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

Vern found cowering in spider hole (or, a tearful Vern emerges from the perspex box)

Okay, so I’m sure you’re used to my little hiatuses by now, but I gotta say I’m sorry for this one. What, was I fucking hibernating? Actually it was a variety of mishaps and whatnot which kept me offline which in turn stopped me from writing reviews and even got my hotmail account shut down for a while. So if I missed anyone’s e-mails I apologize.

So what all has happened since last time? I didn’t see MYSTIC RIVER until the other day so I didn’t review that yet. I did bash the Texas Chain Saw remake’s head in over on the Ain’t It Cool News. I think Cuba Gooding junior came out with a new retard movie, or was it gay jokes this time? I never saw it. ELF was kinda cute, Tupac came out with a new one – when is that guy gonna start directing? – BAD SANTA was pretty funny, and I liked the cartoon about the singing triplets. Seagal did a new one with Ching-Siu Tung, next up is Ringo Lam.

I liked the new matrixes, I loved KILL BILL, but one thing we can all agree on is that new lord of the rings sequel is pretty much the greatest ever. At least, best movie involving giant eagles and elephants, with ghosts and elves and shit. Mr. Jackson and company have really gotten their footing on this one, they know exactly what they’re doing and we’re real attached to the characters now. Lots of drama, lots of macho crying, lots of giant elephants tipping over. I never seen anything like it. I hope my man in new zealand Andrew is reading this. Way to go Z-Land.

Can’t wait for part 4.

And now we got these anti-piracy sermons playing before movies. Some stuntman tells us that he literally gave his left nut for the car chase in some shitty police thriller and if a 14 year old kid downloads it even once, he will have to slaughter his children for meat if he’s going to survive. I never watched a shitty download movie in my life, I still love to hear people boo down this propaganda. If I wanted to be preached to, I woulda waited at the bus stop where that guy yells at me through a megaphone about the king of kings and the lord of the lords.

A tip to movie studios: if you don’t want kids watching your movies for free, stop your employees from bootlegging them. Duh.

Even worse, the Regal chain has this thing now called “The Twenty.” While you wait for the movie, instead of talking to your friend or reading a book or sitting there with your own thoughts or some stupid shit like that, you get to watch this excellent twenty minute long collection of commercials. I mean I assume they’re excellent because they have their own name. The Twenty! It’s cool! Don’t miss The Twenty. I love The Twenty. Hey, did you see the Twenty this week? I heard that product was excellent. Who told me that? I think it was my friends at The Twenty. If it was bad, it wouldn’t be on The Twenty now, would it?

Okay, I must admit. There are no Regal theaters in the downtown area and if there were, I would sooner light my asshairs on fire than go support this shit. But I saw the CEO of Regal on some CNN business news thing, talking about The Twenty. Not defending it, as you would have to do in any reasonable forum. But talking it up. They acted like it was this great innovation that we should all admire, like he just invented electricity or something. At the end of this long report the anchor said something like, “Some moviegoers complain that they don’t want to be bombarded with advertisements,” and that was all they had for that side of the story.

(Are there any moviegoers that DO want to be bombarded with advertisements?)

There was an episode of the cartoon Futurama where the advertisers of the future actually put advertisements into people’s dreams, so the guy dreams he goes to class wearing only his underwear, and then it turns out to be an ad for a specific brand of underwear. The reason why that joke is funny is because it’s fucking true. I don’t think there’s a soul who would disagree with me. If they really had the technology to do that, they would fucking do it. If they could make shit come out of your ass with an ad for Pepsi on it, they would do it. If you could give birth to a baby with a Nike logo in its eyes and an AOL 9.0 CD attached to its ass, I guaranfuckingtee that’s exactly what you’d find yourself doing.

By the way, did you know that Blockbuster has copyrighted the white circle? I walked past one of their stores and they have window decals that represent snow. Some of them are just white circles, but they include the Blockbuster copyright information.

