Category: Trivia

Arnold Schwarzenegger: Ranking His Action Movies!

Kyle Wilson at ScreenRant posted Every Arnold Schwarzenegger Action Movie Ranked From Worst To Best.  I love lists and decided to play along.  Here’s how things shook out:

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28. Batman And Robin (1997)

28. Conan The Destroyer (1984): I couldn’t believe the drop in quality from Conan to Conan the Destroyer.

27. Red Sonja (1985)

27. Red Sonja (1985): Sometimes it is better to say nothing.

26. The Expendables 3 (2014)

26. End Of Days (1999): I don’t remember much about End of Days other than not liking it.

25. The Expendables (2010)

25. The 6th Day (2000): See above.

24. The Expendables 2 (2012)

24. Batman And Robin (1997) was an all around over-the-top mess.

23. Collateral Damage (2002)

23. Collateral Damage (2002): I don’t remember much about this at all and that’s never good.

22. The 6th Day (2000)

22. The Running Man (1987): This just didn’t work for me on any level – it wasn’t funny and it wasn’t scary.

21. Terminator Genisys (2015)

21. Kindergarten Cop (1990): I thought it was just okay.

20. Raw Deal (1986)

20. Raw Deal (1986): I want to revisit Raw Deal. I thought it was okay with the potential to be better. I want to see how it has aged.

19. Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines (2003)

19. Terminator Genisys (2015): Another okay film.

18. Conan The Destroyer (1984)

18. Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines (2003): See above.

17. Eraser (1996)

17. Red Heat (1987): Like Raw Deal, this had potential. I need to revisit it.

16. End Of Days (1999)

16. The Last Stand (2013): was better than I thought it would be.

15. Terminator: Dark Fate (2019)

15. Terminator: Dark Fate (2019): While not on the level of the first two Terminator movies, it is better than those that followed.

14. Escape Plan (2013)

14. Last Action Hero (1993): I liked this film!

13. Red Heat (1987)

13. Total Recall (1990): Another Arnold classic!

12. Sabotage (2014)

12. Escape Plan (2013): I liked it and was surprised at how well received it was by fans and critics.

11. Last Action Hero (1993)

11. The Expendables 3 (2014): Sly and Arnold IV (see above for III).

10. The Last Stand (2013)

10. The Expendables 2 (2012): Sly & Arnold II.

9. Kindergarten Cop (1990)

9. The Expendables (2010): Finally Sly and Arnold together in a movie!

8. Conan The Barbarian (1982)

8. Conan The Barbarian (1982): I am a big fan of this movie. I would love to see King Conan with the right script and director.

7. True Lies (1994)

7. Eraser (1996): I liked this better than most folks. I need to revisit it.

6. Commando (1985)

6. Sabotage (2014): Nice change of pace for Arnold. I’m a huge fan.

5. The Running Man (1987)

5. True Lies (1994): I wish we had sequels to this one.

4. Predator (1987)

4. Commando (1985): A great mix of action and humor!

3. The Terminator (1984)

3. The Terminator (1984): A classic!

2. Total Recall (1990)

2. Predator (1987): A classic. Too bad we never got a sequel with Dutch!

1. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

1. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991): IMHO, Arnold’s greatest film!

“Goldfinger” – Behind the Scenes Trivia!

Matthew Jackson, at Mental Floss, came up with some really great trivia items in his 18 Behind-the-Scenes Facts About Goldfinger.  Before you click over here are three of my favorites and my thoughts on each…

THERE ARE KEY DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE BOOK VERSION OF GOLDFINGER AND THE MOVIE.  (In the novel Goldfinger plans to steal all the gold from Fort Knox.  In the movie he plans to set off a dirty bomb in Fort Knox making the gold there unusable.  The movie version is a cleverer idea and aligns more with what a Bond villain would do. – Craig)

GOLDFINGER ESTABLISHED MANY JAMES BOND FIRSTS.  (There are things we expect to see in every Bond film and Goldfinger established many of them: a cold open with Bond on an unrelated mission; an opening theme performed by a popular recording artist; and established the relationship between Bond and Q. – Craig)

GOLDFINGER’S FAMOUS LASER BEAM SCENE CAUSED A HEADACHE FOR THE VISUAL EFFECTS TEAM. (This is perhaps the most iconic scene between Bond and a villain and it is interesting to read how the scene was created and why the sweat we see on Connery’s face is real as the laser beam inches towards his crotch. – Craig)

Sly Stallone Recognized for Having a #1 Box Office Movie for Six Decades Straight!

I love that Deadline recognized Sly Stallone for having a number #1 film at the box office for six decades straight!  Mindboggling, isn’t.  And there is more to come.  Click on the photo above to see a bigger scan.

