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

Archive for January, 2005

Finding Neverland

Saturday, January 29th, 2005

FINDING NEVERLAND is one of those movies that feels kind of like a remedial imagination class they force you to take on Saturdays because you fucked up. You may not know this, it tells you, but it turns out imagination is important and magical and all that kind of crap. Johnny Depp plays J.M. Barrie, the writer of Peter Pan. The movie starts the same as ED WOOD, he’s the writer of some flop play that the audience already hates literally about 2 seconds after it starts. It’s the first line of dialogue and a dude is already asleep.

So J.M. needs to imagination up his life somehow to inspire him to write Peter Pan, and luckily he runs into a widow (Kate Winslet) and her spunky kids (a bunch of kids) while he’s walking his novelty oversized dog. Next thing you know he’s hanging out with the kids, dressing up in silly costumes and imagining stuff with them. They’re still pretty bummed about their dad dying so he has to teach them to have a childlike sense of wonder, 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.

2004 Oscar nominations

Tuesday, January 25th, 2005

Alot of us movie fans, we got this problem called “the Oscars.” Every year we’re pissed off by who they neglect or who they give it to. Akiva Goldsman?! Bitch, are you for real? But then we get involved in it anyway, rooting for the ones we like, against the ones we hate, fuming over how bad those assholes in the academy fucked up this year.

We say we don’t care about the Oscars, because they’re always wrong. Then we spend half an hour complaining about how wrong they are. Because of how much we don’t care. So here’s my thoughts on this year’s nominations.

This year though especially, I think somebody needs to have a talk with that academy, because they seem to be confused about a few things. I mean for example did you know that a fictional movie about a camel counts as a documentary? (THE STORY OF THE WEEPING CAMEL was nominated for best documentary feature.) Listen up academicians, if you’re gonna bump CONTROL ROOM that’s your prerogative, but at least bump it for a fuckin documentary if the category’s supposed to be documentary. Or if it doesn’t have to be a documentary, why not just throw anything in there? How bout PUNISHER? That was a pretty good documentary I thought. (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.

Collateral

Monday, January 24th, 2005

First off I gotta say, Michael Mann is what you call overrated. What did he do, fucking Miami Vice – some asshole who forgot to shave fighting drug dealers in a pink shirt and no socks – we’re supposed to give the guy a fucking medal? I mean yeah it seemed like a pretty good tv show at the time but it’s not the fucking Parthenon. You belong to the city, you belong to the night. Let’s be a little more humble there, Michael Mann.

(To be honest I’m not sure what the Parthenon is, but what I mean is something good enough to last the ages and always stand as a proud beacon of achievement, etc. i.e. not Everybody Loves Raymond or even Miami Vice.) (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.

MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY

Monday, January 17th, 2005

I woke up this morning and it was Martin Luther King Day here in the United States, so I put on “Happy Birthday” by Stevie Wonder. It’s that song off of Hotter Than July where he sings about giving King a holiday, back when the Trent Lotts and Dick Cheneys of the world were still preventing it from happening.

“Because it should never be
Just because some cannot see
The dream as clear as he
That they should make it become an illusion

And we all know everything
That he stood for time will bring
For in peace our hearts will sing
Thanks to Martin Luther King” (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.

Absolute Power

Friday, January 14th, 2005

Okay, so everybody in their right mind loves the old Clint Eastwood pictures, and most people and critics love the Serious Clint Eastwood Pictures like Unforgiven, Mystic River and now Million Dollar Baby. But the period between Unforgiven and Mystic River is kind of an ignored period. The in between period is not as Serious or Important as those movies and they usually get mixed reviews. Well I was busy at the time so I missed most of these but now I decided to catch up starting with 1997’s Absolute Power.

Now this is a suspense thriller and the way it unfolds, it almost reminds me of a less flashy Brian DePalma. It even has the old DePalma voyeurism. But what I’m talking about is it takes its time setting up all the pieces and giving you the information you need a chunk at a time. (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 Killer

Thursday, January 6th, 2005

but not the John Woo one though
this one is 1972, aka L’INSOLENT

Sometimes in a man’s life a man finds an oversized vhs box with a weird painting of Henry Silva jumping out at him holding a gun. If you’re not familiar with Mr. Silva, he is the scary mafia don in GHOST DOG, the scary crooked CIA guy in Seagal’s ABOVE THE LAW, etc. He’s one of those guys, if he shows up in a movie, you know he’s a fuckin bad guy. Because you have eyes. That’s all you need to figure this guy out.

So I was surprised to find out that when he was younger he didn’t look quite as scary. I mean sure, he looks like a bad guy, but that whole thing improved with age. In this one he almost looks like Chevy Chase, if his head grew bigger literally instead of figuratively. Or maybe he is like the evil android of Wayne Newton. I don’t know. Still, he’s a cold motherfucker and from beginning to end he doesn’t have a kind thought or a moment of hesitation. He’s got his eye on the prize, the prize being to get all the money and fuck everybody else over without a look back. Because he’s Henry Silva. (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.

Million Dollar Baby

Thursday, January 6th, 2005

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

You know why I don’t pay attention to Oscar talk? Because it reduces an entire quarter of every year to a horse race. People don’t talk about the merits of movies. They talk about whether or not they’ve “got what it takes to win.” They pit films against each other. People start digging trenches and getting nasty about their team. And inevitably, the films that mean the most to me from a given year aren’t the ones that have the giant campaigns or the marketing muscle. So instead of getting all worked up and expending dozens of column inches to explain to you why someone else’s opinion is wrong, I’ll just stick to my own personal opinions of a film’s merits for the two hours I’m in a theater, and fuck the Oscars.

While I wasn’t knocked out by Clint Eastwood’s latest, I think it’s a nice little film, sincere and unadorned for the most part. When I got in this review from Vern, who is a raving Clint Eastwood fanatic, I figured it would be nice to run it as the film starts its expansion from limited release on Friday. Check this out:

Boys,

Just to prove that I don’t ONLY watch straight to video Steven Seagal movies (just mostly), I thought I’d send you my review of the latest from Clint Eastwood, America’s Badass Laureate. I know MILLION DOLLAR BABY is already playing in a few hotshot Oscar qualification type cities but I was lucky to see it before its official release here. In my parts this is early. (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.