"I got news for 'em. There's gonna be hell to pay. 'Cause I ain't daddy's little boy no more."

Archive for the ‘Crime’ Category

The Departed

Thursday, February 22nd, 2007

If you saw INFERNAL AFFAIRS you know the storyline. Undercover cop vs. undercover gangster. There’s alot of stories about cops going undercover in gangs, but this one also has a member of the crime family who entered the police academy and moved up the ranks as a mole for his gang. So now both traitors are well situated and it starts to get obvious to both sides that they have a mole in their midst. And the moles are given the job of finding out who the mole is. It could be called LOS TOPOS.

Mr. Scorsese took that premise and moved it to Boston and told his own story about contemporary Boston criminals. Scorsese’s young associate Leonardo Del Caprio (looking more like Benicio Del Toro every year) plays the cop who pretends to get kicked out of the force, does some time and then joins Jack Nicholson’s gang. Matt Damon plays the cop who’s really working for the gang. We first see him as a little kid getting money from Nicholson in a diner. And the kid they chose is a dead ringer. They even taught him how to cock his eyebrow like Damon. Somebody’s gonna have to find a young Ben Affleck doppelganger and these two can go on the road. Or they could do THE YOUNG JASON BOURNE MYSTERIES where the camera shakes around while he’s fighting some kid in a treehouse. (read the rest of this shit…)


Monday, February 12th, 2007

Remember when that jackass Geraldo opened up Al Capone’s vault on live tv, and there was nothing inside? I know he remembers, people probaly give him shit about that four times a day. Well, most of us are smart enough to check inside the vault before we go live on tv, but the truth is that most of our big discoveries turn out to be a bust. I mean, if it was easy to find gold it wouldn’t be gold, would it?

I only bring this up because when I discovered this little known ’80s blaxploitation/karate dude from Indianapolis named Ivan Rogers, and especially when I found his movie BALLBUSTER, I figured I had pretty much just opened Al Capone’s vault and found Jimmy Hoffa and Amelia Eirhart’s skeletons inside holding hands. I mean the title alone is a treasure, but you read the back of the box, one of those way-too-detailed synopsises you find on some real low budget movies, and you gotta get excited: Ivan Rogers plays a P.I. named Roosevelt “Ballbuster” Prophet. I repeat, his name is Roosevelt “Ballbuster” Prophet. Two of the villains he fights are called Hacksaw and Paycheck. Later he fights mercenaries called “The Nasty Boys.” (I’m not sure if they said this in the movie, so I’m glad it’s mentioned on the box.) (read the rest of this shit…)

Black Caesar

Monday, February 12th, 2007

In my opinion BLACK CAESAR is one of my favorite blaxploitation movies. It’s got a good story and direction (by Larry Cohen), a badass soundtrack (by James Brown) and a super badass lead (Fred Williamson). Fred plays a cruel motherfucker, sort of a Scarface type anti-hero, but makes him mostly sympathetic.

You already know the movie is good at the beginning because it has such a good and unusual opening. Fred’s character Tommy Gibbs is a kid (played by some young guy, don’t worry it’s not Fred wearing a beanie or nothin) working as a shoe shine boy.

There’s a nervous white man in a suit, looking over his shoulder, but Tommy convinces him to get a quick shine. Suddenly a scary mafia dude comes out with a gun and the whitey tries to run. But Tommy holds onto his shoe. After the dude is dead, Tommy meets up with the mafia dude in an alley. He gets his payment and also gets to hold the murder weapon and check it out. This kid may have some problems, is the idea. (read the rest of this shit…)

Crazed Cop

Friday, February 2nd, 2007

I don’t know if you ever do this, maybe this means I had a bad childhood or somethin, but every once in a while I see a weird old VHS box in the action section at the video store and I say “what the fuck is THIS?” and even though it looks like shit I have to rent it just to take a peek at some weird corner of the action cinema universe that I had not previously charted. I’m an explorer, is what I’m saying. The latest example of this is CRAZED COP starring a guy named Ivan Rogers. I will be impressed if any of you know who this guy is, because I asked around and only got blank looks.

First a visual of Ivan Rogers: an African-American gentleman of slightly above average build, with a mustache, likes to wear light colored suit and tie with dark shirt. If there was a movie about his life he could be played by Steve Harvey. But he doesn’t make any jokes in this movie, and doesn’t talk unless he has to. He has a dead-eyed stare and frown. His face betrays no emotion so, to show how depressed he is throughout this movie (or how crazed he is, I guess) he drinks lots of scotch and points a gun at his head 3 different times. (read the rest of this shit…)

Lethal Weapon

Thursday, December 14th, 2006

I meant to see APOCALYPTO this week but I was too god damn sick to haul my ass to the theater. So I figured what the hell, it’s December, I’m Vern – might as well revisit LETHAL WEAPON. Haven’t seen that one since the ’80s. One of my buddies swears by it.

Well, it was interesting to watch this movie again, and I had fun, but I can’t say it has aged too well. I know it’s not fair to compare everything to DIE HARD, but LETHAL WEAPON is no DIE HARD. Bruce knew to keep the hair conservative, it will be timeless, no problem. His hair in that movie is so not dated that today, when the LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD teaser debuted online, everybody was pissed that he didn’t have the old hair do. (read the rest of this shit…)

Vern’s Seen SMOKING ACES!!

Thursday, December 7th, 2006


Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here.

Carnahan fans have been waiting a while now for his follow-up to NARC, and it seems crazy that it’s almost here.

If you’re a fan, you might want to hop over to CHUD, where Devin Faraci has been fielding questions that Carnahan’s been answering on his very own blog.

