to him as an action hero in his own right, you know, within the Jack Slater for universe. We're watching this kid, you know, questioning all the tropes and pointing them out to Arnold, but at the same time, it doesn't detract his charisma. It doesn't take away and like just make him kind of a goof. Like it would with some other actor. It's just amazing that he can hold both of those things in balance to me.
Nic: Yes. And I do think some of the best acting that he's done, even taking the the Arnold persona out of it is whenever he has to come to terms with the fact late in the film when he comes into our world that he doesn't really measure up and that he is just a character played by an actor and the real Arnold Schwarzenegger is there. But then he kind of comes to terms with it and he kind of finds this joy. It was really infectious. I love those scenes, too. I thought he was great in that.
Jordan: Yeah, we should mention he's not only playing the Jack Slater character. He has a moment as himself with Maria Shriver at the opening of one of the Jack Slater movies. It's meta in so many ways.
Jackson: Going back to the very beginning, there's this, you know, the scene that that is from actually Jack Slater three that we then realize that Danny is watching in the theater. This whole opening gives us this perfect sort of setup for Jack Slater. And it's it's almost like you really are just watching another Arnold movie. But I love how even that had its sort of like own dark tone. And, you know, introduces this other character as well, the the Ripper played by Tom Noonan, who is scary. You know, I do I do remember as a kid thinking he looked really freaky and thinking like, OK, it does its best of like towing the line between a movie that kids are a little bit like, oh, this is kind of intense. And but then not being really like a full on adult action movie.
Jordan: Isn't that amazing, though, just as you're talking about that, the Tom Noonan character and seeing Danny watch the Jack Slater three movie at the beginning, like you said, there's this kind of gritty darkness to the Jack Slater three movie and how that works so perfectly with the end of this movie where Benedict brings the Ripper character into the real New York. And it just right just it just matches and it flows so well, like that they set that up in the beginning and then they bring Ripper into the real life world and that like he's obviously a character that fits in this gritty New York and it's almost even scarier because he's this evil villain from a movie. But now like these villains can win in the real life and that whole idea. So yeah, I just I just love that whole that whole bookend, I guess. And.
Jackson: Once we kind of like come out of that and realize he's watching a movie is the introduction to Danny and seeing his relationship with Nick, the the projector played by Robert Prasky, who was an awesome actor as well. This just felt like it just felt very like lived in and like a very like cool setting for for this to take place, this old run down theater that's like obviously like about to be torn to the ground. But he's just living here in the middle of, you know, New York City and having to deal with I think we can all relate to this experience of going through like a rough day or some problems in your life and just wanting to escape into a movie. And so I think they just really nailed it with that whole setup and having him even as a parent. Now, I relate to this so much more as like, you know, worrying about my kids and like, am I there for them?
And am I there to create this like safe environment for them? And then Mercedes Raul, she she did an incredible job. And I feel like she was casted really well and makes you sympathize with this like single mom who's having to deal with all this as well.
Jordan: Immediately, too, like you don't get but one or two scenes with her. But I feel like like you said, there's this lived in aspect that I immediately know this kid and this mom and I sympathize with them just immediately, just through some very short scenes. Her kind of placating the principal and lying for this kid, but then like fussing at him and tell me what's going on. And just her she's late for work, like everything just in a manner of minutes. And yeah, I thought she was great in this.
Jackson: Another thing that I read was that the Hamlet scene, that was one of those those things that was one of the only scenes that carried over from the original Zach Penn, Adam Lef. Wow.
Jordan: So one of the only scenes.
Jackson: Wow, that's kind of surprising. And in my mind, I don't know, like when I think of At Last Action Hero, that's often the first thing I think of that scene is one of the most iconic. And I know we throw around the word iconic a lot.
But just the thing that you think of when when I think of this movie, I remember I had one of the action figures I had was the Hamlet Arnold action figure. That's great. I didn't realize they had that. Yeah, there was it was funny because they had a lot of other characters. But this this movie had like six different Arnold figures for like different things from the movie. Yeah.
Jordan: I mean, it makes sense with all the the different versions of himself that he's playing. And I mean, we talked about is Arnold in on the joke here? Like, obviously he's in on the joke and just the ridiculousness of, OK, we're watching the Lawrence Olivier version of Hamlet in, you know, our middle school class or whatever. And then he's he's zoning out into his fantasy world of Jax Slater, you know, Arnold playing Hamlet and shooting up everybody like smoking
Jordan: cigars and stuff to be. Or not to be. Not to be.
Jackson: So good. Yeah, a key part of that whole sequence that for me, I think just resonated all that much more was the whole voiceover. And I know I know it's not Don Laugh and Tain, but for like me as a kid, I feel like when I would imagine things or like role play or tell or come up with stories with friends or things like that, I was always like thinking about like what that voice was saying, like what that narration was like when we were talking about like a story or a movie we were making up in our heads. Just hearing Don Laugh and Tain or Percy Rodriguez or Hal Douglas narrating it. So that was just like drove that home. And I was like, I know exactly what what his experience is like.
Nic: The Caesar, of course, when he's back in Treery, New York, that's like the one highlight of his life. That's not the movie theater, but it's like he's still at the movie theater. He's always at the movies.
Jackson: He kind of like drives home the point of how fixated Danny is on Jack Slater and on these movies that, you know, every other part of his life, he's like looking at something in a in a classroom, you know, a lesson.
And he's seeing Jack Slater in this movie. So I thought that was a cool way to tell that. And I think that stuck out for a lot of other people, too.
Jordan: Well, it's also the escapism, too, that we talked about, right? And it's so relatable because of being in a classroom like that. And just he's obviously like trekking in really late, sitting in the back his head's down, he's bored. You know, this teacher is not connecting with these kids. She's referencing Lawrence Olivier in the 70s, like a Polaroid commercial and stuff like that.
Nic: That was Olivier's third wife, right? Playing the teacher.
Jordan: That was fun. That was interesting. Yeah, John Plowwright. But yeah, it just tracks with me for the escapism, too. It's like not only is he, you know, escaping the harshness of New York, but also just the boredom of being a kid and being talked down to by adults are just not connecting with school life either.
And obviously he doesn't want to be there and everything. So felt really relatable in that moment. And I love how it goes straight from him imagining that trailer. It's like an actual like movie trailer that we're watching inside a movie. And then later we're watching a movie within a movie.
So I don't know, it's just really great. I like how it goes from that school scene. It goes right out of that into him watching TV at home. And it like zooms out from the the TV. And then you see him just kind of staring blankly, mindlessly into the TV. So just yeah, even driving home more and more and more that he's just kind of checked out from reality.
Jackson: On top of that, we haven't talked about this yet. But the fact that he doesn't have a dad in his life. And so that's something that I think he is kind of seeking. You know, when he comes to these action movies and he's fixated on Jack Slater is like he's looking for a hero figure to give him inspiration, to give him hope, to give him these things that as he's at home and he's dealing with all these things in his life. And he's struggling day to day that when he realizes, oh, you know, I can go to the movie theaters and Nick is just going to let me in the back door because I don't have much money. And he's going to let me watch the movies. Like I think strikes a chord and really, you know, set up his arc really well as far as Danny Danny was concerned.
Nic: And I guess moving along in the plot, are we ready to be done with dreary New York so we can fully dive into Los Angeles world of Jack Slater for. Oh. He goes through, he's given this magic ticket and sure enough, he goes through the movie screen and he's in the movie. He's a part of the movie with Arnie, who is not Arnie.
He's Jack Slater and he just pops up right in the middle of this action scene. That thought was a lot of fun. It kind of reminded me of a lethal weapon scene mixed with Looney Tunes. What did you guys think about this big car chase through LA?
Jordan: Mixed with Terminator 2 because they even have that reference where they're driving through the culvert, right? Right.
Nic: Yeah, that's right. Yeah. What is that area called, Jackson?
Jackson: It's the LA River.
Nic: That's the LA River. Is it actually a river? Yeah. Do y'all just call it that?