Here’s Sly’s response posted on his official instagram:

Thank you for making me feel like I’m on top of the world. It’s been a great career thanks to all of you! Keep punching, sly. Thank you @jamesgunn

Want to Know the Best Cities in 2021 to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse?

Lawn Love (of all places!) dug through a boatload of data to come up with 2021’s Best Cities for Surviving a Zombie Apocalypse.  As you can see from the infographic above they have listed the 10 best as well as the 10 worst cities for living through a zombie end-of-the-world scenario.

In order to get their rankings they looked at:

  • highest/lowest share of the population in good health
  • highest/lowest share of homes with basements
  • most/fewest stores with hunting gear
  • best/worst trail access
  • most/fewest military bases

Since Florida soil isn’t conducive to basements, I’m surprised that we had two cities that placed in the top 10 for safest.  I was also surprised to see that my current city (Daytona Beach, Fl.) and my birth city (Terre Haute, In.) didn’t even make the top 200 of safest cities.

If there was a zombie apocalypse I would want to be in an area that wasn’t over-populated and had a nice year round climate.  The Florida coast would probably be a good choice since you could fish year round making food one less worry.

If you click over to Lawn Love’s site you’ll see the full zombie apocalypse infographic and how cities rated in each area.  You can even look up your hometown to see how it ranked.  Then you’ll know if you’re likely to survive or become one of the walking dead.

The 12 Best Movies from the Last 12 Decades!

Jonathan H. Kantor, at Listverse, took on the Herculean task of coming up with the Top 10 Best Movies Of The Last 10 Decades.  I decided I would compare my list to Kantor’s but I also included two decades that he didn’t.  I also decided I would choose the film that best resonated with me for each decade rather than the “best”.  The films picked are the ones I return to watch most often (in most cases… more on that later) Here is how our lists compared and then my thoughts after…

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1900s The Great Train Robbery (1903)
1910s Shoulder Arms (1918) Charlie Chaplin
1920s Metropolis The Unknown (1928) Lon Chaney
1930s The Wizard of Oz The Wizard of Oz (1939)
1940s Citizen Kane Casablanca (1942)
1950s Sunset Blvd. North by Northwest (1959)
1960s Psycho Night of the Living Dead (1968)
1970s The Godfather Rocky (1976)
1980s Raiders of the Lost Ark Die Hard (1988)
1990s The Shawshank Redemption The Last of the Mohicans (1992)
2000s Spirited Away Pitch Black (2000)
2010s Boyhood John Wick (2014)

Choosing one film to represent the best of each decade was nearly impossible.  I was forced to leave out many of my favorite movies since I could only select one per decade.  Hats off to Kantor for coming up with such a list and for making me think about the films I love.  I’m sure if I did this again I would in some cases select different films.  I’ve been thinking for a while now I would like to post a list of my top three favorite films for each year, taking them one year at a time.  Perhaps I will get to that one day.  For now I need to give my brain a rest.

“Way of the Gun” Trivia from Director Christopher McQuarrie!

I recently posted about my love for Way of the Gun.  It’s got a great cast and was written/directed by Christopher McQuarrie.  If you haven’t seen it you might want to give it a try.

Rob Hunter, at Film School Rejects, posted 28 Things We Learned from Christopher McQuarrie’s ‘The Way of the Gun’ Commentary.  As usual, before you click over, here are three of my favorites and thoughts to go with each…

McQuarrie was “very resistant” to casting Phillippe, but the actor wouldn’t take no without the opportunity for a meeting. (When McQuarrie asked Phillippe why he wanted to be in his small film instead of a higher profile project, Phillippe’s response that he wanted to be an actor, not a movie star was classic!  I love Phillippe’s persistence and attitude towards his craft. – Craig)

The kidnapping scene sees lots of collateral in the form of dead or wounded people in both the foreground and background. McQuarrie points out the couple in the car at 17:43 — “a guy crying over his dead wife with three bullets in the windshield” — and says it’s all meant to leave viewers questioning who their loyalty is aimed towards. (One of the things I really like about Way of the Gun is that the two leads aren’t movie star bad guys.  You know, bad guys that are really good at heart or misunderstood.  These guys aren’t heroes. – Craig)

“The character is a survivor,” said James Caan about his character Joe Sarno, “I want to show what he survived.” The result was a highlighting of the scars on his face and neck. (There are a lot of great lines in Way of the Gun and James Caan’s character gets his fair share.  One of my favorites: “The only thing you can guess about a broken down old man is that he is a survivor.” – Craig)

Val Kilmer – Little Known & Surprising Trivia!

