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Live Blogs Let's Watch: Select Episodes of Cinematech (The Original Series)
BearyScary2014-09-06 18:07:24

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The Expendables: Cinematech Edition

Cinematech Episode 253: “Templeton's Smorgasbord”

One consistent thing in this ep, and the main point of interest, are the occasional clips of games based on movies featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger, building up to a montage at the end.

Timecode: 9:40: Long before there was Isaac Clarke and the Necromorphs, there was Video GameAbadox: The Deadly Inner War, a Nintendo Hard side-scrolling shooter about a guy in an anti-gravity suit trying to kill mutated horrors inside of an alien's intestinal tract! Ew. Who could bring you such a game? Konami? Capcom, maybe? No! Why, it was no one but Natsume, who later went on to create the cutesy, anime-styled, and generally wholesome Harvest Moon and Rune Factory series. The game was published by Milton Bradley. The game itself has some fairly disturbing and gory enemies and levels. There are also some levels that switch up the perspective and scroll downwards from a top-down perspective instead of horizontally from the side.

10:30: Save Mary!, an unreleased Atari 2600 game from 1990 that sadly has nothing to do with Silent Hill 2. They did something kind of cute with this clip where they put an old film grain filter over it with some old-timey music. The game seems to be about putting down platforms for Mary to climb up so that she doesn't drown in a pit filling up with water. Different sizes of platforms come from alternate sides of the screen for you to pick up and place to rescue Mary.

14:44: Clips from a FIFA Soccer game on the PlayStation Portable. This is one of my favorite clips from Cinematech because it proves that the show does have personality. The clip is basically a Take That! to soccer with very lemony music that sounds like it could have come from Monty Python's Flying Circus, and the clip ends with a superimposed graphic of a white picket fence with a sign that says “Wet Paint (Drying)”. Me-ow!

15:21: Clips from an Atari game called Saboteur which seems to have multiple gameplay styles, but the chief goal of the game is to stop a rocket from launching. It was programmed by Howard Scott Warshaw, who also programmed the infamous E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial game.

15:46: Clips from an unreleased Atari game based on The A-Team, which is basically a Reformulated Game of Saboteur, but with a sprite of Mr. T's head that is constantly alternating between looking left and right. This game also features a rendition of the theme song from the show.

16:51: Clips from Pokémon Snap on the Nintendo 64, a very fun on-rails game where you try to take high-scoring shots of Pokemon. The clip ends with one of many events you could unlock in the game by triggering certain events: a serenade from a Jigglypuff, with another 'Puff flying around, bein' cute. Jigglypuff is one of my fav mons for its extreme cuteness and uniqueness. A cute, pink mon that looks like a balloon with eyes whose main ability is singing? Most awesome.

This game is one of a few games that feature photography as a main gameplay element. Others include Fatal Frame, featuring a Camera Obscura that exorcises ghosts, and Dead Rising games with Badass Normal photojournalist Frank West in them. DR gives you experience (or Prestige) points for photographing events that fall into several categories, such as Drama, Outtake, and, uh, Erotic. There are also special objects that you can photograph that have PP stickers on them for mega points.

19:43: The moment you've all been waiting for: games featuring Schwarzenegger, including pop-up trivia.

Mindscape's Conan: “Arnold's muscles were too big to properly wield a sword in Conan the Barbarian.

The Terminator on the SEGA Genesis, also made by Mindscape: “Schwarzenegger trained in weapons handling on The Terminator.”

Another piece of trivia about Terminator: O.J. Simpson was considered for the part of the Terminator, but James Cameron thought that he wasn't believable as the killer Terminator.

Predator (NES): “Jesse Ventura co-starred with Arnold in the Predator [.] He was elected governor of Minnesota in 1998.”

Ventura was also featured in two other Arnie flicks: The Running Man and the infamous Batman & Robin. It's weird that they got cast in so many different movies together. One wonders if it was a multi-film, multi-franchise Casting Gag. They also both wound up in politics!

The NES Predator game was made by a Japanese developer called Pack-In Video, who made some licensed games that were somewhat, shall we say, creative with the licenses.

Total Recall: Apparently, they were unable to come up with any interesting trivia for this movie, and simply stated, to humorous effect, “Total Recall featured an alien prostitute with 3 boobs.”

The TR game from infamous publisher Acclaim caused some controversy when they bitched and moaned about Electronic Gaming Monthly giving the game low scores, and threatened to pull advertising from the magazine. In a pretty badass moment, EGM was like, “Go ahead.” A rebuttal to corporate overstep that Angry Joe would approve of. Compare that to the controversy around Gamespot, and how they fired Jeff Gerstmann after he gave Kane and Lynch a mediocre rating. I'm just sayin'. I recall EGM revisiting the TR game years later when they hired Seanbaby to write an article on the worst games of all time, according to the editors of EGM. I have nostalgia for that article because it was my first exposure to Seanbaby's writing. EGM hired Seanbaby to write several articles and columns in the following years.

One of the programmers for the game was Brian Fargo, who also designed Wasteland.

Terminator2: '''Terminator 2: Arnold had 700 words of dialogue.”

True Lies: They show a clip from the top-down action game based on the film, and Tom Arnold's character from the film tells Schwarzenegger's character, “For goodness sake Harry, watch out for the taxpayers. This is an election year after all!” A pop-up blurb says, “Good advice.”

This is probably the only game that has Tom Arnold in it.

Around the World in Eighty Days: Schwarzenegger's last film before being elected governor of California. A platform game based on a Box Office Bomb from 2004 based on a classic Jules Verne story. They show a scene where Schwarzenegger's character asks a female character to become his seventh wife, because she's so beautiful. If you think that is Harsher in Hindsight given his fidelity problems to his wife Maria Shriver, check out this piece of trivia: “During his campaign for Governor of California, 16 women said he had groped or talked dirty to them. Arnold apologized for 'behaving badly sometimes'.” Several years after this ep aired, it was revealed that Schwarzenegger had an illegitimate child with a housekeeper. Yikes. Where's Maury Povich when you need him?

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Boy, was I happy that my spellcheck helped me out with the repeated usage of the name "Schwarzenegger" in this installment.

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