Episode 238: The Poor Man’s Liam Neeson

The Overthinkers tackle Arnold Schwarzenegger and The Last Stand.

Matthew Belinkie, Peter Fenzel, and Matthew Wrather overthink Arnold Schwarzenegger and The Last Stand and talk about comebacks, the meaning of the film, the importance of the international box office, and which action stars have—and haven’t—aged gracefully.

And they remind you to come to the Overthinking It Fifth Birthday Party, Saturday, January 26, in New York City.

This episode of the Overthinking It Podcast is dedicated to the memory of TC Cheever. Read his OTI guest article, “Just Say No to Wonka“.


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15 Comments on “Episode 238: The Poor Man’s Liam Neeson”

  1. chris #

    Summoning guardians in FF8 was not the most effective way to play and beat that game. I would go so far as to say that it was decidedly non-optimal. It was just the easiest and most strait forward way to get most of the way through the game. That said, it was actually probably a funner way to watch combat as the most effective mode of combat was to spend hour after hour standing in front of enemies stealing magical spells, which were then used to provide stat boasts to your characters.

    I can’t decide if I should be sad or proud to know this information.


      • chris #

        They totally did the job for most of the game. However, in the game’s last level or so, they take them away from you. Thus, as no one actually knows the combat system because they let you summon your way through most of the game, you are pretty much boned at that point.


        • fenzel OTI Staff #

          Wow, that seems like awesome game design.


          • chris #

            I will say it was the first game that really made me think about game design and was the first game I remember theorycrafting. Sadly, outside of the whole farming bit the actual combat system was pretty fun even if the game never really taught the player how to use it properly on their own.

        • Matthew Belinkie OTI Staff #

          Thanks Anthony! But honestly, I’m not sure if I’m prepared to spend all those hours working my way back through the easy quests to get to the cool stuff.

          Actually, similar thing happened to me in Grand Theft Auto 4. I got to a pretty advanced stage in the game, and then my save got lost. I just don’t have the heart to take that undercover agent bowling again.


          • shinyemptyhead #

            It’s on XBLA as well, and I had exactly the experience that Matt imagines he would have – I couldn’t struggle through the starter city to get to my two favourite parts (the countryside missions and San Fierro).

  2. Skab #

    Let me just answer the question no one cares to google, in tremors the big canon like shotgun was an “Elephant Gun”.

    Also that worm is gettin’ mounted on mai wall!


  3. Robert #

    Steve Coogan is a pretty big deal here in the UK. His Alan Partridge character is a cultural icon. The analogy might be with someone like Stephen Colbert: a charicature of an arrogant, self-obsessed broadcaster who has huge faith in their own importance. Like Colbert, Coogan often appears in public in character as Alan Partridge.

    Recently, Coogan has led the campaign to reform our newspapers. The tabloid newspaper The News of the World was caught hacking people’s phones to eavesdrop on their conversations. The failure of the police to adequately investigate the case revealed collusion and corruption between the press, the police and politicians, culminating in the elegant, haiku-simple revelation that the Chief Executive of News International leant the Prime Minister a horse that had been given to her by the London Metropolitan Police Force. I would love to hear the Overthinkers tackle the 2000+ page semi judicial report of the Leveson Inquiry. But, as most of the British commentariat (and Steve Coogan) are discovering to their cost, it’s really not something you can review without having read.


    • JosephFM #

      As an American who liked British music, my first exposure to Coogan was playing Tony Wilson in 24 Hour Party People; my second was his bit in Coffee and Cigarettes (as Himself/Alfred Molina’s stuck-up asshole cousin), and my third was….Night At The Museum, where presumably his bits with Owen Wilson led to the terrible Around The World in 80 Days movie with Jackie Chan that was mentioned on the podcast.


      • Timothy J Swann #

        I think of Steve Coogan as Sacha Baron Cohen’s figurative father.


  4. Gab #

    Hey, condolences about TC Cheever.

    Ah, Fenzel, the watching versus playing the RE games was totally my childhood- my dad, my older sis, and I would play, while my mom and two younger siblings watched. The three players would even stay home from school/work the Friday after new ones came out so we could all experience it together in full, since Mom wasn’t working (and as soon as the younguns got off the bus, they’d plop down on someone’s lap and watch).

    (So sidenote: This isn’t really an overthinking statement, but by golly, I’m disappointed in where the series has gone. It’s not survival horror any longer, it’s just running around killing/rekilling things, a lot of going from Point A to Point B, rather than A, B, C, B, A, C. Conserving ammo isn’t really an issue lately. Not all that many puzzles, nor are they all that good. There aren’t even all that many zombies, proportionally to the rest of the creatures. ::end rant:: )

    So there’s a theory of the policy process in American politics called the Multiple Streams theory of policy formation (John Kingdon). It postulates that there are three “streams” of policy- problems, solutions, and politics. The first two are what they sound like, and the last is basically the political climate, comprised of the mood in bureaucracy, the country at large, Congress, etc. (think basically of it like time). The three basically exist on their own- there are lots of problems floating around in the ether, as there are all sorts of solutions just kind of floating around, waiting to be picked. When the streams cross, policy gets formed/adopted (I show the clip from the end of Ghostbusters to my students when I teach this). So the key thing here is that there are lots of solutions already waiting to be adopted, and only when the right problem shows up at the right time, they get adopted. Implicit in it is that solutions get presented that aren’t right for the problems or they get presented at the wrong time, so they fail, or at least aren’t enthusiastically embraced as so great. Success, then, is when say you have the character in the action movie obsessed with grenades, and they keep wanting to use them, but the other people say no; finally, they need a grenade, so the person grins and throws it and BOOM! Failure would be the Segway.

    I LOVE TITAN A.E.! I have my own copy of it that I bought a few years ago, well into my adulthood.

    “Every Day is a Winding Road” or “Follow the Yellow Brick Road”

    You know, I’ve seen ads for Die Hard marathons in theaters running up to the premiere of the next one. I wonder how well those will sell.


  5. Lee OTI Staff #

    A movie with a Korean director starring Arnold Schwarzenegger? Where was Lee for this?

    I’m asking myself the same thing.

    A few quick notes: I recently saw Jee-woon Kim’s “The Good, The Bad, and The Weird,” and thought that it showed a good eye for action sequences that were both exciting and somewhat ridiculous. It’s on Netflix streaming if people are interested in checking it out.

    Rumors about Arnold Schwarzeneggers’ role in an upcoming Terminator movie have kicked up again. According to this article, Arnold has “verbally committed” to a part in the movie, though I wouldn’t consider it true until I hear the man say it himself.



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