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I am re-watching 90s Action movies and they are leagues ahead of movies released in 2010s

SafeOrAlone

Member
The Matrix is a good one.

Seems a lot of it's ideas came from Morrison's "The Invisibles" and maybe Frank Miller's Ronin comics, but it still original.
 
90's action had a certain vibe about them. I feel like Face/Off is perhaps one of the best examples. It's just a fun movie that doesn't take itself too seriously and has huge bankable stars at the time (Travlota and Cage)

You even have one of the characters using golden guns. I think a lot of action movies these days just miss out on the fun factor.

 

Tschumi

Member
OP you've only dipped ur toes in the well... in the kinda brackish, uninspired end of the well at that... keep goin' mate... i recommend Clear and Present Danger for one yay
 

SlimySnake

Member
90's action had a certain vibe about them. I feel like Face/Off is perhaps one of the best examples. It's just a fun movie that doesn't take itself too seriously and has huge bankable stars at the time (Travlota and Cage)

You even have one of the characters using golden guns. I think a lot of action movies these days just miss out on the fun factor.

Yeah, everything feels too serious nowadays (Mad Max). Or too jokey. (Avengers)

I also really liked Gone in 60 seconds. Which came out in 2000. Still had that feel of a 90s movie.
 
Less CGI meant the writers and directors had to be more creative with the sets, the costumes and the cinematography.

Action movies also used to be more fun overall. Since the mid 2000, writers seem obsessed with morals and high-school level philosophy which is a good formula to produce boring scripts and moronic dialogs.
 

SafeOrAlone

Member
You can pick the cream of the crop from and generation and make it sound best.

Though that era did have a quality that is sort of missing today, don’t take today for granted. The Dark Knight, Logan, Spider-Man 2, Fury Road, District 9, Dune.
I adore the action/genre films of the more modern eras.
 

SirTerry-T

Member
Yup, if you like Shane Black stuff, you'll love Long Kiss Goodnight. Also, (not 90's, I know) Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is supremely underrated.

Actually just recently watched Enemy of the State recently for the first time in at least 20 years. It's actually kinda creepy how on the nose it is considering it was pre 9/11/Patriot Act.
Enemy of The State is the "sort of" fan theory sequel to The Conversation. A great piece of 70's cinema.
 

The Skull

Member
Still some great ones from the 2010's but the 80's and 90's are an absolute goldmine in comparison. For me at least, Terminator 2 is still the pinnacle of the action genre.
 

mortal

Member
Aside from having arguably better writing and directing, I noticed another commonality with the films referenced in this thread.
They all have unapologetically masculine male leads.
 
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The 80s and 90s both had great action movies and generally great movies altogether.

Superhero movies have a lot to answer for these days but there are a few gems popping up now and then. If you haven’t seen Wrath of Man on Amazon yet I highly recommend it.
 

GeorgPrime

Banned
2010s will mostly be remembered for Comic Book adaptions. Pretty much every big budget action movie was either a Nolan movie or a Marvel or DC movie. There were some mediocre Transformers movies from Bay, but when it comes to blockbusters, it was Marvel and DC.

The 90s had some great franchises. Jurrasic Park, Terminator 2, Mission Impossible, The Matrix. What I miss the most ere the excellent one off movies we used to get in the 90s. No sequels. Original ideas. Big budget movies that relied mostly on special effects. I am talking about movies like:

- Con Air - Nicolas Cage stops Jon Malcovich from hijacking a plane carrying criminals.
- The Ghost And The Darkness - Michael Douglas and Val Kilmer team up to kill two man eating Lions.
- Face/Off - John Travolta and Nicolas Cage switch faces and fuck each other's wives.
- True Lies - James Cameron and Arnold Team up again. This time to kill terrorists.
- The Rock - Sean Fucking Connery and Nicolas cage break into Alcatraz.
- Armagaddeon - Oil Drillers become astronauts and save the world by nuking an asteroid.

And there are many many more. I look at the past decade and everything feels like a samey comic book movie. Even the DC movies. They are all about saving the world but somehow lack the epicness of movies like the Rock and Con Air. I dont even mind CG, but it's great to go back and see movies filled with hundreds if not thousands of extras. Only Michael Bay and Nolan care about that kind of spectacle nowadays and it fucking sucks.

And while I dont want this to be a lets shit on Disney thread, I will just say that Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Lion King were far better than the trash they have produced even with the Marvel, Lucas Films and Pixar acquisitions.

So whats everyone's favorite 90s movies? Pulp Fiction, Saving Private Ryan, Shawshank Redemption, Titanic are obvious choices, but every decade has great dramas. What I miss the most are those one-off action movies.

Its not a problem of modern movies.... its more a problem about the people who make the movies.
 

