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Potpourri 2049

Mr. Majestyk suggested a new post that everyone can respond to with their random business while the RECENT COMMENTS sidebar is broken. Good idea, so here it is. Have at it!

Happy New Year, everybody. I’ll have some good new shit for you after the holiday, I promise.

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.
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138 Responses to “Potpourri 2049”

  1. Wow, that was fast! That’s the kind of amazing customer service you get with an artisanal operation like Outlaw Vern.

    I’ll get this party started. Here are some movies I saw recently that I think are worth discussing:

    THE VILLAINESS: I didn’t think this one looked like much from the trailer but, goddamn, man, the action is some next-level shit. The story took a while to engage me, seeing as how it’s just the world’s 45th Xerox of LA FEMME NIKITA, but when the typically florid, operatic melodrama of Korean cinema kicked in at the end, I couldn’t help but get swept up in how far they were willing to take it. I’d started wondering exactly what the title meant (The title character is an anti-hero, at best) when the last shot made me realize I was watching an origin story. This one’s a must-see.

    WOLF WARRIOR II: I did not expect to love this one. My thoughts are collected on the actual review (http://outlawvern.com/2017/08/15/wolf-warrior-ii).

    KILLING GUNTHER: Not exactly a game-changer, but I got some chuckles out of it and I thought Arnold was great, bringing his old puckish shit-starter persona from PUMPING IRON out of mothballs. I even thought the found-footage angle was handled with more creativity than you’d expect. I especially liked when SPOILERS I GUESS the cameramen got killed and the rest of the fight was covered by the cameras they left lying around. It also makes me respect Tarran Killiam a lot more knowing that the could have chosen a safe romantic comedy for his directorial/starring debut and instead he saved up all his clout for a chance to fight Arnold Schwarzenegger. I admire that kind of life choice.

    MAYHEM: Very similar to THE BELKO EXPERIMENT (Your basic “BATTLE ROYALE meets OFFICE SPACE” situation) but the central appeal of the premise is very different. BELKO rubs your nose in the basic savagery of human nature, while MAYHEM celebrates it. It’s the one horror movie I’ve seen where I can say with 100% certainty that I would not be one of the good guys here. A disease that makes it impossible to restrain one’s pent-up rage? Shit, man, I got a hard enough time keeping the lid on that shit as is. I’d have been running around that building chopping heads off five minutes into the contamination. Also, the female lead, Samara Weaving (THE BABYSITTER [which I thought was great], ASH VS EVIL DEAD) might be my new favorite actress. She’s got balls, sass, a great conversationally wiseass delivery, and she’s clearly down for whatever madness a horror/action filmmaker can throw at her. I want to see her beat up more dudes.

    KINGSMAN 2: Clearly inferior to the original but nobody else is really doing this kind of MATRIX-y, cartoonish action anymore so I can’t say I didn’t get a kick out of it. It had some inventive set-pieces (even if none measured up to the church fight from the first one), an amazing (if largely underutilized cast), and a bit more heart than expected, even if it never completely hangs together and that unfortunate finger-banging scene is a travesty. I’d watch another one.

    I also watched the season’s two Christmas horror offerings, RED CHRISTMAS and BETTER WATCH OUT. My thoughts are here: (http://outlawvern.com/2017/12/19/better-watch-out/) and here: (http://outlawvern.com/2017/12/06/red-christmas/)

    Anyway, thanks again for the prompt response, Vern.

  2. i hope everyone saw coco, its an absolute joy.

  3. I only saw 11 movies, that came out in 2017. I doubt there will be any more new ones in front of my eyes until tomorrow, so I would rank them:

    1.)Todd & The Book OF Pure Evil: The End Of The End
    Disclaimer: I might be a bit biased, because I fucking love the TV show, which this is a wrap-up movie of, also I helped crowdfund it and an animated version of me appears in the movie. But except that this isn’t live action like the show was, it’s basically everything I hoped for: Lots of crazy comedy violence (which unfortunately has a bit less impact because it’s now a cartoon), hilarious vulgarity and a more than satisfying ending to the cliffhanger, that ended season 2.

    2) T2: Trainspotting
    I actually saw this movie creep up on some worst of the year lists, but I really have no idea why. Not just that I love the meta idea of making a late sequel that is basically about how toxic nostalgia can be, the whole thing resonated to me on a personal level, thanks to the shitty point in my life that I’m stuck at for years. The ending is a bit disappoiting and it doesn’t hold a candle to the masterpiece that is part 1, but I’m glad they didn’t fuck it up like all the other late revivals.

    3) Valerian & The City Of The Thousand Planets
    Pure unfiltered creative SciFi fun, that even doesn’t lose steam when it digresses into an overlong, unnecassary sidequest, that actually has no reason to be in the movie at all.

    4) John Wick: Chapter 2
    I was worried when I heard that it’s one of those sequels, that not just adds lots of shit to a perfectly streamlined movie, but also ends with a cliffhanger, but both the widened scope and the “See you next movie!” ending work perfect. Just like the rest of it. Nice to see how a movie can go full cartoony and ridiculous, but plays everything totally straight faced.

    5)El Bar
    There are only two kinds of Alex de la Iglesia movies: The masterpieces and the damn fucking good ones. This is a damn fucking good one, with a story, that isn’t too original, but always leaves you guessing where it goes next.

    6) Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2
    Just like with T2, I have no idea where the hate comes from. It is maybe a bit too “Let’s hang out have some fun”, after all it doesn’t have a real villain until almost 1 hour into the movie, but if you don’t like to have some good fun with brillant visuals and a bunch of great characters, you are an asshole.

    7) The Fate Of The Furious
    Yeah, I think it’s time to either wrap it up or bring back Justin Lin (or both). But the series still knows how to use its formula for maximum entertainment value.

    8) A Cure For Wellness
    Another one that creeped up on several worst of the year lists, but at least here I can see why. Not saying that they are right, but if you are not into classic European “mood and creepiness over logic” horrormovies, you will find not much to like in it. (Side note: I still hope that Dane DeHaan’s career will be over soon.)

    9) Security
    Just when I thought that they don’t make them like that anymore, they made one like that! Nothing special, but well made fun.

    10) Alien: Covenant
    Another really controversial one. Personally I like the weird, esoteric route that the series took, even if it’s build around an uncharismatic, only mildly talented, but super overrated actor. It definitely had one of the most intense horror moments of the year to offer.

    11) Boyka: Undisputed
    The cliched script held it down, but the great action and the character of Boyka still make it awesome. Would most likely be in my top 15, even if I had seen more new releases.

  4. Did anybody see Jumanji 2? Looked pretty dumb but I was a bit tickled that they seemed to go the unusual route of zeroing in on a weird side element of the original property instead of basically remaking it like most decades-late sequels tend to do. To wit: the detail that Robin Williams was trapped in the jungle for several decades, and his hilarious description of how insane it was (“I’ve seen things….that you can’t even see!”) made young renfield want to see a movie about people trapped in the jungle world.

    I haven’t heard great things though.

    As far as the year’s best films, LOGAN and BLADE RUNNER 2049 probably are my favorites at this point. GET OUT is up there. OKJA too. I’m seriously behind though, I mean there’s a new Malick, Aronofsky, del Toro, AND PTA that I haven’t seen…

  5. Amen Ron, on the love for Coco. I’ve been a little surprised to not see it pop up on more top 10 lists of critics this year. Maybe we just take Pixar for granted these days but I would rank this among their very best, if not the best. It was so warm, funny and emotional—the metaphor of the deceased disappearing from land of dead when no one alive remembers them was so beautiful and perfect. I wept openly at the end of this film. An absolute gem.

  6. I feel like you have to know which films I liked this year.

    Also, I side with those that liked Jedi without having seen it because of how much the haters of Jedi come across as such crybabies. It’s a movie, in the end, so it shouldn’t ruin your life as much as they are claiming. Just shit up and enjoy Beyond Skyline.

    Also, I’m on the opposite end of the spectrum to The Babysitter because I thought it was garbage but it’s not worth arguing about because I’m happy Mr. M enjoyed it.

  7. 24 HOURS TO LIVE surprised me with its quality. As for the best of 2017, BLADE RUNNER 2049 would be my pick.

  8. Mega Nic Cage as a Daddy Rage Zombie? Sold!

  9. Get Out, Logan, The Last Jedi and Mother! are the year’s theatrical releases that I feel strongly positive about. I remain very stoked for Phantom Thread, too.

  10. Hmm.

    What I liked: GET OUT, KONG, ALIEN COVENANT, WIND RIVER, THE LAST JEDI, BOYKA.

    Playing contrarian, things I didn’t like: AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE, GOTG2.

    SPLIT was a good watch, but I think the **SPOILER** tie-in to the UNBREAKABLE universe limited its punch a bit. It felt like fan service and universe-building at the expense of the main film.

    SPIDER-MAN HOMECOMING was pretty good, but also pretty forgettable. A workmanlike and fairly bland entry, for my money. Except for Ned: “guy in the chair!”

    Older things I caught for the first time: HAIL CAESAR, BROOKLYN, and THE ACCOUNTANT were all good.

    Thing I haven’t been able to muster the enthusiasm to see: WONDER WOMAN.

    Things I will muster the enthusiasm to see eventually: ATOMIC BLOND, VALERIAN.