Jake Rossen, at Mental Floss, has come up with 10 Surprising Facts About Val Kilmer.  Rossen’s list is a good one, with some truly surprising trivia.  Before you click over, here are three of my favorites with my thoughts…

VAL KILMER WAS THE YOUNGEST PERSON TO EVER BE ACCEPTED INTO THE JUILLIARD SCHOOL’S DRAMA DIVISION.  (That is a testament to Kilmer’s talent that isn’t subjective. – Craig)

VAL KILMER TURNED DOWN THE OUTSIDERS TO DO BROADWAY. (I’m sure that was a tough decision — work with a group of up and coming young stars directed by Francis Ford Coppola or appear on Broadway with Kevin Bacon and Sean Penn.  I’m a bit surprised that he didn’t go with Coppola and the movie. – Craig)

VAL KILMER DIDN’T WANT TO MAKE TOP GUN. (Kilmer felt Top Gun had a pro-war message and almost didn’t accept the role that is arguably his second most famous! – Craig)

I still believe that Val Kilmer not getting nominated, let alone win an Oscar for his role as Doc Holiday in Tombstone is one of the biggest oversights in Academy Award history.

Top 10 Hitmen from Movies, Novels & Comics!

I was reading a discussion between Andy Rausch and Michael Gonzales titled HOW TO WRITE A MEMORABLE HIT MAN: A CONVERSATION AMONG CONNOISSEURS.  If you’re a crime fiction fan, especially the sub genre of hitmen, then you’d enjoy the post by Michael Gonzales.

At the end of the article Gonzales listed his Top Ten Hitman List from popular culture.  It’s a good list, so I decided to come up with one of my own (listed in alphabetical order):

  1. Arthur Bishop played by Charles Bronson in The Mechanic
  2. Jackie Coogan played by Brad Pitt in Killing Them Softly
  3. John Rain written by Barry Eisler from his Hitman Series
  4. John Wick played by Keanu Reeves in the John Wick movies
  5. Keller written by Lawrence Block from his Hitman Series
  6. Leon played by Jean Reno in Leon aka The Professional
  7. Luca Torelli from the Torpedo Graphic Novels written by Enrique Sánchez Abulí and drawn by Jordi Bernet
  8. Michael Sullivan played by Tom Hanks in Road to Perdition based on the graphic novel written by Max Allan Collins and drawn by Richard Piers Rayner
  9. Robert Rath played by Sly Stallone in Assassins
  10. Vincent played by Tom Cruise in Collateral

M. Knight Shyamalan’s Films From Best to Worst!

Chris Evangelista at /Film took a swing at ranking M. Knight Shyamalan’s Movies From Worst to Best.  Evangelista took into account all of M. Knight’s films including his newest (Old – which I haven’t seen) and his earliest work (that didn’t see wide release).  I decided to rank Evangelista’s top five to see how we’d compare.  I also included my thoughts on some of M. Knight Shyamalan’s films that didn’t make the top five.

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5. Split 5. The Village: I liked The Village up until the twist. It just didn’t work for me.
4. Signs 4. Unbreakable: I enjoyed Unbreakable but not as much as most. I need to revisit it.
3. Unbreakable 3. Split: I thought Split was surprisingly good.
2. The Village 2. Signs: I really love Signs, great cast and fun story with scares along the way.
1. The Sixth Sense 1. The Sixth Sense: Absolutely loved it. Proud to say I figured out the twist early on.
  • Lady in the Water: I’ve seen this once and remember liking it better than most folks.
  • Old:  I haven’t seen this and am in no rush to.
  • The Happening:  I had really high hopes for The Happening.  The trailers were creepy and I was excited to get to a theater to experience it.  What a let down The Happening turned out to be. I do remember that the scariest part was the old lady.
  • The Visit: I am a fan of The Visit.  I thought it was pretty good.  The tension builds and builds. It had the M. Knight twist near the end that he is known for.  I’d have included in this in the top five.

The All-Time Scariest Sci-Fi Movies!

Phil Pirrello decided to rank The 25 Scariest Sci-Fi Movies Ever Made.  I decided to play along using just his top five to see how we’d compare.  The results are below…

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1. The Thing (1982)

1. Alien: Because we had never seen a creature like this and because anyone in the cast could die the scare factor was increased.

2. Alien (1979)

2. The Thing: Watch the blood test scene and tell me that The Thing doesn’t belong in the top two. I dare ya!

3. The Fly (1986)

3. Aliens: If the colonial marines can’t stand up to them, what can? (Congrats to Sigourney Weaver for making the top 3 with two different directors!)

