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

Archive for August, 2011

Jeepers Creepers

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011
tn_jeeperscreepers
chapter 13

2001posterIf a horror movie is a big hit, and it doesn’t look totally stupid, and especially if it ends up getting theatrically released sequels, I usually watch it at some point, just to give it a shot, or to understand it. For example after a while I sat down and watched all the SAW movies they had made up to that point, even though it was not something I had followed before. As a subscriber to Fangoria Magazine it is my duty. They got those “Chainsaw Awards” you can vote on every year, you want to take that shit seriously. But I always avoided JEEPERS CREEPERS. (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.

House of the Rising Sun

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

tn_houseoftherisingsunI’m not familiar with Dave Bautista’s work as a WWE Superstar™, but I thought he was cool in a supporting role in my old internet pal “Demon” Dave DeFalco’s action movie WRONG SIDE OF TOWN. So when I saw he had a starring role in this movie (which credits DeFalco as an executive producer) I was sure to check it out. And I was surprised, especially watching it immediately after TACTICAL FORCE, at its level of quality. There are some issues, for sure, but it’s a serious crime drama adapted from a novel, not some shitty excuse to bring him from wrestling scene to shootout to wrestling scene. It’s a pretty decent story, actually. (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.

Priest (2011)

Monday, August 29th, 2011

tn_priestHave you guys noticed that Paul Bettany looks like Peter Weller? I noticed that while watching this. Bettany plays an unnamed priest. This is a new one based on some Japanese comic book, it’s not that Miramax movie about the child molester. I don’t know if that’s a big problem in the world this takes place in, ’cause these priests probly don’t work with kids that much. See, an animated prologue (a much better one than in JONAH HEX) explains that humans have always been at war with vampires, not the Dracula kind but naked CGI monsters with no eyes that jump around on all fours. So the church created an order of “priests,” vampire hunters recognizable by the cross tattoos on their faces. (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.

Tactical Force

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

tn_tacticalforceLike STONE COLD or COBRA, TACTICAL FORCE begins with our cop heroes using excessive force to stop an armed robbery at a grocery store. Unlike those movies it has no style and feels amateurish. I was already losing hope even before Steve Austin and Michael Jai White drove up in a SWAT truck together and didn’t look cool. That’s two of my favorite guys right now, I never expected to see them do a movie together, and you give them an entrance like this? I’m sorry, I know you need to protect the head, but Michael Jai looks goofy wearing that big ass helmet. Let him be fake for a second so he can start the movie looking cool. (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 Lost Bladesman

Friday, August 26th, 2011

tn_lostbladesmanDonnie Yen is THE LOST BLADESMAN. Not THE LAST BLADESMAN, that would be different. That would be a white guy. No, he’s the Lost Bladesman, and not lost in the sense of “oh shit, where the fuck am I? I could’ve sworn this trail went back to the river. Am I going in circles now?” but more, I think, in the sense of “I have lost track of my purpose in this world.”

See, he’s General Guan of the Three Kingdoms Era. I had to go back and check my handy RED CLIFF chart to remember, but Guan was one of the two generals working under Lui Bei to stand on the cliff and face the much larger army and navy of Cao Cao. He’s not the human battering ram with the eyebrows, he’s the other one. (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.

Blitz

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

tn_blitzBLITZ went straight to video here in the States, so I kinda expected a lesser Jason Statham action effort like CHAOS. Turns out it’s not an action movie really, it’s a gritty police drama adapted from a book by Ken Bruen. I’m not familiar with Bruen’s works. Turns out I have a copy of this book Bust that he co-wrote and Hardcase Crime put it out, but I haven’t read it yet. But I got a buddy that swears by Bruen. I guess Statham’s character Brant and some of the others are in 7 different books by him. This is book 4. (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.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

tn_rotpotaWell I’ll be the rise of a monkey’s uncle – this movie actually is good! I’d heard all good things, but after seeing the trailers and TV ads it was hard to get my hopes up. Boiled down to basics and money shots it’s just some dumb bullshit: James Franco making speeches about a miracle cure, quick shots of every scene where a CGI ape jumps into the air, dramatic trailer music squeals and buzzes. I didn’t even think the much hyped special effects by Weta looked that good. Instead of the people in makeup as evolved apes from the original masterpiece they gotta have Andy Serkis or Tom Hanks or somebody controlling a computer animated chimp with humanized eyes and expressions. They show a baby chimp, it’s digital. Do they not know there are chimps? They think they can’t film a real one ’cause it’s a made up creature like a Smurf or an Avatar? I wasn’t buying 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.

John Carpenter’s Ghosts of Mars (10th anniversary re-review)

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011
tn_ghostsofmars
chapter 12

logo_summer2001One thing about JOHN CARPENTER’S GHOSTS OF MARS: it’s definitely John Carpenter’s GHOSTS OF MARS.

It has plenty of elements that could be perfect for one of his movies. It’s kind of a siege movie like ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13, although the simplicity of that type of setup is mired in flashbacks and narration. It’s got a western motif – even though it’s in the future and on Mars there’s a train, and colonists possessed by angry Martian spirits take the place of the Natives defending their land. It’s got a ready-made anti-hero – Ice Cube as the bad-but-not-guilty-of-the-specific-crime-he’s-accused-of prisoner-in-transfer Desolation Williams. It has a pretty good soundtrack where Carpenter melds his style with a bunch of rock n roll dudes with electric guitars and drums, playing Martian tribal rock. It has Ice Cube, Jason Statham, Joanna Cassidy and Pam Grier in the cast! This shit should be great. (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.

Why I’m taking credit for TOM YUM GOONG 2

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

vernpredictsThere’s alot of action movie news going around (I guess Jet Li’s not gonna be in EXPENDABLES 2, and they’re trying to get Donnie Yen?) but to me the big one is TOM YUM GOONG 2 (aka THE PROTECTOR 2). We already knew that Tony Jaa had returned from the monastery to do this sequel. We maybe were so fixated on his return to civilization that we didn’t properly acknowledge what good news it is that Jaa has patched things up with director Prachya Pinkaew (ONG-BAK, TOM YUM GOONG, CHOCOLATE, ELEPHANT WHITE) after their falling out over ONG-BAK 2: THE WEIRDENING.

Now comes word that TYG 2 will co-star Jija Yanin, that badass little asskicker who starred in CHOCOLATE and RAGING PHOENIX. (thanks to rewrite in the comments for tipping me off.) (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.

Conan the Barbarian Fake 3D (2011)

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

tn_conan11According to internet custom, a CONAN review has to start with 2-4 paragraphs about Robert E. Howard and/or Conan comics from the ’80s. Well I can’t do it ’cause I never read a word that guy wrote, unless you count the titles. I never even saw that movie where Vincent D’Onofrio plays him and he’s in love with Renee Zelweger.

Some day I’ll read some of his stories and still not watch that movie but for now my connection to Conan is that it’s an all-time classic Arnold Schwarzenegger/John Milius movie and a not-as-good sequel. I knew this new one had no chance of competing with that and wasn’t really a remake other than of the logo. So I just hoped for something better than KULL THE CONQUEROR. (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.