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

Archive for November, 2004

Southern Comfort

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004

Okay, this group of National Guardsmen (Peter Coyote, Powers Boothe, Keith Carradine, Fred Ward, others) are on one of them training exercises, right? Basically, they gotta go out into the Louisiana swamp with a map, try to locate this one particular place. To practice their navigation skills. Most of them aren’t taking the job too seriously, paying more attention to their plans to hook up with some whores when they’re done. I mean they’re carrying guns, but with blanks, because who are they gonna shoot at anyway. There’s no enemy in this exercise.

And then they get to some water, and they realize either they’re reading the map wrong or the water has shifted and the chunk of land they’re supposed to find is now a chunk of underwater. (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.

Paparazzi

Sunday, November 21st, 2004

This is one of those mysterious movies that suddenly appeared out of nowhere one Friday night, then disappeared again a week later without so much as a puff of smoke. It straddles that blurry line between mainstream studio movie advertised on national television and straight to video thriller nobody’s ever heard of.

I actually saw an ad for it that week and I gotta admit I was a little intrigued. You just saw some dude falling down a fire escape and maybe a car flipping or something, and I thought maybe it was some gritty low budget late ’70s early ’80s style down and dirty revenge thriller. I mean there were no stars in it, it looked like the main character was that sleazeball Tom Sizemore (actually it’s Cole Hauser, some guy who looks kind of like Christian Bale but sounds kind of like Willem Dafoe). The only way they tried to make it sound like a Real Hollywood Movie was to brag that it was produced by Mel Gibson. (the guy from MAD MAX.) (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.

National Treasure

Friday, November 19th, 2004

Well you gotta find something to be proud of your country for, and right now reality sure as shit ain’t doin’ the trick. As I’m writing this we’re lookin down the barrel of four more years of Bush. There are signs of vote fraud starting to peek their heads out, but since it wouldn’t necessarily change who the president is, everybody seems to figure eh, screw it. They just massacred the shit out of innocent people in Fallujah, only to move the rebels into Mosul and Baghdad, so now there will be more massacres. Meanwhile, Bush continues to stick an electrode up the ass of the concept of accountability, promoting everybody he can think of who has fucked up bad. National security adviser has destroyed our national security? Make her secretary of state! White House lawyer wrote the infamous memo arguing that torture is great and the Geneva Conventions are for pussies? Make him attorney general! As we speak they are trying to track down Joseph Hazelwood to head up the EPA and Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

I mean I love my country. But my country is being a real bitch right now. Don’t worry, I never hit a country in my life. But my country is getting up in my face trying to provoke me right now and I guess I just gotta leave the apartment for a while to cool off. (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.

Lil’ Pimp

Monday, November 15th, 2004

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

No, seriously. The one and only Vern has returned with a new review of the seemingly in-limbo animated film, LI’L PIMP. Dig in:

Howdy boys,

Dark days have descended upon the Vern compound here in the bright blue upper left corner of the American map, and they hit me like a basketball to the nose. Just sitting here naively preparing for one of them ewok celebrations they used to have. Fireworks shootin off everywhere, a bunch of little dudes dancing around playing drums on Homeland Security helmets. I was high off publishing my first book and was feeling real optimistic. I felt the world was gonna change for the better and I looked fondly forward to the future, to a day when my fellow countrymen and women could hold their heads high and swell their chests with pride. Also to BLADE 3 next month.

Then, not sure what happened, somewhere around November 2nd or 3rd I just plunged into a bottomless funk. Not the good Clyde Stubblefield kind. The bad kind, where you’re sad and crap. The kind where you stumble around aimlessly and start behaving strangely. Maybe you watch GARFIELD and write a bizarre, rambling essay about it, to name one example. Who knows what could happen while you are in this state of the blues. (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.

Seed of Chucky

Friday, November 12th, 2004

Well judging from the low turnout for this picture in its first couple weeks, I might be the only one. But DAMN if I don’t love BRIDE OF CHUCKY. THat was the amazing slasher sequel landmark where the former Hong Kong director Ronny Yu knocked the CHILD’S PLAY series off into a weirdo direction where the killer doll suddenly gets a killer doll wife and it turns into a silly comedy, but with occasional moments of visual poetry courtesy of future oscar winning cinematographist Peter fucking Pau.

Now if you’re like me you remember the very end of BRIDE OF CHUCKY, suddenly a little sharp-toothed baby chucky pops out. It’s like the traditional sudden-jolt-ending used in every horror movie since CARRIE, but at the same time it’s a funny joke because you just KNOW it means we’re gonna get a SON OF CHUCKY some day. Or SEED OF CHUCKY it turns out due to the ambiguous gender of the baby. (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 Polar Express

Wednesday, November 10th, 2004

THE POLAR EXPRESS 3-D IMAX SPOOKARAMA

A few years back I wrote a piece called FINAL FANTASY: THE SPIRITS WITHIN (working title: BORING: THE MOVIE). It is available on this web sight as well as in my collection 5 On the Outside. In the piece I talked about the wrongness of computer animators trying to create photorealistic human characters. I argued that no matter how real they looked they would never look completely real, because they wouldn’t be able to walk quite right, or have a human soul, etc. I guess I didn’t mention it in that piece but there was a scene in the movie where two realistic human characters kissed, and it was like watching mannequins go at it.