4. Aliens (1986)

4. The Fly: Equal parts scary and gory.

5. The Invisible Man (2020)

5. The Invisible Man: was much better than I thought it would be.

Other films in Pirrello’s list that I would have rated higher: Pitch Black; 10 Cloverfield Lane; Us; Predator; A Quiet Place; and Terminator.

“Get Shorty” Trivia!

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Rob Hunter at Film School Rejects posted 29 Things We Learned from Barry Sonnenfeld’s ‘Get Shorty’ Commentary.  Before you click over here are three of my favorites and my thoughts on each…

They did about thirty takes of the scene where Chili (Travolta) punches Bones (Dennis Farina).  (It always surprises me when I read about shots that require so many takes.  30 seems like a lot to film a scene of a guy getting punched.  It’s not like the actor’s are forgetting dialogue. – Craig)

Sonnenfeld is also a producer on the film because he brought the film to Danny DeVito‘s attention after reading the novel on a cruise. He envisioned DeVito as “the perfect Chili Palmer,” but they went with Travolta who ended up being the perfect Chili Palmer. DeVito bought the rights, and they were off to the races. (DeVito as Chili Palmer?  Even DeVito didn’t see that.  Travolta was the right choice. – Craig)

Preview audiences were asked what their least favorite scenes were, and their number one pick was Ray hitting Fay (Hart) because you should never show a man hitting a woman. “My feeling was, first of all, it’s okay for them not to like this scene. You’re not supposed to hit a woman… (Exactly.  The audience shouldn’t like that scene, but it should stay in the movie.  What kind of bad guys do we end up with if they never do anything the audience doesn’t like? – Craig)

What is Best at the Top 25 USA Restaurant Chains?

Michele Debczak at Mental Floss posted the list of America’s 25 Biggest Restaurant Chains.  I thought it might be interesting to share my favorite food or drink at each.  Perhaps we have the same taste…

  • McDonald’s: Believe it or not, I go to McDonald’s almost every day for the Sugar-free French Vanilla Coffee.  I love it (even if I sometimes have to doctor it up with a bit of Monk Fruit.)
  • Starbucks: I never go there unless it is through the drive-through with/for my wife.  I find Starbucks to be
    over-priced and snooty.  Grande, indeed.
  • Taco Bell: Another place I seldom go.  I used to like the 7 layer burrito, but it has gone the way of Burger Chef.
  • Chick-fil-A: I go to Chick-fil-A on a weekly basis (at least). For breakfast; Egg white grill (egg, grilled chicken on an English muffin). For lunch: Grilled chicken sandwich & cup of chicken noodle soup.  They have the best staff and service time no matter the location.
  • Wendy’s: I love that you can get chili there year round.  Their grilled chicken sandwich isn’t bad either.  Want to splurge?  Get the Baconator.
  • Burger King: Their Whopper used to be the best fast food burger going.  It is still awesome, but the service at BK (no matter the locations) make the experience less than pleasurable.  I hope for a BK comeback some day.
  • Subway: I don’t eat there as often as I used to, but when I do, I get the BMT with lettuce, pickle, onion, mayo, mustard, plus a little oil and vinegar.
  • Dunkin’: I don’t eat at Dunkin’ unless there is nothing else.  Then I get a cinnamon roll.
  • Domino’s: I don’t eat at Domino’s but when I did it would be pizza with pepperoni and extra cheese.
  • Panera Bread: Any of their soup and sandwich choices are good.
  • Chipotle: I eat at Chipolte pretty regularly.  I like the burrito bowl.  Be sure and get the chips and salsa!
  • Pizza Hut:  I don’t eat at Pizza Hut but when I did it would be barbeque pizza.
  • KFC: They have great slaw and their biscuits aren’t bad either!
  • Popeyes: Their chicken sandwich is amazing.
  • Sonic Drive-In: I love that you can always get a hot dog or corn dog there… and they ain’t bad.
  • Buffalo Wild Wings: Go with what is in the name – get wings and a Diet Coke then watch some sports.
  • Arby’s: Get the Arby’s classic loaded with roast beef and add some horsey sauce.
  • Little Caesars: I don’t do Little Caesars.
  • Dairy Queen: Either a M&M Blizzard or an old fashioned chocolate milk shake made with vanilla ice cream and Hershey’s chocolate syrup.
  • Jack in the Box: I don’t eat at Jack in the Box.
  • Panda Express: Get the Honey Walnut Shrimp!
  • Olive Garden: Unlimited Soup, Salad and Breadsticks!  Switch up the soup if you go for seconds.  Oh, and be sure and add a side of Alfredo sauce for the breadsticks.
  • Papa John’s:  I don’t eat at Papa John’s.
  • Chili’s: They have a good bacon burger.
  • Applebee’s: I used to get the Club House Grill but it has gone the way of Lum’s, so I don’t eat at Applebee’s very often.

