When I was a kid, I thought ‘Die Hard with a Vengeance’ was the coolest movie ever. Now I can’t stand action movies. The dialogue gives me a headache and the plots always seem so predictable. But I like to explore areas that I don’t like, because maybe I just don’t understand them. I thought I’d talk to my roommate, Vahe Gabuchian, a self-proclaimed action movie aficionado, about his favorite genre.
Me: In a life-or-death situation, if you had to pick, what would be your favorite action movie?
Vahe Gabuchian: ‘Predator.’
Me: How about a favorite action star, if you had to pick?
Gabuchian: Arnold Schwarzenegger is definitely up there for me, but nowadays I get all this garbage when I say he is my favorite due to his political stances, which I don’t follow at all. What’s with that? So to have a safer choice, right now I would say Sylvester Stallone.
Me: With the upcoming election on Tuesday, do you think that if Proposition 73 passes, it will affect the way people perceive Schwarzenegger’s performance in ‘Commando’?
Gabuchian: I have no idea what Proposition 73 is … but I love the way Arnold f—s up a whole camp in ‘Commando.’
Me: In general, what are your feelings on the state of the action genre today?
Gabuchian: I don’t enjoy saying this, being a lover of action movies, but I truly think that we can produce better action movies without the excessive usage of film tricks. Let’s give the actors a chance to show their talent off, do some crazy shit, jump from a damn building for real with a big machine gun in your hand or some nunchaku or something. This doesn’t mean that I am against movies, which use incredible cinematography, but nowadays we need balance in bringing back some good-old action (I don’t want to see kissing or hugging, just killing and beating the sh-t out of people).
Me: Let’s say I\’ve got a ‘pizza and rent a movie’ date. What action movie is going to score the most points with the ladies?
Gabuchian: As far as I have observed, girls cannot take any action movie. There must be some plot to it (to me there is a plot to every action movie: ACTION). But for some ladies whom I have observed, they need some sort of emotional storyline, or some emotional scene or two, a good cause to fight for. So to pick a movie that would fit this description without sacrificing any insanity points, I would say ‘Lethal Weapon.’ Cmon the guy is nuts and his wife is dead. His wife is dead!
Me: If possible, can you think of the worst action movie you have ever seen?
Gabuchian: I think that a successful action movie should have a healthy distribution of kicks, punches, shooting and blowing things up. You can’t make me wait for an hour and 20 minutes and then all of a sudden have one final fight scene (if the fight scene is ridiculous, then it’s worth it) but that’s very hard to do. So the worst action movie I’ve seen is ‘Notting Hill.’ Hugh Grant is a sissy.
Me: Are there any good Armenian action movies?
Gabuchian: Unfortunately, there aren’t to my knowledge, but I think that I have watched ‘Rambo III’ so many times with my uncle while eating some dolmas that I have officially given the Armenian people part of the rights of that movie.
Me: So if an Armenian director comes to you and says that he wants to make you the next Armenian action star, what would the movie be about and what would your character’s name be?
Gabuchian: My character would be Gazagats Vahikos (meaning ‘Animalistic Vahe’) and the movie would be about me going to save my whole family who is captured in the depths of a military base. I would utilize acrobatics and just do insane stuff (like throw a ninja star at someone’s gun, freeze the trigger, shoot down a helicopter and fight atop a high mountain). Of course, in the end, I would get my family back, but I would be shot up and stuff.
Me: Let’s say that doctors discovered that showing violent movies to children is beneficial for their development and you have a newborn. What is the first movie you show your child when you get home from the hospital?
Gabuchian: I’ll start my newborn off slow, with a little bit of ‘Blood Sport’ with Van Damme. It has a lot of one-on-one psychological confrontation as well as good action and emotional music (the music part is a joke), and I think that my child would benefit a lot from learning how to handle himself when people try and bully him.
Me: Which Stallone performance do you think most directly reflects the words of Lee Strasburg, ‘Acting is the most personal of our crafts. The makeup of a human being
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