I use hands to help my fellow man / I use hands to help with what I can / But when I face an unjust injury / Then I change my hand into FIST OF FURY

Archive for December, 2007

VvAvP-R

Friday, December 28th, 2007

SPOILER ALERT !!

VERN VS. ALIEN VS. PREDATOR DASH REQUIEM

Aliens, predators, why do you always gotta fight? Why can’t you just resolve your differences? I know they say “whoever wins, we lose” but I’ve seen both the AvP movies and clearly nobody is winning anything. We lose, and you lose our respect.

RESURRECTION and RATATOUILLE were already taken and they needed something that started with an R, so the title of this thing is REQUIEM. That might make you wanna ask who died, but you already know the answer: the remaining dignity of aliens and predators across the universe. Two proud races slandered and humiliated, on the Lord’s birthday no less. And why? For what? What the hell did aliens and predators ever do to us other than entertain and delight us, scare us, fuck up our space colonies and skin some dudes in a jungle? Nothing. And for that we give them a franchise so lazy it can’t even be bothered to spell out its own titles. (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.

Sorcerer

Thursday, December 27th, 2007

If you’re a never-give-up Rocky Balboa type of dude, a real achiever, or if you have to carry heavy objects alot as part of a job or strongman competition, then you know this feeling: your body is exhausted, bruised, broken, covered in sweat, maybe some blood, your task seems impossible, but you’re too stubborn to give up. You keep going until you’re done, powered by the sheer force of will. That’s what the second half of SORCERER is about. Four guys, two trucks, a bunch of nitroglycerin, and miles of untamed South American jungle. They gotta drive the nitro without blowing up, because it’s needed to put out an oil fire, ON DEADLY GROUND style. The job is ridiculously dangerous so it pays well, and they’re doing it for the pay day. They’re all fugitives hiding out here for a wide selection of crimes and the money they’ll get represents a chance to start over somewhere nicer. (The first half sets all this up.)

So there they are, in a couple of fucked up trucks, rolling over craggy roads, along the edges of cliffs, through swamps and across the shakiest bridges you’ve ever seen. And who better to lead the charge than Roy Scheider*? I think he’s the right man for the job, and if you disagree I think you will change your mind pretty quick when you watch the movie. In one harrowing scene they come to a broken rope bridge in the middle of a storm. It seems logical to give up at this point, but Roy refuses. He has his partner crawl across the bridge guiding him inch by inch all the way across. It’s a terrifying ordeal that seems to take forever and then the second they’re safely across the movie cuts to the other truck getting to the bridge and having to do the same damn thing. No time to catch your breath. (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.

I Am Legend

Thursday, December 20th, 2007

Man, I’m a sucker for these QUIET EARTH type stories. You can’t help but think about what you would do in a situation like that, alone or with a couple other people, living in an abandoned city, everybody else either dead or disappeared. All of society’s leftover resources would be there for the plucking. Where would you take up residence? What would you drive? Would the rides at Disneyland still work? What sort of games would you play to amuse yourself? Backhoe Rampage? Skyscraper Free Throw? Condo Shitting? How would you deal with your loneliness? And would you bother to wear pants?

If there’s monsters involved, like in DAWN OF THE DEAD or any of the three movies based on Richard Matheson’s book I Am Legend, then it becomes more of a survivalist challenge, you start thinking about strategies. How to fortify your home, how to transport yourself around safely to scavenge, etc. In this case it’s vampires he’s dealing with so he can pretty much wander around and do what he wants during daylight (vampires have a sunlight related disability), but at nightfall it’s on. (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 Quiet Earth

Thursday, December 20th, 2007

This is an older picture from New Zealand about an individual who wakes up one day naked in bed and his radio isn’t working. So he gets dressed and heads for work. And when he gets to the gas station, there is nobody there. And when he’s driving around, there is no traffic. And when he goes to his friend’s house, nobody there either. And jesus, he starts to realize, there’s nobody at all. Anywhere. Except me.

So as you can probaly figure out, this picture follows in the literary tradition of I Am Legend, except without vampires. (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 Reviews THE PSYCHIC On DVD!

Tuesday, December 18th, 2007

Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here.

If that headline isn’t enough to get you excited, perhaps I overestimated you as a film geek.

THE PSYCHIC is one of Fulci’s best films in my opinion, and I’ve been waiting for it to come out on DVD for a long time. I have it here at the house and need to break it out to finally see it again.

I’m delighted to see Vern chime in on something like this on DVD, and having a new piece by him, a piece by Neill, and the Elston Gunn piece I’m about to put up… I feel like I got an uncommonly good morning’s worth of reading.

Check this out…

After years of being hard to find even in its crappy cropped VHS form, and weeks of being recalled because there was a problem with the sound, this week finally sees the DVD release of Lucio Fulci’s THE PSYCHIC from Severin Films (an up and coming label that mostly releases old EMANUELLE movies and things like that). They say it’s “Uncut For The First Time Ever In America!” which apparently means there were some scenes cut out in the old version, but does not mean it is some kind of unrated gorefest that will make you puke or challenge your religious convictions. This is one of Fulci’s thrillers, made in 1977, a few years before he started stabbing eyeballs in his horror movies like ZOMBI and THE BEYOND. It’s got its moments but it’s not as extreme as the stuff he was later known for. (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.

