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

China O’Brien II

tn_chinaobrieniiIt’s the 4th of July, and Sheriff O’Brien is receiving a plaque from the mayor for lowering the crime rate in Beaver Creek to one of the lowest in the state. Well, enjoy it while it lasts, mayor, because a couple at this very picnic are about to be tracked down by a team of ex-military drug smugglers who want their suitcase full of $5 million in cash.

You see, C.Z. Baskin (Harlow Marks – “Power Worker”, HALLOWEEN 4: THE RETURN OF MICHAEL MYERS) was a Special Forces guy during the Vietnam War. Matt (returning Richard Norton) even knew him. He caused alot of trouble as a drug smuggler but has just now escaped from prison and is out for revenge on the people who busted him. In fact, the first 10 minutes of the movie don’t even have China in them, they’re used for a series of gimmicky assassinations (a judge killed while a volunteer for a magic show, a detective killed by a birthday strip-o-gram who must get off on going through with the dance since she could’ve pulled the gun out right when she walked in the door).

Frank (Frank Magner) and Annie (Tricia Quai) are the couple who have gone into hiding in Beaver Creek. Frank was one of the drug smugglers, but he turned state’s evidence. Thugs track them down and gunfire erupts at the park where everybody’s watching the fireworks show. Of course this means China, Matt and Dakota (Keith Cooke is back too) do karate on a bunch of guys. My favorite beat is when one of the bad guys accidentally puts his hand on the hamburger grill.

mp_chinaobrieniiChina’s Sheriff’s Department is pretty casual. It seems to consist of her, Matt, Dakota, one other officer and one dispatcher. Only the last two wear uniforms. There’s alot of denim involved, and China still wears acid wash. She doesn’t usually have a badge visible, but I noticed it in one scene, pinned to her jean jacket. After the shit goes down Matt asks China to carry a gun “at least for the next few days,” but she refuses to. (Flashback to shooting the kid in the alley in part 1.) Later she steals a guy’s gun and points it at him and it doesn’t seem to be a big deal.

The bad guys end up kidnapping Dakota and his girlfriend Jill (Tiffany Soter), who’s also Frank and Annie’s daughter. While a prisoner Dakota ends up having to duel one of the guys with his hands tied behind his back. He’s winning, even gets the guy in a headlock, until 3 other guys jump in.

As a sequel this is pretty lackluster. It came out 1 year later so everybody looks the same, nothing has changed much since part 1, the stakes don’t change. The biggest difference is that we learn from the mayor and his plaque that her name is actually Lori and China is a nickname. Which I’m against.

The movie is kinda boring until it just turns into a bunch of fighting at the end. The bad guys jam all the phones in town, so they can’t call for backup. Not like they would anyway.

China does alot of flips and somersaults. One guy comes at her with a gratuitous cartwheel and handspring, she just uses his momentum to toss him through a wall. During one fight there happens to be a rope tied to where they’re standing, she ties it around the guy’s leg and knocks him off the ledge to just hang there. Good move.

Some of the different villains get unexpectedly colorful. There’s a guy who wears two Freddy-esque claws. There’s a guy with a whip and Indiana Jones style hat. There’s a guy with zebra-print pants. Well, that last one was just ’cause it was 1991. One crazy unexplained thing that happens is some of the thugs are snooping around the back entrance to a building, looking for China and friends. One peeks his head into the door, says he doesn’t see anything, and angrily kicks over a crate of cabbages by the door. Suddenly two chefs jump out, slash the guys with cleavers and kick their asses. So there are some citizens of Beaver Creek willing to stand up, at least when their produce is threatened.

If they ever lower the crime rate again in Beaver Creek they should then try to find time to start cleaning up the alleys. There’s too much random shit laying around. There’s a washing machine. There’s a piano. Matt bodyslams a guy onto the piano, then tips it over on a different guy. Would’ve liked to see a head banged against the keys, but that’s okay.

Earlier in the movie China had a jokey fight with the town drunk. He went on a rampage destroying things and China seems to like him but he resists arrest, so she (and an obvious stunt double) jump around and dodge his punches and cause him to hurt himself. It’s kind of cool that at the end of the movie the same guy is in a holding cell. There’s a smoke bomb so Annie lets him out – I hope she knew who he was and was sure he wasn’t some murderer or something. This is a great set up for him to use his destructive powers to help China, but unfortunately all he does is ram through one door and then get shot to death.

