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

“Malone.”

“You got a first name?”

“Yeah.”

Archive for November, 2002

Solaris (2002)

Wednesday, November 27th, 2002

Well that young bald man Steve Soderbergh is still on a roll. He just keeps hittin em, bam bam bam and even when they’re not a home run like THE LIMEY or OUT OF SIGHT they’re still real good. Hell, even FULL FRONTAL, he just squirted that one out like a soft ice cream, and it was pretty good ice cream too. This one is a little more of a sunday. It’s not my favorite soderbergh movie but that’s like saying “that’s not necessarily the greatest blowjob I ever got.” This guy has never made a bad movie. Go ahead, try to find one. You can’t. You would have to make a fake movie and put his name on it. But he didn’t make that one, you did. You can’t fool me. Fool me once, shame, shame, you can’t fool me.

First of all let me make it clear that I am ignorant on the topic of Solaris. I have not seen the legendarily long and boring and brilliant Russian version by Mr. Tartavsky. Also I have not read the book which is according to the credits what Mr. Soderbergh’s version is based on. But I did see this movie. So that’s my background on that one. (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.

Friday After Next

Friday, November 22nd, 2002

I really don’t have much to say about this movie, so instead I will rail against our modern consumerist society. thanks for your understanding.

I really feel old when I show up to a movie 10 or 15 minutes early. Sure I like to think I’m young in the heart and all that shit, but I still remember when moviegoing was a pleasant experience. Sure I am thankful for the innovations of digital sound and automatic ticket machines. But it’s time to dump the rest of the cineplex baggage. These chains are all going chapter 11 anyway, why not jettison the extra weight?

So I walk in there, the old man, and I let this CD pretending to be a radio station introduce me to the latest contemporary R&B products. I’m pretty sure they have a camp somewhere where they raise these kids to groom them into soul-less, personality-less test tube warblers with prefabricated sexuality. They keep them naked in cages until the cameras are ready, then they throw each of them a plastic bag containing 1 (one) wireless microphone headset (does not work), 1 (one) pair white leather pants (low riding), one (1) $200 boutique t-shirt (one sleeve only), and 1 (one) rhinestone cowboy hat. (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.

Far from Heaven

Friday, November 22nd, 2002

FAR FROM HEAVEN is the lovingly crafted new film from Todd Haynes (VELVET GOLDMINE), about an upper class socialite house wife (the great Julianne Moore from JURASSIC PARK PART 2 and ASSASSINS) dealing with the shameful prejudices and social pressures of the time. When she discovers that her husband (one of the Quaids, I think Randy) kissing a man, she tries to be loving and understanding about it. Her friends joke about her liberalism and call her “Red” but she naively deals with it as a medical problem, and brings him to a doctor to be “cured”. Soon she strikes up a friendship with her black gardener (the president from that stupid tv show 24) and again tests the limits of her liberalism when she finds that both whites and blacks scorn their innocent relationship.

Part of what makes it work is that the styles of acting, the dissolve-heavy editing, and the music by Elmer Bernstein are all taken directly from the films of that time period. It’s as if Haynes had travelled back in time and created a movie that he wishes they could’ve made back then, dealing with issues no one wanted to face, ones that are still embarassingly relevant today. It’s all a perfect re-creation of the melodramas of Douglas Sirk. (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 reckons that ADAPTATION is absolute genius it darn near looks like!

Wednesday, November 20th, 2002

Hey folks, Harry here… Both Moriarty and Mr Beaks have seen ADAPTATION and are set to write reviews that declare it just about earth-shatteringly gob-derned whipperwill brilliant, and I lay here simmering in jealousy, because I haven’t seen it yet. I’ve been uga-bugga beating my chest about this one and carving “SEE ADAPTATION” in granite for the past year and a half. My fingers have bled, in an exisstential manner of speaking, over this one. Vern loved it. Vern’s better than both Moriarty and Mr Beaks, because Vern doesn’t fondle octogenarians. Yeah. Here’s Vern… MUST SEE MOVIE!

Boys —

You fellas will not believe what movie I saw today. It was ADAPTATION, the new picture by Spike Jonze and Charlie Kaufman starring Nicolas Cage as twin screenwriters hired to write a script about themselves being hired to write a script about flowers. Actually only one of them is hired and he’s not supposed to put himself in the script, it’s just supposed to be about flowers, and then his brother lives in his house and is taking a screenwriting seminar, and he’s better at picking up women. You know, it’s kind of like WES CRAVEN’S NIGHTMARE, only with Nicolas Cage playing fat twins. I don’t know it’s hard to explain it man. You guys already know anyway. (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.