(For your information, there’s a porno called REAL DOLL: THE MOVIE where pornographic professionals like Ron Jeremy stick their penises inside ten thousand dollar silicone sex dummies. That movie is disturbing in a different way from FINAL FANTASY because the dolls are not moving and their faces don’t look alive. So it looks like these guys are having their way with dead bodies. But picture two of the dolls going at it with no animate objects involved. Then picture a rated PG version of that. That’s the scene in FINAL FANTASY, I guess. It’s not natural.) (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.

Garfield

Sunday, November 7th, 2004

the asshole cat

Man, what a fuckin week. On Tuesday Bush got either “re”-elected or re-“elected,” and I’ve been stumbling around muttering to myself ever since. Stabbing at my porridge with my spoon, staring blankly out the window, mouthing the word “why” to myself over and over again. One thing I know, there are some things in this world that just cannot be explained. Sometimes bad things happen to good people. Sometimes people vote for a president that couldn’t be trusted to put on his own pants. And sometimes a guy gets the blue state blues, walks around town in a daze, suddenly finds himself at home having rented the movie “GARFIELD,” not really knowing how or why. I know for a fact this happens because you’re lookin at the guy who it happened to. Me. It was weird.

What this is is a movie based on the popular comic strip from the 1980s called Garfield. Like all comic strips it is not funny and about a talking animal. This is a cat called Garfield who is orange. The thing about Garfield, he is real fucking fat, he eats lasagna. That’s funny because real cats eat cat food, but this one also eats lasagna. Also he says “I hate Mondays” at the beginning although this does not turn out to be important. But it is that sort of detailed characterization that makes him, you know, Garfield. I guess. (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.

ANGRY DISPATCH FROM THE UPPER LEFT CORNER

Friday, November 5th, 2004

Somewhere in the blue-colored upper left corner of the map, under a horrible black cloud, we find Vern, chewing on his fist.

Well, shit.

Let me start by saying to the rest of the world, IT WASN’T ME, MAN. I had nothing to do with this. I can’t justify this but please don’t think this is all of us. It’s nobody I know, none of my friends, none of my family. It’s nobody that writes to me. Whoever these people are who are rewarding that type of behavior, who saw 4 years of horror and corruption and said, yeah, give me more of that… I seen some of them on TV but that’s it.

You know, I was really hoping to travel to other countries some day in my lifetime without having to look over my shoulder thinking, is that guy looking at my head? Does that guy want to cut off my head? And now these people go and make it look like America approves of Bush. It’s like when you’re sitting at a bar (not me, I don’t drink anymore) and you’re making small talk with the guy next to you, somebody you never met before. And you’re having a good conversation, then all the sudden the guy throws in some joke about jews or koreans or something, maybe uses the N word, talking real loud. And everybody thinks this guy’s your buddy, so you get real uncomfortable and try to either end the conversation or talk loudly about how great it is to meet the guy for the very first time ever. That’s what these Americans are doing. Guilting us by association. Thanks alot, assholes. (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.

pathetically optimistic column written just before the axe came down on the supple neck of our democracy

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2004

Well here we are friends. Right on the edge of the cliff looking down. Pretty sure we can jump all the way to the other side, but not COMPLETELY sure. Very soon we could be having a celebration like the “ewok” aliens used to have at the end of the movie RETURN OF THE JEDI before the footage was mysteriously lost under suspicious circumstances. On the other hand we might find ourselves throwing flaming garbage cans, rolling SUVs or, you know, rolling up in a ball in the corner sucking our thumbs. We, as a nation, might have to start drinking again. We might have to fly our asses to Washington to protest the inauguration. Eggs would be in such high demand that protesters would have to start bussing in thousands of free range chickens to pump out enough eggs to catapult at the presidential limo from behind the protest barricade 200 miles away. Hopefully it won’t come to that. No, it won’t come to that. We’re gonna do it.

We’ve come a long fucking way to get to this day. We have journeyed courageously while the economy trickled down from the sky, dripping all around us but somehow never hitting anybody. We have seen the wonders of the world, from the abandoned caves of Afghanistan to the naked butt pyramids of Abu Ghraib. From Enron Field to Halliburtonland. From the plane hitting the fucking Pentagon to Governor Bush getting his ass whooped in all three debates even while wearing a fucking earpiece. And they tell us somehow the race is still close! (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.