Jackson: It's a river when there's lots of rain, but most of the time it just looks like the Terminator 2 scene. Right. Right. So yeah, I mean, it's like from the moment Danny arrives and Slater has been in this car chase with these thugs of all these, I mean, they're just throwing one action movie cliche at you after the next. You know, it's like the cop that's killed at Frank's house is two days away from retirement. And then you get this like lethal weapon stinger playing in the background.
And then a car chase through the LA River, what we're talking about. Al Leong, famous henchman actor from every movie you've ever seen, is one of the thugs that's chasing Jack and gets killed with an ice cream cone.
Jordan: He has the best one liner attached to it ever, where he's like,
Speaker 6: Hi, is that guy Kona Fraze? Yes.
Nic: Yeah, it's a double one liner. The ice that guy, it didn't quite get me, but when he said to Kona Fraze, that was it. I was dead.
Jackson: Yeah, it was great. And then even like Jack himself, also sort of a caricature that we're seeing from other movies as well. Some people had like complaints, I guess, about the magic ticket. For me, I thought that had that sort of that magic to it that I thought kind of made the movie feel a little bit more like, oh yeah, this is definitely along the lines of a, you know, William Goldman or you know, whatever, whatever the case, it reminded me of the Zoltar machine and big or something.
Nic: My only issue with it, and I think this is a part of the movie being kind of rushed again, is I thought the effects were a little lousy. I just kind of like this animated kind of like what they did with the lightsabers.
Originally in the first three Star Wars movies, they just animated them with literal like animation over overlaying on the screen, which looks better than this to me. As far as the concept, I love that. I thought it was great. I had no problems with it.
Jackson: And then, you know, once we get into the whole like premise of he's in the movie, I think what sets last action hero apart is that how clever and satirical it takes on these tropes and cliches, like in this action scene. I mean, it's poking fun at the exaggerated violence like you have, like there's at one point, one of the guys like flies into the ice cream truck and him hitting the truck is what makes it explode. So it's like, if you understand the context of like these movies that they're, that it's making fun of, it's just that much more enjoyable. I love that it's like constantly breaking the fourth wall or, you know, he's saying something that you wouldn't say, but it's like, it's the comedy element of it. And I love that aspect of it too. And I think that it's providing this commentary on storytelling and says a lot about what it means to be a movie lover because Danny is the movie lover that we are. And so that's what I loved about it.
I was a kid who loved movies. So this spoke to me long before I ever knew who John McTiernan was or Shane Black. And just on a message level, I feel like it says something about the value of being a hero, especially to a kid like Danny who doesn't have anyone in his life.
Nic: How much did you love the car exploding simply for the fact that it went into the air? So for the part where a car ramps up and explodes for no reason, that could be, that was great. Yeah.
Jordan: My favorite element of this car chase scene is when they they're throwing the dynamite from like the Acme crate, you know, it's got Acme written on it like wild, wild coyote. And the dynamite goes in the backseat of Jack Slater's car. And then I guess at some point he's like dodging an 18 wheeler. So they go up on like the two wheels, like the car's leaning on the side so that he can then like put out the dynamite with his fingers. Yeah.
Jackson: And then you get like the obvious one line sounded like it was definitely like either the Shane Black or maybe Carrie Fisher add on.
Speaker 6: Oh, I'm sorry to disappoint you, but you're going to lift, enjoy all the glorious foods life is the off of. Acme, shaving, premature ejaculation, and diversity wars. I love it.
Nic: I could see Carrie Fisher and Shane Black writing that together and then high-fiving, honestly, you definitely could have been either one of the first.
Jackson: It just ramps up from there because you go from that that chase scene to then the police station, which the police station, I feel like captures all the things we love about action movies and just twist them on their head and just kind of ramps it up. I mean, favorite scene in the whole movie.
Yeah. The way it tells you about Jack and his world, while also kind of reminding you of these things that you love about action movies, just the, yeah, it's the first scene where I feel like you, you see something that it represents like a heightened version of the real world, because we've just seen Danny in an actual police station in this like dingy, like, you know, New York City police station. And now we're in this like ultra modern, like hotel lobby department store looking police station that is like just a total play on like what we would see in this kind of world. So I thought that was kind of cool.
Nic: I loved everything. I loved the screaming police chief who's just blowing his top and spouting nonsense. But I also really, really loved that there's a cartoon cat that was brilliant. I love that voice by Danny DeVito. Yes. And he's so great. No one can do that lasciviousness like Danny DeVito. Well, he's creepy there. But the rest of the time he's really cool.
Jackson: Oh, yeah. The funny thing is like you mentioned the Lieutenant Lieutenant Decker played by Frank McCray, who I've seen him in other movies. And he when I first saw this, I thought, Oh, he's just going to be like screaming like that in all of his movies.
I thought he was going to be like, like Gilbert Godfrey, where it's just like that's his character. Right. But he's not. And this is just like something he put on for this. And I love just like sitting back and like, I had to watch it over and over to catch some of these things because there's like one part where he's yelling. And he's going so fast. But if you like listen to it, it's like he says something like, I've got the California raisins doing an all male review of the diary of Anne Frank. And you're like, what is going on here?
Jordan: He does say that. Yeah. It's like a Dudley Dewright quote. Yes.
Jordan: It was like another Dewright quote. Yeah.
Jackson: And then we got F. Murray Abraham playing John Practice. The Almedaise reference was spot on.
Nic: So it's so funny, too, that they actually went ahead and like forth while while that because I talked about that's a little bit way back on our surviving the game episode. I'm not even going to do a thing, Jordan, it's been so long now.
But sorry, I will survive in the game. So in that movie, I hated him because my first experience with him was Amadeus. And he is such a sleaze in that movie. He is just so hateable by the end of that film that I hate him in everything. When I see him, I'm like, damn, and it's F. Murray Abraham. Why? So soon as I saw him in this, I felt that way. And then that gets commented on in the film repeatedly, which is brilliant.
Jackson: Yeah. Danny's having your reaction. Yes.
Speaker 7: He's like, he killed Amadeus.
Jordan: He killed Amadeus.
Jordan: Yeah. And then it just gets better with the pairing up of the body, the buddy cop scenarios when they're all like lined up and they're being paired. So it's like the rabbi, you're going to go with this guy. The female cops going to go with the cat police officer. And it's just like, I love the way they set that up. Like that's how it happens. Yes.
Nic: It reminded me of your love for Who Framed Roger Rabbit, which I love that film too. There's even a moment where someone is going to get paired up with Bogey. And there's just some black and white footage of Bogart inserted there. Like he's going to be this partner that I really love too.
Jordan: It's so random, but so great. Yeah. That they throw all those things in.
Jackson: And then Danny comments on it and he's like, you're going to love it, Jack. We're perfect buddy movie material. I'll teach you to be vulnerable. You'll teach me to be brave.
That was great. Yeah. Yeah. The other scene that I think comes after is pretty shortly is the blockbuster video scene. You walk in and he's trying to prove to him that he's in a movie. So Danny's going in circles with Jack saying like, we're in a movie. We're in a movie. And so he takes him there to prove that he is Arnold Schwarzenegger actually. But then they go to the Terminator 2 video display and it's actually a poster of Sylvester Stallone in Terminator 2.
Nic: That was great. And I love that Angie Everhart was the clerk there. But it cracked me up. He's basically the Arnold Schwarzenegger of this world. And there's his ex-girlfriend right there at the video counter to rub that in.
Jordan: I love that Schwarzenegger who has like a storied past with his rival Stallone is like, oh, he's so great in this movie. He's a big action star like he's complimenting him.
Jackson: He says, he's fantastic. It's his best performance ever.
Nic: It's weird to hear him compliment Stallone with the kind of quiet few the two of them had.
Jackson: Yeah. The other thing I was going to bring up was the scene after this when they go to Whitney's house. Bridget Wilson's her whole like introduction to this. This was definitely, like I said, this is where my crush on Bridget Wilson started was in this scene.
