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 November, 2010

Knight and Day

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

tn_knightanddayKNIGHT AND DAY is that action/comedy/romance deal that came out this summer, one of two or three that were about a guy who’s secretly a government agent taking a girl on an unexpected adventure involving guns and crashing vehicles. Of those, this is the one where it’s Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz. It’s called KNIGHT AND DAY because Cruise’s character takes a little toy of a knight from the airport gift shop to hide something in, and also because it turns out his last name is Knight, and the ‘Day’ comes from Cameron Diaz because she’s playing a young Sandra Day O’Connor. Well, okay, I made up that last part, or at least if it’s true it isn’t made very clear in the movie. Actually there’s no reason for the ‘Day,’ I don’t think they got that far when they were proofreading the title.

I know nobody had very high hopes for this one, but I kind of figured it would be okay just because it’s James Mangold, director of WALK THE LINE. Not a visionary by any stretch of the imagination, and not to brag but I am a visionary so my imagination stretches really far. But he’s usually a decent director and not known for this type of thing, so it seemed potentially interesting I thought. Incorrectly.
(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.

Steel Frontier

Monday, November 29th, 2010

tn_steelfrontierThe Steel Frontier is a post-apocalyptic wasteland, alot like the place in ROAD WARRIOR, but filmed in California. It’s the kind of place where you might find a legless man out in the middle of the desert and have to put the poor guy out of his misery. Or you might find a small town where everybody acts kind of like they’re in a western, and a bunch of asshole bullies on motorcycles and souped up post-apocalypse-mobiles might drive into town and start fucking shit up and laughing about it.

That’s exactly what happens here, this guy General Quantrell (Brion James) rolls in with his “desert scum,” goes into the barber shop and gets a nice warm shave while his boys terrorize the place. (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.

Important Book Alert #2: THEY LIVE (DEEP FOCUS #1) by Jonathan Lethem

Saturday, November 27th, 2010

tn_theyliveOne day several years ago I was waiting for a bus near a book store, and in the window there was a book about the philosophy of THE MATRIX. There’s more than one book like that, and I can’t remember which one it was that I saw that day, but it got me thinking: there should be a book like that, except it’s entirely about THEY LIVE.

There’s a long-running series of books called 33 1/3, little pocket-sized book length essays about classic albums. I have one for Stevie Wonder’s Songs In the Key of Life, for example. And I’ve long thought there should be a series like that for movies, and I should write the one about THEY LIVE.

Well, too late, buddy. Soft Skull Press is starting a series just like that, although if I understand correctly they’re all gonna be written by novelists. #2 is on DEATH WISH, #4 is gonna be LETHAL WEAPON. THE STING, HEATHERS and THE BAD NEWS BEARS IN BREAKING TRAINING are also coming up, but it all starts with THEY LIVE by Jonathan Lethem, author of the novels Motherless Brooklyn and The Fortress of Solitude. His approach is very different from what I would’ve done/could still do some day, but it’s an interesting, quick read and makes plenty of points that I hadn’t thought of before, making it a good first book about this particular subject. (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 Australian beer commercial/contest

Friday, November 26th, 2010

This is probly the funniest commercial Seagal has done (beating out the Orange telephone thing with the golf cart chase and the Mountain Dew one where he accidentally beats up a convenience store robber Mr. Magoo style). It fits into a modern commercial cliche of the Exaggeratedly Awesome Guy Who Likes This Product (other examples: Bruce Campbell for Old Spice, the more recent Michael Jai White-ish Old Spice uberman, the rich Russian guy with the baby giraffe who drinks some product or other, the “most interesting man in the world” who says “I don’t normally drink beer, but when I do I drink” whatever it is). But it also has a little Seagalogy in there because of his reputation for having an entourage of hot women and his love of Asian things (the bridge in the background, the dress on the girl to the left tending his zen garden). I actually wouldn’t be surprised if that was filmed in his actual backyard.

thanks to Chris A., Geoff C. and Mitchell H. for sending this, and stay tuned for upcoming overdue Seagalogical reports involving the last four episodes of LAWMAN and his new one BORN TO RAISE HELL (out in the U.K. but not U.S.).

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’m Still Here

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

tn_imstillhereIs it just me, or do some of these movie titles start to blend in together after a while? The ones I have trouble with are: I’M STILL HERE, I’M NOT THERE, LET ME IN, and NEVER LET ME GO. Well, now that I’ve actually seen one of these maybe I’ll remember which one that is and it’ll help me straighten out which is which between the other ones by narrowing the choices a little. I hope so, because I’m not sure what else I got out of this one, exactly. I mean, I got something, I think. Just a something that’s hard to identify.
(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.

