Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Genius of Miles Davis: Explained!

Ransom Riggs
by Ransom Riggs

Ed Note: Sometimes it’s hard to hear music as described on the page. Bill DeMain’s story on Miles Davis and Kind of Blue in our latest magazine is wonderful, but we wanted to make sure readers actually got to hear the sounds. So we asked Ransom to remix it with any YouTube clips he could find. The following is a mish-mash of Bill’s story and Ransom’s writing, all enhanced with Miles’ music. We’re hoping it gives readers a slightly richer experience. Enjoy!

miles.jpgMusic icon Miles Davis has long been revered as a jazz pioneer — but what exactly did he pioneer? To some purists, jazz music can be broken into two distinct eras: Before Miles and After Miles. A student and bandmate of Bebop legends Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker, Miles’ musical education took place occasionally at the Julliard School of Music but mostly in the smoky clubs of 52nd street, where he was trained in the esoteric art of “hot jazz,” a hyper-complex, acrobatic style of playing torrential melodies at breakneck tempos. Miles was a quick study, but after a year touring as a rising star in Charlie Parker’s band, he dropped out in 1958. Miles found that the “hot” stuff didn’t speak to his soul; instead, he was captivated by the pensive, intimate sounds of pianist Thelonious Monk, singer Billie Holiday and composer Gil Evans. Their songs cut deeper and played more slowly than popular “hot jazz” tunes, and with those musicians’ help and influence, he pioneered a style known as “cool jazz,” which focused the genre’s intensity into a laser beam of sound. Here are some clips that help illustrate the “birth of the cool,” as music historians have dubbed it.

A quiet fire: the early years

From early in his career, Miles was obsessed with the idea that a single note could convey all the beauty of music. That idea started to take form in his one-off recordings from the late 1940s, when to most Americans he was nothing special — just another fast-blowing sideman who’d once played with Charlie Parker. Jobs were scarce and he drifted around, on the cusp of celebrity but not truly finding it until he moved to Paris in 1949, where he was hailed as a jazz god. When he returned to he U.S., the contrast was unbearable, and Miles’ career almost went permanently off the rails. Broke, bored and frustrated by a lack of creative momentum, he turned to heroin — a period in his life he would later call “a four-year horror show.”

By 1954, the junk was threatening everything he held dear. Shunned by even his closest friends, he returned to his hometown of St. Louis, where he locked himself in his family’s guest house for two months and kicked the habit cold-turkey. After that, his resolve to find a new sound grew stronger than ever, and his playing became richer. It was imbued with a deep loneliness and heartache that hadn’t been there before — on full display in his 1955 release ‘Round About Midnight, which put Davis back on the map. Here’s a clip from the title track, “‘Round Midnight,” a song written by Thelonious Monk:

On this album, he pared down his solos and found drama in moments of silence; Miles’ “cool” aesthetic dominates the beginning of the song. Here, Miles trumpet has a depth of feeling and starkness that never errs on the side of sentimentality. (The clip is from a performance in Stockholm, 1967, and features Wayne Shorter on sax and Herbie Hancock on the piano.) He now had all the tools he needed to construct his masterpiece, Kind of Blue.

Miles’ “Blue” Period

Sessions for Kind of Blue commenced on March 2, 1959 in a converted Greek Orthodox church in Manhattan. Together with his sextet, which included pianist Bill Evans and saxophonist John Coltrane, Davis was creating beautiful compositions spontaneously. He abandoned the usual chord progressions that govern jazz and supplied only outlines for his pieces. To capture the spirit of discovery, he gave his band vague directions: telling them to “play this pretty” or make it “Latin-flavored.” After just nine-hours in the studio, they were finished, and the resulting album tracks are all first takes; “First-take feelings — they’re generally the best,” remarked pianist Evans. Here clips from a few tracks on this classic album.

So What?

