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

“Malone.”

“You got a first name?”

“Yeah.”

Archive for July, 2009

It’s Alive III: Island of the Alive

Friday, July 31st, 2009

tn_islandofthealivePart 3 is from 1987 (nine years after part 2) and it ups the ante even more. This is a great series because each is inventive and doesn’t just follow the formula of the previous one. This one opens with an outstanding standalone scene about a woman giving birth in the back of a cab. A cop is trying to help but as soon as he sees the baby he pulls out his piece and starts firing. Next we see police investigating a church where the baby crawled to die. They talk about the off screen corpse at the end of the trail of blood – more of the expertly staged unseen-mutant-baby that’s the trademark of the series. “It took four bullets to put this thing down,” one of them says. (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.

Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold

Friday, July 31st, 2009

tn_cleojones2CLEOPATRA JONES AND THE CASINO OF GOLD is the second and unfortunately last Cleopatra Jones adventure. In the first one she was a glamorous globe-trotting secret agent who came back to the hood to clean up the streets. In this one she’s on a mission in Hong Kong, so it’s the type of shit she was used to dealing with before coming home. A typical couple days in the life of Cleopatra Jones. (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.

Orphan

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

tn_orphanIf you had told me a week ago that I would bother to see ORPHAN, even on DVD, I would’ve thought you had the wrong guy. But then somebody told me the plot twist and it was SEVEN POUNDS all over again, it suddenly seemed more interesting and I went and paid money to see it.

And I’m happy to report that ORPHAN is a surprisingly smart and enjoyable evil-child suspense thriller. It’s about a couple played by Vera Farmiga and Peter Sarsgaard who adopt a 9-year old Russian girl named Esther, and they should’ve kept the receipt because they got a lemon. At first she seems like a smart and incredibly talented kid, but actually she’s a fuckin lunatic who ends up terrorizing them all, mommy seems crazy because she says her daughter is a maniac, etc. You pretty much know the drill. (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 Hurt Locker

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

tn_hurtlockerTHE HURT LOCKER is the best movie of 2009 so far excluding all movies about old men who fly around using balloons. It’s a tightly constructed action-suspense movie, but also a character piece and an acting showcase. It takes place in Iraq 2004 and it says something about war, but it’s not especially political. It’s more about a place and a time and a mindset. Nobody in the movie talks about why the Americans are in Iraq or whether they should be. They’re just there. It’s their job, they gotta survive until the end of their rotation (the days are counted down onscreen).

This is the story of a 3-man bomb disposal unit. They get a new team leader at the beginning, and he’s played by Jeremy Renner. I don’t know if his team recognizes him from DAHMER like I did, but shit man, look out. From the beginning he seems a little unstable and alot reckless, and they gotta worry if this will prevent them from getting safely to the end of that countdown. (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.

Watchmen

Sunday, July 26th, 2009

tn_watchmenCOMIC CON EXCLUSIVE:

VERN HAS SEEN THE WATCHMEN DVD

(that came out last week)

My fellow Watchmaniacs: People like me and you, being huge comics book “geeks” and true fans for life, we could tell each other exactly where we were the first time we saw those historic Watchman comic strips in 1986, when they exploded onto the scene just like the explosion that happens at the end that Doctor Manhattan was blamed for or whatever it was that happened at the end. I remember LA Law had just debuted on TV, and Pinochet had escaped assassination in Chile. CHILDREN OF A LESSER GOD was capturing the national consciousness. I was wearing an anti-Khadafi novelty t-shirt, listening to Falco on my Walkman tape and solving a Rubik’s cube when my eyes first fell upon its graphic novel cover at the graphic novel stand. And remember you were there too and we looked at each other like “uh huh” and we nodded because after seeing all those adventures that the Watchmen were having and everything, you knew this was history, this was the motherfuckin Hindenburg exploding into the moon on top of JFK’s motorcade. (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.

It Lives Again

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

tn_itlivesagainAfter seeing the surprisingly-good-although-probaly-still-shouldn’t-have-been-made remake of IT’S ALIVE, I got to thinking that I’d never seen the sequels to the original. And I was wondering about this ISLAND OF THE ALIVE concept in part 3, so I figured I better get part 2 out of the way first. I wasn’t really sure how you make an exciting sequel to a movie about a killer baby, it’s probaly just gonna be more of the same for the first sequel. Even the title, IT LIVES AGAIN, seems to indicate it’s gonna be a rehash. (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.

Attention comic conners

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

tn_blackdynamiteRemember that movie BLACK DYNAMITE that I liked so much? Writer/director Scott Sanders dropped a line to let us know that he and Mr. UNDISPUTED II: LAST MAN STANDING himself Michael Jai White will be over there at the comic strip festival in San Diego playing “a new never-before-seen clip” at some of the panels:

The Black Panel
Saturday, July 25, 10:00 AM /  5AB
Featuring Ludacris, Kel Mitchell, Prodigal Sunn, Reggie Hudlin, Denys Cowan and Michael Jai White

The Black DYNAMITE Panel
Saturday, July 25, 6:30 PM
Hosted by Elvis Mitchell
Featuring Scott Sanders, Michael Jai White, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Byron Minns, and Cedric Yarbrough
Sorry, no SPAWN 12th anniversary retrospective I guess.
BLACK DYNAMITE comes out October 16th of this year.

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.

Rapid Fire

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

tn_rapidfireAlthough THE CROW is what most people remember Brandon Lee for, it was this 1992 urban martial arts picture, his next to last starring role, that made the most serious attempt to turn him into an action icon. It positions him to continue his father’s legacy but in the context of American action of the early ’90s. John Woo and Jackie Chan movies were catching on huge here at that time, and this movie took plenty of influence from the shootouts and choreographed fights that excited us from those.

But it starts out on a Bruce Lee note. The opening credits have Brandon Lee in a white tank top like his dad sometimes wore, doing martial arts in front of a black void. His character is raised in Hong Kong, and sometimes speaks Chinese, and is living in the shadow of a father everyone admires. In an interview included on the DVD Lee mentions that the movie was written specifically for him, which isn’t surprising. (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.

Men of War

Sunday, July 19th, 2009

tn_menofwarMEN OF WAR is a Dolph Lundgren mercenaries-on-a-mission movie. In the surprisingly atmospheric opening Lundgren’s ex-Special Forces character Gunar is hanging out on the streets of Chicago, wearing a hat he could wear if the movie was set during the Depression, his breath showing in the cold air. Some tough guy rudely tells him to talk to somebody, gesturing to a limo. “In the back seat?” Gunar asks and when the answer is yes he bashes the guy’s head through the backseat window and leans in to talk to the passenger. So you don’t have to wait too long for the movie’s declaration of badass intent. (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.

Seagal in MACHETE?!

Saturday, July 18th, 2009

seagal-trejoRobert Rodriguez is apparently supposed to start shooting (well, continue shooting since he shot a bunch of it as the trailer) MACHETE in a couple weeks and rumors are flying about who is in talks to be in the movie. I didn’t expect or necessarily want an all-star cast, but somebody called The Playlist along with Bloody Disgusting and others are claiming that Robert Deniro, Michelle Rodriguez, Jonah Hill, Lindsay Lohan and Steven Seagal are all in talks and/or signed on. Most promisingly, Entertainment Weekly got a quote out of Seagal’s representation saying they were “awaiting news,” which seems to verify that it’s in the works. (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.