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

“Malone.”

“You got a first name?”

“Yeah.”

Archive for January, 2003

Confessions of a Dangerous Mind

Saturday, January 25th, 2003

Well geez, it’s not too often you get this with a movie writer, but apparently this Charlie Kaufman guy can do no wrong. Between the brilliant BEING JOHN MALKOVICH and ADAPTATION and the underrated HUMAN NATURE and now this… I mean really, what more could you ask for from a writer? There is no other non-director writer working who has been so consistently inventive and surprising and at the same time so personal. In fact there are few who have ever worked who could be in this same category. These are all movies made by skilled directors but it is always the writer’s voice that comes through.

You hear that, motherfuckers, the WRITER.

This is Kaufman’s most straight forward and normal picture so far, but that’s not saying all that much. It’s adapted from Chuck Barris’ autobiographical novel, and the gimmick of course is that in the novel he claims to have been a CIA hitman while he was hosting the Gong Show, which seems pretty dubious. Also he talks about the genesis of The Gong Show, the Dating Game, the Newlywed Game, etc. (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.

Happy Martin Luther King Day

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2003

I hope everybody had a good Martin Luther King Day. I don’t know what people usually do to celebrate the holiday. There are not really many traditions that I know of. I’m sure Trent Lott hangs out with his black business man friends, now that he has decided to start believing in the holiday. They are probaly working on their strategy to stop Bush’s attack on affirmative action, which he believes in. Have a good one Trent. Remember, less than a year until Kwanzaa.

I really want MLK Day to be a joyous celebration because this is one holiday I really do believe in, and I have not been involved in any neo-confederate controversies so you know I really mean that. I want it to be “a holiday where peace is celebrated all throughout the world” as Mr. Steveland Morris once sang. Unfortunately its a pretty fucked up holiday when you think about it because King dedicated much of his life, and especially those last three years, to helping end poverty. But then places stay open on Martin Luther King Day and who is it working? It’s the working class people, the minimum wage people, the retail people. And they probaly have to work harder than usual because they have all the rich people who get the day off coming in to buy shit. It would be nice to see the holiday practice a little more what the man preached. (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.

Mr. Majestyk

Wednesday, January 1st, 2003

I think it was my colleague in Badass Studies, Mr. Jeff McCloud, who first recommended MR. MAJESTYK to me a year or two ago. When he said that Charles Bronson played a watermelon farmer in it, I knew it was my type of movie. What better way to fulfill the criteria of the THEORY OF BADASS JUXTAPOSITION than to grow a field of watermelons? I mean I guess maybe if they were flowers it would seem more sensitive, but this business of a dude growing watermelons is definitely not the obvious choice for a Badass. Which is why it’s such a good choice.

So I was an idiot to put off watching the movie as long as I did. What really did it was I was lookin through a used book store (seriously, I read books) when I saw the book MR. MAJESTYK by none other than Elmore Leonard. I pulled it out. The dude on the front was definitely not Charlse Bronson. But I read the back, and sure enough, it was about a badass watermelon farmer. (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.

Jesus’ Son

Wednesday, January 1st, 2003

Sometimes a movie comes along without much of a push, and without much commercial appeal, and not very many people go to see it or even hear about it. But most of those who do are pleased to find that it is an unusually good picture. They tell their friends about it, they write rave reviews of it. Then your connection in the home video industry, Pornographical Jerry, hooks you up with an advanced preview cassette of the picture and you give it a shot. And holy shit, it turns out to be the best movie you’ve seen in a long fucking time. Now you can’t wait to use your power and responsibility as an acclaimed Writer on the films of Cinema to promote the movie, so you try to time your review to come out on the day it is released so that all the little Outlaws out there will storm into their chain video stores and say look asshole, where is it? Where is Jesus’ Son fer cryin out loud, don’t give me that never heard of it look, this is a highly acclaimed movie. “Oh, you mean the one on Vern’s sight? Right over here, sir.” (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.

Home Page

Wednesday, January 1st, 2003

Well I’ve been on a documentary kick the last couple weeks and I been meaning to see this one since it first came out, for reasons that do not need to be explained. If you’re stupid, well I’ll just explain it to you then, it’s because this documentary is about people who Write for the world wide web type medium. You know what I mean? Do I have to spell it out for you?

What I’m getting at here is that I also Write for that same medium. If you have not seen my web sight, it is the one you are reading right now. Check it out.

This movie focuses on the web when it was first becoming a phenomenon, and in particular it focuses on the web journal type web sight. Although at times my sight can be PRETTY fucking personal, I have never quite understood that type of web sight. Because everybody likes to Write all about themselves, yeah, but who the fuck wants to read it? At least I talk about Vin Diesel and shit, to reel them in. I don’t think I’ve ever sat down and read somebody’s random musings of the day. Not to be harsh but I really don’t give two and a half fucks about your relationships, even if you do Write in all lower case. (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.