To me the most exciting sequel moment is one little part where China uses a bow and arrow. Why is this great? Because in part 1 there was a photo of her with her dad holding that bow, but she never used it in the movie. World building!

One of China’s best moves is when Frank has her at gun point, trying to get her out of his way. He says, “Get in the closet. And don’t come near me, I know what you can do.” So she calmly steps into the closet, then swings the door out to bash him in the face and knock the gun out of his hand. You can’t trap China O’Brien in the closet.

I sort of like the anticlimactic end to this conflict. (END SPOILERS FOR THE MOVIE CHINA O’BRIEN II STARRING CYNTHIA ROTHROCK). Frank is dead, Baskin grabs the suitcase of money and runs away. Does China catch up to him and fight him to the death? Does his fellow ex-Special Forces warrior Matt face him down and pit one set of skills against the other in the ultimate test of survival? Or, you know, maybe some sort of fiery explosion gets him? No, grieving wife Annie, not really a fighter, crying and on her knees in the alley, busts off a couple shots and hits him in the back, killing him.

There’s an epilogue where the late Frank – a drug smuggler who only changed his ways because “it was him or me,” a guy who was kind of an asshole that China didn’t even like before he pointed a gun at her – receives a hero’s burial. They announce that the $5 million was generously donated to the hospital, and there will be a new wing and clinic in his name.

But wasn’t that drug money? You’d think there’d be some law against that. Huh.

China O'Brien posters and video covers traditionally show some lady that might not even be Cynthia Rothrock, usually with a dude who's definitely not in the movie
China O’Brien posters and video covers traditionally show some lady that might not even be Cynthia Rothrock, usually with a dude who’s definitely not in the movie

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 entry was posted on Friday, May 18th, 2012 at 2:16 am and is filed under Action, Martial Arts, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

58 Responses to “China O’Brien II”

  1. Knox Harrington

    May 18th, 2012 at 3:29 am

    I always find it difficult watching Cynthia Rothrock movies, because… well, I find her unattractive.

    Yes, I’m shallow.

  2. Lori? It’s not really China? She’s not Asian-Irish? That’s bullshit.

    They try to rescue her international CNN anchor flavor by adding the Roman numeral to her name, but I’m not buying it.

  3. Anybody ever see CATCH THE HEAT? It’s a Cannon lung fu programmer that screenwriter Sterling Silliphant wrote for his young Asian trophy wife. She plays a character named Checkers Goldberg, who one asshole henchman helpfully tells us is “Half-Chinese, half-kike!” The plot concerns Rod Steiger smuggling heroin into the country in the fake boobs of fashion models. Checkers goes undercover, but the problem is that her knockers are too big for anyone to believe that she needs implants. This is an important plot point. Obviously, we’re dealing with an unheralded masterpiece here.

  4. That was meant to be “kung fu programmer” but considering the importance of chest capacity to the plot, I’m gonna call “lung fu” a happy accident.

  5. Republican Cloth Coat

    May 18th, 2012 at 9:51 am

    Tiana Alexander is a woman of many talents: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ySwrkMZ7qI.

    Karatecize! For your health!

  6. I remember when China II came out on video they used a screen shot of Tiffany Soter in her underwear on the cover. And I sort of felt like renting it, but my wife sort of convinced me that that scene alone wouldn’t make it woth while, so i skipped it. Was the scene any good?

  7. Darth Irritable

    May 18th, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    Sorry Knox. In her prime, I found Cynthia strangely attractive. Albeit a boobed equivalent to Tyrion.

  8. “I always find it difficult watching Cynthia Rothrock movies, because…
    well, I find her unattractive.”

    Hey Knox, the exact same could be said about 90% of the Martial Arts
    Guys (Chan, Norris, Seagal and van Damme aren’ in any way attractive), it’s part of what makes this Genre often interesting and
    hilarious. At least Rothrock has some mighty fine legwork going for her.

  9. Knox Harrington

    May 18th, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    See, there’s a difference between not finding someone attractive and finding someone UNattractive.

    When I watch a Cynthia Rothrock movie, I’m actually distracted from the movie by how unattractive I find her.

    Nothing against her, she seems nice. It’s not like she’s Sally Field or anything. That bitch.

  10. Knox Harrington

    May 18th, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    Oh, and I happen to think that KICKBOXER era Van Damme was quite a stud.

