I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

Archive for July, 2002

Austin Powers in Goldmember

Saturday, July 27th, 2002

Well what this movie is about is Austin Powers is a spy from the ’60s who likes to have sex and use different british slang, etc. He has bad teeth and a hairy chest and because the dude who plays him, Michael Meyers, wishes he were a rock star, he also has a band in one part. This is the third in a series of pictures thought to be parodies of James Bond but obviously more like homages to Derek Flint, but with dick jokes and one dude playing most of the roles.

The plot of the first one was about Mr. Powers being frozen cryogenically because his archnemesis Dr. Evil was frozen and sent into space. And then they both get revived in the ’90s, and they have trouble catching up with the different changes. Also Mr. Powers has to pee really bad when he gets unfrozen, and that type of crap. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Dagon

Wednesday, July 24th, 2002

Well here we are with another slightly above average horror picture from Stuart Gordon, the guy who did REANIMATOR and a couple other halfway decent movies, but who seems to live next door to Full Moon Video or something. By this I do not mean that he only makes movies about little bastards like ghoulies, demonic toys, subspecieses, dollmen, shrunken heads, puppet masters, and etceteras. All I mean is that he seems to share alot of stylistic choices, collaborators and straight to video horror blood with those guys. But this is one of his movies that seems a little better. A little.

I know this one got a small amount of theatrical play here in seattle and that alone is an amazing accomplishment for Stuart these days. In case you are wondering it is not about dragons. If you look closely there is no R. In fact it is about a village of fish people, which could only mean that it is based on stories by Howard P. Lovecraft. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

VERSUS: Batman vs. Superman, Alien vs. Predator, Jason vs. Freddy. Plus, a note on Harry Knowles.

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2002

As a special favor to all individuals who have been so faithful to my sight and my works, I’m gonna do a special NON-BUMMER edition of VERN TELL’S IT LIKE IT IS, where I talk almost entirely about movies. Not about politics. That is not to say that I will stop complaining about the Bush Regime. Or even cut down on it. Because you can’t just ignore that shit. But today I’m gonna.

EXCEPT to promise you that the fuckers will attack Iraq before November, I’m guessin within the next month or so. And then it could get ugly. Nobody in their right mind, and almost nobody who isn’t an on-air personality for the Fox News Network, thinks this is even a halfway reasonable idea. But if there is a massive uprising of dissent, which there should be, the mechanisms are already in place for a disaster. Pay close attention to what they’re saying about “we don’t want to change the posse-commitatus act, no, all we’re saying is that we are going to LOOK INTO changing it, but we really don’t want to, I mean we definitely won’t even consider doing it, we’re just gonna LOOK at it. But not do it. Necessarily. Don’t worry.” Kent State will seem like a birthday party after this. And then people will finally understand what the Bush Regime is. But it might be too late.

Okay! And that’s all I will say this time! It’s Happy Time! (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Dog Soldiers

Sunday, July 21st, 2002

Well we know the spanish can do good modern horror, and the japanese can do it, and there’s that one canadian dude. But what about the Brits? They had the great Hammer Studios way back when, and they made the Wickerman I believe, so they got a good tradition going. But it’s been a while since I’ve heard about a real good one. To be honest I haven’t paid too much attention to the british culture lately. All I know is they got those annoying crime movies and that tv show where you go into your friend’s house, repaint it and glue a bunch of pinecones and inner tubes together as decorations.

But now maybe they got the next horror visionary. A newcomer by the name of Neil Marshall, he wrote and edited a couple earlier movies and this is his debut as writer/director/editor/credit hog. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Vern reviews JOHN CARPENTER’S VAMPIRES: LOS MUERTES!

Monday, July 15th, 2002

Hey folks, Harry here… From what Vern says here, you’d be better off renting Seymore Butts’ WISE CRACKS or Seymore Butts’ TWO BUTTS ARE BETTER THAN ONE starring Seymore Butts’ Young Buns. Of course there are always foreign film options like CUM GUZZLING GEISHA GIRLS or THE TWIN PEAKS OF MOUNT FUJI, but that’s entirely up to you. Then there is Rav’s favorite all time title of SHEMALE YUM TAKES ON ASIAN AMERICAN LADYBOYS or Quint’s fave – PRINCESS ON THE PORCELAIN. But there is always Moriarty and mine’s favorite that we love to watch on those lonely nights: BRIDGET THE MIDGET: TATTOO MENU & A PIERCING EXPERIENCE. Join us if you will, or be like Vern….

Well boys there’s nothin like a mediocre straight to video sequel to start off your day. I didn’t even know they were makin a sequel to this one until I got ahold of the screener tape. I guess alot of people would ask “Who the fuck cares about VAMPIRES?” and laugh it off. It’s always weird when out of the blue they got a sequel to some movie you never knew anybody really thought about anymore, like URBAN LEGEND or MIMIC or MEN IN BLACK.

