“I’m Paul Barlow, and this is my daughter Jo.”

“Malone.”

“You got a first name?”

“Yeah.”

Archive for October, 2002

Jackass: The Movie

Saturday, October 26th, 2002

JACKASS is an important new documentary produced by oscar nominated director Spike Jonze and the MTV television network. Using the “digital video” camera technology a group of young daredevils were able to capture a slice of life that just may blow the lid off of american culture, etc. Or whatever.

It turns out JACKASS: THE THING OTHER THAN THE MOVIE is a tv show on the MTV music channel. Created by Johnny Knoxville, who got the job by spraying himself in the face with pepper spray and shocking himself with a taser (but only on a camcorder, not on some ongoing competitive reality series or anything), it is some kind of tv show. I’m not very familiar with the character or storylines so I have no way of judging if the movie is faithful to the show. But I thought it was good. (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.

E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2002

E.T.: THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL: THE SPECIAL EDITION: FOR THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY: THE MOVIE

This is one of those things where they take an old movie that was very popular, and then they change it, because they think the only way anybody would want to see a movie they loved on the big screen again would be if somebody just completely fucked with it and tried to ruin it. They did the same thing with the Star Trek pictures, and the exorcist (see below) and Night of the Living Dead on video (I’m still staying away from that one).

This goes into the Star Trek category where the individual who made it (Steve Spielberg) gets old, forgets everything that made him vital when he was young, and decides to change things, but claims it’s actually perfectionism. The most infamous thing here is that he wanted no guns in the movie at all. Which is kind of weird for a movie where the main characters get chased by a mob of cops. So there they are, a bunch of fuckin cops and government spooks, running around all holding a walkie talkie with their trigger fingers poised to, I don’t know, hit the little beeper button that you use for Morse code. (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 Watches ON DEADLY GROUND With MR. SHOW At The Olympia Film Festival!!

Monday, October 14th, 2002

SPOILER ALERT !!

Hey, everyone. “Moriarty” here with some Rumblings From The Lab.

Wow. Bob and David are everywhere right now, and it sounds like they’re having a great time. I still don’t know if I’m going to be able to get into the insane benefit show they’re part of in a few weeks, and I missed this. Still, if we had to have anyone cover it for us, thank god Vern was the one who went. You’ll see why when you read this…

Boys–

I know how you feel about film festivals. You’re for them, right? I think one of you said you were. I’ve seen a couple good pictures at the Seattle International Film Festival but that’s about it for me. Until today, when I decided to venture south to the Olympia Film Festival. And I’m real glad I did.

Usually I avoid Olympia. I know it’s our state capital, it once had a fine brewery and they got lots of college kids who brag because the rock band Sleater-Kinney was named after a street they still have near there. But I mean come on. The street isn’t even that good. In the downtown area the buildings are too far apart, and everything is closed. At least on Sunday. Anyway today they finally got a reason for me to go there: ON DEADLY GROUND. (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.

Bowling for Columbine

Saturday, October 12th, 2002

This is a tricky review to write because what I really want isn’t for you to give two shits what I think about how well this movie is made or how entertaining it is or whatever. What I want is for everybody just to go out and see this movie, bring as many friends as they can, then go for food and discuss it. Then go to the vernanda group on yahoo and discuss it with me. You can have your own personal oprah book club with this picture. It’s an interactive movie, it requires feedback. Because it asks a simple, very timely question – why in the hell is there so much violence in america? – and then it leaves it to you to answer it.

Now that’s not what some of the reviews will tell you. But I mean come on, you don’t trust those other assholes do you? Opinions about Michael Moore are like assholes, only assholes have them (or whatever mark twain said, I can’t remember). Alot of people expect Mr. Moore to be preaching to the converted or telling you what to think or something. They expect it so much that they sit there and watch this movie that doesn’t even come close to doing that, and then they leave and describe some non-existent movie that is not the same one ol’ Vern saw. (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 Rules of Attraction

Saturday, October 12th, 2002

Not even Mr. McTiernan’s ROLLERBALL managed to scare up as much hatred in movie critics as THE RULES OF ATTRACTION, the latest by Roger Avary, Oscar winning screenwriter best known as the guy who worked at the video store with Quentin Tarantino. I knew there were a handful of fans but many of the reviews were filled with the kind of angry blubbering you usually get when somebody talks about that last Batman and Robin movie or the 30th Anniversary version of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD where they added in extra scenes and changed the music. The kind of thing where you’re so appalled by the movie you can barely even speak English anymore. The film critic at a local alternative weekly interviewed Avary about the movie and the first question was “What were you thinking?”

So I was kind of surprised by how good the movie actually is. Sure it’s pretty pretentious. And if all you see is a “rich college kids are fucked up” message then no, it’s not an original message. But then neither is “war is hell” and that hasn’t made anyone declare the end of the war movie genre for all of eternity. I didn’t find this movie profound (I didn’t find it empty either) but I really thought the execution of it was exceptional. And there is some truth to the story it paints of people being attracted to horrible people and things turning out bad. (In fact, real bad.) (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.