The five tracks on Kind of Blue may have been improvised, but they didn’t come out of nowhere. “So What” isn’t just the name of a song — it was one of Miles’ favorite expressions. Whenever someone would challenge him on an idea or decision, he would respond in his raspy voice: “so what?” You can hear his motto in the sassy two-note phrases that run throughout the song.

Freddie Freeloader

This tune was named after a guy who often tried to sneak into Miles’ gigs without paying, and the groove captures Freddie’s slippery personality. It also features what many feel are some of the best solos on the album, a part of Miles’ musical legacy that went on to influence lots of other musicians; you can hear it in the free-roaming solos of guitarist Duane Allman and the keyboard works of the Doors’ Ray Manzarek.

Ken has his say
Ken Burns’ Jazz is a great film that has a segment devoted to the making of Kind of Blue. It’s worth watching just for the interviews; the reverence with which critics and other musicians talk about Miles speaks volumes.

Miles: the later years

After briefly touring behind Kind of Blue, Miles set off on new adventures. During the next 30 years, until his death in 1991, he pioneered the use of electric instruments in jazz and experimented with rock, funk and pop. Some jazz purists felt that Miles went from birthing the cool to chasing it — they point to his final album, You’re Under Arrest, which includes covers (excuse me, “jazz reinterpretations”) of Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time” and Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature”. Check out this strange, very 80s video for “Decoy,” a soul-electronica hybrid which sounds about as far from “Freddie Freeloader” as you can get while still playing the trumpet:

Despite critics of his later work, however, it could be argued that, having perfected his vision of “cool jazz,” it was natural for Davis to move on to other styles and musical expressions. No matter: even if he’d released five Michael Jackson cover albums, Kind of Blue ensured he’d always be known as the Father of the Cool; it was moment in musical history when his spare phrasing and sense of melodic space found an answer to the eternal question: “What is the sound of one note swinging?”

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Jackson Browne sues McCain over song use

NEW YORK - Singer-songwriter Jackson Browne is suing Republican presidential nominee John McCain and the Republican party for using his song “Running on Empty” in a recent TV commercial.

In the suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, Browne claims McCain and the party did not obtain permission to use the song for an ad in which “Senator McCain and the Republicans mock Democratic candidate for president Barack Obama for suggesting that the country conserve gas through proper tire inflation.”

Browne, a lifelong Democrat, is seeking unspecified damages as well as a permanent injunction prohibiting the use of “Running on Empty” in any form by the McCain campaign.

“Not only have Senator McCain and his agents plainly infringed Mr. Browne’s copyright in ’Running on Empty,’ but the federal courts have long held that the unauthorized use of a famous singer’s voice in a commercial constitutes a false endorsement and a violation of the singer’s right of publicity,” Lawrence Iser, Browne lawyer, said.

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The 10 Most Blatant Star Wars Rip-Offs

hawkposter.jpgBy Jesse Thompson

This weekend, thousands of geeks and clueless schoolchildren will flock to theaters to catch a screening of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. They will most likely leave said theaters wishing they’d forked over 10 clams for a repeat screening of Dark Knight or even friggin’ Space Chimps instead.

The fact that Clone Wars looks monumentally crappy and uninspired really serves as a reminder of Lucas’ genius 30 years ago. In his attempt to recapture the wonder and excitement of the theatrical adventure serials of his youth—and give kids a cinematic option other than Disney’s live-action cycle of ho-hum Herbie/Don Knotts/Herbie flicks—he created an expansive universe and wealth of characters unlike anything that had been seen before. This of course opened the doors for an endless array of cash-in ripoffs that lasted well over a decade, from the dusting off of space-faring fossils (Star Trek, Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon), to fondly remembered primetime TV endeavors (Battlestar Galactica, Space: 1999), to the worst the ’80s could possibly offer (Metalstorm, Spacehunter, something from 1988 called Prison Ship—YouTube it if you want to kill four minutes worth of brain cells).