But I like most of Mr. Carpenter’s works and I think VAMPIRES is one of the good ones. James Woods is great throwin on the leather jacket to put his skinny old man frame in the Kurt Russell/Roddy Piper role. I guess he made up alot of his lines and maybe that’s why they work (Roddy Piper did the same in THEY LIVE. I bet poor Ice Cube stuck to the script in JOHN CARPENTER’S DISAPPOINTING GHOSTS OF MARS. I still can’t believe his name was “Desolation Williams.”)

Nothing about VAMPIRES seemed real radical but it had a feel of its own. How many vampire movies take place mostly in daylight in sunny, dusty Mexico, with that famous John Carpenter “it’s really a western” tone? And it just had a raunchiness that was much needed at the time, with the most macho dialogue of any John Carpenter movie, all the main characters being sadistic assholes, and lots of the ol’ latex-and-blood-packs gore effects. I don’t remember any god damn morphing in that picture. The master vampire tore Mark Boone Junior in half, and it was organic. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Reign of Fire

Friday, July 12th, 2002

I heard a rumor, or actually I just saw it on the ad, that REIGN OF FIRE is supposed to be the perfect summer movie. And in a way I think it is. Because it takes a good special effects extravaganza premise – the world is obliterated by firebreathing dragons and a small community of survivors fight back in postapocalyptic england – and treats it much smarter and more dramatic than you’d expect.

Yeah, this is a movie with computer animated dragons, and a bunch of people fighting them. But the emphasis of the story is not on the fighting. It’s always on the drama. After a prologue and a MAD MAX-like dragons-take-over-the-world explanation montage, you get basically a DAY OF THE DEAD setup. Here is this community of survivors living in spruced up castle ruins using what limited resources they can find to survive. You find out about their whole system – how they eat, their security system, how they use birds for lookout and what they teach their kids to do if they see a dragon. There’s also a little I AM LEGEND in there because they treat the dragons scientifically. They are not magical. They explain how they breathe fire, how they reproduce, the best way to kill them. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

The Afghanistan Wedding Massacre, Yoda, Digital Projection, Samurai Jack

Thursday, July 11th, 2002

Well I’ve been holding off on doing a VERN TELL’S IT LIKE IT IS because I want to put together the Post-September-11th-Politcal-Rant to end all Post-September-11th-Political-Rants so I can move forward a little bit. But today I saw a headline that I could not let stand without comment:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washdc/2002/07/10/iraq-invasion.htm

I mean, that’s the most insane thing I’ve read since the one about how the CIA weren’t allowed to assassinate but they’re authorized to kill Saddam Hussein if it’s in self defense (We had no choice! We just happened to fall through the skylight into his palace and he pulled a pistol on us!)

The print version of this new one is even more ridiculous because it has a sub–header or whatever you call it. Something like, “Planners raise bar for Iraqi invasion – provocation would be needed to justify war, say experts.” (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

ZigZag

Wednesday, July 10th, 2002

Leguizamo, and Snipes, the box says. The Star & Writer of Blade & Blade II Reunite, the box says. For the first time in months, I think.

I don’t know, this is only a screener, maybe they’ll change the cover, which is colored like THE ROCK or TRAFFIC and just shows giant closeups of John and Wesley’s faces, lookin real serious. You have no fuckin clue what kind of movie this is. “One’s good. One’s bad. An innocent boy is caught in the middle.” Where’s the boy, then?

See, this movie is not a Wesley Snipes movie at all. He plays a crucial role but he’s only in a handful of scenes. Leguizamo is more important but the actual star is Sam Jones III. This young man plays a 15 year old autistic kid who’s bein looked after by Singer (Leguizamo), who named him Zig Zag and convinced him his talents were super powers. Wesley is great as Zig Zag’s dad, an abusive crackhead. The story is about how Zig Zag steals money from work, and then his dad steals it from him, but Singer doesn’t want Zig Zag to get in trouble so he tries to steal it back from the dad so he can give it back to the work and I mean, you know, complications happen. Not real spectacular complications, really, but complications. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

The Powerpuff Girls

Thursday, July 4th, 2002

What this is about is hard to explain. It’s a cartoon about a professor who creates these three little girls. They have super powers to fly and shoot lasers out of their eyes and basically anything that pussy Superman can do. Only they have big round heads, giant eyes, and no fingers. And the professor is all made out of squares. At the same time he creates them in a laboratory accident he doesn’t know he also gives his pet monkey a giant brain. The monkey goes off to live in exile, plotting his revenge which involves monkeys and robots. Then there is fighting. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Halloween: Resurrection

Monday, July 1st, 2002

A couple years back you’ll remember that I reviewed the whole HALLOWEEN series. And I mean the WHOLE series. The first one, the middle ones, the last one. The very last one. The one where they got the original stars back, they got a halfway decent script, they brought everything full circle, they chopped that fucker’s head off and they cut to the credits. The end, forever. Never again. Against all odds, they came up with a decent wrapup to an endless series of bad sequels.

Well sadly what they went and did, they talked poor Michael Meyers into doing ANOTHER one, one that nobody in the world wanted, one more in the tradition of parts 4, 5 and 6, but even worse. I guess I can’t blame Mike, with a mug like that how you gonna get leading man roles. He’s a character actor at best unless he’s in HALLOWEEN, then he’s the star. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.