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

Archive for June, 2006

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift

Tuesday, June 27th, 2006

This third picture in the FAST AND THE FURIOUS trilogy saga is pretty different and at first doesn’t even seem to be connected to the other ones. I never saw Academy Award nominee for best director John Singleton’s 2 FAST 2 FURIOUS, but I know Paul Walker returned and Vin Diesel didn’t. And I believe Tyrese showed up. This time around we lose everybody and start over with a new character played by Lucas Black (the kid from SLING BLADE who I last saw in a small role in JARHEAD).

The first section of the movie, which is also the best section, is all about Lucas Black getting into macho confrontations with dudes and then having a race. In the opening he’s leaving school, getting into his junker car when he exchanges words with a rich asshole jock dickhead (HOME IMPROVEMENT’s Zachary Ty Bryan, still wearing a letterman’s jacket at 24). You can already tell this is gonna be a worthwhile movie when it starts playing western style music and showing closeups of their faces as they stare each other down. They’re about to get in a wrench fight when the jock’s girlfriend suggests a peaceful solution: a fast and/or furious race. Lucas Black says, “I only race for pink slips,” (he doesn’t mention whether or not he lives life a quarter mile at a time) but since the HOME IMPROVEMENT guy’s Viper is worth $80,000, the bet is not agreed upon. So the girlfriend suggests herself as the prize. So you know the western music was not lying about this movie being awesome. (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.

Cars

Tuesday, June 27th, 2006

As you know I’m not one for the cartoons but somehow I ended up seeing this new one called CARS. What CARS is about is cars. However they are not any ordinary type of car like you’ve ever seen before, they are living cars. And when I say that I am not even talking about a Knight Rider or Herbie the Love Bug type of scenario here, I am talking about an entire society devoid of human life, but dominated by living, feeling cars with weird eyeballs on their windshields. They can make gestures and they can use their tires sort of like hands, and they have jobs, etc. Even the insects of this world are cars, but there are regular non-car plants.

These cars have not only created a civilization, but their civilization has been around long enough that the good old days are gone. The story is about Lightning McQueen, who is apparently not named after Steve McQueen despite his brave service to the cause of cars in LE MANS and BULLITT. Thanks alot, assholes. Lightning is a hotshot race car, basically a NASCAR star without a driver. Because he’s a stubborn egotistical asswipe of a car he fucks up and blows his huge lead making the big race a three way tie. One of the other racers is played by Michael Keaton but he looks like the Burt Reynolds of cars. Anyway Lightning has to go to California for another race and because he’s a celebrity he doesn’t even bother to drive there himself, he goes inside his friend, a Mack truck played by Cliff from Cheers. Basically, he is inside his friend’s ass, but you can’t completely blame him because the inside of his friend’s ass looks like some kind of luxury apartment. (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.

Karate Bear Fighter

Monday, June 26th, 2006

The second in Sonny Chiba’s Oyama trilogy is even better than the first one. First of all, no rape scene. Second of all, he becomes more of a classical badass who gets to show off different facets of his badass powers. There’s alot of scenes where he’s in a situation that would make most people nervous – like when a powerful gangster tries to hire him – and he just gives off a Just Don’t Give A Fuck vibe, sometimes even munching on food instead of paying attention to people (always a favorite of mine since Dirty Harry foiled a robbery while eating a hot dog).

Oyama takes the job with the gangster, which is a great chance for him to wear shades, a white suit and a long white coat over his shoulder, and scare everybody without saying a word. (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.

Karate for Life

Monday, June 26th, 2006

The third and final entry in the Oyama trilogy starts out in pretty much the most badass way possible. A narrator explains that at this point in his life, Oyama liked to go around to different dojos and make challenges to prove the power of his karate.

So he struts into this dojo wearing his karate clothes, but also with his white gangster coat draped over his shoulders for extra style points. When the students ask who the hell he is he explains that he’s come to challenge their sensei.

I think this sensei is the same guy he’s been feuding with all throughout the series. At any rate, the guy pretty much tells Oyama that he’s an asshole for going around picking fights, because that’s against the whole idea of karate. And it’s a good point. Still, the sensei agrees to a fight, sort of. He’ll fight Oyama, but first Oyama will have to fight 100 of his students. Ha ha ha. (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 will ALWAYS KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER and you don’t want that revealed, do you?

Saturday, June 24th, 2006

SPOILER ALERT !!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with Vern, who is in top form with his review of I’LL ALWAYS KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER, the direct-to-video sequel of that b-level franchise. Once again, my words are meaningless when one as great as Vern is waiting for your attention, so I will give the man his stage. Enjoy!

Howdy fellas –

I’ll always know what you did last summer. You wore short sleeves and complained about Star Wars 3 alot. Also, that’s the name of the new DTV sequel to I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER. It’s from the director of TROIS 3: THE ESCORT and the writer of OCTOPUS 1&2 and stars a bunch of young TV actors I never heard of.

When last we left our heroes (you know, the kids who ran over a guy and then lied about it), they were in the Bahamas fighting against a vengeful fisherman with a hook. There was no need for a surprise twist of who the killer was, it was still the guy with a hook. I believe Jeffrey Combs was involved, the R&B singer Brandy (who your parents used to listen to) survived due to contract negotiations, and an uncredited Jack Black grunted “it’s all good” as he was gored to death. I’m sure other things happened but that’s what I remember. Then Jennifer Love Hewitt had to leave to prepare for the GARFIELD movies. (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.