    Highly recommending again, plus, there is a sequel coming out or already out: CREEP.

  11. The movie I most prosleytised about this year was Train to Busan

    which was actually released in 2016 so what the fuck am I talking about?

  12. I was also pretty unimpressed with THE AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE. Nothing really too good done with the premise, which seemed a bit promising at first.

    SPLIT was okay, but kind of bullshitty towards the end, and the unnecessary universe building at the end was just weird and groan-worthy.

    KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS… disappointing. I barely remember any of it. Why spend this much time and money on such an uninspired story?

    BLADE RUNNER 2049, which I was kind of dreading would nullify the flawed brilliance of the original, defied expectations and was fucking fantastic. Time will tell if it holds up on multiple viewings, but I think it will.

  13. Awwww, I loved Autopsy of Jane Doe. Too bad you guys weren’t on the same wavelength with it as myself.

  14. I watched both The Babysitter and Mayhem tonight, enjoyed both of them — and I agree with Majestyk, Samara Weaving is a star.

  15. Wait, KUBO was disappointing and uninspired?

    I don’t get that.

    I thought it was beautiful and moving.
    Easily the best non/Disney/Pixar animated joint of the past several years.

  16. That MOM & DAD movie reminded me of a script named LADIES NIGHT, that Stuart Gordon enthusiastically talked about over 10 years ago. In that one all women suddenly turned into crazy psychos, who started viciously killing every man for one night. Don’t know why it never got made (Too expensive? Too violent? Fear of misogyny accusations? Too similar to all those other stories about a group of people suddenly turning into killers, that came out around that time?), but I was very excited for that.

  17. I’m 90% sure I already showed this one to you, but here is a German new years tradition.

    This is a sketch named DINNER FOR ONE, which somehow became over the years a huge phenomenon, that traditionally runs on December 31st on a million German TV channels every single year. Nobody can really explain why. I mean, it’s pretty funny, but shit moves in mysterious ways sometimes.

    The basic setup, which normally is explained at the beginning of the sketch (together with the meaning of the English phrases that are spoken, because English wasn’t that common in Germany back then), but is omitted from the YouTube versions, is this: Ms Sophie, a rich, old lady, celebrates her 90th birthday. She used to do it with all her friends, but unfortunately she is the last woman standing. So her butler has to play the roles of every single dinner guest, while also fulfilling his butler duties.

    That’s all. Here we go.

    Dinner for one oder der 90. Geburtstag von Miss Sophie

    Dinner for one oder der 90. Geburtstag von Miss Sophie; das Original!!!

  18. Doghouse has a similar plot to Ladies Night.

    I was seeing a woman talk on Twitter that she had never seen a scene like the No Man’s Land sequence in Wonder Woman and it had given her goosebumps. My first reaction was “has she never seen a female action scene before” Then I was thinking that as a white guy I could never get that feeling about any movie. Then I thought about Atomic Blonde and males me wonder if it was because Wonder Woman was in control the whole time without a man hurting her.

    Anyway it’s a weird time to be a white guy in America.

  19. BLADE RUNNER 2049, ALIEN COVENANT, T2, BOYKA, LOGAN, BABY DRIVER, WONDER WOMAN and THE LAST JEDI are all on my list. But as usual, the best movie I saw this year was THE WILD BUNCH.

    CJ, DINNER FOR ONE is a yearly tradition here too. But it’s aired on the 23rd. Funny thing that it’s such a big deal in Deutschland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Schweiz, and completely unknown elsewhere.

  20. CJ, apparently Dinner for One is also a huge thing in Sweden!

    The weirdest part is that it is completely unknown in Britain. Unless you’re a dedicated cinema historian or you have German friends or relatives.

    I’ve seen very few films this year, especially from the action end of the street. XXX3 is probably my surprise pick of the bunch as it seemed to pick up some of the straight-faced lunacy which FF8 fumbled.

  21. Oh, and a Happy New Year to everyone!

  22. Happy New Year, everybody!

    Here’s my Top 10 of a good movie year, etc.

    1) Your Name. (Makoto Shinkai)

    The title is about as bad as if the title were Add Title, but this time-and-gender swapping teen romance exhibits a visual flair (I don’t know how “eye-popping” is defined, except it’s this movie) and understanding of shared human longing that’s missing from most of contemporary culture’s status quo naval gazing. Your Name.’s Optimistic Pop Melancholia is anything but nondescript.

    2) Okja (Bong Joon-ho)

    Fine, it’s vegetarian agitprop. Yet the miracle of Bong Joon-ho’s film about the clash of innocence with corruption (about a young girl attempting to rescue her bioengineered superpig best friend from becoming packaged meat) is its ability to frame ideology as both humanist argument and startling fantasy thriller. It risks spectacle and plunges into tragedy.

    3) My Life As a Zucchini (Claude Barras)

    This French-Swiss stop-motion animation about unloved children plumbs dark subtext (one character memorably quips that his parents “went completely nuts”—a kid movie side-admission as jolting as Babe: Pig in the City’s “My owner tied me in a bag and throwed me in the water”), but it’s My Life as a Zucchini’s delicacy, joy, queer-inclusivity, and bright bold colours that triumph.

    4) Blade Runner 2046 (Denis Villeneuve)

    Rather than repeating Ridley Scott’s hugely influential future-noir aesthetic, Denis Villeneuve takes it to its broken down endpoint, where a predatory social order (holographic women-playthings are mass produced and potential-Replicants better show their damn birth certificates) navigates a billboard-prison dustbowl. Blade Runner 2049 gets tripped up on blockbuster-overplotting, but is a more emotional experience than the original, rendering complaints that it’s too “cold” especially suspect.

    5) Before I Fall (Ry Russo-Young)

    The most maddeningly reviewed American movie of the year. This is both a result of critics’ unwillingness to take teenage (especially teen girls (especially POPULAR teen girls)) emotional reckoning seriously when removed from camp artifice, and cultural dismissiveness of “kindness” as a virtue worthy of artistic focus, even in an epoch as dark as this one. Before I Fall uses the Groundhog Day template to clever, philosophic and humane ends evaded by the pointless Happy Death Day.

    6) Maudie (Aisling Walsh)

    Creativity as nourishment, and ultimately survival, in an intimate folk artist portrait.

    7) The Villainess (Jung Byung-gil)

    Listen man, it has an opening first person perspective shootout that eclipses the one in Strange Days, and there’s an axe fight on a speeding bus where a dude is thrown out the door and onto an adjacent police car. It barely matters that I found the plot too convoluted to follow half the time.

    8) The Shape of Water (Guillermo Del Toro)

    On top of her difficult, felt Maudie performance, Sally Hawkins pretty much owns this whole year. The Shape of Water’s simple conceit excels at selling its more potentially ridiculous audience demands (like Hawkins’ decision to fuck an anthropomorphic lizard) and makes them feel not just like a natural course of events, but earned.

    9) Twin Peaks: The Return Episode 8

    This TV episode is better than any “movie” I saw this year, however, it’s still officially a TV episode so it can’t be number one. The most abstract installment of the new Twin Peaks serves as an alternative creation myth about aberration.

    10) Black Mirror: San Junipero

    This is also TV. I’m a little jealous of this script.

    Runners up:
    Girls Trip, Coco, Kong: Skull Island, Logan Lucky, Get Out, The Beguiled, I Am Not Your Negro, Lady Bird, Wonder Woman

    Not yet released, but recommended:
    Bodied, Black Cop, The Crescent

    Underrated:
    Before I Fall, Ghost in the Shell, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

  23. A bit more than 3 hours of 2017 left over here. I will spare you another chapter of CJ’s crappy life, especially in a year was bad enough for everybody with a heart or a brain, but let’s just say: FUCK YOU, 2017!

  24. Also I had to look up BEFORE I FALL and it turns out just yesterday I saw the DVD cover of that movie. I remember it, because I was endlessly annoyed by its German title:

    “Wenn du stirbst, zieht dein ganzes Leben an dir vorbei, sagen sie”
    (When you die, your life passes you by, they say)

    It most likely isn’t too bad in context of the movie, but it’s a title, that even the most headiest, pseudo-intellectual German arthouse filmmaker would be ashamed of. Not to mention that it’s kinda weird to say in a conversation.

    “What’s your favourite movie?”
    “Wenn du stirbst, zieht dein ganzes Leben an dir vorbei, sagen sie”
    “Well, I like Frozen.”

  25. I can’t remember all the movies I saw this year but Boyka was the best movie of 2017 and Logan Lucky was easily the worst. The most fun I had at the theater was the newest XXX.

    A few that I’ve watched recently:

    The Protector – I somehow hadn’t watched this since it first came out and I did NOT remember how amazing it is. Everyone talks about the long tracking shot – which is fucking incredible – but the warehouse fight with the rollerbladers, etc might be just as good. Tony Jaa is mindblowing. Also, I just found out there was a sequel to this that I need to see now.

    Ong Bak – I’ve seen this quite a few times but one thing that I finally realized this time after reading Vern’s review – Vern has mentioned “Dirty Balls” a few times and I never knew idea what he was talking about. My dvd subtitles just call him Humlae throughout.

    Merantau – I watched Raid 1&2 and then this one, so it was slow as shit for the first hour or so but gets really good after that. Vern’s review says it is OK but not a classic like Ong Bak. I would disagree after watching them close together. Ong Bak is still better but Merantau is pretty classic. And the Protector blows them both away.