‘R Xmas

Tuesday, November 19th, 2002

The two strongest feelings I have about Abel Ferrara’s latest are “that was pretty good” and “what the hell?” I will cover these two feelings in order.

This is the story of Christmas for a rich couple in New York in 1993. We see them videotaping their young daughter’s private school Christmas play, trying to get her the most in demand Christmas toy, and that kind of business. Then they put her to bed, some fellas come over and they start filling up baggies of cocaine.

So the idea I guess is that drug kingpins aren’t that much different from any of the other rich fucks in new york. I mean you pretty much like these people. They really do care about their daughter and want to make her happy, even if they think they have to do it by buying shit. They have lots of old ladies sitting around the house and they hug and kiss them alot. When it comes down to it, their family life really is more important to them than their drug empire, although they don’t know how to live like a regular working class individual. And one thing that’s refreshing is that other than the fact that he sells drugs, the husband never shows a dark side. You never see him being ruthless. He doesn’t only SEEM charming and innocent, but have a furious anger hidden beneath. As far as we see, he’s just a sweet, romantic guy. Come to think of it, this guy is BETTER than the other rich fucks in new york, if a little superficial. (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.

Half Past Dead

Saturday, November 16th, 2002

I don’t know how to explain my fascination with Steven Seagal, but you can read my review of ON DEADLY GROUND and maybe you’ll understand. I don’t think the dude is exactly advancing the cause of Badass Cinema with his works, but I still enjoy every new chapter of his saga.

This time around we find Seagal working with a young rapper named Ja Rule, stealing cars for some European guy. BUT NEVER FEAR. Although Seagal may SEEM to be a mere car thief (or I guess, since he’s Steven Seagal, an ex-CIA black ops car thief), it is heavily implied in the opening scene that he MAY actually be some kind of undercover FBI agent. I don’t want to give anything away though, who knows if he really is undercover or not. Nobody really knows until they themselves have seen the movie. (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.

Shaolin Soccer

Monday, November 11th, 2002

Well I’m way behind on this one. The nerds of the internet have been talking about this one forever, more evidence of a vibrant nerd culture thriving out there somewhere. Like the aztecs and mayans with their fancy calendars, the nerds were ahead of ol’ Vern on discovering SHAOLIN SOCCER. But then, I work on my own schedule.

Soon all americans will know about the power of SHAOLIN SOCCER, because Miramax is doing one of their trademark trim jobs on it and releasing it here. But if you haven’t heard of it yet this is what it is. Shaolin kung fu + soccer = this movie. Duh. (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.

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

Tuesday, November 5th, 2002

Nobody told me the Brits knew how to make a crime picture. I mean I know the Limey is a limey and all but that one is American made on American soil. Here’s one those Brits can be proud of in my opinion.

People probaly compare this to Pulp Fiction and what not and I do believe it’s somewhere up there. It uses an even greater mastery of cinematismic languaging with maybe a little less substance as far as most people are concerned but then what the hell do those bitches know. Anyway it’s a fun as hell movie about four Londonese dudes about 30 years old each who invest in a big card game. They come out in the red for $500,000 and have one week to pay it back if they don’t want to start losing fingers. They owe the money to a guy named Harry the Hatchet and this motherfucker means business so they will stop at nothing to get the money they need. What follows is a complex game between these four kids, two other gangs, a house of pot dealers, and Harry the Hatchets horrific henchmen. (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.

Punch-Drunk Love

Friday, November 1st, 2002

This is the new Adam Sandler picture, but instead of being directed by one of his college roommates, this one’s by a real director, “p.t. anderson” (a.k.a. Paul Thomas Anderson, director of HARD EIGHT, BOOGIE NIGHTS and MAGNOLIA). Mr. Anderson – not to be confused with Paul “not Thomas” Anderson, director of RESIDENT EVIL and crap – is one of these virtuoso younger directors that’s so obviously talented that people bend over backwards to prove he’s overrated. Not too many people saw HARD EIGHT but they’ll tell you BOOGIE NIGHTS was a ripoff of Scorsese and MAGNOLIA was a ripoff of Altman and now they’re saying PUNCH DRUNK LOVE is good for an Adam Sandler movie but it’s Anderson’s worst.

Well I’m not sure I agree with that. Sure it’s a little lighter just because it’s not long and it’s got two main characters instead of a whole ensemble. It’s not an epic. It’s smaller than the last two. But it’s his most original, and maybe his most genuine. Now he steps out from the obvious comparisons to other director’s styles and shows you which parts are the p.t. anderson style. (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.