In honor of Lucas’ latest head-shaking ripoff of his own concept, here we look at 10 of the worst offenders—well, the semi-legitimate ones, anyways (so that Turkish Star Wars madness doesn't count)— who attempted to tailgate the Millennium Falcon all the way to the bank. Bring plenty of crackers to go along with this cheese.

10. Saturn 3 (1980)

Admittedly, Saturn 3 was more influenced by Ridley Scott’s Alien than Obi-Wan or R2. The crew of an isolated ship is terrorized by what appears to be an eye-plucking, rapist robot. Audiences were likewise terrorized by a brief nude scene of a then 64-year-old Kirk Douglas. But when watching the trailer, look for the looming spacecraft that slowly enters the frame around the 20-second mark, and proceeds to inch its way forward for a good 15 seconds after that. There’s no way the ad wizards who came up with this one weren’t going for a little of that New Hope opening-shot awe and wonder. Sadly, the film’s most appealing lifeform—Farrah Fawcett-Majors—doesn’t appear until well after a full minute’s passed in the trailer. (But get a load of that getup! Ooh ma-ma!) Harvey Keitel probably hoped this flick would make up for his involvement with Mother, Jugs and Speed—sadly, it would take 12 years to redeem himself for making THIS.

9. H.G. Wells’ The Shape of Things to Come (1979)

In 1933, celebrated sci-fi novelist H.G. Wells wrote an ambitious fictional chronicle that looked ahead all the way to the year 2016, using the notes of an eminent diplomat as a framing device. The book, which told of harrowing aerial bombardments and submarine-launched ballistic missiles, proved to be an all-too-accurate prediction of what was to happen during the Second World War. Forty-six years later, Canadian filmmakers decided to borrow Wells’ name, the book’s title and practically nothing else for a film adaptation. With a budget that seemed to be scraped together by selling compost created from shredded copies of War of the Worlds, this production roped in Jack “Sweet Jesus, only 13 more years ‘til my Oscar” Palance as an overlord named Omus who desires to be declared leader of the human race. (And this isn’t even Palance’s only appearance on this list!) Oh, and Shape of Things takes place after a little something called “the Robot Wars” has ravaged the earth. They were probably a lot cooler than what we’ll see this weekend.

8. Star Odyssey (1979)

The clip above isn’t a trailer, but it’s certainly indicative of how enterprising foreign filmmakers could toss anything on the screen if it included a robot and had “Star” in the title. Star Odyssey—or as it’s known in its country of origin, “Sette uomini d’oro nello spazio,” which translates roughly to “Spicy Meatball Shit Sandwich”—was an Italian film starring some guy named Gianni Garko as “Dirk Laramie,” a cad with some vague, Force-like powers who must defend the Earth (and apparently, get in a boxing match with a robot) in order to foil the nefarious plot of yet another intergalactic villain, who shockingly looks a lot like Pinhead from Hellraiser. But if this particular SW ripoff has a lasting legacy, it’s that it has quietly slipped into public domain status—meaning you can pick up a DVD copy on the cheap at pretty much any discount store. Even Target carries this atrocity around Christmastime in its one-dollar stocking-stuffer bins.

7. Message From Space (1978)

This blessedly short teaser tells you all you need to know in its 36 seconds—a peaceful planet’s inhabitants are being persecuted and need help (the titular message is apparently “We are fucking wusses, halp halp!”), there are some wacky robots involved, spaceships will blow up, and noted actors will be slumming. In this case, the late Vic Morrow—best known as the asshole rival coach from Bad News Bears, one of the tragic fatalities on the set of the Twilight Zone movie, and being Jennifer Jason Leigh’s dad—heads up “an international cast.” What the voiceover fails to tell you is that this was a film produced in Japan and features all-around badass Sonny Chiba (as a prince named “Hans,” which hardly seems coincidental). Watch closely how the trailer’s edited to not give any sort of indication that most of the principal actors are Japanese! The film’s tagline, “Where fantasies are real, and reality is fantastic!” sounds like something the Sphinx would have disdainfully spat out in a Mystery Men deleted scene.

