So once again we have survived.

Archive for the ‘Crime’ Category

Robocop Trilogy

Friday, August 3rd, 2007

ROBOCOP

Since my recent viewing of the TERMINATOR trilogy was a smashing success I decided to look for some other ’80s-’90s sci-fi/action robot trilogy to watch, and I came up with ROBOCOP. I’d seen the first one a million (1,000,000) times and never seen the sequels, but I had a pretty good idea it was not gonna be pretty. And it wasn’t.

To me the real trilogy is not ROBOCOP 1-3, it’s ROBOCOP, TOTAL RECALL and then STARSHIP TROOPERS, Paul Verhoeven’s three ultraviolent, FX heavy studio sci-fi action satires. ROBOCOP started off that trilogy with a bang, and even including those other Verhoeven classics there’s really nothing quite like this one. Its unique approach is established at the very beginning when it opens with a TV newsbreak (co-anchored by Leeza Gibbons) that’s a weird hybrid of news from the ’80s and from today. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Blue Steel

Thursday, July 12th, 2007

This is a suspense thriller from Kathryn Bigelow, the director of POINT BREAK and NEAR DARK, and one of the few women directors to get much of a chance in these types of movies. This one stars Jamie Lee Curtis as a just-graduated cop who, on her first ever patrol, has to shoot a guy holding up a grocery store.

Now first of all I gotta ask – why are there so many grocery store robberies in these movies? A reader named Jared pointed it out too because I recently reviewed STONE COLD and COBRA, both of which open with the hero going in to foil a grocery store robbery/shootout. Now this one too (and the last book I read, SIDESWIPE by Charles Willeford, also revolves around a grocery store robbery/shootout, although it’s at the end instead of the beginning, because it’s literature). The result here is the exact opposite of those other movies though: instead of a rebel cop who plays by his own rules she’s a straightlaced rookie who tries to do it by the book. Instead of having no consequences the incident could end her career. Talk about a double standard. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Cobra

Wednesday, July 11th, 2007

COBRA is not a great Stallone movie, but Stallone does play a cop named Marion “THE COBRA” Cobretti, and in this crazy world that’s gotta count for something. In the opening scene a ranting maniac goes into a super market, kills a bunch of people and takes the rest hostage. The police are helpless so they “call in the Cobra.”

Cobretti struts in wearing sunglasses and chewing on a matchstick. You’d think he’d want to have the full power of vision at his disposal in a situation like this, but he chooses fashion instead – not a great character trait for a human being, but acceptable for an action movie hero. If you want to get picky Dirty Harry probaly should’ve put down his hot dog to foil that bank robbery, but he didn’t, and we admire him for that. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

The Glove

Saturday, June 23rd, 2007

Like I mentioned in my review of WHO CAN KILL A CHILD? that should be running on The Ain’t It Cool News soon, I’m on the mailing list for this Dark Sky DVD label. So I get all these nicely packaged Italian horror obscurities and what not, and to be honest I haven’t watched most of them yet. I loan them to my horror watcher friends and hope they’ll tell me I got a must-see there. But that doesn’t usually happen.

For the batch that comes out this week though I found time to watch them and I was impressed. The one I had the highest hopes for was WHO CAN KILL A CHILD? which is a creepy sun-drenched Spanish horror movie in the vein of VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED. But I already heard that one was good before, so a more impressive find is THE GLOVE, the b-picture in their latest “DRIVE-IN DOUBLE FEATURE” along with SEARCH AND DESTROY. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Ocean’s Thirteen

Thursday, June 14th, 2007

It seemed like most of the world hated OCEAN’S 12. I always figured it was because it was too strange, but people say it was just too self-indulgent, they get mad watching all those guys having fun together and being cool. Which is weird because if that’s the case I’m not sure why they liked the first one. I mean what else are they supposed to do? Not have fun and wear cheap suits?

Anyway I felt lucky they were making a part 13, like they were doing it just for me and the elite few who still give a shit. But I was mistaken – actually they were making this for the other guys to make up for part 12. This is the same shit but dialed back a little, so they are having a little less fun and are not quite as cool because Matt Damon wears a fake nose in one part. It’s Steve Soderbergh’s most mainstream movie since ERIN BROCKOVICH, but not even as satisfying as that since it’s sequel number two and there’s no surprise factor at all. And you get a little sick of all their con man lingo and code words. For example, faking an earthquake is “an Irwin Allen.” I’m not sure what the name would be for making a fun but forgettable part 3, since most part 3s are widely hated except for Lord of the Rings or if it’s in 3-D. And they are in the problem of being a part 3 only I asked for (see the end of OCEAN’S 12 review above). (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Vern Explains The Importance Of The STONE COLD DVD!