Beastmaster II: Through the Portal of Time

Saturday, November 20th, 2010

tn_beastmaster2I didn’t have cable in the ’80s so I never saw THE BEASTMASTER until I went on that Coscarelli kick a while back. But I didn’t move on to the sequels since Coscarelli had nothing to do with them, I just assumed they were trash. Well, good guess. But when I saw part 2 in that book I was just writing about, DESTROY ALL MOVIES, I started thinking about the stupidity of sending the Beastmaster through a “portal in time” to modern day Los Angeles, and came to the inevitable realization that I should watch it.
(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.

Important Book Alert #1: DESTROY ALL MOVIES

Friday, November 19th, 2010

tn_DAMI want to tell you guys about a new book I got called DESTROY ALL MOVIES: THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO PUNKS ON FILM, edited by Zack Carlson and Bryan Connolly. I guess you might’ve already heard about it because some of the other movie websights beat me to posting about it, but you know what? The tortoise ate the hare, the boy who cried on the wolf, etc. Anyway I’ve been looking through it for a few days and I want to discuss it with the ladies and gentlemen of the outlaw community or whatever, because this is one of those passion project books printed with special blood sweat and tears based inks, and those deserve recognition.
(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.

Ip Man 2

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

tn_ipman2Ever since the runaway Hong-Kong-equivalent-of-best-picture-Oscar success of the Donnie-Yen-starring biopic IP MAN in 2008, Ip-Mania has swept the globe. In the U.S. it’s quickly become one of the most popular martial arts imports since ONG BAK, and this year will have its own balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (at least I assume so. I sent them several letters demanding that). in Hong Kong it already has a (unrelated?) prequel and this very good sequel from returning director Wilson Yip.

IP MAN was very episodic and ended early in Ip Man’s life, so there was a natural opening to continue the story. But the movie had such a perfect blend of character drama and martial arts action that it’s alot to live up to. And in recent years the sequels to the international action phenomenons have been pretty iffy. I enjoyed ONG BAK 2, but it’s a big mess that lost alot of people, and I ahven’t heard anything good about part 3 yet. DISTRICT B13 ULTIMATUM was watchable but completely underwhelming. So this was far from a sure thing. There’s curses to overcome.
(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.

Time For a New List

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

Remember how I posted about ROLLING THUNDER coming to DVD and how that means John Flynn’s never-on-DVD Parker adaptation THE OUTFIT was “now officially #1 on my list of Shit That Needs To Come Out”?

I guess the Warner Archive people saw that and their response is:

theoutfitIt’s not clear yet when ROLLING THUNDER can be ordered, but THE OUTFIT is already available here. Says it’s widescreen and newly remastered, too, so it shouldn’t be the version I heard played on some HD channels.

It’s all happening so fast, I haven’t had time to formulate a new list. There are two Parker adaptations that have never even been on VHS (at least that I’ve ever heard of). Those are THE SPLIT and MISE EN SAC. The first one I’ve seen and it’s good, the second I haven’t but I’ve heard it’s good and it’s based on a real cinematic book where Parker and crew try to take down an entire mining town.

I’m not sure what should be number one on the list though. I know THE WOMAN CHASER is on there somewhere, and I’d like people to be able to rent PENTATHLON and LAST NIGHT AT THE ALAMO,  but what’s left with the same urgency as ROLLING THUNDER and THE OUTFIT?

I usually think it’s corny when a blog (short for weblog) post ends with “What do you guys think?,” but I guarantee sincerity here. I wrote this post first to let everybody know about THE OUTFIT and second to ask what movies you love or are dying to see still haven’t made it to a legitimate DVD at all.

So, uh, what do you guys think?

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.

This Ain’t Avatar

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

tn_thisaintavatarThey got this new extended cut of AVATAR coming out on the DVDs and blu-rays today. On the ad they showed Jake Sully in a crowded earth city, which I’d like to see. I’ve seen AVATAR twice – once in Imax 3-D when it first came out and a second time in Imax 3-D when they re-released it in the Extended But Not As Extended As the Upcoming Extended DVD and Blu-Ray Cut.

I believe that’s where they introduced the fact that the N’avi fuck by plugging their ponytails together. I didn’t really care about that though, I just liked seeing the movie again because I hadn’t given it much thought since the first time and I forgot how exciting it was gonna be when it gets into the big battle and all the great badass villain moments and everything. It’s no ALIENS but it’s a fun movie and a unique spectacle.

But because I enjoyed it so much that second time I think I need to give it more of a waiting period before I check out the new, longer version. I don’t want to wear out AVATAR. So now I’ll stick to something that is not AVATAR, and THIS AIN’T AVATAR, due to the title, is the only movie I could feel 100% confident was not gonna be AVATAR.
(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.