Jordan: I mean, mine started with Billy Madison, but yeah, I mean, she will always be Veronica Vaughn.
Jordan: Still lives in my brain. Did you guys catch how like reminiscent her house was of the, it kind of had the vibe of like the lethal weapon to stilt house,
Speaker 7: where it's like up on the side of this hill. Yeah, that was something that I caught this time. But I just love the whole scene where basically, basically from when Benedict shows up and she's like kicking one of his henchmen's, you know, kicking his ass in there. And then Arnold shows up. That whole, that whole scene was awesome. Yes.
Nic: Even that truck reminds me of Riggs's truck from lethal weapon to it was awesome. Yeah. And you mentioned Michael Cayman before too. I love his music from the lethal weapon films and from the diehard films and also Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves, if you're a fan of his work, this is kind of his own love letter to his career because he repeats so many little motifs from his other films. So it's a lot of fun.
Jackson: It's almost like, you know, McTiernan and Arnold said told Michael Cayman, okay, look at everything you've done before and pull all of the most like memorable things that people talk about from your scores and just like mash them all up into like a big thing here. Yes, it was perfectly done. That is perfect for this movie.
The other thing I love from the scene is when Danny tries to get checked to square by holding up a card and asking him to say what's on it. Oh yeah.
Jordan: Which references the whole PG-13 aspect of this movie.
Jackson: Exactly. It's like, it's like, we know what we are here. Right.
Nic: So I was shocked when the The police chief is berating him, late in the film and he does drop an F-bomb. I was like, hey, wait, you can't do that.
Jordan: Right, I guess because it was so quick, they could get away with it, but I didn't realize until reading up on this that in 93, yeah, you couldn't drop the F-bomb in a PG-13 movie.
Nic: Sometimes you can get one, they got one here. Usually that's it, you get one. Like the last Guardians of the Galaxy movie, the first one in a Marvel movie, yeah, they got away with one.
Jackson: Well, one of my favorite set pieces in the whole movie is the rooftop funeral for Leo LeFart, which is just like, illustrates just how untouchable Jack is in his movies. In addition to the text of the film, the cinema language that McTiernan uses also calls back and references other movies. And I don't know if you guys caught this, but shot when Jack is falling off the elevator from the movie, it almost looks exactly like the shot where Alan Rickman is falling off the building at the end of Die Hard.
Nic: I did catch it and I have a note there about that. That whole jump off the building stone is McTiernan. It looks like his filming style, he references Die Hard. The scene for me was kind of like everything I like and don't like about the movie, because the whole fart thing, man, I was groaning at that when I was 13, like really fart for real. We're doing that.
Jordan: You didn't love when Charles Dance went up to the casket and pulled the guy's finger to set off the bomb, and then his watch started counting down?
Nic: Well, here's what I did love. Okay, so again, pros and cons. You didn't answer my question. Well, look, I will, I will. Okay, for me, it's like two pros and then a con. So I'm not like pro con, pro con, pro con. Because like I said, overall, I like the movie. I didn't like the fart thing, but then when he bends over to look at the watch, I had that exact time X. I had that watch and I broke it one day. So that won you over? It won me over totally.
I missed that watch. I had football practice one day and my mom forgot to pick me up and I ended up being out in the parking lot for like an hour by myself at school, just waiting for her to pick me up after football practice. So I took my time X off and I started throwing it up in the air and catching it because I was so bored and I missed it and it broke, it hit the pavement and sh- Oh no. All your mom's fault.
Right, no, I love you mom. But I liked that. I like the aesthetic of the watch and thinking about my old time X, but then the action scene is awesome. I love the whole action scene.
I love how they incorporate the La Brea tarpets into it. And then I also have a note for Jackson. Jackson, does the LA Hyatt really look like that? Cause it looks so cool. I love that roof.
Jackson: That's actually a hotel that's not in LA proper. I believe that hotel was down in Long Beach. They kind of like patchworked different things together. Like the La Brea tarpets are not there by that hotel. Just they filmed it and edited it together. So it looked like it was all in one place. But yes, that is a real hotel and it has changed a little bit over the years. They still have that.
Jordan: I just love how Arnold picks up the body when he's like, this man's not a dead. And then he starts carrying him through the crowd
Jordan: and everyone's pulling up the guns and everything. And then he slams the doctor like with the head of the dead guy.
Jackson: Yeah, so good. Yeah, Whitney is like driving up right at that moment to give Jack a change of clothes. And he's like, well, this is awfully convenient. So just totally again, reiterate, hey guys, this is a movie, right? This is, and then immediately after that, we get Benedict killing Vivaldi and then breaking the fourth wall, which I thought was kind of cool because it shows that he knows he's a movie.
So he's like, well, I'm talking to somebody because now I've got the ticket. That was just gonna be an interesting choice to lead into sort of the third act of the movie.
Nic: Yes, also the fact that F. Murray Abraham's character's name is Practice. I don't know why, but I really enjoyed that. Practice makes perfect.
Jackson: This point in the third act, they exit out of the movie and he convinces Jack to go with him. That one of the scenes, I know we talked a little bit about Mercedes' role earlier, but there's a scene that's just like tiny scene that I didn't really, I don't know, it didn't resonate with me when I watched as a kid, but now I watch it as an adult and it's like it just brings Jack's character to life and his arc a little bit more. And that's when he meets Danny's mom and they're just kind of sitting there in the kitchen talking when Danny wakes up. And it's this one scene that basically is like, you see him connecting with a woman in real life in an authentic way for the first time ever because you can imagine as a character in this movie, it's just like either women are throwing themselves at him or he has extremely just very superficial relationships with everyone. So he's sitting down and he's talking to her about all this stuff and it's just a very intimate, almost feels like a very like handheld moment. It was interesting.
Nic: Yeah, one thing that bummed me out about the ending of the movie, except also it made me wish there was a sequel to this is, he could have been Austin O'Brien's new dad. He and the mom, they had such a great thing going there. That's some chemistry going, yeah.
Jackson: There's actually an alternate ending where they kind of hint at that. And the alternate ending is like Danny and his mom walking away from the theater after all that has happened and he's left the theater and she's basically like, so what happened to your friend? And he's like, oh, he went back to LA and she's like, well, I thought it'd be nice to get dinner once in a while or something. And she's like, the three of us obviously.
And he's like, I think it can be arranged. And it was just like hinting at them having like like a family together or him like hooking his mom up with Jack Slater, just a very funny alternate ending that I guess they thought was like unnecessary.
Nic: Oh, I would have taken out at least one of those hair metal songs in the credits and replaced it with that, for sure. That would have made me so happy.
Jordan: I love the part though, and Danny is like, mom, you're turning him into a wimp. And just like this idea of your action hero into the real world now, he's like the rough edges are being softened by this real woman. You know, he's like sitting down with her at tea at the kitchen table and stuff.
Jackson: And that felt like maybe that was that like a commentary on like, oh, that's what we thought of manhood then. And that's, you know, we can't have our action heroes sitting down and having an intimate conversation. And it would just felt like a funny way to like kind of reflect on that. I agree. I think that's great. And I love that he says that Jack says, what's this? And she's like Mozart. And he's like, the guy practice killed.
Nic: Yeah, there was so much I liked about that. I love the name practice for the character. I hate F. Murray Abraham because in my mind, he killed Mozart and she's just like, yeah, yep, that's him. He killed him. Like he just recently murdered him. Mozart is a recent figure in history.
Jordan: The mom's eye and Jack's later and is like, oh, you like classical music? Like, oh, what a sensitive man, you know?
Jackson: Yeah, you can see her face sort of like light up in that moment. The missed opportunity, I feel like in the third act and they really hint at this and they kind of like, give this sort of like, oh, what if we did this? Is basically I would have liked to see it fleshed out where Benedict was gonna bring more classic movie villains into the real world because they really sort of hinted at that. And I know we get Ian McKellen stepping out of the seventh seal is death, which is clever.
