October 9, 2003

ARNOLD:The Re-Makes

Maria: I can't believe it, it's like a dream. What's wrong?
Arnold: I just had a terrible thought: what if this is a dream?
Maria: Well then kiss me quick before you wake up.
-- Total Recall

We’ve just seen the remake Total Recall, and we know what that looks like. Not bad. Exciting. Multimedia. Real time. With a bit of sex, drugs and rock and roll thrown in to keep you interested. But what, just what, will come next? It is puzzling Punditland to no end, but then it is their nature to be puzzled. We’re here explain it all with a simple formula.

Granted it is difficult to tell what a political wild-card will do once he ascends to power. Who could have known 2 days after Ronald Reagan was elected Governor of California that he’d one day be President of the United States (other than Nancy and her astrologer, that is)? Who could have known that Jesse Venture would spend the better part of his tenure as Governor of Minnesota body-slamming himself into the tarmac at every opportunity (other than James Lileks and 145,252 bloggers locked inside Live Journal, that is)?

But with Arnold, we can see what he is about to do by looking at his past. Now that his Life Achievement Oscar is in like Flynn for 2015, he can relax and use his office to relive, revitalize and remake his movies in real life. Hey, wouldn’t you?

Yup, the best way to figure out what’s about to happen is to amble down to your local video store and check out every Schwarzenegger film they’ve got for an at-home Arnold festival. If you do, you’ll be in a Vulcan mind-meld with the new governor and nothing that’s about to happen will surprise you. After all, he knows the scripts and if his opponents do not, well they’d better scramble over to scripts.com and start boning up.

Let’s go to the video tape and see what’s in store for California.

Conan the Barbarian:
Long held by those with exquisite taste in films to be the best Arnold movie ever. A film in which the essential Arnold is first exposed (in more ways than one) to the world at large. A film that has too long been allowed to languish in B-movie purgatory as a two-fer-one with "Bucket of Blood" at Amazon.com. With the inaugural moment, Arnold will signal the touchstone of his political philosophy during a photo-op with the President:

George W Bush: Arnold, what is best in life?
Arnold: To crush Democrats, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of the feminists!

Wherein Arnold plays last man standing and uses primitive weapons to destroy an invasive alien species.

This film telegraphs that the borders down Mexico way are about to get a bit more dangerous to cross. Nobody sneaking into California can now really be sure that there isn’t some very large and heavily spiked tree trunk set to unload on them as they crawl through culverts. Flaming arrows following blood-curdling battle screams are going to keep San Diego up nights for some time to come.

Dillon: Simple set-up. One day operation. We pick up their trail at the border, run 'em down, grab ‘em and bounce them back across the border before anybody knows they were here.
Arnold: Whaddya mean "we"?
Look for razor wire bouquets from the Pacific to Nevada. Get long on companies that manufacture land mines.

Batman & Robin’s Mr. Freeze:
This is an easy one. Those “essential” programs essential only to about one half of one percent of the population?

Freeze: I'm afraid my condition has left me cold to your pleas of mercy
As for the Indian casinos getting to keep their all their money?
Freeze: Tonight, hell freezes over!

Kindergarten Cop:

“Oh come on... STOP WHINING! You teachers are soft! You lack discipline! WELL I'VE GOT NEWS FOR YOU, YOU ARE MINE NOW! YOU BELONG TO ME!”
Arnold has sworn to sift the crap out of the fouled sandbox that passes for public education in California.

Well, it is time to pass a note over the head of the local teachers’ union that says: JOKE TIME IS OVER.

Teachers’ Union: So who are you, man?
Arnold loads his shot-gun
Arnold: I'm the party pooper.

Prepare to hear the massive wails of tens of thousands of teachers working six hours a day and effectively seven months a year that they just don’t get ENOUGH MONEY for this part-time career.

Look for legions of underemployed and underbrained school administrators to start filing for early retirement at full pay before the frost is on the pumpkin.

Arnold’s tactics here will be simple and straightforward: The kids get the money and the milk and the cookies. Great teachers get a date and get kissed. The vast legion of slackers and freeloaders that comprise the Teachers Union get Schwarzenized. Well, not all of them. A couple of teachers walking around on stumps in every school will get those test scores soaring overnight. (And, no, he’s not going to yell at the little kids. He learned that lesson in the movie.)

Terminator, The:
Hasta la vista the car tax.

“Democratic party hacks. Old... powerful... hooked into everything. Trusted to run it all. They say they got smart. A new order of pork barrel. Then it saw all citizens as a piggy bank not just the ones on the other side. Decided our fate in a millisecond: triple taxation.”
Short form. It won't be back.

Terminator 2 -- Judgment Day:
Drivers Licenses for Illegal Aliens get taken away in an old-time strip search.