    Dragons Forever – terrible movie but ends with a really great fight. I find a lot of Jackie Chan movies to be like this. I also realize that there are a ton of Jackie Chan movies that I haven’t seen before.

    Fist of Legend – Loved this one and realized that there are also a TON of Jet Li movies that I’ve never seen. Like practically all of them, so feel free to make recommendations. I’m going to start with Once Upon a Time in China.

    CB4 – I had this sitting around forever and never watched it. I actually liked it a lot but nowhere near as much as FEAR OF A BLACK HAT.

    Best TV Shows that I saw in 2017:
    1-3. Tie between Game of Thrones/Narcos/The Leftovers
    4. Nathan for You
    5. American Gods
    6. Feud
    7. Crazy Ex Girlfriend
    8. American Vandal
    9. Jean Claude Van Johnson
    10. Peaky Blinders
    11. The Deuce

  26. Watched Bad Santa 2 the other night. And it wasn’t very good but it was interesting.

    For starters, it picked up on something that I always appreciated about the first movie: that it was, at least momentarily, pretty sexy. When Billy Bob Thornton pulls on Lauren Graham’s panties with his teeth? Erotic in a real way that I don’t think we see enough of. It builds on this by being fucking smutty as hell, which I kind of appreciated.

    More importantly, it helped me notice just how little backstory they gave the main character in the original movie. Which, as a criminal badass (albeit a fall down drunk one), is a classic move. Unfortunately, the way th

  27. Bad Santa stole the rest of Ancient Romans’ post.

  28. at the sequel pointed this out to me was by giving Willie way too much backstory. We learn so damn much about his upbringing, including that he was homeschooled. And it makes the character who, by virtue of being played by Billy Bob Thornton is already white trash, into a pathetic, My Name Is Earl cartoon-level white trash dirtball. It undermined the essential dignity of a nihilistic drunk who pisses himself.

    And they tie it into his Santa act in a way that I would respect if it weren’t for how much it undercut what I liked about the character. Because that – to me, now, having seen the sequel – is what I liked about the first one: it’s a Christmas comedy, but it’s also a crime movie centered around a professional thief navigating their latest caper. After that awesome, late 90s boom of Elmore Leonard adaptations, to take that and set it at Christmas is a fun novelty. (Also, you know, having Terry Zwigoff at the helm doesn’t hurt.)

    Granted, a Bad Santa sequel has to be set at Christmas, but a sequel about this character wouldn’t have to be Christmas-themed. You can crack a safe at any time of year, against any backdrop. And, while I was never going to get a Willie Soke sequel that ditches the Santa suit, they tie it so intrinsically into his character that his entire criminal career has, apparently, been built on pulling Christmas-related jobs and cons. I was left thinking, well, maybe he doesn’t do any non-yuletide crimes?

    Anyway, my wish for next Christmas would be a Bad Santa 3 (that is at least better than the second one) or, more realistically, a joint review of Bad Santa 1 and 2’s crime elements and a proper breakdown of Willie Soke’s role as a colorful Starkian/Leonardian criminal, since Vern could do a much better job of it than I did here.

    Happy New Year, everybody!

  29. ron, Chuck:

    100% agreed on Coco. great movie

    Vern:

    see it, review it. it’s worth it

  30. happy things and whatevers y’all. this place remained, as always, a shimmering oasis in a toxic dump site of a year. thank you to vern and everyone on this site for striving for excellence and refusing to be Ellis.

    i’m a sucker for year-end lists and always look forward to seeing what y’all dug on, and tried to dig the fuck away from, each year.

    to that end:

  31. happy things and whatevers to y’all. this place remained, as always, a shimmering oasis in a toxic dump site of a year. thank you to vern for making holes in the dark ground and putting fires in them so the rest of us could continue to follow along and thank you to everyone on this site for striving for excellence and trying their best not to be Ellis.

    i’m a sucker for year-end lists and always look forward to seeing what y’all dug on, and tried to dig the fuck away from, over the last twelve months.

    to that end…

    joint(s) i loved the most: THE BLACKCOAT’S DAUGHTER/TWIN PEAKS THE RETURN EPISODE 8

    some other joints i loved in no particular order:
    ALIEN COVENANT
    JOHN WICK 2
    EVOLUTION
    THE RED TURTLE
    XXX 3
    CURE FOR WELLNESS
    BEATRIZ AT DINNER
    KILLING OF A SACRED DEER
    CALL ME BY YOUR NAME
    AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE

    joint i loathed the most: HOUNDS OF LOVE

    some other joints i absolutely despised:
    PERSONAL SHOPPER
    BERLIN SYNDROME
    RAW
    BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99
    THE BAD BATCH
    GHOST STORY
    MOTHER!

  32. it wouldn’t be the start of a fresh new year if i, for reasons which i will never fully understand, somehow logged a comment i was still working on before it was close to being finished and without actually ever leaving the original reply box page. sorry everyone.

  33. oh shit! also, fuck, i cannot believe i forgot to include these two:

    absolutely fucking loved: huge, huge shoutout to the NATHAN FOR YOU season four finale FINDING FRANCES

    absolutely fucking loathed: GOOD TIME

    sorry again for the massive comment dump. i’ll be the first to admit that the start to my 2018 on here has been ever so slightly bumpy.

  34. HALLSY, LOGAN LUCKY was pure gold! What are you talking about?

  35. I just asked in the TLJ comments where all the fighter pilot movies have gone.

    If I had watched THE WILD BUNCH this year, it would certainly have topped my list. After discussion in the CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON review commentary I did go on a King Hu rewatch kick, and DRAGON INN is way up my list. Even if the violence is not as real in wuxia as in, say, IP MAN, the jeopardy is.

    VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS is only going to keep on getting better with rewatching, though I wish EuropaCorp had made more money with it.

    Similarly, the opening car chase from JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2 is a thing of real beauty. And hey, Buster Keaton!

    But my favourite movie this year was the German stalker-dad dramedy TONI ERDMANN. As practical effects go, full frontal nudity is still incredibly powerful when used like this.

  36. And there isn’t a lot of movies – like THE WILD BUNCH – that holds up after bring watched several times a year since the invention of VHS. IT and BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL are also recommended.

  37. I watched LE CERCLE ROUGE over the weekend, and was quite taken with it. It’s my first Melville and looking forward to more. I’m also hoping to watch a lot more on Filmstruck, and more recent indie fare.

    But overall not a lot of movies for me in 2017, much more into music. I got the huge 50th Anniversary SGT. PEPPER’S box, and slowly making my way through that now. Also got my first turntable for Christmas, which coincided with me inheriting my dad’s LP collection. I have a 3rd of it now, hoping to get the rest real soon. Have to admit there’s a lot of questionable taste, but also some choices that really shocked me, like Hendrix’s BAND OF GYPSYS. I bought that because it was the only Hendrix title on Columbia House at the time, and I got into it quite a bit.

    I could ramble on and on, but I’ll leave you guys with a song that I heard the other night, that really summed up a lot of what I felt in 2017, and maybe indicative of what I see over the next 365 days. I managed to share this with the guy who sings the song on Twitter, who in turn gave me his appreciation with a “like”. Say what you will about modern technology, but that small gesture was a nice way to ring out an awful year.

  38. Guys, the previous potpourri threads are amongst the best internet discussion groups ever conceived. Don’t fuck this up. Be Toy Story 3, not Godfather 3.

    #fingerscrossed

  39. Glad to see the love for Alien Covenant. I think it plays as a companion piece to John Logan’s’ excellent stage play RED, about Rothko and his assistant working on a series of hackish, for-hire paintings. Not a huge fan of Logan’s film work, generally, but he’s a hellava playwrite.

  40. I just finished VIER GEGEN DIE BANK, Wolfgang Petersen’s first movie since POSEIDON and his first German one since DAS BOOT. And let’s just say that whatever movie you think was Petersen’s worst, it’s definitely not as bad as this one. It’s like he lost every competence and joy, either by not working for 10 years or having to work with the German film industry again. Or maybe he tried to pull a Paul Verhoeven and shot a completely straight faced parody of modern German cinema, by doing exactly what da haters, who would never watch a German movie in the first place, think what a German movie is like.

    The only good thing about it is Antje Traue. I remember that even the biggest haters of MEN OF STEEL praised her as one of the few highlights of that movie and after watching VIER GEGEN DIE BANK, it seems like she has a natural talent for positively standing out in shitty movies.

  41. Happy New Years, everyone!

    I saw 24 HOURS TO LIVE last night and liked it. I posted a spoiler heavy comment over on it, in case anyone cares. I didn’t know whether I should post here, or in the comments of the actual movie I wanted to comment on, but for posterity, I went with the original movie.

    24 Hours to Live

    24 HOURS TO LIVE is a new VOD movie (theatrical in L.A. and New York starting December 1) that could be described as Ethan Hawke's JOHN WICK. Not that it's a very similar story, or a martial arts movie, but it has action beyond the modern standards, takes place in a world of elite killers, and has some un-self-conscious absurdity in its basic premise that's grounded in very effective, heartfelt emotions. I guess this means they don't consider Hawke and Rutger Hauer big enough names to sell an action movie in wide release these days, but it doesn't at all

  42. Hate to be a Debbie Downer but any thoughts on the fact that Seagal has been outed as a scumbag in recent months?

  43. None. It doesn’t surprise me. He’s weird as hell.

  44. Maybe everyone we’ve ever heard of is a scumbag. Maybe you have to be a scumbag to get famous. Or maybe being famous makes you into a scumbag. Or maybe everyone is a scumbag if you look at them in the right light. I know I try to live my life in an honest, honorable way, but there are probably those who would call me a scumbag. And I wouldn’t refute it.

