I use hands to help my fellow man / I use hands to help with what I can / But when I face an unjust injury / Then I change my hand into FIST OF FURY

Archive for May, 2013

The Super-Kumite: American Kickboxer 1

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

tn_americankickboxerSUPER-KUMITE, ROUND 1, SECOND BOUT: AMERICAN KICKBOXERS VS. THE WOMEN

IMDb may list this Cannon production as AMERICAN KICKBOXER, but the DVD cover and more importantly the title screen call it AMERICAN KICKBOXER 1. So going by the DIE HARD 2 precedent that is the official title as far as I’m concerned. Part 1 is the story of B.J. Quinn (John Barett, GYMKATA), middleweight kickboxingstill_americankickboxer_title champ with a 35-1 record. In the opening fight he takes on the young up and comer Chad Hunter (Keith Vitali, REVENGE OF THE NINJA) and wins with an allegedly accidental elbow. Because of B.J.’s arrogant talk on the way to the ring and the dishonorable means of victory I honestly thought this was the introduction of the bad guy. But I guess he’s supposed to be one of those lovable asshole characters, or possibly just a guy at a low point who needs redemption or whatever. (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 Super-Kumite Round 1, Bout 1 winner

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

This was a tough otn_Super-Kumitene. Already we can see that the competition will be fierce. Both BLOODFIGHT and BLOODSPORT II: THE NEXT KUMITE are solid takes on the formula. Both have some good fights, some good gimmicks, good laughs, good older mentor characters, good villains. This is gonna be a close call, but I know who the winner is.

 

(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 Super-Kumite: Bloodsport II: The Next Kumite

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

tn_bloodsport2ROUND 1, FIRST BOUT, BLOODSPORT SEQUELS VS. TEAM BOLO

“You’re a true warrior, Alex.”

The hero of the original BLOODSPORT, Frank Dux (played by the icon of tournament fighting movies, Jean-Claude Van Damme) trained in ninjitsu as a kid after stealing a valuable katana and then impressing its owner by having second thoughts and returning it. As an adult he’s in the Army, but goes AWOL to enter the dangerous underground Kumite tournament.

The replacement hero for the Van-Damme-less part 2, Alex Cardos (Daniel Bernhardt, the Swiss martial artist and model who had been in a Versace commercial with Van Damme) is also a dirty sword-stealer, but this guy does it as a grown man, has no regrets and doesn’t try to give it back. He goes to a party at Pat Morita’s house, steals the sword from upstairs and makes a lunch date with a lady he was flirting with named Janine (Lori Lynn Dickson) as he flees. (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 Super-Kumite: Bloodfight

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

tn_bloodfightROUND 1, FIRST BOUT, BLOODSPORT SEQUELS VS. TEAM BOLO

aka FINAL FIGHT

“Stop him! You mustn’t let him keep practicing martial arts! Please! Please! Ryu is not a fighter. He’s a warm and caring person!”

BLOODFIGHT is from Japanese director Shuji Goto (FIGHTING BLACK KINGS) and star Yasuaki Kurata (HEROES OF THE EAST, EASTERN CONDORS, FIST OF LEGEND) but it’s a Hong Kong production featuring Bolo Yeung and Simon Yam. I rented it on a triple feature called Great Martial Arts Movies, and it had a warning about the picture quality not being up to modern standards, so I expected the worst. But other than being cropped it looked fine.

I also thought it might be dubbed, and there’s not any dialogue for the first ten minutes or more, so I was in suspense. Turns out it’s one of the rare Hong Kong movies that was actually filmed in English. Some of the actors sound like they’re just repeating it phonetically, so it’s hard to understand some 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.

Ladies and gentlemen, THE SUPER-KUMITE!

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

tn_Super-KumiteFriends, I am proud to announce a new outlawvern.com event, THE SUPER-KUMITE, tournament of tournaments. It is a 3-round tournament of fighting tournament movies, with only one victor.

I’ve been wanting to do this for a year or two, but it took me a while to figure out how to make it work. Even once I did I made some mistakes and had to do some adjustments. It turns out there are less straight-up tournament movies than I imagined, and weirdly little information about them on the internet.