6. The Black Hole (1979)

Two years after Star Wars fever had gripped the nation, Disney finally got off its collective ass and decided maybe this whole “futuristic” sci-fi genre was worth pursuing. (The Cat From Outer Space and Return to Witch Mountain could only carry them so far.) Rather than thaw out Uncle Walt’s head and ask for advice, execs had a screenplay cobbled together, assembled a who’s who of C-list talent (Ernest Borgnine! Anthony Perkins! Robert Forster!) and even made sure to get a couple of comic-relief droids in the mix for good measure (voiced by C-list luminaries Roddy McDowell and Slim Pickens). In this INSANELY long trailer (seriously, did audiences 30 years ago really need to see an entire rescue sequence?), you really get a sense of how “dark” Disney was trying to go—and really, they succeeded, considering that Perkins’ characters gets eviscerated, mild profanity is used, humans get lobotomized, and there are some fairly heavy religious themes. But those blaster effects and the bearded bad guy played by Maximilian Schell are pure Velveeta.

5. Starchaser: The Legend of Orin (1985)

The most recent of this spate of Star Wars ripoffs, Starchaser was really a last-ditch effort for a major studio trying to recapture that Rebel magic. (At that point, Star Wars as a cartoon was still a novel concept; oddly enough, it was released in the dying 3-D format.) Two years removed from Return of the Jedi, and released when Kenner’s toys were gasping their last breaths like a certain strangled Hutt, Starchaser seemed to revel in its influences. What’s better than Skywalking? Starchasing, bitches. The trailer itself is a riot, from an old man getting laser-lashed around the fucking eyes at the beginning (not funny in real life, kids), to the seemingly endless monologuing of villain Zygon, to the glowing, Kenobi-meets-Christopher Lee father figure, to Zygon inexplicably calling the Swayze-fied hero “caca” around the 1:35 mark. But this is at least animated caca we can go gaga over.

4. Galaxina (1980)

Maybe it’s not all that fair to call Galaxina a ripoff; it was really a parody of Star Wars and the other films of its ilk. (Obvious jabs at Star Trek and Alien are, well, all too obvious in the clip below.) Its notoriety comes being the sole starring role for Playboy Playmate Dorothy Stratten, who was murdered shortly after its release. (Her last completed film was a smaller role in boyfriend Peter Bogdanovich’s They All Laughed.) Galaxina seems to have had a decent budget for alien costumes and special effects, if not for its screenplay (the freighter spaceship is called the Infinity, the buffoonish captain is named Cornelius Butt, suspended animation jokes abound). But hell, no one came to see a flick starring a Playmate for political intrigue or a character study. Teenagers still stricken with their first Princess Leia boners came for Stratten’s come-hither innuendo, gratuitous cleavage shots, and maybe, just maybe, a bit of side-boob. If this trailer’s any indication, most of the male cast thankfully spent the duration of the flick on ice.

3. Hawk the Slayer (1980)

Hawk the Slayer may fall into the “sword and sorcery” genre, but its gratuitous pilfering of Star Wars elements is definitely in the ROTFLMAO realm. First up, take Jack “Sweet Jesus, only 12 more years ‘til my Oscar” Palance (he’s back!); his helmet is clearly modeled on Vader’s, and his name is even Voltan. While he’s likely a good 30 years older than protagonist Hawk (Who the hell’s John Terry? Oh shit, he was on Lost!), they avoided the obvious father-son relationship and decided to make them brothers instead. Hawk has apparently raided the closet of Han Solo … or at least borrowed the vest while Han was stuck in carbonite. And there’s Voltan working an agent for a higher evil power (a thinly veiled Palpatine clone), the climactic final sword battle, strange Force-like magic powers, the litany of wacky characters who must aid the hero in his quest … basically all of the things Willow should have been. Palance finally gets one over on Lucas!

