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

“Malone.”

“You got a first name?”

“Yeah.”

Archive for August, 2007

Vern’s Giant NSFW Interview With Scotty JX About ACTIONGIRLS: SOLDIERS OF THE DEAD!

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here.

You’ve really got to check this one out to believe it.

First, we got the attached interview sent into the primary AICN geek e-mail address, and there’s a disclaimer attached to it:

“DISCLAIMER: Yes, this piece is long. And yes, it’s also about some guy you most likely never heard of and not about a new Bat-man picture or Cloverfield or some shit. Or is it? Now that I think about it it most likely is for sure related to that movie but not necessarily, who knows. Anyway if you don’t want to read it you can always go to one of your other internet hotspots.”

Ah, Vern, how do I love you? Let me count the ways.

Only Vern would have done this interview. Only Vern would have made it such a great read. And only AICN has the good fortune to be publishing it this morning.

Lucky, lucky you.

Ladies and gentlemen,

As an individual who tends to write about movies on the internet I get a few emails.

And every now and then those emails are about some low budget undistributed independent movie somebody made, asking if I would check it out. I usually say sure, if you want to send it to me I’ll take a look. But then I say that I can’t guarantee I will review it. And so far I never have. If it doesn’t blow me away there’s no point in reviewing it. I feel bad because these are all nice people and they’ve worked hard on these things, but usually I’m not patient enough to watch. If there are people who are good at watching those things to look for hidden talent then I’m not one of them. I like a good low budget movie, but to me low budget is EL MARIACHI or above. BAD TASTE maybe. Preferably TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE. I’m not the best guy to appreciate what you shot on video with your friends, no matter how good a job you did. (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.

Spartan

Friday, August 24th, 2007

SPARTAN is named after some quote from Leonidas, so yes it sort of has something to do with 300. Or maybe David Mamet is really into John Spartan, Stallone’s character from DEMOLITION MAN. Either way, this is a gritty thriller where Val Kilmer plays a badass special ops agent from a nameless government organization who investigates the disappearance of a high ranking politician’s daughter. (It seems like it’s the first daughter, but I think they leave it ambiguous.)

The movie feels much less Hollywood and more realistic than any other of its type, but at the same time you have to accept some pretty crazy shit. I’ll just say it: “the girl,” as the agents all call her, is mad at her dad so she whores herself out at a brothel one night and then, coincidentally it seems like, she gets shipped off to a white slavery ring in Dubai. I say coincidentally because they don’t know she’s anybody’s daughter. They just like her because she’s blond. (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 Warriors

Friday, August 24th, 2007

I gotta be honest. As good as THE WARRIORS is it’s not quite the amazing masterpiece I like to remember it as. What makes it good is mostly on the surface: the different gangs and their gimmicks, the bleak rawness of everything from the cinematography to the John Carpenter-ish analog keyboard music, and the dead seriousness of all the characters in the face of this exaggerated world where thugs patrol the streets in baseball uniforms and gangs seem to outnumber law abiding citizens by a thousand to one.

This is all more than enough to make it some kind of minor classic, but my memory was being pretty charitable to the storytelling. I always loved the mythological simplicity of it: Cyrus calls a meeting to try to unite all the gangs, some prick assassinates Cyrus and blames The Warriors, now these 9 guys have to cross New York on foot to get back home before the other gangs kill them. It’s a good old fashioned odyssey or a guantlet or whatever. (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 Gets SUPERBAD!!

Thursday, August 16th, 2007

Merrick here…

How does one even begin to introduce the inimitable Vern?

I’m not sure.

So…well…here he is…

My friends I am here to tell you about a new comedy called SUPERBAD. What this is about is two young gentlemen named Seth and Evan. Seth is a fat guy with curly hair. Evan is taller and skinnier and wears a hoodie. The story begins with a phone call. Evan answers while opening the refrig– ah, fuck it, you guys already know what it is. I just want to agree with the whole world that it’s on the top shelf of comedies in recent years. (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 witnesses THE INVASION and lives to tell you about it!!!

Wednesday, August 15th, 2007

SPOILER ALERT !!

INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS. First there was the book. Then the movie by Don Siegel. Then the ’70s version by Philip Kaufman. Then the ’90s one that everybody hated if they heard of it but personally I thought it was okay by Abel Ferrara. Now we got yet another version, this one directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel, a German guy known here for DAS EXPERIMENT and DOWNFALL. But then after he was done they, uh, snatched it from him, and producer Joel Silver had the Wachowskis write some new scenes which were apparently shot by the V FOR VENDETTA dude.

So you kind of know right away that this is not gonna be a masterpiece. Either Hirschbeigel’s movie sucked – in which case they’re not gonna be able to fix it just by adding some Wachowski here and there – or maybe the movie was good and Joel Silver just didn’t get it, in which case, fuck. I guess the best thing you can wish for is an ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU where it’s completely crazy anyway and the turmoil probaly added to the magic. (But even in that case the director was replaced after a few days, not after the movie was already done.) (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.

