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

Archive for September, 2011

Setup

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

tn_setupBruceFrom the director that brought you BEATDOWN and the letters that brought you STEP UP comes SETUP, Bruce Willis’s first DTV action movie. (I’m not gonna count ASSASSINATION OF A HIGH SCHOOL PRESIDENT). So I raise a glass to you, Bruce, on this historic occasion. They might’ve meant it to be a theatrical release, but if so they should’ve told that to the guy writing the script (Mike Behrman, GHOST RIDER: INSIDE THE ACTION). Doesn’t seem like he was expecting that level of scrutiny. (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.

Young Warriors

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

tn_youngwarriorsbacktoschoolYOUNG WARRIORS is a crazy fuckin movie released by Cannon in 1983. The description on the back of the VHS box begins like this:

“What do you get if you cross ‘Animal House’ with ‘Death Wish’? Young Warriors– a unique combination of fraternity hijinks, high-speed action, wildly imaginative animation, and hard-drivin’ rock!” (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.

Drive

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

tn_driveRemember how the driver in Walter Hill’s THE DRIVER didn’t get a name, he was just “The Driver”? The driver in Nicolas Winding Refn’s DRIVE is so minimalistic he doesn’t even get a ‘the.’ Or an ‘r’. Ryan Gosling plays said driver, a mysterious toothpick-chewing dude who’s a masterful getaway driver and does stunt driving for the movies. He also works at a garage for Brian Cranston, who helps set up his jobs and prepare his getaway cars. When not working Drive is sparking up a relationship with his neighbor, Carey Mulligan and her son. He’s better with the kid than you might think – even offers him a toothpick. (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 Tempest

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

tn_tempestTHE TEMPEST is the story of this wizard lady named Prospera (Helen Mirren) who lives on a small island with only her cutie daughter Miranda (Felicity Jones) and her monster slave Caliban (Djimon Hounsou). Also she has a slave named Ariel (Ben Whishaw) who’s like a naked sprite guy (with boobs?) who flits around and does her magical bidding.

She’s got some books and beakers and shit but this is an island made up mostly of volcanic rocks. There’s not much of a night life or anything, it’s gotta be kinda lonely. Her daughter’s never even seen a human man before, what’re they gonna talk about? Rocks? Trees? Beakers? (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.

Potpourri 4: The Crackdown

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

bronsonstickersOkay, here’s your spot to talk about Josie and the Pussycats or whatever. I know there were alot of good suggestions for the subtitle, and I forget who to credit for suggesting this one, but he was correct. All part 4s should be called either THE CRACKDOWN or STAR WARS.

Thanks everybody

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.

Warrior

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

tn_warriorI’m surprised it took this long for somebody to make a straight drama about mixed martial artists. It seems so obvious. It would inherently have all the same dramatic elements as a boxing movie (underdog reaching for the top, wife tired of seeing him beat up, society treating him as a dumb brute, then the fear of losing it all by a loss or an injury, all that) plus the novelty of an expanded repertoire of moves (kicks, chokes, armbars, throws, flying knees) and of being a popular newer sport that hasn’t been done to death in movies. (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.

Step Up 3

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

tn_stepup3Okay, I know I’m not supposed to like a movie like this, I know I’m supposed to feel guilty if I get any pleasure from it, but I am a man with honor and I cannot tell a lie and all that shit so I gotta tell you that I fucking loved the cheesy dance competition movie STEP UP 3. Returning-from-part-2 director Jon M. Chu steps up (all puns are coincidental) the energy and inventiveness like he did before, but this time about tenfold. It’s stupid and hilarious and stylish and there’s more great dancing just in the deleted scenes than there was in all of part 1. (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.

Step Up 2 the Streets

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

tn_stepup2STEP UP 2 THE STREETS is one of those impressive sequels that re-invents the whole thing and gives it new life. Because the main character is a girl, instead of a guy. Totally different.

No, seriously though, first time director Jon M. Chu had to deal with an all new set of characters except for a torch-passing guest appearance by Channing Tatum, hooking up a Maryland School of the Arts audition for his old family friend Andie (Briana Evigan [daughter of the guy from My Two Dads that’s not Paul Reiser]) to avoid her frustrated legal guardian (Sonja Sohn from SLAM and some TV show) sending her to live in Texas, where fewer people step up. When she gets to the school she has to put together a REVENGE OF THE NERDS super team of the school’s most talented outcasts. They’re frowned upon because they have big teeth or don’t speak very much English or are weirdos but they have unique styles that haven’t been properly displayed to the world. Together they just might be able to win the legendary underground (somehow illegal) dance competition called, uh, “The Streets.” Yeah, I think the title came before the screenplay on this one. But it was worth 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.

Step Up

Monday, September 19th, 2011

tn_stepupbacktoschoolThe opening credits of STEP UP had me laughing and remembering everything I hated about BREAKIN’ and knowing I made the right decision to rent this shit. A Petey Pablo song plays over a series of shots contrasting two worlds: ballet tippy toes in a well-lit dance studio; Timberlands and high-heeled boots dancing on dark concrete. Then it’s the legs of the ballet dancers hopping around; some dudes in a messy warehouse with chain link fences, loose tires and ladders jumping over each other’s shoulders and pumping their fists in unison. And it continues to alternate, comparing and contrasting the moves of the delicate ballet dancers and the people in their oversized hoodies, sideways hats and gold chains. (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.

Valhalla Rising

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

tn_valhallaVALHALLA RISING is a slow, quiet mood piece about back in the day when Christians had “pushed the heathens to the fringes of the earth.” Mads Mikkelsen, the bad guy from CASINO ROYALE, plays one of those heathens and he starts out the movie in those fringes, locked in a cage, then tied to a pole like a junkyard dog, forced to beat other warriors to death. Not in a cool action type of way but in an upsetting “oh shit, he just exposed that guy’s brain” type of way.

Before long he’s free and traveling toward “home,” wherever that is. He tells people he came from Hell, and he’s such a scary motherfucker they tend to take that literally. Actually, he doesn’t say a word, but a little boy accompanies him, speaks for him, and names him “One Eye.” “Well, you need a name,” he explains. “And you have one eye.” (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.