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A slayer’s lineage: 9 pop cultural precursors to Buffy

When Buffy The Vampire Slayer debuted on The WB in 1997, it signaled a new direction for the fledgling netlet, a pivot toward audiences who could see themselves reflected in Buffy Summers and her Sunnydale High classmates. Of course, it’s the distinctions between Buffy and all previous TV teens that made all the…

In praise of Shane Black, the godfather of all badass Christmas action movies

Every year, at some point someone trots out the old chestnut that Die Hard is the greatest Christmas movie. And it is, objectively speaking, a truly great one. (No one ever picks Prometheus, strangely.) But a new video essay explores the actual inspiration for Die Hard’s Christmas setting: writer-director Shane Black,…

Dan Harmon’s universal theory of storytelling gets an animated explainer

Grand, unified artistic theories don’t get much grander and unified than Dan Harmon’s storytelling process. As detailed in an article on Wired some five years ago, Harmon boiled down Joseph Campbell’s monomyth of the hero’s journey into a simple circle. And once he grasped this storytelling principle he couldn’t stop…

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Exclusive: See a page from Doogie Horner’s Die Hard coloring book

When artist and comedian Doogie Horner was asked to pitch adult coloring book ideas to Harper Collins, he suggested doing ones based on ’80s movies. His theory? “They are adult coloring books so it’s sort of this weird nostalgia thing,” he told The A.V. Club. “So I thought, what was actually happening when we were…

100 snappy movie one-liners to use immediately after killing someone

If there’s one thing more important for a movie action hero than coming up with a witty remark directly before killing someone, it’s coming up with a witty remark directly after killing someone. After all, as Eli Wallach said it in The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly: “When you have to shoot, shoot! Don’t talk!” And…

Supercut assembles the “100 greatest one-liners” in action movie history

“With a dry, cool wit like that, I could be an action hero!” That Simpsons line would appear to be the mantra for many of the tough guys (and gals) in this montage of great quips said before dispatching an enemy. Burger Fiction has assembled lines said by a character before felling a foe, many of which have become…