2. Starcrash (1979)

Another production from our friends the Italians, Starcrash at least has two things working in its favor: a very va-va-voom Caroline Munro (you may remember her from a handful of Hammer horror films and as “evil helicopter-flying chick in bikini” in The Spy Who Loved Me) as scantily clad smuggler Stella Star, and a pre-fame David Hasselhoff engaging in a lightsaber battle with some stop-motion droids. (You can catch a glimpse of him looking bored in the background around the 1:25 mark.) This trailer wisely keeps the dialogue to a minimum, save for Christopher Plummer’s rather long-winded “Here’s some shit you gotta do...” speech at the beginning. (Though it’s a shame we don’t get to hear Stella’s sidekick Akton, voiced by batshit-crazy, celebri-evangelical minister Marjoe Gortner.) And if robots, babes, spaceships and babes in spaceships weren’t enough, Starcrash one-upped its competition by incorporating Neanderthals, a world of Amazons and a friggin’ broadsword-tossing stone giant.

1. Battle Beyond the Stars (1980)

And here we are—the worst of the worst, or the best of the best, depending on your tolerance for Richard Thomas. The closest you can get to a poor man’s Mark Hamill (Ouch! The truth hurts, Richie baby), Thomas had ditched his gig as John-Boy on The Waltons in 1978 in hopes of hitting the Hollywood big-time. After headlining some forgettable TV flicks, he signed on to star in this Roger Corman-produced astrotrain wreck, notable for its insanely high budget—most of which apparently went to co-stars George Peppard and Robert Vaughn, who play space cowboys—and for special-effects shots directed by James Cameron. The title itself is a hilarious stick-in-the-eye to its predecessor; their war isn’t amongst the stars, but rather BEYOND them! These are like Supernova Wars!

The plot itself, much like Star Wars, shamelessly borrows from an Akira Kurosawa film—Star Wars had The Hidden Fortress, and BBTS has Seven Samurai. In fact, Vaughn’s role was essentially the same as his in The Magnificent Seven, an earlier Seven Samurai pastiche—and it’s fucking hysterical to watch him at the controls of a space cruiser in the trailer. We’re not sure who’s to blame for the breast-shaped starship, though. Corman was much too classy to intentionally throw in any kind of suggestive elements, right?

Playing the villain, Corman regular John Saxon seems to be channeling his inner Lucas—and his anger at such a blatant ripoff—when he utters, “They will burn...” He was half-right; this fim quickly faded from memory and had an über-brief run on DVD before being yanked out of print, but we’re pretty sure it holds up better than anything involving Viceroys.

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10 Movies Sold on a Sex Scene

By Christopher Campbell

Everyone knows that sex sells. And hundreds, if not thousands, of films have been marketed with sex. But here I've selected ten interesting cases of how a sex scene -- or many -- affected their respective film's ability to attract an audience.

There apparently are other reasons to see Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona besides the infamous lesbian kiss between Scarlett Johansson and Penélope Cruz or the threesome between these actresses and Javier Bardem. But as the first things most of us heard about the movie, the sex scenes are certainly a big sell (the ménage à trois is even being used in a promotional contest to win a “threesome” with ScarJo). Even if they’re reportedly underwhelming.

Promise of tantalizing footage has been an appeal for moviegoers likely since the dawn of cinema, with film pioneer Eadweard Muybridge’s The Human Figure in Motion - Descending Stairs and Turning Around featuring nudity as far back as the 1880s. And if you’ve seen any of the titles included in today’s list, chances are their respective sex scenes were at least part of what made you buy a ticket (or rent the video).

