Sylvester Stallone

30 Criminally Underrated Movie Sequels

Next week brings the Blu-ray debut of Psycho IIand Psycho III, two 1980s horror films that had the gall, the downright temerity, to follow up Hitchcock’s groundbreaking horror classic. But here’s the thing about these movies: they’re not half bad. There’s no denying that the vast majority of sequels are both unnecessary and terrible, less continuations of stories or honest entertainments than filmed deals. But it’s also unfair to paint all follow-ups with that broad brush; there are a fair number of sequels that are far better than their reputations would have you… Read More

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10 Great Performances by Terrible Actors

Forgive the perhaps unwarranted level of enthusiasm, but Joy Ride is out on Blu-ray today, and YIPEE. It’s a crackerjack little thriller from eternally underrated director John Dahl, co-written by a young J.J. Abrams, starring Steve Zahn, Leelee Sobieski, and, yes, Paul Walker. Though second-billed behind Zahn, this is indisputably a vehicle for the handsome and unaccountably dull future star of the Fast and Furious franchise — and believe it or not, he’s not distractingly terrible in it. Make whatever stopped-clock, blind-squirrel analogies you’d like, but occasionally even the worst of actors stumbles into a decent performance. Here’s a few… Read More

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Exclusive Supercut: Actors’ Pre-Fame Roles in Woody Allen Movies

This just in from the Mostly Unobserved Anniversaries Department — yesterday marked 20 years since the release of Manhattan Murder Mystery, Woody Allen’s cracklingly entertaining 1993 reunion with Diane Keaton. But that film also marked the film debut of one Zach Braff, who (circle of life) will star in Allen’s forthcoming Broadway musical adaptation of Bullets Over Broadway. Braff is just one of the many actors who got an early break in a Woody Allen movie; it’s a rite of passage for a young actor, and everyone from Sylvester Stallone to Julia Louis-Dreyfus to Larry David to Henry Cavill turned up in Allen films early in their careers. Here are some of the best appearances by actors in Woody movies, before they were famous: … Read More

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10 of Hollywood’s Most Surprising and Heartening Success Stories

Examining the weekly box office reports can be a depressing business, watching every week as terrible movies top the charts and great ones disappear into the wind. But this summer, as we’ve discussed, things have been a little different. Turkeys like The Lone Ranger and R.I.P.D. have taken deserved belly flops; low-budget efforts like The Purge and The Conjuring were surprise hits. And the news got better this weekend: Woody Allen’s wonderful Blue Jasmine expanded to 50 screens and landed in the top 15 with a robust $40K per-screen average — second only to The Spectacular Now, which earned a healthy $50K on each of its four screens. In this money-driven business, it’s always a relief when the bad movies tank, and the good movies make money. Here’s ten more examples of small movies that earned both the acclaim and the box office they deserved: … Read More

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Flavorwire’s Guide to Movies You Need to Stream This Week

Welcome to Flavorwire’s streaming movie guide, in which we help you sift through the scores of movies streaming on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and other services to find the best of the recently available, freshly relevant, or soon to expire. This week, there’s great stuff from George Clooney, Catherine Zeta Jones, Robert De Niro, Woody Allen, Aubrey Plaza, Diane Keaton, Billy Bob Thornton, Ray Liotta, John Cusack, Mia Farrow, Harvey Keitel, Sylvester Stallone, Jeff Bridges, Jake Johnson, and more. Check them out after the jump, and follow the title links to watch them right now. … Read More

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Movie Robots From ‘Metropolis’ to ‘Pacific Rim’: An Evolutionary Study

Say what you will about its other flaws — and there’s plenty to say — but Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim (out today in wide release) delivers what it promises: giant goddamn robots fighting giant monsters in the ocean. Gazing upon the magnificence of the film’s enormous machines, it’s easy to marvel at how far moviemakers have come in their onscreen portrayals of mechanical beings. A brief history: … Read More

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25 ‘Die Hard’ Knockoffs for ‘Die Hard’s’ 25th Anniversary

Break out your blood-smeared undershirt and go crawl around in an air duct: this month marks the 25th anniversary of the release of Die Hard, John McTiernan’s seminal action movie that made Bruce Willis a star, Alan Rickman a go-to villain, and the simple formula of a lone hero, a contained location, and a brilliant supervillian into one of Hollywood’s most durable. And though Fox paid its own dubious tribute to the franchise with its most recent sequel, the true testament to the film’s influence is the sheer volume of Die Hard imitators unleashed in the quarter-century since its release. … Read More

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So Bad It’s Good: Sylvester Stallone, Arm Wrestling, and ’80s Nostalgia in ‘Over the Top’

Bad movies are not a simple matter. There are nearly as many categories of terrible movies as there are for great ones: there are films that are insultingly stupid (Batman & Robin), unintentionally funny (The Room), unintentionally, painfully unfunny (White Chicks), so bad they’re depressing (Transformers), and so on. But the most rewarding terrible movies are those we know as “so bad they’re good” — entertaining in their sheer incompetence, best braved in numbers, where the ham-fisted dramatics and tin-eared dialogue become fodder for years of random quotes and inside jokes. And in this spirit, Flavorwire brings you the latest installment in our monthly So Bad It’s Good feature: Over the Top, the story of an arm-wrestling truck driver who just wants his son to meet him halfway. … Read More

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Actors and Directors Who Trashed the Remakes of Their Classic Movies

Last week, the great (and tragically absent from the screen) Gene Wilder made a rare public appearance at New York’s 92nd Street Y, discussing his retirement from the movies, his distaste for modern “dirty” movies (an odd comment, coming from the co-star of Blazing Saddles), and what Tim Burton and Johnny Depp had done to his most famous role. “I think it’s an insult,” he said of Burton’s 2005 film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. “Johnny Depp, I think, is a good actor, but I don’t care for that director. He’s a talented man, but I don’t care for him doing stuff like he did.” Wilder isn’t the only actor or director to speak out against remakes of their work; more on that story, and a few more examples, after the jump. … Read More

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What's Behind Hollywood's Obsession With Old Man Action Heroes?

We’re in the midst of a full-on re-emergence of the Old Demi-Gods of Action from direct-to-DVD obscurity, failed career comebacks, and politics. The hard-bodied troops of ’80s action cinema are returning to the genre they helped perfect via The Expendables series, Schwarzenegger’s The Last Stand, Stallone’s Bullet to the Head, and the trotting out of Bruce Willis’ John McClane for yet another Die Hard. It’s a kind of new (old) wave, but it isn’t one isolated to reappointing former glory to older-aged action stars. It’s equally indoctrinating new ones through movies like Red and anything that gives Liam Neeson a gun. These days it seems action films aren’t just a young man’s game anymore – they’re becoming a game for finely aged actors. We’ve had actors dolling out justice well into their middle-years before (see: John Wayne, Charles Bronson, Clint Eastwood, the cast of The Wild Bunch ), but it’s never been this pervasive as a trend. Which begs the question: why now? … Read More

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