Juno

Monday, December 17th, 2007

This movie was written by Diablo Cody! She was a stripper for a year! Then she was a blogger! A stripblogger! She quit stripping in time to avoid the heroin addiction and was not necessarily molested as a child like many other strippers! It’s just something she did one time! Her name is really Melinda Cartwright or Heather Daniels or some shit but she calls herself Diablo Cody! I bet she has some fire or a sexy devil or something tattooed somewhere on her, that would be awesome! She loves lip gloss! The director is the son of the guy who directed GHOSTBUSTERS and produced all the early Cronenberg movies! This guy also did the movie THANK YOU FOR SMOKING! Get it because it’s like thank you for NOT smoking, only it’s thank you FOR smoking! It’s hard to explain but I love it! THANK YOU FOR SMOKING!

As you can see I have been witness to some of the excruciating advance hype on this year’s LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE or NAPOLEON DYNAMITE or FULL MONTY or whatever the fuck you want to say JUNO is, and I will literally punch the next article I see about Diablo Cody. I will punch it until my knuckles bleed and I will ask it for an apology. This guy Laremy who sends me lists of possible topics for film.com articles included the topic “If I see one more ‘Diablo Cody was a stripper’ article I’m gonna hang myself.” I liked the topic but there was no need for an article, the headline said it all. This was like a week and a half before they had one on the front page of the Seattle Times. So there is a newspaper that does not care about the suicide rate. (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.

I Know Who Killed Me

Saturday, December 15th, 2007

Other than having a scene where a girl gets sadistically tortured, I KNOW WHO KILLED ME is nothing like the current generation of American horror movies. It seems less influenced by SAW than by Brian DePalma thrillers and “giallos” out of Italy – you know, the weird slasher mysteries where logic is not as important as atmosphere and vivid colors. That’s definitely the philosophy of this one. Logic is for losers.

The director, Chris Sivertson (best known as the co-director of the behind-the-scenes featurette on the remake of THE TOOLBOX MURDERS) has a lush visual style and is unhealthily obsessed with the color blue. You see it on Lindsay Lohan’s clothes and car, her school’s football uniforms, the rose her boyfriend gives her, the big Liberace ring her piano teacher wears, her dad’s glowing phone, the gloves that both the police and the killer wear, the hospital scrubs, the entire emergency room, the weapons the guy uses to torture her, even the gag in her mouth. Seriously, you’ll be pissing blue for a week after you see this. The only things missing are Otter Pops and blue raspberry Jolly Ranchers, otherwise every bright blue colored object or substance that ever existed appears in the 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.

Vern Deflects Bullets And Ties On A Cape To Review CONFESSIONS OF A SUPERHERO!

Thursday, December 13th, 2007

Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here.

I keep missing this film, and it frustrates me enormously. I think it sounds fascinating, and not just because there are a few seconds of screentime dedicated to my face, either.

Reaction to this one has been really strong at festivals so far, and I hope I do catch up with it soon. For now, here’s a reviewer who is always more correct than me…

With all these questions surrounding JUSTICE LEAGUE (will it be delayed by the strike, who will be cast, when will Vern stop telling us about how awesome George Miller is) there is one fact that most of us have missed: a Justice League movie has already been made starring your favorite Justice League heroes Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and of course The Incredible Hulk. There are also guest appearances by lesser heroes like Ghost Rider, Marilyn Monroe and Charlie Chaplin. (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 Hunted (2003)

Saturday, December 8th, 2007

Not to be confused with THE HUNTED (starring Christopher Lambert) or BENJI THE HUNTED (starring Benji)

Early in William Friedkin’s THE HUNTED we are introduced to its hero, L.T. Bonham (Steven Seagal), an expert in tracking, knife fighting and wilderness survival who used to train special ops soldiers in these skills. As he learned that the guys he was training were being sent to assassinate people for purely political purposes he grew disillusioned and quit. So now he’s in the BC wilderness where we see him track an injured wolf through the snowy woods, get the trap off of his paw, chew up a root and rub it on the wound as a homeopathic healing agent. Then he tracks the responsible poacher down at a tavern, bangs his head against a table and tells him never to do it again.

Oh wait, did I say Steven Seagal? Actually L.T. Bonham is played by Tommy Lee Jones. I was surprised how much of this movie reminded me of Seagal, though. The story is about a special ops badass (Seagal– er, I mean Benicio Del Toro) who comes back from Kosovo totally wacked out and kills some guys, and Tommy Lee Jones (UNDER SIEGE) is the guy who trained him so he has to help catch him. So I thought it was gonna be like FIRST BLOOD meets THE FUGITIVE. Not Steven Seagal meets Steven Seagal. (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 Dead Zone

Monday, December 3rd, 2007

Revisiting THE DEAD ZONE for the first time since the ’80s is kind of a trip. I didn’t know who David Cronenberg was back then so I didn’t know it was one of the most commercial movies he’d ever make. No weird phallic lumps, all vaginas presumably in the right spots. It’s an eery thriller with a cold, wintery atmosphere and a good idea from Stephen King. If you don’t remember, Chris Walken is a guy who gets into a car accident, wakes up from a coma and soon starts having premonitions. Sometimes when he touches somebody he finds himself in some traumatic future event. So he uses this to save children, catch a killer, etc., and becomes a local hero.

Walken of course is real good. He’s such a weirdo, but he gets to joke around, be kind of a charmer, and also be pissed off at this turn of events that people tell him is a “gift” even though it’s ruined his life. Cronenberg plays up the tragic love story. Walken and his old girlfriend still love each other, but while he was in the coma she got married and had a kid. So it’s tough. Not much you can do there that’s gonna make you happy in the long run. (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.