(UN)POPULAR CULTURE

The home of writer & author A. J. BLACK

From 2012 onwards, before developing this blog, I wrote a multitude of reviews on the website Letterboxd. In this irregular series called From the Vault, I’m going to haul these earlier reviews out of mothballs and re-purpose them here. This one is from July 3rd, 2015. Having just rewatched this one in advance of Terminator: …

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If someone asked you to name five, even perhaps ten Arnold Schwarzenegger movies, chances are none of them would be Red Heat. Even in the context of the 80’s, arguably his most successful period as a marquee action star, Walter Hill’s buddy cop action thriller hasn’t resonated down the ages as a signature Arnie movie. …

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With X-Men: Dark Phoenix on the horizon, a film predicted to signal the end of the original iteration of the X-Men franchise, I’ve decided to go back and revisit this highly influential collection of comic-book movies. We continue with Bryan Singer’s 2014 epic, X-Men: Days of Future Past… Though ostensibly designed as a new beginning …

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Last Action Hero is both ahead of its time and perfectly positioned *within* the era it was made, such is the paradox of a forgotten curiosity of 1990’s action cinema and the stratospheric career of Arnold Schwartzenegger. Here’s my story and why I’m writing about Last Action Hero some twenty five years on from its …

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James Cameron is an unusual director, in many ways, and The Abyss underscores this quite keenly. Despite the fact Cameron has made some of the biggest motion pictures of the last almost four decades, you consistently still feel the pull of his Roger Corman-training, his B-picture origins on movies such as Pirahna after spending years …

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Excess is probably the word to best associate with Waterworld. The excess of Hollywood in the 1990’s. After the blockbuster formed at the tail end of the 1970’s thanks to the efforts primarily of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, the 1980’s saw the phenomenon largely dominated by Olympian action heroes or stars whose names towered …

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