What the hell were any of us thinking making the terrible Batman Forever a huge hit?

You can see how it happened. The executives at Warner Bros. didn’t set out to destroy the Batman mythos or to make unwatchably shitty Batman movies that would put both the character and the superhero movie genre at large into a state of prolonged stasis. They just wanted a hit. Tim Burton’s Batman Returns, from 1992,…

The Morgan Freeman geezer comedy Just Getting Started can't even get it up

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“I believe in the soul, the cock, the pussy, the small of a woman’s back, the hanging curve ball, high fiber, good scotch, that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap,” declares Kevin Costner’s fading minor-league catcher Crash Davis in a famous scene in Bull Durham, the movie that kicked off…

The Fugitive scored action cinema some acclaim—and a Best Picture nomination

Something funny happened to action movies in the ’90s. They became, after a fashion, respectable. The action blockbusters of the ’80s had made a ton of money, but they always looked and moved like B-movies, even when they had extravagant budgets. Brutality and crassness were big parts of their appeal. But in the ’90s,…

Mechanic: Resurrection is reasonably fun, for a sequel no one requested

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Has enough time yet passed for a new Jason Statham action thriller to qualify as a throwback? Even in their mid-’00s heyday, Statham’s movies felt like descendants of earlier eras, offering ’80s excess on ’70s budgets; it’s one reason he was so at home in Sylvester Stallone’s Expendables crew. But Statham’s solo…

Vin Diesel says The Rock’s Fast & Furious role was written for Tommy Lee Jones

Do us a favor and close your eyes. (Did you close them? Good.) Now, whisper the words “Fast” and “Furious” to yourself. What images come ramping into your head, like so many Hondas winding their way through the infinite mental highways of your mind? Do you see glistening, be-tank-topped muscles? An endless labyrinth…

Taxi Driver author Paul Schrader pens a messed-up action movie about ’Nam

For most of the ’70s, there was something fundamentally conservative about American action movies—or, anyway, about non-blaxploitation American action movies. Films like Dirty Harry and Death Wish celebrated rebellious types like maverick cops and outside-the-law vigilantes. But all of them were, on a more basic…

The one-armed man is back as Warner Bros. plots another Fugitive movie

If the ’90s taught us anything, it’s that baby boomers love movie versions of the TV shows they grew up with, from the reverent meta-parody of The Brady Bunch Movie to forgotten cash grabs like Car 54, Where Are You?. But one of the most well received television-to-film adaptations of the era was 1993’s The Fugitive. …