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 April, 2010

Breakdown

Friday, April 30th, 2010

tn_breakdownBREAKDOWN is a highway suspense thriller starring Kurt Russell. He’s got his wife asleep in their fancy new truck, going on a trip, he takes his eyes off the road onto his coffee thermos for a second, almost nails some gentlemen of the rednecked community who back out into the road in front of him. When he stops at a gas station those guys show up and start puffing their chests out, commenting on his truck. So it’s got that class tension, that tourist guilt that I always dig in a horror or suspense type picture.

That’s good, but on the other hand I definitely prefer Russell as the sardonic working class type. I’m not so sure about him driving a fancy truck like in this one or wearing a tuxedo like in EXECUTIVE DECISION. I still like him on the right side of the tracks (he was still Elvis, after all), but not as much. (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 think I’ll be sitting out Freddy

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

tn_freddySome of you may remember that I didn’t review the FRIDAY THE 13TH remake until it came to DVD. To be honest I was dying to see it, but I felt like a sucker that I kept paying money to these assholes that pimp out the titles of old movies I like. I mean I like some of the horror remakes, but none of the Platinum Dunes ones, including that one when I finally got around to it.

Well, I have even less faith that they can pull off A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, which I consider a genuine horror classic. On the other hand, in a way it’s not as offensive because I would’ve been happy if they just kept making sequels to the original Jason series forever, and the remake ended that, this one doesn’t put a stop to anything really. So my curiosity almost got me… I was real close to giving in and going to see it tomorrow morning.

But then I came across an article entitled “Mr. Beaks Hates Every Single Frame of Platinum Dunes’ A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET! Do Not See This Movie!” I didn’t read the whole review yet but from what I’ve read so far I’m pretty sure it’s gonna be negative. And it reminded me of some of the clueless, joyless, bad-and-not-in-a-funny-way Platinum Dunes pictures of the past, and made me realize I should stay home and wash my hair or something. So if anybody’s wondering I’ll have a review eventually but I’m probly gonna wait until the DVD or until they feel bad about what they did and decide to let everybody in for free (fingers crossed).

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.

Ginger Baker in Africa

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

tn_gingerbakerWell, I’m feeling good, my new book is getting good reviews, I got the next two days off work. What should I do? How ’bout review something even more obscure than the other day’s comments-killer THE DEADLY ART OF SURVIVAL? I mean, if I had to guess I’d say this one was probly a little better known that that one, but I can’t even find it listed on IMDb. So everybody’s gonna think I made it up. They need documentation and records. But I swear to you, I watched GINGER BAKER IN AFRICA on an officially released DVD and everything.

Before you get too excited, I gotta tell you that GINGER BAKER IN AFRICA is not at all like SHAFT IN AFRICA. It’s much more experimental. It’s about how in 1971 Ginger Baker, the drummer from Cream, wanted to build a recording studio in Nigeria, so he flew to Marrakech and then drove across the desert. Although it’s real footage it’s not really what you would usually think of as a documentary. It doesn’t really explain much, but it also doesn’t linger on scenes long enough to be direct cinema. It’s pretty confusing. It doesn’t matter. (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.

Hudson Hawk

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

tn_hudsonhawkBruceTo celebrate the release of my new review book that’s named after Bruce Willis it’s only appropriate that I review a Bruce movie I never reviewed before. And by far the most requested title in that category is the notorious-flop-turned-minor-cult-movie HUDSON HAWK.

I’ll start by laying out the three basic schools of thought about why HUDSON HAWK crashed and burned. (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 Deadly Art of Survival

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

tn_deadlyartofsurvivalThis movie came out in 1979, but it opens with the hero doing moves in front of a black void like so many ’80s ninja and karate movies. Instead of having credits written on the screen this guy says them out loud, introducing himself and the name of the movie. And it’s a hell of a name. If a movie called THE DEADLY ART OF SURVIVAL was no good it would still have a leg up on most other movies, because most other movies aren’t called THE DEADLY ART OF SURVIVAL. I don’t know if “good” is the best word to describe what this is, but it’s at least interesting. (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 abseils into THE DESCENT PART 2

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010
MEGA-ACTING! (Just kidding. No, that's just screaming.)
MEGA-ACTING! (Just kidding. No, that’s just screaming.)