    I take the ‘the most important thing to know is how little you really know’/’I don’t really know anything at all’ approach to life, but it lately feels like I know even less than I thought I did.

    Maybe I was right when I was a teenager and just thought that life sucked and that’s all there is to it. I feel like I’ve come a long way since then. Maybe I’m wrapping back around?

  45. We’re all imperfect, but there are some people out there who are not scumbags. I know some people who haven’t disappointed me yet. Seagal’s reputation as an egomaniac a d shitheel goes pretty far back, and this seems like part of the pattern. None of this takes anything from Seagology as a field of study (perhaps it only adds richness and layers), but it’s not surprising.

  46. Nobody’s perfect and we all make mistakes, the key is to as Vern says “strive for excellence”, know what your flaws are and work hard not to give into them as much as you can.

    I’ve been pretty freaked out by all this sexual harassment stuff that’s been going on around as I myself am not perfect when it comes to my attitude about women, I’ve been guilty of objectifying women, I like to think if I was in a Seagal or Weinstein’s shoes I wouldn’t have done the same things, would have tried to be a gentleman but I’m also a horny bastard and if I was in a position of power could I resist the temptation to abuse it?

    I don’t think women really quite understand how brutally intense the male sex drive can be and it’s dirty laundry is getting aired, it’s embarrassing and I also feel bad for any woman who has had a negative encounter with it.

  47. I imagine that given the fact that virtually every woman will at some point in her life become subject to the consequences of that “brutally intense male sex drive”, they understand it just fine.

  48. I’m watching a Kung Fu trailer bluray and Ric Myer is doing the commentary and he does a quick documentary. Even though Bey Logan is a piece of cheap at least we have Ric Myers to give us the Kung Fu movie information.

  49. Happy New Year, everyone!

    renfield – no, they don’t think it is just fine. That was the whole point last year. Check out Time cover magazine man of the year.

    Stu – Most White men in America voted for a racist Russian agent as a president just because they didn’t want woman as a president or hated the first black president because the skin of his color so they should feel weird. They should feel weird for destructing their own society. Also think of how minorities and women feel with Trump high fiving the Ku Klax Klan fucks and other racist shit like that every day. Now, that’s weird.

  50. el loco, I believe you misread my post.

    I caught up with THE SHAPE OF WATER tonight and it’s great stuff, but why isn’t there more discussion about how this is actually a stealth Hellboy sidequel?

  51. renfield -Okay, I guess you are right. about Shape of Water too. Also, it would have been cool if the sticked with del Toro for one more Hellboy and not be so greedy…

  52. Every time a group takes a stance media pretends to be shocked. If there’s a revolution or uprising they act as if it has come out of the blue, even if the whole world knew that the population were oppressed and mistreated. When it comes to #metoo it seems like “everyone” knew. Let’s hope we have time to do some real changes before the counter attack starts. Getting rid of these pricks can’t be wrong. If they acted like this towards women, you just know that they’ve been bastards in other areas too.

    Harald Zwart’s new movie – 12TH MAN – looks like it’s going to be a huge success here in Norway. I haven’t seen it yet, but the story has been filmed before and is well known over here.

  53. Griff, I’ve been telling you this shit for years. I eventually gave up. Every time you talk about a woman, you do it in a gross and objectifying way. And now you’re scared. Well, good. BE SCARED. It might be the only thing that’ll change your behavior.

    And don’t give me that “brutally intense male sex drive” crap. That’s just an excuse. All of us here except Maggie have the same hormones and the same equipment and we manage to mostly be gentlemen. Despite having wieners, we were able to make choices about our behavior. So did you and so did all these harassers, abusers, assaulters, and rapists. If you don’t want to feel scared anymore, start making better choices.

  54. Oh shit, commenter’s regret. I’m not trying to get up on my high horse, even though I apparently carry the step stool around with me at all times just in case. I didn’t even want to get into all this 2017: The Dumpster Fire That Was stuff. What else are we really bringing to that mess? I just wanted to talk about THE VILLAINESS and shit.

  55. My point is just that we should all be better. I should stop being such a scold when I know everybody is just doing their best with the hand they’ve been dealt. Griff should stop thinking the world thinks it’s important to know which talented female professionals make his wiener tingle. El loco needs to break up with the STAR WARS franchise before the relationship ends in murder-suicide. Vern needs to Write a book about someone who isn’t a sex-trafficking traitor to his country and people. We all have a long road ahead of us. I’ll try and be more encouraging of all our journeys in the future.

  56. I saw the VILLAINESS yesterday and holy crap it was awesome. I basically have no idea what was happening with the plot but that motorcycle swordfight was unreal.

  57. Happy New Year to everyone here – 2018 is going to be great, and to stay in line with my resolution to be more grateful and quit being so negative, I’ll offer up another shout out to Vern and this website for bringing us together. Not to sound corny, but you guys all feel like the brothers (or distant cousins) I never had, warts and all, and I’m glad we all have a place to have (mostly) civil film discussion without jumping down each other’s throats (mostly).

    Best 2017 Franchise Watch – Finally watched every Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Was legitimately shocked that I kinda loved them all except the two Platinum Dunes ones. There’s just something almost experimental about 1-4’s dreamlike repetition, hitting the same beats in slightly different ways, yet at the same time picking and choosing what to keep and what to jettison from previous installments. Yes, I’m sure I’ve complained about continuity in X-Men movies and repetition in Star Wars movies, so I don’t know why I’m giving these films a pass, so sue me. Next Generation has an all-time MEGA performance by McConoughey, and Texas Chainsaw 3D is way, way ahead of its time with the direction its story takes (I believe Vern tweeted a comparison to The Last Jedi which is surprisingly accurate). I’ll say more about Leatherface if Vern reviews it, but it’s definitely an interesting approach to the story and my main complaint (it kinda didn’t need to be a Texas Chainsaw movie) is solved by a watching of 3D which ties it to the rest of the series in a surprisingly neat way.

    Biggest Disappointment of 2017 – F8 of the Furious. Confirms my theory that the Furious movies are the anti-Star Trek, with the odd number ones being the good ones and the even number ones being the bad ones (even though everyone except for me seems to love part 6). It’s just bloated and tired, inching the series one step closer to the Transformers franchise, and the weird casual dismissal of Han undercuts the entire FAMILY message these movies won’t shut the fuck up about. The much ballyhooed Rock/Statham pairing is nothing we haven’t seen done before better in a dozen different movies – the way people seem excited for their spin-off reminds me of that brief period of about a year where people liked Die Another Day and were excited for that Jinx spin-off we never got.

    Best 2017 Double Feature came at the very end, when I had an unintentional pairing of Avatar (finally got my hands on an old 3D TV just to watch Texas Chainsaw, believe it or not) and mother!. Full thoughts will be posted on those pages soon, but it’s amazing how different and similar they are at the same time. There’s obvious thematical similarities re: environmentalism, humans are shit, etc.., but they both also feel like filmmaking miracles – writer/director auteurs given carte blanche by big studios to speak earnestly from the heart, both are practically stagebound and confined to one “set” indoors, both have amazing, head-scratching technical wizardry to beef up deceptively rich stories where the simplistic metaphors are actually a strength and not a weakness. Oh and everyone seems to hate both of these movies which is too bad because I’m still thinking about them days later. May any movie in 2018 be half this good, and it’ll be a good year.

  58. I’m not joining MAJESTYK on his high horse, but I think I’m equipped with a fairly good moral compass, and I wouldn’t even think of saying or doing anything remotely like your Weinsteins or your Hoffmans have. And further more I don’t know anyone that would. So, who are these guys?!

  59. Crushinator Jones

    January 2nd, 2018 at 11:40 am

    Happy New Year, guys. It’s going to be a garbage year but you’re all peaches.

  60. Mr. Majestyk – I’m not scared, when did I say I was scared? I have never done anything to be scared of what’s going on, what are you trying to imply?

    Also, from what I remember I made a single comment about Elizabeth Hurley years ago that got me in hot water, what’s this “Every time” shit?

    Sorry to sound real defensive but I don’t appreciate being dragged through the mud like that.

  61. Happy 2018 Verniacs!

  62. Sorry, Griff, that was harsh. I felt remorse the second I hit send. Nothing you’ve ever said is actionable in itself. It’s just little things that build up over the years that paint a picture of you and your view of women. We’ve discussed your fear of feminists taking away your shit, and now your first thought about a bunch of rapists and assholes finally getting their comeuppance is to be “freaked out” (sorry for the misquote) about maybe that happening to you. You got some issues with women is what I’m saying, so maybe it’s good that your attitudes are being challenged by the current purge. I got no right to son you like that, though, and I apologize.

    Man, I really wish we had more women around here.

  63. How do we know that there aren’t a whole bunch of them around?!

  64. They don’t really count if they never share their point of view.

    Lurking ladies! Please tell us how you feel about cinema and society and shit! I’m so fucking sick of hearing myself talk!

