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RUNNING WITH ARNOLD: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
The story of Arnold Schwarzenegger's meteoric rise to the top of California's right-wing government, exposing the controversial Republican's life in all its bizarre - and often immoral - glory. From his beginnings as an immigrant body-builder from Austria to his aggressive campaign led to his becoming the "Governator" in spite of his controversial opinions about sexual politics, the economy and his methods of intimidation.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
In Australian media parlance, this is a hatchet job. Within minutes of the start, we know the filmmakers are not making this as an objective portrait or overview of Arnie; it's a clearly biased examination of the actor turned Governor. The naïve clarity of the bias makes the film a bit more fun to watch, as Dan Cox takes the baseball to Arnie' image and his persona with a relish. But they're careful enough to tag it with an opening card: Based on a true story. And it's an entertaining story. Arnie is not an angel and he's clearly going to do time in purgatory. But it's a pity the filmmakers are so heavy handed and lopsided; they'd make a better case if they weren't.

For example, talking about Arnie's womanising, it would have been a better point had they contrasted his with Bill Clinton's. Clinton, after all, figures heavily as one of Arnie's critics, so that juxtaposition would have been totally fair. Yeah, I know, fair isn't what sells.

The other weaknesses of the film is that it uses the old fashioned smear by association and simply rehashes old news about Arnold, stringing it together in breathless fashion with Alec Baldwin's narration sounding as if he was revealing something new. But to be fair, there are some revelations new to me, at least, including his veto of a drugs bill that is in clear conflict of interest with his relationship with two body building magazines.

As a polemic, the film is every bit as effective as a good Mike Moore doco, and perhaps more disciplined. Well paced and full of colour, the subject gives the filmmakers great scope for images, which are plentiful. It helps confirm our worst fears about Arnold, or to undermine our trust in him, depending on where you stand.

Published November 13, 2008

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 1

RUNNING WITH ARNOLD: DVD (M)
(US, 2006)

CAST: Documentary featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger

NARRATION: Alec Baldwin

PRODUCER: Dan Cox, Mike Gabrawy, Jennifer Hughes,Judy Orbach, Jeffrey Orenstein

DIRECTOR: Dan Cox

SCRIPT: Dan Cox, Jerry Decker

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Donn Joseph Bialik

EDITOR: Rick Benivades, Katina Zinner, Peter Zinner

MUSIC: Clifford J. Tasner

RUNNING TIME: 72 minutes

PRESENTATION: 16:9; DD 2.0

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Madman

DVD RELEASE: October 8, 2008







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