My Movie List – Abi Jones

Hi, I’m Abi Jones, the owner and editor of, the world’s foremost frozen food review site. I just moved from Washington, DC to Silicon Valley and I’m perpetually amused that my state is governed by Arnold Schwarzenegger.

I could give you a list of great films, but I think that you’re probably sick of hearing about some boring, moving epic tragedy that does little to entertain. At least, that’s what I’m telling people when they ask if I’ve seen Atonement. That or I just mutter “I drink your milkshake.” And down a shot of whiskey. Instead, I’m going to give you some insight into the highest executive authority in the state of California.

The Essential Arnold Schwarzenegger

1. Terminator 2 – Judgement Day (1991) – 17 years after its initial theatrical release, the special effects in this movie are still chilling. This movie came out two years before Jurassic Park! And more than special effects we have a story about the subversion of self for the good of humanity. Nowadays, the Terminator would use Facebook to track down John Connor. Of course, a quick search on Facebook yields 500+ John Connors, so maybe not.

2. Junior (1994) – What, you don’t remember this movie? Well, you shouldn’t because it was awful. However, Arnold Schwarzenegger totally falls in love with Emma Thompson (I know, you don’t believe your eyes at this point) and he’s pregnant. Boy, do I wish that men could bear children. This movie may have been a complete waste of the talents of Ms. Thompson and Mr. Danny DeVito, but it certainly made me view reproduction in a whole new light.

3. True Lies (1994) – About 2/3 of the way through the movie, True Lies starts to get bogged down in its lack of a really well thought-out plot. Fortunately, there’s enough ridiculous action to make you forget about the plot of the movie and whether or not you should be worrying about your mortgage payments. For instance, at one point Mr. Schwarzenegger, who was known to his family as a mild-mannered computer salesman, is piloting a Harrier jet, hovering near a Miami skyscraper. There’s a terrorist who has some sort of unfortunate belt-strap attachment to one of the missiles on his jet. So, what does the hero do? He arms the missile, shoots it through the skyscraper (sending the strapped on guy with it) and into a helicopter full of terrorists on the other side of the building. It is the sort of movie that’s extraordinarily satisfying when consumed with a large quantity of popcorn. It is an action movie with a capital A.

4. Total Recall (1990) – I’m pretty sure that I saw this movie at age 10. I know, this is not a movie for 10-year-olds, but I’m not a prostitute or a murderer and I don’t have three breasts, so I don’t think the movie had much influence on my actual psyche/physical reality. What it did make me think was was holy f*cking crap, the future is a scary place! And that statement has nothing to do with Sharon Stone attempting to kill Arnold Schwarzenegger with her thighs (weirdly, not a surprise), no the frightening nature of the future stems from the classic Philip K. Dick theme of reality vs. illusion. Combining brilliant special effects and the psychic trauma potential in false memory, this movie makes one question more than man’s place on Earth (or Mars, in this case). It makes you ask yourself about the veracity of both physical experiences and memories. It also makes you realize that movie directors had a much more effective vision of airport security than we experience today.

5. Commando (1985) – The greatest wealth of strongly accented groan-worthy one-liners comes from Commando. The plot? Well, let’s just say that some deposed Latin American dictator needs Arnold Schwarzenegger to return to an unnamed Latin American country to assassinate the current president. I know, the pronouns are a killer. No, I don’t know why Arnold Schwarzenegger had to do it. Seriously, you’d think that with the number of people it takes for them to go after his character (John Matrix), they could have just done the whole assassination thing themselves. But no, they make it complicated by kidnapping Matrix’s daughter so that he’ll do their dirty work. It gives the term ‘Foot soldier in the Reagan revolution’ a whole new meaning. Of course, you don’t need to see the entire movie to get a taste of 80’s violence. The folks on YouTube have been kind enough to put together a sort of greatest hits of scenes from Commando:

This was lovingly handwritten on February 21st, 2008