  65. You know that the TV & film industry’s bizarre distaste for intelligent people is truly out of control, when even Gyro Gearloose is in the new DUCK TALES series one of those arrogant asshole geniuses. It’s like SCORPION is the only show, that doesn’t portray a high IQ as something, that makes you evil and should be feared by us mortals of average intellect.

  66. On a lighter note: I’m laughing so hard at some of the stuff in this self-proclaimed “worst mixtape of all time”!

    WRONG

    The worst records for the worst year on record.

    As a final F**K YOU to 2016 we tried to gather together the most awful music we could find, in order to create the WORST MIXTAPE OF ALL TIME.

    In fact,

  67. ‘So long 2015, you hustlin sonofabitch’ seems so long ago…

  68. Mr. Majestyk – Apology accepted.

    What “freaks me out” is not because of anything personal but just because it’s upsetting stuff in general, like with Dustin Hoffman for example, I used to really like him.

    The last 4 years have taught me that America is a far worse place than I thought it was and it’s been one huge fucking bummer, to say the least.

  69. It’s probably unfeasible for copyright reasons, but I would like it if some producer (Adi Shankar?) were to finance a series of reasonably budgeted rip-offs of famous movies. Like, hire S. Craig Zahler to direct an off-brand Punisher movie where he’s a cop, not a soldier, and there’s no skull shirt but otherwise, it’s The Punisher. But you use The Punisher to comment on militarization of the police force, insulated police culture, police brutality. Maybe he doesn’t even have a tragedy that he’s revenging, he’s just a brutal psychopath, the worst ‘bad apple’ unrestrained by procedure, jurisdiction, or civil rights.

    Or a riff on Con Air, directed by I-forget-who. (I actually think it might have been Zahler, but I had this idea yesterday and can’t remember anything beyond ‘deliberate Con Air rip-off’.)

  70. Damn, I tried to watch one of my older DVDs today and it cracked when I put it in the Playstation. Is this a common thing with older discs? It’s the second time for me.

  71. pegsman – Oh man, i’ve never had a DVD crack while playing it. Then again, my Playstation 2 started making horrible scraping noises when playing DVD’s a few years ago, it’s quite possible they spin the discs harder or something. I hope it wasn’t a rare disc!

    Vaguely related potpourri question – how is everyone’s movie-buying habits these days? I’ll be the first to admit I’m one of those guys whose Blu-ray collection is almost the exact same as his DVD collection. (and often the same as his VHS collection). And then I get into the pickle of not wanting to sell/donate the DVD because most of my friends don’t have a Blu-Ray player and they might want to borrow my movie one day, and I can’t get rid of the VHS for sentimental reasons. Which is why I have Die Hard, Aliens, Predator, etc… 3 times over. Also I just realized I have Alien(1) on Vudu so I have that movie 4 times over. (And no, I’m too paranoid to ever let digital copies ever replace my physical copies, even though that would do wonders for my clutter situation at home). Have you guys taken the plunge to digital? Do you still buy new movies? I think the most recent movie I’ve bought is John Wick 1, and I’ve re-watched it exactly once to prepare for John Wick 2.

  72. It was in fact TWO MULES FOR SISTER SARA. I had an urge to rewatch it after Vern’s review. Now I’ve ordered it on blu-ray.

    If you’re into older movies, like me, you more or less have to buy them on dvd/blu-ray. And if they break you buy them again in a newer format. That’s the circle of life.

  73. I still buy movies. In fact: I bought way too many for myself last month and would’ve bought some more this year already, if I had the money. (There was a bureaucratic hiccup and I currently didn’t get any money at all this months, but that should be fixed in the next few days.)

    I still buy more DVDs than Blu-ray’s though. My switch from a DVD to a Blu-Ray player wasn’t planned (My DVR broke and they apparently don’t make any DVD recorders anymore. Either hard drive only, which is a no-no for a collector and archiver like me, or with a Blu-Ray player.) and I’m still not 100% convinced of it. (I will most likely never own a TV that’s bigger than 32″, so any real HD improvement is lost on me, except when it’s a live event on TV or a cartoon.)

    My Blu-Ray buying rules are:

    – No double dipping, unless it’s a really good upgrade! (Like when the DVD wasn’t anamorph. Just being now in HD and/or having some new bonus features doesn’t count.)

    – When it’s a movie, that might be watched with the whole family one day, get it on DVD. (Maybe there will be a day when we all have Blu-Rays players, but until then I really don’t wanna carry mine from room to room, just to watch one movie. The HDMI plugs of our TVs are a bitch of a motherfucker to reach!)

    – If the Blu-Ray is cheaper than the DVD, which doesn’t happen often, but does happen from time to time, like during Amazon sales, get the Blu-Ray, unless rule #2 applies.

    I’m not sure if I would ever buy a digital file. Maybe when there is no other way anymore, but so far, physical media refuses to die. What keeps me away from it, is that DRM is still omnipresent in the digital video world and I have no idea what would happen to my digital movies, if for example a studio has legal trouble with Google or Amazon and decides to pull their stuff from there. Would my bought copy disappear too? The only digital ones that I own are Luhrmann’s ROMEO & JULIET, which was the most interesting they had to offer from their “Buy 2 cans of Pringles, get one movie for free” action a while ago and some Ultraviolet or whatever it’s called copies that came with the physical copies.

    And even if I still buy a shit ton of movies, I’m not really a blind buyer anymore. These days I’m more a blind-from-Pay-TV-recorder, but now that I have over 700 unwatched movies in my collection, I consider to quit my subscription. Also there are so many movies in my collection, that I only watched once, so I’m starting to think that it might not be worth it anymore.

    Then on the other hand, it’s more or less the only hobby that I have, that really is ME! Movies are my life! I could quit biking or DJing or writing and it wouldn’t really hurt that much. But collecting movies? Nope, that’s something that I do since more than 20 years, that I was already known for in school, that even my mother acknowledged as something that I love and that fills me with joy.

  74. Random observation: Blu-Ray still seems to have trouble to fully take off, hasn’t it? Yeah, the Blu-Ray corners in stores seem to be much bigger than the DVD shelfs, but I still know only very few people who actually have a Blu-Ray player. (That might of course just be the case in my personal bubble.) Not to mention that blank discs still seem to be damn expensive and even more pricey computers most of the time have only DVD drives.

  75. The Blu-ray box I just ordered to replace TWO MULES FOR SISTER SARA also contains COOGAN’S BLUFF, THE BEGUILED, BREEZY, PLAY MISTY FOR ME, THE EIGER SANCTION, JOE KIDD and HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER, none of which I own in that format. And the price is the same as for TWO MULES FOR SISTER SARA alone.

  76. One of the things I bought last month, was the Fast & Furious 7 movie Blu-Ray box, because it was cheaper than the DVD version or the 8 movie box. Even now that I have to buy part 8 (and the other parts) extra, I still safe a lot of money.

  77. I mostly only buy blurays if they are like special editions, remastered. Arrow Video, Masters of Cinema and the like. Those are worth purchasing as those releases can never be found on streaming sites and certainly not over here. I´d be pretty stunned if FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE would show up on Netflix Sweden.

  78. I’ve never had a DVD crack like that but all my older ones are scratched to shit. I popped Die Hard in just before Ex Miss and it was skipping like crazy.

    I am the same as CJ – I buy lots of DVDs and generally only get Blu Ray if it is cheaper. And I never buy a Blu Ray that I already have on DVD.

    I would prefer to stream/rent more but unfortunately Netflix is the only real option for that here. So I do end up torrenting from time to time and do not feel bad about it. I mean, I would prefer to pay to watch movies but a lot of times that option is just not available to me. In some cases, I get the DVD later when I am traveling, especially for VOD stuff that I want to support.

    I finally saw BONE TOMAHAWK last night. It was pretty damned good.

  79. Why are your DVDs scratched like that? Except for the ones that I bought used, all my CDs and DVDs are in top condition! I have CDs that I bought over 20 years ago, without one single fingerprint on the back!

  80. I’ve always taken good care of my dvds, but my PlayStation has killed two of them now.

  81. I never had that problem with any of my Playstations. Perhaps it´s a Norwegian issue.

  82. I dunno, it’s probably because I don’t keep the cases and just put them all in a book. They must get scratched when they go in/out of the book.

  83. 1. If you have an HD TV and don’t have a blu ray player, what’s a matter with you?

    2. I’ve found I don’t rewatch movies like I used to. I used to buy any movie I saw in the theater I really liked but then I realized I have all this media, no space, and I’m never watching it. I only have a couple of things I would buy on blu ray

    a) I’m collecting all John Carpenter movies on blu ray/DVD (if that’s all that is available)
    b) anything I grew up watching where I’ve never seen the film in its original aspect ratio.
    c) a wrestling DVD if it’s super rare stuff I can’t get on the WWE network or njpwworld.com. I spend all that money on video games now.

  84. Above a few people brought up the fact that Seagal is apparently a big creep, but I’m also wondering if Vern or anyone has read his apparently batshits insane conservative novel. The protagonist is supposed to be Native American, and I’m kind of fascinated by how conservatives have transformed Native American culture so that it fits their political ideology. For instance, the white author of The Education of Little Tree (supposedly a Native American autobiography) was a member of the KKK and a speech writer for George Wallace. (I think Vern writes about this in his Outlaw Josey Wales review).