And I think it works where it's done. But I was just like, man, this is borderline who framed Roger Rabbit with like villains and we could have gotten Freddie Krueger and King Kong and all these like, that was a really interesting premise to introduce, but then not follow through it. And again, like I said before, I love the movie, but it was just a really cool thing that they hint at that they obviously probably couldn't get all the rights, all the characters and do all that.
Nic: Right, that definitely was a moment where I felt like I was at the store and there was an item behind the display case and I couldn't have it and it kind of set me. But yeah, man, it was like, how are you bringing something up so cool?
I know you'll appreciate this, Jackson, because you post this stuff on Twitter all the time. Whenever they show the newspaper clipping of the movies that are in the theater at that time, which Dracula is on, that was so cool. I love that.
Jordan: Yeah, I agree. Why would you tease us with that and not pay off? So it is kind of a bummer that they don't go there.
Jackson: Yeah, then they go into the whole like movie premiere thing, which was an awesome way to like have Arnold call in all these favors and get all these celebrities there, which was really cool, because it really just made it more authentic. This part really brings home to me, I think how big of a deal Arnold was when this movie came out and how much of it kind of rested on his shoulders, because this was when the box office was news pretty much daily and the Oscars were sort of like a holiday. And yet you had a movie like this that was supposed to be the movie of the summer, but it wasn't based on a comic book.
It wasn't based on a TV show or a video game. It was just Arnold Schwarzenegger and everybody is out to see Arnold. And that was kind of what they were kind of based in the Jack Slater movie on as well. It was just an Arnold movie. And you've got the spirit of Planet Hollywood just living and breathing here. So it's like Damon Waynes, Chevy Chase, Jean-Claude Van Damme, MC Hammer, which a very meta moment, because if you remember that time, MC Hammer showing up on all these movie soundtracks was kind of a big deal. And he even calls it out. He says, hey, Arnold, he's like Jack Slater five, soundtrack, right?
It's done deal. And I love that. But then I also, I love there's these like subtle little like jabs like we said earlier about action movies and what Arnold's, when he's being interviewed,
Speaker 5: he says something like, in this movie, we only killed 48 people as opposed to the last movie where we killed 119 people.
Jackson: I love that that's a conversation he would have. Right.
Jordan: And then Maria Shriver is like, don't talk about the restaurant.
Jordan: Don't talk about Planet Hollywood. And he goes there and she
Speaker 5: interrupts and pulls them back. I love it. And then maybe the quote
Jackson: of the whole thing that just like sets it all off for me is when Jim Belushi, who's in red heat with Arnold says, yeah, I'm not an Arnold fan, but my girlfriend, he turns her on and I want to be there when it happens.
Nic: That was great. We've been talking about the part of the movie where Charles Dance figures out how to go to the real world and they chase him there. So you have so many great moments here where it's it's like the inverse of the earlier part where Austin O'Brien goes to Arnold's world. But I loved all this stuff too, where he has to deal with real world rules. You know, he can't just run and jump off of cars and do all this crazy stuff. He can't just get in a car accident and walk away like nothing happened.
I love the game of chicken he plays here, where earlier he plays a game of chicken with someone and it works perfectly. They swerve away and wreck. But here there's just a violent collision. And it's probably the best shot of the movie where he drives off in the car away from Austin O'Brien.
And it's a continuous shot. He doesn't cut. It's a great stunt also where the two cars just ram head to head and he doesn't die. He does get a little injured. The person in the other car flies out of the windshield. But I love that part. That was wonderful.
Speaker 7: MUSIC You would think that in this movie you would have the fictional characters coming out into the real world and sort of breaking free and that they would learn that, oh, reality has rules and consequences that the movie world doesn't. What Last Action Hero does is it's kind of the opposite. They show that basically in the real world it's an uncaring, just brutal world where basically it's harder to be a hero because as Benedict says,
Speaker 6: Here in this world, the bad guys can win.
Jackson: And he proves this whole thing when he goes and shoots this mechanic to try to see if it's going to have any consequences. And he's like, I've just shot the man and I'd like to confess. And people are just like, shut up down there. Right.
Jordan: I love that scene. I think it's so great. Charles dances so good. And he's like, and I did it on purpose. Yes.
Jackson: And he's learning in real time because he does that because he sees someone else get shot for their tennis shoes or whatever. And he's like, oh, I can get away with this here.
Jordan: It's an astounding concept or it's a deeper, darker concept than you would probably think this movie would take on. There's some heavy thematic weight here, guys. I feel like people are underrating Last Action Hero ever since it came out even till today. And we're just, we're mining the gold, unveiling how brilliant this movie really is.
Jackson: And the other thing we didn't talk about is that, so when Jack comes out into the real world and he's confronted with sort of the unreality of his true nature and he meets Arnold in person and he's like, you brought me nothing but pain. You start to realize, oh, it's like he's wrestling with not being a real person, but having these feelings. And I realized as I was watching it again this time, is that Danny is an anagram for Andy, which is Jack's son's name. And Danny is serving as a replacement son for Jack, as we kind of mentioned already. And Jack, in return, is sort of a surrogate father to Danny. So Danny's this consummate latchkey kid.
And Jack is learning through this whole process that his purpose is to inspire and to be this hero for boys and girls. And so at first he's like, what am I? I'm nothing. I am a character that someone else plays.
And then he realizes, no, I serve a purpose in this world. And that's something that completely went over my head as a kid watching this and watching it now is like, oh, yeah, there's there's layers to this.
Jordan: Yeah, man. All the layers. Look at this.
Nic: So the climax of the film where we have this big movie premiere, like you said, and now the fake Arnold, Jack Slater, has to try to rescue the real Arnold and the two interact, which is about as meta as the film gets. It's a lot of fun with that old 90s kind of a split screen technology of the same actor in the same scene acting against himself, which you got a lot of a couple of years before and back to the future, too.
Jackson: Oh, I thought it was great. I thought that, you know, you got to see Arnold kind of try to create a separate character, which being himself, OK, I'm going to be one dimensional, I'm going to be focused on my business and my celebrity and all that.
And the Jack Slater character is the one where he's a little bit more emotional and he's actually reacting to himself. It was good. It was as good as he could do. It's kind of the same vein of like what Van Damme did with Double Impact is he has he only has so much room to move in creating these sort of separate characters just by looking the same. So what I thought was interesting is so the final rooftop showdown, we get that kind of reprise of the Jack Slater three scene, but now in the real world.
Jordan: Yeah, I love that they bring back the Ripper, obviously, Tom Noonan, super menacing. His face looks like it's been melted by acid or something. Like he just has this gnarly look to him. He's got that axe, you know, which is super wicked. Just the fact that, like you said, mirroring the Jack Slater three scene where Jack now has to save Danny from the Ripper. You know, he gets shot and we see the real world breaking through here. And like he can actually die.
This is not just going to be a flesh wound. I love the book in here and like how it matches the beginning and the darkness of the New York City creeping in to Jack Slater. I love all this stuff right here.
Nic: For me, this whole sequence, like some of some of the issues that I do have with the movie, I feel like peek out a little more here, but also there's stuff I really like, like a love where Jack Slater does really get to be a real hero here, where he saves Austin O'Brien from falling to his death.
I really enjoyed that. I thought that Arnold did a great job of usually he's this big, huge guy, right? He's beating the crap out of everyone and blasting everyone away in his movies. He can even beat a space alien, whose main reason for existing is hunting things. He can even beat that. He's very rarely the underdog.
So to see him kind of lose confidence in himself earlier in the movie and then get filled with confidence and feel Austin O'Brien with confidence that, hey, grab my hand. I can I really can save you. I'm going to save you. And then he does it. And I found that to be kind of exhilarating. But then I kind of found the editing again.
Once Charles Dance shows up to be kind of choppy. I felt like you could tell that they kind of had to rush his footage together there. So I didn't totally love the climax, but there were definitely some parts, like I mentioned, that I did like a lot.