  11. I really like that second poster that was posted. Makes it look like some trippy sci-fi western. I miss painted posters.

  12. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    May 18th, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    Yeah, I watched this one once.

    …That is all I can say because it left even less impression on me than the original movie. Seriously, does anybody actually remember these movies? Do they have fans? Is there a secret underground movement of “China O’Brien” fans who go around quoting the movie like “Hackers” fans whisper “Hack the planet!” to each other? (Yeah, I couldn’t come up with an actual China O’Brien quote there.)

  13. Not sure about Norris and Chan, but I’m pretty sure Seagal and Van Damme were considered pretty attractive by, you know, women in their heyday.

    Stirlingly intellectual contribution from me there.

  14. Paul, there are fans of the film HACKERS?

  15. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    May 19th, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    Charles – indeed there are. And just so you know, they’re not freaks. They’re elite.

  16. I love HACKERS

    I’ll post something interesting or insightful one of these days I swear

    But for now I’Il just post a link to the recent AV Club article on HACKERS:
    http://www.avclub.com/articles/hackers-may-have-been-of-its-time-but-it-was-also,72249/

  17. …although having actually read the article, it doesn’t actually say anything about why the film is actually such fun.

  18. Saw HACKERS as a kid, I don’t remember a thing about it except that it was another of those Hollywood movies where their computers and our computers have little relations.

    Did Jolie show her tits? (Now I remembered that bit about CYBORG 2)

  19. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    May 20th, 2012 at 9:14 am

    I can’t get “Seagalogy” to load and I don’t want to junk up the more recent threads with non-related stuff. So off-topic news, I just saw “The Avengers”, and I have this to say to you all:

    YOU SENT ME TO SEE AN “INDEPENDENCE DAY” RIPOFF. YOU MOTHERFUCKERS.

    Yeah, it was kinda ok, with a few nice character moments, and it was fun to see the superheroes do their stuff in as well-realised visuals as it has; but I should’ve listened to my instincts on this one. In its favor (I guess?) I would’ve loved it when I was thirteen years old and without perfect knowledge of the catalogue of action-movie tropes this film uses without any hint of irony. On the minus side, I loved “Independence Day” back then as well. Time changes a man.

  20. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    May 20th, 2012 at 9:16 am

    And RRA – unfortunately not. There are a couple of rather steamy dream-sequences featuring a young Johnny Lee Miller though, if that floats your boat.

  21. So do guys like HACKERS because it is a “good” film or because it is a “so bad it is good” film?

    I saw it when it came out back in the 90’s and remember being completely underwhelmed. I tried to watch it again a few years later, and did not even bother to finish watching it. HACKERS seems like your standard Hollywood product, it may not be completely bad but for the most part it is largely unremarkable & forgettable. I would put it on par with something like DOUBLE JEOPARDY starring Tommy Lee Jones & Ashley Judd. I guess that is why I was so surprised Paul used HACKERS for his example when talking about a quotable movie. However, It has been some time since I have tried to watch it, so maybe I need to give it another chance.

  22. Paul – yeah the Seagalogy thread won’t load for me either. See this is why I wish we had forums. Yes I’ll beat that dead horse until I’m tired of the sound of bone.

    “YOU SENT ME TO SEE AN “INDEPENDENCE DAY” RIPOFF. YOU MOTHERFUCKERS.”

    Funniest thing I’ve read today.

    Don’t give Emmerich that much credit. AVENGERS is a much better produced movie than fucking ID4.

    “but I should’ve listened to my instincts on this one.”

    Like I said numerous times, nobody put a gun to your head to see it. We wouldn’t have thought less of you if you hadn’t. But we get it Paul, you wanted to be in with the Kliq, with the cool kids. You took a smoke against your better judgment and guess what? You got lung cancer now. You shoulda listened to Mr. Cricket.

  23. RE: HACKERS

    Paul – well that’s unfortunate. For some reason, Jolie at times likes to take her top off for shitty movies like TAKING LIVES.

    So I tried to watch the HACKERS trailer on Youtube, and it does look absolutely underwhelming. But then I thought: How many movies actually get “hacking” accurate?

    From my research of the era it was produced in and by the hackers it was inspired by, WARGAMES I think gets your average hacker accurate (early 80s at least) in just doing this hacking shit because (1) it’s fun to dabble in possible law-breaking and see what they can get away, (2) they’re bored by the schools/environemnt around them insulting their IQ, and (3) Gamers obsessed with upcoming games.

  24. Paul, good point about AVENGERS & ID4, but to me it felt even more like TRANSFORMERS 3. I liked AVENGERS more and I think it is a better film than T3, but they have pretty much the same plot. They also both have the same finale where the heroes have to battle alien forces and close the portal to another world to save the city and earth.

  25. HACKERS, might have got a lot right about “hacking”, but that does not make it an entertaining or quotable movie. I not trying bash HACKERS, I am just trying to wrap my head around the idea of it being a film with a cult following that people quote.

  26. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    May 20th, 2012 at 9:43 am

    Ok… ok… ok. I can’t leave it at that.

    My problems with “The Avengers”:

    1) Joss Whedon’s character works definitely helps the film at points (Loki is better in “The Avengers” than he was in “Thor”). But all he’s done with “Captain America” is find new ways to make him the same po-faced whiny self-righteous jerk that he was in his first movie. Seriously, kill this fucker off already. “Iron Man” and “Thor” worked for me because the main characters were in it for the same reason I was – to have some fucking fun.

    2) Scarlett Johansson… anybody else remember when she could act? She has to do more in “The Avengers” than just kick ass and look hot. She doesn’t pull it off. It’s not a terrible performance, but this character has to pull off clearly having some very strong, sometimes very dark, emotions, while remaining stoic and focussed. What we get is just wooden.

    3) The one significant death in the movie is of a character who’s appeared so little in “The Avengers” that I had to go back to “Thor” to remember what he was like. And in “Thor” he was kind of a douchebag, although he does get some kind of a redemption arc in that. The long and short of it is it’s not a character I’m particularly sad to see die, even when the other characters apparently are. And talking of which… I “buy” that Iron Man and Thor are sorry for his death, but Captain America? Black Widow? Really?

    4) If Bruce Banner can control his “curse”, why the hell does he do his best to kill off ScarJo (sorry Vern) halfway through the movie? Why can’t the “superior” alien race shoot straight? Why does Loki allow himself to be captured so easily? If this is a Xanatos gambit, what’s the gambit? It’s made clear that the “cloaking” of the ship doesn’t work early on, so what the heck did Loki accomplish by getting captured that he couldn’t also have accomplished with a straight attack? Come to that, why didn’t he escape when he had the chance?

    With all that said… I didn’t think “The Avengers” was that bad, I just thought it was really predictable. As a teenager I would’ve loved it, but this kind of empty spectacle always fails to move me now. I thought my main complaint about this film would be me not giving a crap, and guess what… I don’t.

  27. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    May 20th, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Charles – by many conventional standards “Hackers” is not a good movie, I agree. And it’s wasting of Penn Jilette on a character whose sole purpose is to provide exposition is nothing short of a crime. But it strikes a chord with me that I think it struck with a lot of nihilistic devil-may-care teenage wannabe-geeks of that era.

    RRA – I agree, “ID4” was most definitely worse than “The Avengers”. Much better character work in “The Avengers”, and I credit Joss Whedon for that. I don’t REGRET seeing the film, parts of it were fun and it was great seeing all the superheroes do their thing (with up-to-date technology to bring it to the big screen in a pretty spectacular way). I just didn’t get much from it other than that.

    As for the “ID4” ripoff comparison, I have this to say: when Randy Quaid pilots a missile into a blue pillar of light, the light is coming DOWN. When Rob Downey Jr. does it, the light is going UP. Totally different!

  28. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    May 20th, 2012 at 10:06 am

    Oh – and Charles – “Hackers” may not be a great movie, or even a good one. But it is infinitely quotable. As well as the ones I’ve already used, there are dozens of lines like (and all this is from memory):

    “They’re not like us. They’re sheep. Baa-aah.”

    “Don’t forget God. It’s the male sysadmin power complex.”

    “Would Her Holiness care to change her password?”

    (Johnny Lee Miller): “If I win, you get to wear a dress on our date.”
    (Angelina Jolie): “And if I win… you do.”

    “Well I think it’s cool.”
    “Cool? You think it’s cool? It’s commie bullshit.”

    “There’s a rabbit in the mainframe – send a flu shot!”

    I could go on, and on, and on…

  29. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    May 20th, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Mouth – that thread was deader than Elvis.

    (Although Vern liked Scarlett Johansson in “The Avengers”… interesting, I didn’t think she really pulled it off.)