    Anyway, I’m curious about the book, but I’m not sure if I want to actually spend the time reading it or be seen checking it out from the library.

  85. Vern’s Twitter has indicated that he’s reading it now. We can only hope there’s a review forthcoming, because lord knows I ain’t sitting through that shit myself.

  86. Oh, good. I’ve read a couple of other reviews, but I’d prefer to hear from the expert. And most of those other reviews consisted of a brief summary followed by a string of fat jokes, and I’m actually hoping for a bit more depth.

  87. RBatty – I have read a little bit of it, will definitely write about it when I get through it. If not for the guilt of having purchased it (the introduction is by fucking Sheriff Joe Arpaio, for christ’s sake) it would actually be hilarious. Way more ridiculous and incompetently produced than any Seagal movie, but with some of the enjoyable tough guy posturing. Within the first 10 pages or so you get a long screed re-defining “the deep state” with a series of “What if?” questions, the transcript of a documentary about Native Americans (which the hero watches in a theater and then leaves in the middle of) and a scene where he does a ritual in the middle of the desert and a wolf comes out of the shadows to kiss him on the head.

    The bio on the back claims that Seagal has Blackfoot heritage, something I’m sure he would’ve bragged about in the past if he hadn’t just made it up while writing this.

  88. Vern, I know I will consider your eventual review to be the first and last word on the subject, and I know I’m not the only one. Maybe you can console yourself with the thought of all of us who won’t have to buy our own copy because you took that bullet for us.

  89. Non movie related – just watched Canada win the gold medal in junior hockey. Feels great to be back on top after a few heartbreakers in recent years. Any other posters here Canadian?

    I know there are some Swedes on here so congrats on a great game/tournament. I was extremely nervous there at the end. I would have been OK with you guys winning – just not the US. I did want to beat the US in the final though!

    Holy crap – as I was writing this comment, one of the Swedish kids threw his silver medal into the crowd with great vengeance and furious anger. Followed by the fans chanting “give it back” – and he did get the medal back.

  90. SLAP SHOT is the only sports movie I can watch. Just saying…

  91. Anyone seen the new episodes of STRIKE BACK?

  92. Check it out!!!

  93. I wanna get excited but I hate the David vs Goliath final fight gimmick in movies.

  94. Isn’t every movie about that one way or the other?

  95. I’m referring to the big guy vs small guy, not the metaphorical David vs Goliath.

  96. Someone once told me every story is either kid goes out into the world, or stranger comes to town.

  97. I hope you guys see this. This goes immediately on my must watch list. It’s a movie directed by Mark Decascos and it has a ton of 90s action stars in it and it looks super fun. Showdown in Manilla.

    https://youtu.be/IgVoV74Bnkg

  98. HALLSY- I appreciate your dignity and being a good loser. But I am sad to say I am not a very good loser. In no way do I recognize this as a fair win. Canada had unbelievable more PP than Sweden. And let´s face it. Canada have become experts at falling easily since they realized they cannot bully Swedes anymore. And the referees are way to keen to blow for Canada´s advantage. It is so infuriating as Sweden fought of all those bullshit penalties, still scoring a boxplay goal , only to find themselves losing.

    I am a terrible loser. This took me awhile to think up. This particular final hit me hard. It was 5.30 in the morning. I was tired and drunk only to find myself up this late only to waste it on a bullshit loss (according to me). I threw books around and had a tantrum like a fucking baby.

    And that stupid image of the Canadian boys sitting there texting with their Gold medals seemingly uncaring was just the fucking worst. Lias throwing his silver medal is something I can relate to all too much. But I am so glad someone in the audience had the heart to bring it back. I hope it was a Canadian.

    HALLSY, your response to the win showed there was still Canadians that could be classy. I salute you.

    But excuse me if I don´t particularly care for Canadians for the three months. I am fucking devastated. And if it wasn´t for the “regular” WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2017 win on penalties I would have suspected a rigged game, since that was the first World Championship Swedish win against the maple leafs.

  99. I don’t want to give him any money but man do I want to check out that Seagal book, but I don’t want to give him any money dispite my morbid curiosity.

  100. Vern, are planning on reviewing BRIGHT? Also, what does a film like BRIGHT featuring a big Hollywood director and star going straight to a streaming digital service say about the current state of DTV/straight to VOD movies? I am curious to hear your thoughts.

  101. Oh and I almost forgot, in honor of the return of Potpourri (I believe it’s 7th installment)

    Potpourri And The Deathly Hallows Part 1
    Potpourri: The Talkback Awakens
    Potpourri Resurrection
    Cult Of Potpourri
    Potpourri: The New Blood
    Potpourri: Deader
    Potpourri 7: Mission To Moscow

  102. I understand, Shoot. I love the passion and I get the same way. Last year was brutal – we gave up a 2 goal lead in the third period and lost in a goddamned shootout to the goddamned United States (and the same thing happened in the round robin this year). We had more power plays than Sweden but I don’t think any of them were bad calls. Anyway, it was a great game that could have gone either way right up to the end. The winning goal was a beauty.

    I think it’s crazy to criticize 18 year old kids for showing emotion when they win/lose the biggest game of their lives in front of millions of people. I personally don’t think I would be texting/calling at that point but I can’t blame them for wanting to share the moment with friends and family that aren’t there.

    pegsman – did you mean Slap Shot is the only “hockey” movie you can watch? Either way, that’s a pretty terrible list of sports movies. My top 10 would be:

    1. Rocky IV
    2. Raging Bull
    3. Slap Shot
    4. Rocky III
    5. Rocky Balboa
    6. Youngblood
    7. Major League
    8. Creed
    9. Varsity Blues (so bad it’s good)
    10. Goon

    Notable exceptions:
    Tin cup – love this movie but golf is not a sport
    Happy Gilmore – ditto
    King Pin – bowling is not sport
    Sudden Death – not enough hockey shown to qualify
    Any UFC/karate movies – I know these are sports but I count them as fighting movies which is a different category

  103. Hallsy, that’s a good list. A couple of sports films I also enjoy not mentioned:

    EDDIE THE EAGLE
    HOOSIERS
    a personal favorite of mine ABOVE THE RIM
    I don’t really like American football but ANY GIVEN SUNDAY is a good one.
    The original BAD NEWS BEARS
    CADDYSHACK
    SHAOLIN SOCCER

  104. I forgot ESCAPE TO VICTORY. I haven’t seen it in a long time though so not sure where it would slot it.

  105. Does the new HELLRAISER trailer almost look like a real HELLRAISER to anyone else? I mean, other than the fact that Doug Bradley ain’t in it and therefore it can never be a true HELLRAISER?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttgFpfpBgUw

  106. Mr. S, it does look good, and it inspired me to revisit Verns reviews of the series which are excellent.

  107. Am I the only one who loves HERE COMES THE BOOM? It’s maybe just another inspirational sports comedy (with a few bits that are a bit more slapstick that in most over movies of that kind), but it’s so much better than most people think it is. Even the fights are exciting! I wish I would enjoy REAL STEEL as much as I like HERE COMES THE BOOM.

  108. CJ – Man, I’m glad you said that, because even though i don’t remember much about it, I do remember being pleasantly surprised by how legitimately good Here Comes the Boom was. I might have even said I liked it better than Warrior, even though I was probably kidding. (or was I? I really can’t remember but I wouldn’t be surprised if I liked it better). One thing I DO remember was that it’s one of the last few PG sports fighting movies in the tradition of the Rocky series. (I really liked that Balboa was PG and still managed to have an incredible fight scene, and kinda wish Creed would have shot for a PG rating instead of the PG-13)

    Since this is Potpourri, I’m going to throw a shout-out to that other Kevin James/Salma Hayek project, aka the Grown Ups franchise. Part 1 is actually pretty good – most of the jokes are obviously ad-libbed shit-talking between the cast, but it’s still funny and there’s a decent story and great chemistry between the characters. Plus it’s fun to see respectable actresses like Hayek, Maya Rudolph, and Maria Bello just having fun (or cashing a paycheck). Part 2 is almost experimental in how bad it is – it probably has the most aimless, random “plot” I’ve seen in a big mainstream comedy, but there’s something charming about how aggressively stupid it is. It’s like a feature length version of the James Coburn/Bruce Willis fight from Hudson Hawk if that makes any sense.

  109. I actually really love the first GROWN UPS. Never saw part 2, because even I don’t think that it needed a sequel, but part 1 feels more like one of those charming, little feel good indie comedies, that rarely get attention outside of festivals and random Netflix releases, instead of a full blown Sandler gang vehicle. I’m sure if they had made the same movie, but with respected independent actors or hip actors from premium cable dramedies, it would’ve been much better received.

  110. I own some other movies that people have given me through the years (until I asked them to stop…) but I think the only ones I have bought for myself are:

    1. The original STAR WARS trilogy on DVD, the one that has the un-Lucased versions as a DVD extra so Han shoots first etc. It’s amazing how shockingly ugly the new crap they added is and how it takes you completely out of the movie it is so coarse and rough. Ugh. Watching the original 1975 STAR WARS with its real sets and chipped paint and actual extras filling out scenes, it’s a travesty to paint some CGI over top of it.