“Terminator 2” – Surprising Facts!

Terminator 2 is consider by many to be not only the best film in the Terminator series, but also the best movie that Arnold Schwarzenegger ever made.  It’s interesting to note that initially James Cameron had no interest in a sequel, Arnold didn’t like the idea of playing a good terminator and Linda Hamilton just wanted to be crazy.  You’ll learn the reasons behind these facts and a whole lot more if you click over to Todd Gilchrist’s 20 Facts About Terminator 2: Judgment Day at Mental Floss.  Before you do, here are three of my favorites and my thoughts on each…

JAMES CAMERON WANTED BILLY IDOL TO PLAY THE T-1000.  (Cameron wanted a different body type for the T-1000 and Billy Idol was his first choice.  Idol was in a motorcycle wreck that led to Robert Patrick getting the part.  I believe that Idol’s celebrity would have taken from the impact of the T-1000 and it would have looked like stunt casting.  I also believe that Patrick was a better choice for the role – he’s an excellent actor! – Craig)


TERMINATOR 2 ESSENTIALLY MADE ITS MONEY BACK BEFORE IT EVEN PREMIERED. (This is an amazing fact when you consider that Cameron was paid $6 million dollars, Arnold was paid $15 million, Linda Hamilton got $1 million and the total budget was $102 million dollars. – Craig)

SEVERAL VERSIONS OF T2 HAVE BEEN RELEASED, BUT JAMES CAMERON HAS A FAVORITE. (It’s the theatrical release and I agree. – Craig)

 

J. Edgar Hoover – Some Surprising Facts You May Not Know!

J. Edgar Hoover is an interesting character.  The fact that he was the head of the FBI and able to stay in office for decades, that even President’s feared him, and that he had “the goods” on anyone who was anyone has always intrigued me.  He wasn’t a good guy and there are many rumors that surround his personal life. 

Scott Beggs touches on many of these things and more in 20 Surprising Facts About J. Edgar Hoover.  Before you click over, here are three of my favorites and my thoughts on each…

.J. EDGAR HOOVER DIDN’T HAVE A BIRTH CERTIFICATE UNTIL HE WAS 43.  (This was the same year his mother died and there is speculation “that Hoover, who persecuted Black civil rights leaders, had a secret African-American heritage.” Wouldn’t that be something?  I wonder if the rumors are true. – Craig)

RICHARD NIXON WAS AFRAID OF J. EDGAR HOOVER.  (Hoover apparently had “dirt” on every President and they were afraid to fire him.  It is especially telling that “Richard Nixon, thought Hoover might ‘bring down the temple’ if he were sacked.”  We have learned over the years the indiscretions of many of our Presidents but Hoover had the goods at the time. – Craig)

J. EDGAR HOOVER HAD WHAT WAS POSSIBLY THE WORLD’S LARGEST COLLECTION OF PORNOGRAPHY. (Reportedly it contained photos of celebrities and politicians. The craziest rumor about it: That it contained nude pictures of Eleanor Roosevelt given to him by W.C. Fields!?  Really??  Also, why would he keep the collection — perhaps for his own enjoyment or more likely to have something on these folks should he ever need to it. – Craig)

The All Time Best Female-Led Action Movies!

Daniel Kurland at CBR.com came up with his list of the 10 Best Female-Led Action Movies.  Kurland’s list is a good one, so I thought I’d compare my rankings (using his choices) to his.  Here is how things shook out:

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10/10. Aliens

*** Hanna
*** Alita: Battle Angel

9/10. Kill Bill, Volumes 1 & 2

 

8/10. Underworld

8/10. V For Vendetta

7/10. Terminator 2: Judgment Day

7/10. Underworld

6/10. V For Vendetta

06/10. Kill Bill, Volumes 1 & 2

5/10. Hanna

05/10. The Resident Evil Series

4/10. Atomic Blonde

4/10. Atomic Blonde

3/10. Alita: Battle Angel

3/10. Aliens

2/10. Mad Max: Fury Road

2/10. Terminator 2: Judgment Day

1/10. The Resident Evil Series

1/10. Mad Max: Fury Road

I hadn’t seen Hanna or Alita, so I didn’t rank them.

My top four could possibly change spots depending on my mood. I believe them to be the cream of the crop.

I would have found a spot in my top ten, probably at #5 for Gena Davis and The Long Kiss Goodnight and at #6 Gina Carano for Haywire.