    Sorry for co-opting this one, but come on… it’s “China O’ Brien 2”. What the heck is gonna be so important to discuss about THAT movie that my Avengers / Hackers talk is going to get in the way?

  30. Dismissing the importance of CHINA O’BRIEN 2 is a mark of the exact opposite attitude that this websight celebrates.

  31. So Paul didn’t like the movie he was determined not to like and somehow this is our fault. Seems legit.

  32. I saw more SERENITY similarities, like the blue energy stuff exploding at the beginning of both movies, than ID4 similarities, like the climactic [near-]suicide mission (which happens to be a major narrative component of many many Christ/hero sacrifice allegories/metaphors in many many action movies).

    Sharing traits with older movies isn’t always a bad thing.

  33. They have been remaking ID4 for 15 years. BATTLESHIP is the latest ID4 clone, as is ARMAGEDDON, the TRANSFORMERS movies, and thanks to Paul’s observation, THE AVENGERS is too.

    Wreckless anti-hero disrespects authority, then aliens invade and blow up a lot of international locations, people get sad and show emotion and regroup, then the hero learns to fulfill the authority he was destined to have.

    And Paul’s right, Scarlett Johansson does a fine job playing the character she’s given, but it’s nothing more than a standard tough chick with a specific skill. That interrogation thing isn’t a strength, it’s a gimmick.

    AVENGERS is fun, and fun trumps logic, but it’s getting a pass on lots of things that you would not give a pass in other movie.

  34. I know it’s all subjective, eye of the beholder and all that, but I have no clue what you guys are talking about when you say http://edge.ebaumsworld.com/mediaFiles/picture/2023212/81559375.gif doesn’t give a good performance in AVENGERS. She was shockingly better than I expected. The look on her face while she’s tied up with a cell phone against her cheek was priceless.

    Also, I’ve taken Vern’s advice not to abbreviate or attempt to [mis]spell http://img233.imageshack.us/img233/5194/96333083.gif ‘s name, so I’m using a more pictorial method whenever I refer to her from now on.

  35. The thing is, the term “Hacker” has not always been pejorative. It used to mean one who could do arcane shit with a computer. I refer you to Steven Levy’s book “Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution,” in which he applies the term to the likes of Gates, Jobs, etc.

    I’m not sure about the lineage of the term being bastardized the way it has been. But I tell you that the film HACKERS reeks of the cultural attitude best encapsulated by Ryan Philippe’s famously dated utterance in Cruel Intentions: “Everybody knows the internet’s just for geeks and pedophiles!”

    I find it curious that the film was overseen by real computerists, as it seems to completely lack a certain authenticity. Perhaps it’s the fact that *real* hacking is not something that would probably make for entertaining footage: puzzling over command line snafus and cetera. I am brought to mind of the fact that in Social Network, we got both signs of the coin: ridiculous sequences wherein coders play coding drinking games as onlookers rally passionately (100% pure bullshit), but also glimpses of Zuckerberg’s Linux/Emacs dev environment as he hacks the campus network, plausibly accurate.

    I think that second side is pretty necessary in such a project. I just tried to watch THE 13th FLOOR and couldn’t get past the fact, among other things, that they kept using the term “download” both ways. I’m sorry but if you’re too disinterested in your subject matter to make yourself aware of the term “upload” or lack such basic faith in your audience’s capacity for understanding, what the fuck are you doing making a film on such nerd arcana?

    Patrick Rothfuss (author of the delightful Kingkiller saga, which I highly recommend to fans of fantasy literature) said, in interview, that after developing the geography, history, mythology, culture etc. of his imagined world, he applies a rule of thumb in which he should only be demonstrating/explicating about 10% of his invented reality in the actual fiction. The story is but a shaft of light, illuminating a linear path through the world in a highly selective manner. But that other 90% is important because it supports the story with an authentic impression of reality. I think the analogue to projects like Hackers and 13th Floor should be clear.

  36. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    May 20th, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    Holy shit, guys, you’re taking my stuff way too seriously. I know sarcasm doesn’t always come across on the Internet, but cut me some slack!

    Mouth – regarding Scarlett – Vern said it also, but I didn’t see it. I actually thought the exact opposite of Fred – I thought the character was fine but the performance was off, not the other way around. Honestly I don’t think it matters a great deal. As you point out, lot of judging “acting” is pretty subjective anyway.

    Also don’t pull this shit please: “Dismissing the importance of CHINA O’BRIEN 2 is a mark of the exact opposite attitude that this websight celebrates.”

    Ok, I phrased this badly: “What the heck is gonna be so important to discuss about THAT movie…” It comes off as I’m dismissing the movie as “unimportant” or somehow unworthy of discussion. Which is not what I was aiming for. So fair point there.

    I am, however, the ONLY person in this entire thread, except Vern, to have actually mentioned seeing the movie being discussed. My comment “does anybody remember this movie?” might have been facetious, but as far as the thread goes, it went totally unanswered. Not a single person has come forward to say what they thought of the movie or what their experience was watching it, other than Vern and myself.

    Also “striving for excellence” is the attitude this website celebrates. And “China O’ Brien 2”, from what little I can actually remember of it, ain’t that. I’m all for not dismissing movies because of their genre or because they’re outside of the mainstream, etc, but that’s hardly applicable here.

    Majestyk – no need to be rude, seriously. I was joking about the “blaming you guys” thing. Maybe the joke didn’t “take” in the way I wanted, but it certainly wasn’t intended as an insult.

    And what you’re saying, if I’ve got this right, is: “There wasn’t a chance of you ever liking the film because you went into it determined not to like it.”

    Nope. Wrong answer. I wasn’t “determined” not to like the film. I had a lot of misgivings about what I thought it might turn out to be, misgivings that were largely justified. That doesn’t mean I went into the film with a closed mind. It means I had certain preconceptions, based on the trailers, the previous movies and what little I’d read about “The Avengers”, that turned out to be correct. Not correct because I was “determined” to see them. Correct because THAT’S WHAT THE FILM WAS.

    Look, I wrote TWO reviews of “Cabin in the Woods” on this site, the second specifically because I felt I’d been unfair to the film in the first one. I can pretty much fucking guarantee I won’t be doing that for “The Avengers”. I thought it was ok. I liked some of the action scenes – mostly the heroes doing their stuff – and some of the character beats. I definitely disliked some of the other things. Overall, I thought it was average. Parts of it entertained me, parts of it didn’t. I don’t regret seeing it but I have no desire to see it again. And that’s pretty much all I got.

  37. Paul – We don’t take anything seriously around here. Except maybe in the studies of Badass Cinema.

    In fact we only really get pissed at each other whenever Majestyk says one quip too far or hates a classic like SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION and I get throw the “pretentious” bomb at him. But they’re always short lived and “hug it out bitch.”

    Or whenever AsimovLives derails with his creative movie title puns and rants against Bay, Abrams, Anderson, Snyder, etc., but when he’s calmed down and let the anger roll off his chest, he can actually produce quality posts and opinions.

    But you know who I really really HATE? Goddamn SPAMMERS. Every one of those sons of bitches deserve their balls to be super-glued to their thighs.

  38. Can we fight about Shawshank? We need another potpourri…..

  39. We need forums. But another Potpourri will suffice until then.

    So the God Damn Batman posted this on his twitter today:

    “Hey kids, are you a big fan of the game Battleship? Go see The Avengers again.”

    “Watching Battleship is like holding the boardgame up to your face and letting me hit you in the kidney. But with Riggins in it.”

    I don’t think he liked BATTLESHIP.

  40. I’ve never used a forum in my life and I don’t intend to start now.

  41. So Donna Summer, now one of the Bee Gees. God, you’re sure hating on Disco this past week.

    Mr. Majestyk – We’ll help you pop your cherry.

  42. You use one every time you post here, Majestyk. Or were you kidding? In which case your strange little jest escapes me.

  43. See, I disagree with Google’s definition:

    “fo·rum/ˈfôrəm/
    Noun:
    1. A meeting or medium where ideas and views on a particular issue can be exchanged.
    2. An Internet message board.”

    2 is redundant; a message board is called a forum simply because it meets the requirements of 1, as does every comment section on Vern’s site.

  44. See, when I think of forums, I think of those strange places with the weird gifs and comment streams that originate from nowhere and trail off just as mysteriously. Those things freak me out.

    Also, if this is a forum, why does everyone keep saying we need a forum?

  45. Because they mean a message board. I’m just being a pedantic asshole, really.

  46. Anyway, I’ve occasionally posted on, er, forums that had a core group of close-knit participants that engaged in superb directed discussion. By directed I mean, this being a music forum, somebody could start some topic such as “Best obscure heavy metal albums from 1970-1974” and within a few days, one could browse the thread and compile a list of maybe 4-500 frequently essential works previously unknown to the browser. I think the Vern community would be well by the mechanisms of threads with topics.

  47. Wait, this isn’t a message board?

    I’m so confused. What are the properties of the thing we don’t have, how are those properties different from the thing we do, and how are those properties going to affect the way AU calls me a gaylord?

  48. “I think the Vern community would be well by the mechanisms of threads with topics.” -renfield

    Meaning right now, the topics are either static, as determined by the lastest film Vern has reviewed, or lumped into one giant miscellaneous and rapidly memory-allocation-violating thread.

  49. er…. “well served” perhaps renfield should have said.

    Also it would have the function of organizing the threads by order of most recent post, rather than a list of about 10 “most recent posts” that are then lost forever.

  50. Change is scary.

    I’m pretty happy with the current set-up here, whatever. Only thing that could use improvement is ease of access to older posts, which could be achieved by simply expanding or tweaking the “Recent commentary and jibber-jabber” side bar.

    Someday soon when Vern gets an endorsement from Bruce or Clint Eastwood or something, the increased traffic & participation here will necessitate site renovation if he plans to have the sight grow commensurately with his notoriety.

  51. Change is indeed scary. With a more technologically advanced forum, we may learn things about one another we will wish we hadn’t…

  52. Or you could all follow my lead and go city by city worldwide, meeting you weirdos one & 2 at a time in person, until we’re all friends. I’m bringing a different girl with me every time.

  53. Surely not the same women you feature in the thumbnails of your posts??

  54. Paul, I know I’ve written this before in more than one thread that you read, so I shouldn’t have to. But here it is again: I don’t like when people purposely change the discussion of the latest review to be about a movie in an older review. I ESPECIALLY don’t like it when I’m trying to discuss one of the b-action movies that are my main topic of interest and you change it to be about super heroes. And I ESPECIALLY ESPECIALLY don’t like it when you also are exaggerating your dislike of a movie that everybody likes to show off and do wheelies and say “look at me, everybody, I’m Paul.”

    What I’m getting at is JUST POST IT ON THE FUCKING AVENGERS REVIEW. There is already a long discussion there and if your comments are worth responding to people will do it.

  55. Is there a reference work (other than this website) covering these direct-to-video 80s actioners? Were they direct to video? Mostly they were shot on film. They could’ve played 42d Street.

    Looking over her IMBD list, I’m surprised I hadn’t seen more of her stuff. I’d thought she was in Demonstone (with Jan Michael Vincent and R. Lee Emery!) but that was Nancy Everhard. Similar name, short blonde hair, very different actress. Demonstone linked in the name, by the way.

    I sorta enjoy these films, and I’m glad Vern is willing to run down the various series, but even when they were new, they seemed mighty similar. Without any research, I’m prepared to guess she’s a cop/sheriff/agent/security specialist called in to help an old friend in every single movie. As somebody said above, what could possibly distinguish the China O’Brian series from Sworn to Justice? Did she get naked, eventually? Did production values actually drop? Is there a diamond in the rough a la Snake Eater III? I hope we find out.

  56. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    May 21st, 2012 at 9:13 am

    Vern – if there was ANY discussion of “China O’ Brien 2” in this thread, I wouldn’t have interrupted it. I only did so because “The Avengers” thread wasn’t even mentioned in “recent posts” and the review is off the first page of my browser. I would’ve posted in “Seagalogy” but I can’t get the thread to load. I apologise for posting out-of-place but I reiterate: YOU AND I ARE THE ONLY ONES WHO’VE EVEN MENTIONED SEEING THIS FILM.

    And regarding this:

    “I ESPECIALLY ESPECIALLY don’t like it when you also are exaggerating your dislike of a movie that everybody likes to show off and do wheelies and say “look at me, everybody, I’m Paul.””

    So Majestyk thinks I was “determined” not to like the movie, so I didn’t; and you think I’m “exaggerating” my negative opinion of it (I described it as “kinda ok” and “average”)? Seriously guys… if you think I’ve got this little integrity when it comes to reviewing movies, why do you even bother to respond to my posts at all?

    “The Raid” review coming up in “The Raid” thread.

  57. Although, if one would now post in The Avenger’s thread, one’s comment would then immediately become listed in the “Recent Posts” sidebar…

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