To narrate a nature documentary requires a certain softness of touch. The key is to wrap the audience up in your smooth tones like an oversize cashmere blanket without allowing it to be so soothing you lull them to sleep. Morgan Freeman mastered the form in his era-defining narration on March of the Penguins, hitting each syllable with the gentle force of a butterfly’s beating wings. It’s an art, and who better to undertake this intricate dance of restraint and delicacy than that most velvety-voiced bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger?
As a box-office draw, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s best years were from the late 1980s through the mid 1990s. That overlaps significantly with his biggest years as an action hero, from 1984’s The Terminator to 1994’s True Lies.
Predator is 30 years old this June. 30 years of Predator! That’s incredible. Want to feel old? This is what the original Predator looks like today.
I got to talk to Arnold Schwarzenegger this week, but just for a few minutes. We spoke about his new movie Aftermath, his career trajectory, his best one-liners, and the future of franchises like The Terminator and Conan the Barbarian. I didn’t ask him about The Expendables, because there just wasn’t enough time and, frankly, I’m not a huge fan of The Expendables series, which has never delivered on the promise of its amazing casts of ’80s and ’90s greats teaming up for action madness.
If you’ve been ignoring Arnold Schwarzenegger’s movies since he returned to acting after seven years as the Governor of California, you’ve been missing out on some of the most interesting roles of his career. Though Schwarzenegger’s comeback kicked off with old-school action schtick like The Last Stand and The Expendables sequels, his recent output has seen him shift into darker, sadder territory. In the new movie Aftermath, he plays a man whose entire family is killed in a plane crash. There are no terrorists, no hijacking; a simple human error causes a tragic mid-air collision. The airline tries to buy off his silence, but Schwarzenegger’s Roman cannot let the tragedy go. He wants an apology for what happened, and no one will give it. And so he becomes fixated on the air traffic controller (played by Scoot McNairy) who was responsible for the fatal accident.
There have been a lot of rumors swirling in recent weeks about the state of The Terminator franchise. First there was word that Paramount had removed a possible sixth Terminator (and a direct sequel to 2015’s Terminator Genisys) from its schedule. Then the head of Skydance, who holds the rights to the characters, said in an interview that a major announcement about the series’ future was coming some time this year. So what’s the truth?
Did you know that they apparently made another Terminator movie in 2015? Despite having seen it in theaters back during its original run, this still strikes me as new, hard-to-believe information. If there was really a new installment of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s popular sci-fi/action franchise as recently as two years ago, wouldn’t someone remember that? Wikipedia claims that the film (subtitled Genisys, which sounds fake but okay) attempted to launch Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke’s big-screen phase of her career, included a clutch starring role from Ahnuld himself, and earned the second-most of any entry in the series. Call me crazy, but that seems like a pretty major occurrence to have entirely fled the public‘s collective pop-cultural memory. I’m skeptical — does this look like a real movie to you?
If you’ve seen a Batman movie, you can tell that rubber suit is heavy. It’s obvious by the way the actors lumber around in that thing. But did you know that George Clooney’s Bat-suit in Batman & Robin weighed 90 pounds? The cape alone tipped the scales at 40 pounds. The thing was so hard to get in and out of that George Clooney urinated inside it on more than one occasion when nature called. Holy incontinence, Batman! That’s just one of the facts that’s guaranteed not to piss you off in the newest episode of You Think You Know Movies!
We’ll never know how Schwarzenegger’s takeover of The Celebrity Apprentice might have succeeded on its own merits, as the results of the 2016 election held a dark cloud over anything bearing Trump’s name. That shade appears to have gotten to Schwarzenegger as well, as the ex-Governator apparently won’t return for another season, citing its toxic association.
Ever since the news broke that Shane Black was making The Predator, many of us wondered what exactly we were supposed to call it. It’s not a reboot, because it features new characters in a new environment, and it’s not exactly a sequel either, since none of the characters from the original seem to be returning. Some thought Arnold Schwarzenegger would cameo to tie this movie in with the rest, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen.