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Of all Arnold's mid-'80s movies who would have thought that most relevant
today would be The Running Man. A chilling and surprisingly realistic tale
of reality TV gone mad. It may have been far-fetched back then but not so
now. Not when you think about it. Currently, Reality TV shows are either
scraping the bottom of the barrel or desperate to raise the bar. If the
one isn't more controversial as the last, it's a dud. How long will it be
before we really do see shows like The Running Man? How long before we
'court-appointed theatrical attorneys' or the entertainment division of
Justice Department? There is so much satire and intelligence in this movie
that may have been missed back in 1987 that is desperate to be seen again
considering the current state of TV shows.
The biggest message of all is 'You are being lied to'. It's no secret that
the Government and the media work in cahoots. And the masses believe what
the media tells them to believe. It's a very scary state of affairs and
unless more accurate representations of the truth emerge we may easily
accept a brutal show like the Running Man in the near future. It's no
that Reality TV is not very realistic. It's edited and reshaped before
aired and it's only what the networks want you to see. Usually it's far
the real truth.
Although rather different than Stephen King's book (the ending is
changed) the script does conform to the typical Arnie formula. Yes, he
have numerous and very corny one-liners and he does say 'I'll be back'
(which he never REALLY said that often anyway, when you think about it) in
the most ironic situation yet but he's still a zillion times better in the
role then Christopher Reeve or Dolph Lundgren would have been (these two
were considered BEFORE Arnie believe it or not).
The director is none other than Dave Starsky himself (Paul Michael
It may not be artistic but it is still strong enough to generate
and his use of neon and flourescent colors gives each individual set a
pretty cool look. Andrew Davis (not a director I particularly like) was
attached before Glaser, though no matter who directs, the film is still
marred by a very heavy 80's feel.
First of all, Harold Faltermeyer's score (remember him?) is incredibly
and robs the action scenes of any timeless integrity. And the fashion
of the movie is far too excessive to be convincingly set in the future.
Apart from the dated feel, the only other thing that bugs me is the poorly
staged shoot-out that passes as the climax.
This new DVD is a zillion times better than the original release. Gone is
the horrid letterbox picture. In its place is a brand new hi-definition
1.85:1 anamorphic transfer. The colors sparkle and literally pop from the
screen. The new Dolby 5.1 EX and DTS ES soundtrack are also amazing. There
constant use of the surround channels to great effect and the bass is
and powerful. Definitely one of the best re-masters I've seen so far. Two
intriguing documentaries, a trailer and a 'Meet the Stalkers' gimmick are
included in this 2-disc set that comes in a rather neat slip case.
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, Jim Brown
, Maria Conchita Alonso
, Yaphet Kotto
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