Anyway speaking of the cable news – you remember how crazy the tv made me last time we met. Now it’s gone through the looking glass, over the rainbow, under the bridge, over the hump and backwards down the toilet, into the dangerous reverse twilight zone. Lately I find myself turning on Fox news late at night and the next morning when I remember what I saw, it’s hard to figure out if it was a dream or not. I’m pretty sure I saw this one show where these fat middle aged counterparts of AMERICAN PSYCHO’s Patrick Bateman sit around and talk about stock tips. You got the American flag waving on the upper left, the TERROR!!!!!! alert staring you down on the lower left, the scroll waving at you across the bottom part, the stock quotes on the lower right, in the lower middle, above the scroll but below the Patrick Batemans, you got a huge disclaimer scrolling by telling you that these people are pretty much talking out of their asses and if you trust what they’re saying you’re going to lose all your money and it will not be Rupert Murdoch’s fault so quit sending him those fuckin letters. And then one of the guys on there is talking about how you should invest all your money in Halliburton, because the daily mortar attacks and suicide bombings are bound to slow down and Cheney’s boys will clean up and there’s no reason to feel guilty about making money off of corruption, death and misery so cash in boys!

So at this point I’m pretty sure I’m having a nightmare but it wasn’t until they went to the commercial break that I found out the name of this program was THE CO$T OF FREEDOM. And yes, they really had the dollar sign for the S. When they came back they discussed the topic, “Crazy terrorists or mad cows: which is the biggest danger to your money?”

It’s like a horrific fake TV show Paul Verhoeven would make up for a new ROBOCOP movie, but look it up – it’s real.

And last week I was watching FOX NEWS WATCH where a panel sits around and talks journalism issues, which is pretty much like Nickelodeon doing a show about retirement. They try to mix it up a little with the token not-quite-right-wingers though, and I was pretty surprised what one of them almost got away with saying on Fox.

The topic being discussed was “Worst Collective Act By Journalists,” and one woman made the obvious choice: their coverage of the run up to the Iraq war. First she said, “Well, Fox News viewers won’t be too happy to hear this,” which I thought was amazing – acknowledging on Fox itself that the network and its audience are partisan and pro-war. Then she started to describe how the journalists swallowed this notion that there was no choice but war and acted as a mouthpiece for the administration and–

Suddenly, it went quiet. We interrupt this legitimate point for a special report. NASA is flying a little thing around Mars. There is a parachute and what not. It’s in space, with science and everything. Hooray for space! Whitey on the moon!

I swear it really happened. I gotta start taping this shit so people will believe me.

There was a couple minutes there where the cable news started to catch on to a few things and would air one or two mildly critical things about Bush every two weeks while we were all asleep. But then as soon as the Kurds, er, I mean, we, caught Hussein – they turned into babies again.

Okay, so Hussein was found in this hole, right? All he had was a pistol, some money, and a stash of candy bars. No computer, no cell phone, no pigeon or tin can with a string. He didn’t even have any playboys. So now we can all agree, right, that he couldn’t have had anything to do with the daily suicide bombings, mortar attacks, missiles fired at planes, helicopters shot down, etc.? Because he was in a hole?

You’d think so, but that would mean we all had common sense enough to have, like, common sense. Instead, there were numerous experts on TV still referring to attacks carried out by “Saddam loyalists.” And the postjournalists who were interviewing them didn’t question that notion at all.

Then instead of talking about all the horrible things Hussein has done in his life, they kept talking about him being a “coward” for hiding in a hole instead of, say, setting off some of those invisilbe weapons of mass destruction and going out in a blaze of glory. Even Bush said, “I find it interesting that he ended up in a hole.” In other words, Bush would’ve had more respect for Hussein if he’d shot up the american soldiers that the Kurds gave him to, er I mean that found him.

CNN kept running a title that said that Saddam had married his second cousin.