    2. 2001 A SPACE ODYSSEY on Blu-Ray, because how else you gonna watch it? I personally feel this is an Important movie that everybody should watch at least once for a couple reasons:

    First to show (again, like STAR WARS) what can be done with subtle “futuristic” art design and tech without going over the top and how it ages gracefully.

    Two to see Kubrick’s amazing anti-interesting world building, especially in the space station scenes which I absolutely love, where the scientist guy sits and talks awkwardly with some Russians for no good reason about random shit for like 5 minutes, and then as Vern says he gets up and walks across the room and we get to watch him walk the entire way, for no good reason. I am not saying this stuff is interesting or good “cinema”, but damn is it fascinating to me and I have no idea why. I guess it is similar to THE SHINING where we get lots of long shots of Jack Nicholson glaring at mirrors and whatnot. Why? Who knows! All I know is that it works for me.

    Three is to see the ape-man intro, so that when this iconic cultural reference of bones turning into spaceships comes up you know what the fuck is going on. It’s long, it’s seemingly pointless, but it’s got something there, I dunno what.

    Four is of course HAL’s death scene, and in fact every single scene with HAL in it is just gold. It’s weird, creepy, and hilarious all at once. My wife and I quote this movie at least once a week in the most deadpan voice possible. She’ll burn dinner and then say “I still have the highest confidence in our mission”, or we’ll be debating some random shit and I’ll say “This conversation can serve no purpose any more. Goodbye.” etc. HAL is perhaps one of my favorite movie characters ever. Also, my Keurig coffee machine says “Just a moment..” on its little screen when you first turn it on, which makes me think it is going to try and kill me.

  111. So last week the internet was like “Why is there no press or promotion for Proud Mary? (even though I swear there’s a commercial on every time I’ve watched TV) Why is nobody talking about it even though I’m always talking about it? Why can’t a black woman ever get a fair chance? Did I tell you how much I like Taraji P. Henson even though I haven’t watched Empire since the first season? But I l LOVE HER.”

    This week it was “Zomg. Sony’s totally being racist by burying Proud Mary. There’s no previews for critics so it’s probably not good, but that’s besides the point. I’m going to see it anyway you guys, because I want to show how much I support WOC and I have disposable income. Go watch Proud Mary this weekend or you’re both sexist and racist.”

    Today it’s like “Well, I saw the movie and it’s really bad. The studio kneecapped Taraji P. Henson by giving her this shitty movie to be in even though she’s billed as a producer but it’s still totally not her fault. You idiots will see a white guy in garbage like John Wick but you can’t stand to see a black woman kick ass. America is racist and doesn’t want to see Black Women in Action Movies. Even though Kidnap just came out like four months ago and Tessa Thompson was badass in Thor but she’s not the main character because Marvel is racist and Zoe Saldana was in a whole bunch of action movies and the lead in Colombiana but she doesn’t count because she did that one movie where she wore too much makeup to look like Nina Simone even though it didn’t really look that bad in the movie but I’m still outraged about it”

    I mean, we’re at the point where people are posting their receipts online from Proud Mary to show how supportive and woke they are. Like, “look at me, I’m such a good ally I willingly paid money for a movie I heard was terrible”. News flash: I think most of us would have totally seen Proud Mary if it had good reviews, good word of mouth, but most importantly if the trailers/commercials made it look it had more than two action scenes (or y’know, look at least exciting or funny). I knew “identity politics” was going to seep into every aspect of life as we know it eventually, I just didn’t know it was going to seep into the “hitman tries to get out of the game” film genre so soon.

  112. Okay dude I looked up this PROUD MARY movie because of your rant… I saw HIDDEN FIGURES and thought it was pretty good in a cliche formula kind of way, and haven’t seen anything else this woman was in, but now that you are telling me that woman was in an action movie as a badass assassin I am a bit mystified at the casting decision. Maybe you could make a case that the best assassins are the ones you would never suspect but I don’t think that kind of logic really works in movies usually unless there’s some clever twist.

    Anyway, I looked up her other movies and found a movie called TERM LIFE from 2016 which has a remarkable 0% on Rotten Tomatoes, and it cost $16M to make and only made $13k. The description on RT starts off with “Everyone wants Nick (Vince Vaughn) dead.” So maybe this is a good movie after all. It’s got Bill Paxton and Terrence Howard too! And it was directed by Peter Billingsley — the kid from A CHRISTMAS STORY!

    This TERM LIFE movie has little to do with Taraji herself, it looks like she’s got a small part, and she has some other more successful movies in her resume. She is starring in TYLER PERRY’S SOME BULLSHIT coming up next so I am sure that will be a true work of art that will win her Oscars.

    Getting even further off topic, I don’t understand how Tyler Fucking Perry got to be a billionaire who is so rich that he can give Oprah a Rolls Royce for her birthday (as if she needed one, this always baffled me). Well, I understand that people are stupid and the African American community somehow has decided that it must support his particular brand of idiotic dramedy, much like the rednecks of America have been keeping Jeff Foxworthy, Larry the Cable Guy, and Jeff Dunham employed for over a decade. But in the case of Tyler Perry the guy makes awful tone-deaf movies that do absolutely nothing to elevate the black condition or to help out the dire state of minority roles in major movies. His films have zero dignity, period. If you’re a rich black producer who has made bank pandering crap to the masses, why wouldn’t you assemble a cast of distinguished minority actors and make some real movies? But he keeps putting out more Madea shit. Compare the endless Madea films to COMING TO AMERICA, or HARLEM NIGHTS, or even BOOMERANG…. Instead, the movie coming out soon with the most impressive pedigree of black actors is BLACK PANTHER. Which makes sense of course given the subject matter but it’s a little messed up that a Marvel comic book movie is likely to be the most respectable major film with a minority-heavy cast this year. Who knows, maybe this upcoming movie (TYLER PERRY’S ACRIMONY, why does he have to put his name in the title?) will be exactly the kind of breakout, quality film that I would hope he would make.

    Side note: I am actually kind of excited about BLACK PANTHER, which feels weird because I am pretty tired of the new superhero trend. But looking at all these great black actors assembled together in a big blockbuster where I am pretty sure Marvel won’t drop the ball and make a lousy film, it’s pretty damn cool.

  113. Man, Term Life has been sitting on my DVR forever – I actually had no idea Taraji P. Henson was even in it. I actually do kinda like Vince Vaughn’s schtick (his performance in Made pulls off the amazing feat of portraying the world’s most obnoxious person without making you want to turn the movie off or punch your TV). But yeah once I heard it was a drama and not a comedy I was like, “wait, it’s a drama with THAT cover?” It looks like one of the fake movies from Tropic Thunder.

    Henson actually already played a badass assassin in Smokin’ Aces, and she was the lead cop character on Person of Interest for a while. I like that her resume has a good mix of these strong roles, with more vulnerable characters like in Hidden Figures and Hustle & Flow. I hope her success on Empire doesn’t lead to her playing the same badass character over and over again (aka the Milla Jovovich syndrome)

    Yeah Black Panther looks great. Incredible cast, strong director, and even though it’s a “new” ip to most people, Boseman (and the character) was so good in Civil War that yeah, why wouldn’t you want to see a whole movie about this guy? It’s going to be a big hit and I think a few asshole bloggers’ heads are going to explode because they won’t be able to complain about the movie bombing because of racist audiences or studios.

    As for Tyler Perry, I actually think there’s NOT ENOUGH Madea in his movies. The Madea segments are usually pretty funny, but I guess because he’s so busy writing and directing, he usually only gives Madea around 15 minutes screentime in each movie and surrounds her with questionable, problematic plots, usually involving rape or abuse, handled with all the grace and subtlety you’d expect. I’ve gotten used to the wild tonal shifts these movies have; it almost reminds me of the wacky/serious tonal shifts in some martial arts movies to be honest. He actually did try to make a Madea-less “real” movie a few times, most notably “For Colored Girls” which I think was supposed to be Oscar bait but is apparently one of his worst, most offensive movies according to everyone.

    Speaking of offensive, I’m glad the LAPD is finally doing something about Seagal (amid NEW allegations that he raped a teenager during On Deadly Ground)

    LAPD opens investigation of Steven Seagal after sexual harassment claims

    Jenny McCarthy and Julianna Margulies are among women who have come forward with allegations against the star.

  114. I haven’t noticed that phenomenon with PROUD MARY, but it’s much better than complaining about it and then never seeing QUEEN OF KATWE or movies like that. At least in this case they’re proven moviegoers putting their money where their mouth is. I saw one positive review and hope to see it myself, even though it’s from the director of LONDON HAS FALLEN.

    I think BLACK PANTHER is going to be a gigantic cultural phenomenon. If not, it will be the new Ryan Coogler movie, which is almost as good.

    I don’t know if Seagal is in the country and if not I wonder if he’ll just never come back, like Polanski.

  115. I liked Taraji P. Henson in PERSON OF INTEREST (a great and smart mix of SciFi, action and modern superhero show, that anybody should check out), unfortunately MOTHERFUCKING SPOILER ALERT she got written out midpoint in the biggest bullshit scene and maybe the only weak spot that the show ever had. But good to know that her career took off after that.

