Unfortunately, not all of us can jetset across the world ten times a year to experience the finest film festivals global cinema has to offer. However, in a world where the average cinephile has access to the gargantuan libraries of Netflix, Hulu+, HBOGo and others, curating a marathon viewing experience has never been easier! We here at Deadshirt want to help you make your infinite stream scrolling more fruitful. Stop agonizing over what Val Kilmer movie to watch on your iPad. Let us map out a nice evening in for you, or a long weekend. Let us help you…Cross The Streams.
The Theme: “Remember When I Said I’d Watch You Last?….I Lied.”
Arnold Schwarzenegger is not so much an actor as he is an institution, one of the rare stars that’s a genre unto himself. The thing about Schwarzenegger is his surprising consistency; he’s starred in plenty of bad movies, but hit for hit he leaves his action movie peers in the dust. Luckily for us, Netflix’s current crop of Ahnuld features available for streaming make for an impressively comprehensive career overview.
Platform: All of these films are available on Netflix.
The Running Man (1987)
Hey remember how Arnold Schwarzenegger starred in a movie based off a Stephen King book? Sort of? The Running Man is a solid opener for a marathon like this. Future-Kazaam director Paul Michael Glaser’s film (which pits a wrongfully imprisoned Arnold against other huge guys in a dystopian game show hell-world) teeters between archly clever and hilariously dumb. It’s also got Mick Fleetwood, Dweezil Zappa, Richard Dawson, and Jesse Ventura in supporting roles, what more could you want?
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
T2 did to action movies what the electric guitar did to rock n’ roll. It’s the blockbuster Hollywood has been trying to replicate every summer since 1991, and for good reason: it’s the most metal movie of all time. James Cameron opens with a ROBOT SKELETON stepping on A PILE OF HUMAN SKULLS and it only gets crazier from there. While the original Terminator is a lean, mean sci-fi slasher flick, T2 is an unrelenting Sherman tank of a movie that somehow manages to beef up both the action and human stakes without collapsing under its own weight.
The Last Action Hero (1993)
Not only is The Last Action Hero one of the last “Peak Schwarzenegger” films (a period that officially ends with True Lies), it’s an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie explicitly ABOUT Arnold Schwarzenegger movies! John McTiernan in the director’s chair and a script written by (among others) Shane Black means the movie’s satire of 90’s action excess hits the mark, even if it drags occasionally. Bonus points for Game of Thrones‘ Charles Dance as a dimension-hopping assassin and Ian McKellan’s cameo as Ingmar Bergman’s Death.
The Last Stand (2013)
Skipping ahead twenty years later, The Last Stand marked Arnold’s first feature film role since he left the California governorship and, believe it or not, it’s a lot of fun. I Saw The Devil director Kim Jee-woon’s first English-language film, The Last Stand is basically High Noon by way of Fast Five and feels like a return to the kind of fun B-movies Schwarzenegger used to make before he became a superstar. Moreover, his turn in the film as a small town sheriff haunted by a life filled with violence is one of the best performances of his career; this is his Unforgiven or The Shootist.
When: Clocking in at about eight hours, you’re going to want to go ahead and plan on starting in the early afternoon on whatever weekend day you choose to do this. If you’re in a time crunch and need to lose one of the movies, ditch The Running Man.
Viewing Partners: Is there anyone who doesn’t enjoy Arnold Schwarzenegger? Do you even want to know those people? The selections Netflix has on hand serve as a pretty solid introduction to newcomers while providing enough variety to keep the more advanced afficianArnolds in your crowd from getting bored.
Concessions: Have some kind of light, conservative German beer on hand for your guests (Bitburger or Radeberger are two great choices) and keep some hearty snack foods in reaching distance (pretzels, if you really want to go all in with this). See these driven before your guests and you will not hear the lamentations of their stomachs.
When you decide to utilize this or any of our other blueprints for marathon movie viewing and feel like livetweeting the experience, feel free to use the hashtag #CrossTheStreams and let us know how it went at @DeadshirtDotNet. Enjoy!