Hated: G.G. Allin and the Murder Junkies

Wednesday, January 1st, 2003

Supposedly this is the highest grossing student film of all time. It’s only about 50 minutes long and it’s a documentary about one of the shittiest and most unlikable rockstars who ever lived. But it’s great entertainment. The film was directed by Todd Phillips, who went on to do a controversial HBO documentary called Frat House and then the teen comedy Road Trip. In that one there was some dude who put a mouse in his mouth and that was supposed to be the ultimate grossout. Well obviously the individuals who said that haven’t heard of Hated.

You see when I said GG Allin was the shittiest rock star who ever lived I meant that literally. One of this dude’s trademarks was that he would take a shit on stage and then wipe it all over his face and ass and throw it into the audience and etc. Or one time he takes a banana and sticks it up his ass and then mushes it up and throws it out there. Basically, he is like the most mentally illest motherfuckers you ever come across in the correctional system, but with a microphone. (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 Getaway (1972)

Wednesday, January 1st, 2003

Now this is what I call a fuckin MOVIE. I forgot about it until seeing it on Bravo today but it is even better now that I’m older and now that I’ve done my own bid. First though, a word about Bravo. This is the “film and arts network” they CLAIM, but they don’t have the balls to live up to that slogan. You know how Sam Peckinpah movies always have the real slick opening credits with the freeze frames and the atmosphere and what not? They show these in widescreen and your thinking, “Look at that! Look at that rectangular screen! That atmosphere! THIS is a fuckin MOVIE.”

And then it says “directed by Sam Peckinpah” and BAM, no more widescreen. No, that’s just so the words will fit, we don’t need it anymore. The picture is square and cramped and the film is all faded and dark and you’re thinkin, “What is this crap, Hunter?” (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 Master Gunfighter

Wednesday, January 1st, 2003

First of all I gotta thank my man with a plan Jeremiah for sending me a screener of this movie. Unfortunately Jeremiah is no longer able to send me free porno dvds, but he has more than made up for that unfortunate situation by sending me this very enjoyable obscurity in Badass Cinema.

Now some of you may know, but I sure didn’t, that Tom Laughlin made one non-Billy Jack movie after the success of BILLY JACK. And it was this. He wrote it under a pseudonym and apparently the director is his son Frank. It’s a western, but with much of the cornball liberal action movie tone I loved about the BILLY JACK pictures. It is about to come out on video and I think dvd for the first time ever. (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 Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie

Wednesday, January 1st, 2003

Alot of you know that I am a big fan of the surrealist movement. Well actually I do not know a whole lot about the history of the movement but among respected film Writers I’m pretty damn sure I am the biggest supporter of Jean Claude Van Damme’s surrealist period, which is best represented by his collaboration with Tsui Hark and Dennis Rodman, Double Team. Well someone pointed me towards Louie Bunuel the famous surrealist and I was able to catch one of his later works, the discreet charm blah blah blah, on the Bravo network.

Most of you sickos probaly know Louie from that old porno The Andalusian Dog where some sick fuck cuts a lady right in the eyeball (but it’s actually a cow’s eyeball which is almost as bad, I mean jesus). He did that one with Salvador Dali and in his later solo work he still loved the dream logic of the surrealism but he used it to make comedies making fun of dumb rich people. And this my friends is a good fucking use for a 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.

Duck, You Sucker

Wednesday, January 1st, 2003

You talk about striving for excellence – to a guy like me, Sergio Leone is just about the highest level of excellence any director could aspire to. He took the western genre, which had grown stale and conservative, and injected it full of his Leone brand cinematic steroid and turned it into an unstoppable super soldier version of the old beast, one so powerful it became its own genre that is still worshipped and studied by cult movie watchers to this day. All he did was five westerns bookended by a gladiator picture and a gangster epic. But those westerns contributed so much to the Badass Cinema I worship to this day that they might as well be considered its legal guardians.

Think about it: the stoic Clint Eastwood persona of A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS, which he parlayed into an entire brilliant career and which spun off into a hundred bastard sons in the action genre, from Steven Seagal to Daniel Craig. The epic cinemascope wide shots showing the vastness of the desert, cutting to the extreme closeups on some ugly bastard’s squinty eyes, surrounded by wrinkles and lines of sweat. The ingenious use of sound – buzzing flies, some piece of metal somewhere clanging in the wind, the clicking of guns, and of course the legendary Ennio Morricone scores that are forever glued to any memory anybody ever had of these movies. Leone’s style is like a drug, it heightens all your senses. You feel like a blind man whose hearing becomes more powerful to balance out the loss of the eye sight, but then you get the eye sight back for some reason and the super-hearing stays so you go watch some westerns. (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.