  116. Proud Mary is an adequate but generic one-woman-army programmer. It’s blaxploitation trappings are barely window dressing limited to opening credits and a few on-the-nose soundtrack selections (the score itself is indistinguishable from any thriller of the last 15 years) but its half dozen shots of her fully stocked weapons cabinet while she uses the same Gloc in every gunfight constitutes a breach of action movie etiquette. So it’s not gonna satisfy action aesthetes like ourselves. The story and characters are reasonably compelling though and I think it will go over well with action tourists who don’t care about the genre but just a enjoy seeing an unconventional heroine be righteous and powerful. It seemed to go over well with all four of the other people in the theater, both the aging white chinbeards to my left and the much more enthusiastic black ladies to my left, who were already talking trilogy by the time the credits rolled. I wouldn’t mind seeing the character again in a more dynamic adventure with a director who had any personality and/or style.

  117. BLACK P is going to be fucking huge.

  118. Grimgrinningchris

    January 17th, 2018 at 12:15 am

    Has Vern reviewed IN A VALLEY OF VIOLENCE yet? Can’t find one but it seems like something he’d have seen and had lots of thoughts on by now.

  119. You know, I saw it at the Seattle International Film Festival but it was so far in advance of its regular release that I thought a review would be useless at the time. I remember I thought it was pretty good, liked seeing Ethan Hawke as the star of a western, thought it was one of the good latter day Travolta performances and that the dog stole the movie. I remember thinking it was not a transcendent western, though, just a pretty good routine one. Did you like it?

  120. Son of Drago is finally cast. Holy Shitzkonov!!!

  121. I will not be watching BLACK PANTHER but as a melanated fellow I’m rooting for it’s success. Between that and the premiere of the surprisingly accurate BLACK LIGHTNING adaptation on CW last night it looks like 2018 is fixing to be the year of the black superhero showcase. Better late than never.

  122. I liked a lot about IN A VALLEY OF VIOLENCE but thought it was too long. It had me looking at my watch and waiting impatiently for the next thing to happen.

  123. Grimgrinningchris

    January 17th, 2018 at 11:03 pm

    Vern and JTS,

    I loved it.
    And I felt the opposite. I wanted it to be longer. It’s such a small story, where very little happens- yes. But I just dug spending time with Hawke’s character so much… and the dog… until (spoiler for John Wick).

    Some of the dialogue is a little stilted and Gillan seems kind of “off” but it’s one of those movies that’a strengths shine and that’s weaknesses even add too it in an odd endearing way.

    I could almost see it done as a stage play, really.

  124. Grimgrinningchris

    January 17th, 2018 at 11:05 pm

    And the opening credits rule.

  125. A older white guy called Black Lightning the most woke show ever. I wanted to punch him metaphorically.

    BTW, Twitter is turning me into a cynical person. I could never be a Republican but there are so many Uber liberals completely turning me against whatever cause that I would normally agree on that I am going to register as an independent. They complain about everything.

    Also this Aziz Ansari thing is bumming me out because it was irresponsible of the reporter, and it all this is doing is turning this into “#metoo movement : Celebrity Edition”.

  126. Did you guys google “best hip hop albums 2017” and go through them yet? Holy shit there’s so much amazing stuff to discover. Have fun sifting through all the trap style beats though…

  127. The Undefeated Gaul

    January 25th, 2018 at 1:56 am

    So I finally watched 24 HOURS TO LIVE (with the recent comments thing not being fixed I figured it made slightly more sense to post this here than in the specific thread for the film) and enjoyed it for what it was – just a bit of throwaway action entertainment that is an easy watch but doesn’t have anything particularly memorable going on on any level.

    What I did want to do is show some appreciation for Paul Anderson. I finally started watching PEAKY BLINDERS during my Christmas break and went through all four seasons in no time – that is one cool as fuck show that I can heartily recommend to everyone here. Aside from – obviously – Cillian Murphy and Tom Hardy, the standout actor/character on that show is in fact Paul Anderson, and he was the reason I decided to watch 24 HOURS after all, after initially having decided to skip it. I can say now I think this guy is one of the most interesting “new” actors out there – he hasn’t done a lot outside of PEAKY except bit parts – and I’m excited for what he’s gonna do next. Even in 24 HOURS I felt he added some proper pathos and interesting layers to a character that could have easily been generic as hell. He did well with the American accent too. I’m gonna keep my eye out for whatever this guy does next I think.

    Also, guess this means I gotta watch THE REVENANT now after all. No idea how big his part is in that, but when there’s a movie that has Tom Hardy AND this guy in it, there’s really no acceptable way to defend not having watched it.

  128. It takes a lot for a movie to make me turn it off before it’s over. So far only five of them managed to make me do this.

    – Underworld
    – Superbad
    – Ted
    – Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge
    – Die Häupter meiner Lieben

    Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce to you #6:

    Assassin’s Creed

  129. 24 HOURS TO LIVE was very enjoyable. The crazy thing is I spent the whole movie thinking, “where do I know Ethan Hawke’s mate from?” and had to look it up afterwards. That dude is great on Peaky Blinders. Also, I checked rotten tomatoes and somehow this has less than 40% fresh! Weird…and half of the negative reviews seem to be disappointed that this wasn’t a Crank remake. I mean, I love Crank as much as the next man, but this was obviously never trying to be anything like that.

    Completely unrelated to anything – I just received 15 Jackie Chan dvds in the mail so I am going to be occupied with that for quite a while. Can’t wait!

  130. I feel like I always knew about Seagal’s abuse. When LeBrock divorced him I remember finding out he’d beaten her. This was before the internet so it must’ve been well covered on Entertainment Tonight and stuff.

    I always kept his films in context. He certainly wasn’t the hero in real life, but this hero character he played in every movie clearly was the hero he thought he should be. That dichotomy was interesting to me, but maybe it shouldn’t be. I mean, a teenager on the set is On Deadly Ground? Jesus

  131. The Undefeated Gaul

    February 1st, 2018 at 1:30 pm

    One of the main PEAKY BLINDERS directors is doing that weird ROBIN HOOD film with Taron Egerton where everyone’s wearing modern clothes, and he’s put Paul Anderson in it as Guy of Gisborne. Hope he gets a chance to shine in that.

    Also something completely unrelated: I just learned that Manu Bennett is coming to the next Comic Con over here, so The Undefeated Gaul will have a chance to take a pic with The Undefeated Gaul! Wouldn’t that be fun?

  132. The Undefeated Gaul

    February 1st, 2018 at 1:30 pm

    I’ll tell him you’re all big fans of Spartacus on here

  133. Manu Bennett has been on a few conventions over here. Unfortunately none I went to, but from what I’ve heard, the reason he constantly gets invited again, is that he is a super cool guy and fun on stage.

    He was also great in ARROW, btw.

  134. The Undefeated Gaul

    February 1st, 2018 at 2:11 pm

    I never watched ARROW, but I’ll say he looks pretty cool in it. And yeah, I’ve heard the same things about him, so should be fun.

  135. Manu Bannett was in SHANNARRA CHRONICLES, a half-ass fantasy TV show that was produced and shown on MTV. He was easily the coolest and least cringeworthy actor in the whole thing but that isn’t difficult because they populated the show with good looking but horribly annoying boys and girls who can’t act worth a shit. Including, unfortunately, the little girl from PAN’S LABYRINTH who is now all growed up and playing a riot grrl who can’t find any clothes that cover her belly. Also John Rhys-Davies slumming it as king of the Elves. Maybe I am being too harsh on this show but I don’t think so, this show is awful. The first season at least is based on one of my favorite books when I was a kid, THE ELFSTONES OF SHANNARA, which is pretty cool and I always thought it would make a really good fantasy movie (starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman in my young mind) and they take it and give it the Hobbitt treatment, stretching what could be a two hour fun adventure with some cool ideas into 10 hours of bullshit. I watched 4-5 episodes and gave up.

    Do we really need another Paul Anderson?? The guy needs a middle initial. First WS and Thomas and now a Paul Anderson. IMDB says there is yet another Paul Anderson with no middle name who was in MEGA SHARK VS MECHA SHARK, so we’ve probably got another up and comer ready to explode on the scene any minute now.

    I am sorry Verne but Seagal always seemed to me like a dude who would get arrested for putting roofies in women’s drinks. I dont know how genuine your appreciation for him is and how much is ironic. I think there is plenty of room in the world for fun, self-aware, low budget action movies, or any kind of semi-ironic movies for that matter, and there are actually a lot of people out there who purvey this kind of schlock with open hearts and minds and who seem like genuinely nice people who you would like to be friends with. Never have I ever thought of Seagal as one of those people.

  136. The Undefeated Gaul

    February 7th, 2018 at 2:41 am

    Actually I saw the whole first season of SHANNARA and I agree completely – Manu is easily the best thing about it but it’s just not enough as everyone and everything else is terrible. I’m still glad there was a second season though (although I’ll never watch it), as I understood Manu’s wife was ill and the show made it possible for him to work very close to home.

    As for Paul Anderson, indeed the guy should have maybe gotten a different stage name, this is getting way too confusing. As an actor though, he seems the real deal from what I’ve seen so far, hope there’s more to come.

  137. The Undefeated Gaul

    March 4th, 2018 at 12:40 pm

    Just here to report the stories are true: The Undefeated Gaul is indeed a super cool guy in real life and a good story teller to boot. Pic came out great, two Gauls, just Gaullin’ it up. Scratch that one off the bucket list.

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