  1. The Brown Bunny (2003) - As if this was the first feature film to show an actual blowjob. Yet the promise of seeing starlet Chloë Sevigny with a mouthful of Vincent Gallo was a huge tool in the marketing of this otherwise artfully shot but depressing movie, an ultimately disappointing follow up to Gallo’s highly enjoyable debut, Buffalo ‘66. Though the trailer above is quite tasteful, American ads for the film exploiting the fellatio sequence include a questionable billboard in Los Angeles and a theatrical spot that simply labeled it “the most controversial American film ever made” and spotlighted that it is for adults only. Too bad it was made in the era of internet porn and so wasn’t nearly as profitable as the blowjob blockbuster Deep Throat.
  2. 9 ½ Weeks (1986) - Here is the first of many films on this list that I haven’t actually seen. I guess sex just doesn’t sell me on a film like it does other people. Having such a detachment, though, makes it clearer for me to see how effective most of these sex scenes were, since I have no idea what this movie is about, yet I am sufficiently familiar with the scene involving ice cubes — though I think I’ve really only seen as much as is shown in the trailer above (the fuller, better quality version can be see here), as well as the parody in Hot Shots! I was only 8½ when 9 ½ Weeks came out, and I remember then hearing about the allure of the sex scenes. 22 years later, I still haven’t heard of any other reason to see it.
  3. Wild Things (1998) - A decade before ScarJo and PenCruz locked lips for Vicky Cristina Barcelona, this movie was sold on the prospect of seeing lesbian action between Denise Richards and Neve Campbell, who also participate in a threesome with Matt Dillon. Again, the trailer above doesn’t do a good job of exploiting the sex scenes, but fortunately word got out about them and the movie became fairly successful. Similar movies that likely attracted some audiences due solely to the inclusion of lesbian scenes include Bound, Mulholland Dr. and, forty years ago, The Killing of Sister George.
  4. Traffic in Souls (1913) - Going back almost a century, this film was one of the first features to be sold for its “sex scenes”, according to the comprehensive (53 page) “Sex in Cinema” guide at Historically, it was the first American feature-length sex film, the most expensive production of its time, the greatest moneymaker of its time and, well, there might never have been a Universal Pictures without its being a success for Carl Laemmle and his Independent Motion Picture Company. For those of you disappointed that the film lacks actual nudity, check out this clip from Lois Weber’s 1915 feature Hypocrites, which does contain a completely naked woman prancing around a forest and therefore had a very controversial release.
  5. Monika: Story of a Bad Girl (1953)- Kroger Babb, which also had one of the highest grossing films of the ’40s (Mom and Dad) thanks to promises like “EVERYTHING SHOWN!”, distributed this American version of Ingmar Bergman’s Summer with Monika, which was cut down, dubbed and re-scored and marketed solely on the appeal of its nudity and single love scene.
  6. American Pie - It may not be a sexy sex scene, but there’s no denying that the love act shared by Jason Biggs and a pie was a draw for audiences hungry for gross out humor. Never mind the scene’s inclusion in the trailer or the poster with the poked-in pie featured prominently, the title alone alludes to the act.
  7. Emmanuelle (1974) - I grew up always thinking that the Emmanuelle series of films were simply famous pornos, like Deep Throat or the Debbie Does …. franchise. But that’s probably because it has spawned so many ripoffs and has become synonymous with erotic films. Plus, in my lifetime, softcore movies have been more associated with late night Cinemax (or Skinamax) and straight-to-video titles. I would have never guessed that this was one of France’s highest grossing films of all time nor that film critics such as Roger Ebert paid it attention let alone gave it a good review. But at its time, it must have been very appealing to have so much nudity and so many sex scenes without displaying hardcore penetration. Or, as Ebert wrote: “It’s a relief to see a movie that drops the gynecology and returns to a certain amount of sexy sophistication.”
  8. Caligula - Of course, there was also this big-budget, mainstream Hollywood production, to which Ebert gave zero stars and admitted walking out of. He even included a quote from a fellow moviegoer: “‘This movie,’ said the lady in front of me at the drinking fountain, ‘is the worst piece of shit I have ever seen.’” Produced by Penthouse publisher Bob Guccione and starring highly respectable British actors such as John Gielgud, Peter O’Toole and Helen Mirren, the epic period piece was certainly expected to cash in on the popularity of erotic films in the ’70s. Ebert, one more time: “I assume that the crowds lining up for admission to the Davis Theater were hoping for some sort of erotic experience; I doubt that they were spending $15 a couple for a lesson on the ancient history of Rome.”
  9. The Crying Game - Possibly the only movie marketed for a sex scene that wasn’t marketed for being a sex scene. Instead, the shocking moment when a seemingly heterosexual love scene is revealed to in fact be a homosexual love scene was famously employed in marketing the secret plot twist that comes with it.
  10. Lust, Caution - It’s possible that selling the explicit (and allegedly real) sex scenes in this Ang Lee film hurt it, because the well-publicized embrace of its NC-17 rating made the film seem like these scenes were the main reason to go see it. Never mind the awards the film received or the fair amount of positive reviews. Looking at its dismal $4.6 million U.S. gross, it’s apparent that sex is not as big a sell as it once was.
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10 Greatest Arnold Schwarzenegger Moments