IDKFA

Member
The 90s were fantastic for action moves, but leagues ahead? The 2010s gave us the John Wick franchise, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Raid, Kingsman and the best Mission Impossible films. That's just from the top of my head.

Not sure if the 90s action films were leagues ahead of any of the above.
 

Doom85

Member
The 90s were fantastic for action moves, but leagues ahead? The 2010s gave us the John Wick franchise, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Raid, Kingsman and the best Mission Impossible films. That's just from the top of my head.

Not sure if the 90s action films were leagues ahead of any of the above.

It clearly depends on one’s tastes. I like a few of the movies in the OP’s list, particularly Face/Off and The Rock, but Armageddon was kinda mid to me. Honestly, the 90’s had way too many disaster films which are rarely appealing to me.

If people have an obsession with “shoot shoot bang bang” movies, I can see the appeal, but I prefer the last 20 years in terms of blockbusters. Hell, in terms of superhero movies, the 90’s were mostly a fucking joke
 
Most modern big budget movies are toothless. They lack a sense of courage or inventiveness in their vision. They're creatively stripped and muzzled all the way through. Back then they would still greenlight scripts/screenplays even if they sounded way overboard or too wild for some pencil pusher to see the full vision. Chances were still taken. Modern Hollywood wouldn't even glance at something like that now.

If its too weird, too different or original it would be deemed "too risky".

What should really be considered is to bring back a similar creative freedom from the 80's~90's and allow to financially, back weird shit. I'd bet they have rejected to bankroll a ton of crazy-cool ideas over the years that had the potential to be the next big thing because they didn't "get it".

Shit like Indiana Jones, Back to the future, Roger Rabbit, Jurassic Park even the first Matrix would probably not see the light of day in current times.
 
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sol_bad

Member
The 90's definitely has some good stuff but a lot of it I can't watch either because the stories are so generic or the characters aren't memorable. Quite a few of them involve generic save the woman plot towards the end. No creativity regarding the actual stories. Like I seriously can't watch any Van Damm or Steven Segal movies anymore. Other films like Total Recall are just boring these days.

I need to rewatch some other movies like Demolition Man, The Long Kiss Goodnight and The Last Boy Scout to see if they still hold up.

I know it's more 80's but 2 franchises from back then. Lethal Weapon 1 is boring but Beverly Hills Cop is still great.

Is there a definitive list of 90s action films?
 

belmarduk

Member
I've been thinking about doing the same. The first Rambo movie was fantastic.. but I've heard the sequels were nowhere near as good.
Where should I start?
 

Yoboman

Member
Laughably inaccurate stunt doubles were the bad CG of the 80s and 90s

The entire final act of Face Off is just way off stunt doubles replacing the unfit Cage and Travolta
 

Kagey K

Member
I've been thinking about doing the same. The first Rambo movie was fantastic.. but I've heard the sequels were nowhere near as good.
Where should I start?
Wow that's a tough question without knowing what you are looking for in your action movies.

Is there a star you want to watch or a genre you prefer?

Do you want it grounded in reality or over the top?

There's so many bases those movies covered.
 

sol_bad

Member
I've been thinking about doing the same. The first Rambo movie was fantastic.. but I've heard the sequels were nowhere near as good.
Where should I start?

There are only 5 movies so I'd say just watch them all. Watch 1 a night and you'll be done within the week, or 1 a week and you'll be done within the month.

I really enjoy the first film quite a bit. The second film is fine, third film terrible. The 4th and 5th films I also like, just bloody carnage. Make sure you watch the longer version of the 5th film, I heard the beginning was cut in American cinemas.

*EDIT*
Sorry, did you mean 90's action movies in general? I thought you meant just the Rambo films.
 
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Wulfer

Member
No, it's because 80's and 90's movies didn't have to tip toe around offending someone or something. They were just action movies and everyone accepted them as they were.
 

Clear

Member
Not to do the "old man yelling at clouds" meme, but a lot of modern movies are just not very good.

Things have gotten stale and formulaic, and what's worse the elements that define the formula are really starting to lose their lustre through overuse. For instance insane spectacle has become so commonplace that the "wow" factor is greatly diminished, and I feel like with everybody knowing that its very often computer-generated I feel like games have stolen a lot of the thunder.

When it comes to action there needs to be a grounding factor; something that we subconsciously accept as being real and relatable. Action stars of the 80's and 90's were often legitimate martial artists or at least real physical specimens. Arnold got away with doing ridiculous stuff because -in part-- he's a ridiculously built human being. Stallone is possibly the best example because its not like he just built himself up to play Rocky annd Rambo, clearly all that muscle mass was him, and he maintained it.

Good choreography, slick editing, and cg augmentation aren't enough when our vision of the actor in the role doesn't convince.
 
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