Jackson: I like the call back to the exploding eyeball that they use there. The thing that I liked here that really has hit me a little bit more now, watching it as an adult is the scene after Danny commandeers the ambulance and drives Jack back to the theater when he realizes like he's not going to be able to survive in the real world. Then death shows up, you know, Ian McKellen playing death from the seventh seal. And there's this cool twist where basically the grim reaper ends up being an ally to them, showing him, hey, you know, you're looking in the wrong place to save him.
Yeah, it was a scene that was cool to me. At the very end, what I took away from this was basically that it was harder to be a hero in the real world than it is to be a hero in the movie world. But in the end, Danny gets to be the hero in the real world where he lives. And then Jack gets to go back to the movies where he could be a hero for kids like Danny who need him.
And Jack even tells Lieutenant Decker when he gets back into the movie, he says, I don't want to shoot people anymore. So he's wrestling with this thought of like, what kind of hero am I? What am I teaching kids?
Or, you know, our kids watching me. And this kind of blew my mind because it was a thought that hadn't settled with me ever before watching this on a deeper level. It just really resonated with me.
Jordan: The fact that maybe Arnold himself through this movie is wrestling with his own career and his own persona as an action hero. That's pretty astounding.
Nic: I also I'm a huge Ingmar Bergman fan. So with this movie's huge love of cinema, I really loved the seventh seal becoming a part of the film and death walking out. But also my mind was kind of blown by Ian McKellen that he still feels the same way here that he does now. Like the presence is exactly the same.
Right. He comes out with so much authority like this ageless wizard figure, but his a wizard of death, obviously he comes out, he kills the poor guy in the hot dog at the hot dog stand. He is kind of frightening.
Yeah. But then as you said, I like that he ends up kind of being their ally. He doesn't even have Jack Slater on the books because he's not from his world. Also, no, Brian's not meant to die yet. So he's fine there. I did enjoy all of that stuff. That that really was everything I loved about the movie was there.
Jordan: Does it kind of break your brain that Jack Slater comes out of the movie world and he's no longer this invincible action hero, but death comes out of this seventh seal and he can touch a dude at the hot dog stand and make him die. And like, I don't know that he's still death, basically. He's not just, I don't know, an actor playing death.
Nic: It's funny you mentioned that, Jordan, because we kind of a shorter turnaround for this episode than usual, because there is an last action hero video game. And usually I try to play the video game if there is a tie in for the film that we cover. And I'm glad I didn't have time for it because I've heard that game is awful. I've never played it. But I also I have the seeds of an idea for one of my little nihilism monologues with death's character here and how his power even transcends the worlds of film and then the real world. He still has the same power. So I noticed that too, Jordan, and I did think about it. I just didn't quite have enough time to think about it more.
Jordan: Well, you saved us from a nihilistic rant. I don't know if it's good or bad.
Jordan: It's probably good because fans are looking for it.
Nic: It might be good for this episode.
Jackson: Another shout out I wanted to give was Dean Semler, who was the cinematographer on this, who did a lot of like Westerns and action movies in the 80s. And just just shot the hell out of this movie. I just feel like he was a nice secret component to what McTaren did and in kind of differentiating the two worlds.
Nic: Jackson, I'm glad you mentioned that because that was really my last big note for this movie. I know you're a big fan of city selectors and obviously was a cinematographer for city selectors. But also a movie that I think is an underrated action gym from the late 90s. It's one of only two movies that he directed, and that's Firestorm from 1998. I know a lot of people don't think well of that movie, but I think it's pretty good for what it is.
How we long. It's his big star moment that didn't really pan out. But Dean Semler can shoot a movie and I think he could direct well, too. I wish he would have had more shots to do that.
Jackson: Yeah, Dean Semler did Mad Max 2, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. He did the two Young Guns movies and most importantly, he did Waterworld.
Nic: Yep, I was saving that for last.
Jordan: It all connects.
Nic: But Jordan, guess what else he did the cinematography for? What's that? Trojan War.
Jordan: Oh, there you go. There you go. That is why that movie is brilliant and iconic and why you should love it.
Jackson: Jennifer Love Hewitt's Supremacy, right?
Jordan: That's right. Well, Friedel, what's up?
Nic: I'm still mad at Jordan for making me watch that movie.
Jackson: One other thing I wanted to tackle with you guys also was the marketing campaign of this movie. We kind of touched on a little bit because Arnold was pretty hands on with, like I said, the executive production duties. But one of the things I loved about this movie was it's sort of overly confident marketing. It was heralded as the big ticket for 93 all the way through like its posters and trailers. It had an awesome teaser trailer. In addition to the toy line, they had like Nick said, the video game. There was a Burger King cross promotion campaign for the movie with these like lenticular cups that you would like move the outside layer of them. And it looked like there was like a scene like moving on the cup. And it had a commercial with Dan Cortez.
So how 1993 is that? And then there was also this giant inflatable jack Slater that they actually show in the movie where he's like holding a shotgun and dynamite. And that was used in the film, but then it was also used in Times Square prior to the movie, like in the promo. But after the 1993 World Trade Center truck bomb attack, they removed it. And then they just used it for the Cannes Film Festival. They had it on like a barge out there, which is kind of bizarre to see. The last action hero.
Yeah, at Cannes Film Festival, there's like this giant jack Slater like out in the water. But then the most extravagant marketing move that they did was Columbia Pictures spent $500,000 to have last action hero slogans plastered all over a NASA space shuttle. But the problem was the space shuttle was scheduled to launch in May of 93. But then whatever happened, there was some extenuating circumstances that basically delayed the launch several months.
So it went out after the movie had already premiered. So it was like, we wasted all that money for nothing. So we can ask like the questions of like what went wrong. But I think the main things behind this movie, like when we talk about like, well, why was it a bomb or what happened? The biggest thing was Universal moved Jurassic Park to June 11, 1993. Actually, after Sony had decided on the June 18 release for last action hero and Schwarzenegger, he says that he tried to persuade the producers to postpone the release till later in the summer, but they were like, no, we're going to lose too much money.
We wait every weekend that we lose in the summer, we lose money. And so they decided to stick with it. And then ultimately they ended up going right up against Jurassic Park.
And and it just really killed them. The film also had like a ton of negative publicity because there was a preview screening in May prior to the movie coming out. And there was a lot of negative sort of word of mouth around that because the film actually wasn't even done. McTuran says they were editing the movie literally right up until like days before the premiere. So whatever test screening went out, it was an incomplete version of the film. And then on top of that, last action here was the first film to be released with the Sony Dynamic Digital Sound System and only a handful of theaters in the country. Had those. So it was not even really like the sound wasn't up to part of what it was supposed to be in its presentation. Yeah.
Jordan: So many elements just basically dooming this movie from the get go, which really sucks. Because I mean, it's such a special movie. It's a special concept, special presentation of Arnold at his peak.
Like we said, I don't know. I'm so glad that it does seem like over time it's found its fan base and that there are people out there that really appreciate this and love it. And it's kind of a cult classic in a way. Yeah.
Jackson: I mean, every time I talk about this online, there's like people that just like pop up and they're like, oh, I love that movie. Last action hero and people recognize. Yeah, it didn't do well when it came out. But they're like, yeah, it was actually a good movie.
I actually love this movie. And it just it's a bummer because Arnold just had this documentary come out about his life. And he actually talks in it about Last Action Hero. There was like a sound bite where he said he was embarrassed. And he felt bad for like a week after it came out or whatever. And he was like, it really hit him and he took it hard. And it's just like, I hope he realizes that it has kind of found its audience over the years.
Nic: Yeah, I'd say so. I have not heard someone talk about being a disappointment for a long time. It seems like most people who mention this movie are mentioning it with affection.
Jordan: For McTiernan, it seemed like it kind of derailed his career for a bit there. Or he was, you know, it was a big disappointment for him where he just kind of. Stopped making movies for a while.
Jackson: Yeah, I think McTiernan, after this, he kind of got a resurgence of confidence because of the success of Die Hard with the Vengeance. Yes.