Hardcase and Fist

Wednesday, June 21st, 2006

When a guy like me finds out there’s an ’80s action movie called HARDCASE AND FIST there’s pretty much only one choice: watch it immediately. The box says that Hardcase and Fist are cops who are framed so they have to bust out of Folsom to prove they’re innocent. That’s a classic arc, the 1980’s version of the hero’s journey. I was hoping of course that the characters would be named Detective Jack Hardcase and Lieutenant John Fist, but unfortunately there is nobody in the movie who is named, nicknamed or even referred to as Hardcase or Fist.

But I got a good idea that Hardcase is Bud McAll (the credits say McAll, not McCall) because he’s a cop so he has to make a hard case or something. And Fist would have to be Eddy, his heartsick, kung fu obsessed cellmate. Hardcase was a cop framed by his crooked partner and Fist was in a “Hey Joe” type situation where he killed the dude he caught his stripper girlfriend with. The movie opens on Fist, dramatically lit in his cell, going through all his badass kung fu routines as a low keyboard drones John Carpenterishly and the camera slowly pulls out. Meanwhile, we keep cutting to Hardcase as he approaches in the prison bus. (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.

Karate Bullfighter

Wednesday, June 21st, 2006

aka CHAMPION OF DEATH or FIGHTING KARATE-ULTIMATE TRUTH FIST

KARATE BULLFIGHTER is the first in a trilogy starring the great Sonny Chiba as his real life mentor Masutatsu Oyama. Apparently it’s based on a comic book called The Fanatical Karate Generation. Despite all the crazy titles this movie is really sort of a fictionalized biography of a visionary karate instructor who causes an outrage by rejecting the notions of the time. He pisses everybody off by saying that modern karate is just “a dance” and lamenting that he wasted his time by training for 3 years. He does win a big trophy in a tournament that supposedly means he’s the best karate man in Japan, but when a guy compliments him he gets all pissed off and throws it down some stairs.

It’s a real interesting story but let’s be honest, you’re not gonna watch it for an interesting story. You’re gonna watch it because it’s called Karate Bullfighter. This is because in the first half of the movie Sonny is practicing karate on the beach when suddenly he hears that a mad bull is loose. He figures maybe he should help so he saves a little girl from being gored and then wrestles the bull. He literally grabs the bull by the horns, then figuratively goes for the jugular by literally karate chopping the bull in the head until a beautiful shower of samurai movie/Dawn of the Dead style bright red blood sprays out. This is actually kind of creepy because they have a real bull for alot of shots and it looks like they somehow forced his mouth shut so he couldn’t bite. (Some of it is also clearly a fake bull.) (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.

Shadow Man

Monday, June 19th, 2006

SHADOW MAN, I’m sorry to say, is the most boring movie Seagal has made so far. At least on my first viewing. To be fair, both THE FOREIGNER and THE PATRIOT seemed alot more fun the second time I watched them. In some ways maybe Seagal movies are like operas, you gotta understand the plot first before you can appreciate all the pageantry. But still, this is not one of my favorites.

(No, I’ve never seen an opera before, I’m just guessin.) (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 Has Studied THE SCIENCE OF SLEEP!!

Monday, June 19th, 2006

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

What a collision. Vern and Michel Gondry. Can’t wait to see how this goes:

Hey fellas,

I saw THE SCIENCE OF SLEEP which is the new Michel Gondry picture that comes out in September. It was the closing movie at the Seattle International Film Festival here. Michel Gondry was there to briefly introduce the movie, but didn’t do a question and answer session. Which is good because the first question probaly would’ve been, “what was that all about?”

Here’s the “where I’m coming from” paragraph, I’ll keep it brief. If you’re not into Michel Gondry then throw a grain of salt on this one, because I like every movie the guy has made. Yes, including HUMAN NATURE. I was the guy in the theater who was embarrassed because he couldn’t stop laughing and nobody else could start. To this day I think people didn’t give it a fair shake because they only had BEING JOHN MALKOVICH to compare it to. I honestly believe there will soon be a mass re-evaluation around the world where people decide they like HUMAN NATURE after all, now that they like Michel Gondry. If this does indeed happen then everybody has to buy me a Pepsi or something. (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 sees into A SCANNER DARKLY… what did he see?

Sunday, June 18th, 2006

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with our main man, Vern, who got an early look at Richard Linklater’s newest, A SCANNER DARKLY. My words are meaningless when the great Vern speaketh below. Enjoy!

A SCANNER DARKLY, Richard (BAD NEWS BEARS) Linklater’s new adaptation of the Philip K. Dick novel, is a visionary and boldly stylized look at the tragedies of the drug culture and the growing police state. Its psychedelic style of wobbly, traced-over animation creates a fluid, disconnected reality that perfectly captures–

Ah fuck, who am I fooling. This movie put me to fuckin sleep.

Maybe it’s over my head, I won’t rule that out. And I don’t want to say it’s necessarily a terrible movie (like WAKING LIFE – I hate that god damn movie). I haven’t read the book, and maybe people who did will enjoy it. Who knows. I think I admire what the movie is going for but that doesn’t change the fact that, to me anyway, it’s a meandering bore with barely any characters, humor or even plot to latch onto. (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.