I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

Archive for June, 2011

A.I. – Artificial Intelligence (10 years later)

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011
tn_ai
chapter 8

2001posterreleased June 29th, 2001
(ten years ago today!)

Today, as we celebrate the opening of the third Steven Spielberg produced Hasbro adaptation about overly detailed space robots with different accents wiggling around and smashing buildings, let’s also take a moment to note the tenth anniversary of that one time when Spielberg tried to make a thoughtful robot 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.

recommended reading: GQ oral history of Michael Bay

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

tn_transformers3A friend of mine recommended this piece from GQ where friends, relatives and subjects of Michael Bay are quoted talking about him. As my buddy pointed out it’s kind of horrifying and also fascinating, just like Bay’s movies. It’s not a thorough career overview, because it completely skips BAD BOYS 2 (which is his FEMME FATALE or ON DEADLY GROUND, isn’t it?). I think it’s meant as a goofy but ultimately loving profile, but to me it makes him just seem like an asshole who gets away with yelling at people because of his job. There’s also an anecdote (one I’d heard before, but maybe it’s new to you) that implies that he was destined to make bad movies since he was a teenager.

(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.

SUCKER PUNCH – mystery solved (?)

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

tn_suckerpunchwarning: contains major spoilers and possible enigma killers

I know some of you would probly prefer that this movie just be forgotten, but considering all the discussion and confusion we had a few months ago about outlawvern.com-commenter-favorite Zack Snyder’s filmatistic intentions I was compelled to watch the extended cut and the “Maximum Movie Mode” commentary-ish thing on the new blu-ray. So this is a short post to share with you my findings and my current understanding of the answer to the question “what in fuck’s name was the ending supposed to mean?” (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 Fast and the Furious (10th Anniversary Review)

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011
chapter 7
chapter 7

2001posterreleased June 22nd, 2001
10 years ago today!

Wow, I never would’ve predicted this: THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS has aged well. Or maybe I just wasn’t ready for it back when I first saw it. Skimming over my intentionally pretentious and off-topic original review I can see that I saw it as an attempt to exploit a fad. This is supported by all the old dvd extras (now on blu-ray) which make a huge deal about it being based on a Vibe article about street racing, and how they went to watch races and ran from the cops and all the cars and extras in the car show scenes are real racers who responded to a web posting. They wanted us to know this “street racing” was a real thing happening somewhere at night, and director Rob Cohen and friends are on the front lines ready to show us what’s going down. (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.

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011
tn_laracroft
chapter 6

2001posterreleased June 15th, 2001

Lara Croft (Angelina Jolie)’s trade is a “tomb raider,” which is like an asskicking archaelogical adventurist. It’s just like whatsisdick, the guy with the hat from that other movie that also used the word “raider” in the title – but don’t worry, that’s a coincidence. Lara’s introduced in what looks like some sort of an ancient crypt. She’s wearing short shorts, a The Phantom belt, spinning two pistols. Her crotch and her large, pointy boobs are somewhat emphasized, in my opinion. Might just be me.

Wouldn’t you fuckin know it, her search for treasure is interrupted by a large robot. Cue the electronical music and the wire-assisted acrobatics (remember we’re just two years after THE MATRIX). The fight is too forced to be very exciting in my opinion, but it ends on a nice touch: after killing the robot Lara takes a breath, then laughs to herself.
(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.

Evolution

Monday, June 20th, 2011
tn_evolution
chapter 5

2001posterreleased June 8th, 2001

I skipped EVOLUTION in the summer of 2001 because it didn’t look very good. Hey, what do you know, it turns out me-of-ten-years-ago knew what he was doing. But for this important scholarly work it was crucial that I not just view the 2001 movies people remember. To truly get a feel for the period I had to watch at least one movie that came out that summer and then nobody ever thought about it again. (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.

Kill the Irishman

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

tn_killtheirishmanFrom the director of PUNISHER #2 and the star of PUNISHER #3 comes a solid, entertaining period gangster movie. It’s a biopic of Danny Greene, an Irish American union president, gang enforcer and dodger of car bombs in Cleveland, Ohio circa early ’60s through late ’70s. If it had been done as two separate movies maybe it would’ve got an arthouse release and some critical respect, but they did it as one so it was barely released by Anchor Bay and nobody ever heard of 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.

The Badass Cinema Rundown for June 15, 2011

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

tn_rundownSometimes in a man’s life a man’s gotta post brief snippets about different movie news stories so we can discuss them here.

Well, it was fun looking forward to it while it lasted

My buddy who told me this news looked like he was about to tell me somebody had died. Turns out everybody’s okay, but they hired Simon West to direct EXPENDABLES 2. The guy who broke it to me had actually predicted this back when I was talking up John Hyams and those guys.
(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.

Super 8

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011
(intermission)
(intermission)

My Summer of 2001 10th Anniversary Retrospective will continue shortly, but as requested here’s a brief interlude in the present to deal with some pressing issues.

SUPER 8 is the new picture from writer/director Jay-Jay Abrams (‘Felicity’) that is produced by Steven Spielberg and done in a style that’s a slavish tribute to the classic Spielberg pictures of the ’70s and ’80s. It takes place in ’79 and it’s about a kid whose mom recently died (if it was a real Spielberg movie it would be about divorce), his dad doesn’t really understand him, his friends are making a zombie movie, and also there is a gigantic train crash that unleashes a monster that scares away the dogs, knocks over alot of shit and kidnaps his girl.

(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.

Pearl Harbor

Sunday, June 12th, 2011
chapter 4
chapter 4

2001posterreleased May 25th, 2001

WARNING: contains spoilers for PEARL HARBOR and World War II

After three financially successful action movies in a row (BAD BOYS, THE ROCK, ARMAGEDDON), Michael Bay got a once-in-his-career itch to make An Important Movie. He probly had SAVING PRIVATE RYAN on the brain, and definitely TITANIC.

Ever since James Cameron’s movie broke all box office records studios had been threatening to make asses of themselves by blatantly trying to catch more lightning in that same melodramatic-love-story-during-historic-disaster bottle. Jan de Bont almost did a love-story-on-the-Hindenburg movie, for example. PEARL HARBOR wasn’t as obvious of a copycat as that because 1) it was a love story set against a war movie as much as a disaster and 2) the love song on the end credits was by Faith Hill instead of Celine Dion. Totally different.
(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.