Expend4bles (2023)

Sylvester Stallone’s “The Expendables” was a fun novelty. In 2010. It took all of the big action stars from the eighties, striking the pleasure spots of Gen Xers and got by on its gimmick–for a while. It began life as “The giants of action cinema! All here! All kicking ass!” right down to “Well, here are people that have been in a few action movies.” With the series only four movies in, “The Expendables” has cashed in all of its nostalgia points. It’s now ironically transformed from a loving eighties homage to the one of the numerous clumsy, stale, action vehicles that many eighties action stars resorted to headlining in the late nineties and early aughts. 

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Move Over, ‘Batgirl’! 10 Notorious Films That Got Shelved By Hollywood

The decision by Warner Bros. Discovery to shelve its feature film “Batgirl” (with a budget somewhere in the $70 million to $100 million-plus range) caught both film industry professionals and casual movie lovers by surprise. Yet there is a precedent in Hollywood for creating a major film release and then yanking it from a release schedule.

For your consideration, here are 10 examples of Hollywood films that got the “Batgirl” treatment.
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Ranking the Rocky Series: From Best to Worst

Being born in 1983, I grew up around the period where Rocky Balboa was a household name, and the movies were wildly popular. “Rocky” and the sequels are childhood favorites, and I very fondly remember watching the worn VHS copies on our VCR, and catching their airings on my local television station WPIX. With Stallone re-releasing “Rocky IV” this year with a brand new Director’s Cut, I thought it’d be fun to re-visit the original series and rank the entire franchise from best to worst.

Feel free to post your ranking in the comments.

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Rocky IV: Rocky vs. Drago – The Ultimate Director’s Cut (2021) (Digital)

We’re in an age of modern filmmaking where audiences and even directors are demanding that studios allow them to re-cut their past works. In all of the director’s cuts and recuts I’ve seen, “Rocky vs. Drago” is exactly how the Director’s Cut should be done. I say that with immense surprise as I fully expected to dislike “The Ultimate Director’s Cut.” For fans that viewed “Rocky IV” religiously since 1985, when we get down to it, the film is recut to click better with “Creed II.” That’s either great or disappointing, depending on how you value the original 1985 film.

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Creed II (2018) [Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital]

Ryan Coogler came storming out of the gate with “Creed,” a spiritual sequel to “Rocky” that was so good, it stood side by side comfortably with the original “Rocky.” As all things in Hollywood, despite Stallone’s attempted justification for re-visiting old story lines, “Creed” made money, so we have “Creed II.” I mean, there is room here for the writers to explore the whole dynamic between Adonis confronting the man who murdered his father, but much of that is sidestepped in favor of usual “Rocky” movie tropes, boiling down to a sequel that’s pretty damn—erm, okay. It’s not a bad movie, but it’s not “Creed.”

It’s not even “Rocky II.”

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Cobra (1986): Collector’s Edition [Blu-Ray]

Take the unabashed violence of the eighties action films where all that stood between peace and war was one guy with a gun, throw in a slasher film, and you have what is one of my absolute childhood favorites. “Cobra” brings me back to a time where I’d watch Marion Cobretti bring down a thug with the cold hard steel of his Colt .45 and still have time to go home and unwind with some left over pizza. Thankfully “Cobra” still pretty much holds up today as a mixing of two very popular genres from the decade, and it works for the most part.

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Over the Top (1987)

I always respected how Sylvester Stallone tries to make a lot of his big screen action heroes something of blue collared, under appreciated men who are just working to get by. There was “Rocky” that helped boost how interesting boxing can be, and while arm wrestling never took off in the eighties, “Over the Top” is a decent action film about an estranged father and son making amends. “Over the Top” is admittedly a childhood favorite, and a movie I watched over a thousand times as a kid. Stallone is great, Robert Loggia is great, and director Menahem Globan charismatically films every single instance of arm wrestling as an epic moment of pride, and manhood.

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