In the meantime, let’s see what our own Vern has to say about this film that I’m eagerly looking forward to:

You know what this movie is, it’s a remake of BOBBY. Almost the whole movie takes place in and around this hotel. And you got your huge all-star cast of characters with their various intersecting stories going on. But instead of them all living their lives and making corny speeches not knowing Bobby Kennedy is about to be assassinated, they are all trying to sneak into the hotel to kill Jeremy Piven. And instead of tons of stock footage of Kennedy speeches there is all kinds of fighting and guns. So it’s a reflection of our times. Or a very loose remake. A reimagining. (read the rest of this shit…)


Monday, November 27th, 2006

No, this is not the one where Adam Sandler has a magic remote control that he uses to conquer the world, that’s CLICK. This is CRANK, this is the one where Jason Statham (the Transporter himself) is a hitman who gets injected by high concept poison. It’s gonna kill him, but he figures out that it won’t finish until his adrenaline rate goes down. So he tries to run around, have sex, do coke and get in shootouts until he is able to get revenge on the poisoner. So it’s SPEED in a guy, with a side order of revenge.

An inventive thrill ride full of imagination and wit that keeps you constantly involved as it builds to an unbelievable climax… would be a good way to do this movie. Instead they went the DOMINO route of “if you throw every stupid show-offy technique you ever saw in a commercial at the screen, technically it counts as entertainment.” I think I know what they were thinking: he has to keep his adrenaline up, so the movie has to keep its adrenaline up too. But it’s flawed logic. THE JERK is about a moron, but the movie doesn’t have to be moronic. I don’t think SPEED had cameras flying around constantly to convince you that it’s about speed. If you show a guy in hospital gown zooming around on a motorcycle pursued by police, that is by definition somewhat exciting. But when you throw in unnecessary zooms and split screen and do a jokey flashback on one side and then freeze on a guy’s goofy expression and then switch it to black and white and then zoom into Statham’s chest to show an x-ray of his heart beating (a nod to the Furious Movement) AND you gotta throw in “exciting” guitar music made by a guy who used to be in Tangerine Dream who is now trying to rock out, it seems like you’re overcompensating. It isn’t exciting anymore, it’s just annoying. To me it’s another movie that has no build or rhythm at all, just the same frantic shit for 87 minutes straight. (read the rest of this shit…)

Running Scared (2006)

Tuesday, October 24th, 2006

I really don’t have a problem with America’s team captain, Paul Walker. Alot of people seem to hate this guy, but I think he’s pretty good at playing these straight laced hunky characters in movies like THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS and EIGHT BELOW. But I gotta admit, when I saw the trailer for RUNNING SCARED I thought it looked like the worst shit ever. Paul Walker doing an accent, playing a mob guy? I wasn’t buying it. It didn’t help that the trailer ended with mobsters trying to hit a glowing hockey puck into Walker’s mouth. Like it’s not enough to hit the guy in the face, they gotta make it visually appealing and EXTREME.

But there are two things that the trailer didn’t get across. One, that Paul Walker actually does a pretty good job playing this type of character. I was hoping that Clint’s FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS would be the movie that shows Walker is a little better than people thought, but his part in that one turned out to be minimal. Instead it was this one that makes you think huh, maybe he could play other types of characters. Hard to say. The second thing the trailer didn’t get across about RUNNING SCARED is that it’s a crazed, ridiculous movie where the day-glo hockey rink fits right in. And I guess the third thing is that Billy Crystal and Gregory Hines are not in this one, it’s Paul Walker. (read the rest of this shit…)

Gridiron Gang

Friday, September 15th, 2006

GRIDIRON GANG is the latest in this year’s new wave of inspirational high concept true story football movies. This one is THE LONGEST YARD meets STAND AND DELIVER: Dwayne T.R. Johnson plays an officer at a juvenile detention center who decides to start a football team to instill self esteem, discipline and teamwork in young criminals. I didn’t see INVINCIBLE and McG’s WE ARE MARSHALL hasn’t come out yet, but I’m guessing this one is the most generic of the bunch. There’s almost no point in me describing the movie. Try this: close your eyes. Now read that premise I just described, and picture a movie about that. There it is, what you just pictured is exactly what the movie is.

Holy shit, how are you reading this with your eyes closed? I didn’t say you could open them. This is weird. Well, I’m not sure exactly what to say about these amazing powers of yours, so instead I will ignore them and just go ahead and review the movie. Even if you don’t close your eyes, if you make a list of everything you expect to happen in a movie like this, you’d probaly get to cross off everything on the list. (read the rest of this shit…)

Get Rich or Die Tryin’

Friday, September 15th, 2006

50 Cent, aka Curtis “Mumbles” Jackson, is not a rapper. I mean technically you might think he was one because he’s released rap albums. Pretty popular, too – the one this movie’s named after went six times platinum. But in a profile in Forbes magazine he talked about his albums and all his other products (a record label with all his buddies on it, a line of clothes, a line of Reebok sneakers, a flavor of VitaminWater, a video game, a ghost-written autobiography) as a continuation of the drug dealing he did starting at the age of 11. Just another hustle, another product.

When I read about his deal with Apple to sponsor a line of low-cost computers aimed at the inner city, I wondered if maybe he was smarter than he was letting on in all his music and interviews. Had he used his fame to give back to the community, strategically getting Apple to help the poor catch up technologically with the rest of American society and build a better future? Maybe, but he never mentions anything like that in the article. It ends with the quote, “I never got into it for the music. I got into it for the business.” (read the rest of this shit…)