Here’s how it will work: I’ve put together 8 teams of 3 movies each which will be pitted against each other in one-on-one match-ups. In round 1 the chronological first films from each of the eight teams will compete in four bouts. The four winning teams will send their second movie to round 2, to be whittled down to the two finalists, which will compete for the crown. (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.

Vern Predicts: Cheeto-sponsored movie news

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

vernpredicts

I am posting this not as an attack on the websight in question, which I sometimes read, and which I know at least one of the regulars here writes for, but simply as a presentation of the facts at hand and a demonstration of my powers.

On April 1, 2008, I posted a fake geocities.com/outlawvern redesign titled “Cheetohs Presents Vern’s Cinematic Movie Blog.” It was full of dumbed down and crassly commercialized content including, for some reason, a sidebar with the nutrition information from a bag of Cheetos:

vern-cheetos

(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 Island (2005)

Monday, May 27th, 2013

tn_theislandTHE ISLAND I guess was Michael Bay’s big failure. He held his head high during his public shaming as the asshole who directed PEARL HARBOR, but this time he hit the type of bump that means more to him: he made a movie that didn’t make very much money. In the U.S. I guess it only made $36 million, which would be enough for his monthly Lamborghini allowance but doesn’t even cover a third of the shooting budget. For comparison, PEARL HARBOR made $75 million on its opening weekend.

Of course I’m coming to it eight years and three TRANSFORMERSes later having heard of its growing reputation as Michael Bay’s Not As Bad Movie. So when I was looking for a dumb summer blockbuster to get me in a summer movie mood it leapt off the video store shelf into my cold, reluctant embrace. (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.

Furious 6

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

tn_furious6Ladies and gentlemen, the title is FURIOUS 6. They’ve been advertising it as FAST & FURIOUS 6, and every time I see that I think “if the last one was FAST FIVE then why can’t this be FURIOUS SIX?” Well, the actual movie says FURIOUS 6. And this is not the first time that the THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS series has come through for me. We’re family.

Director Justin Lin returns for his fourth and final installment, and I hope they gave him a hell of a gold watch. When he came along there was this one really enjoyable POINT BREAK ripoff and one ridiculous sequel and he had to follow up without the original cast or characters. The series was left for dead. But he did a great job with TOKYO DRIFT, then reunited Vin Diesel and Paul Walker for FAST AND FURIOUS, then brought back almost the entire team and added The Rock for FAST FIVE. With FURIOUS SIX he takes everything he learned from those movies and supercharges the engine and adds spoilers and shit. Having the whole team (minus Don Omar and Tego Calderon, plus Michelle Rodriguez) together isn’t a novelty the second time around, so to make up for that he kicks the action sequences into ridiculous new extremes. Which is saying alot in a FAST AND FURIOUS – have you seen these 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.

Stranglehold

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

tn_strangleholdThis week in my Daily Grindhouse column I check out STRANGLEHOLD, another Cirio H. Santiago picture. This one is from 1994 and stars Jerry Trimble, who you may know as the guy who fights Dolph in front of the welders in THE PACKAGE. It’s an UNDER SIEGE type scenario where delighted-with-himself terrorist Vernon Wells has taken over a chemical plant while Trimble was doing security for a visiting congresswoman.

Take a look.

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.

by the way, Nothing Lasts Forever is back in print

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

I meant to post about this months ago, but things came up or whatever. Just wanted to make sure everybody knows that Roderick Thorpe’s Nothing Lasts Forever, the long-out-of-print book that became DIE HARD, was re-released earlier this year by a company called Graymalkin Media. Of course I prefer the beautiful painted cover on the beat up version I bought on ebay long ago, but those got to be real pricey in recent years so I’m glad it has been made available again to the people.

For those who read electronic fake books instead of human ones there is a bonus, apparently the ebook includes Thorpe’s recently unearthed 11-page handwritten treatment for the book. So that’s probly pretty cool.

For a pretty in-depth book-to-movie comparison I wrote many years ago click here.


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.