Tuesday, June 12th, 2007

Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here.

Really, what more is there to say? Vern’s the man, and if he says it’s time to go buy STONE COLD on DVD, who am I to argue?

Ladies and gentlemen, the day has come. The eagle has landed. Brian Bosworth’s 1991 film debut STONE COLD is finally available on Region 1 DVD. We’re through the looking glass, people.

As a DVD this is kind of a bust. There isn’t even a trailer on the thing. They did spring for interactive menus, that’s about it. They even labeled the disc wrong, the widescreen is actually on the standard side and vice versa. The movie is about a biker gang, but the cover seems designed to make it look like a current DTV espionage thriller – there’s not a single motorcycle pictured on the front or back. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Hardcore

Saturday, June 9th, 2007

This is not the George C. Scott/Paul Schrader movie HARDCORE, this is the 2004 Greek movie HARDCORE that I only rented when I read that the director, Dennis Iliadis, was hired to do a remake of LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT. So this is kind of a review and kind of a scouting mission.

This is the story of two teenage prostitutes, told from the POV of the less crazy one. They are in love but they are always fucking other people, especially the crazier one Nadia, who loves to manipulate rich older men to get what she wants out of life. Along the way there is some blood, some cocaine, some suicide, lots of depression, lots of disturbing passionless fucking and dildoing. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

McQ

Sunday, May 27th, 2007

In the movie McQ, John Wayne plays McQ, a cop trying to find out who killed his partner and why. I’m not sure if McQ is short for McQuaid or McQueen, or if it is his real name like McG. Actually, they usually just call him Lon.

McQ was made in 1974, the director was John Sturges, the style seems to be DIRTY HARRY. Except John Wayne was actually offered the real DIRTY HARRY after Frank Sinatra dropped out. He turned it down because he didn’t want Sinatra’s leftovers. Instead, he would prefer to do a rip-off of Sinatra’s leftovers.

Actually, it’s not like DIRTY HARRY. It’s a little more like MAGNUM FORCE because it turns out the other cops are dirty and there’s a coverup. But still it’s not the same type of movie, because instead of the liberal West Coast port city of San Francisco it takes place in my beloved liberal West Coast port city of Seattle. And instead of a funky Lalo Schifrin score it’s a funky Elmer Bernstein score. So it’s totally different. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Vern doesn’t like THE CONDEMNED!! Yes, our Vern!

Wednesday, April 25th, 2007

SPOILER ALERT !!

My friends, I write to you with a heavy heart to admit that the prestigious WWE Films banner is starting to lose its luster. They have three movies under their belt now (get it, belt – that is a wrestling pun in my opinion) but the record now is 1 in 3. And the one I’m counting as good is SEE NO EVIL (click for review!) , the slasher movie about a big bald sexually repressed muscleman poking out people’s eyes in a scary hotel. So your mileage may vary. (mileage is a car metaphor, that is no longer wrestling related, sorry.)

THE CONDEMNED sort of stars Steve Austin, formerly known as Stone Cold Steve Austin, but maybe he dropped that after he got fired from wrestling for getting arrested for wife beating. I’m not sure. Austin is the most sympathetic of ten convicts that an amoral millionaire buys out of prisons in third world countries, puts on an island and forces to kill each other for one of those live streaming internet shows they have in horrible movies (see HALLOWEEN RESURRECTION). They have bombs attached to their ankles so they can’t escape, and if one is able to be the last one remaining he or she will be set free. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Point Break

Tuesday, April 17th, 2007

Until recently I was the guy who had never seen POINT BREAK. But the other day I busted my cherry on that matter, pardon my French, so I’m some other guy now.

I’m sure you’ve already seen it but let me refresh your memory: Keanu Reeves plays the perfectly named Johnny Utah, college football hero turned fresh-faced FBI rookie teamed with Gary Busey (in one of the first roles of his Crazy Post-Motorcycle Accident Period) to track down a gang of bank robbers who Busey (correctly) theorizes are surfers. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.