Black Thursday

Thursday, October 10th, 2002

In case you haven’t heard, the House and Senate both voted today to pass the resolution to let Bush go to war with Iraq if it’s, uh, necessary. All he has to do now is officially start the war, and then work it into his schedule to mention it to congress within 48 hours after that. “Oh, by the way, uh, remember those diplomatic measures? Dick figured we exhausted them so, uh, we started a war. I almost forgot to tell you!”

Finally, our representatives can get to the important work of collecting bribes instead of wasting their time with all that ‘declaring war’ bullshit the founding fathers saddled them with when they wrote that pain in the ass we call the Constitution.

The Constitution was getting old anyway.

If you think they’re still planning to use war as a last option, you are naive or insane. You wouldn’t be the only one – these congress people voted ‘YES, LET’S ATTACK’ just days after the head of the CIA admitted that we are only really at risk from Hussein IF we attack him.

If somebody asks you to hand them your gun, you don’t give it to them, even if they swear they won’t use it. And you don’t tell the president yeah, it’s okay for you to have the power to declare war yourself, if you promise that you will take us into consideration. Even though we didn’t take the people who voted us into office into consideration. (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 Sees THE TRUTH ABOUT CHARLIE!!

Tuesday, October 8th, 2002

SPOILER ALERT !!

Hey, everyone. “Moriarty” here with some Rumblings From The Lab.

All my favorite muthas are hanging out tonight. Quint and Beaks and Vern, our man in Seattle, all 7 foot 5 inches of bad-assedness of him. He’s here tonight with a look at a film that I am hearing basically nothing good about so far. I hope all the buzz is wrong. I hope Jonathan Demme has made a great, breezy entertainment that manages to have fun with the classic CHARADE. I hope because I like Demme. I hope because the alternative is tears.

Fellas –

It’s me Vern again. Last week I sent you a review of the unneccessary remake of THE RING, which if I remember right, I believe I liked that one. This week I got another review of an uneccessary remake. This one wasn’t quite so hot.

The movie is THE TRUTH ABOUT CHARLIE and if you know your shit, you know it’s a remake of Stan Donen’s CHARADE, an undeniably great movie starring Carey Grant and Audrey Hepburn. I mean you can’t beat that. (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 attends an anti-war march – a photojournalistic type adventure

Monday, October 7th, 2002

Well I told everybody you should go to one of these notinourname anti-war rallies this weekend, but you probaly thought I was just blowing smoke signals up your ass or whatever the saying is in Oklahoma and Texas. So just to show you that ol’ Vern is a man of his convictions, here is the photographical type evidence that I went to the main one they had here in Seattle. The big news here is that this rally was alot of fun and I am going to show all you motherfuckers why you are required to go to and/or organize some more of these.

I am only a novice photojournalist, so my pictures don’t really do it justice, but let’s get to the visuals here people.

This was my best try at capturing the scope of this thing. I mean this was alot of fuckin people. You listen to these people on tv, they explain to you that the only people against this war really are a handful of fringe Democrats and “peaceniks.” Maybe occasionally they’ll mention that UN arms inspectors, hardline republican maniacs from the first Bush administration, Pat Buchanan, pretty much every other country in the world, and even fugitive war criminal Henry Kissinger think this war is a bad, bad idea. But the average americans, according to their polls, most of them are all for it. (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 checks out the remake of THE RING!

Friday, October 4th, 2002

Hey folks, Harry here… Vern wants Daddy (me) to start talking with Mommy (Moriarty), but he’s has got to stop telling me he has a headache and turning that oh so soft shoulder to chilly ice. Daddy needs some loving, and Mommy has been oh so cruel. Sadness, for sure. Anyways… Here’s another look at the Dreamworks RING remake from a bloke that is very very familiar with the originals! Here ya go…

Boys –

First of all, you gotta start talking to each other again. I don’t like it when mommy and daddy fight.

Second of all, I know you already have an assload of THE RING (american remake) reviews. But I think you need to use mine also, as a sign of gratitude toward me, the man who first told you about the japanese RINGU series and the impending remake back in July of 2000. So look at this as the highly anticipated sequel to the article “Vern Steals A Look At THE RING Part I and II!!” CLICK HERE

Of course, I got one thing wrong back then. I said it was New Line Cinema doing the remake, turned out to be Dreamworks. I think the rights might’ve been passed around though, I remember Moriarty told me at the time that he talked to somebody at New Line and they swore they were gonna re-release it and not remake it. (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.

Brotherhood of the Wolf

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2002

The box’ll get you expecting some weird french version of CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON, but I say it’s a 2000s Hammer movie. So you got a period piece with a mysterious beast eating people in a village, and the townspeople are trying to hunt it but they’re on the wrong track, and some colorful experts come to town to get the job done FOR REAL.

All that, but it’s the 2000s so they all do karate. Just like Charlie’s Angels, Mission: Impossible, X-Men, Superman, Charles In Charge, anybody that’s resurrected in the 2000s, they’re gonna do karate. Why? The Matrix. When? The 2000s. Where? A big screen near you. This includes not just americans, but also the French. The Musketeer did karate and Vidocq did detective style kung fu, and this movie introduces until-now-unknown traditions of French and Native American martial arts. Those scenes are kind of tossed in there, but it’s not quite as crazy as it sounds. If you like the movie like I did, it will probaly be due to the classic story of the monster eating the villagers, and the dudes trying to track the monster. Not the karate. (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.