I’ve been watching the HBO series Entourage lately when I go to bed for a couple of reasons. The first reason is it helps me clear my head when I’m lying down to sleep. It’s something that’s fairly mindless and I can just relax to. The episodes are relatively short (25 minutes) so if I fall asleep during one of them, it’s not really a pain to go back and finish the episode later.
The second reason is I’m curious as to what my fascination is with this show. Is it that Entourage is a minuscule peek into a world I’m fascinated by? People have often wondered why I like bad movies because they equate it with not being entertaining. I would argue that bad movies can be just as valuable in the entertainment department because it can bring about questions you might never think of asking. How did this get made? Was this how the original draft of the script was? Why would a studio dedicate this much money to such a terrible project? What was the side deal that went with this movie? Is that really the best take they could have gotten out of Hayden Christensen?
And that’s where the draw from Entourage seems to be with me. It’s a frustratingly average show. It had the potential to be one of the greatest series on television, and it always came up short of expectations. I found myself hating several of the main characters, but perhaps that was the reason for their characters being included in the story. Hollywood isn’t a completely likable place and it’s possible those characters were there to be both inspirational but mostly grounding. When you watch the story arc of Vincent Chase and see that he couldn’t just do movies he wanted to do, but he had to do movies the studio wanted him to do as a bargaining chip for projects he wanted to do later, I immediately start thinking about actors like Nicolas Cage, Eddie Murphy, and other thespians/performers who were once heralded and are now hysterically chastised.
This brings us to Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze in the movie Batman & Robin. Arnold essentially got paid an enormous amount of loot to spend 20 minutes on camera, say bad puns about cold stuff, and wear makeup that looks like a cream with real diamonds in it that would make you exclaim, “a million f*****g diamonds!”
It seems widely held in the court of public opinion that this was the worst Batman movie ever created. Even the Jim Carrey, Tommy Lee Jones debacle wasn’t as bad as what George Clooney had to do in order to be Batman on the big screen. Clooney did incredible projects on both ends of his appearance in Batman & Robin. He had just come off of From Dusk Till Dawn and One Fine Day and was about to be in The Peacemaker, Out of Sight, The Thin Red Line, and Three Kings. This is a pretty decent potato salad of movies with a big bat-shaped turd in the middle.
I get why Clooney did it. It helped him establish himself with the studios and become one of the biggest movie stars in any era. But why did Arnold take this role? What would compel him to be a part of something that was going to be a terrible and disrespected role? Was it anticipated as being something incredible and hindsight just tells us it was horrendous?
Check out all of Arnold’s puns in the movie:
I fancy myself someone who enjoys making and appreciating bad puns. It’s something I pride myself on making. And I’m not the only one on this site. If you follow Steve McPherson’s tweets during any Wolves’ game, he’s a maestro at murdering the pun game. There is an art to it, an art I appreciate immensely. What Arnold and the creators, producers, and executers of Batman & Robin did with the Mr. Freeze character is NOT art.
It’s a farce in so many ways. Arnold had to know this when he was reading scripts. He had to know this at the table reads. He had to know this in rehearsal. He had to know this when he did audio work in post-production. This was something he got paid $25 million to do and yet he didn’t seem to care about the job he was doing. When you look at his body of work surrounding the release of that movie, he was coming off of Jingle All the Way and Eraser and he was about to do End of Days, The Sixth Day, and Collateral Damage. He wasn’t exactly holding out for There Will Be Blood.
This was a man that would eventually have political aspirations to try to
ruin run California. This was the biggest action star in the world at the time and he took a project that had no redeeming qualities except the paycheck. And maybe sometimes that’s all the job is about — a paycheck. Arnold’s paycheck for that movie was historic and he didn’t even have to try. Say this terrible line, narrow your eyes, rinse, lather, repeat. The biggest effort he had to put forth was not sexually harassing Uma Thurman and sitting in a makeup chair for six hours a day.
What does this have to do with the Wolves’ loss to the Warriors Tuesday night? Nothing. They stopped playing basketball in the third quarter and hung tough with a better team on the road in the other three quarters. They had havoc thrown in their face and at times threw it right back at the Golden Staters. They slowed down Stephen Curry and fell by the hands of Klay Thompson. Rubio shot horribly (I don’t even care about the 0-of-10 performance; I’m talking about “shot terribly” as he took terrible shots). The bench fought and the starters didn’t seem to have it in them.
Games like these happen and you can either choose to overanalyze it or you can waste 20 minutes talking about Arnold Schwarzenegger in one of his worst roles ever. And what was more painful — watching the clips of him making ice puns or the Wolves’ third quarter execution Tuesday night?