Written by Shawn Darnell

We've decided to take a trip down memory lane and find the ten most badass moments in his movie making career.

Arnold. Without even trying to spell his last name, you already know who we're talking about here. Before he became a fiscal conservative, Arnold was a man's man. He was a beer drinking, sword swingin' ass kicking machine of death. He also happened to be the last action real action star. All other pretenders since have failed miserably in comparing to his legendary movie career.

In movie classics like The Terminator, Predator, True Lies and Conan: The Barbarian, Arnold defined the role of “man” for an entire generation.

“Stick around”

In the original Predator movie, Arnold is clearing out a forest of South American rebels, when he decides to kill one with a combination of pun and machete in the gut. I'll let you decide which was more painful.

“Wanna see me kick some ass”

Who hasn't wanted to punch a mall security guard right in the face? Luckily for all of us who don't want to risk jail time to teach those little dweebs a lesson, Arnold has already done so. Numerous times, in fact. In Commando a security guard is trying to impress some big haired chicks when he utters the above words before attacking Arnold. See how well that works below.

“Sue me dickhead”

Sometimes, Arnold was so badass, he didn't even need to lay his hands on something to kill it. Case in point, the scene in Total Recall where he causes a taxi to commit suicide just by insulting it. If I killed somebody everybody I made fun of him, I'd be the worst mass murderer in history. Dick.

“You forgot to say please”

See, Arnold didn't need pants to kick ass back in the day. In T2, he managed to kill a bar full of bikers without even wearing so much as a robo-banana hammock. Note to wannabe tough guys out there. If a naked guy the size of Arnold asks for your jacket, just hand it over before he wants you too.

“Can you believe that”

Arnold lives in California, which as everybody knows, is entirely populated by hippies. I'm sure if his opponent had played this clip of Arnold (as Conan) punching the shit out of a camel, things may have gone a bit differently during his campaign. We might even have Total Recall 2: Even More Mutant Breasts, by now. Shame, that.


Fuck. Maybe Arnold just doesn't like animals.

“You think I'm funny”

Or mouthy women.

“Let off some steam”

In the end of Commando, Arnold gets shot. To most people, this would be the end of the fight. Not for Arnold. No, he goes three rounds with a mustachioed killer before getting bored and impaling him on a steam pipe he ripped from the wall. Again, he decides to rub salt in the wound by finishing his opponent with a terrible pun.

“Thumbs up”

How radical was Arnold in the early 90's? This radical.

“Come and get it”

The number one most badass Arnold moment ever recorded? In Predator, after his entire unit had been wiped out by an alien life force, he decided on the only logical course of action. Challenge it to a one-on-one fight. Yes, instead of running, Arnold covered himself in mud, lit a branch on fire and basically told the unstoppable killing machine hidden in the forest to kiss his ass.

So, there you have it. Ten reasons why Arnold is more badass then you ever hope to be. Don't feel bad though. When put against Arnold, all men come out looking like weaklings. It's not just you.

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