Nic: And then after Die Hard with the Vengeance, I really enjoyed his The Thomas Crown Affair from 99. I think that's a really it's like the rare, like really sexy movie with like older adults with Pierce Brosnan and Renee Russo. I like that film.
And then we've covered the 13th Warrior. I enjoy that movie for the most part, even though I don't think it's great. I do enjoy it, but I wish I had his cut of the film. I wish that that could happen. And I know that I am far from alone in that. If we could get a McTiernan cut of the 13th Warrior, that would make my year. Yeah, for sure. And then he did Rollerball and Basic and he has never made another movie. It's been 20 years since his last
Jordan: film, Basic, which is a stinker. And then he wants to jail. Hey, he's out of jail now, I think. I think he's out of jail. Yeah. So what would you give this film?
I'll start with Jackson. I don't know what your scale is. I can't remember from the speed episode. But if you had to rate this movie, how would you rate it?
Jackson: I think I would give this like a 4.5 out of five. If I was going to give it an easy round rating, it's not perfect. But the little things that it has little issues or holes in it. I just love so much of it that it just kind of outweighs that, you know, it's the story of Danny and the deeper level. You know, I feel like it's a reflection, not just on the plot that it's telling, but the power of movies as well. I think that we can all relate to sitting back in a dark theater and kind of letting the Incredible and images just kind of draw us in and I think that's really what it was talking about was like the power of movies to do That
Jordan: yeah, I'm with you there. I don't know if I'd go as high. I do love this movie I'm kind of at a four out of five. I see some of the issues I do think at the ending it doesn't lose me It doesn't like kill the movie for me, but it does get a little like schmaltzy little like two Hamfisted or whimsical at the end there It loses some of that cheekiness and some of that darkness and I mean I think for good reason To bring home that message you're talking about but yeah, otherwise. I just adore this movie. I think it's really fun Really smart.
Nic: Yes, I really love that we cover this movie almost for its 30 year anniversary We're recording this on June 29th I believe that were maybe 11 days past the 30th anniversary of this film releasing in North America With that said, I'm a little bit lower than than both of you I don't have the previous affection for the movie obviously and I have my issues with it But I will say I looked at my letterbox score for the film I rated every arnie film I had seen at one point and I gave this a five out of ten I'm gonna go up a point I'm gonna give this a solid six out of ten and I put that on the high scale closer to a seven than a five I did enjoy the film for any problems. I had with it. I had a lot of fun watching it when it was over I wasn't disappointed that we covered it. I was glad I got to go back to it. So I enjoyed
Jordan: it I'm glad that we both enjoyed this as much as we did and it wasn't another hatefest like our
Jackson: desperado Plus I was gonna bring up just like our speed episode We got to end this movie with the credits rolling up I don't know if you guys remember we were talking about how that's something that you don't always get anymore with just the credits rolling with the music over the movie and we got the awesome sounds of ACDC's big gun Which like most big blockbusters of the time a key component of the four quadrant strategy Was the soundtrack what I heard was that Arnold Schwarzenegger? put all of his chips in to make the soundtrack as big as he could by going and talking to ACDC himself and Approaching them to be on the soundtrack and do the song for the movie and then it just pays off even more because then you get this Hilarious and I really recommend you go on YouTube and look up the music video for big gun Because Arnold Schwarzenegger has a full-on cameo in it and not only that but he ends up wearing an identical like outfit to Angus from ACDC and Doing sort of like his signature move where he's like skipping across the stage and it's it's hilarious And it's one of those movie promotional times that will never happen again But it's just so indicative then of the 90s. You sold me.
Jordan: I think I will check that out I will have to check that out speaking of the soundtrack quickly mentioned the mega death song At the beginning of Jack's later for as they're zooming in on that coastal villa the angry again I don't know. It's just it's iconic. It's classic. It just sets the tune. It's great.
Jackson: Can I throw a hypothetical at you guys? Go for it. So like I said already, I've already kind of expressed how much I love this movie But one thing I I've said in the past thrown back and forth with friends when they're like well What could have given last action hero a bigger chance? What's something that would have like put it over without just moving it from away from Jurassic Park altogether And I said the one thing that I could have seen working and again, I'm not an Austin O'Brien hater I felt like he did a decent solid job in this movie But I thought if you put Macaulay Culkin, I knew it role Danny Madigan in 1993 a Schwarzenegger Culkin movie would be as four quadrant a blockbuster You could probably get and you would have just like Exploded the box office.
Nic: That's something I've thought of and for me thinking about that put to me on this tangent that I used to have In the mid 90s where I thought what if Macaulay just kept going? What if he didn't stop? What if he became this huge star on into adulthood and I feel like what you just laid out is the logical step He would have taken leading up to that.
Jordan: Yeah, apparently he was making the good son at this time They did seek him out for it, but yeah, he was tied up with that movie I don't know. I have a hard time kind of imagining him as this rough around the edges Disillusioned glass key kid, but I mean, I guess it's not that far of a cry from Home alone where he's literally just by himself in this big house But you know, he's just I guess he has a polish to him that Otherwise Austin O'Brien doesn't he has like a kind of a grungier vibe to him. He's got like the Scabs on his fingers. I guess from like having been in fights I like that detail that they don't really explain. I know it's kind of hard for me to imagine him Embodying this this role just that he kind of has like a cleaner cut look to him
Nic: Well, Jordan think about how Macaulay Culkin looks now though. Yeah, I guess they could have grungy to them up I don't know speaking of connecting things Jordan. Do you have a movie connection? I do I did one again I'm on on fire with connections.
You're on fire, man. I'll just go with yours. I got nothing So Jordan, what was the last movie that we covered? Desperado Desperado what was the movie that the director of that film Robert Rodriguez did afterward immediately afterward? It was from dust till dawn
Jordan: Jordan Okay, there we go.
Nic: We did talk about that from dust till dawn brings back Selma Hayek as a totally different character At first it simply appears that she's a beautiful woman who likes to strip and dance with snakes But she's more than that Jordan. Do you remember what she is?
Jordan: I mean, I do but I don't know if I want to spoil that for you.
Nic: Oh, okay Spoiler for a movie from 28 years ago. If you don't want to hear the reveal of who her character is just fast-forward 20 seconds She's a vampire. She's a vampire in that movie. She is a vampire and she's like a kind of a mastermind vampire She's really evil and that's who she is We covered Desperado then you get from dust hold on and that happens now We're covering a little movie called last action hero which has a cameo pretty major cameo By Angie ever heart Jordan. What movie did we cover with Angie ever heart Bordello of blood?
Jordan: That's right. She's a vampire I see your connection sir. I would I did want to say she I enjoy her presence here as the blockbuster clerk way more than I did
Jordan: anything she did then Bordello blood Damn it.
Nic: You stole my victorious pronouncement of her identity in Bordello of blood. That's right Jordan She's a mastermind vampire in the ex-girl bull awful Bordello of blood featuring a non-stop riffing Dennis Miller who ruined the entire production of this film by Insisting it can only be shot on weekends.
Yes, that's right. That's right By the way Angie ever heart fluent in French and avid skydiver a lot of a lot of things about miss ever heart that are interesting And I love her candy
Jackson: One other sort of like vague or loose connection that's brought in last action here We're both Columbia Pictures releases.
Nic: Hey, yeah, I like it Well, we have talked for a while, but we do have to at least touch upon our punishment film here that was Schwarzenegger's lone directorial effort a made-for-tv version of Christmas in Connecticut
Speaker 6: I Love romantic comedies so made one myself Christmas in Connecticut directed by Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Nic: You've a problem with that Jackson had you seen that before did you only watch that? For this episode.
