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July 1994


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"D. S. Cunningham" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 17 Jul 1994 20:27:27 PDT
text/plain (66 lines)
Robert Dickinson writes:
>>But you know what the weirdest part was? It was watching Charlton Heston
give orders as Schwarzenegger's boss. No, no, it was watching Schwarzenegger
dance (not). No, it was ... yeah, there's plenty here to talk about here.<<
What was really weird was that Arnie and Tom Arnold put the resources of
whatever-it-is-agency-they-work for in service of discovering whether
OR NOT the wife is unfaithful. The nasty turn during the interogation is
somewhat mitigated by Jamie Lee's strong performance in answering the
questions, but the whole scene leaves a bad taste--very sad because
I've never seen Cameron do this to women before. I'm not so sensitive
to all the "talk" avout women in the film--the "those bitches" or the
A-mazing Tom Arnold line "women, can't live with 'em, can't kill
'em"--but I am sensitve to humiliation--and even ALL the other male
characters in the "service" seem to recognize that Arnie's character
is going too far; they just can't reel him in. All they do is shake
their heads. I guess because he is otherwise "such a great guy."
And what is it with Cameron and wedding rings? Again, in many scenes,
wedding rings are made multiply-determined symbols--but of what?
Faithfulness that is suspect; boredom only overcome by gunplay and
action-adventure. You hate to do that auteur thang--looking to his
"real" life--multiply-married and all, but wedding rings in this
film...well, I'd like to hear someone's take on this business.
and what about the humiliation of Simon (Tom Paxton in a really
thankless role)? Not only does he have to admit to being boring and
having a small dick--he has to piss his pants in every scene with the
bully ballbusting bastards who have carte blanche to act like assholes
and spend thousands of taxpayer dollars to salvage a single male ego.
 Was this supposed to be funny? Only if you
believe,as do Simon and Jamie Lee's character, that spies have all
the fun, all the sex, all the living-on-the-edge escape from life as a
legal secretary or used car salesman--and that unless you play a
"role" (however humiliating or degrading) in service of your country
Geez, Jimmy Cameron, what's going on? The stunts are as remarkable as
everyone claims--I got to see the film on the BIG screen in the
Chinese's main theater (very BIG) with THX digital dolby--yes yes yes
the F/X are stupendous--especially that lift from the limo. But is
this all you get for over a $100 million. (whimper) The bad guys
aren't scary enough--the main bad guy is annnoying more than
terrifying--and the daughter is a total enigma.
What a bummer! Cameron/Arnold are usually sooooooo dependable. But this?
I still say SPEED is the action film of the summer to beat--and I
don't see anything that can overtake it.
Donna Cunningham
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