I about choked on my wine when I saw two old has-beens swagger onto the stage among a crowd of fabulous movie stars. Who? Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, that's who? Really, isn't it time to retire these two old men? They obviously don't have the sense or integrity to just go away quietly so you Hollywood suits have gotta stop egging them on.
Neither was ever a good actor and they still aren't. Neither ever made truly good films and they still don't. (Don't go all Rocky on me.) Neither is anything more than a franchise chaser. The one thing I will credit them both with, however, is that they were able to parlay absolutely no talent into becoming multi-millionaires and make a lot of money for the studios. Daniel Day-Lewis must have been sitting in that audience absolutely flummoxed that these two ego-maniacs, victims of too many dumbbells falling on them, were sharing the same air as he was.
Well, I can't help it. I have never liked them and have always resented their incredible success. Muscles and bumper sticker mentalities sending people to the top of their profession when far more talented people are collecting unemployment galls me. And it's those youngsters who bring in the movie dollars and grown men who like to hunt and bowl and give people choners and burp and fart in public that brought these two to prominence.
Years ago my son was in a TV movie, The Jayne Mansfield Story, with the Austrian. Due to my kid's age, a parent had to be on the set with him. Guess who? A day or two was spent at L.A.'s Coconut Grove. My son idolized Schwarzenegger and he was treated shabbily by the budding movie star in a one-on-one they shared. I was hurt by the hurt in my son's eyes.
Of course I watched The Jayne Mansfield Story and had seen the earlier Stay Hungry (ho-hum) and the ridiculous The Villain. After my in-person experience with him, I vowed to never see another of his movies and I never have. Well, ok, I relinquished once and watched a quarter of True Lies (which I actually--- gulp!-- recall sort of liking) and then I thought what are you doing and turned it off.
I know, I know. Imagine the pain I have suffered from not seeing two Conans and three Terminators (not counting a short and a video game) not to mention a Commando, a Predator and a Last Action Hero and Collateral Damage. How could I have missed Jingle All the Way? It chagrins me that I miss him and Danny DeVito in Twins but as luck would have it, they're now scheduled to make Triplets. Grab a wet washcloth and press it to your forehead. Rumor has it another Terminator is on the horizon. Yes, he works a franchise like a hooker works a corner. Hopefully he looked away from Daniel Day-Lewis.
Then there is his buddy, the Jersey Shore Lord Laurence Olivier himself, Sylvester Stallone. Oh Lord! I don't like him so I don't call him Sly but you can. I have a feeling that Ahnold knows he's winging it in the acting department but this one thinks he was and maybe still is the greatest actor of his mean streets generation.
If my rant with Ahnold started with the way he treated my son, my rant with Lord Stallone happened when the first Rocky won the best picture Oscar over (the superior in every way) Network. It was criminal. I did see Rocky and never understood its tremendous appeal and certainly never took Stallone's to my bosom. I did see the first Rambo and maybe I took too many baby aspirin that day, but I sat up for its ass-kicking shenanigans. I also saw Tango and Cash and Cliffhanger, both of which escaped my venom somehow. Still, I asked my doctor if there was a pill I could take to keep me from seeing Stallone movies and he told me to just say no. And I have ever since.
I suspect that His Lordship has made some better movies than the Austrian but he has still given way to that silly, mindless franchise crap that has always made money with the cheap thrills crowd. I have not suffered from missing, what?, six more Rockys and three more Rambos.
Shall we mention The Expendables? Aw c'mon, just for a short paragraph... I'm on a roll. Stallone's newest franchise is now going for Round Three. Schwarzenegger joined him for the second one as did The Sneer... ooops, I mean Bruce Willis who is thisclose to being included in their esteemed company except that he is a marginally better actor (his own worn franchise ignored for this posting) who has made a few much better movies.
Why do you think the suits even think of these goons for the same dumbass movie? It obviously stems from having a whole lotta fun with DNA.
God, I feel so much better. Now I won't have to kick the dog. Oh wait, I don't own a dog. I would still rather gush in my posts although I need to get this off my chest. One day we will skip the sugary prose and I'll tell you how I feel about Tom Hanks and Kevin Costner.
Yours in karma.
The Directors: John Huston