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

“Malone.”

“You got a first name?”

“Yeah.”

Archive for April, 2011

Fast Five

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

tn_fastfiveFirst of all, let’s take a moment to pause and reflect on the miracle of the THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS series. It started in 2000, a studio b-movie, a dumb subculture exploiter with hot up-and-coming stars, quite good for a Rob Cohen movie and with a star-making performance by Mr. Vin Diesel, but undeniably corny. I don’t think anybody could predict that 11 years later it would be Universal’s most valued franchise/trademark/anti-intellectualproperty or that a part 5 would be bigger and better than the previous ones. Especially when you consider that Diesel ditched out on part 2 and Paul Walker bailed before part 3 and that even the naming of the movies poses a challenge. You don’t see I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER still coming out with new chapters but they keep doing FASTs and FURIOUSes even after running out of sensible combinations of those words.
(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.

Passion Play

Friday, April 29th, 2011

tn_passionplayYes, it’s true, this is a movie about Mickey Rourke and Bill Murray fighting over Megan Fox because she has wings. Mickey plays a jazz trumpeter (the serious type who always wears colorful suits, a fedora and pointy shoes) who gets in trouble because he accidentally slept with the wife of a gangster named Happy (Murray). So he gets beat up and left in the desert.

When he wakes up he wanders and finds a carnival with a sideshow. That’s where he sees this winged lady. Not riding a ferris wheel – she’s in the sideshow, because she has wings. Not sure if you got that.
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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.

Faster

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

tn_fasterGod DAMN I’m excited for FAST FIVE. It’s only April and that’s my most anticipated movie of the summer by far. But I gotta wait a couple more days, so in honor of Dwayne “The Rock is a registered trademark of World Wrestling Entertainment Inc.” Johnson’s addition to the series I decided to finally catch up with his last movie, which I never saw because when I went to see it the showing that I chose turned out to be an “open captions” deal, and I decided to bail. (Ironically there’s so much mumbling in the movie I had to turn the subtitles on a couple times anyway. But at least it was my choice. It’s about freedom.) (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.

Kiss of the Dragon

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

tn_kissofthedragonAs successful as they may be in their own countries, global superstars always seem to have their eye on the juicy, low-hanging grape of Hollywood. It doesn’t matter how many soldiers have fallen before them, stumbling on a new language, style and approach to filmmaking and bleeding away everything that made them great in the first place. It’s still hard to resist the temptation. They’re still gonna jump and try to bite it.

And so it was that in the late ’90s and early 2000s Jet Li left Hong Kong to make some Hollywood-produced, English language movies. Of course if you have a guy who’s a legendary martial arts champion and iconic star of many of his generation’s most popular movies (the SHAOLIN TEMPLE series, the ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINA series, the FONG SAI YUK series, and FIST OF LEGEND) what you do in the U.S. is put him in a movie with DMX and Anthony Anderson that’s billed as “an urban Romeo and Juliet.” I mean, what else would you do with him? That’s just obvious.
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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 Disappearance of Alice Creed

Monday, April 25th, 2011

tn_alicecreedTHE DISAPPEARANCE OF ALICE CREED is a simple story about two kidnappers and their hostage. And it’s not one of those stories where they become friends. It’s a simple, well-executed thriller and especially before the plot starts thickening this thing is deeply unsettling.

It had me right from the great opening scene: a montage of these two nefarious individuals (Martin Compston and Eddie Marsan) shopping at a hardware store and then preparing an abandoned house as a kidnapping hideout. It just goes through step-by-step as they add locks, cover windows, soundproof the walls, put together a bed with chains on it… it’s like a sinister version of one of those home makeover shows.
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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.

Somewhere

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

tn_somewhereSOMEWHERE is a quiet, simple little thing, like a haiku or a bowl of strawberries. In a movie I usually like to see things like plot, momentum, music, etc., but this isn’t that kind of party. It’s Sofia Copolla trying out a new minimalistic style kind of like what seems to be her own personality: soft spoken and shy, but showing a subtle wit. Some of you would fucking hate it. I liked it though. (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.

Let’s talk about this Parker movie

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

tn_parkerYou guys know how much I love Richard Stark’s Parker books. I think I’ve mentioned it one, maybe one and a half times over the years.

So of course I was intrigued when Variety announced the other day that Jason Statham is in talks to play Parker in a new movie called PARKER, based on– well, that part’s not clear, the article doesn’t say. Some have assumed that it’s another adaptation of the first Parker book, ‘The Hunter’ (even though we’ve already seen that turned into POINT BLANK, two different cuts of PAYBACK and a recent comic strip book). Others think it’s gonna just be a new story based on the character.
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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.

Little Big Soldier

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

tn_littlebigsoldierLITTLE BIG SOLDIER played at the Seattle International Film Festival last year, and I didn’t see it. Then a region 2 dvd and a blu-ray came out and I didn’t see it. Then it played at ActionFest, which was far away, so I rented the blu-ray.

To answer your question, no this is not the movie where Jackie is only 3 inches tall and then at the end he turns giant like Godzilla. That’s RUSH HOUR 3. And it’s not a remake of LITTLE BIG MAN either. The title I guess refers to the two lead characters, one a small–time foot soldier, the other a big time general and member of the ruling class. (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.

Largo Winch

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

tn_largowinch(here’s another one I watched because it played at ActionFest this year)

Largo Winch (Tomer Sisley) is an unusual hero: he’s a globetrotting adventurer and/or vagabond, he knows how to fight and how to escape, he likes to rebel against authority, tends to fall for beautiful aid worker women helping the poor… and he’s the CEO of a huge Hong Kong-based international corporation called the W Group.
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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.

Scream 4

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

tn_scream4The SCREAM movies had their day in the sun. They arrived at the end of 1996, during what seemed like a horror drought. “Horror” was so out of sorts that the characters just call it “scary movies.” The actors, while promoting it on talk shows, called it a “thriller.”

We all remember that, but I thought it would be interesting to look up the specifics. According to my research there were only six other scary movie thrillers released theatrically that year: CANDYMAN: FAREWELL TO THE FLESH, THE DENTIST, THE FRIGHTENERS, FROM DUSK TILL DAWN, HELLRAISER: BLOODLINE* and THINNER. DTV releases included TREMORS 2: AFTERSHOCKS, CARNOSAUR 3: PRIMAL SPECIES and CHILDREN OF THE CORN IV: THE GATHERING.
(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.