Arnold: I need your clothes, boots, your driver’s license and your badges!
Illegal: Badges? Badges? We don’t got to show you no steenkin’ badges!

Director’s Cut Special Feature:
Look for the bozos who came up with this law in the first place to have their license to legislate taken away from them in 2004.

Terminator 3 -- Rise of the Machines:
In which the Democratic Party of California and points east ceases to exist if it doesn’t get a clue, a candidate, a reason to live, and a witness in a nanosecond.

Bill Clinton: Put down your weapon! And the coffin! Please? ... Pretty please.? ... Hey, you into wife-swapping?”

This is a toughy. It was such a short campaign it is hard to know who Arnold owes and who his cronies are. Obviously you wouldn’t want the Baldwin Brothers in charge of the State Liquor Control Board. On the other hand Arnold could demonstrate the magnanimity of victory by appointing Ariana Huffington and Gary Coleman as Safe Sex Ambassadors to the California Penal System and San Francisco, respectively.

Arnold: I don't know what the problem is, but I'm sure it can be solved without resorting to violence.

Red Sonja:
Arnold’s old pal, Brigitte Nielsen, is sent into the California Legislative Chambers to enforce compliance with a sword and a bustier. A win-win all around - - except for the ten aged senators whose Pacemakers explode on the first day.

Legislator: California is my land, all that pass through pay me tribute.
Red Sonja: (drawing her sword) Suppose I don't. Suppose instead I open that great, fat belly of yours?

This is one of Arnold’s most instructive ‘taking care of business’ movies. It teaches that when he finds a bunch of thugs have kidnapped something dear to him, such as a state, it’s clobberin’ time. Look for him to make an impression on various legislative committees by sending around this 15 second outtake from his recent remake of Commando:

Arnold: Remember, Arianna, when I promised to kill you last?
Huffington: That's right, Arnold. You did!
Arnold: I lied.

Pumping Iron:
Arnold’s overall economic program has been foreshadowed by this film in which he plays, tellingly, himself:

“I don't have any weak points. I had weak points three years ago, but ... my goal always was, to even out everything to the point ... that everything is perfect. Which means if I want to increase expenditures a half inch, the state’s productivity has to increase. I would never make a program increase or decrease, because everything has to fit together, and all I have to do is get my budget routine down more perfect, which is almost impossible to do, you know. It's perfect already.”
Those who find this too simplistic for their tastes can take solace that it is a vast improvement over Arnold's original economic theories as expessed in Hercules in New York:
Hercules: Bucks? Doe? What is all this zoological talk about male and female animals?

Jingle All the Way:
A brief perusal of this otherwise mercifully forgotten film instructs us on the method Arnold will use to “Just Say No” to special interests, no matter what they promise him.

Trial Lawyers: Hey, Pal, you want a Turbo Man for Christmas?
Arnold: Forget it, I'm not gonna sit on your lap. You guys are nothing but a bunch of sleazy conmen in Armani suits. You heard me right. Conmen. Degenerates. Low-lifes. Thugs. Criminals!
Trial Lawyers Association: In Sacramento them are compliments, Partner.

It won’t be enough to just stop new taxes from being force fed to Californians. We’ll expect Arnold to roll back the stone from our chests, even if he has to resort to extreme measures.

Agent: This is Arnold. He'll be handling your personal security.
California: My protection?
Arnold: New identity, relocation, I'll take you through it step by step.
California: What are you talking about? I'm not going anywhere!
Arnold: You're in an extremely high risk situation,California. That should've been explained to you.

Red Heat:
Tired of having the immense cost and abiding failure of the War on Some Drugs messing with your life? Arnold’s "Red Heat" has a program that will not only end the war on drugs, but put a little more cash back into the budget as well as clearing up the messy problem of career politicians.

Arnold: Chinese find way. Right after revolution, they round up all drug dealers, all drug addicts, take them to public square, and shoot them in back of head.
Advisor: Ah, it'd never work here. Politicians wouldn't go for it.
Arnold: Shoot them first.

The Running Man
Is this the first and last step into politics for Arnold. Las Vegas is currently running a pool to see how long it takes for the first committee to re-elect is formed. But will he run and if elected will he serve?

Gray Davis: You bastard! Drop dead!
Arnold: I don't do requests.

Meanwhile, back on the set of Total Recall 2003:

Arnold: Where am I?
Johnnycab: You're in Sacramento.
Arnold: What am I doing here?
Johnnycab: I'm sorry. Would you please rephrase the question?
Arnold: How did I get this job?
Johnnycab: They held an election. You got in.

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Posted by Vanderleun at October 9, 2003 2:34 PM | TrackBack
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