Uncommon Valor

Monday, August 13th, 2007

I don’t remember this one, but it was in a book about action movies I’m reading (Action Speaks Louder by Erich Lichtenfeld) and sounded pretty good. It’s one of those “Vietnam vets go back to rescue POWs” movies, but according to the book it’s the first one. And the weirdest part is that it’s from Ted Kotcheff, director of FIRST BLOOD, and made two years before George P. Cosmatos’s RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART II. Maybe that’s why Kotcheff didn’t come back for part 2, he’d already done that movie.

Of course, the feel is pretty different from RAMBO. And there are three major differences in the type of story we’re dealing with here. Number one, it’s a team movie, it’s not focused on one dude. Number two, these are normal vets who have gone back to civilian life, they are not maniacs who have gone on a rampage and must get a pardon to go on the mission due to their skills with explosive tipped arrows. Number three, they are privately funded, they are not working for the government. In fact, the government is trying to stop them from doing it (you know how those fuckin bureaucrats are, with their red tape and what not. It makes you so mad BRING OUR BOYS HOME! 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.

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome

Sunday, August 12th, 2007

BEYOND THUNDERDOME has always been the red-headed stepchild of the MAD MAX series. Everybody loves ROAD WARRIOR, on account of it being one of the best movies everybody has ever seen. So if Miller just rehashed it but added a new Joe Pesci character or something then everybody probaly woulda been happy. Instead he expanded on the universe, he took the story in another entirely new direction and alot of people still aren’t ready to follow.

I haven’t seen this movie in years and I actually remembered it being more different than it really is. In fact, I was thinking there weren’t even cars in this one. I just remembered planes and pig shit and that song by Tina Turner. I thought it wasn’t as good as the other two but that it got a bum rap. Seeing it again – well, okay, it’s my third favorite, and there is a section in the middle that I had a problem with, but it needs to be said that this is a great fucking 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.

Yojimbo, Fistful of Dollars and Last Man Standing

Thursday, August 9th, 2007

YOJIMBO
and
FISTFUL OF DOLLARS
and – why the hell not –
LAST MAN STANDING

I’ve been doing alot of themed movie-watching lately and I don’t want that to grow stale, so I decided to mix things up a little. Three movies starring my favorite badasses, but from different years and different countries. Just a real variety of material here. YOJIMBO is about this bad motherfucker who wanders into a small town torn apart by two warring gangs, and he goes back and forth working for them, plays them against each other, rescues a woman from them then gets beaten up real bad but escapes and hides out and then tricks them some more and also I forgot to mention there’s alot of good jokes about the town coffin maker getting business from his activities. FISTFUL OF DOLLARS, on the other hand, is about this bad motherfucker who wa– hey, wait a minute! (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 Road Warrior

Tuesday, August 7th, 2007

(or MAD MAX 2)

Man, I love MAD MAX. So raw with its low budget, so fierce with its ridiculous car stunts and harsh view of humanity. There’s something about that one that nobody has really captured again. Still, in a way this amazing sequel takes it to a new level.

The world is further down the shitter now. Society is not just crumbling, it’s in crumbs. Max is still hauling ass down Australia’s highways in his Interceptor (the last one left), battling high speed maniacs and stealing any gas he can find. The opening scene is the most reminiscent of the first movie, a classic chase scene. It also introduces the gang that will be the villains in this one. Vernon Wells plays Wez, the dude with the mowhawk and shoulder pads, riding a motorcycle with his blond punk (or bitch, or desert life partner) on his back. On the other side a dude in a car tries to shoot Max with a crossbow, but Max hits the brakes and the arrow hits Wez in the arm. (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.

Sunshine

Tuesday, August 7th, 2007

With the release of this movie I’d say there’s now officially a subgenre of sci-fi movies about the angst of long distance space travel. Two of my favorite movies ever – 2001 and ALIEN – are in this category. There’s also DARK STAR, a predecessor to ALIEN and an inspiration to this movie (one of the characters is even named Pinback after Dan O’Bannon’s character in that movie). I also liked the remake of SOLARIS, but I still gotta see the original one. Rounding out the category now there’s Danny Boyle’s SUNSHINE.

This one takes place sometime in the future, but probaly not too long in the future. The main difference between then and now: the sun is dying. Pretty shitty. Humanity came up with a plan where they sent a spaceship called The Icarus which would set off a bomb that would reignite the sun. But that ship was a bunch of slackers or something so nobody heard from them again. This is the story of the Icarus II, where they decided to use up Earth’s resources to make the last possible bomb that they could use to try to relight that bitch. (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.