A War You Won’t Believe: First Blood and the Commercial Warrior

Sylvester Stallone has had quite the career.

Shooting to superstardom as boyish underdog Rocky Balboa, he would later become one of the most recognisable movie stars on the planet, sculpting his body and onscreen persona to shine as one of action cinema’s most indomitable forces. In the ’80s and ’90s, that’s where the money was for an actor of his profile. Movies such as Cobra, Cliffhanger and Demolition Man would thrill action junkies the world over, and Stallone had a knack for staying relevant. When it came to keeping his face in the limelight, Sly was second-to-none […]

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Bloodstained Nostalgia: Stallone and Cobra’s Neon Seduction

What do Eddie Murphy and Sylvester Stallone have in common?

Other than being movie stars, very little, although the latter was scheduled to play the part of smart alec Detroit cop Axel Foley before Murphy ultimately made the role his own. Stallone had a very different vision for Beverly Hills Cops, a movie that revolutionised the action genre and transformed the controversial comedian into a bona fide mainstream star. The movie may not be as highly regarded at Die Hard or Lethal Weapon, but its mix of buddy cop action/comedy would prove a huge influence on the genre at large […]

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Darkman (1990)

As comic book adaptations go, Sam Raimi’s Darkman released in 1990, on the back of an inspired marketing campaign that queried the origin of the character by posing the question ‘Who Is Darkman?’ was one of the most interesting of the era. This was despite the fact it was scripted from an original story idea by The Evil Dead helmer as opposed to an actual comic book from the period it pays homage to.

Drawing on the Universal horror movies of the 1930s, in particular the celebrated oeuvre of James Whale, as well as The Shadow, The Phantom of the Opera and a veritable glut of monster and comic book staples, the film would […]

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Great Expectations: Daniel LaRusso and the Demise of the Underdog

Sequels can be a very tricky prospect indeed.

This is particularly true for movies that are planned as standalone features, only to be thrust back into the spotlight care of popular demand. Back before the marketing process was so regimented and ruthless, not everything was looked upon as a potential money-spinning franchise. I mean, Hollywood was still Hollywood, and if something had legs producers would run it into the ground with so many unnecessary sequels you […]

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