Jackson: I only will watch that for this episode I had heard that he had directed the Tales from the Crypt episode before But until a couple years ago, I was completely unaware of Christmas in Connecticut So there's a made-for-tv Christmas romantic comedy and remake of a 1945 barbers Stanwyck Dennis Gordon movie of the same name I mean a lot of familiar faces. This one has Diane Cannon Chris Christopherson and Tony Curtis. I almost wondered if everyone just sighed on just to be a part of Arnold's big directorial feature debut because it does not have a lot going for it In the original movie the main characters are writer for a magazine who has a column that she writes about her farm and family and cooking and Then this one character sort of in this movie is sort of a Martha Stewart Rachel Ray TV cooking personality and In both movies, they're forced to create some sort of like lie about their like life for a hero That is Chris Christopherson's case. He was like this ranger who saves a kid from a blizzard and in the original I think Dennis Gordon is like a soldier that's coming home and It was a rough one to get through.
Nic: Oh man, that's funny. See I didn't think this was good I thought it was pretty bad, but it wasn't really tough for me to get through there were some things in this movie I did enjoy
Jackson: it was funny at part There was a few characters that I just kind of found it irritating because like I know that Tony Curtis's character is supposed to be Sort of a comic relief, but he comes off as grading to me
Nic: like yeah, I'm with you I love Tony Curtis I mentioned Operation Petticoat an abnormal amount on the show, but I always loved him since I was a kid from that movie He's like a hot. Yeah, some like it hot. He's so great in that But his energy is just so weirdness. Tell me if this bothered you Jackson So in this movie he is Diane Cannon's character's boss and he's always yelling a lot But they have to fake like they're married for this special and Chris Christofferson who is This guy that used to live in the city and he's actually very intelligent and now he's this guy that rescues people up in the mountains So he's here. Yeah, they're filming this special with him He is not meant to know that Diane Cannon's character. I actually can't cook and it's just basically an actress So Tony Curtis's character is supposed to be married to Diane Cannon's character in this fantasy But Tony Curtis just takes it too far and it's creepy like he has no reason to not want Diane Cannon and Chris Christofferson to get close. He has this weird jealousy thing going on that Tone off really really badly. Did you feel the same way?
Jackson: Yeah? Yeah, they had the subplot where he's like interested in her Or maybe just wants to sleep with her But then they they kind of move away from that quickly and it was just a weird sort of subplot One thing that I did want to bring up Did you guys catch the Arnold reference where the actor who's supposed to be Diane Cannon's son? Is going upstairs and he says I'll be back But it actually kind of sounds like an ADR of like Arnold's voice dubbed over it.
Nic: Yeah, that was weird I caught it. I caught it. Yeah, I have a note about it
Jackson: Very strange moment So one thing that I will give this movie is that it does sort of Comment on the core lie of reality television like long before it was a thing Like it feels like it's saying something about reality television in a way.
Nic: Yeah for sure and it's really early on I mean you're talking early 90s way before reality television really came into prominence It's already kind of stripping it down, which I enjoyed a lot and all the screwball comedy Not all of it some of the screwball moments in the movie did get a laugh from me But the biggest lap I had in this entire film is when Tony Curtis and Christopherson, which by the way I know that he's a good actor. I mean he got nominated for a Golden Globe and a star is born Even in the blade movies. I think he does a great job But it cracks me up that he's basically asleep in this film He sleepwalks through basically every line that he speaks except for one He and Tony Curtis are in the woods and they start talking about women and again Curtis is being a huge creep And he's talking about his encounters with women sexually He says that he gets the women nae like a horse and Chris Stofferson kind of shrugs confused me says I never got a name. I forgot about that line I'm saying I never got a name and that gruff Christopherson voice where he's kind of puzzled like Women can nail like horses. I've never heard of this.
Jackson: I don't know that cracked me up Christopherson is actually I mean he's a great actor and other things and I feel like he just isn't given a lot in this movie
Nic: No, he just kind of stands there for most of the film. I maybe that's why he's not very enthusiastic something else that cracked me up to is We didn't really talk about it here and it's not really talked about a lot now because it's been a long time But he was kind of famously a horn dog back in the day He has a lot of lines around his bodybuilding years of a sexual nature of things that he said and things that he did and I couldn't help but think about that in the way that he shoots dying cannon here Who is looking really great for being in her 50s in this movie? She looks great. I think I like dying cannon I was kind of wondering why do I feel this affection for and then I realized as a religious person She was like a pretty Christian lady for my childhood because she was in a lot of like specials like prayer specials and things She's like a really devout Christian I totally forgot about and that's what I remembered her from but you can tell that Arnie directing her like maybe he had a crush on her Right when he came to America and he's like really really horny for her because there are so many shots of her bending over and Christopherson being like ooh And there's one part where she climbs up to decorate the tree and just puts her butt right right in his face And they just lay girl on that for so long and all I could think of is Arnie like behind the camera Just watching her and be like oh, yeah, she looks fantastic. Yes.
Jordan: Yes Keep it going one more tick
Nic: So that's the crack me up I mean, it's not a good movie but I laughed through it and That aesthetic there that made for TV early 90s aesthetic, which is a lot different This is basically it was on TNT when it was released. What year was that was at 92? Was that right before this came out Jackson?
Jackson: Yeah, that was right in between Terminator 2 and last section here Yes, April 13th 1992.
Nic: What a weird turn for
Jackson: Arnold It's like he almost just wanted to get into the director's guild and so he's like what can I make like somebody give me a script
Jordan: Right such a strange thing to have between T2 and last action here It's weird for sure.
Nic: It seemed like he was having fun making it even if it's not great I do like that this hasn't vanished like you can rent it online and the print isn't all jacked I'm assuming they shot this to video, but it's not all jacked up. It looks okay So hey if you want to watch the movie Arnold directed it's not great, but as a curiosity I think it's pretty fun I think I feel like I would watch this again late at night with somebody else So I'll give it a four out of ten.
Jackson: I'd say that's fair I would I would match your four out of ten. I've definitely seen worse
Jordan: if our listeners can't tell I did not watch it So I can't comment.
Nic: That's right. Even though we were both punished with it I took the hit for you Jordan once
Jordan: again once again Well, let's see who takes the hit this time For our trivia
Nic: battle Oh Jordan Jordan, so I am picking the next movie. I don't know if you have a punishment of mind. I do I do It's a very unfortunate film that I haven't seen and again It's a case where I feel like I'll wash it either way I'm not entirely invested in beating you But I had a lot of fun writing my questions because I'm a huge lethal weapon fan I had all four movies on VHS in the 90s. I watched them so much love them could quote him Love Michael Cayman soundtrack.
I even in you know this. I even love the fourth movie. I love them all man Yeah, so all my questions are based on the lethal weapon series. What do you have for me?
Jordan: All right, so we talked about the Shakespeare nod with Arnold playing Hamlet So from the movie quiz book that I beat you with or we tied with last time I'm using Bard influence Shakespeare on screen. So these are all questions about Shakespeare movies
Nic: I just want to say we've been doing this for more than four years as far as podcasting together Last episode was the worst trivia battle we've ever had we got no questions, right neither
Jordan: one of my It might continue here we still see
Nic: I really hope not I guess you go first ask ask me one of these questions for your book
Jordan: All right, which Hollywood star? slipped on doobly and hose to play the lead in Franco's FRL is 1990 adaptation of Hamlet a Val Kilmer be Michael Douglas C Mel Gibson or D Sigourney Weaver Mel Gibson and you are Correct
Nic: yay already off to a better start All right, here you go, and I'll mention I wrote all of these Jordan. I wrote them just for you number one Oh, and by the way, we are doing phono Jackson, which means each of us get one chance to get Jackson away in and help us
Jackson: Okay, I'm gonna try my best this time guys last time. I felt like I was gonna have to perform film shake sepicoe on myself after that
Jordan: I'm gonna remember to ask you for help this time
Nic: Film shake sepicoos you're one of the only people that I think that's fit to commit it Jackson You've got to really be dedicated to the 90s Yeah, who played the incredibly dastardly lead villain who sprouts the incredibly dastardly catchphrase Diplomatic community in lethal weapon to Jordan was it a Luton Vandergluut B Joss Acklin C Charlottes Copley or D ethal Fougard.