Over there on the Ain’t It Cool News I reviewed the new straight to DVD sequel to THE DESCENT. The bad news is that it’s not from the director of the original, the good news is that it’s not from the director of DOOMSDAY.

Well, anyway, you’ll see what I think when you read the review. But please take special note of the authentic spelunking lingo used in the headline. They don’t always use my headlines over there but in this case they did. I researched that shit. It was awesome.


Well, they probly shouldn’t’ve made a DESCENT PART 2, but the one they made is not too shabby. It has just the acceptable level of shabbiness. It’s by rookie director Jon Harris, who edited the original THE DESCENT and to his credit not DOOMSDAY. (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.

Berry Gordy’s The Last Dragon

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

tn_lastdragonAs the founder and producer of Motown Records, Berry Gordy, Jr. created one of the most successful African American business enterprises in history, re-invented the sound of American music, discovered Smokey Robinson and the Miracles and signed such important artists as The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Stevie Wonder and The Jackson 5. But music wasn’t enough to quench his thirst so he moved to L.A. and helped turn Diana Ross into a movie star, producing LADY SINGS THE BLUES and directing MAHOGANY.

Unfortunately, even a man who made such a powerful contribution to music and culture could not escape the funk and soul dead zone historians call “the 1980s.” There were black artists changing the world during that decade, but Michael Jackson had left Motown and Prince was never on it. Nobody on Motown could compete with those two, I don’t care how popular El DeBarge, Rockwell or Teena Marie were. Proud afros were replaced by drippy perms, tight rhythm sections by cheesy keyboards and drum machines. It was not a good time for Motown.

Let’s put it this way: 20th Century Masters – The Millennium Collection: Motown 1980s, Vol. 2 includes Bruce Willis’s rendition of “Respect Yourself.” So in 1985 we got Berry Gordy’s last movie, BERRY GORDY’S THE LAST DRAGON. (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.

Fist of Fury

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

tn_fistoffuryFIST OF FURY aka THE CHINESE CONNECTION is Bruce Lee vehicle #2. This one is a period piece with much higher production values than THE BIG BOSS. Bruce comes into town wearing a white suit (looking like today’s pretty boy Korean pop stars, to be honest) and discovers that his master has just died. Bruce is playing the fictional character Chen Zhen, student to the real historical figure of Huo Yuanjia, who has become fictionalized in movies and legends. (For one version of Huo Yuanjia’s life story see FEARLESS, where he’s played by Jet Li.)

It’s ironic that this story comes out of speculation over Huo Yuanjia’s death, because speculation about Bruce Lee’s own death would pretty much become its own subgenre. But that’s later. (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.

Tears of the Sun

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

tn_tearsofthesunBruceTEARS OF THE SUN is a Bruce Willis picture I missed until now. It’s about Nigerian refugees fleeing for Cameroon after anti-democratic military guys assassinate the president and his family and go around “ethnic cleansing” innocent people. I know, sounds kind of racist, but the secret is Bruce doesn’t play a Nigerian, he is not in blackface. He plays the lieutenant of an elite Navy SEALS unit sent in by Tom Skerritt (playing the twin brother of his character from TOP GUN, in my opinion) to rescue a Christian aid worker played by Monica Belluci. (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.

Yippee Ki-Yay Moviegoer Youtube Video Contest

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

xboxJust a heads up in case anybody’s interested:

Titan Books, via the medium of The Ain’t It Cool News, is holding another Youtube video-making contest like they did for Seagalogy. This time of course it’s not Seagal-specific, you just have to make any type of short video that’s an homage or tribute to the films of badass cinema. I will have to pick the best ones and the top winner gets either an X-Box or Playing Station (their pick) plus a video game ($60 dollars or less) and the five “runners up” or “real winners” get my book.

I hope lots of people enter although to be frankly honest I would also be pleased if they got lazy and just ordered an X-Box, a video game and my book through the search box on the right there. GIVE ME MY 6.5%, MOTHERFUCKERS.

Whoops, sorry. I promised myself and others I wouldn’t get desperate about that affiliate business. I’ll be careful about that. I don’t even know what the fuck an X-Box does. Something to do with Halo, is my guess.

p.s. Sorry, you gotta be a resident of the U.S. for this. Some fuckin rules they gotta deal with.

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.