One republican I saw interviewed by Wolf Blitzer joked that Hussein looked like “something out of the movie Down and Out in Beverly Hills,” but then went on to say that we should not expect the violence to stop, because Hussein probably didn’t have anything to do with the attacks, which were caused by Iraqis fighting against the occupation.

Blitzer responded (and I am not shitting you): “You make a good point. He does look homeless, and in a sense, you could say he IS homeless, couldn’t you?” Completely ignoring the substance of what the man said to refer back to his jokey reference to a bad ’80s movie about a homeless dude getting it on with bette midler or some gal like that. (not worth confirming in imdb.)

THIS JUST IN. As I was working hard on this column, the Paul O’Neill thing broke. If you didn’t hear about it, the former treasury secretary under Bush (forced to resign because he was against the tax cuts) was interviewed for a new book and by 60 Minutes with some pretty funny revelations about Bush and friends.

The one that’s getting the most attention is the one about how at the very first national security council meeting, ten days into the administration, weeks after claims that Clinton was too interventionist and that Bush would be against nation building, Bush apparently announced that he wanted to invade Iraq and asked how it could be done. “Go find me a way to do this.” O’Neill said he was shocked that no one said, “What? Why would we do that?” but instead just figured out how it could be done. (And then, coincidentally, September 11th happened. What the fuck? Do they ever worry that maybe they wished too hard?)

Now look, we all pretty much assumed Bush was planning to invade Iraq from the beginning. But we were called conspiracy theorists for believing it. After all, they were doing it BECAUSE of September 11th, right? Because Rumsfeld saw the world “through the prism of September 11th.” Because the world has changed. Everything is different now. We will never forget.

Well, that’s what they all said two days ago. Now they have had their memory wiped like the puny humans in DARK CITY and they say what are you talking about? We all knew this, and they were open about it, regime change was the official policy since Clinton. And all those times that they said it was because of September 11th and the war started on September 11th and all that stuff, that was actually just a metaphor for we all knew they were planning it all along out in the open and not in secret and p.s. they’re not fucking liars.

O’Neill said that during his time there, he never saw any evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The official White House response is that O’Neill wasn’t privy to all of the evidence.

He was a permanent member of the National Security Council! So that means that, by the White House’s own admission, the National Security Council was never shown any evidence of these weapons that they were so sure Iraq had! So how did they know?

There were some other good ones from Mr. O’Neill too, which came out in the form of thousands of documents that he gave Pulitzer prize winning writer Ron Suskind for the book. (One “senior white house official” (read: Karl Rove) poo-poohed O’Neill’s comments by saying, “We never listened to the crazy things O’Neill said before, why would we now?” I guess they never listened to his thousands of crazy documents and transcripts either.)

#1. In a meeting where O’Neill worried about the defecits, Dick Cheney said, “Reagan proved that defecits don’t matter.”

Not to republicans, anyway. They just max out all the cards, then go work for corporations for 8 years, then come back and start over. Cheney would never admit this in public, but he apparently does at the meetings.

#2 (even better). In a meeting discussing plans for the second tax cut, Bush was initially hesitant. He asked, “Didn’t we already give a tax cut to the rich? Why can’t we do one for the middle?”

Of course, the real shock there is that Bush actually had a moment of guilt there, where he wanted to do the right thing. But does it bother all these right wingers, who have explained up and down a tree that tax cuts for the rich are actually not for the rich, that Bush himself described them as “for the rich” from the very beginning?

Shit, there’s a million other things for us to catch up on, but I’ll cut this off right now. I hope everyone is having a good 2004 so far and if you have time, maybe you could read one or two new reviews that I plan to write. After that I’ve got bigger plans but let’s start with the baby steps, huh?

welcome back vern

(that’s what you should say, in my opinion)

thanks everybody

–Vern

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.
This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 13th, 2004 at 6:42 am and is filed under Vern Tells It Like It Is. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply





XHTML: You can use: <a href="" title=""> <img src=""> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <b> <i> <strike> <em> <strong>