Jordan: I'm gonna phono Jackson on this one. I don't know
Jackson: okay I'm like 99% it was Josh Acklin
Nic: Ding ding ding you do not have to commit film shakes Oh, I can't even try to pronounce the word yes, you got so Jackson Thank you, Jackson Since you knew the answer to this this guy played the opposite of his character from lethal weapon to you and a beloved children's Movie, do you know the answer to that? Get your samurai sword back out Jackson he was the kindly Hans in the mighty duck movies.
Jordan: Oh I love mighty ducks I've disgraced my dojo
Nic: That's alright, that's all I might have to call on you so you'll have another chance for redemption which got Jordan All right, Nick.
Jordan: I know you love Rom-coms from the 90s just like I do So here's one tying into Shakespeare With which song does Heath Ledger serenade Julia Styles during soccer training in 1999's taming of the shrew update ten things.
Nic: I hate you're just too good to be true Can't take my eyes off of you
Jackson: You got it you got it and did you know that Heath Ledger was one of three actors who would become Batman villains who sang that in another movie.
Nic: I did know that that is so crazy The first time I saw that it blew my mind
Jackson: Michelle Pfeiffer in the fabulous Baker boys and Christopher walk-in I think in the dear hunter
Nic: nice I first encountered that trivia when we covered hot shots because there's a scene Spoofing the fabulous Baker boys and I saw that bit of trivia attached when I was researching the movie so crazy All right, Jordan, you've used your phone to Jackson. So now you're on your own number two This actor played Captain Murphy in all four lethal weapon movies as well as Captain Healy and demolition man and Sergeant Rieger in Predator 2 so I'm giving you a lot here. Was it a Paul Gleason be Stephen Cahan See Peter Thompson D. Jeffrey Quinn. Is it Paul Gleason? Incorrect, I made up all these answers but the correct one it was be Stephen Cahan. He got me sir
Jordan: next question Which rocker turned his dulcet tones to narrating? Troma films 1996 Schlock Shocker Tromeo and Juliet Was it a Ozzie Osborne? B meatloaf C Gene Simmons or D. Lemmy.
Nic: I don't know. Uh, it says shock rocker I guess Osborne and Gene Simmons would be considered shock rockers. I feel like the answer is Lemmy for some reason Gene Simmons It was actually Lemmy. Damn it. I knew it was Lemmy. I remembered that Nice, nice Alright, well if you miss this one, I still win since it's two out of three So you have to get this right to stay alive Okay, all right.
I feel good about your chances though. All right number three this bastard Not only played Jack Travis the kid killing villain from lethal weapon three, but the dastardly lead villain Don Rafael Montero In 1998's the Mask of Zorro. Was it a Stuart Wilson? B Franco Nero C Tom Bauer or D Carlos Gomez Hmm was it Carlos Gomez? Incorrect. You lose a trivia. It was Stuart Wilson.
Jordan: All right Once again, I failed
Nic: you lose no matter what but let me ask you this one question of the previous answers Which one is lethal weapon director Richard Donner's cousin? No idea. It's Stephen Cahan. He put him in like all of his movies He's in Superman as a police officer. He's great. I really like that guy
Jordan: See, did you just know that I'm not a huge lethal weapon guy? That's why you did this to me
Nic: Well, that's that's a side bonus but all the Michael Cayman it had me in such a lethal weapon mood and Shane Black So exactly exactly so I had to go lethal weapon.
Jordan: So what's our pick for next time and my punishment?
Nic: All right, so I'm going into a little theme here with the picks that I make this year I'm picking all movies that are having their 25th anniversary So it's all 1998 films and I'm trying to cover the movies that I saw in theaters twice And it's funny. I'm not gonna get to what I think was the best movie that year which was the Truman show I don't think that we're gonna get to cover that this year unless someone else picks it but another movie that I saw twice in the theater besides the X files which we just covered and Did I see a lethal weapon for twice? I do believe I did well We probably won't get to that either but probably the second best movie for me that year 1998 is saving Private Ryan Haven't watched it in a long time. I feel like for the 25th anniversary which is coming up I really want to go back and revisit it plus. I just got the 4k version So I gotta watch it. So my pick is saving Private Ryan. It's a big one Yeah, I feel like it is and also it's the movie that famously if you listen to all their episodes It's would killed my interest in ever watching the Oscars again Coming to the realization that Harvey Weinstein bought the Oscars for his movies It killed it the whole Shakespeare in love beating which it's an okay movie, but I mean come on come on come on
Jordan: I'm getting that all right Calm down calm down. All right. So what would be the punishment you're gonna pair with us?
Nic: Well saving Private Ryan it brought about this renaissance of war films all of a sudden war films were back They had kind of died out in the the 60s and now here they were again And you kind of had some movies that did really well like black Hawk down by Ridley Scott did great at the box office We were soldiers by with milk Gibson fairly big hit a movie that I enjoyed even the Patriot with milk Gibson I feel like kind of comes out of the success of saving Private Ryan But then that fat died it died just kind of like how superhero movies are dying out now Just like Western's died the the war films resurgence kind of died again and unfortunately for this film It came right after that happened and completely flopped and it might suck and I always felt bad for it So I'm gonna wash it in fact shoot Jordan if you don't have time to wash this that's fine I'll recap it for you that movie is the great raid the great raid So this came out in 2005 They tried to market it and you could tell even in the marketing like they didn't have confidence in it like damn it No one cares about war movies anymore. I've always felt bad for it But not quite enough to wash it, but hey, I'm gonna wash it now and it's your punishment.
Jordan: All right Oh John doll directed this I like John doll with Red Rock West Jordan.
Nic: He also did Joy ride from 2001 with Paul Walker joy ride Jordan I
Jordan: know you love some Paul Walker. Good Lord. I watched the the great raid.
Nic: Why not? All right, well, we're set next episode 1998 saving Private Ryan is the main film and then is the punishment 2005 is a great raid.
Jordan: All right Well Jackson, thank you so much man for being with us this time You want to just tell people where they can find you what you've been up to lately I'm
Jackson: still on Twitter just tweeting about movies tweeting about my opinions and all sorts of stuff that I'm doing I usually am Sharing if I'm gonna be on another podcast. I'll put stuff out there on there So find me at Jackson boron on Twitter Hopefully you have like a link in the show notes so people can find me if they want and just looking forward to you know Connecting with others and we'll have some some more podcasts coming up in the next couple months So looking forward to that.
Jordan: Yeah, man really been enjoying your Guesting on the other pods you've been on really enjoyed just anything that I've heard you talk about so yeah Always great to have you here on the film shake always good to hear you talk about movies and see your posts on Twitter
Nic: And to Jackson's great credit, too I just want to tout him here. Hopefully you won't be able to hear this whenever you're listening to this episode But we've had more technical difficulties recording this than every other episode we've ever recorded Combined and Jackson has been a good sport and stuck around here. Thanks for hanging around man I'm sorry for all the problems we had earlier.
Jackson: I think it's appropriate because like we said all the the troubles and the Frankenstein that last action hero had to go through to get to the big screen and And we just kind of we stuck to the theme.
Jordan: There you go. We have to embrace that in the editing.
Jackson: I'm sure We hope that you enjoy it.
Jordan: Yes All right, well, thank you guys for sticking around as well and listening Appreciate all our listeners and all our supporters so you can reach us at 90s movies pod on Twitter if you want to reach out there you can email us at film shake podcast to gmail.com You can also be a patron like Jackson and support us over on patreon.com Film shake and get bonus episodes from us once a month with just extra content covering other movies We kind of break out of the 90s mold and talk about just whatever that we want to talk about We've been doing some top vibes over there So check us out there and we'll catch you next time for more film shake. Take it easy Oh Well then also I said patience there, but that was another thing that Arnold says to Danny where he's like Now I'm forgetting a quote we can just move on He says something about his his jacket elbow wearing thin and Like how do you I don't know I forget
Nic: I'll put this at the end of the episode So what did you guys think of like kid?
Jordan: Who does the doctor treat? Patience look at the elbow of my jacket. What is it doing wearing thin bingo?
Jordan: There you go
Nic: nice those worth it